Nigerian Senate declares Nigeria Police chief ‘enemy of democracy’

THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – For failing to honour the invitation of the National Assembly (NASS) for the third time in two weeks, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris has been pronounced an ‘enemy of democracy’ by NASS.

After first refusing to appear before NASS on April 25, the police chief still failed to appear before NASS on May 2, sending Deputy Inspector General of Police Joshak Habila to represent him. However, the Senate did not allow Habila entry to the plenary.

Again on Wednesday, May 9, 2017, IGP Idris refused to honour the third summon by NASS.

According to report, the Senate (NASS) had summoned Idris to speak on the arrest of Senator Dino Melaye, a Nigerian senator representing Kogi West constituency, and on the increasing insecurity in the country.

At the plenary on Wednesday, several senators condemned the behaviour of the police chief.

Senator Eyinaya Abaribe said, ‘What is happening today in Nigeria shows that democracy is dying bit by bit and also shows the abuse of power and office by IG.” He added that, “What the IG is doing in the eyes of the world shows that there is no respect for the law.”

Senator Ahmad Lawan said, “It is very unusual for a public servant to act like this. I have never see this before anywhere in the world; we need to take a decision because this affects security in the entire country.”

Senator Isah Misau pointed that, “What the IGP is doing is not against the Senate but the Presidency that appointed him into office; it is unfortunate. The IG is not competent to be in the office.”

Speaking also at the plenary, Senator Bukola Saraki, President of the Senate, said that, “The refusal of the IG to appear before an investigative committee as also ruled by a court of competent jurisdiction is a great danger to our democracy. Therefore, the Senate resolves to declare the IGP as an enemy of democracy and not fit to hold any office within and outside Nigeria.’

According a more recent report, IGP Idris claimed to have notified Senator Saraki in a warning letter on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, that he would not be honouring the Senate’s summon on Wednesday.

Idris described Wednesday’s attack on his person by members of the senate as ‘deliberate blackmail, witch-hunting with mishievous motives to hand twist him to pervert the end of justice in a felonious and serious offenses’ relating to Melaye.

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Buhari visits Benue first time since New Year killings

THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – Today, Monday, March 12, 2018, President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari arrived in Benue to console the people of the middle-belt state over the New Year killings.

According to report, the president arrived Benue earlier today at about 10:43am. He was billed to visit Governor Samuel Ortom and the Tor-Tiv, Professor James Ayatse, as well as the victims and stakeholders of the killings which reportedly claimed 73 lives.

Buhari is also expected to visit Exercise Cat Race Camp where military troops on the mission to curb terrorist attack in the region were based and internally displaced persons (IDPs) at Gbajimba, Guma Local Government Area headquarters.

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Google launches feature to improve job search in sub-Saharan Africa

THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – Last week Thursday, March 1, 2018, Google announced launch of a new feature intended to improve job search across the sub-Saharan region of Africa.

The American technology company launched the feature in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa according to report. As a result of this move, job seekers can easily find local job listings near them when they search on Google from their phones or PC. Each job search entry will be accompanied with details of the posting, like job title and location, and whether it is a full-time, part-time or internship job.

A number of other features were integrated into the new feature to make job search less cumbersome for job seekers using it. With Google Maps integration, job seekers can search for job anywhere on the map if they are signed in. They can also see directions to the job location and how long it will take to commute to the job from home, save job searches and get alerts in their email when jobs matching their search appears in future.

Google says this feature is not an attempt to compete with job agencies or portals. Rather, it is meant to support the entire job industry.

Speaking at the launching in Nigeria, Titilayo Akinsanmi, Head Policy and Government Relations West and Francophone Africa, said:

‘Google does not intend to overtake job portals, but rather, we are sticking to our mission of being organisers of information. We don’t own the content these job searches produce, all we are doing is curating what already exists.’

Representatives of leading job portals in Nigeria were at the launching event to endorse the new feature.

Afolabi Imoukhuede, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and Youth Employment, reportedly expressed the support of the Presidency for the initiative at the event. He said:

‘The Federal Government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has prioritised Job Creation for the teeming unemployed and underemployed youths as contained in the Job Creation Strategy section of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). It is therefore our pleasure to endorse and partner Google on this job Search experience launch that seeks to connect job seekers to jobs.’

Google invites all job providers, sites and platforms in the country to index their jobs through its open documentation platform to make their jobs eligible to display in the new job search feature.

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Black Panther: Black superhero movie breaking cinema records

THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – Black Panther, a black superhero movie, premiered across the globe on February 15, 2018. The release of the movie has spurred increasing hype for the film globally, resulting in record-breaking cinema sales. Although, some have described this hype as overblown and undeserved.

The movie tells the story of a fictional technologically advanced African nation called Wakanda and its king known as T’Challa. Long before T’Challa stepped out as king, the five tribes of this African nation warred over a meteorite that contained a fictional vibration-absorbing mineral called vibranium.

The meteorite had crash landed in Wakanda in some distant past, but generations before T’Challa had unearthed the meteorite and discovered the mound of vibranium trapped in it. They discovered the unique abilities of the metal to absorb sound and other vibrations, including kinetic energy. Unfortunately, the radiation from the vibranium deposit had also caused mutation across the plant and animal kingdom in Wakanda.

Led by T’Chaka, the former Black Panther and father of T’Challa, Wakanda had managed to isolate itself from the rest of the world and keep its vibranium away from external forces. T’Chaka later sent some of Wakanda’s best scholars to study abroad using the proceeds from occasional sale of vibranium. As a result, Wakanda became one of the world’s most technologically advanced nation.

Black Panther was the title given to the chief of the Panther tribe, one of the five main tribes of Wakanda. The other four Wakandan tribes included the River tribe, the Mining tribe, the Merchant tribe and the Border tribe. All the tribes of Wakanda had been united by T’Chaka, except Jabari (the Mountain tribe).

The movie kicks off from present day where T’Challa returns to Wakanda to claim the throne after the death of his father.

Every Black Panther, like the first Black Panther (T’Chaka), had to ingest the ‘heart-shaped herb’, a local herb which radiation from vibranium had already permeated. After ingesting the herb, Black Panther (T’Challa) gains superhuman powers that allows him protect Wakanda and conquer his sworn enemies.

Black Panther was originally a black American comic superhero character that first appeared in issue #52 of Fantastic Four which was published in July 1966 by American comic book and related media publisher Marvel Comics.

According to a report, the movie premiered in Nigeria at Filmhouse IMAX Cinema, Lekki, in Lagos, following a reception hosted by the United States Consulate in celebration of Black History month.

The global revenue of the movie whose production had cost $200 million is likely to surpass the $600 million mark this weekend. It reportedly recorded a three-day gross of $192 million which exceeds the highest record ever for a February film, and is the fifth highest of all time.

While the movie has received huge acceptance and viewing from Africans, some Africans are not happy with the film because of an inherent historical distortion and neocolonial bias.

Malena Amusa, a black American media practictioner, reportedly expressed her dissatisfaction in an article published on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, where she said:

‘As a visionary and creative professional, “Black Panther” truly inspired me. But as a historian and benefactor of the black struggle for liberation, the movie left me shocked and hurt.

Rather than giving us hope, “Black Panther” engaged in perverse colonial fantasy, telling America it can come in Africa and take whatever it wants with no measures of accountability. The movie outright slights the main argument of its original comic, which challenged the West, not acquiesced to its agenda.’

A Nigerian writer argued in a columnist arg that, ‘In the first instance, the idea of a cartoon film is alien to Nigerian culture. We love fiction, but we love fiction that is real, like the babalawo scenes. The fact that Nigerians are queuing up to see the Black Panther and treating it as an ahaa moment suggests the kind of backwardness that will not do our cinema culture any good.’

According to another report, Ijeoma Grace Agu, a Nigerian actress who spoke to journalists at the premiere screening of the movie, said, ‘For once we are not just dressed in slave clothes or doing slavery or brutality. For once we are dressed in good clothes. Seeing us exude power and strength, seeing our culture, our high fashion sense portrays us in a different light.’

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Buhari shuns Nigerian Peace Corps Bill

THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has shunned the Nigerian Peace Corps (NPC) Bill for over a 30-day period, constitutionally implying that the president has no interest in assenting to the bill yet.

According to report, the bill was officially dispatched to the president in the last week of December 2017 by the clerk of the National Assembly (NASS), Mr Sani Omolori.

The stipulated 30-day window during which the constitution has prescribed that the president should have signed any bill presented to him has elapsed on January 31, 2018.

This is happening along with the ongoing heat of the tussle between NPC and the Nigerian police.

The police had stormed the national headquarters of NPC on February 17, 2017, and arrested the national leader of the organisation. Since then, the headquarters has been sealed by the police.

The refusal of the president to append his signature on the bill implies that there is no Nigerian law backing the establishment and operation of NPC.

As a last resort to see the bill passed into law, the Senate has to mobilise two thirds of its members to veto the shunning of the bill by the Presidency.

Senator Sabi Abdullahi (APC, North Niger), Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, has said the Senate will do what the constitution specifies in case Mr President refuses to assent the Peace Corps Bill.

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Ogun: Police goes after kidnappers in Ilaro forest

THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – Following a tip from the victim of a kidnap gang in Ogun, Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) combed Ilaro forest on the night of Thursday, February 1, 2018.

Report says one of the victims of the kidnap gang, Sanni Dan Nasarawa, had escaped after spending a week in the den of the kidnappers in the forest, then he reported his experience with the kidnappers to the police in Abeokuta.

The victim said he had escaped when the rope used to tie him up snapped in the middle of the night while his abductors were fast asleep.

In a statement, Abimbola Oyeyemi, the Police Public Relations Office (PPRO) in Ogun, said one of the kidnappers was shot dead in the morning of Friday, February 2, 2018, when FSARS discovered their hideout.

Oyeyemi says the casualty was a member of a kidnapping syndicate that tormenting Ilaro and its environs.

In the statement, Oyeyemi said:

‘He was a member of kidnapping syndicate when in the early hour of Friday 2nd of February, he was shot dead by men of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad led by  Uba Adam.

The gang have earlier kidnapped one Sanni Dan Nasarawa, took him to a thick forest where they tied him down for seven days waiting for his people to pay them ransom. 

Luck however smiles on him when the rope they used to tie him got loose while his abductors were fast asleep. He subsequently escaped and ran to FSARS office in Abeokuta where he lodged complain.

Upon his report, the officer–in-charge FSARS quickly mobilized his men and followed the victim to the forest. The team combed the forest from6pm of 1st February up till about 4:00am of 2nd February before they came across the gang who engaged them in serious gun battle which lasted for almost an hour.

At the end of the encounter, one of the suspects was gunned down while others numbering about seven escaped with various degree of gunshot injuries.

The Police Spokesman in the state state appealed to the public, especially hospitals and traditional healers, to report anybody they see with gunshot injury in their vicinity.’

An AK47 rifle loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition was recovered from the hideout of the kidnappers by FSARS.

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Benue: Federal government accused of shielding killer-herdsmen

THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – Several ethnic group leaders in Benue have accused the federal government (FG) of Nigeria of protecting the herdsmen behind the recent massacre of around 83 people in the state.

The ethnic group leaders made this known in a joint press briefing in Makurdi yesterday, Tuesday, January 23, 2017, according to report.

On behalf of their respective ethnic groups, Mdzough U Tiv, Idoma National Forum and Omi Ny’Igede, the ethnic group leaders emphasised that all government’s actions since the tragic killings in the state had been on how to appease the aggressors rather than find relief or consolation for the victims.

At the press briefing, Chief Edward Ujege, the President General Mdzough U Tiv said:

‘The most heinous of such appeasement is the Federal Government’s plan for cattle colonies. This approach clearly shows that the Federal Government places higher premium on cattle rather than on human lives.

We have in the past seven years watched with horror how the Federal Government treated the Miyetti Allah and the herdsmen invasion of our state and, indeed, the entire Middle Belt with kids gloves.

Despite the brazen nature of their acts of criminality throughout the Middle Belt, none of the herdsmen has ever been arrested or made to account for these crimes. Instead, they enjoy government protection from arrest or prosecution.

The silence from the federal authorities, after we made appeals to restrain the marauders, emboldened the Miyetti Allah and their gang of killers to invade and massacre over 73 of our people on January 1, 2018 and six in Odonto-Akpa in Otukpo as well as four in Ojapo in Okpokwu local government areas.

Despite public declarations by leadership of Miyetti Allah accepting culpability for the recent massacre as revenge or reprisal over alleged cattle rustling, no arrest has been made, three weeks after the incidents.

We, therefore, categorically reject the cattle colony idea and condemn the manner the Federal Government as well as some governors are trying to politicise the massacre in Benue State.

We detest the indifferent attitude of the northern governors who were expressing support for re-election of President Buhari on the day we were grieving and burying our dead. We take special exception that none of these governors had consoled Benue people, despite our socio-cultural and political affinity.’

The ethni groups rejected Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s committee on herdsmen killings, saying it was ‘diversionary, unnecessary and a waste of time and resources’.

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Wande Coal releases new music video

THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – Former Mavin Records artiste, Oluwatobi Ojosipe, popularly known as ‘Wande Coal’, has released a new music video titled ‘Turkey Nla’.

According to report, the Nigerian singer/song writer announced the release of his new video on Twitter via his handle @WandeCoal on Thursday, January 18, 2018.

The colourful three-minute and fifty seven-second video was directed by multi-award winning music video director Olalekan Buhari, popularly known as ‘Unlimited L.A.’. It also features various forms of Olamide’s ‘Shaku Shaku’ dance.

Wande Coal was signed to the defunct Mo’Hit Records in 2006. After the dissolution of Mo’Hit Records in 2012, due to the separation of D’Banj and Don Jazzy, he decided to get signed with Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records.

Later in 2013, the singer left Mavin Records to start his own record label ‘Black Diamond’. Under his own label, in 2015, he released his second album ‘Wanted’.

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CBN releases $210 million into foreign exchange market

THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has released $210 million into the inter-bank foreign exchange market to meet the request of customers in various segments.

Isaac Okorafor, CBN’s director of corporate communications, disclosed this in Abuja on Monday, January 15, 2018, according to report.

Okorafor explained that $100 million was alloted to authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) got $55 million. The remaining $55 million was reserved for customers requiring foreign exchange for tuition fees, medical payments and basic travelling allowance (BTA).

He also assured that bidders who have made bids in the wholesale window would get value for the bids today (Tuesday, January 16, 2018).

CBN would continue to intervene in interbank foreign exchange market in fulfillment of its promise to sustain liquidity and maintain stability in the market, Okorafor noted.

The efforts of the apex bank in managing the nation’s foreign exchange has yielded positive results, especially the reduction in import bills and increase in foreign reserve.

The naira has maintained its stability in the foreign exchange market, exchanging at an average of ₦360 to a dollar.

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Google’s Assistant to put smart displays on smart speakers

THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – Google has announced that a few leading electronic companies are adding its Assistant and smart displays to smart speakers.

According to report, the technology giant made this announcement yesterday, hours before the start of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), 2018, in Las Vegas.

Altec Lansing, Anker Innovations, Bang & Olufsen, Braven, iHome, JBL, Jensen, LG, Lenovo, Klipsch, Knit Audio, Memorex, Riva Audio, SōLIS and Sony are making speakers that have Assistant on them.

However, JBL, Lenovo, LG and Sony are making Google Assistant speakers with something new and interesting: a touchscreen display.

Google says the smart display coming with these speakers will not be a typical Android tablet fitted into a speaker. Rather, it will be a voice interface that displays stuff in a web-like view that is powered by Android Things, a variant of Android operating system designed for Internet of Things (IoT). Although, it will not be able to run traditional Android apps.

The Assistant on the smart display of these speakers will be able to do most traditional assistant stuffs: show photos, show calendar, give directions, display recipes and do video conferencing. It will come with Duo and no other messaging app.

Google says the speakers with smart display screens will be available this summer (June 2018).

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