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The crisis brewing within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State on Monday got messier as leadership of the party and supporters of Governor Hyacinth Alia engaged in war words.
Our correspondent reports that both factions have in the past denied reported love lost among them since ascension of the APC government in the state, but at the weekend controversy over the senate decision to withhold local government allocation finally laid bare their grievances in public spaces.
One of the aides to the governor, Youth Mobilisation and Empowerment, Mkeenem Moses on Saturday called for the resignation of the APC state chairman, Austin Agada, after the party chairmen in all the 23 LGAs held meeting during which they distanced themselves from the appointment of the caretaker chairmen recently put in place by the governor.
The development further sparked name-calling between the party leadership alleged to be doing the bidding of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume and Alia’s men.
Consequently, the APC on Monday alleged a plot by some officials of the Benue State government to sponsor a protest against the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The State Publicity Secretary of APC, Daniel Ihomun, in a statement made available to journalists in Makurdi, said the planned protest was targeted at discouraging Tinubu from giving effect to the Senate’s resolution stopping release of funds to local government caretaker committees in Nigeria.
“This plot has been deeply hatched and their first experimental step was the call on the party chairman in the State, Comrade Austin Agada to resign without advancing any genuine reason.
“The party views this act of sabotage as portending grave danger to the unity of the state and the party, if people who claim APC membership and are working under an APC state government would undermine their President, the Senate President and the SGF in an open protest in their quest to stifle the hands of government on a matter of law,” Ihomun stated.
Meanwhile, elders of the party on Monday urged warring factions within the party to sheathe their swords for peace to prevail.
Rising from a concerned APC elders’ stakeholders meeting held at the Government House in Makurdi, a communique was issued and read to journalists by former Senate President, Ameh Ebute.
Ebute flanked by Senator Barnabas Gemade and Major General Lawrence Onoja (rtd) among others, noted that the concerned elders found it necessary to address the public and ask all concerned party members to desist from further public outings and stop any impending action that will further cause disunity in the party.
“The party chairmen and state executive committee are by this communiqué requested to desist from further actions and retreat to allow elders and major stakeholders to wade into the matter and seek appropriate answers to all issues.
“We are clearly not in support of the actions of the local government party chairmen and the party executive committee, particularly for their inability to explore all necessary avenues for proper engagements before resorting to unnecessary media outings that have further escalated what would have easily been managed internally by the party,” they said.
The elders further advised the governor to discountenance all distractions and continue his focus on developing the state with the diligence so far employed.
Former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele is planning to approach the court for the variation of the N300 million bail granted him by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), The Nation has learnt.
The plan followed the inability of the immediate-past apex bank boss to perfect the bail conditions.
Emefiele had, on November 17 pleaded not guilty upon his arraigned on a five-count charge, marked: CR/577/2023, in which he is accused of “conferring corrupt advantage” contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000.
On November 22, Justice Hamza Muazu gave a ruling in which he granted bail to Emefiele at N300 million with two sureties in like sum.
Justice Muazu ordered him to produce two sureties, who must have landed property in the Maitama District of the FCT.
Justice Muazu said the sureties must present the property’s certificate of occupancy (C of O) in court for the purpose of verification.
The judge, who ordered that Emefiele must not leave the court’s jurisdiction, directed him to deposit all his travel documents with the court, adding that he must always obtain the court’s permission before engaging on any trip outside the country.
But, as at yesterday, it was learnt that he was still being held in Kuje correctional facility in Abuja owing to his inability to meet all the contractors attached to the bail.
A member of his legal team confirmed that efforts were on to get him out before the week runs out.
The counsel said: “Yes. We are still on it. We hope to conclude on the bail issue before the week runs out.
“But, we will be asking the court for a variation in respect of one of the bail conditions where he was restricted to the court’s jurisdiction.”
At his last appearance in court on November 28, the former CBN governor was brought by heavily armed prison officials, who also took him away after proceedings.
The prosecution opened its case its case on that day by calling three witnesses – Shamsudeem Abulili, an official of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Remigious Ugwu, a Compliance Officer with Zenith Bank Plc and Oluwole Owoeye, who is a Deputy Director, Banking Services with CBN and former Secretary to Major Contract Tendering Committee (MCTC) of the apex bank – who were also cross-examined.
Further trial in the case is scheduled to resume on January 18 next year.
we need $2.3tn till 2043
Former Minister of Works, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has said that Nigeria is still depending on infrastructure built in the 70s and 80s, disclosing that going by the National Infrastructure Master Plan, 2020 to 2043, the country will need an estimated $2.3 trillion over the next 21 years to develop its infrastructure.
In a speech titled: “Outlook on the Construction Industry in Nigeria over the Next Five to 10 Years” delivered at the Julius Berger Nigeria Plc “Luminary Soiree” dinner in Lagos, he argued that it is the lack of critical infrastructure like a petroleum refinery that is causing an oil producing country like Nigeria to import petroleum products.
The importation, is estimated to account for about 30 per cent of Nigeria’s forex demand.
Fashola says if there is a reduced demand of forex by up to 30 per cent for petroleum products only, followed by fertiliser and petrochemicals aggregating about 10 per cent, it will make a marked difference.
“If petroleum products are locally made, some cost reductions such as shipping, insurance and port charges will be realised and for those who have a broader view of the economy, they will understand cost-push inflation reduction and its positive impact on cost of living.
“The same is true of gas pipelines, as it is true of sea and airports, roads and bridges, and telecommunications infrastructure to deliver broadband and related infrastructure in support of economic growth and jobs.
“Simply put, every economy that seeks expansion, efficiency, and productivity must invest in the commensurate infrastructure in order to achieve it.
“Nigeria is such a country, and as I have said before, we are living largely on infrastructure built in the 70s and 80s because we spent much of the 90s in the agitation to bring back democratic Governance.
“We have a lot of building and construction to undertake and this much is evident in the latest National Infrastructure Master Plan, 2020 – 2043 estimated about $2.3 Trillion over 21 years, that is about $110 billion per annum,” he noted.
According to him, the outlook of the construction industry in Nigeria over the next five to 10 years and beyond remains highly positive as can be deduced from the government master plan.
“Therefore, very few sectors of the economy such as shipping and petroleum drive the haulage and transport sector of the economy like construction.
“From records of economic impact we kept in the Ministry of Works and Housing, I can report 1,704,300 truck trips of haulage of bitumen, diesel, laterite, sand, cement and reinforcement.
“The average minimum cost of a 30-ton truck was N200,000 per trip. So, from one ministry alone at the federal level, excluding 36 states and FCT, this represents a N340.8 billion haulage economy over 8 years or N42.6 billion per annum.
“This is the employment of transport companies their employees and drivers, enabled by construction. Drivers were then paid averagely N5,000 – N7,500 per day.
“I can report 383,431 people directly employed in constructing and rehabilitating 9,290 kilometres of roads and bridges, installing 2,270,319 linear metres of lane marking and installing 254,690 road signs.
“I can report 1,262 building contractors employed in the housing sector to construct 6,000units of housing with fittings and accessories at 46 sites across 35 states,” he explained.
AHEAD of the expected resumption of negotiation between the Federal Government and the organised labour on the new Minimum Wage, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, is meeting in Abuja to brainstorm so as to arrive at a living wage that is commensurate with the prevailing cost of living.
This came as the NLC has vowed not to be deterred by the recent assault on workers and their leaders in Imo State, which it said poses a grave threat to freedom of association and collective bargaining as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining.
These were contained in the welcome address by the NLC President, Mr. Joe Ajaero, at the Opening Session of the NLC 2023 Harmattan School with the theme: “Building Workers’ Skills for Policy Engagement” in Abuja.
Ajaero, represented by the Congress Deputy President, Benjamin Anthony said: “In the face of adversity and brutality encountered while advocating for the rights of workers to earn their legitimate income and benefits, our resolve remains unwavering. We are motivated to continue our efforts towards achieving decent work and improving working conditions in the formal and informal sectors of the economy.
“The recent assault on workers and their leaders in Imo State poses a grave threat to freedom of association and collective bargaining as enshrined in Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining, and should unequivocally be condemned by all people of goodwill.
“The only thing that can assuage our pains is for the Imo State Government to address all labour issues and return the so called ‘ghost workers’ to their jobs, pay all outstanding salaries and pensions and call back all victimized workers to their jobs.
“It has become very necessary for governments at all levels to recognize that life and living conditions are exceedingly difficult, especially for working people in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.”
“The removal of subsidy on petroleum products has further exacerbated the challenges faced by working people, unleashing severe pain and contributing to galloping inflation and increasing inequality and poverty.
“We must reckon that a well-motivated and well-remunerated workforce has a positive impact on productivity and national development,” he added.
He implored participants to approach the training programme with a quest and thirst for knowledge through asking of questions and sharing of experiences with the facilitators and with one another.
He thanked the representative of the Minister of Labour and Employment, the Country Director of the ILO for the English Speaking, West African Countries, the Director General of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, the Resident Representative of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, FES, Country Director of the Solidarity Centre, members of the NAC, CWC and NEC of the NLC for finding time to attend the Opening Session of the 2023 School.
The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr Kabir Mohammed, has threatened to sanction the agency personnel, staff of government agencies and others who extort passengers.
There have been several reports of airport workers using different ways to extort travellers, especially the international travellers but Mohammed said that FAAN had stepped in by engaging the services of “mystery staff” at the four international airports of the country.
He revealed this during the one-day sensitisation programme on Airport Council International (ACI) Airport Service Quality (ASQ) initiative organised by the Directorate of Airport Operations and held at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) on Monday, December 4.
He explained that the responsibility of the mystery staff was to take note of the activities of staff at the airports and report same to management.
He warned that anyone caught in such act this Yuletide season would face disciplinary consequences.
The FAAN boss challenged representatives of all the government agencies that operate at the airport namely; Customs, Immigration, Quarantine, Police, and all others to be at their absolute best when carrying out their day-to-day activities.
He encouraged the spirit of collaboration among personnel of various agencies at the airport.
“We are one airport and if there’s any wrongdoing, people don’t bother to know which agency did the wrong. They only know the airport where they were wronged,” he maintained.
43-year-old Grammy award-winning singer, Ashanti, is pregnant with her first child after rekindling her romance with Rapper Nelly.
The baby will be Ashanti’s only child for now, while Nelly, who is a father of two, became a grandfather at 49 after his daughter Chanelle, 29, welcomed a baby.
The US Weekly confirmed on Monday that Nelly and Ashanti were expecting their first baby together.
Ashanti and Nelly dated on and off from 2003 to 2013 after meeting during a Grammy Awards press conference. In April, the duo sparked reconciliation rumours when they were seen holding hands at a boxing match in Las Vegas.
Ghanaian movie star, Oboy Siki, has publicly confessed to sleeping with over 3000 women.
During an interview with Rashad on GhPage’s Rash Hour Show, Oboy Siki disclosed that he’s a serial w0manizer and will never deny having such trait.
He disclosed that he has slept with more women than any male in the movie industry and the only person who comes close to his ‘record’ is media personality, Akrobeto.
Oboy Siki further revealed that Akrobeto has slept with almost all the women he has slept with.
A man once voted the most handsome in Italy has quit his modelling job, and abandoned his dreams of becoming an actor, to join the priesthood.
Edoardo Santini, 21, was voted Italy's most beautiful man in 2019, when he was 17, in a pageant organised by ABE, a fashion group.
However, after years of studying drama and dance to achieve his dream of becoming a star, he took to social media on Saturday, Dec. 2, to disclose that he would renounce his career for his faith.
He wrote: "At 21 years of age I find myself on the path towards becoming a priest, God willing."
He added that he has joined a seminary near Florence.
"I've decided to give up modelling work, acting and dance, but I won't abandon all my passions, I'll just live them differently, offering them up to God," said the Castel Fiorentino native.
He added: "At 21 years old my father took the decision to marry my mother because she was pregnant and my mum, at 21, became a mother.
"Me, at 21-years-old, I find myself taking the path to become, God willing, a priest. In these past years I've been able to meet people who have shown me what it means to be 'church'.
"They have given me the strength to investigate this question that I've taken with me from childhood but various fears stopped me from studying it at a deeper level. Last year, I took the first step," he said.
Edoardo said he went to live with two priests and called it the "best experience of my life".
"At the end of the year it was natural for me to ask the bishop to enter the preparatory course, the year that precedes life in the seminary. And here I am, studying theology and serving two parishes in the Florentine diocese."
Now, he says, he has "put aside my job as a model and a dancer", in favour of a new "world" where he has "met marvellous people with pure hearts, to whom I owe a lot, who allowed me to grow".
"Of course I won't abandon everything," he added. "Because they make me who I am but I will live them in a different context."
Edoardo said he would continue to follow his new path in spite of backlash.
He said: "Of course I have people that speak behind my back. There are those who have no problem telling me that I'm a disappointment, even in my family. But there are also those who support me, believers and non-believers."
He said that although it "terrified him" to abandon his dream and become a priest, he was sure he will not regret the decision "because now I can shout: I am Edoardo, I am 21 years old and I am happy".
In a video shared on his Instagram page last week he shared a clip of him appearing to pray in a church, with the caption: "I got back on my path".
He also updated his profile bio to "I'm a Christian, priest wannabe".
Fun videos from the wedding of late gospel singer Sammie Okposo‘s daughter, Alulu Okposo, have emerged online.
The wedding, which took place on Saturday, December 2, at the Ibru Garden in Victoria Island, was attended by some popular faces in the entertainment industry like Jennifer Eliogu, Chidi Mokeme, and rapper Vector.
Alulu had announced her wedding some months back by sharing pre-wedding photos on her Instagram page.
A video from Alulu’s traditional wedding has gone viral online as she was seen dressed as an Edo bride and her husband matching it with a male outfit.
The Delta State Police Command has disclosed that following the recent trend of ritual killings, kidnapping, and internet fraud, it will arrest, investigate and charge to court citizens with suspicious sources of wealth, who cannot justify their means of earnings. The State Command Police Public Relations Officer, Bright Edafe, declared this on Sunday via his X handle. The police mouthpiece noted that the force men are empowered to arrest individuals who could not justify their sources of income and make them face the wrath of the law when found guilty.
Edafe mocked the trend that some Nigerians presumed it was wrong to question what he called their “suspicious wealth.” Edafe maintained that the police force had told its operatives to do the right thing and avoid seeing justifiable sources of income as a means to extort Nigerians.
“It is a very sad trend that people feel it’s wrong to question the suspicious wealth of persons who cannot lay claim to any justifiable means of income. We have cases of ritual killings, Kidnapping, and even internet fraud. We tell our men to do the right thing and not take it as an avenue to extort. “However, any person arrested and can’t justify his source of income should be properly investigated and charged to court when the cockroach in his cupboard has been unveiled. Like me, hate me, I don’t mind, it’s the simple truth,” Edafe wrote on the microblogging platform
The authorities of the University of Ilorin have announced the promotion of 48 of its academic staff to the rank of Professor, while 59 others were elevated to the status of Associate Professor in the latest promotion exercise carried out at the university.
This announcement was made by the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Wahab Olasupo Egbewole (SAN), at a meeting held with the new Professors at the university’s main auditorium.
The Vice-Chancellor, who is also the Secretary-General of the Association of West African Universities (AWAU), explained that the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, SAN, had, in the exercise of his powers, approved the request of the University’s Appointments & Promotion Committee. This culminated in the promotion of the new Professors from their previous Reader/Associate Professor positions.
Twins who graduated First Class in UNILORIN say school separated them during exams
According to the Vice Chancellor, the Minister’s approval was necessitated by the absence of a properly constituted Governing Council for the University, which should have discharged this responsibility.
The new Professors, whose promotions were also backdated to October 2022, include Prof. F. D. Babalola of the Faculty of Agriculture, Prof. O. O. K. Ibrahim of the Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, and Prof. O. M. Ameen of the Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences.
Others include Prof. K. A. Abdullahi, Prof. L. E. Odeh, Prof. J. O. Friday-Otun, Prof. K. A. Rafiu, and Prof. R. O. Ogunade, who are all from various Departments of the Faculty of Arts.
The new Professors also include Prof. Z. A. Suleiman, Prof. I. K. Kolawole, Prof. L. O. Omokanye, Prof. A. S. Adeniran, Prof. M. B. Abdulkadir, and Prof. A. A. Nasir, all from the Faculty of Clinical Sciences.
Six new Professors also emerged from the Faculty of Education, namely Prof. Patricia Agnes O. Etejere, Prof. Nafisat A. Adedokun-Shittu, Prof. O. O. Obielodan, Prof. C. O. Olumorin, Prof. Mulkah A. Ahmed, and Prof. Hamdallat T. Yusuf.
Those elevated from the Faculty of Engineering are Prof. Temitope E. Odetoye, Prof. J. F. Opadiji, Prof. Nazmat T. Surajudeen-Bakinde, Prof. I. I. Ahmed, Prof. Y. L. Shuaib-Babaita, and Prof. S. O. Bilewu. Prof. Abdulateef Iyanda Bako and Prof. Ganiyu Amuda-Yusuf were elevated from the Faculty of Environmental Sciences.
Those promoted from the Faculty of Law are Prof. B. A. Abdulkadir, Prof. Mariam A. AbdulRaheem-Mustapha, and Prof. A. O. Sambo. From the Faculty of Management Sciences, Prof. Khadijat Adenola Yahaya and Prof. Y. I. Mustapha, while Prof. O. D. Owolabi of the Faculty of Life Sciences was also elevated to the prestigious rank.
Two lecturers from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences also benefited from the promotion exercise: Prof. A. Giwa and Prof. Rashidat O. Ayanniyi. From the Faculty of Physical Sciences are Prof. O. M. Ameen, Prof. S. O. Owalude, Prof. O. O. Ige, Prof. S. Olatunji, Prof. Marili F. Zubair, Prof. E. O. Titiloye, Prof. Yidiat O. Aderinto, Prof. A. O. Olawepo, and Prof. A. A. Abiodun. The Faculty of Social Sciences also produced two new Professors through Prof. K. A. Iroye and Prof. L. Saka, while Prof. J. O. Aiyedun was promoted from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
During the meeting held with them, the Vice Chancellor congratulated the new Professors for attaining the peak of their careers and expressed confidence in their dignity and competence. Prof. Egbewole noted that their promotions were meritorious and well-deserved, commending their dedication to achieving the University’s corporate objectives through quality teaching, meaningful research, and impactful community services.
The Vice-Chancellor encouraged the new Professors not to rest on their laurels but to work harder on their responsibilities to justify the confidence reposed in them by the authorities of the University and society at large.
Speaking on the expectations and challenges ahead of the new Professors, Prof. Egbewole charged them to ensure they deliver their inaugural lectures within the next twelve months. The Registrar, Mr Mansur Adeleke Alfanla, congratulated the new Professors on their promotion to the pinnacle of their teaching career, informing them that their promotions would have a retrospective effect from October 1, 2022.
Responding on behalf of the newly promoted Professors, Prof. Jaiye Opadiji of the Department of Computer Engineering expressed profound gratitude to the Vice Chancellor and the university management for their consistent support, culminating in accomplishing their dreams of attaining the peak.
Prof. Opadiji, acknowledging the expectations placed on them, assured the university’s authorities of their continued dedication to the institution’s services and humanity. He also pledged their determination to intensify efforts towards advancing academic excellence and the overall success of the University of Ilorin.
The BBC Sound of 2024 longlist has been published, with names including The Last Dinner Party, Tyla and Peggy Gou being tipped for success next year.
The other acts rounding out this year’s list are Aya Starr, Caity Baser, CMAT, Elmeine, Kenya Grace, Olivia Dean and Sekou.
This year’s longlist is largely dominated by female solo acts, with strong showings for British soul and R&B and artists from Africa.
This year’s longlist has been chosen by a panel of over 140 industry experts and artists, including Olivia Rodrigo, Declan McKenna, Chase & Status, Mahalia and more music industry experts, including representatives from Spotify, Apple Music, Glastonbury Festival, the BBC and former nominees including Jorja Smith, PinkPantheress and Tom Grennan.
The winner will be revealed in the new year on BBC Radio 1, with the top five revealed in reverse order between January 1-5. The longlisted artists will all be performing in a gig organised by Radio 1 at London’s Maida Vale Studios on January 8.
BBC’s Sound Of… list is now in its 22nd year and has been a predictor of success for a wealth of big-name artists, including Adele, Stormzy and Wet Leg.
Last year’s list was won by FLO, with Fred Again.. and Nia Archives finishing second and third respectively.
Gunmen abducted two landlords in the Asokoro extension area of the Federal Capital Territory on Sunday.
They are demanding a ransom of N20 million for the victims’ release.
According to reports, the armed men used one of the landlords to gain entry to the other victim’s home.
One landlord, due to the heat, slept outside, where the gunmen discovered him and forced him to lead them to his residence at gunpoint.
Unsatisfied with what they saw in his home, they forced him to take them to a neighbor’s larger house.
The second landlord, arriving home on a motorcycle due to car issues, was attacked as he attempted to enter his house.
The kidnappers have contacted the families, demanding N20 million for the landlords’ release.
Initially demanding N10 million from each family, one offered N2 million, but the kidnappers rejected the partial payment and threatened harm if the full amount wasn’t paid.
Efforts are underway by both the police and the Asokoro Commander of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria to rescue the victims, with searches ongoing in nearby areas.
A tanker explosion rocked the Ojota area of Lagos State on Monday, causing panic among commuters as captured in online videos.
The explosion, which happened along the Ketu route, has yet to have its cause determined.
Confirmation of the incident came from a brief statement by the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA).
Tragically, one fatality has been reported due to an early morning fire in a residential building at Adealu, Lagos State. Margaret Adeseye, Director of the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, confirmed the incident.
The fire, contained to the upper floor of a four-flat storey building, was swiftly controlled by emergency responders, but one adult male, yet to be identified, was found at the scene and suspected to have perished.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, as stated by Adeseye.
Firefighters from the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, along with the Ambulance Service, promptly responded to the distress call at the scene.
Additionally, a diesel-laden truck caught fire in Ojota, swiftly addressed by the fire service team, with no reported casualties.
As Adeseye concluded, the situation in Ojota has been brought under control, ensuring the safety of the area following the incident involving the diesel truck.