Friday, March 27, 2015

SIGNS OF THE TIMES : Baby with two horns born in Osun ... SEE PHOTOS HERE ... TribuneNews

The atmosphere in the maternity centre was serene. There was nothing suggesting the occurrence which took the reporter there. Nurses on duty were courteous but grew cautious and suspicious when it was obvious the reporter was not a patient. Why is he here?
The birth of a new born baby would normally elicit joy and excitement in people. It is more so when the mother has been longing for it without results for years.   But, the reverse was the case in a maternity centre (name withheld) situated at Ifosan area of Ilesa, in Osun State where a woman recently gave birth to a baby with two horns on its head.
A tip had given Saturday Tribune photos of the strange baby, the arrival of which caused fear and trepidation among the nurses and the proprietress of the maternity centre. The tip also described the hospital and the geography of its area of operation.
The description was vivid and accurate enough for  Saturday Tribune to locate the health centre without much difficulty. Here is the maternity centre where the baby with two horns was born. Then, there was a thick wall of silence. Nurses on duty would neither deny nor confirm the development. The reporter was tossed up and down and finally landed before the proprietress of the centre. She would not talk unless her identity and that of her hospital were protected. The reporter gave his words.  
“It is true the baby was born,” she said, but added that the horror of the event compelled her to instruct her staff to keep sealed lips over the development, with a view to warding off public attention to the centre over the scary baby.
Speaking with Saturday Tribune during the visit on Thursday, the proprietress, (she is called matron by her staff) said  the woman who gave birth to this deformed baby was “about 25 years old and she has been without a child for three years.”
She explained that “this woman lives in one of the farm settlements on the outskirt of Ilesa. She registered for antenatal service here. So, when she wanted to put to bed, her relatives rushed her here to deliver the baby.
“But we were shocked to the marrow when she eventually delivered the baby with two horns on the head after going into labour for some hours. By the time she was delivered of the baby, it was already dead and we had to separate it from the placenta.
“I have never seen such a terrible creature in my life. So, we helped to pack the dead baby and the placenta and handed them over to them before they left our premises. It was indeed a fearful development and we were saddened about it.
“This is not something we can celebrate. So, I ordered by nurses and other attendants to keep their mouth shut over the incident. But, I am very surprised how you people got to know about it and came here to inquire about it. I do not want anyone to make something unnecessary out of this or create problems for us here,” she stated.
She would not disclose the whereabouts of the woman who delivered the baby.  “I cannot give you any details about her. Like I told you, she lives in one of the farm settlements on the outskirts of Ilesa and I don’t really know the area and I want you to leave me out of this matter,” she added.
The woman who froze when she was shown the photographs of the baby, however, confirmed its genuineness but asked how Saturday Tribune got them. A staff  member of the clinic also showed Saturday Tribune her own photos of the baby taken with her phone.
All efforts to locate the exact location of the baby’s mother and her identity were not successful.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


ABUJA—Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, Wednesday, said he has no regrets for insisting on deploying Smart Card Reader machines for the conduct of the general election, saying he knew that the decision would attract unwarranted attacks on his integrity as a person.
Would-be riggers the ones crying foul, says INEC boss
Jega, who stated this while unveiling the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room in Abuja yesterday,, maintained that it is only those that hitherto nurtured plans to fraudulently manipulate the outcome of the elections, that have been crying foul over the introduction of the technology which he said would only add credibility to the electoral process in the country.
He said that INEC had perfected all its strategies and put every apparatus in place with a view to ensuring a hitch free poll that will reflect the summative choice of Nigerians.
“Let me use this opportunity to reassure Nigerians that we believe that we have done everything possible to ensure that the 2015 general election is successful. We are adequately prepared in terms of both logistics and manpower. Likewise, all the security agencies, especially the police which have a lead role to play in terms of providing security during elections, have assured us that they are ready.
Chairman of the Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega
Chairman of the Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega
“Beginning from today, we are commencing the rolling out of non-sensitive materials. Likewise, from Friday, all the sensitive materials will be retrieved from the vault of the Central Bank Nigeria by our officers, accompanied by security operatives and representatives of the political parties”.
He said that the materials would be distributed to states from where it would be taken to local government areas and subsequently to the ward level.
Jega further highlighted the fact that the commission has provided and reasonably equipped Registration Area Centers, RACs, “to ensure that both our staff in various states and security agents spend few hours of the night on Friday there to enable them to be ready to deploy the sensitive materials on the election morning”.
He assured that there will be remarkable reduction in the delays that were previously experienced in the commencement of elections, as well as retrieval of materials at the end of election.
However, the INEC boss said it was regrettable that the results of the election will not be electronically transmitted to the collation points. He said though INEC initially piloted the procedure at two previous elections in Cross River and Niger States, “we decided that we will not put the electronic transmission of results to use in 2015 in view of the controversies the procedure might likely generate from those who don’t see anything good in what we are doing as a commission.
“We can see the dust that the introduction of card readers raised. So we decided to keep piloting and improving on the system beyond 2015, hopefully, by 2019, the commission will introduce it for the general election”.
‘They know card readers ‘ll stop alteration of figures’
On the issue of the card readers, Jega, who stressed that the process will help address concerns about the alteration of election figures to fraudulently confer advantage on some candidates to the detriment of others, said no such thing would happen this time around.
“This is indeed why they have been attacking me because they know that the card reader machines will help us to address all those irregularities, starting from the accreditation of voters at all the polling units. How can they manipulate the election when all the information with regards to the number of voters that turned out at every polling unit is automatically captured and transmitted by the card reader machines?
‘We have made rigging impossible for them’
He continued; “We have made rigging impossible for them as there is no how the total number of votes cast at the polling unit could exceed the number of accredited persons. Such discrepancy in figures will be immediately spotted. This technology will further make it impossible for any corrupt electoral officer to connive with any politician to pad-up results”, he added.
Besides, Jega noted that in the past, dubious INEC officials usually delayed the entry of number of accredited voters until the end of voting so as to have the leeway to tamper with results, a problem he said would be obviated by the smart card readers.
He said that both the card readers and the result sheets would be taken to the ward levels, “once there is evidence of tampering, the information saved in the card reader will be retrieved.
“To my mind, these are some of the reasons why many of them are opposing the use of the card readers. The crooked ways they used in the past to get away with manipulation of election results have been dealt with. This time, with the card readers, such fraud will be easy to establish.
“We have further made arrangement that all the results coming to local government collection centers will be scanned, transformed to PDF format and uploaded on our website so that anybody can go there and confirm result from his polling unit.
“We believe that this is an added value to our process, it is something that we have not been able to do in the past. Let me also use this opportunity to advise political parties to pay attention to the appointment and accreditation of agents they will deploy at the polling unit level.
They should not appoint people without credibility, who can be bought over by other party agents”, Jega stated.
Police promises adequate security
Earlier at the event, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, who was represented by the force public relations officer, Mr. Emmanuel Ojukwu, expressed the readiness of the Nigeria Police Force to provide adequate security during and after the elections.
He said that particular attention was being focused on the protection of NYSC members that will work as ad-hoc staff for INEC during the elections.
“Infact, we are already prepared for the 2019 elections. Those who taught the Nigeria will disintegrate by 2015 are in for a disappointment. Our men are well prepared, trained and motivated to carry out their responsibilities during the election. We are also working with other law enforcement agencies to have adequate security manpower”, Ojukwu said.
In a statement that was read by the Executive Director of Policy and Legal Advocacy Center, Mr Clement Nwankwo, the Civil Society Situation Room, urged Nigerians to go out en mass to exercise their franchise and defend their votes.
“It is important for all Nigerians to recognize that beyond the partisan divisions and the outcomes of the electoral contests, the future of Nigeria is the main issue at stake”, it added.
The situation room is a coalition of over 60 Civil Society Organizations that are involved in monitoring elections in Nigeria.

COMING 48HRS TO THE ELECTIONS, WHAT DO WE NOW MAKE OF THIS? : Babangida fumes at anti-military political broadcast ... VanguardNews

Former President Ibrahim Babangida has flayed what he Wednesday described as an attempt to ridicule the military institution and some of its sterling lights in the name of politics.
Taking note of a television documentary aired on Tuesday night on a private television network to project President Goodluck Jonathan ahead of the presidential election, Babangida lamented that the  president’s backers at the same time poured calumny on some of the country’s former military rulers.
President Goodluck Jonathan and Ibrahim Babangida
President Goodluck Jonathan and Ibrahim Babangida
Babangida took strong objections to what he said were the negative imputations put on the integrity and services to the nation by Generals Olusegun Obasanjo, Muhammadu Buhari, himself; Ibrahim Babangida, late Sani Abacha, Abdulsalami Abubakar, and T.Y Danjuma.
Noting that the sponsors of the documentary which he described as a hate campaign were either intellectually delinquent or suffering from memory loss; or a combination of both, Babangida referred them to his leading role in the formation of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
He said:
“For record purposes, and without sounding immodest, the idea of a PDP that has now become the “largest party in Africa” started in my home, here in Minna. With the support of my fellow colleagues, we prepared the way for this democratic process that has now led us to where we are presently. We built the democratic infrastructure and architecture. Those who are parading themselves as democrats today, all participated in military governments. As a deliberate principle of remaining unsung, or blowing my own trumpet, I have elected over the years to maintain dignified silence on so many issues concerning Nigeria while I cultivate my access to each sitting President to pass across my advice in whatever form.
“It is on record and this is incontrovertible that the government I ran paraded some of the best brains this country can be proud of. I still remain eternally grateful to those wonderful brains who participated in our government to fashion a new roadmap for re-engineering the country. Some of our policies have remained unsurpassed till date and most of what the country enjoys today was a creation of the Military.
From primary healthcare to good roads, DFRRI, Better Life for Rural Women, housing, river basin authorities, MAMSER, new airports, agricultural development and other economic infrastructure, to mention but a few, were platforms where our interventions were felt. We achieved that much with very slim resources. If we had the several billions of dollars that are flying around today, we would have turned Nigeria to the Dubai of Africa.
“The military is an institution that is so dear to my heart. It is an institution that nurtured my growing up and my achievements in life. I am not only sold to the military institution and by extension the Nigerian state, I am betrothed to it. As a profession, retirees are bound to participate in politics and democracy as an all-inclusive process, same way that Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, Nurses, and Civil Servants get involved in it.
It is the reason why I ventured into politics in 2003 before I quit in 2010. It is the same reason why General Obasanjo participated and got elected; and now General Buhari. It is therefore very curious that promoters of President Goodluck Jonathan’s aspiration would attempt to demonize and stigmatize former military leaders and cast aspersions on them in order to malign their reputation. This is very unfair.
“Fact is; the military fought a civil war to keep this country together. What I suffer today is a consequence of the injuries I sustained during the Nigeria Civil War. I am not sure there is any patriotism that is more than that. Some of us were prepared to die for the country. The military is presently combating the dreaded Boko Haram sect to restore Nigeria’s territorial integrity. What law under a democracy forbids retired military personnel from participating in politics and presenting themselves for election? Over 90 percent of American Presidents have military background.
Leadership training is better grounded in the military than any other profession. And the military parades some of the best brains in any country, including Nigeria. In fact, some of my military students that I tutored have Doctorate Degrees. It is therefore callous, wicked, out-of-sync, cynical and a show of crass ignorance for anyone to undermine the military institution by embarking on mudslinging campaigns against former presidents and leaders of military background.
“While those campaigners are pointing their accusing fingers at us, they forget to recall that the present Director-General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization is actually a retired Military Officer. It is this form of demonization and stigmatization that often compels us to exhibit espirit de corps amongst ourselves in support of our military institution and colleagues when the stakes are high. As disciplined military officers, we are patriotic Nigerians and must be treated with utmost respect and decorum.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

WHEN DNA TESTING CAN BE OF GREAT HELP : Fayose embarrassing our family, says brother ... TheNation

Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose’s eldest brother, Segun, has appealed to the governor to stop embarrassing the family.
He said their father was a gentle pastor, who built and sustained a good name for the family, before joining his ancestors.
The elder Fayose spoke with our reporters in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
He said rather than sustain the good name which he inherited, the governor has been embarrassing other Fayoses with the way he insults elders  like former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.
Segun, who is a United Kingdom-based accountant, said the family cherished the name it inherited from its late patriarch.
Emphasising that their father died with contentment, the elder Fayose said the family was known in Ekiti for sound character found in every omoluabi.
He described Chief Obasanjo as Ayo Fayose’s benefactor.
Segun said: “It is a pity Nigerians are celebrating criminals. I am angry with Nigerians for electing somebody like Ayodele as governor. My children cannot come to Nigeria because of the terrible situation of our country.
“I don’t have a relationship with any of our leaders because of their criminality and anybody who says I collected money from  the opposition should step forward to challenge me. Ekiti and Nigeria are bigger than Fayose’s name and both names should be protected.
“I don’t want anything from anybody, but Ayo should stop insulting and abusing my father’s name. As a result of Fayose’s attitude, many people believe the Fayose family is rude but it is far from the truth.
“I have spoken to him many times, but he refused to listen. Buhari and Obasanjo are old enough to be his father and I don’t know why he should be insulting them.
“I am always sad with the situation of this country. Ayo’s arrogance is one of the reasons I said people should not vote for him prior to the Ekiti governorship election. If all I am saying is not true, my six children should die and I should end up in shame.
“Most of us abroad are not happy with the situation of Nigeria. We are sad. When people call me from Ekiti to complain about Ayo, I tell them to forgive the family. People should not see Ayo as an ambassador of our family.”

Monday, March 23, 2015

WHO NEEDS THESE NORTHERN VOTES SEF? : Jonathan doesn’t deserve North’s votes after wife abused Northerners – Aisha Buhari ... PremiumTimes

Aisha Buhari
The wife of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Aisha Buhari, has condemned the repeated bashing of the North by the wife of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Patience Jonathan allegedly described the region as an enclave of beggars and unwanted children.
Mrs. Buhari said the description coming from someone who ironically campaigns for votes in that region is an indication of a hidden agenda, adding that the people of the North should, therefore, reject the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate.
Mrs. Buhari promised Kano women that her husband and the APC will be faithful to their electoral promises, and also will initiate programmes that will make women self-reliant.
“With General Buhari in power, the spate of kidnapping and reckless assassination of innocent people will be history in Nigeria. With General Buhari in power, the nation’s depressing economy will be rebounded in line with the expectation of the citizens and world best practices,” she said.
Mrs. Buhari said she was in Kano to canvass the support of women knowing their role as important pillars in winning election the world over, saying it would be a disaster for any politician to ignore the vital role of women.
She stressed the need for women to exhibit courage and fighting spirit, just as she urged them to make themselves available as foot soldiers during the election.
Mrs. Buhari advocated for more freedom for women in the North so that they would be able to engage themselves in productive enterprises like their counterparts in the Southern part of the country.
She commended the Kano State Government under the leadership of Rabiu Kwankwaso for its giant developmental strides, particularly in improving access to education.
Mrs. Buhari said Mr. Kwankwaso’s administration took children out of streets to schools.

THIS MAN WILL PROMISE ANYTHING TO KEEP HIS JOB : I’ll End Oil Sector Corruption In Four Years – Jonathan ... PunchNews

President Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday evening promised to eradicate corruption in the nation’s oil sector in the next four years if re-elected during the Saturday’s Presidential election.
Jonathan made the promise in Lagos at a youth event tagged “An unimaginable feat in sports” meant to showcase his administration’s achievements in the sports sector.
The event which ended in the early hours of Monday attracted sports men and women, young professionals as well as beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s scholarship schemes among others.
While answering question from one of the participants during an interactive session of the event, the President promised to end the stigmatisation of Nigerians in the international community because of corruption.
He said his administration had succeeded in using technology to tackle corruption in many areas such as fertilizer distribution, procurement and salary payment among others and will do the same in the oil industry.
He said, “We are going into oil sector. People talk about the oil industry because that is an industry with a lot of people and a lot of money is involved.
“But I promise you that in the next four years, we will sanitise the oil sector.”
Jonathan regretted that the issue of corruption is being over-celebrated in a manner that makes it look as if the whole of the country is corrupt.
He said all Nigerians must work together to ensure that the stigmatisation of Nigerians is cleared.
The President also promise to work with the young people because of his conviction that parents who do not encourage young ones are preparing their families for extinction.
Specifically, he promised that he will give more youths under the age of 40 years more opportunities to serve as ministers and heads of government parastatals.
He said, “Before he left to go and participate in election as deputy governorship candidate in Jigawa State, Nurudeen (former Minister of State, Foreign Affairs) was a minister and he is below 40.
“Last week, we swore in the youngest female minister. She is also about 40 years old.
“Apart from cabinet positions for under 40s, we are also appointing young people as heads of parastatals.
“We want to continue to encourage those in youth-dominated sectors such as business, sports and entertainment industries too.
“I can assure you that we shall not go below what we are currently doing. I know you want more, vote for us and you will get it.”
Answering a question on poverty rate in the country, Jonathan puts it at 33.1 percent as against the over 60 percent that he said some people were brandishing.
He however added that the issue is not about the percentage but about the desire of his government to impact more on the lives of the people.
On the health sector, Jonathan highlighted the feats being achieved by some tertiary health institutions in the country in the areas of kidney transplant and heart surgeries.
He also mentioned the successes recorded in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease, guinea worm as well as polio.
He promised to do more for the sector if re-elected.
Jonathan also reiterated his promise to institute special funds to assist sports men and women if re-elected.
Overall, he said better days were ahead for the country under his leadership.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

FOR THE RECORDS : FULL TEXT: Rivers Deputy Governor, Ikuru’s Defection Speech

My dear People of Rivers State, I bring you honest and sincere greetings.
Today, I address you out of the fullness of my heart. Recall that in December 2013, out of extreme loyalty to my Boss and friend, I joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) along with other then disillusioned Rivers People.
Ever since, as the true nature and motives of APC are unveiled, I have continued to twist and turn in extreme mental and emotional agony.
The more I struggle to belong, the more the Rivers man in me rejects the APC. After carefully studying, interacting and analysing the leadership of the party, I have come to the sad conclusion that the APC is a party of rebels, insurgents and anarchists, clothed in robes of pretence and deceit. APC is a party founded on deception and it thrives on unholy propaganda and falsehood.
I therefore, on behalf of my teaming supporters, and my humble self-denounce the APC and we all jointly and severally resign our membership of the APC.
My dear people of Rivers State, we of this generation will not in good conscience expect forgiveness and compassion from our forebears, posterity, and the spirit of our unborn generations if it is recorded in the annals of history that after 48 Years of Rivers people supporting leaders from all other parts of this country with our votes and resources, we were the same that witch hunted and hounded down the very first ever President from this region, granted us by providence.
I wash my hands off this treachery.
In the light of the above, I wish to urge all My Supporters, the Good People of Rivers State to join hands with other well-meaning Nigerians to massively vote for President GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN (GCFR) and the Transformation Agenda that has brought so much relief and succour to the greatest number of Nigerians. I also urge all Rivers People to vote for Chief Barr Nyesom Wike (CON), who has shown by his antecedents, track records and boundless capabilities that he will deliver good governance to the People of Rivers State.
Thank You and God Bless You All Abundantly.
Engr Tele Ikuru