The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to participate in weekend’s presidential debate.
Kanu said the President’s action has vindicated his claims that the President was cloned.
Kanu made this known in a radio broadcast to his members on Monday.
He further blamed South-East governors whom he described as “stooges” of the northern establishment for allegedly orchestrating the labelling of his group as a terrorist organisation by the Federal Government.
Kanu added, “It has come to my attention that some people may have elected to misinterpret what I said regarding election boycott.
“The same way some Lagos-Ibadan gutter media attacked my expose on Jubril but today, everything I said about the impostor is unraveling one after the other.
“This news broke this evening (Saturday) that President Buhari will not participate In the presidential debate.
“What does this tell you? It goes to confirm what I told all of you that Jubril will never participate in the presidential debate because he’s not Buhari.
“This evening, I will offer clarifications to remove whatever ambiguity mischief makers may have introduced in their desperate attempt to dampen the spirit of our people.
“I must make it categorically clear that we IPOB are boycotting the forthcoming elections starting with the February 16 presidential election.”
Militants under the aegis of 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta has given President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC, a list of demands for a peaceful 2019 elections in the South-South region.
They have asked that President Buhari allows the Permanent Voter’s Cards, PVCs, not gun to count in next month’s election in the oil region.
The group also asked the President to be wary of his alleged impending plot to take into custody and replace the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Walter Onnoghen.
According to them, if these conditions are not met, the consequences will be very terrible for the nation to stomach.
Leader of the group, self-styled “General” Izon Ebi, in a statement issued to journalists yesterday, warned that militants would not only “stop the flow of oil but cut all the pipes beyond repair if the conditions were breached.
“We, therefore, want to summarise that the people of the Niger Delta want a peaceful election where their voter’s cards will speak for them, not guns.
“We conclude by sounding it loud that the CJN cannot be unlawfully removed from office and no amount of militarisation or intimidation will cow the Niger Delta people into submission and allow injustice to be meted out on our distinguished leaders and personalities anymore.
“The current alarm raised by the Coalition of United Political Parties CUPP of an impending plot to arrest the CJN and replace him with a northerner is a very serious matter that the consequences will be so grievous for the Nigerian nation to bear.
“The 21st Century Youths of the Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience cannot comprehend the philosophy that makes us inferior and second- class citizens in the abundance of our God-given resources in the Niger Delta, which sustain the Nigerian nation.
“There is no amount of intimidation that will force the Niger Delta people to join or support the APC for sins to be forgiven. Government cannot force us to support it when it does not take responsibility for its actions.”
Bauchi State Chairman of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Buba Musa Shehu has berated officials of the state government over the alleged diversion of 11 trucks of food items meant for his 50,000 members affected by the Boko Haram crisis in the Northeast.
Shehu, who spoke in an interview with BENGBENRO in Bauchi on Wednesday, said it is now exactly two years after the government allegedly stopped providing food items to IDPs in Bauchi State.
“We learnt that government has diverted about 11 trucks of food items meant for IDPs in Bauchi State stored by the federal government through NEMA and SEMA to undisclosed destination while IDPs are suffering in poverty,” he alleged.
The IDPs chairman stated that the non provision of food items has caused untold hardship to his members while others have been dislodged out of their rented apartment by landlords.
He also stated that hundreds of IDPs’ children have dropped out of school as the parents cannot pay their fees.
Alleging that some government officials recently re-bagged food items meant for IDPs and diverted same to undisclosed destinations, Shehu urged the federal and state governments to look deeply into the plights of IDPs in the Northeast region.
Responding to the allegations, the Permanent Secretary, Bauchi State Emergency Management Agency, Shehu Ningi confirmed that about 6,600 tones of food items were recently conveyed from Bauchi stores to Borno state upon the approval of Governor Mohammed Abubakar based on an undertaking with the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
Ningi stressed that the request to transport the food items followed recent increase of IDPs in Borno State as a result of the rising spate of attacks on communities there.
He said, “It’s true that about 6,600 tones of food items were transported to Borno state from Bauchi stores on the basis of an undertaken by NEMA after the Governor’s approval after which it will be replaced in due course.”
Ningi insisted that the Bauchi State government was doing its best regarding the plights of IDPs to better their living, as he urged the displaced persons to exercise patience.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to “immediately release” Kogi West Senator, Dino Melaye from Police custody.
Speaking during his presidential campaign in Lokoja, Kogi State, yesterday, the former Vice President said Melaye’s continued detention was unjust.
Atiku described the lawmaker as one of the “vibrant members of the National Assembly.”
According to Abubakar, “I therefore urged the federal government to quickly release Melaye from police custody.”
The embattled lawmaker is currently in police custody over allegation of his thugs assaulting an officer.
Atiku, while addressing his supporters, had stated that PDP was the only party that can make Nigeria work again.
He insisted that the All Progressives Congress, APC, has brought poverty and injustice to the people of Nigeria
The Waziri of Adamawa blasted APC government for the present economic situation in the country.
The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Presidential Campaign Organisation, PPCO, has reacted to call that its Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar should step down from contesting the February election.
Recall that the spokesperson of the Strategic Campaigns of President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, Festus Keyamo had challenged Abubakar to step down and endorse Buhari.
However, PPCO spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan said with the massive support the former Vice President enjoys, he can’t step down.
Speaking during a press conference, on Sunday, the spokesperson of PPCO, Kola Ologbondiyan said Buhari shouldn’t set Nigeria on fire because he won’t be the first President to be defeated.
According to Ologbondiyan, “We want the Buhari Presidency to note that it is preposterous for anybody, no matter how highly placed, to think that our great party, the PDP and our Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who enjoys the support of overwhelming majority of Nigerians, can be subdued out of the political space in our country.
“Our heroes past fought against colonialism and won. Our modern heroes fought the military and gained today’s democracy for our nation so that every Nigerian can enjoy freedoms and rights as guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Nigerians are therefore not ready to surrender these freedoms and rights to neo-totalitarianism or allow anybody to suppress them in their own land.
“We therefore counsel President Buhari to tame his desperation for power. Our nation has had many Presidents before President Buhari and there will be many more after him.
“President Buhari will not be the first President to be defeated in an election as such he should not set our nation on fire just because he is feeling the air of rejection due to his incompetence and the gale of corruption in his administration.
“Our party is courageously going into the general elections with the support of overwhelming majority of Nigerians and they are not ready to accept any result that does not reflect their already expressed wishes
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Ibim Semenitari, a former aide to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has reacted to the audio recording in which the minister was heard expressing shocking pessimistic views about Nigeria and the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a press statement yesterday, she accepted the voice in the tape is Amaechi’s but insisted that the minister’s comment had been twisted out of context.
Amaechi, a key political ally of Buhari and is the Director-General of the Buhari/Osinbajo Campaign Organisation, was allegedly caught on tape portraying President Buhari as a dismal failure who has been unable to meet the expectations of various segments of the society.
However, the statement by Mrs Semenitari, a former Rivers State commissioner for Information under Amaechi, reads: “Let me first make it clear that I am not speaking for the Honourable Minister nor for his media team. He has quite competent hands who can do so.
“However, I feel compelled as someone who had sat in at myriads of interviews granted by the Honourable minister both when he was governor and a little while after that to correct what I believe is deliberate twisting of what he had said. First a bit of background to put things in context.
“Anyone who has sat with Amaechi in private discussions or at a media interview will agree that he has been consistent in expressing the belief that most Nigerians do not hate corruption but simply hate the fact that they are not the ones perpetuating the corruption. This has been his view expressed at different times in press interviews. It is for this reason that he has maintained that only a bloody revolution somewhat like the Rawlings revolution in Ghana will change Nigeria.
“During the Jonathan era, he had made these comments at various media discussions during which time he had also lamented about the former President’s refusal to listen and take counsel. Media colleagues at these events I am sure will remember. It is for this reason that I am certain the first recording was from one of those parleys.
“It is possible that the Honourable Minister has also on some occasions spoken about the frugality of the Buhari regime but he did so not in the context of negativity but as a positive indication of a new Nigeria where pain will ultimately translate to gain. Again I say this with the privilege of knowing his governance worldview in this regards.
“The reason I have bothered to speak about this is because this is a clear case of cut and paste. Different conversations taken out of context and brought together to create a narrative that is far from the truth.
“I am saddened by the fact that a purported conversation meant in the first place to be not for reportage and in strict confidence is being peddled. Though I wasn’t present at this so-called meeting but I gleaned this from the supposed comments of the minister in the peddled tape itself.
“Like I said, I do not hold brief for the minister not can speak for his media team but I do owe my country, my profession and posterity the truth that I know. Happy new year again and may Nigeria prosper.”
The staff and members of the fast rising media outlet BENGBENRO.com felicitates with the director of planning in the National Space Research and Development Agency, Dr. Ayatunji and his wife as they celebrate 14 years of blissfull mariage.
Happy anniversary to a couple whose love and devotion after so many years continues to freak the hell out of everyone.
Sending you warm wishes on your anniversary; may you continue to grow older and happier together.
You two clearly took that ‘for better or worse’ thing to heart. Wishing you lots of ‘better’ in the year ahead.
About 132 children in Kaduna State died of severe acute malnutrition out of the 12,858 hospitalized between January and October 2018 in the state.
The state nutrition officer, Mrs Hausa Usman, while giving an update on the nutrition situation in the state at a two-day meeting in Kaduna, also said that 10,604 out of the 12,858 have been cured.
The meeting was organised by Save the Children International (SCI) to support Kaduna State Chapter of the Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) to develop two-year Nutrition Advocacy Strategy.
She explained that 187 others who have not recovered were undergoing treatment.
She said, “Currently, 11.7 per cent of children under-five years are wasted – suffering from severe acute malnutrition, while 47 per cent are stunted (too short for their age).”
She attributed the high incidence of malnutrition in the state to poor maternal, infant and young child feeding practices which has remained unsatisfactory.
The nutrition officer explained, “The Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey, 2017, releveled that the rate of timely breastfeeding initiation is 28.9 per cent, while only 19,7 per cent under-five children were exclusively breastfed.
“Similarly, only 10 children aged six to 23 months were adequately and appropriately fed.”
The state CS-SUNN Coordinator, Mr. Silas Ideva, noted the high burden of malnutrition among children under-five years in the state.
He said that despite many years of implementing nutrition activities by the state government and partners, results are not so encouraging.
Mr. Ideva explained, “To address the issue of malnutrition, there is the need for nutrition budget line in all relevant ministry, departments and agencies.
“There is also the need to scale up high impact cost effective nutrition interventions at strategic locations and expedite action on finalising Kaduna State policy on Food and Nutrition.
“The state government also needs to have a holistic budget for nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive interventions.”
Yusuf Auta, The Deputy Director, Development Aid Coordination in the state Planning and Budget Commission Yusuf Auta, said that N200 million, out of the N300 million allocated for nutrition intervention in the state’s 2018 budget has been cashed backed.
Mr. Auta added that the commission is awaiting cash backing of the remaining N100 million for the procurement of Ready to use Therapeutic Food.
He called on civil society organisations in the state to support the government in addressing scourge of malnutrition to give under-five children the chance to celebrate fifth year birthday and beyond.
Earlier, SCI Nutrition Advocacy Adviser, Isa Ibrahim, explained that the objective of the meeting was to support CS-SUNN to develop nutrition advocacy strategy for better outcome.
Mr. Ibrahim added that the meeting was also organised to identify barriers and challenges of nutrition intervention in Kaduna state.
“We equally want to identify and review target stakeholders, including champions at state level for nutrition intervention and effective implementation of the strategy.
“What we want to at the end of the day is to develop advocacy messages for the implementation of the advocacy strategy,” he said.
The United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday revealed that six out of 10 women between ages 15 and 49 in Oyo State are victims of genital mutilation.
Representative of UNICEF in-charge of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Dr. Olasunbo Odebode, made this disclosure in Ibadan, the state capital during a public declaration of FGM abandonment by 21 communities in Oyo West Local Government area of the state.
Odebode, who is a Child Protection Specialist, said that mutilation prevalence rate for women between 15 and 49 years in the state is 55.5 per cent which is the fifth highest in Nigeria.
She said the affected females live with the negative consequences of the practice, which undermined their physical, emotional and socio-economic well-being.
She described FGM as a harmful traditional practice, a gross violation of the fundamental human rights of women, which seriously compromised their health and psychological well-being.
Odebode said, “FGM is not only harmful but also against nature as it destroys the wholesome and beautiful way women and girls are naturally created.
“It poses increased risk of infection or prolonged labour, bleeding, still-birth and maternal death during childbirth as well as leaves lasting physical, emotional scars and an irreparable damage.”
She said FGM was a social norm and that people practice it because they believed that others in their community do it.
She urged stakeholders to collaborate in the campaign to end its menace in their respective communities.
State Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mrs. Dolapo Dosunmu said the agency had carried out series of programmes to sensitise the public on the effects of female genital mutilation.
Dosunmu commended traditional and community leaders in the area for dropping the age-long practice.
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola, in his remarks promised to support UNICEF and NOA efforts in eliminating the practice in the state.
Oba Adeyemi who was represented by Chief Yusuf Akinade, the Basorun of Oyo Kingdom, charged community heads to sensitise people in their domain on the negative effects of the practice.