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Top 10 stories of Monday, March 21, 2016

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INEC RELEASES 10 RESULTS, SUSPENDS RIVERS ELECTION

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the results of nine states constituencies and one federal constituency in which re run elections were held in Rivers state, on Saturday (March 19), but the commission was forced to suspend the electoral process in all other constituencies in the state where results were not announced due to the widespread violence that marred the elections. However, based on the results released yesterday (Sunday, March 20), the Peoples Democratic Power (PDP) consolidated its control of the state by emerging victorious in eight of the nine state constituencies and one federal constituency seat, while the ruling All Progressive Party won one constituency seat.

But as the results were announced, the state continued its descent to anarchy as the violent battle for control was made worse by the exchange of gun fire between security men in the convoys of the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside and the chief of staff to the Rivers state governor, Mr. Emma Woke, in Port Harcourt yesterday resulting in the death of Woke’s personal assistant. Sporadic shooting was also reported at the Abonema area in Akuku Toru council, a few kilometers to Port Harcourt, the state capital. This came as Governor Nyeson Wike and the minister of transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, squared off against each other at the Mile 1 Diobu police station over a collation officer, Mrs. Ekwi Adbisa, who was purportedly abducted Saturday night by the former governor in company of soldiers.

 

NIGER BISCUIT: FELLED BY AN INFERNO

There was nothing on the Lagos skyline that could have foretold what was about to happen. It was a clear warm Sunday afternoon in Nigeria’s biggest economic hub, Lagos. Lagosians and visitors who had business in Apapa went about their normal activities, while enjoying the peace and tranquility that accompanies most Sunday in the ever busy mega city, oblivious of what was about to unfold. Then suddenly, there was an eclipse: an explosion and a wildfire like eruption of volcanic lava forcing people to scamper for safety, while property worth several billions of naira were destroyed by the raging inferno that took hours to put out.

Just like the Hollywood movie, “City of fire”, the popular seaport neighbourhood of Apapa experienced its own taste of a fire disaster. It was around 1.48pm yesterday (Sunday, March 20) at Niger Biscuit Company Limited, at 31 Creek Road, Apapa. The building was gutted by fire. According to an eye witness, it started when a loose socket let out a spark, a bang, then smoke and balls of fire razed the building, equipment, products, gas tanks and cars parked within the premises of the factory that for decades produced the ever popular Cabin biscuit brand.

 

USUK GOVERNMENT KNEW WHEREABOUTS OF KIDNAPPED CHIBOK GIRLS

Almost two years after more than 200 girls were kidnapped from their secondary school in Chibok, Borno State, by the Boko Haram terror sect, it has been revealed that the surveillance carried out by the United States and the United Kingdom spotted around 80 of the abducted school girls, but nothing was done about it as a rescue attempt was considered too “high risk”.

The terrorists stormed a secondary boarding school in the remote town of Chibok on April 14, 2014 and seized 276 girls who were preparing for end-of-year exams. Although 57 of the girls managed to escaped, the rest have remained missing and had not been heard from or seen since, apart from in May that year, when 130 of them appeared in the Boko Haram video wearing hijabs and reciting the Koran.

 

SENATE ORDERS CONTRACTORS TO STOP WORKING ON JONATHAN’S VILLAGE ROAD

Dissatisfied by the level of work on the 16 kilometer Otuoke Road project in Ogbia Local Govenrment Area of Bayelsa State, the Senate Committee of Nigeria Delta Development Commission (NDDC) project has ordered the contractor handling the project to stop work and vacate site with immediate effect.

The Senate Committee, which was on inspection tour of various NDDC projects in Bayelsa State, said contractor handling the road project which connects former President Goodluck Jonathan’s country home, Otuoke, with Yenagoa, the state capital was too slow. Chairman committee Senator Peter Nwaobusi, who stated this in Yenagoa said that the contractor, after collectingN600 million mobilization for the project reduced the scope to six kilometers without any agreement with NDDC, yet with no appreciable work on ground to match funds so far released by the commission.

 

TINUBU APPEALS TO NIGERIANS TO BE PATIENT WITH BUHARI’S GOERNMENT

A National Leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, at the weekend assured Nigerians that the change agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari was still on course. Tinubu, while speaking at the Usman Danfodiyo University convocation in Sokoto where he was honoured with the Honorary Doctor of Business Administration, said the change process requires time, especially coming after “the conscience of our nation has been under attack for many years”.

The former Lagos state governor said: “We were handed a way of governance in which anything goes and too much went – as if gone with the wind. Our present was squandered and future mortgaged”.

Tinubu while pleading for support and patience with the APC administration said “Nigeria has the greatest opportunity to get it right with a leader like Buhari. There is much to fix. President Buhari is committed to fixing them, but he needs your support and patience. He cannot do it all alone, we must stand beside him or else we may be knocked down and not stand at all. Thus, let us be resolved to see reform and change that will make Nigeria rise as the nation it should be.”

 

300 LEVEL UNILAG STUDENT COMMITS SUICIDE

A 300- level student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Lagos simply identified as Jacobs has died after committing suicide. The student who was studying microbiology before his death, was said to have taken a portion of ‘sniper’ insecticide on Saturday, March 19, and was rushed to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) almost immediately, but he died on Sunday afternoon.

Jacobs, according to some sources, was reportedly ‘forced’ to take the deadly liquid by cultists who wanted him dead for reasons which could not be ascertained yet. University spokesman, Toyin Adebule’s phones were said to be switched off when attempts were made to reach him for his comments, but his deputy, Mrs. Nonye Oguama, when contacted, stated that she had not been briefed yet on what happened.

 

KWANKWASO’S CHIEF OF STAFF ARRESTED IN KANO

Yunusa Adamu Dangwani and other political associates of Rabiu Kwankwaso were apprehended over an alleged plan to hold a political rally in Kano. Daily Trust reports that Dangwani and other political associates of Kwankwaso were apprehended over an alleged plan to hold a political rally in the state. The suspect spent the night at the Criminal Investigation Department of the Kano state Police command.

When contacted, Aminu Abdulsalem, the former Commissioner for state affairs, said that Dangwani was arrested in connection with the current political impasse between his boss and Governor Abdullahi Ganduje. He also dispelled rumours that Kwankwaso’s aide was planning a political rally in the state.

 

FIRE ENGULFS 100 SHANTIES AT KURAMO, 2 KILLED

A fire outbreak in the Lekki Area of Lagos has led to the death of two people. Gidi Traffic reports that the fire started this morning and has destroyed over 100 shanty structures at Kuramo in Lekki, Lagos.

The reports indicate that there are two fatalities. Rescue operations are ongoing, as the fire is said to still be on going. It is feared that the death toll may rise.

 

FAYOSE UNDER ATTACK OVER “DEAD” LAWMAKER CONTROVERSY

Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State and his aides have been berated by the All Progressive Congress (APC) for allegedly employing lies and falsehood to create tension in the country. According to the party, the claim of the Fayose administration that the lawmaker representing Efon, Afolabi Akanni, has died in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) was an attempt to blackmail the Federal Government.

In a statement on Sunday, March 20, Taiwo Olatunbosun, the APC publicity secretary in Ekiti, said three other lawmakers declared “missing” by the House of Assembly are hiding in Fayose’s home in Afao-Ekiti.

 

MERGE ANTI-GRAFT AGENCIES IN NIGERIA – CLERIC

Cleric, prominent Nigerians, call for the merger of anti-graft agencies in Nigeria. As part of efforts to make the fight against corruption in Nigeria more effective, Rev. Rufus Okikiola Ositelu, a member of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) has called for the merger of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies.

The cleric and other prominent Nigerians made the call in Lagos at the 5th Rufus Ositelu Foundation (ROOF) lecture with the theme fighting corruption in Nigeria: A Mirage or Reality. He criticized the judiciary for its role in many court verdicts on corruption cases, including the cases of Michael Igbinedion, Cecilia Ibru and James Ibori, which he noted had eroded the hope and confidence of Nigerian mases.

 

@Chika Okorie for encomium.ng

 

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