Suspected hoodlums allegedly killed a 65-year-old Chief Imam of Kwara Village,

Suspected hoodlums on Saturday, allegedly killed a 65-year-old Chief Imam of Kwara Village, Kiyawa Local Government Area of Jigawa, the Police have confirmed.

SP Abdu Jinjiri, the Spokesman, Jigawa Police Command in Dutse said, that the incident occurred at about 1:30 a.m.

Jinjiri said the deceased cleric, Alsheik Idris Musa, a resident of Kwara, was attacked by hoodlums at his residence after he sold his farmland for N400, 000 to one of the construction companies in the state.

He explained that the suspects allegedly hit the deceased several times with sticks, which led to his death.

The spokesman added that the suspects allegedly took away the sum of N400, 000 belonging to the deceased.

According to him, the suspects also beat up the wives and children of the deceased.

“The deceased was said to have sold his farmland to one of the construction companies in the state at the cost of N400, 000,

“It is suspected that the transaction took place in the presence of the suspected, but unidentified hoodlums who later trailed him to his residence.

“The village where the incident took place is a remote area. The distance to our station is two hours’ drive.

“So the DPO in charge of the area got the information at about 1:30 a.m. and proceeded to the scene immediately, but he got there after 3 a.m.

“When he got there, the victim was already dead, but he was able to rescue the family members beaten by the hoodlums.

“They were taken to hospital for medical attention,” the spokesman said.

Jinjiri said remains of the deceased had been released to his family for burial.

He added that the police had commenced investigations into the matter, and efforts were being intensified to arrest the fleeing suspects.

Suspected motorcycle snatchers had also on Friday, in Dutse, allegedly killed a 33-year-old motorcyclist and made away with his motorcycle.

Suspected armed robbers in the early hours of Thursday shot dead one person and injured several others in Garin Maidawa Village, Dutse Local Government Area of the state.

CCB urges out-going political office holders to declare assets

The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) in Kano State has reminded all outgoing elected and appointed political office holders to declare their assets at the end of their tenure.

This is contained in a statement signed by the CCB state Director, Umar Saulawa in Kano on Saturday.

He said there was need for the affected political office holders to declare their assets in line with the provision of the 1999 constitution as amended.

“We want to remind all the outgoing elected and appointed political office holders in the state to come forward to the Bureau’s office to collect their assets declaration form,” he said.

He said failure to comply with the directive amounts to the breach of the law and attracts necessary sanctions against defaulting public officers.

Explosions, gunfire shatter Kabul peace

The attack near the communications ministry occurred one day after planned talks between the Taliban and Afghan representatives were cancelled.

No one claimed immediate responsibility for the assault, which left people stranded in the tall building. Six people were injured, according to a health ministry spokesman.

Initial reports were confused, with officials from different agencies saying three or four attackers were involved. It was not clear how many were suicide bombers and how many were gunmen involved in a follow-up assault.

AFP journalists heard one big blast at around 11:40 am (0710 GMT), followed by sporadic gunfire for more than an hour afterward.

“The information that we have is four attackers have placed themselves near the communication ministry and are engaged in gun battles with the Afghan security forces,” Amanduddin Shariati, a security official in Kabul told AFP.

On Twitter, the Ministry of Information said three suicide bombers had attacked a post office building at the communications ministry.

General Sayed Mohammad Roshan Dil, the Kabul police chief, said four attackers had been wearing police uniforms and had targeted a shrine near the ministry. One of the attackers was killed, he told Tolo.

Local television footage showed a small plume of smoke near the ministry, and people climbing out windows on a lower level.

On Facebook, a man named Syed Jaillani Jallan said he was trapped inside the ministry.

“Please pray for us as the enemy has reached very close to us. Suicide attack on communication ministry,” he wrote. AFP could not immediately verify the comment.

– Spring offensive –

The communication ministry is located in downtown Kabul, about two kilometres (1.25 miles) from the green zone, a heavily fortified foreign compound. It is the city’s main commercial area and is home to a large hotel.

The ministry itself is an 18-storey building, thought to be the tallest in Kabul.

The explosion comes a week after the Taliban announced their annual spring offensive and amid ongoing fighting across Afghanistan.

The Afghan branch of the Islamic State group has also previously carried out multiple deadly attacks in Kabul.

Aside from a grenade attack on a military vehicle last week, the capital has in recent weeks enjoyed a period of relative calm, after a horrific year last year that saw a string of attacks including a massive bomb that was concealed in an ambulance and killed more than 100 people.

This week in the Qatari capital Doha, a summit planned between the Taliban and officials from across Afghanistan was scrapped at the last minute due to bickering over who should attend the conference.

The collapse comes at a critical time and amid continued bloodshed in Afghanistan, where the Taliban now control or influence about half of Afghanistan and 3,804 civilians were killed there last year, according to a UN tally.

Taliban officials are separately negotiating with the United States, which wants to forge a peace deal with the militants

Buhari: Looking back, looking forward

To borrow the words of colourful First Republic politician, Chief Ozumba Mbadiwe, “come has finally come to become” for President Muhammadu Buhari, as he has won election to serve a second term in office, after a pulsating contest. The country, nay, Africa, and the world look forward to the inauguration on May 29, 2019.

What will be the priorities of the Buhari administration in second term in office? Before we look forward, let’s first look back, as the future is often embedded in the past. The key to unlocking the future is usually in the palm of the past.

What did President Buhari do in the first four years? What did he promise, and what did he achieve?

In 2015, the President pledged to secure the country, revive the economy, and fight corruption. These were the three focal points, the fundamentals on which the administration was pedestaled. And what is the report card?

When the government took the reins of power in May 2015, the security of the country was in tatters. Insurgents ran riot, and bombs went off like firecrackers in many parts of the country. North-west, North-east, North-central, including the Federal Capital Territory, were beleaguered. The insurgents were on their way to the southern part, and the whole country would have become history.

But the tested retired Army General took the war to Boko Haram. Stressing that you can’t efficiently manage a country until you have secured it, he relocated the command centre of the war to Maiduguri, which is the epicentre of the insurgency. Steadily and progressively, the insurgents were beaten back, till they got circumscribed in Sambisa Forest. Even that was taken away from them, till they became like sheep without shepherd, mingling with the civilian population to attack soft targets. Today, the insurgency is terribly degraded.

Though not totally conquered, it is only a matter of time. The situation today can in no way be compared to what we had in 2015. President Buhari is winning the security war.

Other theatres of insecurity like kidnapping, armed robbery, attacks by violent herdsmen on farmers, and other civil strifes, are also being addressed. Eventually, calm will suffuse the entire country.

The economy was comatose in 2015, and it was no surprise that it went into recession the following year. Throw up the hands in resignation and bemoan the tough luck that saw oil prices plunging from above 100 dollars per barrel to below 30 dollars? Not the Buhari administration. It rolled its sleeves, and set to work. Massive investments were made in agriculture and infrastructure, so as to jumpstart the economy. And truly, it roared to life, and recession lasted for only a year. The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) was enunciated, launched and vigorously executed, and by the fourth quarter of 2018, things were looking positive. Inflation had dropped for more than eleven consecutive months, and the impact was beginning to be felt in the prices of commodities. Importation of rice and other grains had almost stopped completely, and millions of dollars were being saved daily.
On corruption, there was a new reality in the country. There was a time we’d been told that stealing was not corruption. But behold a new dawn. Every form of stealing was being punished, and all malefactors, both high and low, were being hurled before the courts, and thrown into jail.

What shall we say of massive infrastructure works round the country? Roads, bridges, rail, power, and many others. Nigeria had never seen it in that fashion.

Looking forward

Now, to look forward. What will the Buhari administration do in its second term? Many things, in fact, a basket of goodies. It is a term of consolidation, a term of legacy building, as encapsulated in the Next Level road map. Progress and prosperity for Nigerians at many levels.

The three fundamental areas will continue-security, economic revival, and fighting corruption-but there will be some other definite deliverables. What are they?

Education will be refocussed, with the curriculum tweaked to place more emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths. These will surely launch Nigeria into a new realm, positioning her with the developed world in the not too distant future.

Health care will come under focus, with the intention of building a healthy populace, who can hold their own in different areas of endeavour.

Infrastructure development will continue. Roads, rail, bridges, housing, and many others. The country will become one giant construction site, and this will further unlock economic development, and improve the quality of life.

Government will be inclusive. The boundless talents of Nigerians will be harnessed for national development. More women and youths would be brought on board.

Poverty reduction will be a deliberate policy. The Social Investment Program, already described as the largest and most successful in Africa, will be strengthened with the introduction of Monibank for traders and artisans, while an Entrepreneurs Bank would also be established to take care of small and medium scale enterprises. Home Grown School Feeding Programme, catering for the needs of about ten million pupils now, will be given a fillip, engagement of unemployed graduates, and conditional cash transfer to the poorest of the poor, would also continue. Millions of Nigerians would be taken out of grinding poverty in the next four years, no doubt.

Power. Billions of dollars had been expended on this in the past decades, but where is the power, as the President would ask. Emphasis would be on power generation and distribution as to make a difference in the next four years.

Agriculture would continue to have pride of place in terms of funding. Lip service had been paid to diversifying the Nigerian economy for decades, but now, it is reality. Food security will be achieved in the second term. About eight million jobs were generated from the sector in the first term, many more millions are sure to come.

Anti-corruption? No joke. People with itchy fingers, past and present, will continue to fall in trouble, and probity and accountability will remain the order of the day. Honesty remains the best policy.

All these, and more are what Nigerians can look forward to in the legacy epoch, which is the second term of the Buhari administration. And by the time the term ends, the country would never be the same again. The joy kiln will be kindled in the hearts of the people, and they will leap for joy. These are promises you can take to the bank.

.Adesina is Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity

10m Euros for new malaria drug

The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) has given a grant of €10 million over five years to “WANECAM 2” to conclude production of new malaria drug.

WANECAM 2 is a unique collaboration between antimalarial drug researchers in Africa and Europe from ten academic institutions, a pharmaceutical company, Novartis, and a not-for-profit product development partnership (PDP), Medicines for Malaria Venture.

The grant will support African trials of a novel antimalarial combination comprising KAF156 (ganaplacide) and lumefantrine in a new once-daily formulation.

KAF156 has demonstrated the potential to treat resistant malaria and to be administered as a single dose.

The grant will also help to build and strengthen research capabilities in the four participating African countries of Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mali and Niger.

Global partnerships have made significant strides in malaria control over the past 20 years, yet the rate of progress has recently diminished.

A recent survey of African malaria leader showed high levels of concern around resistance to some of the current gold-standard treatments, artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs), in Asia, and the likelihood that it could spread to Africa, emphasizing the urgent need for novel, easy-to-administer antimalarial medicines.

The Principal Investigator, Professor Abdoulaye Djimdé of the L’Université des Sciences, des Techniques et des Technologies de Bamako and coordinator of the WANECAM group, said: “We welcome the generous support from EDCTP and are grateful for their long-term commitment to clinical development in Africa – and specifically supporting clinical research in critical diseases such as malaria.

“This backing is vital to accelerate the development of this much-needed new compound. African collaboration with a group of international experts on this programme can help ensure the trials are completed rapidly and to the highest quality standards. With reports about parasite resistance to artemisinins and ACTs, it is essential that we have new antimalarials ready and waiting.”

The EDCTP funding will also support efforts to strengthen clinical research infrastructure in Niger, as well as existing clinical research capacities at all other trial sites involved.

These efforts will involve exchanging experiences and best practices between the sites and the European academic centres, as well as with Novartis and MMV.

Dr. Michael Makanga, EDCTP Executive Director, said: “We are delighted to broaden the coalition of organisations that EDCTP funds and partners to deliver our malaria strategy.

“By involving the private sector and a not-for-profit PDP, we have broadened our network of expertise. With all sectors working together, we can build stronger partnerships to defeat malaria.”

By 2017, malaria mortality had more than halved in sub-Saharan Africa compared to the turn of the century, due to better prevention, mainly via bednets, and improved treatment with ACTs.

However, over 400,000 people died due to malaria-related causes that year, most of them young children under the age of five. The most recent 2018 World Malaria Report stated that progress in the fight against the disease is flattening for the second year in a row.

AfDB approves Central Africa’s plan

The Board of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved the Central Africa Regional Integration Strategy Paper 2019 – 2025.

The Central Africa Regional Integration Strategy Paper (RISP) for 2019 – 2025 builds on the lessons learned from the implementation of previous regional development initiatives.

It also lists the Bank’s plans to accelerate intra-regional trade, inclusive economic growth and structural transformation of the Central African region.

It will guide the Bank’s regional operations in seven member countries of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), namely Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the Central African Republic – a combined population of some 130 million people.

The cooperation, integration and economic development goals of the 2019 – 2025 Central Africa regional strategy will be achieved from the basis of two pillars.

The pillars include plans to strengthen regional infrastructure (focusing on electricity networks, transport and ICT), while the second supports reforms for intra-regional trade development and cross-border investments and builds the institutional capacity of regional organizations, especially ECCAS and the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC).

Geographically, the Central African zone represents the nexus of Africa, sharing borders with every other region of the continent. Civil harmony and the economic, social and political progress of the region are underpinned by the broader promise of continental cooperation and economic integration.

In 2018, the GDP growth rate in Central Africa doubled to 2.2 % from 1.1% in 2017, but remained below the sub-Saharan average of 3.5%. The region’s growth was driven primarily by global commodity prices, principally oil.

Other countries within the ECCAS region continued to grapple with the vicious circle of instability and fragility, weak human and institutional capacity, and infrastructure deficits in the transport, energy and ICT sectors.

“Central Africa has significant oil resources, deposits of precious metals and minerals, huge transboundary water resources, and the continent’s greatest hydropower potential.

“`Implementation of the Central Africa integration strategy will encourage regional and national authorities to ensure that cross-border programs and initiatives are embedded into public resource planning and administration,” said Ousmane Dore, Director-General of the Bank’s Central Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office.

Implementation of the Central Africa RISP will require investments amounting to US$ 4.421 billion, corresponding to 30 regional operations over the seven-year period.

About 88% of the planned funding would be devoted to strengthening regional infrastructure.

The infrastructure and institutional capacity-building components of the plan will also support the resilience of the countries in the region. Specific operations will also strengthen resilience to food insecurity, enable the socio-economic reintegration of vulnerable groups, and conserve ecosystems in the Congo Basin.

“The African Development Bank’s ongoing support for Central Africa is crucial for the successful economic integration of the countries in the region.

“The new Regional Integration Strategy Paper continues this tradition of supportive interventions in critical economic sectors. Ultimately, it will be a huge boost to intra-regional trade and a much needed structural transformation of the policy and business environment,” said Moono Mupotola, the Bank’s Director of Regional Development and Regional Integration.

The RISP is in conformity with the Bank’s new Regional Integration Strategy Framework (RISF) which was approved in March 2018, and the Ten-Year Strategy of the African Development Bank Group (2013-2022).

It also aligns with the regional priorities from ECCAS and CEMAC and the Bank’s High 5 priorities.

Africa meets with others to spur Rugby

Babbou who was accompanied by the President of Ghana Rugby and Member of the Rugby Africa EXCO, Mr Herbert Mensah, was in London for the meeting with President of Rugby Europe, Mr Octavian Morariu.

They also discussed the project of a World Rugby Nations Championship and its implications for Tier 2 and Tier 3 countries.

They also met with the President of World Rugby, Mr Bill Beaumont and the CEO of World Rugby, Mr Brett Gosper, David Carrigy and other World Rugby Executives ahead of the meeting on the World Rugby Nations Championship.

The discussions touched on the future of Rugby in Africa, its immense potential and the strategies to keep growing the Game in Africa and improving performance at the same time.

According to Mr Babbou the encounter was a good platform to give his vision for the growth and development of Rugby in Africa as well as the challenges to Mr Beaumont and Mr Gosper and to touch base on the shared mission and vision of both rugby bodies to grow the global rugby family and to make it a sport for all, true to its values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect.

“As one of the fastest growing Regional Associations of World Rugby the meeting served to confirm Rugby Africa’s commitment to grow and develop rugby on the African continent with its huge untapped potential despite the challenges it is facing,” Babbou said.

Mr Herbert Mensah was invited to join the Rugby Africa EXCO in Marrakesh, Morocco, at its 13th General Assembly to contribute his experience in building commercial value for Rugby Africa.

“Both the formal and informal discussions laid the platform for Rugby Africa to work closely with its governing body, World Rugby, in chasing shared objectives and to open the doors for further discussions on support for a continent that has enormous scope for growth,” Babbou said

Both Babbou and Mensah believe the major challenge is and will be to establish sustainable funding for the development and tournament programmes of Rugby Africa as well as funding that will go beyond that to support its high-performance Unions to excel once it enters the global stage of Rugby.

Ecobank raises $450m from Eurobond

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) in Lomé, which is the parent company of the Ecobank Group, has successfully raised $450 million in its debut Eurobond which was oversubscribed.

The Global Offering is a 5-year unsecured note (144A/RegS) listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.

The bond matures in April 2024 and was issued with a coupon pricing of 9.5% with interest payable semi-annually in arrears.

The proceeds will be used for ETI’s general corporate purposes and to refinance existing Holdco obligations.

Investor interest was global, including United Kingdom, United States, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

On this debut Eurobond issuance, Mr. Ade Ayeyemi, Group Chief Executive Officer of ETI, stated: “This is another first for Ecobank and I’m very excited at the prospects for the Group as we continue the second phase of our 5-year ‘Roadmap to leadership’ strategy.

“Our efforts toward greater operational and capital efficiency are paying off, and this offer is another example of the measures we are taking to strengthen our institution and deliver value for all of our stakeholders”.

The Group Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Greg Davis, also commenting on this Eurobond and said: “The success of this Eurobond reflects appetite from high quality and real money institutional investors globally and the trust that continues to be conferred on our institution and the markets we have chosen to participate in.”

NUC okays University of Agriculture, Environmental science in Imo

The National Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the take-off of Nigeria’s 49th state-owned and 171st tertiary institution with the coming on stream of the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences in Imo State.

During the certificate presentation in Abuja, the commission’s Executive Secretary, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, noted that the Umuagwo-based citadel of learning makes second to be established by the state government.

He said an enabling law backing its existence had been enacted by the House of Assembly.Responding, Governor Rochas Okorocha said the increasing number of admission seekers from the state informed the decision.


Facebook upload 1.8million contact without asking

Facebook just can’t seem to go a single month without another story breaking about a data breach or security flaw. Despite our best efforts to keep ourselves safe while connecting with family and friends, Facebook continues to pull the rug out from under our feet with irresponsible habits.

Well, Facebook made news again this week — only this time, the breach was not from outside actors. According to Facebook, an “accidental” data harvest occurred, with over 1.5 million users’ entire contact lists being uploaded to the platform’s servers. The worst part: Facebook didn’t even ask permission to do any of this.

Despite uproar from privacy advocates, Facebook continues to dodge questions on the “why” behind its data-hungry policies. This newest incident is just one of many security bungles for a company that prides itself in “bringing the world closer.” You won’t believe just how much information they’ve taken from users.

Why Facebook uploaded user contacts without consent
Facebook has recently been asking users to verify their identity when creating new accounts by having them sign in with their email address and email account password. Just to clarify, we’re talking about the actual password you would use for logging into your email provider! This has been widely condemned by many, who say users are being groomed for irresponsible data habits.

As it turns out, their intuition was spot on. According to a recent report from Business Insider, Facebook’s system automatically scoops up your entire list of email contacts once you enter your email password into the verification field. This gives the service names, email addresses, and any other info you may have entered for the contacts in your address book.

Facebook has admitted that 1.5 million users’ contacts were harvested this way and fed into its targeted algorithms. This assists the platform with friend recommendations and advertisements, but privacy experts are crying foul — arguing that users had no chance to consent to this automated data gathering process.

Facebook claims it didn’t access or read the contents of users’ emails, but can we believe anything it says at this point? Facebook also said contact information was captured by the platform and stored on secure servers outside of users’ reach. The company now claims that none of the data was shared with any third-parties and that it plans to notify users affected by this issue.

From scandal to scandal and back again
Facebook has since disabled the email password verification feature, but that hasn’t saved it from the mounting legal threats coming at them from all sides. Between Cambridge Analytica and other data breaches, Facebook has shown its lack of competence when it comes to user security and privacy.

Facebook’s numerous detractors argue that, as one of the largest platforms on the internet, it has a responsibility to moderate its own privacy policy and ensure that user data is safe. Despite this, Facebook continues to access greater amounts of data from people with each new upgrade to its application.

With so many data scandals surrounding the social media giant, it’s no wonder users are leaving in droves. In a 2018 survey, 44% of Americans between 18 and 29 said they have stopped using Facebook altogether. If you want to join them, here is how to delete your Facebook account.