Masisi markets his country, Botswana

President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana has embarked on campaign to market his country, saying the nation is investment destination of choice.

The Southern African country belongs to several regional bodies, said Masisi in Qatar during his just ended two-day state visit at the invitation of its ruler, Sheik Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Botswana’s strategic positioning at the heart of southern Africa and the fact that it remained a member in good standing to a number of regional bodies gave the country access to other markets such as Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC).

“Additionally Botswana had signed the COMESA EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area as well as African Continental Free Trade Area with a view to expand its market to more than 1.2 billion people in the continent of Africa,” he said.

He informed the Qatar Business Association that Botswana had entered into several market access agreements with various countries which gave the country duty free access and quota free market access such as European Union and the United States of America through African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Furthermore, Dr Masisi said Botswana had gone a step further to cajole its neighbours to ensure that the opening of new markets in the continent and beyond was supported by the necessary infrastructure.

To this end, he said projects such as the Trans-Kalahari Railway between Botswana and Namibia as well as Kazungula bridge between Botswana and Zambia had been embarked upon.

The projects, Dr Masisi said, were primarily meant not to only facilitate movement of goods and services between the three SADC countries but the entire region.

President Masisi assured the Qatar entrepreneurs that despite having a small population of just over two million people, Botswana ha a lot to offer in terms of investment opportunities.


Muhammadu Buhari University: Aisha Buhari to establish private University

Mrs Aisha Buhari, wife of the President, has expressed her plan to establish a private university to be known as “Muhammadu Buhari University”.

She disclosed this on Saturday during a townhall meeting in Yola organized by her in collaboration with concern indigenes of Adamawa.

Aisha, who did not however reveal when or where the university would be sited, explained that the university would be established in collaboration with partners from Sudan and Qatar.

Aisha who lamented the challenges facing education and various sectors in the state, called for active support of the state indigenes in complementing government efforts.

“I cannot conclude without suggesting how we can complement the efforts of government in achieving some of its developmental goals.

“On this note, I would like to advocate for the establishment of Adamawa Development Trust Fund through which prioritized developmental projects can be financed and implemented,” she said.

Amb. Fati Ballah also called for reconciliation and forgiveness among the people of the state and the setting up of a committee to come up with a blueprint for the development of the state.

Alhaji Sadiq Daware, who spoke on agriculture at the meeting, noted that 80 per cent of the state land was arable and suitable for farming.

Daware added that with River Benue which passes through the state, the state has the potential for massive irrigation and all year round farming programmes.

Other speakers at the meeting include Prof. Shehu Iya of Modibbo Adama University, Yola, who spoke on education; Prof. Auwal Abubakar of Federal Medical Centre, Yola, who spoke on health; and Mrs Helen Mathias who spoke on women and youths.

Othersvare Mallam Umar Abubakar who spoke on security; Gen. Buba Marwa on drugs; Sen. Silas Zwingina on Good Governance, and Dr Umar Bindir who spoke on Poverty.

The meeting was also attended by politicians, particularly APC, PDP and ADC members in the state.

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.

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

Biafra: Prophet Nwoko reportedly murdered after series of threat to his life

A popular prophet, Anthony Nwoko, has been allegedly murdered in cold blood in Enugu, according to The Bengbenro news.

Nwoko who was a close ally of leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, prayed for him and the group in their struggle to achieve Biafra.

The Bengbenro news reports that the prophet was killed by unknown assailants last Sunday night at his apartment located at No. 18 Ezebinugwu Street, beside Bright Land International School, Ugbene 2, in the Trans-Ekulu-Abakpa axis of Enugu.

However, nothing about Nwoko’s death was heard days after because he lived alone.

According to the report, his death became known when a neighbour noticed that the door of his apartment had remained open; peeped in and saw the man in the pool of his blood.

The attention of the caretaker of the compound was called, who immediately alerted the police, who responded to the scene.

No official report has come from the Enugu State Police Command, but the newspaper added that they had initially arrested occupants of the compound.

Before his death, Nwoko had taken to his Facebook page to speak about his relationship with Kanu.

He said their relationship went sour after the IPOB leader made him relocate from Lagos to Enugu only to abandon him.

His last posts on Facebook were at about 1:40 pm on April 14, where he uploaded various online reports of his views on Biafra agitation, including video clips from Kpakpando TV.

He had in press conferences on January 8 and March 18, 2019, respectively, accused Kanu and some other pro-Biafra campaigners of turning the agitation into a money-making venture.

Nwoko had raised the alarm that he was receiving death threats from members of the IPOB over his bribery allegations against their leader, Kanu.

The cleric had claimed that Kanu not only collected huge sums of monies as bribe from the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, ahead of the February 23 election but planned to return to Nigeria to “consolidate on his Biafra propaganda if Atiku had won”.

“They have been calling me with different lines, making different phone calls, threatening my life. They are calling me fake because I stand by the truth. I went to Kuje prison to pray for Nnamdi Kanu and the next court case he was released.

“I went to Affara-Ukwu to tell him the way forward; he did not listen. Many people are not listening to the voice of God and they want me to be that way. Prophet Nwoko says no. I will never compromise.

“Even if they kill me, I will return with the light of heaven. I am not afraid of the people of the world. I am telling Uche Mefor and IPOB to stop threatening my life. Let me put this straight to everyone: I am ready to die standing by the truth because that is why Jesus Christ came for.

“If everybody will keep quiet, this nation will be destroyed. If everybody will keep quiet, Biafra will not come. Let people know the truth.”

The prophet hailed from Umuahia in Abia state.

Notre Dame fire cause may be electrical – official

Investigators think an electrical short circuit may have caused the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral, according to a judicial police official.

An initial assessment of the cathedral was made on Wednesday but safety hazards have prevented a search of its charred interior, the official told Associated Press.

Investigators so far believe the fire was accidental and have been questioning cathedral staff, as well as workers who were carrying out renovations. About 40 people had been questioned by Thursday, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office.

The police official would not comment on an unsourced report in Le Parisien newspaper that investigators were looking at whether the fire could have been linked to a computer glitch or the temporary elevators used in the renovation work, among other possibilities. The prosecutor’s office said only that “all leads must be explored”.

Since the cathedral will be closed to the public for years, the rector of the Catholic parish that worships there has proposed building a temporary structure on the plaza in front of the gothic-era landmark. City authorities gave their approval on Thursday “subject to technical restraints”.

“The rector has no cathedral for the moment … but I’m going to try to invent something,” Bishop Patrick Chauvet said.


12-Year Old Girl Commits Suicide After Exchanging Hot Words With Friends

A ‘bullied’ 12-year-old hanged herself in her bedroom after posting a picture on social media of her foot with ‘RIP’ written on it.

Jessica Scatterson took her own life at home in Warrington, Cheshire, at 3.45am on April 22, 2017.

An inquest into her death heard her social media activity had been ramped up to ‘intense’ levels which led her to be ’emotionally overwhelmed’ before her suicide.

Drawings and notes referencing death and suicide were found in her room days after she passed. The notes included the name of an alleged bully.

Nasty messages between the girl and her friends in the days leading up to her death were discovered on her iPad, the inquest heard.

The hearing was told that Jessica’s friends knew she had previously self-harmed, but never told her parents or teachers at Penketh High School.

A police inquiry revealed there had been an incident ‘relating to Jessica being bullied at school’ in April 2016.

Inspector Hannah Friend said Jessica had come home with scratches to her face and a swollen eye after arguing with another girl. The matter was reported to the police but it was unclear who started the fight so no action was taken.

When quizzed by police, Jessica’s friends denied she was bullied and said she ‘gave as good as she got’.

Senior Coroner for Cheshire, Alan Moore, said: ‘The level and the intensity of her activity on social media platforms… cannot have failed to have influenced her intentions.’

The British government has warned social media giants such as Facebook and Instagram they’ll be hit with multi-million pound fines if they fail to rid their platforms of harmful content.

UK ministers are planning to launch a tech regulator that can impose the penalties on the firms for failing to delete posts that promote suicide or self harm

20-year-old college student falls 100 feet off cliff to her death

20-year-old college student falls 100 feet off cliff to her death
A 20-year-old college student plummeted 100 feet to her death off a cliffduring a school trip last weekend
A 20-year-old college student plummeted 100 feet to her death off a cliff during a school trip last weekend.

Andrea Norton and a group of other Briar Cliff University environmental science students were visiting the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest in Arkansas from their campus in Sioux City, Iowa, on April 13 when the incident took place.

The South Dakota native was posing for a photo at the popular Hawksbill Crag, also known as Whitaker Point, with some classmates when she lost her footing and tumbled off the hiking attraction, the Associated Press reports.

Although it is considered one of Arkansas’ most photographed spots, Hawksbill Crag has been the site of multiple deaths by unintentional falls in recent years, including that of a 19-year-old University of Arkansas coed in 2016.

Briar Cliff University released a statement on Saturday following Norton’s tragic death.

“Our deepest condolences and prayers go to the family and friends of BCU student Andrea Norton,” the university wrote on Facebook. “Andrea was a passionate environmental science major, exemplary student and dedicated athlete. She lived BCU’s values in everything she did from the classroom to the court and everywhere she went. Andrea made a tremendous impact on the BCU community and everyone she met and will be greatly missed. Please keep her family, friends and BCU family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Norton’s family remembered her as a passionate woman who “maintained her fierce love for life, her friends and her family” and who “inspired those who knew her to be the best version of themselves, helped them reach their own goals and had such compassion for everything.”

“Her smile could light up a room and she brought joy to all around her,” her obituary read. “Her light, courage and drive is what drew people to her.”

Norton’s death comes on the heels of another tragic incident involving Fordham University student Sydney Monfries, who fell 40 feet after climbing an off-limits clock tower on her school’s campus early on Sunday morning and later died from her injuries. She was 22 years old and less than one month from graduation.

This article was initially published on 20-year-old college student falls 100 feet off cliff to her death

Couple murders 9-year-old-son for being a ‘wizard’ in Akwa Ibom

The Akwa Ibom State Police Command has arrested a middle-aged couple for alleged murder of their nine year-old-son accused of being a wizard.

The state police commissioner, Zaki Ahmed in his maiden press conference in Uyo on Wednesday at the command’s headquarters Ikot-akpanabia Uyo, said the couple Okon Essien and Peace Okon at Oron axis of the state lured the deceased Joseph Okon to a mangrove swamp, killed and buried him in the swamp.

According to the CP, “The couple conspired and lured their son, whom they accused of witchcraft into an engine boat with the pretence of going to cut bamboo sticks in a swamp to be used for the construction of kitchen.

“While at the swamp, the suspects removed concoction prepared with poisonous seed called “asene” and water, used enema and pumped the concoction into the deceased’s stomach leading to his instant death.

“The suspects secretly dug a shallow grave in the swamp and buried the deceased.”

The Commissioner also said the command had arrested one Joseph Bassey Micheal of ObioEtoi village who sold his nine-month-old son, David Bassey at the rate of two hundred thousand naira (N200,000 )on a pretense of taking him to hospital for treatment.

“On 15/4/2019, SARS Operatives arrested one Joseph Bassey Micheal who pretended to be taking his nine months old child, David Bassey to the hospital for treatment, but handed over the child to an agent, one Peter Sunday ‘m’ who assisted him in selling the said child for N200,000,” he said.

Ahmed, who linked most crimes in the state to cultism, said that while some of the suspects would be charged to court immediately, others would be charged at the completion of investigations even as he called on the people of the area not to relent in giving useful and timely information to the police.

“The command under my watch will have zero tolerance for perpetrators of these crimes. I call on those perpetrating any form of criminality in the state to desist forthwith or quickly leave the state as no resources will be spared in ensuring that they are brought to book.

“Let me assure you that I am here to serve the good people of Akwa Ibom and I will do so professionally, respecting the rule of law and in accordance with international best practices. I shall prioritize intelligence led policing, improve visibility policing, massive deployments of personnel, prompt response to distress calls and enhance community policing partnership,” he concluded.

Killings: CAN blows hot, tells Buhari govt how to deal with those responsible

The National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Reverend Samson Ayokunle, has charged the Federal Government to ensure that those behind the killings of innocent Nigerians are dealt with according to the constitution.

This was as Ayokunle called on the Federal government to adopt all necessary measures to stop the rampant and senseless killings of Nigerians.

He gave the call yesterday in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, after donating relief materials to Internally Displayed Persons, IDP’s, at the Saint Theresa Catholic Cathedral.

According to Ayokunle: “Security of lives and property is solely the responsibility of the Federal government and as such all measures it deems necessary to end the bloodshed in the land must be put in place; immediately.

“If there’s need for the federal government to seek foreign assistance to put to an end the menace of killings and kidnapping in the country will be applauded by all.

“There’s no reason for the Federal Government to continue to deceive Nigerians and propagating that the Boko Haram sects have been degraded, even as Madagali local government area of the state is still under the control of the sects.

“Even if the insurgency BOKO Haram is defeated and other crimes resulting in the killings of Nigerians is on the increase, then we have to look inwards towards solving the problems of bandits, kidnapping, cultism, herdsmen attacks and other crimes that is ravaging the nation now.

“I want those liable for the killings of innocent people to be dealt with as enshrined in the constitution, since the victims they killed are not animals even so, there must be a reason for killing animals.”