Nigeria and Cameroon may clash over boko Haram

Nigeria and Cameroon may clash over boko Haram

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Sunday, 15 November 2015

FOOTBALL GOSSIP- Mourinho, Falcao and Diego Costa to leave Chelsea, Arjen Robben, ready for Man Utd move

Mourinho, Falcao and Diego Costa 'to leave Chelsea' while Arjen Robben 'ready' for Manchester United move

In the absence of any real football, sports journalists and pundits are having to ‘earn their corn’ and go out and find some stories.

Or they can make them up. Or speculate. But try and involve Chelsea at the moment if possible and everyone seems to be reveling in the 2015-2016 season specialists of failure.

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So step forward Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle legend David Ginola who has told BT Sport that he believes not only will Jose Mourinho quit Stamford Bridge and become Paris St-Germain boss but he will also sign Cristiano Ronaldo – in time for next season.

I wonder how current PSG manager Laurent Blanc feels about that?


Ginola insisted: “I know the Qatari investors would like to have Ronaldo at the club, no matter how much it will cost, they will pay for it.

“And I can also see Mourinho as the next manager of the team.

“So I think there’s going to be a lot of Portuguese in Paris.”

If all is to be believed, they might as well install revolving doors at Stamford Bridge.

According to the Sunday Express, the Blues will offer Atletico Madrid £40m for striker Antoine Griezmann, but two other Chelsea forwards could be bidding farewell to London.

There are, however, no quotes to back this 'exclusive' up…

The Sun on Sunday says Mourinho is ready to send Radamel Falcao back to parent club Monaco if an agreement can be reached to end his season-long loan from the Ligue 1 club.

There are, however, no quotes to back this one up…

And Diego Costa looks to have paid the price for a barren spell and on-pitch behaviour. The Sunday Mirror reports Chelsea will sell him in January and pursue two other strikers.

There are, however, no quotes to back this one up…

The same paper claims former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben is up for grabs after falling out with Bayern Munich team mate Robert Lewandowski – Manchester United head that apparent queue for that apparently unhappy Dutchman who wants to link up once again with his former Holland boss Louis Van Gaal.

There are, however, no quotes to back this one up…

At least Nemanja Matic will be able to turn his full attention to Chelsea’s Premier League plight. The midfielder revealed to the Evening Standard that he is ready to quit the Serbian national team because he doesn’t like the attitude of his team mates.

Said Matic: “I told our coach there is no point in me carrying on with the national team if things don’t change.”

Tottenham’s plans to finally secure the signature of West Brom frontman Saido Berahino could be derailed by Newcastle who, according to the Sun on Sunday have £20m set aside for just such a bid in January but White Hart Lane fans could be welcoming Dinamo Kiev defender Domagoj Vida for £7m claims the Daily Star Sunday.

There are, however, no quotes to back these ones up…

Former Spurs striker Emmanuel Adebayor, linked with Aston Villa for so long when his ex-boss Tim Sherwood was in charge there, is now once again ready to put pen to paper for the Villa Park strugglers and new boss Remi Garde claims the Birmingham Mail.

There are, however, no quotes to back this one up but apparently SkyBet has Adebayor 6/4 favourite to do so “before February 3”, an odd random date, by which time Villa Park fans will already be planning for life in the Championship and possible trips to Burton, Gillingham and deadly local rivals Walsall

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Nigeria & Cameroon may clash over Boko Haram

Boko Haram
There are strong indications that Nigeria and Cameroon may clash over Boko Haram as the Federal Government accuses Cameroon of harboring members of the militant Islamic section.
Saturday PUNCH learnt on Thursday that the Federal Government was becoming increasingly frustrated by the refusal of Cameroon to cooperate with Nigeria in its efforts to combat the militant Islamic sect.
A top source in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who confided in one of our correspondents in Abuja, said that President Goodluck Jonathan would report Cameroon to relevant agencies in the United Nations.
Part of government’s strategy is to adopt the policy of hot pursuit, whereby Nigeria’s military will chase the insurgents into their hideouts and flush them out while those in the diplomatic circles will continue with diplomacy.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that this was one of the reasons why Jonathan canvassed that countries should be allowed to chase fleeing terrorists to other nations while addressing fellow African leaders during Thursday’s International Conference on Human Security, Peace and Development: Agenda for 21st Century Africa, in Abuja.
He had asked his colleagues to, as of  necessity, change their collective approach and work closely together to confront and defeat the purveyors of hate who do not respect borders and boundaries.
He said, “Our architecture must recognise the fact that trans-border criminals don’t respect boundaries while law enforcement agencies are compelled to respect our international boundaries,’’ adding,  “There must be compromise on this if we must wipe out criminality and trans-border crimes.
“While we respect our national boundaries, terrorists move in and out of our borders, it’s now time that we should agree as African leaders that an act of terror against one nation is an act of terror against all nations.”
In a veiled reference to Cameroon, the President said, “We must not allow our countries to become safe havens for terrorists; we must cooperate maximally beyond political boundaries and adopt protocols that allow other countries to pursue terrorists to their safe havens in other nations.
“While we cannot redefine our borders we can redefine our collective approach in fighting trans-boundary insurgencies.’’
Saturday PUNCH learnt that the Federal Government was of the view that since the joint commissions had not yielded any positive fruit, it should start looking towards a new direction.
“The best option is to involve the military and use the policy of hot pursuit,’’ a foreign ministry source noted.
The Federal Government believes Cameroon has a history of harbouring criminals that use its territory to destabilise Nigeria.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that the Federal Government was aware of Cameroon’s   unexplainable indifference to Nigeria. One of the sources said that as early as 1906, northern Nigeria suffered from violence orchestrated by religious leaders whose roots were in northern Cameroon.
It was further learnt that the Federal Government was disturbed that Cameroon, unlike  Niger and Chad, had been providing a safe haven for fleeing Boko Haram members in northern Cameroon.
Nigeria’s frustrations were echoed by President Goodluck Jonathan, who during the last presidential media chat, made a veiled reference to contacts being made with Cameroon over Boko Haram.
According to a source, the 1906 Mahdist rebellion in Kano has an imprint of such pseudo Islamic teachers.
The source recalled that Mallam Muhammadu Marwa, better known as “Maitatsine” a Fulani native of Marwa, in northern Cameroon, was driven from the northern commercial city of Kano back to Cameroon by the Emir of Kano in 1962.
He further noted that Maitatsine returned to Nigeria in 1966 as a Quranic teacher. “Marwa remained in the country recruiting and indoctrinating gullible young men until he led an insurgency in the 1980s,’’ he added.
Commenting specifically on the Boko Haram insurgency, the source said, “From all indications, there appears to be an unwritten understanding between the sect members and Cameroonian security forces that they can operate from bases within their borders as long as they don’t launch attacks within Cameroon.
“Cameroon has a history of harbouring criminals who use its territory to destabilise Nigeria. You may wish to recall that the leader of the Maitatsine Islamic sect operated from Marwa, a Cameroonian border with Nigeria’’
Also, a retired diplomat who pleaded anonymity, expressed disappointment that Cameroon had failed to reciprocate Nigeria’s generosity, especially after giving up the Bakassi Peninsula.
He, however, said the situation was not hopeless if Nigeria could leverage on its healthy relationship with western powers like the United States and the United Kingdom to put pressure on France who in turn would call Cameroon to order.
Investigations by Saturday PUNCH further showed that Nigerian diplomats were at their wits end after several diplomatic entreaties through the Nigeria/Cameroon Joint Commission which sought to strengthen bilateral ties between the two neighbours failed.
The source made reference to America’s war in Afghanistan which he said was part of US strategy of taking the war on terrorism to insurgents outside US borders.
Military sources, who also pleaded anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the issue, confirmed the agreement between Cameroonian gendarmes and Boko Haram operatives to Saturday punch

Tuesday, 24 December 2013


Thursday, 5 December 2013

Nelson Mandela dead at 95

Nelson Mandela, the revered South African anti-apartheid icon who spent 27 years in prison, led his country to democracy and became its first black president, died Thursday at home. He was 95.
"He is now resting," said South African President Jacob Zuma. "He is now at peace."
"Our nation as lost his greatest son," he continued. "Our people have lost their father."
A state funeral will be held, and Zuma called for mourners to conduct themselves with "the dignity and respect" that Mandela personified.
"Wherever we are in the country, wherever we are in the world, let us reaffirm his vision of a society… in which none is exploited, oppressed or dispossessed ed by another," he said.
Though he was in power for only five years, Mandela was a figure of enormous moral influence the world over – a symbol of revolution, resistance and triumph over racial segregation.
He inspired a generation of activists, left celebrities and world leaders star-struck, won the Nobel Peace Prize and raised millions for humanitarian causes.
South Africa is still bedeviled by challenges, from class inequality to political corruption to AIDS. And with Mandela’s death, it has lost a beacon of optimism.
Feb. 1990: NBC's Robin Lloyd reports on Nelson Mandela on the eve of his release from prison in 1990. Mandela's name has become a rallying cry for the overthrow of apartheid, but no one but prison guards and visitors have actually seen him since he was jailed 27 years ago.
In his jailhouse memoirs, Mandela wrote that even after spending so many years in a Spartan cell on Robben Island – with one visitor a year and one letter every six months – he still had faith in human nature.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion,” he wrote in “Long Walk to Freedom.”
“People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” 
Mandela retired from public life in 2004 with the half-joking directive, “Don’t call me, I’ll call you,” and had largely stepped out of the spotlight, spending much of his time with family in his childhood village.
His health had been fragile in recent years. He had spent almost three months in a hospital in Pretoria after being admitted in June for a recurring lung infection. He was released on Sept. 1.
In his later years, Mandela was known to his countrymen simply as Madiba, the name of his tribe and a mark of great honor. But when he was born on July 18, 1918, he was named Rolihlahla, which translated roughly – and prophetically – to “troublemaker.”
South Africa's anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela turned 93 today, as 12 million school children celebrated his life in song. Brian Williams reports.
Mandela was nine when his father died, and he was sent from his rural village to the provincial capital to be raised by a fellow chief. The first member of his family to get a formal education, he went to boarding school and then enrolled in South Africa’s elite Fort Hare University, where his activism unfurled with a student boycott.
As a young law scholar, he joined the resurgent African National Congress just a few years before the National Party – controlled by the Afrikaners, the descendants of Dutch and French settlers – came to power on a platform of apartheid, in which the government enforced racial segregation and stripped non-whites of economic and political power.
As an ANC leader, Mandela advocated peaceful resistance against government discrimination and oppression – until 1961, when he launched a military wing called Spear of the Nation and a campaign of sabotage.
The next year, he was arrested and soon hit with treason charges. At the opening of his trial in 1964, he said his adoption of armed struggle was a last resort born of bloody crackdowns by the government.
“Fifty years of non-violence had brought the African people nothing but more and more repressive legislation and fewer and few rights,” he said from the dock.
“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
April, 1994: Former political prisoner Nelson Mandela is on the verge of being elected South Africa's first black president.
He was sentenced to life in prison and sent to Robben Island. As inmate No. 466/64, he slept on the floor of a six-foot-wide cell, did hard labor in a quarry, organized fellow prisoners – and earned a law degree by correspondence.
As the years passed, his incarceration drew ever more attention, with intensifying cries for his release as a global anti-apartheid movement gained traction. Songs were dedicated to him and 600 million people watched the Free Mandela concert at London’s Wembley Stadium in 1988.
In 1985, he turned down the government’s offer to free him if he renounced armed struggle against apartheid. It wasn’t until South African President P.W. Botha had a stroke and was replaced by F.W. de Klerk in 1989 that the stage was set for his release.
After a ban on the ANC was repealed, a whiter-haired Mandela walked out prison before a jubilant crowd and told a rally in Cape Town that the fight was far from over.
“Our struggle has reached a decisive moment,” he said. “We have waited too long for our freedom. We can no longer wait.”
Over the next two years, Mandela proved himself a formidable negotiator as he pushed South Africa toward its first multiracial elections amid tension and violence. He and de Klerk were honored with the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts.
When the elections were held in April 1994, the ex-prisoner became the next president and embarked on a mission of racial reconciliation, government rebuilding and economic rehabilitation.
Philip Littleton / AFP - Getty Images, file
Springbok captain Francois Pienaar receives the Rugby World Cup from South African President Nelson Mandela at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on June 24, 1995.
A year into his tenure, with racial tensions threatening to explode into civil war, Mandela orchestrated an iconic, unifying moment: He donned the green jersey of the Springboks rugby team – beloved by whites, despised by blacks – to present the World Cup trophy to the team captain while the stunned crowd erupted in cheers of “Nelson! Nelson!”
He chose to serve only one five-year term – during which he divorced his second wife, Winnie, a controversial activist, and married his third, Graca, the widow of the late president of Mozambique.
After leaving politics, he concentrated on his philanthropic foundation. He began speaking out on AIDS, which had ravaged his country and which some critics said he had not made a priority as president.
When he officially announced he was leaving public life in 2004, it signaled he was slowing down, but he still made his presence known. For his 89th birthday, he launched a “council of elders,” statesmen and women from around the world who would promote peace. For his 90th, he celebrated at a star-studded concert in London’s Hyde Park.
As he noted in 2003, “If there is anything that would kill me it is to wake up in the morning not knowing what to do.”
In April, de Klerk was asked on the BBC if he feared that Mandela’s eventual death would expose fissures in South Africa that his grandfatherly presence had kept knitted together.
De Klerk said that Madiba would be just as unifying a force in death.
“When Mandela goes, it will be a moment when all South Africans put away their political differences, take hands, and will together honor maybe the biggest South African that has ever lived,” he said.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Police arrest another baby factory operator in Imo, rescues 16 pregnant teenagers

Some of the pregnant teenage girls being rescued by the police

Police arrest another baby factory operator in Imo
… Rescue 16 pregnant teenagers
Imo State Police Command yesterday arrested one Dr. Ezuma for alleged human trafficking, operating under the guise of a non-governmental organisation (NGO). Ezuma, a native of Ndiokeke Ndiakunwanta in Arondizogu in Ideato Local Government Area of Imo State, was arrested in his residence at Egbu Road, Owerri which he had allegedly registered as an NGO called women and children rights protection initiative along with 16 pregnant teenage girls.
Parading the suspect before newsmen, the state Commissioner for Police, Mr. Muhammad Katsina, said the suspect had used the NGO as a cover for his heinous activities of encouraging teenage girls to get pregnant and after delivery, they were paid N100,000 on the condition that they would abandon their babies.
“You may wish to know that when a search was conducted in the premises being used as an office for an NGO, 16 pregnant teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 19 years, who are at different stages of pregnancy, were seen. Also recovered in the premises was an automatic eight loader pump action gun which is a prohibited firearm.” The police boss also  expressed concern over a missing newborn baby who was sold to unknown persons who were yet to be found.

He said the child was delivered on November 24 by one Chinaza Nnachi, a native of Ebonyi State, who came to the home when she was stranded during her pregnancy. Katsina said efforts to locate the child proved abortive as the suspect had refused to lead the police to where the baby was being kept.
“So far he has taken us to Abia State, where he said the baby is but we were unable to recover the baby; though investigations are still ongoing, the presumption at the moment is that the baby may have been used for ritual purposes.” The Imo State police boss alleged that the suspect was a gun runner who had been arraigned for unlawful possession of firearms.
“It is pertinent to mention that the suspect was arraigned before an Owerri Chief Magistrate Court 1 in November 2013 for the offence of conspiracy and unlawful possession of firearms.” The police also found 10 unregistered vehicles which the suspect claimed to own; the commissioner however said Ezuma could not provide any proof of purchase or ownership of the vehicles.
He warned parents and guardians to be vigilant and ensure that their children do not fall prey to exploiters, adding, that the command would continue in its campaign to ensure that the business of trading in unborn babies in the state was eradicated and the perpetrators brought to book.

Military panel recommends trial of 500 suspected B’Haram members

Members of the boko haram sect
The Joint Investigation Team, constituted by the military high command, has recommended the immediate arraignment of no fewer than 500 suspected Boko Haram members arrested in the North Eastern part of the country.
The Defence headquarters alleged that the suspects were arrested in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states during raids by security agencies in the states, which have been under emergency rule for three months.
‪Director, Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, in a statement on Wednesday said the suspects were fished out among 1,400 detainees that were screened by the investigators at various detention facilities between July and September.
‪Ihe Defence Headquarters had in July set up the 19-member panel, comprising high ranking officers from the military, police, officials of federal and state ministries of justice, Immigration, Prisons and the Nigerian Customs Service.
Olukolade explained that the suspects, who were recommended for trial, included high-profile suspects, some of whom were training other terrorists in weapon handling and those who confessed to have been trained in Mali and other countries to carry out terror attacks in the country.
‪Among the suspects, he added, included a medical doctor, paramilitary or service personnel, who were fighting on the side of the terrorists and other individuals, who offered direct logistics support to the terrorists.
‪He said the team recommended the release of 167 detainees and a review of about 614 inconclusive cases.
‪The investigators, however, proposed that some of the detainees be tried for armed robbery, murder and drugs related offences among others.
‪Olukolade said if the team’s recommendations were approved, the trial of some of the suspects would be held in the affected states while others might be tried at the Federal High Courts.

Catholics battle Okotie over comment

Internet Punch illustration
This is a ‘complicated’ season for popular Lagos Pastor, Rev. Chris Okotie, even as he prepares to honour the first female one-star General in the Nigerian Airforce, Air Commodore Habiba Garba.
She is the winner of  Okotie’s  Household of God Church’s  Karis Award for the year and she will be honoured on Sunday at the Church in Lagos.
Damning widespread criticisms continue to hit a statement credited to the controversial preacher and televangelist,  declaring that all “Catholics will go to hell.” Indeed, this seems to be threatening to take the shine of the annual Karis Award.
The event is a brain child of Okotie  who established it to  honour Nigerians who have excelled in various fields, but who may not have been recognised by the larger society.
The pastor is alleged to have made the remarks while delivering a sermon last Sunday. The controversial statement partly goes thus, “The Catholic church is a counterfeit church set up by Satan. Catholics bow to idols and crucify Jesus every Sunday when they eat bread claiming they are eating Jesus’ body.”
Okotie tried to justify his claims by adding that his statements are “not out of disrespect but out of respect for the word of God.”
Apart from the fact that he has not debunked the claim, a post on his Facebook account on Tuesday afternoon reinforces the argument.  It simply read, “Re- Catholicism: Truth is bitter. It lacks saccharine delights.”
The statement has further led to more outrage by his Facebook fans and other aggrieved persons, just as his Facebook  page has been besieged by angry Nigerians who have failed to see reasons with him.
Not surprising, most of the comments have been uncomplimentary as the Man of God has been tagged with unprintable names. The ensuing controversy has also pitched Okotie and Catholic faithful against one another on Twitter and Facebook.
A group called Nigerians Catholics on Facebook have issued a statement to this effect. The body claimed that Okotie was simply seeking cheap publicity in its statement.
The administrator of the page wrote, “The unguarded utterances of Chris Okotie to fellow Christians who chose to practise their dogma in their own way shows how irresponsible and ill-mannered he is.
“Antagonising another church with a different principle of worshiping,  but with no difference in faith professed, portrays Christ Okotie in bad light and casts negative shadows on his purported ministry in Christendom.
“Chris Okotie should know that if over 1 billion Catholics will go to hell because of the way they worship their God, he too is not exempted.
“I want to state clearly to Chris Okotie that over 1 billion Catholics going to hell will only happen in the figment of his imagination.
“In fact, if I am to use what is written in the Bible concerning marriage and divorce to humanly judge Chris Okotie, then he is already number one candidate of hell.”
On his part, Kingsley Williams wrote, “ l think we all need to pray for Pastor Chris; honestly, before it gets out of hand.”
Ifeoma  Goodluck, only offered prayers for the Catholic church, as she also posted, “No weapon formed against Catholic Church shall prosper, In Jesus name. Amen.’’
However, some people came to the defence of the controversial pastor, with one of them being Wilfa Wilfred, who simply said, “Please,  insulting Chris and calling him names shows a lack of faith by baby Christians. Just pray to God to forgive him. I am not a catholic but it is only God that knows his true worshipers.”
Just like Wilfred, a certain Peter Edaile also stated on Facebook,  “It also lacks sugar and honey delights but contains salt.”
Enough on the controversial statements, anyway.
Mixed reactions have also greeted what many members of the the public termed a decision to hold a beauty pageant in the church this Sunday. But the church has since taken to its official Facebook to explain the concept behind what is perceived to be a beauty pageant.
It explained that the competition tagged Queen Esther pageant competition is geared towards selecting an ambassador for the church.
“The evening usually features the parade and display of beautiful women in costumes inspired by popular female bible characters. The contestant with the most creative costume is then crowned as the Queen Esther and gets a cash prize of one million naira,” the post read.