Monday, 30 November 2015

Nigeria's stocks fall to Three-Year low as Foreigners Exit

Nigeria’s stocks fell to their lowest level in almost three years as foreigners exited the market amid fading hopes that President Buhari’s government can revive an economy growing at its slowest pace this century.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index dropped 0.8 percent to 27,385.69 at close in the commercial capital of Lagos, the lowest since December 2012. The gauge declined on all but three trading days in November for a monthly drop of 6.2 percent.

“The government has not come up with a definitive policy for the economy,” Pabina Yinkere, an analyst at Vetiva Capital Management Ltd., said by phone from Lagos. “The continued lack of clarity is affecting the stock market.”

While Buhari, a 72-year-old former general who came to power in May, has prioritized stamping out corruption in Africa’s biggest economy and oil producer, investors were irked by a delay of more than five months in forming a cabinet, which he swore in Nov. 11. There’s also concern that his support for the central bank’s currency-trading restrictions are choking businesses of the dollars they need to pay foreign suppliers.

Almost two stocks declined for every one that rose. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, the nation’s biggest lender by market capitalization, dropped 2.7 percent to 20 naira ($0.10). The stock is down 21 percent this year, about the same as the overall index. That’s the biggest fall in sub-Saharan Africa after the Zimbabwe Industrial Index.

Specialist African funds including Alquity Investment Management Ltd. and Duet Asset Management Ltd. have lowered their Nigerian exposure because they think that central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele will be forced to devalue the naira, which would cause losses on holdings in foreign-currency terms. Last week’s interest rate cut by the central bank, its first in six years, will heap more pressure on the currency, according to David McIlroy, Alquity’s chief investment officer.

The naira was unchanged at 199.05 per dollar and has been all but fixed at 198 to 199 since early March. Forward prices suggest it will weaken to 241.25 in a year.

Pressure on Currency

“The surprise reduction in rates has probably worried international investors even more,” McIlroy said by phone from London. “Given the inflation rate is above the central bank’s target, there’s pressure on the currency and they need to attract foreign capital, you’d expect interest rates to be rising.”

Annual inflation was 9.3 percent in October, higher than the central bank’s target of 6 percent to 9 percent.

Alquity held about seven Nigerian stocks at the beginning of 2015, including Guaranty Trust Bank and Zenith Bank Plc. It now holds only Dangote Cement Plc. Equity funds are more underweight in Nigeria than any other frontier and emerging market, except for Kuwait and Morocco, analysts at Renaissance Capital Ltd. said in a Nov. 23 note to clients.

“We’ve increased our positions in Egypt and Kenya at the expense of Nigeria,” McIlroy said.

Nigeria is reeling from crude prices that have plunged 57 percent since June 2014. Economic growth will slow to 3.2 percent this year from 6.3 percent in 2014, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. That would be the slowest pace since 1999.

- Bloomberg

FG is helpless on how to solve Nigeria’s problems – Pastor Bakare

Pastor Tunde Bakare, the Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Lagos, has said the APC-led government appears to be helpless in adequately tackling the multi-faceted challenges currently confronting the country.

''I need to call your attention to the comments made by my brother and governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, who said Nigeria had sunk deeper than any human being can redeem,'' Bakare said on Sunday during service hours. ''If the people in government, who promised us change can say this, then where does our hope lie? So, you can begin to wonder where the nation is heading towards. The PDP couldn’t do it, the people who promised change, have started saying the nation’s problems are deeper than human beings could solve. Who do you turn to to solve our problems? What they are saying is that we should turn to God to solve our problems. What we know is that Nigeria will work in our own time.''

On missing Chibok Girls.

''Getting a solution to the nation’s problem is becoming difficult; they do not have answers to where the missing girls are located. I want to tell you that if the schoolgirls are the children of top government officials, they would have known what they can do to rescue them. We are praying that God will send confusion to the midst of the girls’ captors that they would be set free.''

David Mark an asset to Nigeria - PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the party and the people of Benue South are solidly behind the former Senate President, Senator David Mark to repeat his electoral victory in the rerun election ordered by the Court of Appeal.

The party, which described Mark as an asset to the nation said it is assured that the people of Benue South Senatorial zone, as ardent members and supporters of the PDP since 1999 would remain steadfast in giving him another resounding victory at the rerun election.

In a statement signed on Monday made available to newsmen PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, said the confidence of the party of retaining the Senatorial seat is even stronger now that the deceit of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has become obvious to all Nigerians.

The PDP said the inexplicable ruling of the Appeal Court, even when all evidence pointed to Mark’s victory as upheld by the lower tribunal, is yet another evidence of APC’s dangerous interference in the judiciary, which negative consequences the PDP has continued to alert the nation.

The party also noted the significant contributions of Senator Mark in growing and stabilizing the nation’s democracy through his mature, responsible and patriotic leadership of the Senate, a value that is still highly needed in the polity.

The PDP therefore urged its members in Benue South to resist any attempt to intimidate them, especially in their determination to ensure effective and result-oriented representation in the Senate as typified in Senator Mark.

Chicago police officer who fatally shot Laquan McDonald posts bond and is released

The bond for Jason Van Dyke, pictured, the Chicago police officer charged with murder for shooting a 17-year-old last year, was set at $1.5 million, a judge said early Monday afternoon.

A few hours later, Van Dyke was released. He posted the $150,000 needed to be released shortly before 5 p.m. and left the Cook County Jail, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Department. Part of the money was raised by the Fraternal Order of Police’s Chicago chapter.

Van Dyke, 37, had been held without bail since he was charged last week with first-degree murder for fatally shooting Laquan McDonald, a Chicago teenager, in October 2014.

The killing  drew national attention after footage of the incident, recorded on a dashboard camera, was publicly released last week. In the footage, Van Dyke is seen firing a barrage of shots at McDonald as the teenager, who authorities say had a knife, appeared to be veering away from officers while on a city street. Many of the shots were fired after McDonald had already fallen.

Judge Donald Panarese Jr. ordered officials to release this video last week, and it was made public by police Tuesday, the same day Van Dyke was charged. But the judge said he would wait to set the bail until after viewing the video, which was released several hours after the officer was charged.

Since then, protesters have marched through downtown streets alleging that the city’s top officials colluded over 13 months to prevent the video’s release for political reasons.

On Monday, Van Dyke attorney Daniel Herbert told WGN that his client will “definitely plead ‘not guilty’ ” if the case goes to trial. He said that, despite the protests, there are no plans to ask for the trial to be moved outside Cook County.

Herbert suggested that there are nuances that the video does not reflect that show that Van Dyke felt threatened.

“There is a lot of stuff that the video doesn’t show: distances, glances and movements, as slight as they may be,” Herbert said.

Van Dyke appeared in court Monday wearing handcuffs, leg irons and a gray prison uniform. He has been behind bars since turning himself in last Tuesday. The Cook County State’s Attorney office asked that he be held without bail, saying they believe he is a flight risk. Portions of the video showing the fatal shooting were played in court.

Protests continued in Chicago on Monday. Cornell Brooks, president and chief executive of the NAACP, posted a photo on Twitter saying that he was arrested in Chicago as part of the demonstrations:

In paddy wagon, just arrested with Stephen Green & young seminarians seeking justice 4 #LaquanMcDonald.

— Cornell Brooks (@CornellWBrooks) November 30, 2015

Meanwhile, a coalition of Latino political leaders in Chicago have called for the resignation of Anita Alvarez, the two-term Cook County state’s attorney. Alvarez has become the center of a political firestorm in Chicago for her 13-month delay in bringing first-degree murder charges against Van Dyke.

On Monday, Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia joined a group of five City Council members in saying that Alverez purposely delayed prosecuting Van Dyke last fall so that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel would safely get reelected to a second term last spring. Along with Alvarez’s resignation, they want a series of reforms implemented with the Chicago Police Department, including hearings on police orders governing the use of deadly force.

“This is an unconscionable miscarriage of justice that she has orchestrated for her own political gain,” Garcia told The Post. “There’s no excuse for her not having filed charges immediately after she viewed the video.”

Garcia unsuccessfully ran against Emanuel for mayor in a run-off election last April. Garcia said that if the video was released before election day, “it would have had profound consequences” on the outcome.

Chicago Alderman Ricardo Munoz told The Post that a total of seven of the 13 Latino caucus members on the Chicago City Council are behind the effort. Last week, a coalition of black city council members announced that they too wanted reforms in the police department as well as the resignations of Alvarez and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. The National Bar Association, a Washington-based organization representing mostly black attorneys and judges, also called for her resignation last week, saying the delay kept Van Dyke on the street longer than should have been allowed.

Alvarez spokeswoman Sally Daly would not respond to repeated requests for comment for this story. In a broadcast interview with a local television station last week, Alvarez said her critics are “wrong and misinformed” and that all criticism of her actions is “political.” As for the delay, she said it was needed to conduct “a thorough and meticulous evaluation and investigation.”

Munoz said waiting longer than a year is questionable. “Take two, six weeks, or two months. But don’t take a year and a month. It is an obvious cover-up. They never thought a court would order a release of this video,” he said.

The rising chorus of dissent among both black and Hispanic leaders is certain to create a rocky campaign bid for Alvarez, who is up for reelection to a third term in next March’s Democratic primary.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is also protesting the delay. In what many see as the party distancing itself from the incumbent, Preckwinkle handpicked her chief of staff Kim Foxx, a former assistant state’s attorney, to run against Alvarez, who also faces a challenge by Donna More, a former federal and state prosecutor.

More participated in a Black Friday march on Michigan Avenue that drew more than 1,000 people downtown to protest the McDonald shooting. “I’m outraged at what happened. She has put politics over justice,” More said of Alvarez.

Source: Washington Post

'God will shame Buhari, his dogs for their heartless words' - Olu-Kayode

Former Aviation Minister Olufemi Olu-Kayodea is responding to a message President Buhari's supporters are circulating on social media.

In his words, ''As surely as He lives God will shame Buhari and his dogs for these wicked and heartless words.''

According to a Twitter user, Adeyanju Deji, he said, ''This is d message our drunk young dictators, disciples of Buhari are circulating everywhere. God will humble Buhari.''

See the message below:

Kogi guber: INEC confirms Yahaya Bello as APC’s choice for polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has confirmed that the All Progressives Congress, APC has submitted the name of Yahaya Bello as its candidate for replacement of Abubakar Audu in the Kogi State supplementary election due for Saturday.

Nick Dazang, the INEC Deputy Director of Publicity, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja.

Dazang, however, did not disclose when the commission received the request.

APC Picked Bello to replace Late Abubakar Audu as its Governorship Candidate because he came second in the APC gubernatorial primaries.

The deceased's running mate, James Faleke who claimed to be the right inheritors of the votes was dropped.

Supporters of the two contenders on Monday evening clashed at the Wuse, Abuja headquarters of the party as they waited for the party’s decision.

Boko Haram destroys Nigerian military base, 107 soldiers missing – AP

The Breaking Times says on its official website that Associated Press on Monday November 30 confirmed a very controversial news item published on November 19-2015, titled BOKO HARAM - More Than 100 Soldiers Missing After Boko Haram Attack.

Below is the report from AP

Residents say Boko Haram destroyed a military base as soldiers fled and only self-defense fighters prevented the insurgents from retaking a northeastern Nigerian town.

Resident James Ularamu said civilian fighters held Gulak town on Sunday night until the military sent reinforcements who fought off the extremists.

The attack came as a military intelligence officer confirmed that 107 soldiers remain missing five days after a battle in which the rebels drove away in a T-72 tank. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak on the issue.

Nigeria?s military has denied dozens of soldiers are missing, but often does not report embarrassing information.

The setbacks come as Nigeria?s government admitted it cannot crush the 6-year uprising that has killed some 20,000 people by December.

When my husband died at age 30, Facebook became my lifeline to the outside world

Kristina Doan Gruenberg and Alex Gruenberg at their 2011 wedding in San Clemente, California.

''You’re not going to post this on Facebook, are you?''

My husband, Alex, always wanted to know if I was posting a picture or status update about him. As extroverted as he was, he was private about many things. He also was humble, so he didn’t want too much attention drawn to his birthday or most recent job promotion.

Despite our political differences — I’m a Democrat; he was a Republican turned “independent” — we hardly argued about anything. But we often debated the usefulness of social media. He didn’t think it was important what casual acquaintances thought or were doing, while I love seeing everyone’s pictures and reconnecting with old friends.

But when Alex passed away in March after a massive brain aneurysm at age 30, I couldn’t worry so much about what he might think of what I was posting on Facebook. Very abruptly, I’d lost my best friend and partner of 10 years. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t imagine what my future might look like.

It was terrifying and surreal, and Facebook became my lifeline to the outside world — one that I could turn on or off at any time depending on my roller coaster of emotions. As much as I appreciated the family members and friends who immediately came to my side, sometimes I just wanted to be alone and scroll through pictures and like the memories people were posting. I could hear Alex’s voice telling me to get off my phone, that I was ruining my eyes. But as I laid alone in the king-size bed he made us order for our new home, I remember thinking, “Sorry, Alex. You haven’t given me many choices.”

The first time I posted about Alex after he died, I couldn’t find any words that felt right. So I re-posted a candid picture of us from a friend’s wedding that needed no caption: We were standing in a crowded church, Alex was holding my arm, we were smiling.

Two weeks later, friends and family gathered for Alex’s memorial service at UCLA, where Alex had worked and where we met as undergraduate students. Alex always made fun of me for the number of Facebook friends I had, frequently quizzing me to find out whether they were real friends. But it was his memorial that was standing room only.

I didn’t make a speech at Alex’s memorial, but I did feel ready to write something about him on Facebook. I must have rewritten it in my head at least a dozen times: I thanked Alex for being my best friend, personal comedian, travel companion and loving husband. Hitting “post” made it feel real that Alex was gone, much like the memorial service itself. It also helped me feel more comfortable about opening up.

The love and support from family members, friends and co-workers was beyond what I could have imagined. In addition to visits, phone calls and texts, I received messages and wall posts from people, some of whom I hadn’t spoken to in years. I reconnected with a high school classmate who lost her husband about the same time, a college roommate whose father was killed in a tragic accident, and an acquaintance whose fiancĂ© died while trying to save someone else.

I went from feeling like no one could possibly understand what I was going through as a young widow, to realizing that I knew people who were going through the same thing.

Although returning to work helped me regain normalcy, waves of grief hit me periodically. They could be spurred by a song, or nothing at all. Once, I came undone after receiving a letter from UCLA congratulating Alex for making it into a doctoral program for education. I was proud of Alex’s accomplishment, and simultaneously angry that his dream and our future had been taken away.

And although I could share it on Facebook (which I did), I needed more than neatly composed and edited status updates, which didn’t reflect the range of my emotions. I was not going to post a selfie, for instance, of me crying in my car.

So I picked up the phone, something I hated doing, and called some of the young widows who were friends of friends. I also found a bereavement group at my church.

Another source of support came via social media when Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, posted about losing her husband, Dave. Her post about the first 30 days after his death ended with a vow that she would do everything she could to “kick the s— out of option B.” I loved the raw emotion in that post, including the fact that she swore.

In my own effort to kick the s— out of Option B, I went on a spontaneous trip to Colombia with a friend. Alex had traveled there, and I wanted to visit places he had told me about. When posting about the trip on Facebook, I was concerned that people would think I was running off on a vacation with a new love interest (when it was in fact my gay best friend), so I made sure to mention that this trip was to honor Alex’s sense of adventure. When I came back, people commented about how happy I looked in the pictures, and how proud they were of me.

I try to be less self-conscious about what I post on Facebook or Instagram, as Alex was with everything in life, but it’s not easy. Sometimes I worry that people will think I moved on too fast or that I am not grieving enough. I wonder what other people will think if I change my relationship status; remove my profile picture with Alex; or go back to my maiden name (something I have been debating).

On the other hand, I worry that if I post too much about Alex, it will make people feel uncomfortable. So I try to get others involved in the remembrances. For instance, I made Alex’s birthday “Live Like Alex Day” on Facebook and challenged people to do something Alex would do. I was overwhelmed with joy when people told me they reconnected with old friends, helped a dog find its owner, or wore their rainbow sandals in his honor. Alex probably would have said he hated this, but I know secretly it would have made him smile. He did always ask how many “likes” my birthday posts about him got (375 this year, Alex).

Although I haven’t weaned myself off Facebook as much as Alex would have wanted, nine months after his death I use it less as a lifeline or an escape. Instead, it’s a way to reassure everyone that I’m okay, and that I’m living life like Alex would want me to, whether that’s trying kickboxing or going on vacation with my 1-year-old niece.

In the end, Alex and I were probably both right about social media. It will never replace in-person relationships, but it has given me a way to grieve and to celebrate Alex’s life with so many others.

Buhari approves Nigeria's INDC as world leaders gather in Paris for major Climate Agreement

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the submission of the countrys Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) to address climate change to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Nigerias INDC was approved by the President on November 26 and submitted to the UNFCCC on November 28, ahead of Mondays opening in Paris of the United Nations Climate Change conference, widely known as COP 21.

The Federal Governments policy to address climate change, as espoused in the countrys INDC, commits to 20 per cent unconditional and 45 per cent conditional Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) emission reduction post 2020.

The action plan announced by the Federal Government represents a fair and meaningful contribution to address climate change and equally reaffirms President Buharis commitment to an economic transformation which places inclusive, green growth as key priority for this administration.

President Buhari is fully aware of the acute threat that climate change poses to Nigerias development through flooding, desertification and insecurity, and many of these accrue from weather-related natural disasters.

In Paris, the issue of Lake Chads current depletion, which has become a cause of international concern, will be major focus of a meeting of the Lake Chad Basin Summit of Heads of State and Government, which President Buhari will attend with Nigerias delegation on Tuesday, December 1.

The Lake Chad is currently less than 10 per cent of its original size and little of the remaining waters is in Nigeria. Of an estimated 20 million people that lived on the Lake Chad Basin as at 2013, about 11.7 million were in the North Eastern region of Nigeria.

Also during the conference in Paris, President Buhari is scheduled to participate in the launching of International Solar Alliance by the Indian Prime Minister and the French President, where he will seek international partnerships to deliver Nigerias climate change response.

- Femi Adesina

Buhari urges world leaders not to abandon countries affected by depleting Lake Chad, seeks legally binding agreement on Climate Change

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Paris called on world leaders to forge a united front to save Lake Chad’s ecosystem from further depletion caused by the adverse effects of climate change.

Speaking at the Leaders Event of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly referred to as COP 21, in Paris, President Buhari said climate change has continued to pose a threat to Nigeria’s security and development.

``At the sub-regional level, we are saddled with the challenge of the drying up of the Lake Chad Basin, which is resulting in the total wipe out of livelihoods of many communities surrounding this transboundary natural resource.

``Regrettably, the world is leaving behind millions of people who depend on the Lake for their survival.

``The Government of Nigeria welcomes the Lake Chad Development and Climate Resilience Plan, and the Lake Chad Basin Commission and international partners for designing this climate-based Plan.

``In all, the experience of countries sharing the Lake Chad further illustrates the mutual challenge we face today and which must be collectively addressed without further delay.’’

On Nigeria’s position on the climate change negotiations, President Buhari said any meaningful and potential agreement on climate change in Paris, ``must draw extensively on the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.’’

The President, who shortly before his arrival to Paris approved Nigeria’s Intended National Determined Contributions (INDC) to tackle climate change , said for any agreement in Paris to be durable, ``it must recognize not only the emission right but also the survival rights of the citizens of developing countries.’’

The President also used the occasion of his address to around 150 leaders, who attended the opening ceremony of the summit, to affirm Nigeria’s position of a potential agreement that equitably addresses climate change mitigation and adaptation activities.

He said the potential agreement must make provisions for adequate financing, technology transfer and capacity development in the developing countries.

The President therefore called for the establishment of an effective means of monitoring, reviewing and verification of availability as well as accessibility of funds to the developing countries in order to address the challenges of climate change.

He assured world leaders of Nigeria’s readiness to support a legally binding and all-encompassing Paris Agreement, which must be fair to all.

Police: Former President Jonathan was not attacked

Bayelsa State Police Command Police Public Relations Officer, Asinim Butswat, has debunked reports that former President Jonathan was attacked in the state.

''There was no attack on the former President,'' Butswat said. '' The youths mistook his convoy for a governorship candidate engaging in campaigns. But when they discovered on getting to the entrance of his house in Yenagoa that it was that of the President, they ran away. Security operatives however ran after them and arrested some of them. They did not haul stones at the President’s convoy. They did not attack the convoy and no weapon was found on them.''

BREAKINGNEWS: Members of APC reportedly fighting at Abuja National Secretariat over Kogi's election successor

Fight has broken out between the supporters of Yahaya Bello and Abiodun Faleke at the APC National Secretariat Abuja as the National Working Committee of the party meets to pick the successor to Late Abubakar Audu, according to CKN News I reporter at the venue, adding, many people including journalists are being held hostage by the warring parties.

7 female students die in Kano after huge blaze at school hostel

Seven female students have been confirmed dead while as many as 21 injured after a Government Girls Secondary School in Jogana, Kano was engulfed by huge blaze in the hostel dormitories on Sunday morning while the students were fast asleep at about 2:00am.

The recorded deaths resulted from suffocation and stampede as hundreds of students rushed to escape the blaze through two exits. The bodies of the dead girls was confirmed by hospital and school officials, with the confirmation that their bodies have been deposited at Murtala Mohammed Specialists Hospital.

Putin snubs Erdogan as Russian pilot's body returned

Russian President Vladimir Putin snubbed a meeting with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Paris on Monday as the body of a pilot killed when Ankara downed one of Moscow's warplanes was flown home, AFP reported.

The two leaders have been locked in a furious war of words since the incident and the Kremlin strongman rejected the Turkish leader's offer of face-to-face talks on the sidelines of a climate conference in the French capital.

"No meeting with Erdogan is planned. There is no discussion of such a meeting," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists

FIFA Ballon d'Or: Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar on shortlist

Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Neymar will compete with current holder Cristiano Ronaldo for this year's FIFA Ballon d'Or.

Neymar, who is the top scorer in La Liga this season with 14 goals, is considered the outsider of the three to win the Ballon d'Or in the first year he has made the shortlist.

Ronaldo (45), Lionel Messi (44) and Neymar (41) have scored more goals all competitions in 2015 than any other player in Europe's top 5 leagues.

Russian pilot's body shot down flown home from Turkey

The body of Russian pilot, Oleg Peshkov killed last week when his plane was shot down by the Turkish air force for allegedly violating its air space on the Syrian border flown back to Russia from Turkey on Monday.

A Russian plane carrying the coffin left Ankara's Esenboga International Airport airport for Russia, after a military ceremony.

His body had at the weekend been taken from Syria to southern Turkey and then flown to Ankara.

Pope Francis visits mosque in CAR

Pope Francis Monday morning visited a mosque in the Central African Republic, where he told worshipers that "Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters. Together, we must say no to hatred, to revenge and to violence, particularly that violence which is perpetrated in the name of a religion or of God himself''.

According to BBC, the mosque visit was seen as perhaps the most difficult part of his Africa tour.

Pope Francis then held the final Mass of his Africa trip in Bangui.

Imam Tidiani Moussa Naibi thanked the Pope for his visit and said it was "a symbol which we all understand", the AP news agency reports.

On Sunday, the Pope called on fighting factions in the CAR to lay down their weapons. About half of CAR's population is Christian and 15% are Muslim.

ISIL made $800m from oil sales in Turkey - Iraqi MP

The Daesh Takfiri terrorists have made over $800 million dollars in black market oil sales in Turkey over the last eight months, says Iraqi MP.

''This is Iraqi oil and Syrian oil, carried by trucks from Iraq, from Syria through the borders to Turkey and sold …[at] less than 50 percent of the international oil price,'' said Mowaffak al-Rubaie in an interview with RT published on Sunday.

He noted that the oil is either ''consumed inside'' Turkey after being refined in Turkish facilities or is piped to the Mediterranean where it is sold on the international market.

''Money and dollars generated by selling Iraqi and Syrian oil on the Turkish black market  is like the oxygen supply to Daesh and its operation,'' he added. ''Once you cut the oxygen then Daesh will suffocate.''

He went on to stress that there is ''no shadow of a doubt'' that the government in Ankara is aware of the these smuggling operations.

''The merchants and the businessmen [are buying oil] in the black market in Turkey under the noses – under the auspices if you like – of the Turkish intelligence agency and the Turkish security apparatus,'' he said.

The parliamentarian referred to information gathered by Iraqi intelligence services, which indicates that some Turkish security officers sympathize with the Takfiris.

''They are allowing them to go from Istanbul to the borders and infiltrate … Syria and Iraq,'' he said.

He also said that Turkey provides medical aid to injured terrorists in border facilities and even in “Istanbul itself.

This is not the first time Ankara is being implicated in support for Daesh, whose militants have been committing crimes against the lives and heritage of people in Iraq and Syria.

Apart from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar have also contributed to violence, which has gripped the neighboring Arab states for the past two years.

30 killed in DR Congo violence

At least 30 people, including a United Nations peacekeeper, have been killed in violence in a Democratic Republic of Congo’s northeastern region.

Local sources said on Monday that the deaths took place as a result of clashes involving Congolese army and UN forces against Ugandan rebels in North Kivu’s town of Eringeti.

According to the Study Centre for the Promotion of Peace, Democracy and Human Rights (CEPADHO), the victims also included civilians and Congolese soldiers.

The victims have not been identified.

A Congolese army spokesman in the region, Mak Hazukay, said the Allied Democratic Forces-National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-NALU) rebels "attacked our positions at Eringeti and we repelled them all night."

An unnamed regional official said he had witnessed "four civilians killed by bullets and seven patients and a nurse cut up by machete at the hospital."

Activists say at least 500 civilians have been killed in attacks carried out by the rebels since last October.

The ADF-NALU was founded in Uganda in 1995 and later moved to Congo. It has been accused of committing serious human rights violations, including recruiting child soldiers and rape.

ADF-NALU and dozens of other armed groups have been active in eastern Congo since the 1996-2003 Congo wars.

U.S. Embassy has 'credible reports of imminent attack' in Kabul

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul has received credible reports of an imminent attack in the Afghan capital, the Embassy said Monday.

The threat is for a possible attack in the next 48 hours, the Embassy said in a statement.

"During this period of heightened threat, the U.S. Embassy strongly urges U.S. citizens to exercise extreme caution if moving around the city," the statement said.

"There were no further details regarding the targets, timing, or method of the planned attack."

The U.S. State Department continues warning American citizens against traveling to Afghanistan.

"The security situation in Afghanistan is extremely unstable, and the threat to all U.S. citizens in Afghanistan remains critical," the State Department said.

FRSC bans sale of alcohol in motor parks in Rivers

As the yuletide season approaches and to curb automobile accidents fuelled by drivers under the influence of alcohol and other intoxicants, the State Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), has banned the sale of alcoholic drinks at motor parks in the state.

The Sector Commander, Mr Andrew Kumapayi, disclosed the ban while addressing journalists in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

He warned that anyone caught selling alcoholic drinks at any motor park would be arrested and prosecuted and urged drivers to desist from drinking and driving to save their lives and other road users.

Kumapayi explained that the ban was in compliance with the directives from the FRSC Headquarters, Abuja, which, after long period of statistical analysis it was found out that the increasing level of road accidents is traceable to drunk driving.

The FRSC sector commander also urged drivers to avoid excessive speed when driving, especially as the festive season was approaching, adding that traffic signs and rules should be obeyed in driving.

He also said enlightenment campaign had been taken to the 23 local government areas in the state to stop the sale of alcohol at motor parks, stating that the ban would be monitored across the state.

Kumapayi appealed to local government councils, which manage and control markets and motor parks to assist in enforcing the ban on the sale of alcohol liquor.

Buhari, other world leaders at Opening of United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris

President Buhari being welcomed by President Francoise Hollande of France at the Opening of the United Nations Climate Change Conference on Monday November 30 in Paris, France.

In the photo below, Buhari was welcomed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon accompanied by Hollande and others at the opening of the event on Monday.

Buhari to visit South Africa after his return from Paris.

President Buhari is expected to visit Johannesburg, South Africa, this week to attend the forum on China-Africa Co-operation, a forum that would provide robust discussions on trade.

Buhari is currently in Paris attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference, starting today.

Defence Headquarters detain top Generals, recalls others over missing cash

In a bid to recover stolen defence cash running into trillions of Naira, the Defence Headquarters might have started recalling no fewer than 20 Generals said to have been involved in the purchase of arms and ammunition for the country.

Competent military sources told Vanguard last night that the suspected top military officers were being detained at a military facility in Abuja and would soon be made to face the music for their roles in fleecing the nation.

Similarly, the sources hinted that key military, naval and air force officers, who had retired within the last three months, were also being recalled to face an investigating panel probing the purchase of arms for the nation since 2009 with a view to ascertaining their roles in the missing defence funds.

According to one of the sources, who spoke in confidence to our correspondent yesterday, the investigative panel, which was raised by the Chief of Army Staff, is headed by a Brigadier General, whose name was not also disclosed for security reasons.

According to a source, “I can tell you that the current leadership of the Defence institution in Nigeria has zero tolerance for corruption given the need to give Nigeria a new lease of life. All those suspected to have diverted any money meant for the armed forces are being recalled to explain their roles in arms purchase.

“As we speak, some Generals currently serving are under detention at a military facility in Abuja while some who had retired but held sensitive appointments relating to arms and logistics procurement have been recalled by an investigating panel.”

It was learnt that some of the detained top military officers might have connived with some national security officers to divert huge sums of money set aside for the procurement of vital equipment and platforms for the armed forces by acknowledging receipt of such items when none had been supplied.

The Presidency is said to have ordered the military authorities to take immediate steps to recover stolen funds allocated to them.

Panel report

This followed the report of a panel raised by President Muhammadu Buhari on August 31 this year to look into defence budget and recommend the way forward for Nigeria.

In turning in its interim report, the panel raised the alarm that certain individuals saddled with the task of arms procurement for Nigeria, made away with huge sums and left the army to fight with bare hands.

The panel said that extra budgetary interventions collated by the committee was N643.8 billion while the foreign currency component was $2.2 billion.

The report indicated that the amounts excluded grants from the state governments and funds collected by the Directorate of State Services and the Police.

The statement said the committee observed that in spite of this huge financial intervention, very little was expended to support defence procurement.

Failed contracts

The committee also observed that of 513 contracts awarded at $8,356,525,184.32; N2,189,265,724,404.55 and 54,000.00 Euros, 53 were failed contracts amounting to $2,378,939,066.27 and N13,729,342,329.87 respectively.

According to the statement, the committee also noted that the amount of foreign currency spent on failed contracts was more than double the one billion dollars loan that the National Assembly approved for borrowing to fight the insurgency in the North East.

It stated that the committee also discovered that payments to the tune of N3.850 billion were made to a single company by the former NSA without documented evidence of contractual agreements or fulfilment of tax obligations to the Federal Government.

The statement said: “Further findings revealed that between March 2012 and March 2015, the erstwhile NSA, Lt. Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) awarded fictitious and phantom contracts to the tune of N2,219,188,609.50; $1,671,742,613.58  and 9,905,477.00 Euros.

“The contracts, which were said to be for the purchase of four Alpha Jets, 12 helicopters, bombs and ammunition were not executed and the equipment were never supplied to the Nigerian Air Force, neither are they in its inventory.

“Even more disturbing was the discovery that out of these figures, two companies, were awarded contracts to the tune of N350,000,000.00; $1,661,670,469.71 and 9,905,477.00 Euros alone.

“This was without prejudice to the consistent non-performance of the companies in the previous contracts awarded.

“Additionally, it was discovered that the former NSA directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to transfer $132,050,486.97 and 9,905,473.55 Euros to the accounts of Societe D’equipmente Internationaux in West Africa, United Kingdom and United States of America for un-ascertained purposes, without any contract documents to explain the transactions.”

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Diamond Platnumz shares cute photos of his daughter listening to his song

Father and daughter enjoying quality time together! Nasibu Jumma, popularly known as Diamond Platnumz shared this cute photos of himself and his daughter Tiffah putting on a headphone as she listened to her father's song.

'Yes we had to laugh about it,'' the Tanzanian singer said of the photo below,

BREAKING: Kobe Bryant announces he will retire after this season

Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant announced Sunday on the Players' Tribune website he will retire at the end of 2015-16 season, saying "this season is all I have left to give."

In a piece entitled "Dear Basketball," the 37-year-old Bryant wrote:

Dear Basketball,

From the moment
I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
Game-winning shots
In the Great Western Forum
I knew one thing was real:

I fell in love with you.

A love so deep I gave you my all —
From my mind & body
To my spirit & soul.

As a six-year-old boy
Deeply in love with you
I never saw the end of the tunnel.
I only saw myself
Running out of one.

And so I ran.
I ran up and down every court
After every loose ball for you.
You asked for my hustle
I gave you my heart
Because it came with so much more.

I played through the sweat and hurt
Not because challenge called me
But because YOU called me.
I did everything for YOU
Because that’s what you do
When someone makes you feel as
Alive as you’ve made me feel.

You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream
And I’ll always love you for it.
But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.
This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.

And that’s OK.
I’m ready to let you go.
I want you to know now
So we both can savor every moment we have left together.
The good and the bad.
We have given each other
All that we have.

And we both know, no matter what I do next
I’ll always be that kid
With the rolled up socks
Garbage can in the corner
:05 seconds on the clock
Ball in my hands.
5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1

Love you always,

Obama, Hollande pay respects to Paris attack victims

US President Barack Obama joined French leader Francois Hollande to pay respects to the victims of the Paris attacks at the Bataclan concert hall early Monday, hours before the official opening of a UN climate conference.

The two leaders, along with the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, laid flowers at the music venue where 90 people were killed by jihadist gunmen and suicide bombers on November 13.

Helicopters flew overhead and police shut off the roads around the bloodiest scene of the Paris attacks, with security concerns running high as some 150 world leaders were due to descend on the French capital.

The visit to the Bataclan was announced at the last minute after rallies ahead of the climate talks turned violent, as anti-capitalist protesters clashed with police.

Police fired teargas at protesters, who pelted them with bottles and candles in Place de la Republique where a memorial had been set up for the 130 people killed in the Paris attacks. More than 200 people were detained.

The clashes soured the mood before the start of the talks, known as COP21, aimed at clinching the world's first universal climate deal to limit global greenhouse gas emissions.

Earlier on Sunday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also visited the Bataclan with his French counterpart, Manuel Valls, as did the premier of French-speaking Quebec, Philippe Couillard.

Boko Haram kills four, abducts teenage girls in Borno

Boko Haram on Sunday morning killed four persons and abducted unspecified numbers of teenage girls in Bam village, about 7 kilometers away from Buratai village, the home town of Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai.

A resident of the area who fled to Miringa town, told newsmen that the insurgents stormed the village at about 3:30 am and set ablaze the whole village, after killing four people.

''The Boko Haram terrorists separated teenage girls from married women, set ablaze the whole village and fled with the girls unchallenged; the attack lasted for some hours before they left.'' he said.

In a related development, some Boko Haram terrorists have also attacked and burnt down Gajiganna village of Magumeri local government area of Borno state, killing three persons, including a soldier.

They also carted away a lot of foodstuff.

A member of the Civilian HTF from the area, Mallam Aliyu Jibrin told DAILY POST that the insurgents, who came at about 8:30pm on Friday started shooting sporadically to scare people.

''I believe it was a revenge mission because recently, we arrested over 17 Boko Haram insurgents and handed them over to the military.'' Jibrin stated.

Another resident of the area who does not want his name in print said “we have been advising the civilian JTF and security agencies that most of those coming with cow trucks to buy foodstuffs are Boko Harams members but they have refused to do something about it.

''I am calling on the Federal government and the military authorities to do something about the pockets of insurgents in the bushes and villagers before they regroup and start attacking big towns and villages.''

President Buhari arrives in Paris

President Buhari walks down the stairs from his plane Sunday night as he arrives at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, beginning on Monday November 29.


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