Sahara Reporters Latest News Thursday 21st February 2019

Sahara Reporters Latest News Thursday 21st February 2019

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today and headlines on some of the happenings and news trend in the Country, today 21/02/19

Read also Leadership Newspapers News Today Thursday 21st February 2019

target=_blank>Two Killed, Scores Injured As APC, PDP Supporters Clash In Kwara

Two persons have lost their lives in a violent clash between supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and that of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State. 
The violent clash was between the followers of Architect Lola Ashiru, APC senatorial candidate for Kwara South and his counterpart in the PDP, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim. The crisis occurred at Ojoku in Oyun Local Government Area in Kwara South. 
SaharaReporters gathered that the attack was specifically against supporters of Ashiru, who was leading a campaign rally to the palace of the traditional ruler of Ojoku.
Ojoku is the hometown of Senator Ibrahim of the PDP, who is seeking reelection.
Several witnesses revealed that the attack was caused by the chants and exchange of political slogans, “O to ge” (it’s enough) for APC and ‘O tun ya’ (one more time) for PDP, causing the two sides to launch attacks using dangerous weapons.
On Wednesday, the Kwara State Police Command confirmed the attack and said six suspects had been arrested.
A press statement issued by Ajayi Okasanmi, the Police spokesperson in Kwara State, noted that the command was on the trail of other suspects.

“The command received with astonishment the reported attack unleashed on Arch. Lola Ashiru, the APC Senatorial candidate for Kwara South and his campaign train in Ojoku, Oyun Local government Area of Kwara State yesterday 19/2/2019 in the evening.
“Immediately the report was received, the Commissioner of Police in Kwara State, CP Kayode Egbetokun, dispatched to the scene of the attack at Ojoku a team of policemen, led by the DPO Ilemona and the Squadron Commander 68 PMF, Offa.
“The teams successfully brought the situation under control, rescued the candidate unhurt and arrested suspects who were actively involved in the attack. Manhunt for the remaining fleeing suspects had since begun, while discreet investigation of the incident is ongoing.
“For the umpteenth time, the Command is restating its commitment to the safety of lives and property of the people of Kwara State, while warning sternly that acts of hooliganism, thuggery, unlawful possession of firearms and other dangerous weapons will be met with superior forces and suspects arrested will be made to face the full wrath of the law.
“The Command is appealing to the victims of this attack and their sympathizers not to resort to self-help, but to have confidence in the Command to do the needful and ensure that culprits are brought to justice.”
In response, Kola Shittu, Kwara State PDP Chairman, alleged that the attack was part of “the plot by the APC to throw Kwara State into chaos and bloodletting so that INEC can shift elections and later conduct staggered election in the state”.
“It is unfortunate that while the PDP is preparing for the elections, the APC is busy orchestrating plots to unleash violence on our candidates and members in order to achieve its aim of having a staggered election in Kwara,” he added.
On his part, Bashir Bolarinwa, the Kwara APC Chairman, said the attackers outnumbered the policemen on the campaign train, which forced the APC candidate to quickly hide.
Bolarinwa, however, asked the Police to arrest Senator Ibrahim, alleging that the legislator was the brain behind the attack.
He said: “The policemen who accompanied our candidate’s campaign train tried to repel the attackers, but they were massively overwhelmed. Our candidate, Architect Lola Ashiru, was quickly taken away from the place and he remained in hiding for over two hours before Police reinforcement came to rescue him.
“We are reliably informed that the attack was allegedly coordinated by the PDP candidate for the Kwara South Senatorial District, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, who hails from the same place (Ojoku) where our members and supporters were attacked.
“We are using this occasion to call on the security agencies to immediately arrest all the perpetrators of yesterday’s violence at Ojoku and bring them to justice. In particular, we demand the immediate arrest and prosecution of the alleged coordinator of the violence, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim.
“We are also reiterating our earlier call on the security agencies to immediately arrest all known thugs and other criminals across our state so that they will not disrupt Saturday’s elections and the subsequent ones.”

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target=_blank>Popularity Is The New Democracy By Damilola Adeyera

After ‘Genesis’ comes to an end, the journey to ‘Revelation’ takes flight. But when ‘Revelation’ comes to an end, there is no ‘Genesis’. This could be the reason we are yet to know what the real truth is for no one or anyone who seems to have gotten to ‘Revelation’ come back us. They all leave.
“Politics, I don’t know what that is but if you stand on my right, then I know what that is. And I don’t care who the guy is, because my right is my life and all in have is my life,” Bob Marley said in one of his numerous interviews.
Democracy is one of the best things that happened to the world. On its arrival, arbitrary and dictatorial forms of leadership were destroyed. It allowed citizens to become a part of the consciousness involved in building their country. As it is, democracy is now more like the curse affecting the growth of Africa, even though I do not wish a return to the old ways.
Every hunter is taught to always study its prey. Over the years, Democracy in Africa has evolved to become a game of popularity, not necessarily that of what the politician really has to offer.
For victory to be delivered, a politician must work aggressively to ensure that the electorate is talking and preaching his mantra. From #IHaveNoShoes to #Change, each elected democratic leader in Nigeria rode to power on a special promise. In doing all these, the people with the real power – the electorate – tend to get carried away soaking themselves deep into the mantra of the politician, and not even taking out time to question what he really has to offer.
Sometimes, I wonder which is more powerful: music or words. To me, words go a long way in reaching places music can’t reach. When people hear good words, they are happy, but when they hear bad words they get angry and most times, these words – good or bad – remain etched on their minds.
All a politician has to do is sit down, think of the theme of his message, depend on his words to build castles in the brains of the electorate and finally a big push from the media. For example, “When PDP came to power in 1999, Nigeria was generating about 4,000MW of electricity. After 15 years and $20 billion spent, we are generating between 3,000 to 4,000MW. No failure is more glaring than this. We in APC are resolved to bring change to Nigeria. We plan to do things differently,” a man from Daura promised as Nigerians prepared for the 2015 general election, and his followers shouted #Change.
Where a politician cannot gracefully deliver his message to the public, prior to the election and on the day of election, he depends on his money to do the work. Before or at the polling unit, he gives the hungry electorate some “tips” and those ones would thumbprint for him. When the one whose message had sunk into the consciousness of the electorate begins to notice this, he too also reaches for his vault of money and unleashes it on the ignorant electorate. It then becomes “the most popular with the highest money” is the winner.
The people fail to recognise their power and they refuse to see that this thing called GOVERNMENT is not about the people in the ivory tower, but about them who cast their votes based on promises given to them by these manipulative men.
Although, not all political candidates are manipulative, the winner at the end of the day is the one with the most popular mantra. Buhari, Trump, George Weah… you know the rest.
Popularity is the new Democracy.

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target=_blank>EFCC Investigator Tells Court How Fani-Kayode ‘Diverted’ N350m Without Executing Any Project

Shuaibu Shahu, an investigative officer of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has told the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, how Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation, received the sum of N350million from the Ministry of External Affairs through his Zenith Bank account without executing any project or rendering any service to the ministry.
Shahu said this on Wednesday before Justice Rilwan Aikawa, while giving a report of the commission’s investigation into the N4.9billion fraud allegation against the former minister, who also served as the campaign director of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Led in evidence by Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel to the EFCC, Shuaibu stated that the sum of N800million was transferred from the Ministry of External Affairs to a company called Joint Trust Dimension Ltd. on January 16, 2015. He said the funds were transferred without evidence of prior engagement with the ministry.
Alleging that the Joint Trust Dimension was used to divert the funds by Fani-Kayode, he said he tendered various Zenith Bank cheques that were used for the alleged fraud. He said the bank documents were recovered in the course of investigation.
However, as the anti-graft agency was about to tender a set of 115 Zenith Bank cheques used to make various withdrawals that constituted the alleged crimes, Norrison Quakers, counsel to Fani-Kayode, sought an adjournment.
He said the time asked was to allow him go through the cheques in the proof of evidence.
Consequently Justice Aikawa adjourned till Thursday, February 21, 2019 for further hearing.  
Fani-Kayode, alongside Nenadi Usman, a former Minister of State for Finance, one Danjuma Yusuf and Joint Trust Dimensions Limited, are on trial for money laundering and conspiracy to commit crime.
The defendants are standing trial on a 17-count charge bordering on conspiracy, unlawful retention of proceeds of theft and money laundering.
Fani-Kayode was accused of conspiring with the others to directly and indirectly retain various sums, which the EFCC claimed they ought to have reasonably known were proceeds of crime.
In one of the counts, the defendants were accused of conspiring among themselves to “indirectly retain the sum of N1,500,000,000.00” which sum they ought to have known “forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: stealing.”
They were also accused of indirectly retaining N300million, N400million and N800million, alleged to be proceeds of corruption. Fani-Kayode was accused of directly using part of the money at various times, including N250,650,000.00, he allegedly used between March 20 and 25, 2015.
He was accused of making transactions without going through any financial institution, an act the EFCC claimed contravened sections 1(a) and 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.
The defendants all pleaded not guilty.

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E2%80%99re-making-good-progress-logistics-says-inec-three-days-elections target=_blank>We’re Making Good Progress On Logistics, Says INEC Three Days To Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is making progress on logistics for the rescheduled presidential and National Assembly elections.
The Commission had announced the postponement of the elections hours before they were scheduled to begin on February 16, 2019.
The elections were postponed by one week and rescheduled for February 23, 2019, while the governorship and state houses of assembly elections would take place on March 9, 2019.
INEC had blamed logistics issues as one of the reasons for the postponement.
However, at press briefing on Wednesday on the updated preparation for the elections, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC Chairman, said the commission was making improvement on logistics.
He said: “At yesterday’s briefing, we reported that we achieved 95 per cent configuration of the smart card readers nationwide. For those who might wonder why we are laying so much emphasis on the smart card readers, particularly the international observers, I want to say that the card readers were introduced in 2015 to facilitate the accreditation of voters using the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs). They are configured to a specific polling unit and only opened for use at 8 in the morning on election day. They automatically shut down by 10pm in order to forestall any illegal use of the card readers before the appointed time of election; that is why we have to reconfigure them to the new date of Saturday, the 23rd of March.
“As I said earlier yesterday, I reported 95 per cent completion of the configuration. I am pleased to report that we have now achieved 100 per cent completion of the configuration. We are good to go on this score. Similarly, I briefed you yesterday that our state offices had commenced the process of inviting stakeholders to the branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria to examine the retrieved materials deployed last week and witness the batching of materials according to local government areas. Reports we received from the state indicate full compliance. So, on this score, we are good to go.
“Similarly, I briefed you yesterday that having moved the sensitive materials to the 37 states and the federal capital territory. The forward deployment to the 774 Local Government Areas nationwide will commence today, Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, and be concluded tomorrow Thursday, 21st February, 2019. Already ten states, Adamawa, Anambra, Benue, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katisina, Ogun, Osun, Oyo and Taraba, have commenced the movement of materials to the local government areas today. Other states will do so and conclude tomorrow. We will give a full rendition of movement to local government areas across all the states of the federation at the 3pm briefing tomorrow.
“We have been making good progress on logistics. All other arrangements for the movement of personnel from the local government areas to the wards are on course and we will also fully brief you tomorrow at 3pm.”

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target=_blank>Group Asks EFCC To Investigate N34million Entrepreneurship Training Executed By SMEDAN In Kwara

The Elites Network For Sustainable Development (ENetSuD) has written a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) demanding a probe of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) over the N34million entrepreneurship and skill acquisition training organised for 255 participants in Kwara State.
ENetSud, in the petition, disclosed that it tracked the skill acquisition training by SMEDAN and discovered that the agency did not organise the training and alleged that the money was diverted.
The organisation also said it wrote SMEDAN, demanding how the money was spent and names of beneficiaries.
The petition read: “We wrote a Freedom of Information (FOI) request ENetSuD/FOI/ZIP/01/11 dated 1st August, 2018 to Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to request for the execution details of the 2017 Zonal Intervention Projects (ZIPs) it executed in Kwara State, and SMEDAN received the letter on 7th August 2018. After failing to respond in accordance with FOI Act 2011, we wrote a reminder ENetSuD/FOI/ZIP/01/17 dated 29th August, 2018, which was received by SMEDAN on 4th September, 2018.
“The SMEDAN eventually replied us via a letter SMEDAN/DG/A/835/SUB I/21 dated 10th September 2018 and provided details. We further requested for names and contacts of the beneficiaries of these projects via a letter ENetSuD/FOI/ZIP/01/26 which SMEDAN received on 13th November, 2018.
“After SMEDAN’s failure to respond in accordance with FOI Act 2011, we delivered a 30-day pre-action notice ENetSuD/FOI/ZIP/01/30 on 18th December, 2018 to inform SMEDAN of our intention to take legal action in compliance with her establishment Act. SMEDAN finally replied us via a letter SMEDAN/DG/A/835/SUB I/22 dated 17th January, 2019, which we received on 22nd January, 2019.”
ENetSuD added that SMEDAN claimed to have trained 255 people, but found out that the claim was false.
“After extensive investigations on the beneficiaries provided to us by SMEDAN, we found that the attendance lists of all the 120 participants of entrepreneurship development training were fraudulently written and signed by a single individual, as the handwriting is the same. Some of the beneficiaries that we called denied outright any participation in such training.
“Also on the skill acquisition training, all the beneficiaries (that answered our calls) denied any previous participation in such training; most of the beneficiaries’ names appeared to be of Yoruba tribe, but our communication with them through phone calls revealed that most are of Hausa tribe, in addition to the fact that some claimed not to have ever been to Ilorin.
“Finally, on enterprise training we found that the phone numbers were owned by the beneficiaries as randomly sampled beneficiaries that we called confirmed that they were trained for 2 weeks in Ilorin, and they were as much as the number provided to us by SMEDAN.”
ENetSuD, however, derived that the beneficiaries list is fake while asking EFCC and the Police to take necessary action in line with the provisions of the law.
“Having established forgery, impersonation and falsehood in the official response to our FOI request by SMEDAN, you are kindly requested to take further necessary actions as prescribed by relevant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria within your constitutional powers.”

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target=_blank>Wrong Election Materials Sent To Delta Returned To INEC Headquarters In Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Delta State says electoral materials that were sent to Asaba, the Delta State capital, from the INEC headquarters in Abuja were returned because they were labelled with the wrong addresses.
Addressing journalists on Wednesday at the state INEC headquarters in Asaba, Cyril Omorogbe, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), spoke on the preparedness of the commission for the rescheduled elections, as well as the Abuja High Court judgement which purportedly nullified the candidature of Emmanuel Uduaghan, the immediate past governor of Delta State and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Delta South Senatorial district.
“We found out that some materials that were labelled Edo came to Delta. Others that were with minor errors, like hand-written corrections, were also rejected and returned to Abuja for appropriate ones,” he said.
The REC also denied the insinuation that his deployment to Delta State was influenced by Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomole.
Omorogbe disclosed that the postponement of last Saturday presidential and national Assembly elections was in favour of the commission, maintaining that the commission has since converted it to its advantage, insisting that the “the reconfiguration of the card readers was to enhance its performance.”
A press statement made available to journalists alleged that Uduaghan had been disqualified from the race by an Abuja High Court, following a suit instituted against Uduaghan by retired Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Terry Okorodudu, a chieftain of APC.
The statement, which was issued from the Press Unit, Government House, Asaba, was entitled ‘Court Dashes Uduaghan’s Senatorial Quest, Nullifies Delta South APC Nomination, Orders Fresh Primary’.
“The desire of the immediate past Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, to represent Delta South in the ninth Nigerian Senate has been dashed. A high court sitting in Abuja has declared his nomination a nullity,” the statement read.
According to Omorogbe, the Commission was not aware of such judgement.
The REC said the court at no time ordered the electoral umpire to delete Uduaghan’s name from the list of contestants in the election.
“We are not aware of any court judgement against Uduaghan. I am only aware of the case of eight wards in Burutu that later came to 10. We have postponed the matter until after elections. I will not talk much about the court case in Ethiope West involving Hon. Halim Agoda, a former member of the House of Representatives and Chief Edojah until I get information from the high command of the commission. We are not aware of any other judgement,” he said.
Uduaghan, through his media assistant, Monoyo Edon, also debunked the report of his disqualification, saying he remains the authentic candidate for the Delta South senatorial election for the All Progressives Congress (APC) slated for this Saturday.
The statement read: “We wish to clarify that His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, was never aware of the case nor was he a party to the case and was never joined in the alleged suit. The court had no time ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove the name of Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan from the list of candidates in the election.
“Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan has instructed his lawyers to take necessary legal steps on the matter, even as he enjoins APC party faithful and supporters to come out en masse to vote the party and all its candidates to victory in the elections.
“We wish to state categorically that His Excellency, Dr. Uduaghan remains the candidate of the APC for Delta South and we are confident of winning the election.”

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E2%80%98peoples-demonizing-party%E2%80%99 target=_blank>Reformed Avengers Endorse Buhari, Denounce Atiku’s ‘Peoples Demonizing Party’

The Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), a group of ex-militants, has condemned the threat by the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) to resume attacks on oil facilities and bomb pipelines across the Niger Delta if President Muhammadu Buhari is reelected.
The ex-militant leaders alleged that the threat by the Niger Delta Avengers is sponsored by an unnamed ex-militant leader from Delta State “in order to cover his sins as outlined against him by the Federal Government”.
The RNDA, led by Major General John Mark Ezonebi, a.k.a. Obama, after a crucial meeting with all unit commanders from across the Niger Delta region in the creeks of Delta State at Benin River to appraise burning national issues, including the purported endorsement of Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration to disregard the purported threat made by the NDA.
According to the group, the threat by NDA is a show of cowardice.
The statement read: “It is now clear to the world, Nigerians and the people of the Niger Delta region that the NDA is being sponsored by some corrupt elements of the failed PDP who looted the nation’s treasury dry and it is obvious to us that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who is the presidential candidate of the ‘Peoples Demonizing Party’ is one of the sponsors of the activities of the moribund NDA in the creeks following their endorsement of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
“To this end, the RNDA has warned the so-called self-acclaimed high command of the NDA, who is a fugitive ex-militant leader that is hiding in the creeks of Delta State, and its scanty members of the moribund NDA group to desist from their proposed threat claiming that if President Muhammadu Buhari wins the upcoming presidential election, they will resume attacks on oil facilities and bombing of pipelines in the creeks.
“The Reformed Niger Delta Avengers with the coalition of  nine militant groups are ever ready to lead the security agencies to smoke them out from their hiding places in the creeks, and we are going to bring down any community or kingdom that any attack on oil facilities and bombing of pipelines takes place in any part of the Niger Delta, and will expose alongside their sponsors and co-travellers in their ill-fated journey. It is sad and very obvious that the aims and objectives of the moribund NDA group has derailed from the genuine agitation of the people of the region and it is now purely for selfish interest. They are just using the name of the Niger Delta struggle to enrich family members and their kingdom affairs alone upon the detriment of the long-neglected emancipated people of the region in the creeks.
“RNDA wants to warn that enough is enough. The people of the region in the creeks can no longer be fooled under the guise of Niger Delta development, as the agitation in the creeks goes beyond Ijaw tribal agenda alone. It goes beyond Gbaramatu kingdom affairs and is neither a one-man show nor a family business venture affairs alone.
“The RNDA, however, wants to inform the long neglected people of the region, most especially those that are suffering in the creeks of the Niger Delta, that we cannot be fooled into another wasted years of misrule of our God-given natural resources again to be looted away in the hands of a corrupt political party like the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, programmed calculated political antics called ‘restructuring’, which is the latest political slogan of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar full of deceit and full of lies.
“We have to make it clear that the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, are the enemies to the long neglected emancipated people of the Niger Delta region. RNDA wants to ask: ‘Who allocated the oil bloc licence owned by Intels in the creeks of the Niger Delta?’ And it is also on record that it was under the former President Obasanjo and Atiku-led PDP administration that most of our communities in the creeks were razed and bombarded by military heavy weapons, like Odi Community, Zakibiam and most of the communities in Gbaramatu kingdom in 2009, under former president Yar’Adua of blessed memory and Goodluck Jonathan era. So, there is no gainsaying that it is the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, are the worst enemies of the people of the Niger Delta. It is the most corrupt political party in the world and has a way of deceiving the people of the region and Nigerians at large.
“What we at RNDA are agitating for is to remove the 13% derivation monies from the hands of the wicked, greedy inhuman Niger Delta governors, because the funds are meant for the oil-producing communities in the region and for the development of the people in the creeks directly. President Muhammadu Buhari has listened to the cry and the agitation of the RNDA and he has agreed to remove the 13% derivation monies from the hands of the governors after the forthcoming presidential election. That is the reason why we the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, with the coalition of the nine militant groups in the creeks, endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari and we are going to do anything possible in the creeks of the Niger Delta to make sure that he wins the presidential election, because he is a man of integrity, honest character and a patriotic Nigerian, who is not corrupt like the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku.”

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target=_blank>JUST IN: Tinubu, Ambode Parley At Lagos APC Stakeholders’ Meeting

Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State, and Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Wednesday attended a stakeholders’ meeting of the party together ahead of the 2019 general election.
The meeting is the latest confirmation of the newfound cordial relationship between duo, following a lengthy period of infighting that cost Ambode Tinubu’s support in the APC governorship primary and almost resulted in his impeachment by the Lagos State Assembly.
However, following a peace meeting brokered by the APC leadership in the state, which was held at the Lagos House, Marina, two weeks ago, Tinubu had said there was “no longer a question of impeachment”, as the executive and the legislative arms of government had resolved to work together in the interest of the state.
Also present at Wednesday’s stakeholders’ meeting, held at the APC secretariat on Acme Road, Ogba, were Alhaji Tunde Balogun; Babajide Sanwo-Olu, APC governorship candidate in Lagos; Oluranti Adebule, Lagos State Deputy Governor; and Femi Pedro, former Lagos State Deputy Governor.
See more photos from the meeting below:

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target=_blank>Nigerians Will Forever Remember You If You Become President, Iyanya Tells Sowore

Popular musician, Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk, widely known as ‘Iyanya’, says Nigerians will remember Omoyele Sowore forever if he emerges President in the general election rescheduled for Saturday, February 23, 2019.
This has come as a boost for the presidential ambition of Omoyele Sowore, contesting on the platform of the African Action Congress (AAC).
Iyanya made the statement when he appeared on Sowore’s #OurTime, a programme Sowore anchors to keep supporters updated on his campaign.
Commending entertainers for their contribution to advancing the country, Sowore noted that the industry and talent of musicians, as well as actors and actresses, have put the country favourably on the international scene.
Speaking with Sowore on #OurTime, Iyanya said: “I strongly believe that if someone like you goes in there, I’m sure you would do things that will make Nigerians remember Sowore for the rest of our lives and I’m wishing you the best.”
Iyanya commended Sowore’s SPICERHEAT agenda, stating that his plans would make the country better and help support the production of entrepreneurs.
“Imagine a Nigeria where everybody has light. What it means is that my nephew, who wants to start work, doesn’t need to buy a generator set. With the number of generators we have in Nigeria and the people who are exporting them, we can’t get power supply in Nigeria,” he said.
He expressed support for all young candidates seeking political positions in the coming elections, saying it is time Nigerians supported young candidates — because the country needs a “saviour” to salvage the deplorable situation of the country.
“I am sitting with you because every time I watch you, you speak facts. I’m also sitting down here to say let’s give young people a chance. If you go there and do well, I will support you forever, and Nigerians will support you. What Nigeria needs now is a saviour but nobody is holy.
“I agree with you that it is time for the government to let young people come up to office; it is time to make new heroes, especially the young generations, because Nigerians need people who love the people.
“The people are suffering today because there is no love coming from above to the lowest level. There are people who are suffering, who appreciate money as low as N100. So, it is time for the government to allow young people who have the relationship with the young generations to come in and bring new ideas and change the game, because the situation right now is not good for the people out there and it is really bad.”
Stating why celebrities are not coming out to publicly endorse politicians, Iyanya said the people come after them and sometimes attack them when the candidates they support fail to perform.
In his remarks, Sowore said: “Nigeria is at a point where there must be a generational transition. The old generation of leaders who are analogue thinkers must give way for the digital generations.”

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NCAA Threatens To Sanction GSM Operators Over Massive Debts

Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) operators in Nigeria have been warned to immediately remit to the coffers of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) all the debt arrears owed it by the operators.
NCAA threatened that any of the GSM operators who refused to pay all the outstanding would be sanctioned in accordance with the law.
This is as Captain Muhtar Usman, the Director-General of NCAA, frowned at the umbrella body of GSM operators in the country, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), for directing its members not to pay its outstanding debts until “all grey areas are settled”.
It was not however clear the exact amount of money the GSM operators owed the agency, but it was gathered that it ran into several millions of naira.
A statement issued on Wednesday by Sam Adurogboye, the General Manager, Public Affairs of NCAA, warned GSM operators with arrears of payments to remit such without further delay to avoid sanction.
Adurogboye said at a meeting with the GSM operators at the agency’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, Usman called on all telecom operators who were yet to remit their outstanding payments to NCAA to do so without further delay.
The statement quoted the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (Establishment) Act, Section 7(1) (n), which empowered it to prohibit and regulate the installation of any structure by virtue of its height or position considered to endanger the safety of air navigation.
He emphasised that pursuant to the above provision, NCAA required an Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) approval for every high-rise structure, mast, tower installation, irrespective of the height and location.
Adurogboye quoted the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) Part 12.1.7.1.11, as stating that: “The AHC shall remain in force for a period of one year when it shall be due for renewal unless suspended or cancelled by the authority. Similarly, the holder of an AHC certificate shall ensure proper records of AHC granted to it and the renewal of the AHC at least 30 days to the expiry date.”
Adurogboye stated that part of the grey areas were that AHC should be a one-off exercise, no renewals and structures for AHC should be selective, stressing that not all high-rise masts were deemed to endanger air navigation.
However, this position canvassed by ALTON, did not go down well with Usman, describing the directive of the association to its members to cease payments until when all matters related had been resolved.
He stated that Usman, therefore, espoused all relevant statutes that bequeathed NCAA the authority to render such services, and recover costs associated.
He said NCAA as a law-abiding organisation had been reluctant to review the fees for so many years, even when the reality at inception of the charges had considerably changed.
According to Usman, Nig.CARs Part 12.1.7.1.12 reads: “The authority shall carry out surveillance inspection of existing structures within the Nigerian airspace – on aerodrome or off aerodrome to ascertain the compliance level of the structures with safety measures in terms of painting, markers, lightings and approved heights for the structures.”
He explained that with this, there was a compulsory continuity in surveillance inspection of existing structures within the Nigerian airspace to ensure sustenance of safety of air navigation.
In his remarks, Gbenga Adebayo, the ALTON President, appreciated the engagement, and requested for a bilateral committee consisting of officials of both NCAA and ALTON to be established to hold periodic meetings for a smooth working relationship.

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