Plateau sponsors 229 persons for 2017 Hajj


The Plateau State Government has sponsored 229 persons to perform this year’s Hajj two years after Governor Simon Bako Lalong announced that he had suspended sponsorship of pilgrims due to paucity of funds.

The state government only sponsored the pilgrim officials last year, but Lalong during a farewell ceremony for Plateau State pilgrims yesterday noted that out of the 1,118 pilgrims for this year, 502 persons had been sponsored privately while the state had sponsored 229 and the remaining 387 were those who were deferred by the immediate past government.

Lalong who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Prof. Sonie Tyoden, said the payment for the 387 persons deferred had increased the cost of sponsorship and limited the number of those “who by official recognition of their spiritual responsibilities would have been sponsored by government.”

ASUU to call off strike within a week – Minister of Education

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, says that the indefinite strike declared by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU, would be called off within the next one week.

Adamu who met with the leadership of the senate committee on Education today, said ongoing negotiations between the Federal government and the executive members of ASUU, indicates that the strike would be called off within the next one week. Adamu said negotiations between the Federal government and the academic union are ongoing.

Recall that on Sunday, August 13th, ASUU declared an indefinite strike over the failure to implement its 2009 agreement with the Federal government and 2013 memorandum of understanding (MoU). Other reasons listed for the strike include non-payment of salaries, non-payment of earned academic allowance (EAA), removal of universities staff schools from funding by government and non-implementation of provisions of the 2014 pension reform act with respect to retired professors and their salaries. The memo issued by ASUU reads in part

“The national executive council (NEC) of ASUU met at the university of Abuja main campus, Giri, on the 12th of August 2017 to consider the results of a referendum from all branches in a bid to ascertain ways of convincing government to implement outstanding aspects of the 2009 agreement and MoU of 2013. The result of the referendum showed that an overwhelming majority of the branches of our union voted for the strike. In the light of the foregoing, and having exhausted all avenues to get government to fully implement the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement and the 2013 MoU as well as related demands, resolved to embark on a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike action commencing Sunday, 13th August 2017.”

Dangote to buy Arsenal and sack Arsene Wenger

Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote’s first order of business if he succeeds in buying English Premier League soccer club Arsenal will be to fire the manager, Arsene Wenger.

Dangote, Africa’s richest man with a net worth of $11.1 billion, has coveted the team since becoming a supporter in the mid-1980s, he said in an interview. He’ll consider making an offer once the construction of an $11 billion oil refinery in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, is completed toward the end of the decade.

“The first thing I would change is the coach,” Dangote said. “He has done a good job, but someone else should also try his luck.”

Wenger is Europe’s longest-serving manager. Since his appointment to the London-based club in 1996, he’s won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cup trophies. In May, he agreed to a new two-year deal, ending months of speculation over his future prompted by his team’s indifferent form last season. Arsenal failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, Europe’s premier tournament, for the first time in 20 years.

Arsenal’s biggest shareholder is American billionaire Stan Kroenke, who controls almost 67 percent of the company. Earlier this year, Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who already holds a 30 percent stake, sought to buy out Kroenke in an offer that valued Arsenal at as much as 2 billion pounds ($2.6 billion).

Dangote, 60, doubts he’d have trouble persuading Kroenke and Usmanov to sell.

“If they get the right offer, I’m sure they would walk away,” he said. “Someone will give them an offer that will make them seriously consider walking away. And when we finish the refinery, I think we will be in a position to do that.”

“It’s a great team, well-run. It could be run better, so I will be there,” he said. “I will wait. Even if things change I will take it.”

FRSC Intercepts Suspected Human Traffickers In Kaduna, Rescues 44 Minors

The Kaduna State Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says it has intercepted two suspected human traffickers and rescued 44 minors.

The Sector Commander, Malam Umar Ibrahim, told our correspondent in Kaduna on Thursday that the suspects, a driver and one other adult were arrested on Wednesday on Kaduna – Zaria Expressway.

According to him, the suspects were arrested by FRSC patrol team led by Assistant Route Commander Audu Usman, when he stopped a Fiat Bus (J5) with registration number XC 532 ZAR for overloading.

“Our patrol men along Kaduna – Zaria expressway, around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, stopped a white and blue colour fiat bus popularly known as J5 for overloading.

“On checking to see what the bus was loaded with, our men discovered it was stuffed with 44 minors and one other adult.

“When asked, the driver, one Dauda Ezekiel of Gubuchi Village , Makarfi Local Government Area of the State, said he was hired to transport the occupant to an unidentified location.

“But the other adult claimed they were going for a church programme.

“Our men became suspicious and immediately impounded the vehicle and booked the driver for overloading and speed limit device violation,” he added.

Ibrahim said he later alerted the Commissioner of Police, Kaduna State Command, and handed over the vehicle and the suspects for further investigation.

Court dismissed suit filed by Jang Against Lalong

The suit instituted by Jonah Jang against the Plateau State government to stop it from using or releasing recommendation of the judicial commission of Inquiry into activities of governance from May 2007 to May 2015 has been dismissed.
Plateau State Chief judge, Justice Pius Damulak made the decision while delivering judgement in the matter.
Refusing all the reliefs sought by the plaintiff on grounds that the action was frivolous, premature and wanting Justice Damulak said there is no evidence that a report or white paper released indicting Jonah Jang of any criminality.
While holding that due process was followed in the establishment of the judicial commission of Inquiry and and instrument backing it, it had completed its assignment by submitting it’s report.

Gunmen Attack EFCC Headquarters In Abuja

A major security breach was recorded at the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in the early hours of Wednesday, August 16, 2017, as unknown gunmen attacked the office located at Wuse Zone 7, Abuja.

The group of heavily armed bandits invaded the office at about 05.00 hours and began shooting into the premises, damaging vehicles parked in the premises in the process. However, the attack was repelled by guards on duty. The hoodlums escaped in a getaway vehicle but not without leaving a message; a white envelope dropped by the fleeing attackers was found to contain a death threat addressed to Ishaku Sharu, a senior investigator with the Commission. Ishaku who heads the Foreign Exchange Malpractices Fraud Section is in charge of corruption investigation involving several politically exposed persons and retired military brass hats.

The attack on the Zone 7 office which houses the Commission’s AMCON Desk, Procurement Fraud and Foreign Exchange Malpractices Sections, is coming few weeks after another investigator, Austin Okwor was shot and wounded by unknown assailants in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The latest incident has already been reported to the police for investigation.

voters registration exercise records low turnout in Plateau State

Plateau State House of Assembly has appealed to the independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC) to sensitize the citizens of the state and to extend the voters registration down to wards as against their station at the local government offices.
This came in a notice of motion on a call to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to sensitize the citizens of Plateau State on the ongoing voter’s card registration exercise.
The mover of the motion and member representing Jos South constituency in the state Assembly, Hon. Nyam Dareng while reading the body of the motion said. “The main function of Information and technology Department of any given organization is to avail the public with information that will eliminate ignorance and its attendant effects, thus imparting knowledge and awareness.”
He said “the importance of the ongoing voters registration exercise cannot be over emphasized because a large percentage of the populace, especially in the rural areas, is not educated enough to know it’s civil rights and responsibilities, as citizens to register and obtain voters card”.
According to him, “rural dwellers are unaware of the fact that without a voters card one cannot participate in choosing who to represent or govern them. It is there fore important to sensitize them on the need to register and obtain the voters card in order to exercise their franchise as well as educate them on the danger of selling their cards or votes during elections.
In heir contributions members of the House appealed to INEC to extend the registration of voters to all the wards in the state to ease the pains fared by those that are eligible to register.
They observed that making the local government headquarters as the only centre for the registration will discourage eligible voters that reside in the interior to come out to do their civil duties.
On the sensitization of the public on the exercise the House also appealed to National Orientation Agency in the state and other agencies involved in information dissemination to carry the campaign to rural dwellers who mostly are affected.