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President Muhammadu Buhari replied Ex-president Jonathan - See the reply

Report reaching us indicate that, President Muhammadu Buhari has replied former President Goodluck Jonathan, who had expressed surprise that those who criticised him for leaving the pump price of fuel at N87 were not speaking out now that it has been jerked up to N143.Jonathan had said unlike the 16 years of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who paid between N800 billion and N1.3 trillion as ‘subsidy’ yearly at the time, without making the products, his administration is not paying subsidy and yet the products are available at a competitive price.But President Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said this at the Nigeria Government Forum (NGF), Media Conference for media handlers of state’s chief executive governors with the theme: “Governors Public Perception: Changing the Narrative Agenda.”Jonathan’s administration had in 2012, increased fuel price from N67 to N97 but reduced it to N87 in January 2015.Jonathan had defended the decis…

Head of Service denied role in Maina's reinstatement

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, has countered the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, who on Sunday blamed her and the Federal Civil Service Commission for the reinstatement of the former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, to office.However, Mrs. Oyo-Ita said, through a statement by her Assistant Director, Media Relations, Mohammed Manga, “The attention of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has been drawn to several media reports that the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has approved the reinstatement into the Federal Civil Service of Alhaji Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina and his subsequent posting to the Ministry of Interior.“The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation wishes to inform the public that the reinstatement and posting of Alhaji Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina never emanated from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.“Con…

Massive defection PDP to APC in Benue State

The amiable Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Benue State chapter, Comr. Abba Yaro, has declared the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) is dead in Benue State. Mr Abba Yaro stated this while receiving thousands of decampees led by the former PDP Chairman in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State. He said, the number of people dumping the opposition PDP in Kwande today signifies the final burial of PDP in Benue State, stressing that this development is a motivation to Governor Samuel Ortom whose heart and prayers are always with the good people of the State.Yaro welcomed the decampees to the APC and cautioned them to always put the State first in all they do in the APC, reiterating that the APC is a people-oriented party that toils day and night to fix the devastating plights of the people unlike the PDP where a handful of persons would suck the State treasury and allow civil servants to wallow in untold hardship.Yaro said there's no discrimina…

Nigeria Southern Governor's held a successful meeting first time in 12-years

Local media reports revealed that, the governors from the southern Nigeria has on Monday met in Lagos to deliberate on how to forge stronger ties between the three geo-political zones, Southwest, Southsouth and Southeast.According to the reports, the meeting is the first time in 12-years.Secretary to the Lagos State Government (SSG), Mr Tunji Bello, in a statement, said the meeting which is co-hosted by the Governors of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode and Akwa Ibom, Emmanuel Udom will address issues that are germane to the development of the three zones.Mr Bello said, the meeting is in line with the realisation that the different states in the south have since 2005 developed several areas of comparative advantage which could be harnessed and become mutually beneficial.He said, the 17 governors would be expected to adopt a common position on the issues of armed robbery, kidnapping, devolution of powers and issue of fiscal federalism which have all gained prominence of late.He said: “The …

Nigeria airstrike killed 411 Boko Haram militants in Maiduguri

Report reaching us indicate that, Nigerian military airstrike kills 411 Boko Haram members "A military fighter jet had on Saturday destroyed all the nine camps of members of the Boko Haram sect, killing about 350 of them".Elsewhere, 61 more Boko Haram militants were also killed by the military at Musune village in Dikwa local government area of Borno state. "On Friday, the soldiers laid an ambush on the insurgents, killing 61 and recovering many weapons".The military's strike was carried out about 48 hours after nine soldiers were attacked by some Boko Haram gunmen who launched an attack on their military base in Marte local government area."On Thursday around 5:00pm, the gunmen just appeared there shooting sporadically".In a related development, a Nigerian Air Force jet has destroyed Boko Haram camps in Konduga area of Borno state.The air force confirmed the operation in a brief statement on Saturday, October 21. The operation was carried out on Thur…

Traffic police officers scam exposed in Mozambique

Mozambican anti-corruption body told reporters that, at least twenty-two civil servants, mainly traffic police officers, have been detained for allegedly siphoning off the equivalent of more than $6.4m (£4.8m) from state coffers over three months.However, the Mozambican Central Office for the Fight Against Corruption says, the money was stolen between July and September this year.Its spokesman Cristovao Mondlane says 18 of the 22 detainees were caught in the act.He said, "These state workers retrieve the money claiming to be paying for services provided by ghost companies - set up by them or relatives".Cristovao added that, "These relatives do not even meet the prerequisites to be awarded bids. And even without providing any service to the state they are paid. Sometimes, the money is stolen through over-invoicing".

Revisit of Kim Jong-nam murder is underway

According to BBC news agency, Two women charged with killing Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korea's leader, are revisiting the crime scene in Malaysia.However, the Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong were at Kuala Lumpur airport on Tuesday.According to the reports, the pair are accused of rubbing the highly toxic VX nerve agent on Mr Kim's face as he waited for a flight.They have pleaded not guilty to murder, saying it was a TV prank and they were tricked by North Korean agents.Pyongyang has denied any involvement in the 13 February killing, but four men - believed to be four North Koreans who fled Malaysia on the day of murder - have also been charged in the case.

US and Syria are the only two countries that do not support Paris accord

Report reaching us indicate that, Nicaragua has signed the Paris climate agreement, meaning that the US and Syria are the only two countries not to be giving the accord their support.However, the deal unites the world's nations in tackling climate change.According to BBC report, Nicaragua refused to sign it last year, arguing that it did not go far enough to tackle the problem.Meanwhile, in June this year, President Donald Trump said, the US would withdraw from the deal, but the rules of the agreement state that this cannot be done until 2020.The president said, it was part of his "solemn duty to protect America" and he would seek a new deal that would not disadvantage US businesses.Nicaragua has been described as a "renewable energy paradise".

Battle against Islamic State supporters in Philippines has ended - Officials

Defence chiefs earlier today confirmed that, a five-month battle against Islamic State supporters in the southern Philippines that claimed more than 1,100 lives has ended following a final battle inside a mosque.According to AFP news agency, the conclusion of the conflict ended immediate fears that IS would establish a Southeast Asian base in the southern city of Marawi. But concerns remained about its longer-term intentions and capabilities for the region.However, Defence Secretary, Delfin Lorenzana told reporters that, "We now announce the termination of all combat operations in Marawi".Report also said, the US-backed military campaign claimed the lives of at least 920 militants, 165 soldiers and 47 civilians, according to the military.An estimated of about 400,000 residents were displaced as near-daily air strikes and intense ground combat left large parts of the city in ruins.Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte travelled to Marawi on Tuesday last week and declared the c…

Scores of civilians were reportedly killed in Syria by IS militants

Report reaching us indicate that, dozens of civilians were reportedly killed by Islamic State militants in a central Syrian town before it was retaken by the Syrian army on Saturday.According to the reports, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says, an estimated of about 116 died in the three weeks that Qaryatain, in Homs province, was under jihadist control.The Human Rights group said, "Most were shot or stabbed to death by IS for "collaborating".The activist-run Palmyra Co-ordination Committee named 67 people it said had been killed by IS or government forces.Report also said, there was no immediate confirmation from the Syrian government or state media on the incident.

Female suicide bombers killed 14 people in Nigeria

A local media reports revealed that, Three suspected female suicide bombers in Nigeria have targeted the north-eastern city of Maiduguri, killing 14 civilians.According to BBC report, "One of them set off her explosives at a big bus station and another at a nearby camp housing people who have fled unrest during Boko Haram’s eight-year insurgency".However, the two explosions were at about 21:00 local time (20:00 GMT) on Sunday in the suburb of Muna.A third bomber’s explosives did not go off when the others did and she ran off.But, they did subsequently explode, killing only the bomber.No group has said it carried out the attack but the area has previously been attacked by Boko Haram suicide bombers.Maiduguri used to be the base for the Islamist militant group.

Pope Francis called for dialogue in Kenya political crisis

KTN report indicate that, the head of the Catholic Church Pope Francis has called for dialogue in Kenya where political tension is rising ahead of this week's re-run of the cancelled presidential poll.He made the statement during a prayer service in Rome, Italy.Pope Francis said, he was following the situation in Kenya with "close attention".He also said, he was praying "that the whole country might be able to face the current difficulties in a climate of constructive dialogue, having at heart the search for the common good".Research report revealed that, almost one-third of Kenya's population are Catholics.According to NTV Kenya report, Mr Raila Odinga had been due to compete against President Uhuru Kenyatta in a repeat of Kenya's presidential election on Thursday, but pulled out earlier this month, saying the polls would not be free and fair.

Former pension boss is still on our wanted list - EFCC

Report reaching us indicate that, Nigeria's anti-corruption body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is calling for the arrest of the country's former pension boss, saying he is still on their wanted list.However, Abdulrasheed Maina previously led the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms but was sacked and fled the country in 2015 after he was accused of fraud to the tune of $5.5m (£4.2m). He denied the allegations.The reports that went viral on Nigeria social media revealed that, the government had appointed Mr Maina to take up another role in the civil service - director of the Ministry of Interior.Civil society groups say the appointment casts doubt on President Muhammadu Buhari's commitment to eradicating corruption.Local newspapers reports that, others - including the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption and human rights lawyer Femi Falana - back the EFCC's call to arrest Mr Maina.The EFCC website states that M…

Catalonia authorities will not follow orders from Spanish government

An official report confirmed that, the Catalonia authorities will not follow orders from the Spanish government if Madrid moves to reassert control over the region.The senior official, Raul Romeva, said, the central government was acting against the will of Catalans.Meanwhile, the Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has announced plans to sack the region's government and curtail some of the freedoms of its parliament.However, the Catalonian parliament will meet on Thursday to decide on its response.According to BBC report, the pro-independence leaders could decide to formalise a unilateral declaration of independence.The Spanish Senate is expected to approve the government's measures on Friday along with a proposal for fresh regional elections.

UN anti-torture body has suspended a visit to Rwanda

Local media reports that, UN body working to stop torture says it has suspended a visit to Rwanda because of what it called a series of obstructions imposed by the authorities.The UN said these included problems accessing places of detention, concerns over the confidentiality of interviews and fears that some interviewees could face reprisals.It is only the third time in a decade that the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture has suspended a mission.There was no immediate response from the Rwandan authorities.

Madrid denied attempted coup on Catalonia

According to BBC report, Spanish Foreign Minister, Alfonso Dastis, has denied that his government's move to reassert control over Catalonia amounts to a "coup".However, the speaker of the Catalan parliament, Carme Forcadell, called measures announced by the government on Saturday a "de facto coup d'├ętat".Mr Alfonso Dastis said, "If anyone has attempted a coup, it is the Catalan regional government".Madrid acted after regional leaders refused to halt an independence drive.Unionist parties who won about 40% of the vote at the 2015 Catalan elections boycotted the ballot and many anti-independence supporters stayed away, arguing it was not valid.

Nigeria government set to connect 36 states capitals with railway network

Report reaching us indicate that, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that all the 36 state capitals of the federation to be directly connected to the ongoing railway network expansion across the country.

US authorities asked foreign fighters to go home

According to BBC report, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said Iran-backed militias who have been fighting the so-called Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq should go home as the battle is nearing its end.However, Mr Tillerson said, all foreign fighters should leave and let Iraqis rebuild.Mr Tillerson was speaking during a visit to Saudi Arabia partly aimed at curbing Iran's influence in the region.According to local media reports, his trip follows President Donald Trump's announcement of a more confrontational approach to Tehran.The US and its allies have been fighting the same enemy as the Iranians in the same theatre of war, despite Washington's opposition to their presence.

I promise to deal firmly with North Korea - Japanese PM

Report reaching us from Asia revealed that, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has promised to "deal firmly" with North Korea after exit polls suggested he won a clear victory in Sunday's election.According to BBC report, Mr Abe had called an early election for an increased mandate to deal with "crises" facing Japan, including the threat from Pyongyang.Local media report Mr Abe's ruling coalition has retained its two-thirds majority in parliament.Report also said, this paves the way for Mr Abe to amend Japan's post-war pacifist constitution.Meanwhile, the prime minister has previously called for the existence of the country's armed forces to be formalised, a controversial move which he says is needed to strengthen Japan's defence but which critics say is a step towards re-militarisation.

50 Egyptian security forces were killed by militant group

Report reaching us indicate that, an estimated of about 50 Egyptian security personnel have died during a clash with suspected Islamist militants.Egyptian interior ministry said, the militants opened fire on the group during a raid on their hideout near the Bahariya oasis in the Western Desert.Report also said, security forces are understood to have gone into the desert following a tip-off about a possible hideout. Fifteen militants also died in the attack.Egypt is currently fighting an Islamist insurgency in northern Sinai.According to BBC report, "the Bahariya oasis where this attack took place, however, lies hundreds of kilometres south-west of the troubled region".