MATTERS ARISING: Boko Haram: Sultan Wants Rebranding Through Amnesty
THE Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, recently asked President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately grant amnesty to all members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, as a way of encouraging them to lay down their arms.
Abubakar, while speaking at the annual general meeting of the Jamma’tu Nasril Islam, JNI in Kaduna, expressed deep concern over the spate of bomb attacks and kidnappings by terrorists in parts of the country, he argued that extending amnesty to the sect members would pave the way for dialogue between the sect and the Federal Government.
Making reference to a similar amnesty declared for militants in the Niger Delta, he said: “The type of amnesty that ended militants’ unrest in the Niger Delta will be suitable for the North. Initiating a restoration and rehabilitation programme that would integrate the terrorists into the larger society will pave the way for dialogue rather than engaging them in an endless war.”
98% of polio victims have Muslim names
What is in a name? When it comes to data it means a lot for Minister of State for Health, Dr. Mohammed Aliyu Pate, who recently revealed that 98 percent of children that are victims of polio have Muslim names. The minister who regretted the inclusion of Nigeria on the list of countries who still record incidences of wild polio lamented the fate of the slain health workers who met their gruesome deaths while carrying out an immunization programme against polio in Kano. “It is unfortunate that there have been a lot of false claims going on about the wild polio virus in Nigeria.
“The opposition to it led to the unfortunate death of nine innocent female health workers in Kano State. That should not happen because immunisation of children is in the best interest of the children and our society. By 2007, Niger, India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan were the only countries in the world that had polio cases. Today, India and Niger are off that list. Go to our streets today in the north, you will see how polio has crippled our children, turning them to disables and beggars,” he said.
Tinubu’s definition of Nigerian economy
Former governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has accused the managers of the Nigerian economy stating that what they operate is ‘voodoo economics’ which has continued to stifle the private sector.
The former Lagos State governor who spoke at the launch of the book “Financialism- Water from an Empty Well” which he co-authored with Brian Browne, former American Consul-General in Nigeria, wondered why the Federal Government is maintaining a foreign reserve of $46 billion with one or two per cent interest and shouldering a load of $42 billion domestic debt, which it services with 16 per cent interest.
According to him, Nigerian economic realities demand that leaders invest in infrastructures that would help to improve the lives of the people rather than piling up money that would be wasted on the long run. “We must in this country do away with the idea of ‘it is better to save the money than spend the people.’ Rather I will say we should adopt the policy of ‘it is better to save the people and spend the fund. Their voodoo economics is choking up the private sector,” he noted.
Sign agreement on ‘no more killings’, I will withdraw JTF, Jonathan to Borno Elders
President Goodluck Jonathan on his first visit to Maiduguri, the base of the Boko Haram sect, accused Borno State Elders of playing to the gallery over the activities of Boko Haram Islamic sect’s insurgency in the state, describing the situation as unfortunate.
The president speaking during an interactive session with Borno State stakeholders at the Multi-Purpose Hall, Government House Maiduguri, during his two- day working visit to Borno and Yobe States, lamented that none of the elders in the state had publicly condemned the killings and bombings being carried out by the sect members. “The Boko Haram insurgency is reducing gradually in states like Bauchi, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe and Niger among others, but in Borno State the situation is increasing. It is unfortunate, and this is because you the elders refused to come out and condemn the activities of the sect who are your children. This is not a time to be playing to the gallery,” the President stated.
On the removal of JTF, Jonathan said, “If anyone of you (referring to Borno Elders) wants the Federal Government to withdraw JTF troops from the state, he should come and sign an agreement that if anybody is killed after signing the document, I will hold you responsible according to the law of the land; I assure you that before I go back to Abuja all the JTF troops will leave the state.
General of ‘Ijaw nation’ gets state pardon
President Goodluck Jonathan after consultation with the Council of State has granted former Governor of Bayelsa State Diepreye Alamieyeseigha state pardon at the State House, Abuja alongside a few others.
Those who also enjoyed Presidential pardon were former Chief of General Staff, General Oladipo Diya; former Chief of Staff, Supreme Military Council, Major-General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua; Major Bello Magaji; Mohammed Lima Biu; Shettima Bulama; Major-General Abdulkareem Adisa and Major Segun Fadipe.
Sources say the Council of State pardoned all those involved in the alleged coup of 1995 with post-humous reliefs equally extended to Yar’Adua and Adisa, convicted by the Sani Abacha-led regime.
At Last, Nigeria Gets Sydney 2000 Gold Medal
Almost 13 years after the talented Nigeria’s 4×400 metres relay quartet were dubiously denied the gold medal by the U.S squad at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has finally sent the gold medal won by Nigeria relay quartet at the games following the disqualification of the U.S squad for doping violation.
The Americans were disqualified because of the late Antonio Pettigrew confessing to having used banned performance-enhancing drugs at the time. With Nigeria elevated to the top position, Jamaica were promoted to silver and Bahamas the bronze. According to a statement by the IOC, “Pettigrew was disqualified in August 2008 but the Executive Board delayed a decision on reallocation until it had received information stemming from investigations into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) sports-doping scandal.”
The Nigerian team comprising Sunday Bada, Jude Monye and Clement Chukwu and Enefiok Udo-Obong, were asked to return their silver medal to be replaced by gold but only Enefiok returned his. The IOC letter covering the dispatch of the medal and signed by Dr Jacques Rogge, the IOC President, was addressed to the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC).
It reads: “I am pleased to send you this Olympic Gold for Mr Enefiok Udo-Obong, who was part of your men’s 4x400m now placed first in the athletics men’s 4×400 metres relay event at the Games of the XXV11 Olympiad, Sydney 2000.”
Though the captain of the team, Sunday Bada is late, it would be written in the annals of the Olympics that even in his death, he won gold at the games that celebrates humanity.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal yesterday sacked the suspended Chairman of the House Adhoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regim, Farouk Lawan from the position of Chairman, House Committee on education.
Lawan who is currently facing trial for receiving a bribe of 620, 000 dollars from oil magnate, Femi Otedola, was replaced by Aminu Suleiman (PDP, Kano) as the substantive chairman of the committee.
Until his appointment, Suleimam was the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Labour and productivity. It would be recalled that Lawan was suspended at a special session of the House in June 2012.
President Gooluck Jonathan has appointed Alhaji Bukar Goni as the new Head of Civil Service of the Federation. Goni who was until his new appointment Permanent Secretary, Common Service Office, office of the head of civil service of the federation, will take over from Alhaji Isa Sali, who will attain the mandatory retirement age of 60 on Saturday, March 23.
A statement by Dr. Ruben Abati, said Alhaji Goni hailed form Yobe State and was born on January 13, 1959. Goni has held several key positions at the state and federal levels including Chief Administrative officer, governor’s Office Maiduguri (1989-1992); principal secretary to the military administrator of Yobe State (1991-1992). He was the principal secretary to the first civilian governor of Yobe State (1992-1993) and principal secretary to the 2nd Military Administrator of Yobe State (1993-1995). He also headed various departments in the ministry of defence until his position to the office of the secretary to the government of the federation in 2008 as Director, International Organisations.