Washington – President Donald Trump declared North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism on Monday even as his top diplomat said Washington has not given up hope of a negotiated end to its nuclear standoff with Kim Jong-Un’s regime.
Trump promised a rapid ramp-up of US Treasury sanctions against the pariah state, after adding its name to a terror blacklist previously led by Iran and Syria.
“Should have happened a long time ago. Should have happened years ago,” Trump declared, citing the death of a US student who had been held in a North Korean jail and the assassination by nerve agent of Kim’s elder half-brother on foreign soil as reasons for the move.
But, speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Washington has not given up hope that sanctions and diplomacy can pressure Kim into agreeing to sit down and discuss his nuclear disarmament.
Tillerson said that punitive measures were already having a “significant effect” on Pyongyang’s economy – even if China has yet to cut off oil supplies to its sole refinery – and said: “We still hope for diplomacy.”
There was no immediate reaction from Pyongyang, but an editorial that appeared in the ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun before Trump’s announcement described the president as a “mentally deranged money-grabber” who was leading the United States down an “irretrievable road to hell”.
‘Maximum pressure campaign’
Both Trump and Kim have previously raised fears of open conflict erupting over the North’s banned nuclear missile programme, with both insulting and threatening the other with a devastating military response.
But US officials have also been clear that their main hope is that what Tillerson described as an inexorable increase in economic and diplomatic pressure – backed by China – will force Pyongyang to back down.
“We know that there are current shortages of fuel based upon what we can gather anecdotally and also from certain intelligence sources,” Tillerson said.
“We know that their revenues are down,” he said. “So I think it is having an effect. Is this the reason we haven’t had a provocative act in 60 days?”
North Korea is already under a crushing package of United States and United Nations sanctions, and Monday’s terror designation will not have much immediate economic impact.
But Trump said his declaration would kick off a two-week period of announcements – starting on Tuesday with a “very large” US Treasury sanctions measure – that would eventually amount to a “maximum pressure campaign”.
And US officials see the designation – which was removed by then-president George W. Bush in 2008 – as a way of ratcheting up pressure on other states and foreign banks that may be failing to fully enforce the sanctions already in place.
“In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism including assassinations on foreign soil,” Trump said.
In February, Kim’s potential rival and elder half-brother Kim Jong-Nam died after he was sprayed with a nerve agent in Kuala Lumpur airport, in an assassination blamed on Pyongyang.
Tortured in custody?
US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that other murders have been linked to North Korea, but the State Department said information about them “remains classified”.
“As we take this action today, our thoughts turn to Otto Warmbier,” Trump continued, underlining the legal case for the designation.
Warmbier died this year aged 22 after he was repatriated from detention in North Korea in a coma. US officials allege he was tortured in custody.
The White House has declared it will not tolerate Kim’s regime testing or deploying an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to US cities.
Experts believe Pyongyang is within months of such a threshold, having carried out six nuclear tests since 2006 and test-fired several types of missiles, including multi-stage rockets.
Pressure on China
Washington is also pressuring the North’s key trade partner and traditional ally China to turn up the sanctions pressure and force Kim to come to the table to discuss his disarmament.
Japan said it “welcomes and supports” the US move to relist Pyongyang as a state sponsor of terrorism, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters on Tuesday.
US officials would not say what new sanctions might be announced, but an expert predicted secondary measures against Chinese banks, and an Asian diplomat said there could be action against individual North Korean traders working in China.
The diplomat said that Washington would like to impose a total oil embargo on the North, but China is not yet ready to accept a move that could cause Kim’s regime to topple, thereby unleashing chaos on its border.
Tillerson said Washington’s message to China was: “You control the pipeline that feeds their refinery. You know, you can do that unilaterally if you want to increase that pressure.”
The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday adjourned the trial of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, until December 5. Kanu is being prosecuted alongside others on charges of treasonable felony.
The case was adjourned due to the absence of the trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, who said to be attending the ‘All Judges’ Conference’ being held at the National Judicial Institute, Abuja.
Kanu was on Monday absent from court for the second time after the alleged invasion of his home in Abia State by the military on September 14, since when he had been declared missing by his family. His co-defendants and a serving Senator, Eyinnaya Abaribe, who is one of the three persons standing as sureties for the bail granted the IPOB leader, was however in court on Monday.
Kanu’s lawyer, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, told the judge on October 17 that Kanu had been missing after soldiers allegedly invaded the IPOB leader’s home on September 14, 2017, adding that the Nigerian Army was in the best position to produce the defendant.
Source: Naija News
Charles Manson, the hippie cult leader who became the hypnotic-eyed face of evil across America after orchestrating the gruesome murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles during the summer of 1969, died on Sunday after nearly a half-century in prison. He was 83.
Manson, whose name to this day is synonymous with unspeakable violence and madness, died of natural causes at Kern County hospital, according to a California Department of Corrections statement.
A petty criminal who had been in and out of jail since childhood, the charismatic, guru-like Manson surrounded himself in the 1960s with runaways and other lost souls and then sent his disciples to butcher some of LA’s rich and famous in what prosecutors said was a bid to trigger a race war — an idea he got from a twisted reading of the Beatles song Helter Skelter.
The slayings horrified the world and, together with the deadly violence that erupted later in 1969 during a Rolling Stones concert at California’s Altamont Speedway, exposed the dangerous, drugged-out underside of the counterculture movement and seemed to mark the death of the era of peace and love.
Despite the overwhelming evidence against him, Manson maintained during his tumultuous trial in 1970 that he was innocent and that society itself was guilty.
“These children that come at you with knives, they are your children. You taught them; I didn’t teach them. I just tried to help them stand up,” he said in a courtroom soliloquy.
The Manson Family, as his followers were called, slaughtered five of its victims on August 9, 1969, at Tate’s home: the actress, who was 8½ months pregnant, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, Polish movie director Voityck Frykowski and Steven Parent, a friend of the estate’s caretaker. Tate’s husband, Rosemary’s Baby director Roman Polanski, was out of the country at the time.
The next night, a wealthy grocer and his wife, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, were stabbed to death in their home across town.
The killers scrawled such phrases as “Pigs” and “Healter Skelter” (sic) in blood at the crime scenes.
Three months later, a Manson follower was jailed on an unrelated charge and told a cellmate about the bloodbath, leading to the cult leader’s arrest.
Swastika on forehead
In the annals of American crime, Manson became the embodiment of evil, a short, shaggy-haired, bearded figure with a demonic stare and an “X” — later turned into a swastika — carved into his forehead.
“Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969,” author Joan Didion wrote in her 1979 book The White Album.
After a trial that lasted nearly a year, Manson and three followers — Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten — were found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. Another defendant, Charles “Tex” Watson, was convicted later. All were spared execution and given life sentences after the California Supreme Court struck down the death penalty in 1972.
Atkins died behind bars in 2009. Krenwinkel, Van Houten and Watson remain in prison.
Another Manson devotee, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975, but her gun jammed. She served 34 years in prison.
Manson was born in Cincinnati on November 12, 1934, to a teenager, possibly a prostitute, and was in reform school by the time he was 8. After serving a 10-year sentence for check forgery in the 1960s, Manson was said to have pleaded with authorities not to release him because he considered prison home.
“My father is the jailhouse. My father is your system,” he would later say in a monologue on the witness stand. “I am only what you made me. I am only a reflection of you.”
He was set free in San Francisco during the heyday of the hippie movement in the city’s Haight-Ashbury section, and though he was in his mid-30s by then, he began collecting followers — mostly women — who likened him to Jesus Christ. Most were teenagers; many came from good homes but were at odds with their parents.
The “family” eventually established a commune-like base at the Spahn Ranch, a ramshackle former movie location outside Los Angeles, where Manson manipulated his followers with drugs, supervised orgies and subjected them to bizarre lectures.
He had musical ambitions and befriended rock stars, including Beach Boy Dennis Wilson. He also met Terry Melcher, a music producer who had lived in the same house that Polanski and Tate later rented.
By the summer 1969, Manson had failed to sell his songs, and the rejection was later seen as a trigger for the violence. He complained that Wilson took a Manson song called Cease to Exist, revised it into Never Learn Not to Love and recorded it with the Beach Boys without giving Manson credit.
Manson was obsessed with Beatles music, particularly Piggies and Helter Skelter, a hard-rocking song that he interpreted as forecasting the end of the world. He told his followers that “Helter Skelter is coming down” and predicted a race war would destroy the planet.
“Everybody attached themselves to us, whether it was our fault or not,” the Beatles’ George Harrison, who wrote Piggies, later said of the murders. “It was upsetting to be associated with something so sleazy as Charles Manson.”
According to testimony, Manson sent his devotees out on the night of Tate’s murder with instructions to “do something witchy”. The state’s star witness, Linda Kasabian, who was granted immunity, testified that Manson tied up the LaBiancas, then ordered his followers to kill. But Manson insisted: “I have killed no one, and I have ordered no one to be killed.”
His trial was nearly scuttled when President Richard Nixon said Manson was “guilty, directly or indirectly.” Manson grabbed a newspaper and held up the front-page headline for jurors to read: “Manson Guilty, Nixon Declares.” Attorneys demanded a mistrial but were turned down.
From then on, jurors, sequestered at a hotel for 10 months, travelled to and from the courtroom in buses with blacked-out windows so they could not read the headlines on newsstands.
Manson was also later convicted of the slayings of musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea.
Over the decades, Manson and his followers appeared sporadically at parole hearings, where their bids for freedom were repeatedly rejected. The women suggested they had been rehabilitated, but Manson himself stopped attending, saying prison had become his home.
The killings inspired movies and TV shows, and Manson prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi wrote a best-selling book about the murders, Helter Skelter. The macabre shock rocker Marilyn Manson borrowed part of his stage name from the killer.
“The Manson case, to this day, remains one of the most chilling in crime history,” prominent criminal justice reporter Theo Wilson wrote in her 1998 memoir, Headline Justice: Inside the Courtroom — The Country’s Most Controversial Trials.
“Even people who were not yet born when the murders took place,” Wilson wrote, “know the name Charles Manson, and shudder.”
Embattled President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe Sunday remained adamant, insisting that he would hold on to power, at least, till the December congress of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), which had relieved him as its leader and gave him up to noon Monday to resign as president or risk impeachment.
ZANU-PF had Sunday appointed Emmerson Mnangagwa, who Mugabe had fired as vice-president two weeks ago, as its new leader.
The party, according to the BBC, had given 93-year-old Mugabe until noon Monday to resign as president or face impeachment.
But Reuters reported last night that Mugabe had vowed not to resign, leaving the ZANU-PF with no other option than to purse his impeachment.
The embattled president insisted in a broadcast Sunday that he would hang on until the party’s congress in December.
“The congress is due in a few weeks from now. I will preside over its processes, which must not be prepossessed by any acts calculated to undermine it or to compromise the outcomes in the eyes of the public,” Mr. Mugabe said.
“I’m confident that from tonight our whole nation at all levels gets refocused… Let us all move forward,” he concluded.
The military had intervened last week, in an apparent attempt to block him from installing his wife, Grace, as his successor.
Grace and several other senior officials have been expelled from the party.
Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans attended street protests on Saturday, demonstrating against Mugabe who met for long hours with military leaders Sunday before the meeting of the ZANU-PF that eventually showed him the door out of power.
While no details of the meeting had been released, Mugabe was said to be seeking more time to negotiate his exit after nearly four decades in power.
Cheering erupted when the decision to dismiss him as party leader was announced in Harare Sunday.
One senior official later told the BBC’s Andrew Harding: “It’s the dawn of a new era. Mugabe can go farming.”
Zanu-PF’s Central Committee also warned that impeachment proceedings would begin if Mugabe did not step down as president by noon local time on today.
Impeaching the president would require a two-thirds majority in both houses of Zimbabwe’s parliament, which is due to resume on Tuesday.
The opposition MDC-T party had tried unsuccessfully to impeach Mugabe in the past, but this time the ruling party – which has an overwhelming majority in both houses – is likely to go against him.
The military under the command of the Army Chief, General Constantino Chiwenga, had rolled out the tanks on Thursday, placing Mugabe and his wife under house arrest in an action it said was not a coup d’état but a move targeted at “criminals around the president.”
“We assure the world that this is not a military takeover of government,” an army spokesman said in a televised statement on state television network, adding: “We are only targeting criminals around him (President Mugabe), who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice. As soon as we have accomplish our mission we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”
Although reactions across the globe was muted with leaders calling for calm, peace and respect for the constitution of Zimbabwe, the response in the country was that of support for the military whose action was plainly to force Mugabe out of office.
Veterans of the liberation struggle– formerly Mugabe’s staunch allies – added their voice to the calls for his resignation and demanded that he leave office Sunday.
The new ZANU-PF leader, Mnangagwa, is 75 and was touted as Mugabe’s likely successor before he was fired on November 6.
The ouster of this long-serving veteran of the liberation wars of the 1970s was seen as a ploy to position Grace for the eventual succession of her husband.
The ZANU-PF leadership, concluding its meeting Sunday, accused Grace of “preaching hate, divisiveness and assuming roles and powers not delegated to her office”. This was followed by her removal as head of the women’s league.
The party plans to formalise its decisions at a special congress next month even as one of its members hinted that there could be prosecutions of members of a party faction close to the first lady.
At least five persons, including a 60-year-old woman, have been confirmed dead after the consumption of a local gin sold by one Uwadiegwu Eze, a native of Umunakara community, in the Ngor-Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State.
Names of the dead victims were given as: Daniel Nwosu Jnr. 45; Friday Osuji, 70; Ifeanyi Njoku, 31; Adanna Iheanacho, 60, and one Benjamin Okoroafor.
According to Punch, trouble started when residents, who patronised the gin shop between Tuesday, November 14, to Friday, November 17, started having body stiffness and partial blindness which culminated in deaths.
According to the report, the shop owner, Eze, fled after he was informed that consumers of his product were dying.
The State Ministry of Health, on getting the information, sent a team headed by the Director of Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Okeji A., to the community.
Many youths from the community, who drank the local gin, were said to have queued up in their numbers upon sighting the ambulance of the state Ministry of Health, waiting to be taken to Owerri, the Imo State capital.
Okeji lamented that people still patronised distillers who used methanol to boost production of the gin in order to increase their profits.
Toe Elechi, a former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the state , who is an indigene of the community, thanked the health ministry for prompt response.
He also told the newspaper that security operatives were already on the trail of the owner of the gin shop.
Source: Daily Post
President of Liberia, Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has challenged African women to embrace politics, saying that her election as the first woman to be democratically elected President in the African continent was a strong signal to all the women in Africa.
She said her election also signaled a new dawn with the prospect of leveling the playing field between men and women in politics in Africa.
The Liberian president made the remark at the Imo International Convention Centre (IICC) Owerri, weekend while delivering a lecture on the topic “Women in Politics” adding that as a continent, Africa should celebrate for recognising women.
Sirleaf, who was in Owerri for a two-day visit on the invitation of Rochas Foundation College of Africa, said: “Women in Africa are still lagging behind in politics due to social, cultural, economic and political constraints that limit their political participation. And the women in Africa have to do much more to get the equality that we all seek”.
“Quality education changes the attitude and mindset of people. And equality means better performance, and also means better life for everyone. Hence, we need to put more emphasis on education to enhance performance. And that is why what the Imo Governor, Rochas Okorocha is doing with his foundation should be encouraged.
“In our political parties we need to put more emphasis on recruiting female candidates in and outside politics. Our governments need to do more to putting female in up and down the hierarchy. We need to ensure that we as women take the advantages that we have and develop a strategy to deal with the disadvantages we face.
“As I am about to leave office, I am proud that the women of Africa and the world have now seen that women can be leaders, women can do everything that men can do, most times better. As I leave office, there will also be a major gap because I would be leaving the presidency as the first democratically elected female President in African Continent.
“It is something that will lead us to a greater commitment so that five years from now, we all will look across the continent and see that we now have maybe more female Presidents across the world border. Men and women should be able to work harder in order to achieve gender equality”, she stated.
On the statue erected in her honour she said “I hope that this statue and the other honours I received today, would serve as great aspiration to the young girls, to the women, to know that we can reach our potentials. We can achieve our dreams. We can stand tall among the many women of the world in providing the kind of exemplary leadership that will lift us up to stand, as I stand representing women”.
Unveiling Mrs. Sirleaf’s statue, Okorocha said she has done Africa in particular proud and the world at large, stressing that the Liberian President deserves every honour because she has remained a woman of inspiration.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said he escaped an assassination attempt on Saturday when operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and a group of soldiers attacked his convoy.
A statement issued in Port Harcourt by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media, Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu, alleged that the security agents who attacked Wike’s convoy were in the motorcade of the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.
It noted that the convoy was attacked on Saturday afternoon at Nwanja Junction on Trans-Amadi Road in the state capital, while Wike was on a project inspection tour.
“The SARS personnel and soldiers in the minister’s convoy mowed down the governor’s escort rider and attacked the policemen in the pilot car.
“Mr. Seimeikumo Debewari, Aide-De-Camp to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, supervised the attack, which led to the damage of cameras held by journalists.
“Mr. Debewari is the same police officer who assaulted members of the Rivers State House of Assembly in the fracas of 2014. Also, the Commander of Rivers SARS, Mr. Akin Fakorede, who received the minister of transportation at the Port Harcourt International Airport and accompanied him on his trip, took part in the attack,” the statement claimed.
It, however, pointed out that Wike continued with his project inspection after the incident, and that the governor was not injured in the attack.
“The minister of transportation had over 50 SARS personnel, soldiers and mobile policemen in his motorcade.
“However, while the SARS officers stepped down to assault the security personnel of the governor, the soldiers remained in their vehicle watching the scene,” the statement added.
Reacting, Amaechi said Wike’s security details pulled guns on him and vandalised his car.
The minister, who spoke through a statement issued by his Media Office, described the governor’s claim as a blatant lie, insisting that he (Amaechi) was the person that escaped assassination.
The statement said, “In a blatant show of naked raw power, the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, this afternoon narrowly escaped being shot by security men attached to the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike. His car wasn’t that lucky though. The car was vandalized and left with a broken side mirror.
“The incident occurred in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, along Trans-Amadi road, Nwaja axis. The minister had arrived Port Harcourt this afternoon (Saturday).
“Accompanied by cars of many of his supporters, the minister’s black SUV was intercepted and blocked at the junction by the security motorcycle outrider attached to Wike after two cars had passed through. One of the two cars conveyed security men assigned to protect the minister in Port Harcourt.
“Suddenly, security men attached to Wike’s convoy surrounded the minister’s car, threatening to shoot him. They hit the car, tried to smash the windscreens, windows and broke a side mirror. All through this attack, Amaechi remained calm inside the fortified vehicle. Wike also stayed inside his vehicle.
“The minister eventually passed through after the intervention of the security team on the ground to protect him in Port Harcourt.
“However, when Governor Wike got to the point where the incident occurred after Amaechi’s vehicle had gone, his security men blocked the road again, and thoroughly beat up a policeman attached to Amaechi in Port Harcourt. The policeman’s rifle was also taken from him.” Wike was reported to later come out of his car, with his security team, went to Amaechi’s convoy and abused the occupants.
Reacting, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Nnamdi Omoni, said there was no attack on the governor, describing the incident as a mere altercation between the governor’s security details and those of the Minister.
Omoni, however, disclosed that the State Police Commissioner, Mr. Ahmed Zaki, had ordered that policemen involved in such altercation should be arrested.
“There was no attack on the governor. What happened was that the governor and the minister’s convoys ran into each others and there was an altercation. The State Police Commissioner has intervened and ordered the arrest of policemen involved in the act,” Omoni stated.
One week to the governorship election in Anambra State, the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra has threatened voters with death if they vote. They also vowed to disrupt the election.
The members of the group marched around some streets in Onitsha, Anambra State on Friday, vowing a lockdown on the day of the election, which is scheduled to hold on Saturday, November 18, 2017.
Members of the group can be heard threatening voters in videos of the march circulating online.
They said, ““If you vote you will die. Don’t go out, stay in your house. If you vote on November 18, you will die. We are not running around for the zoo.
“There will be no election. We will not participate, we will not vote. Nothing concerns us with any election. We are formidable.
“We are in Onitsha to tell the Federal Government to produce Kanu. They should release all the Biafrans in Nigerian prisons.”
Speaking with one of our correspondents on the telephone, IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, noted that the purpose of the demonstration in Onitsha was to show the world that “the threat of bullet” would not stop the group from realising its aim of having Biafra Republic.
He said Igbo people living outside the South-East should contact their families at home to boycott all future Nigerian elections, including the governorship election.
Powerful said, “Today in Onitsha, we broke the python Buratai, Ohanaeze, Obiano and Igbo governors brought to our land. Anybody doubting the resolve of IPOB under the supreme command of Nnamdi Kanu is mistaken.
“We will put Anambra State on lockdown on November 18. This is a taste of what is to come. Nigeria should be prepared.
“It is also very critical to inform every Biafran, be you IPOB family member, businessman, farmer, artisan, driver, teacher, doctor, motorcycle/tricycle union, civil servant, trader, market leader, National Union of Road Transport Workers, National Association of Road Transport Owners, fisherman, market men and women, including politicians who believe in freedom and liberty of a free independent State of Biafra, to boycott the Anambra State election.”
According to him, the election boycott will give their agitation a global momentum needed to make world leaders accept a peaceful break-up of Nigeria.
“They will be morally bound to consider a possible date for Biafra’s referendum for independence without delay. A vote in Anambra elections will mean electing into office the same people who, over the years, have been responsible for the death, pain, misery, agony and suffering of our people. We would have only succeeded in renewing our suffering for another four years,” Powerful said.
But the Public Relations Officer, Anambra State Police Command, Nkeiruka Nwode, said the IPOB march was of no effect, as the state police command had concluded arrangements for effective policing of the state during the election. She asked residents of the state to go out en masse to exercise their franchise on the day of the election.
Also, the Force spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, warned the IPOB members to steer clear of the state during and after the forthcoming governorship election, in their own interest, saying the police would deal with IPOB members “the way an outlawed group should be dealt with.”
He said the police were fully on the ground to ensure a hitch-free and violence-free poll, adding that battle-ready operatives including police special forces, anti-riot personnel, and counter-terror squad had been instructed to deal with troublemakers.
“They (IPOB) should steer clear of Anambra because we have deployed enough personnel in the state; any miscreant who misbehaves would have himself to blame as he would be dealt with. IPOB should not test our will or resolve,” Moshood cautioned.
Meanwhile, the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, which covers the South-East region, has placed its troops on the alert to forestall any security breakdown in the Anambra governorship election.
Although the spokesperson for the division and Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, said he could not comment on security measures for the elections, a top source from the division said the troops were on red alert.
“Talk to the Commissioner of Police,” Musa simply said when one of our correspondents called to ask for his response.
But, the source said, “The troops are always on ground to prevent any breakdown of law and order during the election. As you know, the police are the first line of security and we cannot usurp their role.
“On October 14, we ended the 30-day Operation Python Dance II in the South-East, including Anambra State, and the exercise was to sharpen the skills of troops for occasions such as this election. So, you cannot rule out our involvement.
“We have mastered the areas and we are familiar with the hideouts of the troublemakers. All these preparations will count for the troops on Saturday. But the army cannot deploy its troops unless the security situation degenerates, which is not anyone’s wish.”
Also, the spokesperson for the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Emma Okeh, said the agency would deploy 5,000 personnel, including special forces and regular officers. He cautioned against disruption of the poll by any group of persons, stressing that the corps would not spare anyone caught violating the law.
He said about 1,000 intelligence and surveillance operatives were on the ground in the state, adding that regular personnel would move in soon with sniffer dogs.
“I urge the electorate to come out en masse and vote for the candidates of their choice. It is their election, it is their state and whoever they elect as governor would determine their future,” Okeh said.
Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission on Friday asked the commission to make sure that the election was conclusive, saying the credibility of the election would serve as a litmus test for the 2019 general elections.
The chairman of the committee, Senator Suleiman Nazif, stated this when he led other committee members, including Senators Mao Ohuabunwa and Aliu Sabi, to a meeting with INEC officials and political parties at the INEC headquarters in Awka, the state capital.
“I want the leadership of INEC to ensure that Anambra governorship election is conclusive, free, fair and credible,” Nazif said.
He urged INEC to ensure a level playing ground for all the political parties contesting the poll, adding that the committee members were in the state to find out the challenges of the commission, with the aim of putting heads together towards proffering solutions.
Speaking, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji, noted that the state was second in the country in terms of the collection of permanent voter’s cards, stressing that the collection of the cards in the area would end on November 15.
He said the commission would deploy one card reader per voting point and that there would be field technical officers who would handle any challenges arising from the use of the card readers.
Orji also reiterated the commitment of the commission to conduct a free, fair, credible and acceptable election to the people of the state.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been appointed into United Nations (UN) high-level advisory board.
Also appointed into the board are President Michelle Bachelet (Chile), Radhika Coomaraswamy (Sri Lanka), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia), Jean-Marie Guéhenno (France), former President of Finland, Tarja Halonen (Finland), David Harland (New Zealand), Noeleen Heyzer (Singapore) and Nasser Judeh (Jordan), among others.
The new role will see Obasanjo providing advice on mediation initiatives with 17 other current and former global leaders.
The board is expected to allow the UN work more effectively with regional organisations, non-governmental groups and others involved in mediation around the world.
Secretary-General of the UN, Antonio Gutierrez, had in September announced the establishment of the board to provide him with advice on mediation initiatives and back specific mediation efforts around the world.
In another development, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa and Sahel, Muhammad Ibn Chambas, has said that the UN will support home-grown solutions that will lead to the strengthening of peace and stability in Nigeria.
Chambas, who spoke when he paid a courtesy call on Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State, said the UN system in Nigeria would continue to collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure peace and sustainable development in the country.
A statement signed by Tambuwal’s spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, quoted Chambas as saying that the global body firmly believed in the unity of Nigeria, and would continue to support all its organs for rapid socio-economic development.
In his remarks, Tambuwal sought support from leading international organisations for an end to proliferation of small arms not just in Nigeria, but also in all conflict-prone areas of the world.
Source: Guardian News
President Robert Mugabe’s wife on Sunday said she is ready to succeed her husband as tensions rise in Zimbabwe’s ruling party over who will take over from the country’s ageing leader.
“I say to Mr Mugabe you should … leave me to take over your post,” she said in an address to thousands of indigenous church followers at a stadium in Harare.
“Have no fear. If you want to give me the job give it to me freely,” Grace Mugabe said.
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had been touted as a possible successor to the 93-year-old Mugabe, has recently fallen out with him.
On Saturday the president threatened to fire Mnangagwa, accusing him of fanning factionalism to garner support ahead of a party special congress due in December.
Amid party divisions over who should become leader – an event only likely to occur when the incumbent dies – Grace Mugabe, 52, said the party will soon change its constitution to allow a woman to be vice president.
The move would likely see her replace Mnangagwa and pave the way for her to succeed her husband, who is Africa’s oldest president and has ruled the former British colony for 37 years.
Mnangagwa was appointed vice-president in 2014, taking over from Joice Mujuru – who was axed after Grace Mugabe launched a campaign accusing her of plotting to topple the president.
Mugabe’s wife on Sunday also accused Mnangagwa of a dark past of clandestine plots, including planning to stage a coup around the time of Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.
“In 1980 this person called Mnangagwa wanted to stage a coup. He wanted to wrestle power from the president. He was conspiring with whites. That man is a ravisher,” said Grace Mugabe.
Despite his advanced age and concerns over his health, Mugabe has refused to name a successor.
He has been endorsed as his party’s candidate for next year’s election.
In its resolve to rid the state of undesirable criminals, Police in Akwa Ibom state have arrested no fewer than 35 cultists belonging to two different cult groups operating in Ukanafun, Etim-Ekpo and Onna Local Government areas of state including a Pastor of one of the new generation churches.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, DSP Bala Elkana, who disclosed this to newsmen in Uyo during an interview said that the cult groups were responsible for chieftaincy and political tussles in the local government areas.
According to the PPRO, 15 of the cultists arrested in Ukanafun and Etim-Ekpo on October 29, 2017 were charged to court and remanded at the Ikot Ekpene prison, while 20 of the cultists were arrested in Onna on October 30 pending when they will be charged to court.
Elkana who said the arrests were made possible through intelligent reports from members of the public and tactical operation of the anti-robbery and kidnapping squad of the command explained that Ukanafun, Etim-Ekpo and Onna LGAs have been identified as a flash point of cult activities in the state saying that some were traced to be members of the two different cult groups namely the Isakaba and Ekpat cult groups operating in the LGAs.
The PPRO disclosed that while a Pastor in one of the new generation churches in the state, Pastor Victor Ufot Udofia aged 50 is the leader of the Isakaba cult group, a 52 –year- old man who paraded himself as youth, Victor Okon Andrew is the leader of the Ekpat cult group.
According to Elkana, the Ekpat cult group activities have a link with the chieftaincy crisis in Ekwe community in Onna local government area where the people could not install their village head till now.
The image- maker of the Command said members of the cult groups were responsible for series of crimes committed in the three LGAs including armed-robberies and kidnappings
“If you look at the crisis in Ukanafun, Etim-Ekpo and Onna is either chieftaincy or political. But the crisis in Onna is political”, he stressed adding that the two cult groups employed or engaged the youths as members and used them for most of the attack.
Source: Leadership Newspapers
The race for the presidency of the ANC is shaping up to be a tight two-horse race between deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and former African Union Commission head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
The other presidential contenders, including Mathews Phosa, Jeff Radebe, Lindiwe Sisulu, Baleka Mbete and Zweli Mkhize, are all competing for a distant third.
City Press this week looked at two provinces with contrasting fortunes for Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma.
With 331 of the 806 branches having sat for their branch general meetings (BGMs) over the past weeks in KwaZulu-Natal, Dlamini-Zuma has taken an early lead with 260 branch nominations and Ramaphosa getting the nod from 69 branches. Former KZN chairperson and current party treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize – who was touted as a dark horse in the contest for the top position – has only received nominations from two branches.
KZN is the ANC’s largest province going to the December conference and many believe getting majority support is key to the success for anyone aiming for top position.
Despite the apparent setback from the latest figures, Mkhize’s main foot soldier Alpha Shelembe has put on a brave face, insisting that the campaign is going according to plan. His branch, ward 18 in Moses Mabhida region, with parts of Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas, managed to get him nominated for deputy president.
“We read the balance of forces carefully and realised that all over the region, and even the province for that matter, there is an obsession towards who becomes president, but our focus is the presidency and branches are not hostile towards this,” said Shelembe on Friday evening.
Mkhize’s branch ward 14, that has Pietermaritzburg suburb Willowfontein, will hold its BGM this afternoon. Shelembe also conceded that the Eastern Cape had probably been lost; citing misleading information from some provincial executive committee members who had told the Mkhize camp that the province was behind him.
While eThekwini region – the ANC’s most powerful region in KZN and South Africa in terms of numbers – appears to be fully behind Dlamini-Zuma, the strife-torn Ward 32 in the region is yet to sit for its BGM. The branch, which incorporates Durban central, is Dlamini-Zuma’s branch and its executive committee was dissolved by the region. “As branch leader she failed us when the region imposed an individual for a councillor. She could have spoken as a branch member and, more importantly, as a leader, but she did not and to many of us her silence and indifference demonstrated a lack of leadership,” said one branch member. She said while there were “sprinkles of support for Dlamini” the general membership in the branch supported Ramaphosa.
Meanwhile, Nhlanhla Mahlaba from Emalahleni region, where Ramaphosa received 13 nominations to Dlamini-Zuma’s six, told City Press on Friday their support was based on principle and not hostility to Dlamini-Zuma. Regions who have been known to support former premier Senzo Mchunu, such as Abaqulusi and Inkosi Bhambatha, have so far endorsed Ramaphosa. – City Press correspondent
In this province, Ramaphosa is leading in four regions – Vhembe, Sekhukhune, Mopani and Peter Mokaba – with Waterberg region still pending.
According to the Limpopo summary of nominations seen by City Press, in Vhembe, Ramaphosa received 71 nominations while Dlamini-Zuma got three. In Sekhukhune the deputy president received 84 nominations while the former African Union Commission chairperson only got nine. This also included the embarrassment of Public Service Minister Faith Muthambi, when her branch in Ward 14 in Vhembe rejected Dlamini-Zuma and voted for Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa’s supporters also made their intention clear when they won the race in the troubled Mopani with a close margin of 34 nominations to 21, while 73 branches are still outstanding. In Peter Mokaba region, which includes Polokwane, Dlamini-Zuma only managed to get one nomination against Ramaphosa’s 36.
ANC provincial secretary Nocks Seabi said the nomination processes would be completed next week, confirming that Waterberg region was indeed still outstanding.
Seabi warned about false nominations being sent out. “People must allow the ANC space to deal with their nominations and wait for the process to be completed.” – Mpho Dube
TALK TO US
Are KZN and Limpopo’s branch nominations indicative of who will win the ANC presidency?
SMS us on 35697 using the keyword RACE and tell us what you think. Please include your name and province. SMSes cost R1.50
As the Niger Delta Avengers threatens to resume fresh attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and others have said such action would have a grave impact on the nation’s economy and its people.
They, therefore, urged the government to engage the militants to avert such attacks.
The group had announced an immediate end to its ceasefire with the Federal Government in a statement posted on its website on Friday.
It had also accused the Federal Government of being insincere despite the commitment by the leaders of the region to broker peace, saying that the government was only interested in the oil being derived from the Niger Delta.
In the statement signed by the group’s spokesman, Murdoch Agbinibo, NDA said Operation Red Economy, which it had declared following the intervention of the Chief Edwin Clark-led Pan Niger Delta Forum, was officially over.
It declared that the fresh attacks would affect the nation’s oil facilities in the region and stop oil production, saying it was not interested in having further negotiations with the Federal Government.
But President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Dr. Frank Jacobs, described the situation as unfortunate, noting that an attack on oil installations at a time when Nigeria was still recovering from arguably its worst economic crisis, would deal a huge blow to its economy.
He said, “It is unfortunate if that is what the NDA wants to do, especially at this time that the economy is getting out of recession, when oil production is becoming steady and price of oil is going up.
“It will deal a terrible blow to the country and it is my hope that the government won’t allow that to happen. The government should engage them, find out what their issues are and find a way to address them because if they succeed, it might be disastrous for the economy.”
Jacobs also said the effects of such attacks would be greatly felt by manufacturers, who rely on foreign exchange to bring in raw materials and machinery.
Similarly, the Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Muda Yusuf, said should the militants carry out their threats, “it will cause a setback for Nigeria.”
Yusuf described the Nigerian economy as oil-sensitive, adding, “The economy is just recovering and gathering momentum and the bulk of this recovery is arising from oil price recovery and oil output stability; if anything happens to any of those two variables, the shock will be a lot to the system. Therefore, we need to step up engagements with these people, at least to prevent these attacks.”
President, Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria, Dr. Femi Egbesola, said resumed attacks on oil facilities could once again lead to the closure of small businesses and loss of jobs in the long run.
He said, “It means we will have less crude oil to produce and export, which will lead to a reduction in revenue and foreign exchange. Every sector in the economy will be affected.
“Small businesses will also be affected by the loss in naira value as the cost of raw materials will increase, which will lead to selling at a reduced profit.”
The Head, Department of Economics, Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Abayomi Adebayo, said the way forward to end agitations in the country was for the Federal Government to heed the calls for restructuring.
He said, “It’s a disaster in waiting. It will also lead to the reduction in productivity of oil companies. Lives will also be lost. I pray the government responds adequately. I see it as a protest against the delay in restructuring the country.”
A professor of energy economics at the University of Ibadan, Adeola Adenikinju, said, “It is not a good omen for the country that is just coming out of recession. Probably the government has not fulfilled its promises to the militants; it should quickly call them to the table. Negotiations are very important. We should not take their threat lightly.”
The Managing Director and Chief Executive of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, also said the new threat posed a risk to the Nigerian economy as it would lead to decreased oil production.
A statement by the Niger Delta Avengers on Friday had said, “This outing will be brutish, brutal and bloody, as we shall crush everything we meet on our path to completely cut every pipe that takes oil out from our region.
“We can assure you that every oil installation in our region will feel the wrath of the Niger Delta Avengers.”
The group also denied any affiliation with the militant group, Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, accusing its operators of being used by the Federal Government to scuttle efforts by leaders in the region to force the government to develop the region.
However, responding to an inquiry from one of our correspondents about how attacks on oil installations would affect the activities of oil companies, the General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Mr. Esimaje Brikinn, in a text message, said, “No comment.”
The spokesperson for Shell Nigeria, Mr. Precious Okolobo, also declined to comment on the development and told Saturday PUNCH to contact the relevant security agencies.
In the same vein, the General Manager, External Affairs and Communications, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, declined to comment on the development.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Navy has said it would not relent in its operations in the Niger Delta region to secure oil installations, lives and property.
The Navy Director of Information, Captain Suleman Dahun, said this on Friday while reacting to the threats made by the militants.
The navy recently began an exercise on October 30 in Bayelsa and Delta states called, ‘Operation Octopus Grip.’
It reportedly deployed troops and at least five gunships in the region.
Dahun said, “In the Niger Delta, we have several operations to secure lives and property, including the most recent Operation Octopus Grip. We are doing this to contain all threats and maintain the peaceful atmosphere in the Niger Delta.
“The navy is constitutionally mandated to ensure maritime security. This is our cardinal responsibility and it includes lives and property in the Niger Delta. Over the years, we have kept this mandate.”
Efforts to also talk to Operation Delta Safe, which is a joint military operation set up to secure oil installations in the region, have yet to be successful as of press time.
Source: The Punch
Madrid – A Spanish judge issued an international arrest warrant on Friday for former members of the Catalan Cabinet who were last seen in Brussels, including the ousted separatist leader Carles Puigdemont who said he was prepared to run for his old job even while battling extradition in Belgium.
The National Court judge filed the request with the Belgian prosecutor to detain Puigdemont and his four aides, and issued separate international search and arrest warrants to alert Interpol in case they flee Belgium.
Puigdemont’s Belgian lawyer has said that his client will fight extradition to Spain without seeking political asylum.
The five are being sought for five different crimes, including rebellion, sedition and embezzlement in a Spanish investigation into their roles in pushing for secession for Catalonia.
The officials flew to Brussels after Spanish authorities removed Puigdemont and his Cabinet from office on Saturday for declaring independence for Catalonia.
The Spanish government has also called an early regional election for December 21.
Puigdemont told Belgian state broadcaster that he was in Belgium “ready to be a candidate” in the early polls and because he had lost faith in the Spanish justice system.
“We can run a campaign anywhere because we’re in a globalised world,” he told RTBF, adding that he was not in Belgium to “Belgianise Catalan politics.”
“I did not flee, but it’s impossible to properly prepare” a legal defense while in Spain, he told the broadcaster.
‘Reform the constitution’
If Belgium acts on a European warrant Spain and arrests him, Puigdemont would have to be brought before an investigating judge within 24 hours.
His extradition procedure would take 15 days, Belgian legal experts say.
But should Puigdemont appeal, that process could take a further 45 days, meaning that he would probably not leave Belgium before early January, well after the elections.
In her decision on Friday, Judge Carmen Lamela said that Puigdemont “apparently is in Belgium” and accused him of “leading the mobilisation of the pro-independence sectors of the population to act in support of the illegal referendum and thus the secession process outside the legal channels to reform the constitution”.
Spain says the only legal way to achieve secession is by reforming Spain’s 1978 Constitution with an ample majority in the national parliament, not by regional votes. The arrest warrants came a day after the same judge jailed nine former members of Puigdemont’s separatist government.
All members of the ousted Cabinet were ordered to appear at Spain’s National Court on Thursday to answer questions in a rebellion investigation.
Five of them, including Puigdemont, didn’t show up.
Spanish prosecutors want to charge members of the dismissed regional government —as well as six additional members of the regional parliament— for promoting official steps to declaring Catalonia’s independence.
Meanwhile, a panel of National Court judges on Friday rejected an appeal seeking the release of two separatist activists who were jailed last month in a separate sedition investigation. A National Court spokesman said that Assemblea Nacional Catalana president Jordi Sanchez and Omnium Cultural leader Jordi Cuixart will remain in a Madrid jail while the investigation continues. The spokesman spoke on condition of anonymity in line with court policy.
Sanchez and Cuixart are being investigated for allegedly orchestrating protests that hindered a judicial investigation to halt preparations for a banned independence referendum held on October 1.
Under Spain’s legal system, investigating judges can have suspects detained while a comprehensive probe, sometimes taking months, determines if they should be charged. Spanish government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo deflected questions by the media regarding the jailing of the Catalan officials.
The separation of powers meant that the government’s focus was on preparing for the early election it called for Catalonia, Mendez de Vigo said.
“What the government guarantees is that there will be elections where the parties which want to run can present their programs, and we hope that the election can end this period of uncertainty and the deterioration of harmonious coexistence in Catalonia,” he said.
One of the nine jailed Catalan officials, ex-regional minister for business Santi Vila, posted bail of $58 000 and was released from custody on Friday.
His passport was confiscated and Vila needs to show up in court regularly as the rebellion, sedition and embezzlement probe continues. The other eight were held without having bail set.
“I ask for all political parties across Spain, appealing to their democratic values, to put an end to this terrible situation that has put politicians in prison,” Vila said as he left the Estremera prison near Madrid. Vila resigned in protest a day before Catalonia’s parliament voted in favor of the independence declaration.
He has said he wants to lead the center-right separatist Democratic Party of Catalonia in the upcoming election on a moderate platform.
Puigdemont and his Cabinet were removed by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who used extraordinary constitutional authority authorised by the Spain Senate to depose the separatists, dissolve the regional legislature and call the early regional election.
Spain’s Supreme Court is also investigating six members of Catalonia’s parliament.
The court postponed a hearing on Thursday until next week to allow more time for them to prepare their defenses in the case.
In all, Spanish prosecutors are investigating 20 regional politicians for rebellion and other crimes that would be punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Emalahleni – Students at tertiary institutions deserve free education, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday.
His comments come as tensions continue to rise at tertiary institutions, with students demanding that President Jacob Zuma release the Fees Commission report, while others have stated that they would not pay any fees in the 2018 academic year.
“There is nothing wrong with students demanding free education and, in fact, it is something that our children deserve,” he said.
Ramaphosa, however, did not give details of Judge Jonathan Herer’s recommendations following the commission’s investigation of the feasibility of free tertiary education. The report was discussed at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting.
“The president, the government will come out with an announcement to say how we are going to face this challenge. We must wait for the report… what we want is for our young people to be skilled,” he said.
Ramaphosa was in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga, addressing a hall packed with hundreds of the ANC presidential hopeful’s supporters. He acknowledged that tertiary education was expensive and out of the reach for poor families, most of whom, he said, were part of the high number of unemployed in the country.
ANC conference ‘do-or-die moment’
“Students want free education because their parents are struggling. The fees of universities and technikons are too high,” he said to applause from his audience.
He urged parents to ensure that their children don’t drop out of school and at least finish matric to improve their chances of getting admitted into universities and colleges, and acquiring skills.
It was the first stop the Ramaphosa campaign was making in Mpumalanga and he is scheduled to go to the heart of the hotly contested province, Nelspruit, in two weeks’ time. Mpumalanga has become a crucial player in the ANC presidential race, as it has the second-highest number of voting delegates at the December elective conference.
Ramaphosa said the conference, to be held from December 16 to 20 in Gauteng, was a do-or-die moment for the party. He said the hopes of South Africans were pinned on the party’s conference.
“People want to see if the conference will revive the ANC or leave it to die. The ANC will never die, it will live… we will revive it,” Ramaphosa said.
“We will also cleanse the ANC of all factionalist tendencies, all forms of divisions, all forms of corruption,” he said.
Ramaphosa said the conference should get the country back to working and attracting much-needed investment to grow the struggling economy.
He is contesting along with six other candidates – Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Lindiwe Sisulu, Jeff Radebe, Zweli Mkhize, Mathews Phosa and Baleka Mbete – to replace Zuma.
The nomination process has indicated that the front-runners in the presidential race are Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma.
Many prisoners have inundated Nigeria, asking to be transferred from Chinese prisons, but such transfers are impossible for now.
Transfer of prisoners from China to Nigeria can only be possible if there is a signed treaty to the effect by the two countries.
There is no treaty between the countries for prisoners’ transfer, when that exists the transfer of prisoners would be possible, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has said.
Dabiri-Erewa said at the seminar on Nigeria-China relations in Abuja on Thursday that, “We get a lot of appeals and some prisoners say they want to move from one prison there to another, it is not going to happen”.
“We have been talking to them but their law is their law. My appeal to Nigerians is to obey the laws of that country because it is getting tougher; they have sanctions and they follow through.”
She also said that Nigerian businesses were thriving in China.
Dabiri-Erewa urged Nigerian citizens in China to abide by the laws of that country.
She said that there were about 500 Nigerians in Chinese prisons for various offences.
She also refuted claims that there were thousands of Nigerians detained in Chinese prisons.
“You hear 2000 but that is exaggerated. I think we have less than 500 Nigerians in Chinese prisons.
She urged Nigerians to learn from the Chinese culture of discipline and persistence in promoting national development.
“Discipline and leadership are what we should learn from China; they have a plan for the next 20 years, even the young ones in schools are being groomed for that plan.
“They also have we can do spirit, it is working for them.
She also called for continuous support for the current administration’s effort in the fight against corruption.
Former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Kalu, has stated that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were only demanding for their legitimate right.
He advised people not to dismiss their agitation but try to reason with them.
Kalu said as far he was concerned, IPOB members’ clamour was for conducive atmosphere that will enable their businesses thrive.
In a chat with Arise News Channel, Kalu also spoke on ‘third term bid’ of former president Olusegun Obasanjo.
He noted that contrary to denials by some of the governors during the period, all of them were actually approached to give their support for an extension beyond the limit provided for in the constitution.
The business mogul, however, said while most of these governors succumbed to pressures, he sttod his ground.
Kalu said that was the genesis of his trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Kalu further condemned Obasanjo’s attitude to criticism and opposition.
His words: “If he can just stop being a little bit petty; he is a man that is very petty and I don’t have any regret in saying so. You see, if younger people did something to you, you should be able to forgive them because life is very long.
“You should be able to also forgive because that is the right thing to do. If Obasanjo had imbibed this kind of virtue, we would have gone far with our democratic process but he left serious things and started chasing shadows.
“Instead of calling for unity, he put a lot of division because he wanted a third term. In looking for third term, he was able to divide the governors, although most of them are not speaking the truth today.”
Source: Daily Post
Blantyre – A Malawian court has found three suspects guilty of illegally exhuming the body of a 16-year-old girl living with albinism – for traditional rituals, says a report.
According to Nyasa Times, Thomas Ndini, 36, Enock Banda, 26, and Jonas Ogara, 32, were charged with unlawfully exhuming Chosadziwa Kaunda’s corpse – contrary to Sections 131 (b) and 404 of Malawi’s penal code.
The trio was expected to be sentenced on November 17 after both the prosecution and defence presented their closing arguments.
Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba heard that between April and May this year, the three suspects exhumed the body of Chosadziwa who died of natural causes in 2016.
The young girl’s remains were yet to be recovered.
Graves of people living with albinism were often tempered with in Malawi.
Early this year, police arrested a man in Lilongwe after he was found with bones of a person with albinism.
Police said at the time that the recovered bones were those of Spiriano Felix, who died on April 20, 2016 and had been buried in Mchinji.
US President Donald Trump called on Wednesday for the man charged with carrying out a New York City truck rampage that killed eight people to be put to death.
“NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room. He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!” Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to the Islamic State jihadist group.
The president had earlier said he would consider sending Saipov to Guantanamo Bay, the US military detention centre in Cuba that has been used to indefinitely hold suspected foreign jihadists, a practice that has drawn repeated criticism from rights groups.
Investigators said on Wednesday that the man who mowed down cyclists and pedestrians in New York the day before had confessed to acting in the name of IS and said that he “felt good” about the killings.
Prosecutors have filed charges against Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old Uzbek immigrant, who they said began planning the attack a year ago.
The complaint against Saipov listed two counts: Provision of material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organisation, and violence and destruction of motor vehicles.
It was not immediately clear if he would face further charges.
It has become an everyday ritual for you to kick off your day with a hot cup of coffee or tea to warm your body. When you drink water, you prefer it cold. But do you know that regularly drinking very warm water, especially
in the morning has a handful of benefits? Well, if you don’t, read on to discover the surprising benefits of drinking hot water!
If you are trying to shed a few kilos, then endeavour to drink a glass of hot water and lemon in the morning. Besides this, hot water will also help to break down the body fat.
Improves blood circulation
When you drink hot water, the fat deposits in the body are eliminated. This flushes out the toxins that are circulating throughout the body and then enhances blood circulation.
Hot water can dissolve things you’ve eaten that your body might have had difficulty digesting.
Relieves nasal and throat congestion
Drinking hot water is a natural way to deal with colds, coughs and a sore throat. It helps to remove phlegm from the respiratory tract. As such, it can offer relief from a sore throat. It also helps in clearing nasal congestion.
Hot water can also help in reducing menstrual pains. The heat of the water has a calming and soothing effect on the abdominal muscles, which eventually can help to cure cramps.
Prevents premature ageing
Toxins make the body to age faster. One of the ways to get rid of toxins and detoxify your body is by drinking hot water. So, know that hot water can delay the ageing process.
Drinking very warm water in the morning on an empty stomach can help improve bowel movements and aid constipation while breaking down foods as they smoothly pass through the intestines. This will help return your body back to normal functioning.
Source: Naija News
123...18Next Page 1 of 18