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Obasanjo Writes Letter To Tukur, Notifies PDP Of His Withdrawal From It’s Activities

Photo Credit: Nigerian Tribune
Photo Credit: Nigerian Tribune

President Olusegun Obasanjo has written yet another letter and this time around, he writes the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. In the letter, he gave a notice of his withdrawal from the activities of the party. Obasanjo copied President Goodluck Jonathan (National Leader of the party) in the letter.

In the letter, dated January 7, 2014 the retired General said he is withdrawing from all activities of the party because the PDP had been negating the principles of morality, decency and discipline in its decisions, especially as they affect the South West where he comes from.

According to a source at the national secretariat of the party, the letter was received in the office of Tukur on Wednesday, 8 January, 2014. President Jonathan was expected to have gotten his by Thursday
The three paragraph letter reads:

“While I believe that a good and truly national political party must be a microcosm of the nation in its membership, made up of all sorts of characters from near-saints to near-satan, I also believe that on no account should a known habitual criminal that is wanted abroad to face criminal charges levelled against him be extolled as a political leader in a respectable and wholesome nation-building political party.
“(…Names witheld) has been so extolled in PDP in South-West geo-political zone which I personally find unsavoury. Politics played by any national political party must have morality, decency, discipline, principles and leadership examples as cardinal practices of the party. I have attached here recent documents that clearly indicate that your extolled PDP Zonal Leader in the South-West zone of Nigeria and an indigene of Ogun State is, to say the least, not a credit to the party as a member, let alone being a zonal leader.
“Since I stick in my practice of party politics to the hallowed and cherished principles enunciated above, I take this opportunity to let you know that while I continue to remain a card-carrying member of PDP, I cannot and I will not subscribe to a wanted habitual criminal being installed as my zonal leader in the party; a criminal for whom extradition has been requested by the US government. In the meantime, I will consider withdrawing my activity with PDP at local, state, zonal and national levels until the anomalous and shameful situation is corrected.”

Image Credit: Nigerian Tribune

Ezeife Wants Jonathan To Suspend Sanusi

Photo Credit: nanngronline.com
Photo Credit: nanngronline.com

Vanguard News reports that:

Former Governor of Anambra state Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately suspend the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi over the false alarm he raised concerning the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC’s alleged non-remittance of $49.8 billion into the federation account.
Ezeife made the call yesterday while speaking to Saturday Vanguard in Abuja.

“ I am surprised. I didn’t know that the report of the CBN indicating that a whopping sum of $49.8 billion was missing from the federation account was false. That gives the impression that the CBN Governor is working against the government he is serving. He tried to make President Jonathan look bad in the eye of the public. The money involved was so huge that to lie about it is a serious affair.“

“ Irrespective of who is involved or my personal relationship with them, given the present situation, the President should act presidentially. There is no way the Governor of CBN could be trading words with the President. He should be suspended immediately from office. If this had happened under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the CBN Governor wouldn’t have been allowed to enter his office again after making a bold statement that the President could not remove him from office.”
”I read the second statement made by the CBN about the alleged missing billions of dollars but there was no mention of the fact that the Governor’s earlier claim was a mistake. The statement simply mentioned the role of the CBN. That kind of mistake is impossible. It was a deliberate action to impugn the President and his government. This is not a matter of being a Christian, humble or simple; there are presidential powers that must be respected” he said.

He further stated that the media reports in circulation gives the impression that the President can never bite even though he has teeth.

“Sometimes the President needs to exercise his powers. This time around, even though the President won’t bite anybody, he needs to show his teeth and perhaps bite. “
”Falsehood is not acceptable. The present case won’t affect the economy.
Even though Sanusi insisted that $10 billion of the sum NNPC ought to have paid into the federation account is still missing, the difference between approximately $50 billion and $10 billion is like the difference between night and day. My position is that his later admission that it was a mistake and now said it was only $10 billion is like the action of a sinking man who is ready to hold on to any straw to prevent him from going under” he said.

Toke Makinwa To Host New Show On Hip TV

On Air Personality, Toke Makinwa will be the host of a new show, Trending which will debut on Hip TV in mid January 2014.

The talk show will focus on trending people, music, fashion trends and more. Your favourite celebs will rock the show every now and then

Trending will air in 14 countries across Africa.

We just can’t wait!

Suntai Arrives Abuja To Discuss His Return With President Jonathan

Photo Credit: Premiumtimesng.com
Photo Credit: Premiumtimesng.com

Recuperating Taraba state Governor, Mr Danbaba Suntai flew into the Nation’s capital, Abuja yesterday. He would be hoping to meet President Goodluck Jonathan and one-time Defence Minister, Theophilus Danjuma to wet the ground for his return to office

The Governor was flown into Abuja aboard a private jet which allegedly belongs to Danjuma. Rtd Gen Theophilus Danjuma is reported to be in support of the Governor’s return to office after recovering an air crash which left him incapacitated for about a year.  

Reports have it that Suntai would be received by Danjuma, who would then present him to President Goodluck Jonathan so as to discuss his resumption of work that has been surrounded by controversy.

President Jonathan is currently on a trip overseas and will return at the weekend.

The Acting Governor of the State, Alhaji Garba Umar is said to be in Abuja also with the Speaker of the House of Assembly to meet with strategists of the President in a view to stalling Suntai’s resumption.

Majority of the Taraba House of Assembly believe Suntai is unfit  to resume work.

Anambra Holds First Civilian Conducted Local Government Elections Today

NEC Officals (Photo Credit: NAN)
NEC Officals (Photo Credit: NAN)

The Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission holds elections for chairmanship and councillorship positions in the 21 local governments and 326 wards in the state today (Saturday).

It is the first time local government elections will be conducted in the state by a civilian government.

The last council poll was held in December 1998 under the last military government. The elections had been due since March 2002, when the tenure of the last local governments expired.

But the conduct of the elections had been frustrated by political machinations that came in the wake of the unstable political climate in the state.

Two previous boards of ANSIEC served out their tenures without conducting any election. The tenure of the present board is due to expire next year.

But as historic as the elections may be, opposition parties have withdrawn their participation, claiming lack of transparency by the electoral commission.

The parties under the umbrella of Inter-Party Committee accused ANSIEC of failing to publish the lists of the candidates of the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance. It also said ANSIEC refused to publish the names of ad hoc staff and make the voters’ register available to the political parties.

Meanwhile, vigilance groups operating in the 177 communities of Anambra state will be demobilised ahead of the elections.

The Chief Electoral Officer and acting chairman of ANSIEC, Mr. Sylvester Okonkwo, told journalists in Awka on Thursday that the move was to avoid situations where desperate politicians resort to using them to prosecute the local government election.

He stated that the commission had already applied for a combined security team that would involve the army, police, SSS, NSCDC, prisons and immigration personnel to ensure a smooth election.

He also pointed out that movement across the state would be restricted between 12 midnight on Friday, January 10 to 4pm Saturday, January 11, 2014.

Accreditation and voting, according to him, would start simultaneously by 8am on election day. This, he stated, was aimed at encouraging the elderly, who may not have the strength to go through the rigours of going for accreditation first and returning later for voting after some hours.

Okonkwo said that his commission had been fully mobilised to conduct a free, fair and credible election that would be the pride of Anambra State and debunked the allegation, especially by the Labour Party that the results of the election would be doctored to suit the ruling party in the state.

He noted with excitement that his commission had gotten a clean copy of the voters’ register from INEC which he said would assist greatly even as he revealed that those that had lost their voter’s card would be allowed to vote once they can remember their numbers on the register.

This, he said, was applicable to the victims of the flood disasters that happened in 2012.

Content Credit: PUNCH

NNPC Breaks Down Expenditure Of $10.8bn Oil Revenue

Photo Credit: sweetcrudereports.com
Photo Credit: sweetcrudereports.com

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) through its management, yesterday, explained how it spent $10.8 billion which is the remnant of the much talked about un-remitted $48.9 billion oil revenue.
The Corporation used the sum for subsidy on PMS (Petrol), repairs of vandalised pipelines and products/crude oil losses and maintenance of national strategic reserves. The management states that the aforementioned expenditures are legal.
The Group Executive Director, Finance and Accounts Directorate of the NNPC, Mr. Bernard Otti, clarified all these at a media session with Energy Correspondents in Abuja.

He had this to say:

“Whatever expenditure we have incurred in the discharge of the above national responsibilities are backed by the law setting up the Corporation”.

“the sum in question has been expenditures incurred as part of statutory responsibilities which the NNPC as a National Oil Company executes on behalf of the Federal Government and by extension the entire people of Nigeria.”

According to Otti, the $10.5 billion shows the expenditure incurred by the NNPC in the period under review and is made up of the following: subsidy claims, $8.49 billion, pipeline Management and Repair cost, $1.22 billion, products/crude oil losses, $0.72 billion, and cost of holding Strategic Reserves, $0.37 billion.

He added,

“there is a process by which revenue accrue into government account, there is also government policy stating that subsidy is still in place. NNPC does not create policies but it execute s policies, the subsidy claim has simply arisen because after 2011period. We saw there was no import of petroleum products when prices had gone up, NNPC was the sole importer and subsidy claims for this particular period had gone up. The subsidy claims normally is known to all relevant agencies.”

“It is also on record that for many years now, NNPC has been the main supplier of products to the nation. Most of these products are imported at international prices but sold at regulated prices.

“It is significant to note that the government has not made any payments to the Corporation in the name of subsidy during the period under review.
“I should like to use this opportunity to restate our position on subsidy. The subsidy is a policy of the Federal Government. We only implement what we are directed to,” 

In conclusion, Otti emphasized that, “another area of huge expenditure on behalf of the Federal Government is the maintenance of national strategic reserves for petroleum products. At every point in time round the year, NNPC maintains huge petroleum products reserves on land and in the national territorial waters”

Content Credit: Vanguard

Manchester United: FA Charges David Moyes With misconduct

David-Moyes_2652340b
Manchester United manager David Moyes has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association.

It is in relation to comments made after Tuesday’s 2-1 League Cup semi-final first-leg loss to Sunderland when Moyes, 50, said United are “beginning to laugh at referees” for their “terrible” decisions.

He added that they are “playing referees as well as the opposition”.
Moyes has until 18:00 GMT on Wednesday, 15 January to respond to the charge.

Credit:BBC

It Is Not Compulsory For Muslims To celebrate The Birthday Of Prophet Muhammad – Sheik

NAN

Brandiconimage.blogspot.com
Brandiconimage.blogspot.com

An Ibadan-based Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Fadhilulah Hamzat, says it is not compulsory for Muslims to celebrate Mawlud Nabiyy or the birthday of Prophet Muhammad.

Hamzat, who made the remark during a Friday sermon at the W.O. Lawal Central Mosque, Ring Road, Ibadan, Oyo State, said that those marking the day which falls on Monday, Jan. 13, were doing so for commercial gains.

“The annoying thing is that rather than limit the celebration to 12th Rabiul Awwal, when the Prophet was born, some Muslims continue the celebration months after,” he said.

The Imam said that there was no place in the Qur’an and Hadith, where the celebration of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad was mentioned.

“Throughout the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, he never for once celebrated his birthday, and did not direct his righteous followers to do anything of that nature.”

The only reference point to marking his birthday is his saying that he fasts on Mondays, because he was born on Monday”, he said.

Hamzat said that Allah, the Creator of human beings, has honoured Prophet Muhammad enough in the Qur’an with blessings and directed the Prophet’s followers to always bless him, “whenever his name is mentioned”.

He said that rather than printing envelopes for the purpose of collecting money to organise events to honour the Prophet Muhammad on his birthday, Muslims should emulate his virtues and imbibe his teachings of peace and love.

Hamzat, however, said that there was nothing bad in organising lectures or symposium to mark the day, and implored Muslims to use the month of Rabiul-Awwal in which the Prophet was born, to rededicate their lives to Allah.

“They should live their lives in accordance with Islamic tenets and imbibe the teachings of Prophet Muhammad as exemplified by him while alive.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Government has declared Tuesday, Jan. 14 as a public holiday to mark the birthday of Prophet Muhammad.

EFCC Chairman Says Property Acquisitions In Abuja Avenues For Money Laundering

(EFCC Press Release)

EFCC Logo
Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Lamorde says property acquisitions in Abuja has become avenues for money laundering by unscrupulous persons. He said evidence of the trend is the number of palatial but unoccupied houses that dot the Abuja landscape.
The EFCC boss who was speaking during a courtesy visit to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed in Abuja on Thursday, January 9, stated that the Commission had uncovered money laundering schemes in the FCT in which the perpetrators disguise the proceeds of crime by investing in properties. He explained that those involved in this nefarious act do not purchase properties with bank instrument but prefer to pay for their acquisition with cash.
He further revealed that the laundered funds are frequently converted into foreign currencies through the Bureau de Change before the purchases are made.
He noted that such persons do not bother to change ownership after such acquisitions, making it difficult to verify the identities of the new owners or the sources of fund.
He disclosed that over 270 cases of land scam were reported to the Commission in the last 3 years.
Lamorde noted that the Commission suspected insider abuse in some of the cases investigated and called on the minister to be prepared to initiate disciplinary action against erring officers.

In his response, the minister thanked the EFCC chairman for the visit and commended the Commission for its effort to stamp out corruption in the FCT. “Without anti corruption agencies like the EFCC, ICPC, I am not sure how the FCT would have been ranked and so we will continue to give the commission support in order to build a vibrant relationship where it won’t be business as usual,” he said.
Senator Mohammed disclosed that the commission has supported the FCTA in terms of arresting the scourge of corruption and leakages in the FCT especially on land premiums. He said the most brazen of the vices was land fraud and that the EFCC has assisted by arresting and prosecuting those involved.
According to the FCT minister, “it is sad that the capital territory as a jurisdiction is used as a citadel of corruption and also for perpetuating acts of corruption, people from the states and local government illegally acquire money and come to get it hidden in the FCT through acquisition of properties that are not registered and that is a big concern because it is depriving the FCT of the revenue needed and increasing corruption in the Capital Territory. It is also increasing security challenges because most of the houses acquired are left vacant and we have no means of knowing who owns them”, he said.

The minister disclosed that the FCTA was working with the Abuja Geographical Information System, AGIS to upgrade their system in such a manner that it would be difficult for anybody to impersonate, manipulate or forge land documents. He however lamented that some former employees of the authority were duping unsuspecting but desperate members of the public while posing as staff of the FCTA.
The EFCC chairman was accompanied on the visit by senior management staff of the agency including the Director, Organisational Support, Mr Bolaji Salami; Director of Operations, Mr Olaolu Adegbite; Director of Legal and Prosecution, Mr Chile Okoroma and Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Mr. Osita Nwajah.

GenVoices Hosts Historic Telethon on Channels TV; Engaging 100,000 Young Nigerians Across The World

GenVoices Teaser 3
PRESS RELEASE

Lagos, Nigeria January 10, 2014

The countdown to January 18 continues! GenVoices announces change of format and hosts historic Telethon on Channels TV; engaging 100,000 young Nigerians across the world

Generational Voices, the project-driven platform to harness the offline and online energy of young Nigerians for practical efforts towards nation building has announced a historic telethon to lay out its charter for this generation of Nigerians who are ready to lead and serve. The telethon will be hosted live on Channels Television and other major platforms from 10am – 1pm on Saturday 18 January.

“Our original plan was to unveil this generational mandate to 100,000 of our followers from all over the country,” says Caleb Oghenetega, who is with the coalition. “However, a change in plans became necessary when the Tafawa Balewa Square, earlier secured by and confirmed to us, became unavailable for administrative reasons. It therefore became expedient to implement a creative alternative to holding this much anticipated event.”

Adds Abba Bala Abdurrahman, who is Abuja Chapter Head: “We have said that 18 January is for #100KVoices and our word is our bond. This very important initiative must continue – and after consultation with our 22 chapters across Nigeria and in the Diaspora, we are glad to engage over 100,000 young Nigerians and beyond with technology as our ally.”

The 100,000 Voices Telethon will hold from 10am – 1pm on Saturday, 18 January, 2014. The broadcast will feature some of Nigeria’s most respected and impactful voices from across the globe in private and public service, as well as content focused on the twin themes of service and leadership.

“GenVoices is a platform committed to creating capacity to re-build in crucial sectors within Nigeria. 100KVoices, is one of GenVoices’ calls to action for 2014,” explains Nwachukwu Aniagolu, who drives policy for the coalition.

Through a Telethon on National Networks and Online, at least 100,000 young people will convene offline and online in and outside Nigeria to collectively pledge to participate in building the Nigeria we all desire and deserve. The event will kick off mass distribution of a generational charter for positive engagement and will feature broadcasts from the chapters of the organisation.

“We are excited as we continue the countdown to a first of many interventions,” says the convener, Kola Oyeneyin. “And we look forward to taking our message of sustainable engagement directly to hundreds of thousands of young Nigerians across the globe through technology, one of our generation’s greatest assets. Our reach to the grassroots through other creative means also ensures that we take this generational message to every young Nigerian and the elders who seek the good of this nation.”

About GenVoices

Generational Voices (GenVoices) is a growing global movement of 18-40 year olds supported by a dynamic group of older mentors & contributors. It was conceived as a means to convert the online and offline energy of young Nigerians into practical efforts towards national development. It is clear that without positive participation and involvement in governance and policy, this generation will be availed little opportunity to make widespread and definitive impact – so we focus on birthing innovation, fostering dialogue, encouraging acts of service and driving change. GenVoices will raise, support, fund, motivate and inspire projects, programmes, platforms and individuals who align with our values and mission – to deliver sustainable social, technological, economic and political (S.T.E.P) solutions to our country’s problems. With a humble sense of responsibility and maturity, we will guard the hopes of young Nigerians as we help to build this nation. For more information, visit www.genvoices.org or follow @genvoices on Twitter

Target Data Theft Affected 70 million Customers

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The cyber-thieves managed to infiltrate card swipe systems at Target stores
The cyber-thieves managed to infiltrate card swipe systems at Target stores
US retail giant Target says up to 70 million customers had payment card and personal data stolen from the company’s databases in December – 30 million more that it first thought.

Target said the thieves took credit card numbers, names, postal addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.

The data breach began on or around 29 November, known as Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

The company said customers would have “zero liability” for any fraud losses.

But this hasn’t stopped some customers suing Target, claiming that Target failed to notify them of the breach before it was first reported and did not “maintain reasonable security procedures” to prevent the attack.

“I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all its US customers.

Data-stealing code

Security researcher Brian Krebs, writing about the breach in December, said sources at credit card payment processing firms had told him the thieves had installed data-stealing code on to card-swipe machines at tills in all 1,797 Target stores.

The thieves stole data between Thanksgiving and 15 December, said Target. This data is often sold on to criminals via underground marketplaces.

The largest ever credit card breach at a US retailer took place in 2007 when cyber-thieves managed to steal information related to almost 46 million credit and debit cards from TJ Maxx and Marshalls.

The thieves amassed the huge cache of data over an 18-month period after penetrating the retailers’ computer network.

Content Credit: BBC

Celebrations In Central African Republic As Interim President Michel Djotodia Resigns

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Twitter, Reuters
Twitter, Reuters

N’DJAMENA (Reuters) – Central African Republic’s interim President Michel Djotodia has resigned, according to a statement issued after a two-day summit in neighbouring Chad.

Talks to decide a new leadership will take place in Bangui, Central African Republic’s capital, at a later date, the statement said.

Regional leaders had put pressure on Djotodia to step down after he failed to halt months of inter-religious violence that has forced 1 million people from their homes.