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Thursday, 25 September 2014

Nigerian Senate Approve One Billion Dollars For Arms Procurement

The dayshursday approved President Goodluck Jonathan’s request of $1bn external loan to fight the ongoing insurgency in the country.

The decision was taken following the submission of the report of the Senate Joint Committee on Finance and that of Local and Foreign Debt by the Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi. Makarfi said the loan request was not in cash but supply of military hardware to be paid for, over seven years.

He said the interest terms rate could not be indicated because it was the suppliers of the military hardware that would negotiate such agreement.

He said, “Also, the request is for a ceiling of $1bn and not that, at the moment, the whole amount would be ubuytilised.

“Government will procure on the terms stated, based on needs assessment of our security agencies.”

There was however, a mild drama on the floor of the red chamber when Senate President, David Mark; his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu; and Makarfi urged their colleagues  not to subject the report to a debate because of its security implications.But the Senate Minority Leader, Senator George Akume; Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi; and Babafemi Ojudu laboured in vain to frustrate the approval of the loan.

Adetunmbi quoted relevant sections of the Nigerian constitution to argue that the loan request contradicted the Appropriation Act, and  Fiscal Responsibility Act.

He further argued that Jonathan should have requested for the loan through a supplementary appropriation bill.However, Makarfi clarified that Adetunmbi’s arguments were not relevant to the matter because the loan was not in cash.He said the National Assembly would be contacted by the executive for necessary appropriation whenever it was time to repay the loan in cash.

Mark therefore called for a voice vote to determine the approval or rejection of the loan.Members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in the upper chamber voted in support while their counterpart in the All Progressives Congress voted against it.

Written by Sunday Aborishade in Abuja.

For The Punch Newspaper

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Transcript of President Goodluck Jonathan's Speech At The UN General Assembly 2014

This is the full transcript of the speech delivered in New York today, as President Goodluck Jonathan addressed the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly.
 Pix by President, NUJ-Europe
President Goodluck Jonathan, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The President of the 68th Session of the General Assembly; Heads of State andGovernment;
The Secretary-General; Distinguished Delegates; Ladies and Gentlemen
The President of the 68th Session of the General Assembly;
Heads of State and Government;
The Secretary-General;
Distinguished Delegates;
Ladies and Gentlemen

Mr President,

1. On behalf of the Government and People of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I salute you as you preside over the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I assure you of the full support and cooperation of the Nigerian delegation.

2. I also wish to extend our commendation to the Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and place on record, Nigeria’s appreciation for his focused and committed leadership of the United Nations system.

3. This Session is coming at a particularly trying period when our world faces a number of critical challenges which make it imperative for us to work within the Charter of the United Nations to meaningfully address them.

4. It is therefore apt that the theme, Post 2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage, signposts our desire and determination to actively cooperate for the improvement of the overall welfare and well-being of the most vulnerable citizens of the member-states of our Organisation.

5. Nigeria appreciates the consultative nature of designing the Post-2015 development agenda. Earlier in the year, we supported this global outreach through inclusive consultations and surveys of a number of Nigerians who have expressed their aspirations with respect to the world they expect beyond 2015.

6. A major highlight of this process, which has increased national ownership of the agenda, is the emphasis on the eradication of poverty as the overarching principle in the formulation of the successor framework.

7. Indeed, tomorrow, we will be hosting a side event on the implementation of the MDGs, in collaboration with the UN, a number of African countries, and our development partners.

8. As I had cause to say to this Assembly last Session, 2015 is not a destination but only a milestone to a better, safer, healthier and more compassionate world. Let us therefore renew our commitment to the processes that will develop the post-MDGs framework.

Mr. President,
9. This objective is of particular resonance to us in Africa where the challenges of poverty, illiteracy, food insecurity, and climate change continue to engage the attention of the political leadership.

10. The good news however, is that in the last decade, a sustained democratization process across the continent has made significant difference in governance processes, institutions and structures. Today, we have a renascent Africa that has moved away from the era of dictatorship to a new dawn where the ideals of good governance and an emphasis on human rights and justice are beginning to drive state-society relations. This is the present reality of Africa that must replace the old prejudices and assumptions about the continent.

11. We are firm in our conviction that democracy is fundamental to achieving the requisite stability that will enable the realization of a sustainable post-2015 development agenda in Africa.

12. This emergent Africa will require the continued support and partnership of the international community. An Africa that is no longer merely a destination for aid but one that is involved in constructive, multi-sectoral exchanges on the global stage. Our continent stands ready to continue to engage the rest of the world as a partner in formulating a global development agenda that will guarantee peace, security and stability.

13. I wish to express my appreciation for Nigeria’s selection as co-Chair of the Expert Committee on Financing Sustainable Development.

14. The importance of this Committee’s assignment cannot be overstated. For the post-2015 development agenda to be realistic, it must be backed by a robust financing framework which I hope will receive the strong backing of our Organisation’s more endowed members.

Mr. President,
15. Nigeria’s commitment to sustainable peace and security propels the country to action along with member states of our sub-regional and continental organisations, whenever stability is threatened in our continent. In recent years, Africa has had its share of conflicts notably in Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Somalia.

16. It is noteworthy that African leaders, with the support of the international community, have demonstrated the capacity to work in concert and decisively in pursuit of long-term solutions in the affected States. While a lot more still needs to be done, we are convinced that progress is being made.

17. The recent Presidential elections in Mali herald a new beginning that should translate into peace and prosperity for its people and provide a stronger basis for stability within the sub-region. I congratulate President Boubacar Keita. Similarly, the political transition process in Guinea Bissau holds much promise. Among African leaders, there is a greater determination and focus on the transformation of the continent. This is the required impetus for the achievement of development objectives that will benefit the people, and rebrand the continent even more positively.

18. Although our world has not witnessed a global war since the establishment of the United Nations, there have been several conflicts with devastating consequences and impact in virtually all regions of the world. As global citizens, we have a sacred duty to free our world of wars, rivalries, ethnic conflicts, and religious divisions. Our collective effort in our drive for a better world will continue to bind us together.

Mr. President,
19. Nigeria continues to support the efforts of the United Nations in addressing the global initiative to combat the menace of the illicit trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons. We have redoubled efforts to address this onerous challenge within our borders and across the West African sub-region.

20. In doing so, we also recognize the need for a broad-based global partnership in the on-going battle against trans-border crimes, including terrorism and acts of piracy. It is regrettable that these scourges are sustained by unfettered access by non-state actors to illicit small arms and light weapons with which they foster insecurity and instability across our continent. For us in Africa, these are the ‘weapons of mass destruction’!

21. It is therefore, in the light of our collective obligation and unceasing struggle to end this nightmare, that I congratulate Member-States on the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in April this year. Our hope is that upon its entry into force, the ATT would herald an era of accountable trade in conventional arms which is critical to the security of nations.

22. In line with our continued commitment to this project, Nigeria has signed and ratified the Treaty. We will continue to engage other Member-States for its successful implementation.

Mr. President,
23. Terrorism constitutes a major threat to global peace and security, and undermines the capacity for sustained development. In Nigeria, the threat of terrorism in a few States in the North Eastern part of our country has proven to be a challenge to national stability. We will spare no effort in addressing this menace. We are therefore confronting it with every resource at our disposal with due regard for fundamental human rights and the rule of law.

24. Nigeria will like to place on record its appreciation to the international community for its support in this regard. The reign of terror anywhere in the world is an assault on our collective humanity. Three days ago, the stark reality of this menace was again brought to the fore by the dastardly terrorist attack in Nairobi, Kenya. We must stand together to win this war together.

Mr. President,
25. Piracy, like terrorism, is another menace that has attained worrisome proportions, especially in Africa’s coastal waters. At the bilateral and multilateral levels, Nigeria has promoted cooperation to mitigate its impact and consequences on the security and economies of the affected coastal states.

26. Indeed, in June this year, the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission met in Yaounde, Cameroon, and came up with practical steps to collectively confront the menace of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. This effort will, no doubt, require reinforcement and wider support and collaborative action on the part of our international partners.
Mr. President,

27. The situation in the Middle East remains volatile. The reported use of chemical weapons in the Syrian crisis, is unacceptable. Nigeria condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the use of chemical weapons that are prohibited by International Conventions.

28. We applaud the current diplomatic efforts to avert further escalation of the crisis. We urge all parties involved to end the violence and seek a negotiated solution, including the instrumentality of the United Nations.

29. The threat which nuclear weapons pose to the survival of the human race is to be understood not just in the context of aspirational nations but also the nations already in possession of such weapons. Nuclear weapons are as unsafe in the hands of small powers as they are in the hands of the major powers. It is our collective responsibility to urge the international community to respond to the clarion call for a peaceful universe in an age of uncertainty.

30. We can attain this objective if we adopt measures and policies that will promote nuclear disarmament, protect and renew our environment, and push towards an international system that is based on trust, mutual respect and shared goals.
Mr. President,

31. I believe that I express the concern of many about the slow pace of effort and apparent lack of progress in the reform of the United Nations, especially the Security Council. We believe strongly, that the call for democratization worldwide should not be for States only, but also, for International Organizations such as the UN. That is why we call for the democratization of the Security Council.

32. This is desirable for the enthronement of justice, equity, and fairness; and also for the promotion of a sense of inclusiveness and balance in our world.

33. Our support for the United Nations Security Council in its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security has been total and unwavering. We have, in previous membership of the Council, demonstrated both the political will and capacity to engage in key Council responsibilities. Nigeria has therefore decided to seek election for the 2014-2015 Non-Permanent Seat of the UNSC.

34. I am pleased to state that Nigeria has received the endorsement of the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union. We urge this august Assembly to endorse Nigeria’s candidature.

Mr President,
 35. Our world continues to be confronted by pressing problems and threats. No statement that will be made during this Session can exhaust the extent of these problems. The world looks to us, as leaders, to provide hope in the midst of crisis, to provide guidance through difficult socio-political divisions, and to ensure that we live in a better world.

36. We have obligations to the present generation, but we have a greater obligation to generations yet unborn who should one day inherit a world of sufficiency irrespective of the circumstances of their birth or where they reside on the globe. We must work to make that world a reality in recognition of our common heritage.

37. We must strive to eradicate poverty, hunger, disease and human misery; we must eliminate the scourge of nuclear, chemical, biological, as well as small arms and light weapons. We must dedicate ourselves to working together to address global, regional and national challenges and deliver a more peaceful, equitable and prosperous world for all. It is our duty. We must not fail.

38. I thank you.

NTDC Tourisms Drive: Dutch company undertakes Sponsorship of Travel Markets with Nigeria, Mbanefo signs MOU.

THE absence of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), at major international fairs and travel markets due to paucity of funds and budgetary delay will be a thing of the past as its Director-General, Mrs Sally Mbanefo has struck a mutually beneficial deal with a Dutch company which has signified its intention of bearing the burden.
Mbanefo in her resourceful stride has again struck this opportunity for Nigeria at The  Hague,  Netherlands.

Mbanefo was one of the few director-generals and head of parastatals who were opportuned to  address and present papers for the attention of over 55 Dutch investors gathered by the Nigeria-Netherlands  Economic Forum  at the World Trade Centre, The Hague  between 15 and 17  September, 2014.
Mrs Mbanefo impressed the gathering of investors with her presentation, which exposed the wonderful tourism potentialities of Nigeria, outlining the various opportunities, and challenges in an economically convincing manner, which pointed out that the investors, might have been missing by not having presence in Nigeria.
She pointed out that “Nigeria is a paragon and haven of investment.
“Unfortunately, my country is being victimised by some hidden forces who ensures that the good and positive developments are being subsumed, relegated into the background while the intangible negative ones are always highlighted and given global publicity. “
Articulating her points for proper perspective, Mrs Mbanefo employed and exposed the tourism potentialities of Nigeria to the investors via SWOT analysis.
She revealed to the international guests the tremendous strength of the sector saying “God has blessed us with all, ranging from beach, safari, religious, entertainment, cultural, mountain, shopping, food, and blessed with President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who has included tourism development as one of his transformation agenda for the country. In addition, Nigeria is a country with the aura of luring 70 per cent of expatriates seeking naturalisation after the validity of their appointments.”
Mbanefo also unveiled the weaknesses of the sector which include, the presence of many wonderful and spectacular natural tourism sites, which are waiting for development, the dearth of investors to enhance and take advantages of the waiting investments, the false image being spread about Nigeria on the international platform which has scared and discouraged potential investors from moving closer to Nigeria and have a firsthand experience of the reality on ground, the financial constraints besieging the NTDC at ensuring prompt presence at international fora to present the true reality on ground  and the inability of the stakeholders to access fund for development of the sites for the benefit of the nation and the global tourism community.
She also pointed out the opportunities waiting for  tourism investors in Nigeria by  the various incentives being offered by  President Jonathan  and the build up concessions for investors, the assured patronage trip booster by the population, the high Return On Investment, (ROI)  and the ever ready support of the NTDC.
Mrs Mbanefo who spoke about the threat said “Like all other countries in the world, the threats are surmountable and not overwhelming.
“This is why we need the support and reinforcement of accomplished and productive inventors like you in the stride of President Jonathan at ensuring that the tourism sector in Nigeria walk, become vibrant and serve the citizens and the global world in a sustainable form.“
In her submission, Mrs Mbanefo said, “The tourism sector in Nigeria is not only buoyant and evergreen, but waiting for sustainable enhancement and development by both the citizen and foreigners, investors. “
“I want to assure you that we are not here for grandstanding, but we are here to seek positive partnership which will be mutually beneficial to all. 
“On our own, we are ready and willing to facilitate any process that will add value to the development and promotion of Nigeria tourism assets without blinking an eye.”
Mrs Mbanefo’s address stoke the fire of interest in the distinguished investors who gave a standing ovation and wild applause for her expository speech.
 Her fire of passion and assurance actuated a Dutch Company, Green Dream, which signified its intention of facilitating and ensuring the sponsorship of NTDC at international fairs and exhibition
According to Dr Leotine Van Hooft, Chief Executive Officer, Green Dream, “I appreciate Nigeria- Netherlands Economic Forum for this opportunity of listening to the address of this lady who represents a government corporation in Nigeria.
“This is the very first time I am hearing good and positive news about Nigeria. I am impressed by her deft of delivery and ability to stoke Nigeria’s interest in some of us particularly in the tourism industry.
Having listened attentively to her intelligent presentation and address, I saw in her a passionate desire to project Nigeria appropriately well and sell the awesome tourism potentialities of her country to the world. 
“I have seen that one of the challenges facing her corporation is prompt fund and finance. This is the area where my company will come in.
“We are going to form a strategic alliance with her corporation which will enable Nigeria to attend international tourism markets and exhibition where she can intelligently sell Nigeria positively and tell the world the real situation about Nigeria.”
Written by Wale Ojo-Lanre
Nigerian Tribune

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Public Notice: Nigerian Airforce Jet NAF-466 Gone Missing In Adamawa

Efforts are still ongoing in order to pinpoint the exact location of the missing jet owned by the Nigerian government.

This is the may-day statement issued by Nigerian Defence Headquarters made available to NUJEurope Chapter in relation to one of the fleets of airforce jet that disappeared mid-air  on  Friday. 

"An Alpha Jet (NAF 466) belonging to the Nigerian Air Force is missing around Adamawa State. The aircraft, with two pilots onboard, left Yola at about 10:45am on 12 September 2014 on a routine operational mission and was expected back by 12:00 noon. Since then all efforts to establish contact with the aircraft have not yielded any positive result.

"Meanwhile, search and rescue effort is ongoing to establish contact with the crew. In view of the foregoing, you are please requested to disseminate this information through your news medium for the awareness of the general public. Thank you for your usual cooperation".

Has Anyone found The Missing Jet Belonging To Nigerian Airforce that Gone Missing On Air Since Friday ?

Please inform the Nigerian authorities.

Send your newsreport to

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Jonathan Will Not Interfere With Ongoing Investigation of Accusation Against Sheriff – Abati.

The Presidential spokesman, Rueben Abati has assured Nigerians that his boss, President Jonathan will not interfere with the ongoing investigation against a former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff.

This is coming barely 48 hours after Jonathan was lambasted by the All Progressives Congress., APC, for including an alleged Boko Haram financier/sponsor in his delegation to N’Djamena, Chad.

Abati who stated this via a statement  described as unnecessary “hue and cry” criticisms that the President is hobnobbing with the former governor of Borno state. The statement reads: “We have noted with surprise, the unnecessary hue and cry raised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other bigoted critics of the Jonathan administration over the claim that the President is “hobnobbing” with the former governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff who was recently accused by the Australian, Stephen Davis of being one of the chief sponsors of the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

“The totally erroneous basis for that charge was the spurious claim that Senator Sheriff accompanied President Jonathan on his recent trip to Ndjamena as a member of his entourage.

“Although Senator Sheriff himself has already given the lie to that claim through his Media Adviser, the Presidency wishes to affirm, for the purpose of emphasis, that the former Borno State governor was not on President Jonathan’s delegation to Chad.

“In keeping with President Jonathan’s commitment to transparency and openness in the conduct of government business, names of the key members of his delegation were announced a day before his trip to Ndjamena.

“They included the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed and the Director-General of National Space Research and Development."

Tuesday, 9 September 2014



Fellow, and dear citizens of Borno State.
In recent days and weeks, we have come under renewed and augmented attacks, waged against all of us, by an armed minority that seeks to impose on us, a doctrine that is completely at variance with the religion of Islam which they claim to promote; a doctrine that negates the dignity and existence of humanity on earth, despite Allah’s decree in the glorious Quran, that He has dignified the human creature, prohibited unjust killings and made the religion of Islam that which does not sanction compulsion in a multi-faith society like ours.

Several innocent communities in Gwoza, Damboa, Askira/Uba, Marte, Chibok, Konduga, Dikwa and the most recent, Bama, have had young and old, amongst them children, weak old men and women, killed in cold blood, their homes destroyed and thousands forced to flee, with some trekking over hurtful distances to become refugees within and outside Borno State. Our Capital City of Maiduguri is today facing a heavy influx of refugees from the local government areas in Borno. Borno citizens have been forced to take refuge in parts of Gombe and Adamawa States mainly on account of man’s inhumanity to fellow man in the gratuitous name of religion. These acts are absolutely condemnable in the strongest of terms.Let me use this opportunity to once again, extend my deepest sympathy to the families of all those who lost their lives in these serial massacres that are designed to send Borno and its people into oblivion, but which will not succeed insha Allah.I also express my very deep sympathy to all victims who either lost property or are taking refuge. Our heart as Government is fully with each and every one of you and we will do everything humanly possible to support you, reclaim your communities, rebuild them and give all of you a new lease of life insha Allah.

We will be supporting you as a matter obligation to you as good citizens. You have a right to be supported in distress. You have even more fundamental right to be protected from fear and attack in the first place. The number one duty of Government is to safeguard the lives and property of the citizenry. However laudable policies and programmes of Government could be, no matter the beauty of infrastructures put in place, they would all amount to less than nothing if human lives are not secured.

As Government, we are more than mindful of this constitutional, moral and spiritual obligation. As Governor of Borno State, I am un-forgetfully aware that for every life that is lost in Borno State, I will account before Allah on the Day of Judgment if that life is lost on the basis of deliberate failures on my part, to do what I have the powers, resources and influence to do.This administration has never and insha Allah will never abdicate from its obligations to citizens. We have done, and still doing everything within the limits of our powers and resources, to complement the duty of the Federal Government to safeguard lives and property. Immaterial as it may sound, we have through combined efforts with the Military, the Nigeria Police Force, the Department of State Security; our youth volunteers called the civilian JTF and other para-military organizations averted so many planned attacks. However, this assertion will hardly make sense to most citizens, in a situation where many attacks have been successfully carried out with elevated mass killings and destructions in the past and in very recent days and weeks. Citizens have very legitimate reasons to be aggrieved by the current situation in Borno State.

We are pained as your Government. We are in this together. As Governor, I feel a sense of not just responsibility but an even personal loss whenever any attack is recorded no matter what part of the State is affected and who is or are involved.

We are in this together. Borno state has been facing this Boko Haram challenge since July 2009 in Maiduguri when the Boko Haram waged its major war on Borno’s soil. Haven been defeated by our determined armed forces, insurgents resorted to Guerrilla warfare that has been raging on for the last four years. At least one third of our local government areas have been affected by their attacks with different degrees of intensity and periodic occupation.In the history of Borno since 19th century, this is however not the first threat to our existence as a people. We had faced and survived threats in years past and we shall survive this insha Allah. We are confident of victory through a reinforcement of our armed forces and the collective will of all of us, citizens, who are committed to defeating the Boko Haram scourge. Collectively as a people, we have exhibited great determination.

Our youth volunteers have made us proud. We are all in this, fellow citizens. We all have roles to play. One of these roles is the devoted offer of prayers and ceaseless appeal to the Almighty to make us victorious. In the past, our armed forces have proven their mettle even in global warfare where they were in foreign terrain in the Second World War, in the Congo, in Liberia, in Sierra Leon, in the Sudan and elsewhere. Our armed forces have also, during the Civil War, successfully saved our country from dismemberment. Our armed forces that have outstandingly proven their capability in such difficult times can by the grace Allah defeat the Boko Haram insurgency with overwhelming federal reinforcement in all areas of their needs. We strongly appeal to the federal government to redouble its present efforts so that the nation will be a historic witness to speedy containment of the Boko Haram insurgency. The Borno State Government will continue to do whatever it can to compliment the constitutional roles of the Federal Government in this battle of ours.Let me reassure the good people of Borno State that measures have been taken by the Federal Government based on information available to us as Government. With these steps and our combined efforts as State Government and resilient people, we shall overcome this tribulation.

We must be very forth coming with useful information on what we hear or see because our safety start with what we tell not what we keep or bury. Hiding information that threatens us never helps us or others. We must be very vigilant in all our communities. We must take copious note of anyone or anything strange around us but without raising false alarm or spreading any form of rumour that will cause panic. Let us try to reach out to those in position of authority to verify information concerning public safety or related matters.The Borno State Radio and Television will be coming up with a Television and Radio programme designed with public telephone lines that can be reached by citizens for enquiries on public issues in relation to security, help in orientation and mobilisation of victims, as well as helping them in locating missing loved ones and friends where there are such matters and keeping citizens regularly updated on matters affecting security, victims support and their comfort. I appeal to other media houses to kindly assist in this effort.The Ministries concerned with Home Affairs and Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs are also to make available public lines that can be reached by any victim from any affected local government area.Similarly, the Ministry of Health will also put in place an immediate Mobile Task Force on Insurgency Victims Health that should be moving round Maiduguri and environs to source for and attend to the health needs of victims on both emergency and lesser cases; ensure the existence of clinics in all victims camps and coordinate the efficiency of the clinics to guarantee the availability of health personnel at all times, drugs, ambulances and other required materials.

The Ministry has my express permission to commit Government in the event of any critical medical need involving ascertained victim of this unfortunate insurgency from any affected community. Government is not unaware of the multi-facet effects of insurgent attacks on other spheres of human lives in affected communities in terms of food security, means of livelihood and access to education among others.Already, the State Government has taken measures to acquire food stuffs for free distribution to affected citizens. Government has purchased thousands of bags of food stuffs and more is being acquired.

On the issue of means of livelihood, the Secretary to the State Government is to chair a High level and Enlarged Victims Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Support Team that will soon meet and work with stakeholders in affected communities to assist victims on a permanent measure. On access to education, Government has observed a high scale requirement of admissions into primary and secondary school especially from guardians who seek slots at orphanage schools in Maiduguri and Biu in particular, for orphans whose parents were killed as a result of the insurgency. Consequently, a team of respected academics, school administrators and educationists will be inaugurated by me next week, with the mandate of coming up with State Primary and Secondary Schools for Special Citizens to be cited in Maiduguri and Biu for the time being. The schools are to be designed to accommodate high capacity of pupils with modern boarding facilities. Every child admitted into that school is to be on full Government scholarship from basic to University Education. Members of the public willing to make donations will be entertained to a ‘Adoption of child Education Programme’ though which kind citizens can adopt the education of a child, two or more, through well organised system that can be monitored by every sponsor who must be entitled to all academic and attitudinal record of an adoptee. While the team is to fine tune this idea, the Ministry of Education is directed to identify and enrol affected children into temporary public schools in Maiduguri and Biu or in the alternative, create temporary special school sites for affected children to start having immediate access to education soon as schools open.

Fellow citizens, we shall at all times be responsive to our duties as Government. We are very much committed to doing just everything that we can do. Borno State has been in the eye of the storm; we have suffered deaths, destruction and hardships on scales never witnessed in the annals of our long and glorious history. We have experienced unprecedented sorrow, tears and blood. We must all work for peace. To work for peace is to covet and protect it. In seeking peace, those of us who mean well for this State, must not only remain united, we must strive to consolidate this unity. Defeating the insurgency is a collective task that must be done, we must not be distracted. We must remain united, focused and vigilant. I will particularly like to direct this appeal to our heroes, the galant and courageous youth volunteers, the Civilian JTF. They must remain united and focused more than ever before.The Civilian JTF must at all times have at the back of their minds that Allah (SWT) in his infinite wisdom and mercy is using them to support security agencies to rescue our state from the advocates of hate and destruction. The people of Borno are very grateful to them for their undying love and sacrifices. As Government which is holding the sacred mandate of the people, we will remain supportive of the civilian JTF as we have been. Our support for the military, police and other security agencies is that of a shared battle against the forces of darkness. 

We shall accelerate our focus on jobs creation to discourage idleness and criminality. We shall speed up ongoing infrastructures to deliver on our promises to make Borno a better place, a remodeled State, a great home we will all be proud of. Borno is our home. This is why I returned home amidst rumored fears held by some residents on possible attacks on Maiduguri. I cut short my official trip and returned home so we can be together as we have always been in trying to overcome the threat before us. I am confident that together we can overcome this challenge. Our condition cannot be permanent, no condition, ever was.

We can overcome this problem with the right attitude from the top to the bottom. Indeed we can. May Allah give us the fortitude to bear the loss of those killed in this crisis, May He grant us peace and guide those of us in leadership, to work selflessly for Borno to become a better place for all of us, and for our children.I thank you very profoundly for your tremendous support and for listening to me today as you always did in the past.

Long live Borno State!

Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Gov. Kassim Mustapha.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Alaafin of Oyo: Londoners Feel The Splendour of Yoruba Royal Essence, by Lashley Oladigbolu
An adorable royal essence was felt by Londoners as Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi and four of his wives were welcomed in the Europe biggest shopping centre, Westfield Stratford in east London.

It was great moments when onlookers cannot withhold their quests to snap pictures with one of the Nigeria's foremost and respectable Yoruba kings whose wives were treating their husband (the King) to a relaxing manicure under a frenzy atmosphere. One of the onlookers posing for pictures with the entourage remarked that "Wow! This is glorious.I'm loving this attire.Yorubas are really rich in culture". The blue befitting old skool and agbada gowns simply worn by Iku Baba Yeye and buba styles of Oloris brought the overwelming attentions of many Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike to the exceptional appearance of the royal king within vicinity of the ultra modern Westfield Stratford.

The exclusive pictures of the moments Alaafin and the Oloris with the Oloye Samu in east London snapped by SYNC Paparazzi and made available to Prince Lashley Oladigbolu, the acting President of Nigerian Union of Journalists Europe Council (NUJE), revealed how Oba Lamidi Adeyemi depicts the grand custodian of both rich Yoruba cultural heritage and an authority. A UK based entertainer DJ Abass, was also spotted bowing to the King. Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111 who earlier on Sunday (31st August) marked his 76th birthday and 43rd year on the throne has been celebrated in a modest prayer occasion that took place in Ilderton under the auspices of the members of Asalatul Rahman Group Charity London. Dignitaries who attended the celebrations include Hon. Speaker Oyo State, Mrs Monsurat Sunmonu and Prince A Adeniyi who represented Oyo State governor and the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK, respectively. Alaafin is the grand patron of the group.

The Oba and his Oloris were said to later went to unwind themselves with a movie at the VUE Cinemas within the centre.
The Oloris (Queens) are beautiful. Winks! 

Pix Courtesy of SYNC, one of the accredited photo-journalists in NUJ-Europe.

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