[The Presidential Blog] Heeding the first lady’s advice?

I have just read that the President met with APC governors in Abuja earlier this week. Looks to me like the President has taken the first steps towards reconciliation with his wife. Recall that she had complained during her BBC Hausa interview that the President was not being responsive to the pulse of those APC […]

This post [The Presidential Blog] Heeding the first lady’s advice? appeared first on YNaija.

Read More

Economy Won’t Recover Without Fighting Corruption, Says Lai Mohammed

Olawale Ajimotokan
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has called for the fight against corruption to be intensified for government’s effort to resuscitate the country’s ailing economy to bear fruits.

The minister made this submission while speaking yesterday at the 2016 annual lecture of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) in Abuja with the topic ‘’Fighting Corruption and Growing a Sustainable Nigerian Economy.’’

Mohammed said the launching of a social reorientation campaign against corruption early this year was to alert Nigerians to the evils of corruption and to carry them along in the efforts by the government to tackle the menace.

The minister said there was a direct correlation between corruption and
economic growth, noting that corruption stifles economic growth in many ways, including by discouraging foreign investment, reducing tax revenue and preventing infrastructural development.

‘’In other words, in countries where you have a high level of corruption, there is reduced economic growth and, of course, higher poverty level. That’s why the Berlin-based global civil society
organisation, Transparency International, said corruption, especially public sector corruption, is about so much more than missing money. It’s about people’s lives.

‘’It is therefore not a surprise that the countries that have consistently scored high marks in the Annual Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International are also the countries that have
also managed to grow a sustainable economy,’’ he said. Mohammed said government would not relent in its efforts to tackle the menace of corruption to a standstill corruption having recognized it is the biggest threat to the economic and political development of any

He said: ‘’We are very much aware that the fight against corruption will not be easy. Fighting entrenched corruption can sometimes be a very lonely road to travel in our part of the world where a true community of genuine corruption fighters is assailed from every side by unwary recruits of the looters among us, in our communities, places of work and worship. We also know that corruption is fighting back, fast and furiously.
But with uncommon commitment and determination, we will win the war against corruption. The Buhari administration since its inauguration has left no one in doubt regarding its commitment to ridding Nigeria of corruption as captured poignantly in President Buhari’s statement that if Nigeria does not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.’’

Read More

Up to 900 jihadists killed in Mosul battle, US says

The US military's Central Command chief Army General Joseph Votel speaks to AFP at an undisclosed military base in Southwest Asia on October 27, 2016. Votel said between 800 and 900 Islamic State group fighters have been killed since the Iraqi-led operation to recapture Mosul from the jihadists began. Thomas WATKINS / AFP

The US military’s Central Command chief Army General Joseph Votel speaks to AFP at an undisclosed military base in Southwest Asia on October 27, 2016. Votel said between 800 and 900 Islamic State group fighters have been killed since the Iraqi-led operation to recapture Mosul from the jihadists began.

The United States said Thursday up to 900 Islamic State group jihadists have been killed in the offensive to retake Iraq’s Mosul, as camps around the city filled with fleeing civilians.

Iraqis who fled their homes expressed joy at escaping IS’s brutal rule as they were given shelter and assistance, in some cases reuniting with relatives they had not seen in more than two years.

The offensive, launched on October 17, is seeing tens of thousands of Iraqi fighters advancing on Mosul from the south, east and north in a bid to retake the last major Iraqi city under IS control.

Backed with air and ground support from a US-led coalition, federal forces allied with Kurdish peshmerga fighters have taken a string of towns and villages in a cautious but steady advance.

General Joseph Votel, who heads the US military’s Central Command, told AFP the offensive was inflicting a heavy toll on the jihadists.

“Just in the operations over the last week and a half associated with Mosul, we estimate they’ve probably killed about 800-900 Islamic State fighters,” Votel said in an interview.

There are between 3,500 and 5,000 IS jihadists in Mosul and up to another 2,000 in the broader area, according to US estimates.

Votel also said he had spoken with Iraqi military leaders late Tuesday who told him that as of that time, 57 members of the Iraqi security forces had been killed and another 255 or so wounded.

For the Kurdish regional peshmerga forces, numbers were lower, with about 30 killed and between 70 and 100 wounded.

– Families reunited –

The offensive has so far been concentrated in towns and villages around Mosul, with Iraqi forces later expected to breach city limits and engage the jihadists in street-to-street fighting.

Aid workers have warned of a major humanitarian crisis when fighting begins in earnest for Mosul, which is home to more than a million people, but thousands have already been fleeing surrounding areas.

The International Organisation for Migration said Thursday that 15,804 people have been displaced since the operation began, the vast majority from Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the capital.

“There’s been quite a dramatic upturn in the last few days. As the Iraqi troops get closer to Mosul, more people are getting displaced, there are more populated areas,” said Karl Schembri, regional media adviser for the Norwegian Refugee Council.

At a camp in Khazir, about mid-way between Mosul and the Iraqi Kurdish capital Arbil, Massud Ismail Hassan peered through a chainlink fence, looking for family members as peshmerga fighters registered the displaced.

“Once all these procedures are finished we will be able to give them food and drink and blankets we brought with us,” he said.

Other families had already found each other, and tearful relatives clutched hands through the links of the fence.

Saddam Dahham, who lived under IS control in a village near Mosul for more than two years, fled to Khazir with his wife and their three children.

“We were not allowed to smoke, to use phones, not allowed to watch TV and we had to let our beards grow long,” the 36-year-old said.

– Not enough room at camps –

One of the first things he did after arriving at the camp was joyfully shave the “heavy thing dangling from my chin,” Dahham said.

“I’m finally going to resume a normal life,” the former truck driver said.

Schembri said the Norwegian Refugee Council, other aid agencies and the United Nations were planning for 200,000 people to be displaced in the next few days, though it may not reach that figure.

If anything close to 200,000 people are displaced in the immediate future, there would be a major shortage of places in camps.

“In terms of… camp facilities, there are only spaces available for 60,000” people, Schembri said.

After seizing control of large parts of Iraq and neighbouring Syria in mid-2014, IS declared a cross-border “caliphate”, imposed its harsh interpretation of Islamic law and committed widespread atrocities.

Its rule was especially harsh for religious minorities.

On Thursday two Yazidi women activists who survived a nightmare ordeal at the hands of IS won the European Parliament’s prestigious Sakharov human rights prize.

Nadia Murad and Lamia Haji Bashar have become figureheads for the effort to protect the Yazidis, against whom IS pursued a brutal campaign of massacres as well as enslavement and rape.

Murad hailed the prize as a “profound message to the (IS) terrorist group that their criminal inhumanity is condemned and their victims are honoured by the free world”.

Read More

Kenyans can now enjoy 4G-specific data bundles courtesy of Safaricom


Safaricom, in a bid to get more customers to use its 4G network, is launching 4G-specific data bundles for them. Customers who are switching to 4G for the first time will get 4GB data, free of charge. Subsequently, the telco plans to charge KSh 99 for 100MB, and KSh 1,499 for 5GB.

The network provider has had several 4G LTE sites in different parts of Kenya since 2014. At the time, there were not a lot of customers using it, as 4G devices were not in common usage or very affordable. Customers were also wary of the high data consumption that was characteristic of the 4G network.

Fast forward to 2016, prices of 4G devices have dropped greatly. Safaricom also had a hand in this, going as far as partnering with Samsung to release the Samsung Z2. The network provider also made 4G SIM cards available to its customers by offering free SIM swaps.

Safaricom has done all it can to remove the roadblocks to 4G usage, it remains to be seen if customers will take the bait, and how fast that will happen.

Read More

EFCC grants Reuben Abati bail

EFCC has granted bail to former Spokesperson to former President Jonathan, Reuben Abati. The antigraft agency granted him bail today October 27th. He was arrested on Monday October 24th and has been in EFCC custody where he was interrogated for allegedly receiving some money from former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki who is currently being tried for misappropriation of $2.1 billion arms procurement fund.

As part of his bail conditions, Abati will have to drop his Passport and produce a surety of not below Level 16 in the Civil Service.

Read More

The 5 Lamest Excuses For Obamacare's 22% Premium Hike

On Monday, the Obama administration announced that premiums in Obamacare’s insurance exchanges would increase by an average of 22 percent in 2017. That’s far worse than what many observers had expected. But the biggest surprise hasn’t been Obamacare’s rate hikes. It has been the implausible excuses the President and his cheerleaders have floated to deflect blame for unaffordable coverage.

Read More

How Fayose’s aide distributed N1.2bn – Witness

A witness has given a vivid description on how the sum of N1.2bn was disbursed by an aide to Governor of Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose. The aide, Abiodun Agbele whose trial began on Thursday appeared before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja on an 11-count charge of fraud for allegedly diverting N1.2 […]

This post How Fayose’s aide distributed N1.2bn – Witness appeared first on YNaija.

Read More

NUJ Games: The Nation’s ‘Grandmaster’ wins gold

The Nation published by Vintage Press Limited on Thursday recorded its first Gold Medal in the on-going Nigerian Union of Journalists Games which started on Monday at the National Stadium, Lagos.
The medal was won in Chess as indoor games gets underway in the competition.
A reporter on Sport Desk, Dayo Paul Oluwakoya, won the Gold Medal for the newspaper after defeating tough and strong contenders in a round-robing pairing with five media houses in the game.
“This is the second medal I have won for Vintage Press. The first was in 2014 when I won silver medal. I did participate in 2015, but its feels good to be back and win the ultimate medal even as the game took the whole day,” Oluwakoya said in a post match feedback with the Sport Editor, Ade Ojeikere.
“I like to dedicate this sweet victory and gold medal to the Board of Directors of Vintage Press for giving me the privilege to make them proud once again and as well to exhibit the grandmaster skills in me,” he added.
The Nation also won bronze medal in scrabble by Joe Agbor of entertainment desk.

The post NUJ Games: The Nation’s ‘Grandmaster’ wins gold appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

Read More

So sad! See photos from the horrible accident on Third Mainland Bridge

A bloody motor accident has occurred along Third Mainland Bridge at Adeniji Adele Bus Stop in Lagos, on Thursday, involving more than one vehicle. Many of the injured were seen on the road with different degree of injuries. Luckily, there is no dead person involved in the accident according to eyewitnesses. It is believed the […]

The post So sad! See photos from the horrible accident on Third Mainland Bridge appeared first on Amala.

Read More