Sahara Reporters Latest News Saturday 5th January 2019

Sahara Reporters Latest News Saturday 5th January 2019

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today and headlines on some of the happenings and news trend in the Country, today 05/01/19

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target=_blank>Garba Shehu: Buhari And Amina Zakari Not Related… Just An Inter-Marriage In Their Extended Families

Amina Zakari

The presidency says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) made “baseless accusations” regarding the appointment of Amina Zakari, a commissioner in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
A statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity on Friday, noted that PDP “scored an own goal”, and had no moral right to “keep harassing” Zakari, unless they “have a hidden agenda”, as the PDP administration appointed her when it was in power.
Adesina also clarified that Zakari shares no blood relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari as they are only related by an inter-marriage that occurred in their extended families.
The statement read: “In another mendacious press release, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has continued their baseless accusations regarding Hajiya Amina Zakari, a commissioner in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) accusing her of partiality and casting doubts about her integrity as an electoral commissioner.
“In their desperation, they forget that it was the PDP government that appointed her in the first place and they keep lying, as they have been caught doing on so many issues, by imputing a blood relationship between her and President Muhammadu Buhari. President Buhari and Commissioner Amina Zakari don’t share a family relationship. An inter-marriage occurred in their extended families, so the imputation of blood relationship between the President and the electoral commissioner is a simple lie.
“What is even more curious about all the fuss coming from the PDP is that they, as a ruling party, picked Mrs Zakari, judging her by her own merit and made her an electoral commissioner. She served so well with distinction as can be verified from the records that President Buhari approved the recommendation that she be reappointed, as he did other PDP nominees for second-term of four years.
“PDP, therefore, has no moral right to keep harassing this hardworking mother unless they have a hidden agenda. By this statement, the PDP is guilty of scoring an own goal and two, of harassing an innocent citizen on the basis of a lie, pure and simple.”

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target=_blank>BREAKING: After Failing To See IGP, Melaye Turns Himself In To SARS

Dino Melaye, the lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, has finally surrendered himself to the Police exactly one week after they took over his Abuja residence.
The Police had invaded Melaye’s residence on Friday and vowed not the leave the premises until the lawmaker surrendered himself for arrest.
SaharaReporters learnt that Melaye went to the office of Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) in company of some senators and members of House of Representatives.
They had earlier gone to meet with the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, at the Force Headqaurters, but the IGP was said to have been meeting with the President in the villa.
Police are still laying siege on his house.

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E2%80%98intercept%E2%80%99-dangote-truck-150-bags-smuggled-rice target=_blank>BREAKING: Customs Officials ‘Intercept’ Dangote Truck With 150 Bags Of Smuggled Rice

A Dangote truck has been intercepted with smuggled rice by men of the Nigeria Customs Service in Adamawa State, SaharaReporters can report.
Kamardeen Olumoh, Comptroller of Customs, Adamawa/Taraba command, paraded the truck to newsmen in Yola on Friday. 
“One Dangote truck carrying one hundred and fifty bags of foreign rice was intercepted along Mayo-Belwa road on the last day of the year,” he stated.
“The driver escaped but we are sure that Dangote, being a responsible corporate entity, will identify and apprehend the driver and hand him over to us for prosecution.”
Comptroller Olumoh further disclosed other seizures made by the command, including rice, used clothing and petroleum products with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of over N59 million.
Giving a breakdown of seizures during the preceding year, he said: “The command was able to make sixty-one seizures, which were mainly foreign rice, totalling 1,740 bags.
Also seized were used vehicles, secondhand clothing and 21,270 litres of petroleum products with a DPV of N59,781,006.81.
“Three suspects are being tried in relation to the smuggling offences,” he said.
Olumoh however lamented that the command’s revenue generation for the year was below expectation, a development he blamed on insecurity and flooding within the command.
“The command generated N168,294,227.83 from January to December 2018 as against N186,113,181.28 generated in 2017.
“However, the amount fell short of the revenue target of N197,301,635.98 for the year in review.
“This can be attributed to challenges faced by officers and men of the command which include, the current state of insurgency in the region, sectarian situation in the Republic of Cameroon and recurring communal clashes in both Adamawa and Taraba states.”

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target=_blank>‘Instead Of Amina Zakari’s Appointment, INEC Should Just Give Certificate Of Return To Buhari’

The Advocacy for Integrity and Economic Development (AIED) has called on Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to tender his resignation letter immediately.
AIED made this demand in a press statement issued on Friday and signed by its Director of Publicity, Comrade O’Seun John.
The statement was a response to reports that Amina Zakari, said to be a niece of President Muhammadu Buhari, has been named as chair of the core committee to co-ordinate the collation of results of the general election.
According to AIED, the appointment is the “final straw” in what has already been a “partisan relationship between the expected independent commission and the government in power”. The group said if Yakubu decides to be unpatriotic and delay his resignation, “it is only manly of him to then issue a certificate of return to President Buhari and forgo the plan of wasting huge resources and precious time in conducting any election.”
The statement read: “What we have witnessed today in the appointment of Amina Zakari by Mahmood Yakubu is the final straw in what has been a partisan-laden commission. INEC as we know it no longer exists. Instead, it has become another arm of the Presidency and the ruling party with the Chairman of the commission taking orders from the office of the Chief of Staff.
“The neutrality and unbiased standing of INEC has been eroded with the appointment of a blood relative of a major contender into a pivotal role for the presidential election.
“But this is not the only crime of the Mahmood Yakubu-led tenure. Rather, it is one of the many steps toward rechristening the commission into a ‘Buhari Electoral Commission’. We all witnessed the abysmal defence of constructive criticism by the media aide of the chairman written in tenses that suggest it was crafted by Lai Mohammed and only passed to INEC for signature.
“We also witnessed how INEC, in spite of the international and nationwide condemnation of the electoral fraud disguised as election in Osun gubernatorial election, defended the gigantic antidemocratic process and allowed same to stand. It is with these evidences that we strongly believe that an INEC under the leadership of Mahmood Yakubu cannot conduct a free, fair and transparent election, and thereby demand that he tenders his resignation letter. Doing otherwise will only interpret to a presidential election determined before it commence.
“If Yakubu decides to be unpatriotic and delay his resignation, it is only manly of him to then issue a certificate of return to President Buhari and forgo the plan of wasting huge resources and precious time in conducting any election.”

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target=_blank>The Consequence Of The Struggle For Fake-News Trophy By APC, PDP By Fredrick Nwabufo

Fredrick Nwabufo

Fredrick Nwabufo

The APC and the PDP are at a fake-news race. It appears both parties are set on a single strategy of winning the February presidential election – through the audacious cross-firing of falsehood and lies.
It will be prejudicial to say who is getting ahead of the other in this punitive race of fibbing. But the two parties are outdoing each other in the use of the fake-news artillery, and in the deployment of fact-twisting ballistic missiles. 
Vintage Nigerian politics.
Today, APC campaign minions are posting fake pictures of completed infrastructural projects and crowds at campaign venues; the next day, PDP campaign “surrogates” are attributing false quotes to the president or any member of the government. 
At different times, they switch the subjects in this ignominious task. And most times, both camps syndicate malicious and fabricated stories – like the Jibrin Aminu Al Sudani fiction – across different platforms.
But is this healthy for our politics? I do not think so.
We got to where we are today – where fake-news and hate speeches have become rife – owing to the “scorched-earth campaign strategy” deployed by the APC in the 2015 election.
Soon after the party came to power, the monster it unleashed grew seven heads. It struggles to tame it, but it is constantly reminded of its hypocrisy – who let the beast out in the first place?
It is ironical that the individual, who led the fake-news blitzkrieg in 2015, is the same person sermonising about “change begins with me” today.
The point is, whatever is traded in this election today will dictate the political atmosphere of the country in the next four years. To put it like a dummy, “we will reap whatever seed we sow”.
The APC and the PDP must realise that none of them can govern comfortably a country in the throes of anxiety, fear, division, and anarchy effectuated by fake news and hate speeches.
Nigeria must come first. And if their intention is to really serve, they must save Nigeria first by calling all their marshals to order.
Fake-news should not be deployed as a campaign weapon because it will only result in MAD – Mutual Assured Destruction.
And by the way, I understand Amina Zakari is not in charge of the collation of results as being reported. Her job, being the head of health and welfare unit at INEC, demands that she provide these services at the national collation centre.
She was formerly at the operations department of INEC, a key area, but owing to protests, she was moved to the health and welfare unit.
It is easy to get sucked into the whole emotional vortex without reason, and it is difficult to stand away from a public inquisition.
But who knows?
Fredrick is a media personality.
He can be reached on Facebook; Fredrick Nwabufo, Twitter: @FredrickNwabufo

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target=_blank>Bayelsa Apostle Denies Prophesying That Children ‘Poisoned With Sniper’ Were Wizards

George Odoko, a Bayelsa State-based church General Overseer of Odoko World Outreach Ministry, says the attempts to associate him and the ministry with the man arrested for allegedly posioning his two sons, based on a prophecy given in the church, is “mischievous and devilish”.
On Wednesday, the Police paraded Sunday Otasi, a father of three, for allegedly poisoning his sons with ‘sniper’ over an alleged prophecy branding the children as wizards.

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Bayelsa Man ‘Poisons’ His Three Sons With Sniper ‘Because They’re Wizards’

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A statement by the church referred to the report as misleading.
The statement read: “First, let us express our deepest condolences to the departed souls and commiserate with their family. Truth is irrepressible. No amount of blackmail can destroy it, neither can it be submerged by the syndicated falsehood. We want to state categorically that it is another campaign of calumny against the person of Apostle George Odoko and the ministry.
“There was never any time I met with the said person and gave the prophecy in question. It is nothing but deliberate mischief to rubbish my person and ministry. God’s mission and mandate have no falsehood and I have no hand in the prophecy and I am condemning the dastardly act and heinous crime in strong terms.
“We call on media practitioners and media houses to be more professional to crosscheck facts in the discharge of their duties, and for those who have mentioned our esteemed overseer’s name and ministry in the blackmail should remove such or be prepared to face legal action. Our reputation is intact and no amount of blackmail will diminish it.
“We call on the members of George Odoko World Outreach Ministry to remain steadfast, because God has given us victory over our enemies.”

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target=_blank>Genevieve Nnaji: 20 Years After, The Screen Remains Her Playground

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Lights, cameras, action! For the past twenty years this is what many have known Nigerian actress, producer and director, Genevieve Nnaji for. From starting out as a child actress at the age of eight, to climbing up the ladder of her profession, over the years, Genevieve has shown that there is beauty in simplicity. No one knew she had spent well up to two decades in the industry, until the last day of 2018 when she took to her Instagram page to write: “As 2018 comes to an end, I mark 20 years in the art of filmmaking. I’m grateful for my life, journey, and growth thus far”.
The fourth of eight children, Genevieve was born on the May 3, 1979, in Mbaise, Imo State, Nigeria to an engineer father and mother who worked as a nursery school teacher. An alumnus of Methodist Girls’ College, the actress went on to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Arts from the University of Lagos. Little Gennny made her acting debut in ‘Ripples’, a television soap opera produced by Zeb Ejiro, the Guru of Nollywood at that time.
Having featured in more than 80 movies, Genevieve has come to master the art of making a character in a given script seem beyond real. Like a master storyteller, she makes use of empathy in engaging the emotions of viewers. This she did so well in ‘Mirror Boy’, a Nigerian fantasy movie which cost an estimated ‎£250,000 where she was made to play the role of mother who had to cope with a delusional son.
“Acting is all about creativity. It is about taking on the soul and spirit of the character, using imagination to bring the character to life and making people believe in the role. I have respected myself as an artiste. I think the success stems from the fact that I have given acting my all. I have not deviated from the realisation that all I ever wanted to do was act. It’s hard to tell, what I would do differently if I were to do it all over. The fact is, I can’t imagine my life any other way,” she told The Punch in an interview in 2014.
In all these years, one thing has made Genevieve the special breed she is — that she is not the kind of actress that features in every movie script that is thrown her way. Like a professional distiller, she handpicks the best and transforms the script with the uniqueness she brings to the art, into premium blockbusters.
“In the beginning, the movie industry emphasised quantity but things are changing and there is an improvement in trend. I am among the people who advocate for the improvement of the industry. So said, I am constantly watching out for the kind of stories I take part in. I am in support of movies that show a great deal of professionalism and creativity,” she added in the interview.
How time flies? That is the question that comes to mind when one begins to come to terms with the fact that the young Genevieve of yesterday has grown to become a queen whose film ideas have transcended the local shores of Nigeria into international quarters, with the latest in her achievements being the September 2018 announcement by Netflix that it has acquired the worldwide rights to her movie, ‘Lionheart’.
Indeed, twenty years after, the screen remains Genevieve’s playground.

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E2%80%8B target=_blank>Insurgents Unfair To Children In Nigeria, Says UN​

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has accused the Boko Haram terrorists’ factions of carrying out grave atrocities against children in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin regions in 2018.
The UN agency, in a report ‘How the world failed children in conflict in 2018’, also said the world failed to protect children in conflict in Nigeria and 14 other countries in 2018.
UNICEF said the future of millions of children living in Nigeria and other countries affected by armed conflict were at risk, as warring parties continued to commit grave violations against children, and world leaders failed to hold perpetrators accountable.
The other countries are Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo,  Iraq, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Myanmar, Palestine, South Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen.
UNICEF added that children living in countries at war had come under direct attack, had been used as human shields, killed, maimed or recruited to fight.
The UN children agency said rape, forced marriage and abduction had become standard tactics employed by the mainstream Boko Haram terrorists and the factional Islamic State West Africa Province.
UNICEF said: “In northeast Nigeria, armed groups, including Boko Haram factions, continue to target girls, who are raped, forced to become wives of fighters or used as ‘human bombs’.
“In February, the group abducted 110 girls and one boy from a technical college in Dapchi, Yobe State.
“While most of the children have since been released, five girls died and one is still being held captive as a slave”.
In the Lake Chad basin, ongoing conflict, displacement and attacks on schools, teachers and other education facilities have put the education of 3.5 million children at risk, UNICEF said.
“Today in north-east Nigeria, the Lake region of Chad, extreme north of Cameroon and Diffa region of Niger, at least 1,041 schools are closed or non-functional due to violence, fear of attacks, or unrest, affecting nearly 445,000 children.”
Across all these countries, UNICEF said it worked with partners to provide the most vulnerable children with health, nutrition, education and child protection services.
“For example, in October, UNICEF helped to secure the release of 833 children recruited into armed forces in northeast Nigeria, and is working with partners to reintegrate them into their communities,” it said.
UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes, Mr Manuel Fontaine, said children suffering atrocities and the number of countries in conflict hit new peak in 2018.
“Children living in conflict zones around the world have continued to suffer through extreme levels of violence over the past 12 months, and the world has continued to fail them.
“For too long, parties to conflict have been committing atrocities with near-total impunity, and it is only getting worse. Much more can and must be done to protect and assist children.
“2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the landmark Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, yet today, more countries are embroiled in internal or international conflict than at any other time in the past three decades.
“Children living through conflict are among the least likely to be guaranteed their rights. Attacks on children must end,” Fontaine said.
UNICEF called on warring parties to abide by their obligations under international law to immediately end violations against children and the targeting of civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals and water infrastructure.
UNICEF also called on states with influence over parties to conflict to use that influence to protect children.
“Much more needs to be done to prevent wars, and to end the many disastrous armed conflicts devastating children’s lives.
“Yet even as wars continue, we must never accept attacks against children. We must hold warring parties to their obligation to protect children.

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E2%80%93-afenifere target=_blank>Yoruba Prefer Restructuring, Not 2023 Presidency – Afenifere

The pan Yoruba organisation, Afenifere, has said that the South West would prefer to vote for a presidential candidate who would push for the restructuring of the country, over the prospect of a 2023 presidency.
Speaking to Daily Sun yesterday Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, said the All Progressives Congress (APC) is deceiving the South West by promising them the 2023 presidency, a promise the party also made to the South East.
Odumakin said Yoruba will vote for restructuring over the prospect of a 2023 presidency because it is the only condition in which the zone can rapidly develop.
He accused those promising the South West the 2023 presidency of selfishness, and added that the fact President Muhammadu Buhari comes from Katsina has not saved the state from insecurity; as such, Yoruba have nothing much to gain from having the presidency.
Odumakin said: “I assure you that even the most illiterate of South West voters understand what restructuring is because they lived their lives when the Western Region had autonomy.
“They remember that we had the first television station; under federalism. They know that if Pa Awolowo had to go to Abuja to get a licence for a television station, the South West would probably not have had the first station. They know what it means to have free education, but, Yourba people are now beggars under this arrangement.
“Yoruba voters prefer restructuring, which would speed up development instead of a 2023 South West presidency which is actually a power grab for a few people.
“The 2023 promise of a South West presidency is just about the presidential ambitions of Tinubu, (Vice President Yemi) Osinbajo and (Babatunde) Fashola. President Buhari is from Katsina, yet, the governor of his state, Bello Masari, recently said Katisna has become inhabitable because it has been overrun by armed bandits.
“Why has Katisna as a whole not benefitted from the fact that their son is the president? This present presidential structure cannot benefit anybody except those who are stealing money, buying banks, telecom companies, airlines and those who, five years ago could not afford N2, 000 for transport fare but are now billionaires.”
Earlier, Lagos State Director General of the Buhari/Osinbajo Presidential Campaign, Moshood Salvador, accused former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and Afenifere of deceiving the South West with the promise of restructuring. Speaking at his Lagos residence, yesterday, Salvador alleged the PDP presidential candidate is insincere and is using the promise of restructuring the country as a ploy to get South West votes.
He also criticised Afenifere, for endorsing Atiku’s candidacy.
“It is not in the power of Atiku to implement restructuring; he can only lie to use it to get votes from the South West.
“After promising that he will restructure if he wins, after six months, he will tell the country that it would not be possible to call for a referendum because the National Assembly is not ready to set itself aside. Atiku knows that restructuring is not possible but he is just saying it to get votes. Those are the kind of lies that politicians are known for.
“When these old men from the South West, who are pushing for restructuring were much younger, what did they do? The one that joined politics at the age of 27 is now over 90. They didn’t achieve restructuring when they were younger, is it now that they are above 90 that they think they can achieve it? We agree that restructuring is a southern agenda, but, former President Olusegun Obasanjo was there for eight years and he did not do restructuring because he knows the truth, which is that it is not possible.
“Goodluck Jonathan was there for five years and he did not do restructuring. All he was concerned about was oil derivation; which was more important to the South South where he came from.
“How come it is now the South West that is championing the issue of restructuring which we all know that is difficult to achieve?
“Even if we want a referendum, the National Assembly has to be set aside, but, are they ready to be set aside?
“No. Even if the National Assembly is ready to be set aside and we are asked to use our voter’s card to vote for or against an issue on ground, we would still not win because restructuring is a southern agenda. The zone would lose as the three northern zones have more registered voters than the three southern zones. Once you know that this would be very difficult to achieve, you don’t push your people out to agitate.
“What you need to do is to strategise and carry other northern states along so that they would know the advantages of restructuring.”
In October 2018, Afenifere, Ohanaeze N’digbo and the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) indicated their resolve to mobilise support for the presidential candidate of any political party that is ready to restructure Nigeria.
On its part, Ohanaeze N’digbo, the apex socio-political body of the Igbo, also said it would vote for any presidential candidate who showed a “sincere” intention to restructure Nigeria on assuming office, a sentiment PANDEF National Secretary, Dr. Alfred Mulade, said they shared.

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Gunmen Kill Ekiti LG Account Officer, Kidnap Two Others​

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Armed men have killed an accounting officer with Emure Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Mr. Abayomi Ajayi.
Ajayi was killed on Wednesday about 8 p.m. along Ikere-Ise Road while returning from work.
It was learnt that two other staff of the local government were also kidnapped during the attack.
The kidnapped victims, according to sources, are the coordinator of the state Primary Health Care, Dr. Fashina and the Administrative Officer, Pastor Onaade.The kidnappers have since demanded a ransom of N10 million from each family of those kidnapped.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Caleb Ikechukwu, told journalists that investigation had since commenced into the matter.

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