News

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Minister of Youth Development, Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi, on Wednesday assured corps members across the country that their delayed allowances would be paid latest on Friday.

Abdullahi gave the assurance after an outcry by corps members over the delay in the payment of their allowances.

He told State House correspondents that he had extracted a commitment from the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps, Brigadier-General Nnamdi Okore-Afia, that the delayed allowances would be paid by Friday.

The minister blamed the NYSC authorities for failing to explain the cause of the delay to the corps members.

He said, “The problem is that at the point that the allowances are being delayed, the NYSC ought to have come out to explain to the corps members why the allowances will be delayed.”

He explained that the delay in payments of allowances to corps members was due to the transition to a new accounting system.

In a statement by his Special Asistant on Media, Mr. Julius Ogunro, on Tuesday, Abdullahi said the delay was not unique to corps members alone adding that some civil servants in the employ of the Federal Government were also affected by the development.

Abdullahi said, “The delay in the payment of corps members allownace for the month of April is not deliberate. It is as a result of the transition to the new and better secured integrated payroll payment system, as part of government’s commitment to transparency and accountability.

“Besides, the delay is not unique to corps members but also affects some civil servants in the employ of the Federal Government.”

Meanwhile, the delay in the payment of the corpers allowance may not be unconnected with the delay in the release of money into the Federation Account by the NNPC which has also delayed the release of the April allocation to the states.

Source: The Punch

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The Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) has stressed the need to promote indigenous software so as to unleash huge potential of software to the economy.

According to the President of ISPON, Dr. Chris Uwaje, Nigeria can earn about $10bn (about N1.5trn) in foreign exchange annually from the software industry.

Uwaje explained that importation of foreign software currently costs Nigeria about $1bn.

“Currently, our knowledge-base and technology environment of the “new economy” is greatly influenced, undermined and controlled by foreign information system and database, where software plays a fundamental roll and viewed as the backbone of modern wealth creation and national security,” he said.

Uwaje, who spoke on the sideline of the International Arch of Europe Award presented to ISPON by the Business Initiative Directions, Europe, described software as the new productive knowledge frontier and potential instrument for economic empowerment, creation of wealth and national survivability.

He said Nigeria was yet to properly harness software potential for driving economic development.

Uwaje noted that the secret of all future national development progress lies in information systems, where software is a critical driver.

“With a very poor research, design and development platform and technology incubation and development culture, Nigeria is at best, described as light years away from mastering heavy industries, as experiences in the Industrial Revolution has portrayed, making us currently incapable of manufacturing such common technology products as an automobile, Airplane/or even a simple motorbike or bicycle,” he said.

Source: Daily Trust

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Bishop David Oyedepo’s Faith Tabernacle, also known as Winners’ Chapel, is currently enmeshed in a controversy over a missing two-year old baby, whose name has been given as Praise

The girl’s parents, Samuel Eleng and his wife, Favour, said their daughter disappeared at the children’s department of the church located in Sango-Ota, Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria about a year ago and that since then, the self acclaimed Bishop and his church had been doing everything possible to hide the matter from the public.

Mr. Eleng explained that the sad experience brought about by the missing child began on 17 April, 2011, which happened to be an Easter Sunday.

According to him, when the family got to the church, the couple handed Praise and her twin sister, Glory, over to the school teachers under whose custody many other children were kept.

He said the teachers gave them two tags as proof that their children were at the department for that day.

However, after the church service, the parents went back for their kid only to discover that Praise had gone missing from the class and that the teachers under whose care the children were kept were said to have gone inside the church at that period when parents came back to pick their kids.

“I saw my wife around the vicinity of the Children’s Section, she was crying. She told me that Praise was missing,” Mr. Eleng explained, adding that they eventually got hold of one of the four teachers allegedly in charge of the children’s class, and that the said teacher was also confused regarding Praise’s whereabouts.

“She claimed not to know but advised us to check other classes. So we started moving around from class to class, around the church premises,” he said further, stressing that after the futile search, he and his wife became apprehensive but still hopeful and that they waited until after most people had gone home before reporting the issue to Oyedepo, who the couple said prayed and joined them in the search after he had told them that he did not see “any evil signal in the disappearance of the little girl.”

Since then, the couple said, the family had continued to look for their child and according to Samuel, “I was thinking so many things; how can I come to the house of God and my child will suddenly disappear? Even if it was time for rapture, how can it just pick my child only?”

He said the case was later reported at the Police Area Command in Onipanu, Sango-Ota in Ogun State by the church’s Chief Security Officer, Supol Cosmas, and that Ijeoma Lawal was assigned as the Investigating Police Officer, IPO.

However, an unconfirmed report claimed that the four teachers connected with the case were never interrogated or asked to make statements.

When it appeared the police were not making any success at finding Praise, the parents decided to go public with the photographs of the missing girl and that he went to a television station (name withheld) where he was interviewed

He however said during the announcement, the station made some misrepresentation of facts and that when he called, he was told by Desmond that the church told them that the child got missing at the family home and not the church.

“Even the IPO called me to say that she watched the broadcast and was shocked at what was reported.

“…Is it a sin for me to go to a church of God with my family? This is a year since my child disappeared under the church’s custody.

“…How can the church interfere with police investigation?” he asked.

He said he had made several attempts to get the four teachers interrogated to no avail, adding that in August last year, the police told him the church called and asked that the case be withdrawn as the little girl had been found, but that this was not true.

Provoked by the shoddy handling of the issue, Mr. Eleng said he went to the church to make some trouble and that right from then, Bishop Oyedepo stopped picking his calls.

He said he again met Oyedepo on 12 April, 2012, almost a year after Praise went missing and that after reminding him that his daughter had not been found, the Bishop told him to be prayerful for God to strengthen him so the child could be found. When our correspondent contacted the Divisional Police Oofficer, DPO, of Onipanu station at Ota, called Jide on phone this morning, he directed him to the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, ASP Muyiwa Adejobi.

Adejobi confirmed the incident and gave an assurance that the matter will not be swept under the carpet.

It is true, there was a case like that being handled by a unit of the station called Juvenile and Women Centre (JWC).

“The DPO confirmed that his men are in Lagos looking for a suspect in the case. It is a case we may not be able to finish within a day or two. We will continue to monitor our men investigating the matter now that we have been fully briefed. The family should exercise patience. We understand their feelings. I can assure them that we will get to the root of the matter.”

The police spokesman further assured the family of the command’s readiness to assist get to the root of the matter.

If the family are not feeling comfortable with the way the police in Onipanu are handling the matter, you as a journalist can help them by giving them our numbers so they can get across to us. The DPO too will now step up action to ensure that the matter is accelerated,” he added.

One of the pastors of the church who spoke with our correspondent under anonymity disclosed that the case of the missing child and some matters going on in the church have forced many of the pastors to either resign or step aside.

He said: “my brother, I don’t want any problem with my life. As it is now, I will soon leave the church. Crises upon crisis all the time. Are we the only church in Nigeria? Daddy has lost grip of that place, that I can confirm but who are we to talk?

“There are some cabals as we have in the government circle who are not faithful and sincere with the Lord. Sooner or later, the wheat will be separated from the chaff. I pity Mr Samuel, the father of the missing girl. How on earth can you explain that your child is missing? It is a taboo in Yorubaland. A proverb says, ‘my child is dead is better than my child is missing.’ All our efforts to let Daddy see the implications of some of these issues, always proved abortive as the cabals will never allow him to either see you or listen to you.”

Another pastor in the church, identified as Pastor Dare, when contacted on phone this morning, declined to comment and simply said, “I don’t know anything about the matter and please don’t drag me into it, thanks.”

The presiding Bishop of the church, Bishop David Oyedepo was recently sued for N2 billion by one of the female members for allegedly assaulting her. The matter is still pending at the Ogun State High Court in Abeokuta.

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Sahara Reporters

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has thrown its support behind the warning by General Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

In a statement issued in Osogbo, Osun State, by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the ACN reiterated that the 2011 general elections remain the most systematically-rigged polls in Nigeria’s history, irrespective of the so-called endorsement by some visceral foreign election monitors.

It denounced the crude, vitriolic and impudent verbal attack on Gen. Buhari, by the presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), affirming that the warning by the former leader against election rigging in 2015 is timely.

”We hold no brief for anyone,” ACN said. “But it is true that if elections are rigged, as they have been so shamelessly and brazenly done by the PDP since 1999, naturally people will react, and in doing so it is impossible for anyone to predict how far things can go. This is what, in our opinion, Gen. Buhari warned against. If the presidency and the PDP have no intention to rig in 2015, why are they so worried about the consequences of such action?” it queried.

The party said the statement for which Gen. Buhari is now being mercilessly savaged was nothing but a warning against those who may be planning to rig the 2015 general elections, hence it should not have rankled anyone who believes in free, fair and transparent polls.

It said the viciousness of the seemingly coordinated attacks by the presidency and the PDP raise a lot of concern regarding their plans for the 2015 elections.

”The 2011 elections also left Nigeria divided along ethnic and religious lines, more than at any other time in the history of Nigeria, hence no one should tell us about the polls being the best since Nigeria returned to civil rule, just because some self-acclaimed monitors said so!” ACN said.

It also expressed serious concern at the growing propensity of the presidency, in particular, to use intemperate language in its response to any statement it perceives to be critical of its principal.

”We have said it before and we will like to repeat it: any statement emanating from the presidency must be presidential through the use of civilised and elevating language, rather than beer parlour and unguarded phrases. This is because such statements are read all over the world, and provide a window into the minds of those overseeing the affairs of state.

”The voice of the presidential spokesman is the voice of his principal, the President. That is why his statements must be sober and guarded, in addition to reflecting deep introspection. The insults heaped on Gen. Buhari, a former Head of State – for merely exercising his right to freedom of speech is totally unacceptable and run against the tenets of decorum and mature political discourse,” it said.

ACN said, however, that it is not surprised at the response of the PDP, since it is becoming increasingly clear to all that nothing good can come out of a party that has wasted all the opportunities that could have made Nigeria a proud member of the international community in the past 13 years.

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The Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, has noted the response of Dr Goodluck Jonathan, as President of Nigeria, to the altruistic statement credited to our National Leader, General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB) wherein he had stated inter-alia dire consequences for the perpetual riggers of our electoral process in 2015. In the statement signed by Dr. Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to the President on Media, GMB was grotesquely characterized as a sectional leader.

First, GMB has been out of office as Head of Government for about 28 years, yet his relevance to the Nigerian nation is something firmly acknowledged by a broad spectrum of Nigerians, including his adversaries. As Head of State, his Oil Minister was Professor Tam David-West, a Kalabari man in Rivers state. As a Leader, he created the ambience for his ministers to work unobtrusively and devoid of executive meddlesomeness. But what do we find with Dr Goodluck Jonathan? All the appointees as Oil ministers in his two-year reign thus far as President of Nigeria have been Nigerians of Ijaw extraction, like himself!

Second, in October 1, 2010, there was a bomb blast during the year’s independence anniversary celebrations, with attendant deaths of many Nigerians. Without waiting for any preliminary report from the Security Agencies, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, as President, told a traumatized Nation, “it is not MEND!” Meanwhile, MEND is the name for the militant group from Dr Good-luck Jonathan’s ethnic extraction that had in the immediate past waged relentless and potent insurgency against the Nigerian state but had been placated with more slice of the Nation’s resources ceded to the region. Indeed, MEND impugned the President’s statement and admitted responsibility.

Third, so far as President of Nigeria, Dr Good-luck Jonathan has shown very generous affinity for Nigerians of Ijaw stock in terms of appointments and promotions in the Federal Public sector. There is a marked lopsidedness that smacks of clannishness and ethnocentrism by the President!

On Corruption and sleazy tendency, the Jonathan administration transcends all others before it! Nigerians are still befuddled by the impeachable show of arbitrariness by the regime in expending N2.67Trillion on fuel subsidy instead of the appropriated N240Billion in the 2011 appropriation act. As expected, the regime has attempted all manner of subterfuge to give Executive cover for the indicted people in the scam, who were the bank-rollers of the President’s electioneering campaign. Could it be that the missing money was funneled deliberately to the Jonathan Presidential Campaigns, with the acquiescence of the President?

GMB was quoted as saying that the Jonathan-led Federal Government is the greatest Boko-Haram. Understandably, this elicited awful response from the President. In a jejune, puerile, and very pedestrian communication, the presidential spokesman defined Boko-Haram as “Western education is sin” and went on to posit the administration’s investment in Education. How awkwardly inane could that be?!

It is common knowledge that Boko-Haram has become the euphemism for subtlety in devious schemes that cause mass killings of the innocents! As GMB aptly stated, Boko Haram has three variants, with varying degrees of severity and murderous content: the original Boko-haram that seeks to avenge the extra-judicial killing of its Leader by the Nigeria Police; the Boko Haram that pursues criminality for monetary gains and of course, the Political Boko-haram that is bent on setting the stage for ethno-religious pogrom in the Nigerian nation. It is the Political Boko Haram, with its extremely lethal content, that the Jonathan-led Federal Government represents!

·

In January 2012, Dr Good-luck Jonathan told a bewildered nation, still smarting from murderous Bombings, that his government has been infiltrated by Boko Haram.

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In February 2012, a serving PDP senator from Borno South (Mohammed Ali Ndume) was arrested for being a member of Boko Haram.

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In March 2012, Ndume deposed to an affidavit before a Federal High Court wherein he stated that Vice-President Namadi Sambo was aware of his activities with Boko Haram.

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In April 2012, General Andrew Owoeye Azazi , the National Security Adviser, averred that there was indisputable proof that Boko Haram is PDP. As things stand, President Good-luck Jonathan is the national leader of PDP.

· In April 2012, Henry Okah (while standing trial on Terrorism charges) deposed to an affidavit before a South African court that President Good-luck Jonathan was the sponsor of the October 1, 2010 bombing at Eagle square. It is on record that as governor of a Niger-delta state, Dr Good-luck Jonathan (together with his brother governors) had used the MEND to command the attention of the Nigerian state.

· As a Party, we are aware of the role played by Jonathan’s PDP in the way the People’s post-electoral angst (at the subversion of their electoral will) was turned into murderous ethno-religious mayhem.

· We are also aware about how the Jonathan administration has consistently used the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) under the leadership of his fellow Niger-delta Nigerian, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, to demonize GMB in the despicable attempt to veil the murderous intent of the administration.

Meanwhile, with the hullaballoo that Dr Jonathan and his PDP elements have unwittingly caused within the Polity, should it be interpreted that there is a real effort towards ensuring that the 2015 election is also rigged as before in giving vim to the PDP Leaders’ claim of ruling Nigeria for 60 years? As a Nation, we are witnesses to the manner in which rigged elections have foisted on the Nation cluelessness in governance and rapacious impudence; it is indeed a dreary road to tread.

We insist that it is never ignoble to lose elections because President Abraham Lincoln, before being reputed to be the best American President that ever existed, was known to have lost elections several times. GMB, though lost Presidential elections three times to the rigging collusion of the Nigerian presidency and the electoral umpire, took the loss each time (like Abraham Lincoln) with equanimity!

In the meantime, we shall continue to trumpet the sterling qualities of the Buhari brand which is still a rarity among the Political players in our nation’s season of anomie. We stand unwaveringly by the statement credited to GMB!

God bless Nigeria.

Rotimi Fashakin (Engr.)

National Publicity Secretary, CPC

(Wednesday, 16th May, 2012).

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Premium Times

Former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday said President Goodluck Jonathan and the Federal Government were hatching a plot to arrest him.

Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES via his closest political associate and national secretary of his party, Buba Galadima, Mr. Buhari said the presidency and the ruling party were already preparing the ground to harass, arrest and incarcerate him.

“They are just trying to give us a bad name in order to hang us,” Mr. Galadima told this newspaper in a telephone interview. “We know that they are already planning to arrest the General and I, they are just preparing grounds for their actions.”

Mr Buhari was reacting to statements issued by the the presidency and the national headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party describing him as a serial election loser and blood thirsty politician, who is in the habit of inciting his supporters to violence.

The PDP and the presidency issued the statements in reaction to comments attributed to Mr. Buhari on Monday where he said the Nigerian government, led by President Goodluck Jonathan of the ruling PDP, is more deadly than the extremist Boko Haram sect and that any attempt to rig the 2015 election would be firmly resisted.

In its statement, released at a hurriedly convened press conference, the PDP said the leader of the opposition Congress for Progressive Change had become unstable and is being haunted by what it described as “combat withdrawal syndrome.”

The party also described the retired army general as excessively blood thirsty.

Shortly afterwards, the presidency came out smoking describing Mr. Buhari as a serial election looser renowned for inciting Nigerians to violence.

But speaking to PREMIUM TIMES after the statements were released, Mr. Buhari said rather than him, it was the PDP and the Jonathan-led Federal Government that were the real threat to peace in the country.

“It is those who organise the rigging of elections that are trying to disrupt the peace, not Buhari,” the former head of state said, through Mr. Galadima.

Mr. Galadima also said the PDP and the presidency only came up with the allegations because the government “is planning to arrest Buhari and I, and so they are using Monday’s remarks as an excuse.”

“It is not General that is threatening peace, rather it is the action of the PDP that is leading to bloodbath, they have infected us with bloodbath,” he added.

In its statement, the PDP said such remarks by Mr. Buhari was capable of “inciting people to take the law into their hands” adding that it was the same sort of remark that the retired general made prior to the last presidential election that led to “a spate of bloody post-election violence across six states of the federation”.

The party also claimed that a 22-man panel raised by the government to investigate the causes of the post-election violence under the leadership of Ahmed Lemu “confirmed that Buhari’s provocative remarks played a significant role in the bloody violence that led to the death of at least 200 people, gruesomely injuring thousands and the displacement of more than 40,000 people.”

The PDP said although it believed in freedom of speech, assembly and association, it is also of the view that such freedom comes with responsibilities.

The party said it “condemn in no uncertain terms this shameful call for the spill of blood of innocent Nigerians to acquire political power”.

“What Nigeria needs right now is ‘evolution’ in the true spirit of democracy. The utterances of General Buhari, a former military Head of State is truly, undemocratic, unpatriotic and un-statesmanly,” it added.

The ruling party continued, “Buhari’s pre-election utterances were misconstrued by his supporters to engage in the condemnable mayhem that greeted the aftermath of the presidential elections. Buhari never apologized to the nation or to the families of the victims. Today, Buhari is again engaged in another build up of massive bloodletting and destruction”.

However, shortly after the press conference by the PDP, the presidency also issued a statement describing the former head of state as “a serial election loser who has never taken his past election defeats graciously even when such elections were generally acknowledged to be free and fair.”

The statement also described the comments by the retired general referring to the Jonathan government as Boko Haram as unfortunate.

“The Federal Government led by President Jonathan is not Boko Haram. Boko Haram means Western Education is sin. That being the case, one wonders how a government that devoted the largest sectoral allocation in the 2012 budget to education could be said to be Boko Haram,” presidential spokesperson, Reuben Abati said.

The Federal government, Mr. Abati said, can “ now challenge Major General Buhari to tell Nigerians what he has done, whether in his capacity as the head of a military junta or in his private capacity, to bring education to vulnerable children. If he cannot live up to this challenge, perhaps he has to reassess who really is Boko Haram”.

Mr. Abati also said the government was particularly disturbed by Mr. Buhari’s remarks in which he said that “Since the leaders now don’t listen to anybody but do whatever they wish, there is nothing the north can do.”

“We find it very sad that an elder statesman who once presided over the entirety of Nigeria can reduce himself to a regional leader who speaks for only a part of Nigeria,” Mr. Abati added.

“When Buhari says that “if what happens in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, ‘the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood”, we hereby state that it is Buhari himself who does not listen.

“He has obviously refused to listen to the Nigerian People, the European Union, the Commonwealth Monitoring Group, the African Union and a multitude of independent electoral monitors who testified that the 2011 elections were free and fair and “the best elections since Nigeria returned to civil rule.

“Finally, we wish to make it known to Buhari that given his reference to “dogs and baboons”, perhaps his best course of action would be to travel to the zoo of his imagination because President Goodluck Jonathan was elected by human beings to preside over human beings and it is human beings who will determine what happens in Nigeria at any material time not “dogs and baboons”.

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Not for the first time,Former Head of State and Presidential flag bearer of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the last elections, General Muhammadu Buhari, has drawn the ire of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), while warning that unless the 2015 polls are free and fair, there could be violence.

Buhari made this assertion in his Kaduna office on Monday, while receiving his party supporters from Niger State. Buhari had also thrown a missile the Federal Government’s way, accusing the first tier of Government for being behind the spate of bombings in the country overtly or covertly.

But not to be outdone, the PDP has hit back in a Press Release just made available to us and signed by it’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh. In the Release, the PDP called Buhari “The architect of his previous misfortunes” at the polls, alongside other denigrating adjectives.

Below is a full text of the Press Release:

“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) finds it very disturbing that General Muhammadu Buhari, former Head of State and presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) is once again inciting people to take the law into their hands; inciting Nigerians to slaughter fellow Nigerians as he did sequel to the 2011 general elections.

Gentlemen, we need to remind ourselves that on April 21, 2012, Buhari was reported in the media as predicting a bloody revolution in 2015. The reports in the national dailies today quoting the same retired General as repeating that blood will flow in 2015 is another build-up to Buhari’s relish of funeral train.

While PDP cherishes freedom of speech, assembly and association as the custodian of Nigeria’s democracy, we at that same time know that such freedom goes with immense responsibilities. We condemn in no uncertain terms this shameful call for the spill of blood of innocent Nigerians to acquire political power.

We appreciate Buhari’s frustration and antagonism towards the PDP. He has lost three times at the polls. But is Buhari really a democrat? Why is the blood of innocent Nigerians the only thing sufficient to quench his thirst for power?

What Nigeria needs right now is ‘evolution’ in the true spirit of democracy. The utterances of General Buhari, a former military Head of State is truly, undemocratic, unpatriotic and un-statesmanly.

It is on record that Nigeria is yet to recover from the huge losses it suffered due to such reckless and provocative remarks by Buhari before the 2011 general elections which led to a spate of bloody post-election violence across six states of the federation.

The 22-man panel of enquiry led by Sheikh Ahmed Lemu confirmed that Buhari’s provocative remarks played a significant role in the bloody violence that led to the death of at least 200 people, gruesomely injuring thousands and the displacement of more than 40,000 people.

The panel categorically stated that Buhari’s pre-election utterances were misconstrued by his supporters to engage in the condemnable mayhem that greeted the aftermath of the presidential elections. Buhari never apologized to the nation or to the families of the victims. Today, Buhari is again engaged in another the build up of massive bloodletting and destruction.

Nigerians should be worried over Buhari’s quest for power by all means as he begins chanting his old war song once again. We have no doubt that Buhari is suffering from combat withdrawal syndrome. We therefore urge the federal government to allow him to lead the ECOWAS military contingent to Mali or Guinea Bissau to enable him an opportunity to exorcise the bloodletting demons apparently haunting him.

As a basis for his inciting the public to take the law into their hands, Buhari has consistently said PDP government is not interested in transparency and social justice. To him, justice is only done when his party wins. Where it doesn’t, the PDP’s machinations will be blamed. He has repeatedly cited the Igabi local government, in Kaduna state, as an example of where free and fair election was conducted, simply because CPC won.

On the issue of corruption, we challenge Buhari to prove to Nigerians that only PDP members are corrupt. Before he does that, we want to remind him that the various sector probes going on at the National Assembly, most of which were initiated by PDP legislators, is enough testimony that PDP government will not tolerate inefficiencies and waste in government operations. Maybe it is high time Buhari confessed to Nigeria the truth about the missing 28 suitcases.

As a country ruled by military governments for more than half of its 50 years as a nation, political reforms need to be evolutionary not revolutionary. Part of this evolution is the PDP government’s renewed fight for accountability and transparency in governance as the foundation of comprehensive political reforms. This commitment is not in response to pressure from international development partners, western nations or opposition parties. It is a new mindset of the PDP leadership who seek to provide maximum value to Nigerian taxpayers on all matters of state. It is a mindset that recognizes the paramount importance of the affairs of the state to be more important than political party affiliations, ethnic jingoism and religious differences.

Political reform is a journey, not a destination. Even the richest and most technologically advanced countries in the world continue to evolve and make progress in political reforms. Nigeria, the second-largest economy in the African continent is, indeed, making a decisive stride towards political, economic and legal reforms if only the likes of Buhari will allow us be.

Unfortunately, bad losers like Buhari are determined to truncate the journey in this right direction by advocating violence and civil unrest. The April 16, 2011 presidential election, which Buhari is still agonizing over, was, according to official results from the INEC, won by the PDP’s candidate, President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, with 57 percent of the vote. All International and domestic observers hailed the presidential election as credible. The Africa Union, the ECOWAS, the European Union, the European Parliament, the U.S. National Democratic Institute, the U.S. International Republican Institute and the Commonwealth Secretariat observer teams acknowledged the election as transparent and credible. For once the world agreed that Nigeria had taken a credible step towards political stability.

Buhari should stop seeing PDP as the evil genius behind his failure. He was the architect of his own misfortune, as he and his party, CPC, headed to the 2011 election unprepared, with very weak party structures in more than three-quarter of Nigerian states at a time his campaign organization was in disarray over who controls the party.

PDP is always mystified whenever Buhari talks about political transparency, because it is an open secret that when it comes to politicking, negotiations and compromises, Buhari lacks any capacity to engage. He always behaves like a dictator and is accustomed to dishing out orders. That was why many members saw his joining the ANPP, in the first place, as the genesis of its in-house crises. It was indeed a curse rather than a blessing to the party; because before he joined the party it was able to win nine gubernatorial seats. But while he was there, it lost six states.

It is unfortunate that at this time of grave security challenge while Nigerians are burying their dead and counting their losses, Gen. Buhari, who wants to rule them, is further inflaming the orgy of violence. What a blood thirsty leader in Buhari!

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) calls on well-meaning Nigerians, especially the Northern elders to call Buhari to order and ask him to spare the nation his thirst for blood”.

Signed

Chief Olisa Metuh

National Publicity Secretary,

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

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Sahara Reporters

Sources in several state governments as well as the Federal Ministry of Finance have disclosed to SaharaReporters that Nigeria’s cash flow woes appear to be worsening. For the second month in a row, the Nigerian government was unable to meet the schedule for disbursing monthly allocations from the federation account to states.

Our sources accused President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration of depleting the country’s foreign reserves and recklessly overspending budgeted funds.

One source revealed that the Federal Ministry of Finance has paid March monthly allocations only to some states. The allocations for April and May 2012 remain unpaid. As a result of what some of the sources described as a major cash flow crisis, many civil servants and National Youth Corps members have yet to receive their April salaries or allowances.

In addition, the meeting of the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) has been postponed indefinitely after the secretariat said the earlier meeting scheduled for today and tomorrow was no longer feasible. SaharaReporters obtained a text message announcing the cancellation of the meeting. Sent by Philip K. Angulu, the terse message apologized to recipients for any inconveniences caused by the postponement.

SaharaReporters learnt that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has not been able to make regular payments to the federation accounts as oil marketers and corporation are now deducting their share of profit in offshore accounts to avoid dealing with local bureaucratic bottlenecks.

A source within the Presidency described Mr. Jonathan as a confused pawn in the hands of members of his security team who manipulate him to approve huge “security votes” for the so-called fight against terrorism. “Many of the president’s security advisers just keep deceiving him into releasing more and more cash to them – and they have nothing to show for it,” said the source.

Another source in the Central Bank told SaharaReporters that fuel marketers continue to defraud Nigerians with undocumented and fraudulent claims. “As we speak, I can tell you that the government has virtually spent this year’s budget for fuel subsidies – and we are only in the middle of May,” said the source. He added, “Nigerians are calling on President Jonathan to prosecute those who committed fraud in collecting fuel subsidies in the past. They don’t know that the fraud has actually increased this year.”

One of our sources accused Christopher Kolade, the chairman of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment (SURE) Committee, of deliberately misleading Nigerians when he claimed that N60 billion has been saved for the implementation of the phantom palliative program put in place by Mr. Jonathan’s government to pacify Nigerians who thronged the streets of Nigerian and foreign cities in January to protest the removal of fuel subsidy. “Dr. Kolade knows that no such fund exists,” said the source, a ranking official in the federal government.

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For years, Gac Filipaj mopped floors, cleaned toilets and took out trash at Columbia University.

A refugee from war-torn Yugoslavia, he eked out a living working for the Ivy League school. But Sunday was payback time: The 52-year-old janitor donned a cap and gown to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in classics.

As a Columbia employee, he didn’t have to pay for the classes he took. His favorite subject was the Roman philosopher and statesman Seneca, the janitor said during a break from his work at Lerner Hall, the student union building he cleans.

“I love Seneca’s letters because they’re written in the spirit in which I was educated in my family — not to look for fame and fortune, but to have a simple, honest, honorable life,” he said.

His graduation with honors capped a dozen years of studies, including readings in ancient Latin and Greek.

“This is a man with great pride, whether he’s doing custodial work or academics,” said Peter Awn, dean of Columbia’s School of General Studies and professor of Islamic studies. “He is immensely humble and grateful, but he’s one individual who makes his own future.”

Bollinger presided over a ceremony in which General Studies students received their graduation certificates. They also can attend Wednesday’s commencement of all Columbia graduates, most of whom are in their 20s.

Filipaj wasn’t much older in 1992 when he left Montenegro, then a Yugoslav republic facing a brutal civil war.

An ethnic Albanian and Roman Catholic, he left his family farm in the tiny village of Donja Klezna outside the city of Ulcinj because he was about to be drafted into the Yugoslav army led by Serbs, who considered many Albanians their enemy.

He fled after almost finishing law school in Belgrade, Yugoslavia’s capital, where he commuted for years by train from Montenegro.

At first in New York, his uncle in the Bronx offered him shelter while he worked as a restaurant busboy.

“I asked people, which are the best schools in New York?” he says. Since Columbia topped his list, “I went there to see if I could get a job.”

Part of his $22-an-hour janitor’s pay still goes back to his brother, sister-in-law and two kids in Montenegro. Filipaj has no computer, but he bought one for the family, whose income comes mostly from selling milk.

Filipaj also saves by not paying for a cellphone; he can only be reached via landline.

He wishes his father were alive to enjoy his achievement. The elder Filipaj died in April, and the son flew over for the funeral, returning three days later for work and classes.

To relax at home, he enjoys an occasional cigarette and some “grappa” brandy.

“And if I have too much, I just go to sleep,” he says, laughing.

During an interview with The Associated Press in a Lerner Hall conference room, Filipaj didn’t show the slightest regret or bitterness about his tough life. Instead, he cheerfully described encounters with surprised younger students who wonder why their classmate is cleaning up after them.

“They say, ‘Aren’t you…?'” he said with a grin.

His ambition is to get a master’s degree, maybe even a Ph.D., in Roman and Greek classics. Someday, he hopes to become a teacher, while translating his favorite classics into Albanian.

For now, he’s trying to get “a better job,” maybe as supervisor of custodians or something similar, at Columbia if possible.

He’s not interested in furthering his studies to make more money.

“The richness is in me, in my heart and in my head, not in my pockets,” said Filipaj, who is now an American citizen.

Soon after, the feisty, 5-foot-4 janitor picked up a broom and dustpan and went back to
Filipaj was accepted at Columbia after first learning English; his mother tongue is Albanian.

For Filipaj, the degree comes after years of studying late into the night in his Bronx apartment, where he’d open his books after a 2:30-11 p.m. shift as a “heavy cleaner” — his job title. Before exam time or to finish a paper, he’d pull all-nighters, then go to class in the morning and then to work.

On Sunday morning in the sun-drenched grassy quad of Columbia’s Manhattan campus, Filipaj flashed a huge smile and a thumbs-up as he walked off the podium after a handshake from Columbia President Lee Bollinger.

Later, Filipaj got a big hug from his boss, Donald Schlosser, Columbia’s assistant vice president for campus operations.

Bollinger presided over a ceremony in which General Studies students received their graduation certificates. They also can attend Wednesday’s commencement of all Columbia graduates, most of whom are in their 20s.

Filipaj wasn’t much older in 1992 when he left Montenegro, then a Yugoslav republic facing a brutal civil war.

An ethnic Albanian and Roman Catholic, he left his family farm in the tiny village of Donja Klezna outside the city of Ulcinj because he was about to be drafted into the Yugoslav army led by Serbs, who considered many Albanians their enemy.

He fled after almost finishing law school in Belgrade, Yugoslavia’s capital, where he commuted for years by train from Montenegro.

At first in New York, his uncle in the Bronx offered him shelter while he worked as a restaurant busboy.

“I asked people, which are the best schools in New York?” he says. Since Columbia topped his list, “I went there to see if I could get a job.”

Part of his $22-an-hour janitor’s pay still goes back to his brother, sister-in-law and two kids in Montenegro. Filipaj has no computer, but he bought one for the family, whose income comes mostly from selling milk.

Filipaj also saves by not paying for a cellphone; he can only be reached via landline.

He wishes his father were alive to enjoy his achievement. The elder Filipaj died in April, and the son flew over for the funeral, returning three days later for work and classes.

To relax at home, he enjoys an occasional cigarette and some “grappa” brandy.

“And if I have too much, I just go to sleep,” he says, laughing.

During an interview with The Associated Press in a Lerner Hall conference room, Filipaj didn’t show the slightest regret or bitterness about his tough life. Instead, he cheerfully described encounters with surprised younger students who wonder why their classmate is cleaning up after them.

“They say, ‘Aren’t you…?'” he said with a grin.

His ambition is to get a master’s degree, maybe even a Ph.D., in Roman and Greek classics. Someday, he hopes to become a teacher, while translating his favorite classics into Albanian.

For now, he’s trying to get “a better job,” maybe as supervisor of custodians or something similar, at Columbia if possible.

He’s not interested in furthering his studies to make more money.

“The richness is in me, in my heart and in my head, not in my pockets,” said Filipaj, who is now an American citizen.

Soon after, the feisty, 5-foot-4 janitor picked up a broom and dustpan and went back to work.

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The above picture says it all.

You may have heard such stories about villages and communities that where it happens. But until you see a cast iron proof, it remains what it is: mere stories. Well it happended in Kenya and the video was posted on Youtube three days ago. A Kenyan man (in blue jeans and white

T.Shirt in the video) suspecting his wife was cheating on him went to a witch doctor who applied black magic on the wife. The unsuspecting wife went to a guest house to meet her lover and while having sex, the two got stuck….for hours.

Their ordeal attracted a large crowd, plus the police who couldn’t do anything for them. Eventually the lover agreed to pay the husband a huge some of money in compensation, then a pastor was called to pray for them and they were finally separated. Sounds unbelievable right? Look at the picture again.