Australian Negotiator: Politicians Funding Boko Haram
A Perth-based international adviser, Dr. Stephen Davis, who survived months of extreme danger to try to rescue more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by terrorist group Boko Haram, has alleged that one of the primary sources of funding for the terror group is Nigerian politicians.
THISDAY had exclusively reported that one of the key federal government negotiators trying to secure the release of the Chibok girls from the clutches of Boko Haram was Davis.
Davis has worked in Nigeria in the past with the Archbishop of Canterbury and Head of the Church of England, Justin Welby, to negotiate the release of kidnapped oil industry workers in the Niger Delta.
Speaking yesterday in an interview on ABC News, an Australian television station, Davis, 63, said he had realised the only way to stop the kidnappings was to stop the sponsors of Boko Haram.
While Al Qaeda was involved in training Boko Haram recruits, Davis said one of their major sources of funding - aside from raiding banks - was Nigerian politicians.
“That makes it easier in some ways as they can be arrested, but of course the onus of proof is high and many are in opposition, so if the president (Goodluck Jonathan) moves against them, he would be accused of trying to rig the elections due early next year,” he said. Add a comment
Breaking: Enugu State Deputy Governor Impeached
The Deputy Governor of Enugu state, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi has been impeached by the State's House of Assembly. He was impeached today after the House adopted the decision of the 7-man impeachment panel set up by the state Chief Judge, Justice Innocent Umezulike.
Details of the impeachment session is still sketchy but the deputy governor’s removal is believed to have been masterminded by Governor Sullivan Chime. The Assembly had accused Mr. Onyebuchi of operating a commercial poultry at his official residence and of disobeying Governor Chime, charges that, under the law, do not qualify as impeachment offences. The impeached deputy governor told the impeachment panel set up by the state’s chief judge that Mr. Chime also operated a piggery at the Government House.Add a comment
His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR
Occasion of the Submission of the National Conference Report
Thursday 21st August, 2014
1. Mr Chairman, very distinguished delegates, it is with all gladness that I address you this day. After nearly five months endeavour to find the appropriate verb for the noun of our country within the syntax of human experience, you have brought to a grateful Nation, the report of the 2014 National Conference.
2. I want to congratulate the Chairman and his able team, the Delegates, all Nigerians and indeed everyone who has contributed one way or the other to the successful convocation and conclusion of the Conference.
3. I also congratulate the Presidential Advisory Committee which developed the framework for the Conference after travelling around the country. We cannot afford to take for granted the efforts and commitment that the delegates and the leaders put into the Conference to make it a success. The patriotic zeal was evident in the inputs of the delegates into the dialogue and how these have now formed the basis of the report.
4. On behalf of all Nigerians, let me thank you most sincerely for your hard work. Your tireless efforts aimed at coming up with recommendations to chart a path of peaceful coexistence, sustainable development, justice and progress as we march into our second centenary shall not be in vain.
5. To my mind, one of the main reasons for which the Conference was convoked was fully achieved: that is, to create a platform for a genuine and sincere dialogue among Nigerians. Even in moments when things seemed ready to boil over, it was evident that the Delegates were only disagreeing to agree.
6. It is now very clear that as Nigerians, we have devised a way of addressing and resolving our differences amicably: we dialogue and dialogue until we agree! This is most heart-warming indeed!
7. My dear brothers and sisters, I am not unmindful that there were delegates who were in this hall when I inaugurated this conference who today are not part of this closing event as the cold hands of death have snatched them. I pray that Almighty God will grant eternal repose to the souls of our departed patriots and protect all the families they have left behind. They would be proud of what you, their living colleagues, have done to end what we started together.
8. On the occasion of the 53rd Independence Anniversary of Nigeria last year, I made a promise to set a National Conversation in motion in order to advance the course of nation-building. The agitation had been there for a while and we could no longer ignore it or delay the process. I was motivated by a genuine desire to make our country a better place where we can build consensus in the evolution of a New Nigeria.
9. When I was inaugurating the Presidential Advisory Committee in December last year, I made it very clear to the committee that it was a sincere and fundamental undertaking, aimed at realistically examining and genuinely resolving, longstanding impediments to our cohesion and harmonious development as a truly united Nation.
10. At the inauguration of the National Conference in March, I told you the Delegates our expectations. I did say that I expected participants to patriotically articulate and synthesize our people’s thoughts, views and recommendations for a stronger, more united, peaceful and politically stable Nigeria.
11. I urged the participants to forge the broadest possible national consensus in the process. I also warned that we should not to be under any illusions about the task ahead because we would be confronted with complex and emotive issues. Add a comment
I Have Two Or Three Years To Live – Pope Francis
For the Catholic faithful, this piece of news will definitely be hard to stomach: Pope Francis says he has only two or three years to live.
Although the Argentina-born Pontiff was silent on why he thinks he would not live for more than three years, he hinted that he had ‘some nerve problems’ which require treatment.
He spoke with journalists aboard his jet as he returned from a trip to South Korea.
Francis, according to the Mailonline on Tuesday, also mentioned the possibility of retiring from the Papacy if his health failed to cope with the rigours of his office.
His predecessor, Benedict XVI, stepped down last year, in an unprecedented move that opened the way for Francis to become the Pope.
“I see it as the generosity of the people of God. I try to think of my sins, my mistakes, not to become proud. Because I know it will last only a short time,” the pope said.
Then, apparently light-heartedly, he added, “Two or three years and then I’ll be off to the Father’s house.”
A Vatican source, said the Mailonline had claimed that the Pope had previously told those close to him that he thought he only had a few years to live.
Although Francis is 77, he has been the most vigorous Pope in years, his energy proving the key to his popularity. Add a comment
Ebola: US Commends Nigeria as Four More Patients are Discharged
The US government has commended the Nigerian government and its health authorities for their handling of the Ebola virus since it broke in Lagos last month.
The US’ commendation came on the back of more good news yesterday that four more patients who had contracted the disease had been discharged and declared free of the infectious disease.
With their discharge, this brings the total number of people who have been given the all clear to five.
A total of 12 people were struck with the virus in Nigeria, including the index case Patrick Sawyer, of which four have died, five have been discharged while three remain in the isolation ward at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, Lagos.
However, all hopes that the US would send the ZMapp experimental drug to Nigeria were dimmed yesterday when the US government ruled out the possibility, saying there were insufficient quantities of the drug available.
Making this known when he visited the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, in Abuja, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, informed reporters that what was needed was to focus primarily on isolation and the screening of patients or those suspected to have contracted the virus.
According to Entwistle: “We’ll see down the road what is possible. But there are no huge quantities now. And we think the focus now needs to be on exactly what you are doing: the isolation wards, screening, and especially important that now your government is doing a very good job on this, that is contact tracing.”
The envoy said he just came back from the US late last week, adding, “I was in Washington, of course, for the US-African Leaders Summit and I came over to see the minister right away as soon as I got back into town to discuss our anti-Ebola cooperation.
“I was in the room in Washington when Vice President (Joe) Biden and President (Goodluck) Jonathan talked about the Ebola crisis, talked about our partnership, and pledged the total cooperation between your government and my government on this issue. Add a comment
Lagos Sex Workers Lament Low Patronage Caused By Ebola
LAGOS (AFP) – Kate, Bright and Happiness sat on the lawn of a Lagos brothel, sipping lager and chatting with men in groups of two or four. Business had been good, they said, until Ebola arrived.
“I have been in this business for two years but business has never been this slow,” said Kate.
“I used to have an average of seven customers per day but I can hardly see four now since this Ebola disease came to town,” the 25-year-old told AFP.
“Many of our customers are afraid to come to us for fear of contracting the disease. This Ebola wahala (problem) is really bad business. The government should do something about it.”
With Ebola spread through the bodily fluids of an infected person, including sweat, the sex workers say they’ve been particularly badly hit by public fears.
“This disease is bad-o!” said 23-year-old Bright. “It is worse than HIV/AIDS. You can prevent HIV by using condoms but you can’t do the same with Ebola.
“If care is not taken we will soon be driven out of business because nobody wants to die.” Add a comment