Showing posts with label The Trent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Trent. Show all posts

Sunday, 25 June 2017

An Open Letter To Arewa Youth In The North: The Real Issues [MUST READ]

Brethren from the North,

I bring you greetings from the Southern part of Nigeria.

On behalf of the peace-loving people of the south in general and millions of Igbo youths in particular, I start this letter by commending you for your recent open letter to the acting president, professor Yemi Osinbajo, where you called on the pastor-turned politician to organise a referendum for the Igbos to enable them determine their future in line with international law on self determination.

By that letter, you proved to be better versed and more sophisticated in legal matters and ways of international laws with regards to the right of Indigenous People on Self Determination than the acting president who ironically is a law professor but who happen to think that quest for self determination is a crime simply because the fraudulent document known as the 1999 constitution imposed on us by military thugs did not recognise it.

Having said these, let me come to the main reason why I’m here. In your letter to the acting president, I noticed what I’ve been trying to figure out whether to classify as an innocent amnesia-induced oversight or a calculated attempt to re-write history on your part.

You cited the January 15th coup which you mischievously tagged Igbo coup and claimed was the Igbos manifesting their hatred for Nigeria. Quite frankly, when I read that part, I was left wondering whether to pause and die laughing or die crying.

You and your kind invented the word “hatred” and even went further to prove that indeed, it is not just a word. You started manifesting hatred for other Nigerians as far back as 1945 when your kind butchered hundreds of innocent southerners mostly Igbos in North central Nigerian city of Jos in an anti-Igbo pogrom, 15 years before Nigeria even got her independence from Britain. And of course, your Vampiric spirit would later rise again in search of more Igbo blood in 1953 when your people carried out another anti-Igbo pogrom in Kano which resulted in another hundreds of Igbo lives being wasted once again. This time, all you needed to start doing what you know how best to do was a minor legislative disagreement at the Lagos parliament where your lawmakers were booed for trying to delay a motion for Nigeria’s independence by claiming the North wasn’t yet ready for self rule.

Isn’t it a classic definition of irony that a people who started doing exceptionally well in the business of killing and maiming their fellow Nigerians as far back as 1945 when Nigeria had not even dreamt of gaining independence would now open their mouth and accuse others of manifesting “hatred for Nigeria unity”? If you ever believed in the so called Nigeria’s unity, why kill and maim your fellow Nigerians for the flimsiest of excuses??

Secondly, the January 1966 coup was not an Igbo coup. It was a coup carried out by mostly junior army officers led by Major Kaduna Chukwuma Nzeogwu and it had soldiers from Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa/fulani, Tiv, Esan, Ijaw, Urhobo, Bali etc on board. Hassan Usman Katsina, an hausa/fulani, who was later made military governor of Northern region, was Nzeogwu’s right hand man and a major participant all through the period of the coup. Major Adewale Ademoyega, the author of “Why We Struck” was of the same rank as Nzeogwu. He was an active participant in the coup. There were major Ifeajuna, Lt. Fola Oyewole of “The Reluctant Rebel”, Lt. Tijani Katsina and Saleh Dambo who were both hausa/fulani, there was Lt. Hope Harris Egheagha among other Igbos.

And that same coup was foiled by two brave Igbo men, Aguyi Ironsi in Lagos (West) and Ojukwu in Kano (North).

Now, assuming WITHOUT CONCEDING that the January 15th coup was organized and executed by only Igbo army officers, does it not still amount to conscientious idiocy for you guys to blame the whole Igbo nation for a coup carried out by few military men from the region?? How can anyone seek to justify the savagery visited on defenceless Igbo men, women and children residing in the North in the aftermath of that coup?? Did Nzeogwu who was from Delta State consult the indigenes of the state before leading that coup?

How come we don’t blame Dimka’s coup on his ethnic group neither do we blame IBB and Buhari’s coup on the whole hausa/Fulanis?

Let me quickly remind you that in the evening of the January 15th coup, a Boeing 707 belonging to the Nigerian Airways arrived Kano with almost the whole Northern establishment back from Lagos where they had gone to attend Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ conference. Ojukwu, it was, who received them at the airport and even when orders from the coup plotters were to shot all Politicians, Ojukwu gifted them with protection. I don’t suppose you  would like this kind of history, seeing as it seem to contradict the adulterated version you were groomed with.

In the said letter, you correctly stated that Ojukwu refused to recognize Gowon but you mischievously failed to state that Ojukwu’s refusal to recognise Gowon was in protest over the refusal of the hausa/fulani military officers who killed the head of state, Aguyi Ironsi, to allow Brigadier Ogundipe to take over as the next in rank according to military tradition.

Still in that same letter, you stated that Ojukwu declared Biafra but you conveniently failed to tell the public that Ojukwu didn’t just wake up in the morning, smoke his Benson cigarette and rushed to declare Biafra. He (Ojukwu) did his best to de-escalate tension and even succeeded in reaching a landmark accord with Gowon in Aburi, Ghana, which if implemented, would have put an end to the Igbo genocide going on in the North and averted the moral tragedy that was the Biafra war.  But, Gowon, unilaterally chose to defy the terms of this last minute Aburi Accord, leaving the Oxford product, Ojukwu, with no choice but to pull his people out of a country that was and still is, deaf, dumb and blind to the sanctity of the lives of the same people it exists mainly to protect.

Let me quickly say this not just to you, The Arewa Youths but to all Nigerians and foreigners alike:

This current Biafra agitation IS NOT a bait for Igbo presidency, Restructuring or appointments. Any Igbo man thinking it is should simply go for a DNA test to ascertain not just his paternity but his ancestry, too. My generation is simply sick and tired of sharing the same country with people who derive enormous pleasure from killing their fellow human beings over the flimsiest of excuses like the burning of the Koran in a far away Afghanistan, the shooting of a Palestinian boy by a murderous Israeli soldier in Gaza, the drawing of the cartoon of Prophet Muhammad in far away Denmark by a cartoonist who is neither Igbo nor Nigerian.

Igbo youths are not aggrieved with Nigeria solely because their parents were massacred in the Biafra war. We are aggrieved because almost 50 years after the war, the same people who killed our parents are still killing us even in our homes using fulani herdsmen, in our churches and cities using hausa/fulani soldiers who kill us and bath us with acid, and our places of business using almajiris who slaughter us and burn our shops with state-sponsored impunity for no just cause other than the insatiable urge to spill blood.

My fellow youths, we have lied to ourselves for far too long. How about a little honesty here? All these killings points to one thing which is that our world views are world apart. While you delight in resorting to violence as solution to almost every disagreement, we, the Igbos and indeed, all southerners have serious aversion to bloodshed. It is our belief that our God fight for us, not the other way round.

I love the concluding part of your letter where you rightly asserted that the Biafra agitation is not an issue over which a single drop of blood should be shed. We agree completely. We have all advanced beyond the primitive era of war. We are not asking for war. We are only asking for a YES or NO vote known as Referendum. Now, my dear brethren, add a little work to your faith by prevailing on your leaders who control every facet of the Nigerian govt to allow for a Plebiscite for the Igbos. After they have voted and the YES vote carries the day, you can then give Igbos living in your region whatever condition under which you want them to live.

Dishing out quit notice to Igbos residing in your region when they are yet to be officially granted their referendum and Biafra is only tantamount to putting the cart before the horse. Until the Igbos officially get their Biafra, they remain Nigerians with all the right and privileges of  Nigerian citizens including the right of living and doing business anywhere in Nigeria.

Lastly, let me conclude by reminding you that even in the event of a successful referendum for Biafra, all property legally acquired by the Igbos anywhere in Nigeria remain theirs and are protected by international law. Nigerians did not lose their property in Britain when the latter granted her independence in 1960, did they?? The world has progressed considerably. I would remind you that the ‘abandoned property’ era is over but I’m sure you know that, don’t you??

Instead of killing ourselves and creating IDPs everywhere, let us peacefully do “To Your Tent, Oh, Israel!”. That way, we will still do things together but as good neighbours under a mutually agreed terms.

Charles Ogbu is a social media activist. Connect with him on Facebook.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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Our Stand On Senator Dino Melaye’s Recall Attempt – Okun Development Initiatives

It has become imperative to come out with a position on the ongoing recall process after INEC acknowledged receiving the signatures of purportedly more than the required number for the exercise because the dilemma of Okun nation has once again being brought to the fore.

The prerogative of any constituent to exercise his/her constitutionally guaranteed right to recall is inalienable but it is obvious the initiators and instigators of the current attempt on Sen. Dino Melaye’s are not from Kogi West but lackeys and cronies of constituted authority; an apparent outcome of misguided advice to those insistent on dividing and decimating Okunland politically for egoistic purposes.

The fissures clannish inclinations have created among us in Okunland is not only becoming gullies but an odious machination is being played out to satisfy the self-centeredness of a few individuals.

Selfish political aspirations are being satiated to the detriment of the collective good of Okun people with Okunland primed for another political experiment and some of our sons and daughters have become willing lab rats.

The precarious situation of Okun persons in the vanguard of the recall saga is not only pitiable but pathetic but our elders admonish that when sent a slavish message, the virtuous will deliver same like a freeborn.

The gauge of loyalty is now synonymous with treachery and understandably so for those who cannot fathom life outside political office or patronage from government; their inability or refusal to see beyond the present is really unfortunate and rather than vilify them, they should be sympathized with.

The modalities that procured the purported signatures from investigations are fraught with lots of irregularities and illegalities. Consequently, we wish to state unequivocally that any calculated attempt to cause chaos and avoidable confusion in Okunland will be resisted legally with all the resources at our disposal.

Gladly, Senator Dino Melaye’s persistent agitation for humane governance appears to have ginger government to action and it is hoped that the truce reached with JAC on the reopening of tertiary institutions in the state will be enduring. Of equal importance is the issue of salaries and pensions that is lingering despite government proclamation to the contrary which is inversely related to the reality in the state. Government should begin to focus more on issues concerning the wellbeing of Kogites and stop the shadow-chasing and spurious attempt to divert and distract the attention of Kogites from its inadequacies and peccadilloes.

A recall process premised on the disenchantment of majority of West Kogites with their elected senator is acceptable but what will not be condoned is every delusive attempt by those bent on exerting political leverage to dictate to majority of Okun people how they should feel about their senator, why and when they should express their displeasure.

Okun people and Kogi West in general should be allowed to decide the fate of their senator without any unnecessary interference. Agents of recall should be advised, that if Kogi West wants Dino recalled, it must emanate from the same Kogi West.

We are concerned and certainly not prepared to accept or allow anyone or group of persons to transform Okunland to a battlefield in any guise.

The logic behind the scorch-earth policy being foisted on Okunland is nothing but an aggregate of calculations, speculation and permutations towards 2019.

We now see unholy alliances, congregation of strange bedfellows, treachery with greed motivated by inordinate ambition directing the conduct of some people in search of, or desperate to keep positions that are ephemeral. Conceitedly, they willingly feign the fugaciousness of their present position by refusing to ask themselves what became of men of power and authority of the past.

The political atmosphere Kogi State is becoming tense and may have direct negative impact on the output of the public service sector.

Politicians in Kogi State, particularly those from the west senatorial district should face issues of governance rather than witch-hunting one another,

For the avoidance of doubt, all processes involved in the recall shall be meticulously monitored to ensure its outcome is a true reflection of the wishes and aspirations of west kogites. Okuns have the wherewithal to reprimand their own if and when necessary without the meddlesomeness from outsiders and no matter how low the waist of our child is, abandoning the child to adorn the child of another with decorated beads is certainly not an option.

Soon the breeze will blow and the rotten rump of the chicken tagged recall will be indecently exposed. A word our elders say is enough for the wise and prudent.

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Police Arrest Soldier Who Worked With Billionaire Kidnapper, Evans (PHOTO)

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Meet Dorothy Mato, The Nigerian Fashion Designer Turned Federal Lawmaker

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After 2,000 Deaths, FG Declares Nigeria ‘Meningitis Free’

The federal government has declared Nigeria free from the latest ‘Type C’ deadly Cero Spinal Meningitis (CSM), which claimed almost 2,000 lives in the country since its outbreak in late 2016.

Chikwe Ihekweazu, the director general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), in a statement Saturday, June 24, 2017 said with the decline in Meningitis cases, the 2016/2017 Meningitis outbreak was over and the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) responding to the epidemic has been stepped down.

Ihekweazu said the outbreak has been in constant decline for eight weeks and the affected states have recorded much fewer new cases.

In the last four weeks, he said, “no local government area has reached outbreak alert threshold. By the 16th of June 2017 when the EOC was stepped down, a total of 14,518 suspected cases of meningitis were reported from 25 states, with 1,166 deaths, giving a case fatality rate of 8%.”

He stated that NCDC, the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) and partner organisations worked assiduously to reduce the impact of the outbreak on affected communities.

According to him, the NCDC established a National EOC, which coordinated the national outbreak response. This, he said, included the deployment of Rapid Response Teams (RRT) to the most affected States to strengthen surveillance, case management, laboratory capacity and risk communication.

Ihekweazu said: “The planning process to prevent future outbreaks and ensuring better preparedness for the next epidemic season has begun. Laboratory capacity has been improved with the recent operationalisation of the new National Reference Laboratory in Gaduwa, Abuja with support from the Federal Ministry of Health, the US CDC and the World Health Organisation.

“NCDC is also coordinating a network of laboratories across the country to improve case confirmation capacity. National guidelines towards responding to future outbreaks are being developed together with ongoing continuous awareness campaigns, keeping the general public informed. Workshops to improve preparedness are also being organised.”

He noted that the reactive vaccination campaigns led by the NPHCDA were successfully conducted in Zamfara, Sokoto, Yobe and Katsina States. The state governments were fully engaged in conducting these campaigns to ensure that the vaccines reached the most at-risk population.

The NCDC boss said: “While NCDC has stepped down the Emergency response, the work never stops – we will continue to work 24/7 to ensure the protection of all Nigerians against infectious disease threats. We recognise our leadership, the Honorable Ministers of Health and the leadership of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency for the joint support during the outbreak.

“We are very grateful to the Government of Zamfara and Sokoto States for their excellent leadership during the outbreak. We also thank our partners including the World Health Organisation, Africa Centre for Disease Control, as well as the US Centers for Disease Control and its implementing partners – African Field Epidemiology Network and the University of Maryland Baltimore – for their generous support in the implementation of outbreak response activities,” he added.

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At Least 123 People Burnt Alive While Scooping Fuel From Fallen Tanker (PHOTO)

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Femi Fani-Kayode: Is Nigeria A Free Nation Or Conquered Vassal State?

How can anyone describe Nigeria as a free nation when Sheik Othman Dan Fodio, the hero of the core Muslim north, the father of the Fulani Caliphate and the first Mahdi of Nigeria once said;

“Allah has bestowed on me and my people the historic duty to spread the holy faith of the Prophet throughout the Caliphate and convert these pagans. If they refuse to accept Allah and his Prophet we will wash the earth, the forests, the mountains, the rivers and the streams with their pagan blood. Ours is a holy and righteous calling. We are doing the work of Allah”.

“I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves”- Harriet Tubman

How can anyone describe Nigeria as a free nation when Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Saurdana of Sokoto, the Premier of the Northern Region and the second Mahdi of Nigeria once said,

“The new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather Othman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the minorities in the north as willing tools and the south as conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us and never allow them to have control over their future”.

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when General Muhammadu Buhari, the indisputable King of the north, the avenging sword of the Caliphate, the almighty President of the Federal Republic, the unquestionable leader of the African Mujahadeen and the third and last Mahdi of Nigeria once said,

“It is my intention to spread sharia to every part of Nigeria” and that “why should Christians bother when Muslims chop off the hands of Muslims in the name of sharia” and that “Muslims should only vote for Muslims” and finally that “an attack on Boko Haram is an attack on the north”.

What portion do those of us that are southerners and Middle Belters have in this so-called “free country” and why have we been consistently denied the right to decide whether we wish to remain in it by having a referendum?

Were we born to be slaves whilst others were born to rule? God forbid it. My Christian faith teaches me that I am the head and not the tail.

It teaches me that it is a sore sight and a great evil under the sun to see the sons of slaves riding on horseback whilst the sons of the King walk around on bare feet.

It teaches me that we are the head and not the tail and that light is meant to overcome darkness and not that darkness overcomes the light.

The truth is that whichever way you look at it Nigeria is not free and Nigeria is not one nation.

We are in bondage and servitude to the sons and daughters of Futa Jalon and we are badly divided. That is the subject of this essay.

Permit me to share some bitter truths here.

I repeat, Nigeria is not a nation. As a matter of fact she was NEVER a nation. She is and has always been a monumental fraud and a manifestation of colonial Britain’s doublespeak and deceit.

In 1947 she was rightly described as a “mere geographical expression” by Chief Obafemi Awolowo but since then she has degenerated even further.

Today she is is no longer a “mere geographical expression” but instead a fully-fledged and dysfunctional vassal state and a colony of timid slaves that is owned lock, stock and barrel by the all-powerful, all-seeing and all-knowing Fulani hegemonists.

Yet in their pitiful delusion and blissful ignorance some still claim that we are a free modern nation-state where all are equal.

My questions for those that actually believe this nonsensical assertion and that espouse this erroneous notion are as follows:

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when Christian Religious Knowldge (CRK) is removed from the curriculum and Islamic Arabic Studies (IAS) is made compulsary?

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when Christians are banned BY LAW from buying land to build churches in most parts of the core north?

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when every single security and intelligence agency in the nation except for the Navy is headed by a northern Muslim?

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when there are NO Christian commanders (i.e. those that have operational control over troop deployments) in charge of STRATEGIC commands in the Nigerian Army today?

How can anyone decribe Nigeria as being free when ALL the STRATEGIC commands in the Nigerian Army are in the hands of Muslims?

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when ALL the units under the Education Ministry are headed by northern Muslims and the Minister of Education himself is a Muslim.

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when the words Christ, Church, Christianity or Christian are not mentioned ONCE in the constitution and when the word sharia is mentioned 73 times, Grand Khadi 54 times, Islam 29 times and Muslims 10 times.

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when, since Buhari came to power, any mention of Jesus or God is censored out of Nigerian films by the Nigerian Censors Board whilst the word Allah is mentioned freely.

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when there is an obvious and relentless attempt to islamise the country.

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when there was an attempt by President Buhari to quietly pass a law that will give large tracts of land to Fulani herdsmen in every state of the Federation so that they can infiltrate, settle down in, breed with and eventually overwhelm and take over all the communities in which they were given that land.

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when the Federal Government refuses to arrest the elderly Professor Ango Abdullahi and the rebellious, recalitrant, blood-baying and bloodthirsty Arewa youths and lock them ALL up for their implicit threat to commit genocide against the Igbo if they don’t leave the north by 1st October?

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when the Arewa Youths can send an open letter to the Acting President describing the entire Igbo race as ingrates who have “not learnt their lessons from the past” and who “ought to be thrown out of the north” and “out of Nigeria?”

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when the the Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF) can tell the Federal Government that “Nigeria will boil”, that there will be “a crisis that will spiral beyond control if the Arewa youths are arrested” and that “the Presidency will not be allowed to go to the south under any circumstances in 2019?”

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when well-armed Fulani militants and herdsmen commit genocide against whole communities and yet not one of them has been arrested?

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when cows (yes cows!) drive children out of their classrooms in Edo state and drive worshippers out of their churches in Benue state.

How can Nigeria be described as being free when Miyetti Allah appear to be above the law?

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when we are about to enter a season of carnage, chaos and anomie and when the Federal Government have shown no desire or inclination to deliver our people from those who believe that they own Nigeria and who wish to drink our blood and eat our flesh?

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when those in power today together with the entire Hausa-Fuani ruling class have consistently said no to restructuring?

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when the cabal that know that Buhari’s health will not allow him to come back to rule wish to use the slaughter of the Igbo as a reason and a scapegoat to cause CRISIS in the country and truncuate our democracy rather than allow a Southern Christian President to continue in power?

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when the leaders of the ruling APC are considered as being above the law and continuously commit all manner of crimes and acts of corruption with impunity whilst dissenters, oppostion figures and the perceived enemies of the government are subjected to horrendous persecution, media trials and the brazen violation of their human rights and civil liberties?

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when the welfare of cows and the interest of cattle-rearers are more important than that of hard-working and productive patriots and innocent young school children?

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when, since Buhari came to power, it is very difficult for a northern Christian to get admission into Ahmadu Bello University, the leading institution of higher learning in northern Nigeria?

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when there is a strange Arabic insignia and unintelligible Arabic words apparantly depicting Othman Dan Fodio’s battle cry inscribed on the coat of arms of the Nigerian Army.

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when english is replaced with hausa in Nigerian army parades?

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when President Muhammadu Buhari openly expresses his disdain for the Igbo and encourages the hate-speech and threats that they are being subjected to today?

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when Acting President Yemi Osinbajo will allege that there is corruption in the Church but dare not allege that there is corruption in the mosques?

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when the Acting President condemns what he describes as “hate speech” yet he refuses to arrest and detain those who not only kill Christians, southerners and Middle Belters but who also incite their murderous footsoldiers against them every day?

I could go on and on.

What those that continuosly threaten others with violence and carnage fail to appreciate is as follows: for every mujahadeen there is a crusader. For every tyrant there is a deliverer. For every oppressor there is a freedom fighter. For every globalist there is a nationalist.

For every integrationist there is a separatist. For every lily-livered and chicken-hearted coward there is a courageous and valiant hero and for every Goliath there is a David.

Yet despite our collective and pitiful servitude there is a silver lining on this very dark cloud.

The demand for restructuring or, failing that, self-determination and full-blown independence is now very strong amongst the progressive forces and the long-oppressed ethnic nationalities in the land.

This, coupled with the demand by the leaders of the three southern zones that the Arewa youths must withdraw their threat to the Igbo, is commendable and historic.

They have also issued a timely warning that an attack on the Igbo would be deemed as an attack on the entire south. This gives us hope.

This indicates to us that the tree of liberty will soon be watered by the blood of the patriots and tyrants as it once was in the history of each and every one of the great western democracies.

This proves that we are finally ready to pay the terrible price for our collective freedom and to make the necessary sacrifices.

Simply put, the yoke and affliction of slavery and bondage shall soon be broken and Nigeria shall soon be free.

The first Nigerian civil war was about keeping Nigeria one. The second will be about winning our freedom.

Femi Fani-Kayode is a lawyer, a Nigerian politician, an evangelical christian, an essayist, a poet and he was the Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006. He was the minister of culture and tourism of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from June 22nd to Nov 7th 2006 and as the minister of Aviation from Nov 7th 2006 to May 29th 2007. He tweets from@realFFK.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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Qatar Rejects Arab Nations’ Demand To Shutdown Al Jazeera

The four Arab countries involved in a diplomatic row with Qatar have given the oil-rich nation a 10-day ultimatum to meet 13 demands, including shutting down Al Jazeera media network, before normalcy can be restored.

The four countries are Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain.

Reuters said the demands are likely to infuriate Doha and exacerbate the region’s worst crisis in decades.

Al Jazeera reported that the list was presented to Qatar by neighbouring Kuwait, which is acting as a mediator in the crisis.

It was released more than two weeks after Saudi Arabia led a coordinated freeze by nine countries on diplomatic and trade relations with Qatar.

Apart from shutting Al Jazeera and its affiliates, other conditions given to Qatar are: halting the development of a Turkish military base in the country, reducing diplomatic ties with Iran, cutting ties to terrorist organisations, stop interfering in the four countries’ affairs and stopping the practice of giving Qatari nationality to citizens of the four countries.

Qatar on Saturday denounced the ultimatum as unreasonable and an impingement on the emirate’s sovereignty.

The list was received by Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on June 22, the state-run Qatar News Agency said.

“This list of demands confirms what Qatar has said from the beginning – the illegal blockade has nothing to do with combating terrorism, it is about limiting Qatar’s sovereignty, and outsourcing our foreign policy,” Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al Thani, director of the Qatari government’s communications office, said in a statement on Friday.

Qatar also said it is reviewing the demands and is preparing an official response after confirming the receipt of the document containing the demands.

“The state of Qatar is currently studying this paper, the demands contained therein and the foundations on which they were based, in order to prepare an appropriate response to it and hand it over to the state of Kuwait,” QNA said, citing a statement by the ministry of foreign affairs.

The Arab nations cut ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism and destabilising the region.

Qatar — which shares its only land border with Saudi Arabia — has rejected the accusations, calling them “unjustified and baseless.”

Turkey Supports Qatar, Slams Arab Nations

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has welcomed Qatar’s stand on a list of demands from Saudi Arabia and its allies, saying that the ultimatum is “against international law”.

Qatar has rejected the accusations and said the measures are “unjustified”.

“We welcome [Qatar’s position] because we consider the 13-point list against international law,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency on Sunday.

Turkey has offered support to Qatar after Saudi Arabia and several other countries severed ties with Qatar over accusations of funding terrorism and fomenting regional instability.

Additional reports at Al Jazeera.

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Avoid Reckless Utterances: Buhari Says In Eid-El-Fitr Message To Nigerians

As Nigerians celebrate eid-el-fitr to mark the end of the Ramadan, President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a message of greetings to the Muslims, urging them  to live in peace and avoid reckless utterances.

Also the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, saluted the Muslims who would troops to the prayer grounds on Sunday, June 25, 2017 following the sighting the moon.

Garba Shehu, one of the presidential spokespersons, released Buhari’s message in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday, June 24, 2017.

According to the statement, the president, who is currently on medical vacation in London, urged all citizens to resolve to live in peace and avoid making reckless statements.

“I am immensely grateful to God for His mercy in guiding us successfully to conclude another Ramadan fast,” the statement said.

“My greetings to all Nigerian Muslims and our brothers Christians on the occasion of Eid-el-Fitr.

“May the lessons of Ramadan namely; piety, self-denial, prayers and generosity to the poor and needy be with us for all time.

“I, again, appeal to all Nigerians to avoid reckless statements or actions against our fellow countrymen.

“We should all resolve to live in peace and unity in our great country, which is the envy of many less endowed nations.

“Happy Eid-el-Fitr.’’

President Buhari has not been seen in public since May 7, 2017 when he met with 82 recently freed Chibok schoolgirls. That evening, the presidency announced he was leaving Nigeria for London on an indefinite medical trip.

Also the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has urged religious leaders to continue to preach and promote the virtues of unity, love and peaceful co-existence for Nigeria to attain greatness.

In a statement issued on Saturday, June 24, 2017 by his special adviser on media and public affairs, Dogara urged Nigerians to eschew divisive and hate tendencies.

Dogara said that Nigerians must learn to live in harmony, tolerate one another and see the nation’s diversity as a source of strength.

“For Nigeria to attain greatness and fulfil it’s potentials, we must regard our diversity as a source of strength and continue to promote and strengthen the unity, peace and progress of the country at all times,’’ the Speaker said.

While congratulating Muslims on the successful completion of Ramadan fast, Dogara urged them to demonstrate the lessons of kindness, tolerance and submission to the higher authority identified with the holy month.

He also urged them to put Nigeria first in all their endeavours.

“I wish to enjoin our Muslim brothers to always be guided by the spirit and lessons of piety, forgiveness, love, charity and good neighbourliness learnt in the holy month of Ramadan and put Nigeria first in all your undertakings,’’ Dogara said.

The Speaker further expressed optimism that with the passage and subsequent signing of the 2017 budget, Nigeria is at the verge of surmounting the current recession and fulfilling its potential as a nation.

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Joseph Prince Daily Grace Inspiration: Only Jesus Is Altogether Lovely

Daily Grace Inspiration is a devotional that brings you the message of grace from Joseph Prince, the world celebrated TV preacher and pastor.

‘When anyone offers a grain offering to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour… – Leviticus 2:1

I love the symbolism of Jesus as fine flour. Fine, even flour comes from wheat that has been pounded and beaten again and again, and sifted several times. Doesn’t that remind you of Jesus’ sufferings and sacrifice for you?

And like fine flour, there is nothing coarse about the person of Jesus. Everything about Him is in even proportions. Every word that He spoke when He was in this world, every thought of His, every action of His, was so fine! When He was kind, He was not soft. When He was assertive, He was not overbearing. He is steel and velvet, meekness and majesty. Like a perfect diamond, every which way you turn Him, you see flawlessness, beauty and brilliance. There is no one altogether lovely like Jesus!

What about Bible greats like Moses and Abraham, or Peter, John and Paul?

Moses, whom the Bible says was more humble than any man on the face of the earth (Numbers 12:3), was once so furious with his people that he struck a rock twice, something he was not supposed to do. (Numbers 20:1–12) His temper got the better of him on that occasion.

Abraham, whom Christians regard as a man of faith (Hebrews 11:8–10), lied about his wife being his sister when a king coveted her. He endangered her life just to save his own skin. (Genesis 20:1–18)

Peter, who was deeply zealous for Jesus, denied Him three times. (Matthew 26:33–34) John, the beloved disciple who leaned on Jesus’ bosom, was all ready to call down fire from heaven to destroy the inhabitants of Samaria who had rejected Jesus. (Luke 9:52–54)

What about Paul, the apostle of grace, who blazed the missionary trail which future missionaries would follow? Even Paul went to Jerusalem when he was told not to by the Holy Spirit through some disciples and the prophet Agabus. (Acts 21:4, 10–11)

Beloved, the best of us can miss the mark. The only one who is faultless, flawless and altogether lovely is Jesus. And because He never misses the mark, you can look to Him. He will never disappoint you!

Joseph Prince is senior pastor of New Creation Church. He is a leading voice in proclaiming the gospel of grace around the world through his teaching resources and television ministry. He is known for teaching God’s Word in a fresh, practical and revelatory way that always unveils Jesus. His daily television program, Destined To Reign currently reaches millions of homes across North America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Israel on both secular and Christian networks. Subscribe to Pastor Prince’s Daily Grace Inspiration HERE

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Spirit and Life Devotional: The Scarlet Rope

Spirit and Life Devotional is a daily publication by Pastor Chinaemerem Ibezim, senior pastor of Able Ministers Chapel, a church based in Calabar, Cross River State. 

“When we come into the land, you must leave this scarlet rope hanging from the window through which you let us down. And all your family members—your father, mother, brothers, and all your relatives—must be here inside the house.” – Joshua 2:18 NLT

Rahab had helped the two Israeli spies who were sent to check the city of Jericho, by hiding them from the king’s men. In return for her kindness, Rahab wanted protection for herself and her family members. The men agreed, but with a condition.

The condition was that the scarlet rope was to be left hanging on her wall; and that everyone who would be saved had to be in that house. If the scarlet rope wasn’t there, and if they weren’t inside that particular house, then they would perish.

Brothers and sisters; that house is Jesus Christ, and the scarlet rope is His blood! God asked the Israelites to put the blood upon their houses; He said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.”

We are safe in Christ, and by the blood of Jesus! Hallelujah!

Follow @pastorchinae (Twitter), Chinaemerem Joshua Ibezim (Facebook), Chinaemerem Ibezim (Google+), PIN: 568E2E56,, Join our BBM Channel, PIN: C004F1183

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Saturday, 24 June 2017

Evans Killed My Father After Collecting N15 Million Ransom – Former Super Eagle

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2017 Budget: ‘You Need To Stop Lying’: Nigerian Senate Cautions Fashola

The Nigerian Senate on Friday, June 23, 2017 told Babatunde Fashola, the minister of works, housing, and power, to stop spreading wrong information and half-truth about the 2017 budget as the legislators worked to ensure equity across the country on all new and outstanding projects.

In an e-mailed statement to The Trent by its spokesperson, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the Senate noted that Mr. Fashola did not give the public full details about the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which has been on a private finance initiative from the beginning because he would prefer an arrangement that allows the ministry to continue to award contracts and fund the project through government budgetary allocation at a time when the nation’s revenue is dwindling and at an all time low.

Abdullahi stated that the Bureau of Public Procurement, and the Federal Executive Council in 2013, approved the reconstruction, rehabilitation and expansion of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway as a Public Private Partnership project using the Private Finance Initiative, with the federal government providing about 30 percent of the funding while the balance shall be provided by the private sector. The project was on course for completion by end of 2017 when the private finance initiative was being implemented, with over 30 percent completion rate attained as at early 2015.

Abdullahi further noted that in a blatant disregard for existing agreements, constituted authorities and extant laws, Fashola on assumption of office got Government through the Ministry to start voting money for the implementation of the project.

“Even as at last year the 2016 Appropriation Act voted N40 billion for the project on the insistence of the Ministry and only N26 billion was released. If we had known, the rest N14 billion could have been allocated to other critical roads across the country”, he said.

“In the spirit of consensus building and effective stakeholder engagement, the Leadership of the Senate met with key relevant stakeholders, including the Ministries of Works and finance. It was agreed that we should give the Private Finance Initiative a chance to complement Government’s resources in the delivery of critical infrastructure assets across the country.

“Hence, in this year’s budget, we have engaged with the Government and private sector groups who have assured that they will resume funding of the project. So, we only provided the fund in the budget that would ensure work does not stop before the funds from the private sector start coming in .What we reduced from Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in the 2017 budget estimate was spread on Oyo-Ogbomoso road in the South-west, Enugu-Onitsha road in the South-east, and two other critical roads in the North-east and North-west; and this was done to achieve equity. The Minister should realise he is Minister for the entire country and not just that of Lagos State.

“It is our view that the Federal Government cannot fund the reconstruction and maintenance of all the 34,000 kilometres of roads under its care. We are looking for private funds for some of these roads, particularly those with high potentials of attracting private investors. These include the Enugu-Onitsha road, Kano-Abuja road and Abuja-Lokoja road. It has been our hope that the Lagos -Ibadan road would be a model for private sector funding of infrastructure in the country”, the spokesman stated.

He added that Fashola knew that Federal Government cannot fully fund this road for completion by 2019 as he is promising Nigerians. “It’s deceit of the highest order. Just going by the last two years of funding where an average of about N30b per annum was released then the nation would have to wait for the next six years for completion of the work .But with Private sector Finance Initiative, this project can be completed on time because full funding will be provided and there will be more certainty”, he stated.

Abdullahi noted that since Government did not have enough money and/or unlimited resources to provide all the needed road infrastructure on a sustainable basis, the use of funds from the private sector to complement Government’s resources would ease pressure on the annual budgetary provisions for infrastructure provision, as more money will be spent on less commercially viable roads that would not ordinarily attract private sector investment as well as other social services like education, health and human capital development.

“The Minister’s statement is in bad taste and we believe he has been quoted out of context as an experienced public servant with over 15 years of high level responsibility will not be uttering such statements. He should desist from spreading half-truths. When he said the National Assembly imported projects into the 2017 budget, he did not mention that these include the 26 projects which the Federal Government approved in the 2016 budget, awarded contract for them in January 2016, but totally omitted them in the 2017 budget. One of them is the Abuja-Kaduna road. These ones would have become abandoned projects. We reduced funds across board to make provision for these omitted projects that are of critical importance to the socio-economic development of the country in line with equity and fair play.

“Mr. Fashola obviously wants the Federal Ministry of Works to have many construction projects it can award contracts for and that is why he would always oppose any attempt to allow the private sector financing initiatives through Public Private Partnerships or other levels of Government to fund construction of roads under the control of the Federal Government. That was why he waited until he was arm-twisted on the Lagos Airport road before he allowed the Lagos State Government take up the reconstruction, using private funds. Same thing happened to the proposal for the Apapa Wharf road, which was frustrated for over a year before the stakeholders reined in the Ministry to grudgingly approve that Dangote and Flour Mills should take over the project.

“It should also be explained that nobody introduced budgetary provisions for the sinking of boreholes and construction of clinics under the budget of the Works division of the Ministry. However, the Housing division would ordinarily have provision for such facilities in its estimate, so as to meet the Sustainable Development Goals as provided for by the United Nations . This is aimed at reducing slums and improve the well-being of our citizenry.

“The National Assembly already have an agreement with the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, that if for example, the Private Finance Initiative does not materialize to provide the needed funds for the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, just as in other areas where government has issues with the budget, the instruments of Virement and supplementary budget can be used.

“This is as a result of our belief that it is one Government and we all share the gains of the successes and pains of the failure. However, with all these blackmail game and backbiting going on, they are already laying the foundation for the failure of the agreement with the Executive”, he stated.

Abdullahi added that the National Assembly acted in the national interest to ensure equity and fairness is achieved in the distribution of projects and to ensure that all sections of the country have representation in the national budget as guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution.

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Apprehension As Kidnappers Threaten To Attack Another Lagos Model School

One month after kidnappers abducted six students from Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe, the suspects have threatened to carry out yet another attack at the Lagos State Model College, Kankon, Badagry.

In a letter written to the school in Badagry, the suspects claimed responsibility for the Epe incident and vowed to kidnap six students and the principals of both the junior and senior secondary schools.

“Kidnappers are visiting the school the same way we did at Igbonla, Epe. We are going to capture three pupils from senior school and three from junior school,” read the letter posted on the corridors leading to the offices of the principals of the junior and senior sections of the college respectively.

“We are kidnapping both principals. We are coming in two days’ time. No security put in place will stop us from gaining entry and fulfilling our mission as stated in this letter. Be expecting us!”

Although Fatai Owoseni, Lagos state commissioner of police, described the letter as “empty threats”, parents have expressed concern, with some withdrawing their children from the school.

The state government has also deployed officials of the Lagos state Neighbourhood Safety Corps in the school to beef up security.

The principal of the junior school, simply identified as Olude, told Punch that some parents came to the school to pick their children.

“It is just about six parents that came and we told them to be calm. We assured them of their children’s safety. But since the school will go on Eid-el-fitr holiday on Friday (today) and the parents came from far places, we allowed them to take their children away. But I can tell you that security men are on ground,” Olude reportedly said.

Meanwhile, Akinwunmi Amdode, governor of Lagos state, has vowed to ensure that the abducted Epe students are freed.

“If there is anything that makes me feel terribly inadequate, it is my inability to quickly get those schoolchildren back,” Ambode told reporters in Abuja on Thursday, June 22, 2017.

“I want to assure everybody that we are on top of it. We cannot be putting all the efforts that we are making on the pages of newspapers. That will jeopardise our efforts to recover those children.

“I cannot compromise their security just because I want to look good in the eyes of the public. But believe me, I am working 24 hours a day to make sure that they come back safely.”

Recently, kidnappers have been targeting secondary schools.

In January, kidnappers invaded the Nigerian Turkish International College, Isheri, Ogun state, and abducted five students and three members of staff.

The captives regained freedom after parents and the school management parted with an undisclosed amount of money.

The police later arrested some suspects who were arraigned in court and later remanded in prison.

Read more at TheCable.

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Osinbajo Consultations Not Enough To Curb War Drums – Bode George

Chief Bode George has said that the ongoing consultations by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is not enough to drown the drums of war beaten across the country.

Osinbajo had embark on consultations with stakeholders in the nation over threats of secession and quit notice given to Igbos by northern youths.

However, Bode George was a former national deputy chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said that the federal government must widen the scope of the consultations.

According to the PDP chieftain who spoke to the press in Lagos, in a speech captioned, “Enough of the drum beats of war,” “the current consultations that our government has embarked upon across the tribal divide is laudable and exemplary. But they should do more.

“They should widen the consultation efforts by inviting the formidable elders and statesmen who were active participants and managers of our Nation during the dark drama of our civil war.”

He said that there are persons scattered across different areas of the country that need to be consulted to douse the tension in the land.

“The chastening voices of General Yakubu Gowon, General Obasanjo, General T.Y. Danjuma, General Alani Akinrinade, General Alabi Isama, General IMB Haruna, General Babangida, General Abdulsalam, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, Gov. Udenwa, Col. Iheanacho Rtd, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu and many others on both sides of the divide at that time,” he said, “will go a long way in tempering the flight of fancy of the intemperate agitators who have never heard a gunshot in anger.”

Bode George warned the youths to stop beating war drums as they are too young to know the sacrifices paid for the nation’s unity, adding that not country survives two civil wars.

Leave The North By October 1 – Arewa Groups Warn Igbos

A coalition of prominent groups in Northern Nigeria on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 issued an ultimatum to Igbos living in the north to return home by October 1, 2017 or else they will face a situation similar to the pre-civil war pogroms visited on their kin in the 1960s.

The order was contained in an error-ridden statement, obtained by The Trent, issued after a meeting in Kaduna State. The groups, Arewa Citizens Action for Change, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Arewa Youth Development Foundation, Arewa Students Forum, and the Northern Emancipation Network, asked the Igbo residing in the region to “start making plans to leave.”

The chilling statement condemned the renewed call for the independent republic of Biafra and also expressed disdain for the Igbos and their culture saying that “the Igbo people of the South-East, not repentant of the carnage it wrought on the nation in 1966,  is today boldly reliving those sinister intentions connoted by the Biafran agitation that led to the very first bloody insurrection in Nigeria’s history”.

In 1966, the Igbos were the victims of the largest genocide in Nigeria’s history with over 100,000 of them killed in Northern Nigeria by northern mobs. This pogrom led to the declaration of the Republic of Biafra which led to the Nigerian civil war in which over 3 million Igbos died.

The northern groups’ threat to Igbos is now widely referred to as the Kaduna Declaration and has been widely condemned by public officials and political groups. However, it has also received wide support from northern elements like Professor Abdullahi.

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‘How My Girlfriend, Amaka, Led To My Downfall’ – Billionaire Kidnapper Evans

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Indonesian Firm To Set Up Refinery In Akwa Ibom

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said  an Indonesian firm, PT Intim Perkasa Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of PT Intim Perkasa, Indonesia, has indicated interest in building a 10,000-barrel per day modular refinery in Akwa Ibom State.

The state-owned oil corporation made this known in a statement issued by  Ndu Ughamadu, group general manager, Group Public Affairs Division, in Abuja, on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.

It said  Mr Adi Hartadi, Head of Investor Relations of PTPP (Persero) Tbk, partners to PT Intim Perkasa Nigeria Limited, disclosed the intention of the company during a business meeting with the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru.

Hartadi stated that the company had more than 50 years of experience in construction and engineering and it was desirous of diversifying into downstream operations in Nigeria.

The statement quoted Baru as saying that the NNPC placed high premium on investment in the nation’s refining sector, adding that the corporation would give necessary support to the Indonesian Company’s interest in the downstream sector.

Represented by Chief Operating Officer, Refineries and Petrochemicals of the NNPC, Mr. Anigbor Kragha,  he stated that the country’s three refineries, with a combined capacity of 445,000 barrels per day, could not function optimally over the years due to lack of investment.

Baru further explained that given Nigeria’s expected population by 2025, more than 40 million litres of petrol would be required for local consumption.

He added that the combined capacity of the nation’s three refineries would only be able to satisfy just above 50 per cent of the projected local demand.

He expressed optimism that with this kind of investment coming steadily, Nigeria could serve as a regional hub of refined petroleum products for West Africa and beyond.

He called on the investors to be mindful of clean fuel policy across African countries and ensure that they produce fuels that meet specification with regards to sulphur content.

“On our end, we have embarked on ambitious plan to fast-track programmes to restore our capacity utilization from 30 per cent to a minimum of 90 per cent in the next 24 months.

To do that, we are working on securing financing from third parties, not just funding, but also technical expertise to help us increase our performance to world class levels that they should be.”He added

Baru also said that in line with the Federal Government’s policy on modular refineries the NNPC had set up a Greenfield Refinery Department that specialized in new refinery projects and also provide professional support to potential investors in modular refinery in the country.

Also,  the Third Secretary for Economic Affairs, Indonesian Embassy in Nigeria and the leader of the Indonesian delegation, Mr. Dwiyatna Widinugraha said that the visit was a follow-up to the earlier visit by the Indonesian envoy to NNPC, the bilateral meeting between the Indonesian Trade Minister with his Nigerian counterpart as well as the visit of Indonesian Prime Minister to Nigeria.

The country’s decision to build a refinery in Nigeria was coming few weeks after Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Harry Purwanto, had expressed the interest of the country in purchasing more crude oil from Nigeria.

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BREAKING: Rivers Information Commissioner, Tam-George, Resigns

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Friday, 23 June 2017

BREAKING: Rivers Information Commissioner, Tam-George, Resigns

Austin Tam-George, the commissioner of information and communication in Rivers State has resigned from the cabinet of Governor Nyesom Wike.

According to a source with intimate knowledge of the situation, Dr. Tam-George, dropped his resignation letter with Governor Wike at about 1pm on Friday, June 23, 2017 in a move that “surprised even close friends”.

“No reason was given for his resignation in the letter,” the source in the Rivers State Government House told The Trent.

Efforts to reach Tam-George for comment were futile. According to a source, he had taken a flight to Lagos and was “still airborne”.

This is a developing story. More details will be uploaded as they come in.

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Thursday, 22 June 2017

34 Nigerians Deported From 6 European Countries

At least 34 Nigerians were deported on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 from six European countries over immigration-related offences.

The deportees were sent back home from Switzerland,  Germany, Iceland, Austria, Belgium and Hungary, it was gathered.

They arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMlA) Lagos at about 6.30am, according to officials who received the deportees aboard a chartered Airblue Panorama aircraft.

The deportees comprised 32 males and two females, it was gathered.

They arrived barely 48 hours after some 170 Nigerians were repatriated from Libya.

The returnees were made up of of 34 males, 122 females, 10 children and nine infants. They were brought back by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Nigerian Embassy in Libya.

The Nigerians, who returned voluntarily, were received by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the Police, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), among others.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Airport Command, DSP Joseph Alabi, in a text message confirmed that all the deportees were repatriated for immigration related offences.

It was learnt that all the deportees were allowed to go to their various destinations after profiling by the immigration officials at the airport.

This would be the third time in 2017 that Nigerians would be deported from Europe apart from the deportations from other African countries.

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