Tuesday, 28 February 2017
Four officials say the decision follows pressure from the Pentagon and State Department, the AP reported. They had urged the White House to reconsider Iraq's inclusion given its key role in fighting the Islamic State group, it added.
Trump is expected to sign the new order on Wednesday. An earlier order was blocked by federal courts.
In a rebuttal by his media office, Tinubu said he will never stand in any contest against President Muhammadu Buhari or support anyone against him.
The statement titled: “Response to Thisday false news report” added that the former Lagos State governor was neither planning a team nor holding consultations with the intention of planning any presidential campaign.
Here is the statement in full: “The front page story of the February 28 Thisday newspaper alleging that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is actively planning a presidential run is an example of bad fiction masquerading as professional journalism.
“The story is a manufactured tale weaved by its authors to try to create division where there is none.
“Those who wrote this fantasy seek to place Asiwaju Tinubu at odds with President Buhari. Writing such a baseless report is a very foul and wrong thing to do.
“The story carried the headline ‘Tinubu Prepares for Presidential Run, Dumps PDP, Mega Party Alliance’. The headline is remarkable in the fact that every bit of it is utterly wrong.
“First, Asiwaju Tinubu is not gearing up for a presidential run. So there will not be any doubt about this core matter; we shall state Tinubu’s position clearly and unequivocally so that even Thisday reporters cannot misinterpret his position.
“As long as that patriotic and committed man named Muhammadu Buhari holds and seeks to hold the mantle as our president, then Asiwaju Tinubu stands behind him in unwavering support and confidence.
“Asiwaju Tinubu remains faithful to the mission of progressive reform and change that President Buhari, he and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have started.
“Tinubu was instrumental in the formation and success of the APC. His toil and efforts helped establish this government. He is not one to tear down something he laboured so dutifully to build.
“Instead of trying to convey the truth, the THISDAY report opted to gain false sensation by completely mocking the tenor of the brief banter Asiwaju Tinubu had with journalists at the inauguration of Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
When asked about future political office, Asiwaju said he could not discount that possibility if the nation called upon him for such service, provided, he emphasised, that all political conditions were appropriate; particularly the office in question would have to be vacant, even if it’s local government chairmanship. In our political lexicon, this means the office is not held by a member of the APC in good standing. We all know this.
“Moreover, if you really listen to his words, Asiwaju did not mention any office or any time-frame. The conditions he mentioned may not become ripe for years to come and they might not pertain to the presidency. In effect, all Asiwaju said was the position that any political figure would hold.
“As a politician, he cannot preclude the possibility of running for office in the future because no man knows what the future will hold. To translate this general statement of political reality into a tale that he is actively preparing for a 2019 presidential run is reckless in the extreme.
“For that newspaper’s reporters to have engaged in this great leap of counterfeit logic means they purposefully bowed to the pressure to create false headlines instead of following the ethics of their craft to follow the truth even if the truth is more pedestrian and less volatile than what the reporters would have liked to hear. “They have turned themselves into newsmakers instead of remaining true to their calling of being neutral conveyors of events.
“Asiwaju Tinubu has not held any planning meetings for any such presidential campaign and is not contemplating any such meetings. He has no present list of possible running mates because he has no present intention of running.
“The headline also libels Asiwaju by asserting he was going to join the PDP. This is as shameless as a lie can be. Asiwaju is acknowledged to be the intellectual father and the driving force behind the APC.
“It makes no sense that he would abandon the party that he worked hard to build in order to enter the dilapidated building the PDP has become. Asiwaju worked for over 16 years to break the PDP yoke on the nation.
“After breaking that yoke, it is not in his nature to voluntarily place it back on our necks. Anyone who has followed his career, even his staunchest critics, knows Asiwaju for his partisan consistency. He is not a party hopper. He is loyal and sticks with the party to which he belongs.
“After fighting for so many years to elevate his party to the position of national leadership, he would not give that away in order to join with those who blame him for their currently bleak political circumstance.
“We understand all too well the genesis of this false news report. For their own reasons, THISDAY has joined with those who seek to put Asiwaju Tinubu at odds with our President.
“This scam will fail. Asiwaju supports and stands behind President Buhari. He wishes the president well and that he returns soon. Whether the president is here or away, he has the full loyalty of Asiwaju Tinubu.
“President Buhari can rest assured on this point: Asiwaju Tinubu will never contest against him nor will he support anyone who does.”
Police spokesman Johann Baumschlager says the man and woman are accused of being part of a criminal organization, human trafficking and engaging in the international prostitution trade.
He says they forced at least 10 young Nigerian women into the sex trade in part by engaging “a voodoo priest, who made them submissive through certain rites.”
Baumschlager said Tuesday the victims were repeatedly threatened with new voodoo spells and told they each owed 50,000 euros ($53,000) for their transport to Europe.
He says the male suspect is co-operating with police but the woman denies the accusations.
Neither is being named in keeping with Austrian privacy laws.
The song will mark the official second project from Skales in 2017.
Skales has revealed the songs will make it to his upcoming sophomore album titled ‘The Never Say Never Guy‘; scheduled to be released sometime in April, 2017.
Police carried some of the settlers and protesters out of the red-roofed structures in the settlement of Ofra, while others walked out, escorted by officers.
Israel's Supreme Court has ordered the demolition of nine buildings in the settlement of more than 3,000 people after finding that those homes were constructed on land where Palestinians proved ownership.
Such judicial rulings upholding Palestinian property rights have riled Israel's right-wing, as it promotes plans to expand construction in settlements built on occupied territory Palestinians seek for a state.
In one home in Ofra, police and protesters, mainly youths, linked arms and swayed in prayer before the youngsters, offering passive resistance, were taken outside.
"We feel that this is not right at all, what's being done here: the destruction of these homes in the center of a Jewish town, in the center of a populated town that was established legally 42 years ago," said Eliana Passentin, a spokeswoman for the local settler regional council.
There was little initial sign of the kind of violence that accompanied a larger-scale evacuation on Feb. 2 of Amona, a West Bank settlement-outpost built without Israeli government permission in 1995.
More than 100 youngsters had protested against the removal of Amona's 300 settlers. Some 60 officers and at least four demonstrators were hurt in scuffles there that included bleach being thrown at police.
Most countries consider all Israeli settlements on land occupied in the 1967 Middle East war to be illegal. Israel disagrees, citing biblical, historical and political links to the land as well as security interests.
Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, which Israeli forces left in 2005, with East Jerusalem as its capital. They say settlement construction could deny them a viable and contiguous country.
Some 550,000 Israelis live in West Bank settlements and East Jerusalem, areas that are home to more than 2.6 million Palestinians.
Three weeks ago, Israel's parliament retroactively legalized about 4,000 settler homes built on privately owned Palestinian land. The new law did not apply to Amona or the nine dwellings in Ofra because of standing court rulings.
Since U.S. President Donald Trump took office in January, Israel has announced plans to build 6,000 more settler homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
But at a White House news conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Feb. 15, Trump startled the Israeli leader by saying he would like to see him "hold back on settlements for a bit". Netanyahu later said he hoped to "reach an understanding" with Trump on settlements.
Some days ago, BN had reported that Gifty was married to this same David, the CEO of Sodafaces Multimedia And Entertainment Company where she had been as an MD since 2009.
On Tuesday, Gifty took to Instagram to describe the statement as “FAKE news” after photos of her alleged marriage surface online.
She wrote,'' Love makes you smile…HATE makes you famous..FAKE rumors makes you stronger and BIGGER… PS: no matter what is said or written i will always be the HEAD in the GAME…… I AM GIFTY POWERS…that’s my name! #GODCANBLESSANYBODY #NEVERGIVEUP #ITSJUSTGOD''
See some of the photos below:
The officer pulled a teenager onto a raised platform and asked the group if he belonged to Islamic State (IS). Muffled groans were followed by nods and muttered comments.
The youth was then dragged off to a pickup truck and his arms tied behind his back. He confessed to a three-month membership in IS and spending a week in a training camp, but said he had only been a cook and never carried a weapon.
As growing numbers of residents flee fighting between insurgents and Iraqi military forces seeking to recapture the IS-held western half of Iraq's second largest city, security units have been transporting civilians to government-run camps and weeding out IS infiltrators.
Just over a week into the offensive on the militants' last urban bastion in Iraq, some 14,000 inhabitants have slipped out of the city, trekking through stony desert. Most are women, children and elderly but there are also hundreds of young men who must pass screening by the security forces.
All are hungry and thirsty after three months under a virtual siege of western districts by Iraqi forces. Some have been wounded in the crossfire of a battle that could deal a hammer blow to Islamic State's territorial ambitions.
Up to 400,000 people may have to leave their homes during the new U.S.-backed offensive launched this month after Iraqi forces finished clearing districts east of the Tigris River that cleaves the city in Iraq's far north.
The intelligence officer, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said he had extracted seven suspected Islamic State members on Sunday, the first day of mass displacement from western Mosul. Reuters saw four more in detention on Monday.
"The fighters don't come out," he said. Those who were loyal to the jihadist movement but played a less public, mainly non-combatant role are more likely to try to slip through the dragnet, the intelligence officer added.
Security forces keep on hand some local Mosul inhabitants they refer to as "sources" to help them identify suspects.
One of the "sources", a wiry young man wearing a green balaclava to shield his identity, stood with intelligence officers as a new batch of men handed over their identification to be checked against a computer database.
Most Islamic State militants are killed in battle, though Iraqi forces have captured alive a handful over the past week including a few from former Soviet republics and China.
The intelligence officer said he had learned to pinpoint IS associates from how they behaved with him.
"You can tell because they are afraid. Those who are not Daesh are also afraid but it's different from the fear of those who are with Daesh," he said, without elaborating, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
The Iraqi military considers the screening process to be effective so far, but gives no figures.
“We have a mechanism. We have names and sources but even so we don't know all of them. But there are people who cooperate; most of them are cooperative," the intelligence officer said.
Some of those held in groups for interrogation were clearly motivated to expose IS supporters in their midst by the repression and brutality of Islamic State's rule in Mosul.
"People are cooperative because two years is a long time to be under constant pressure," the intelligence officer said.
"When you ask who among you is with Daesh, there are people who will point them out and say they did such and such. Like these guys, this morning I brought them one and asked if they knew him. Two of them got up and said he is Daesh."
A U.S. intelligence official who asked not to be named said some Islamic State combatants had escaped Mosul as well as the Syrian city of Raqqa amidst the chaos of combat, but U.S.-backed forces' encirclement of both cities had reduced the risk of militants making their way out to carry out attacks elsewhere.
People arrive at the initial screening site behind front lines just south of Mosul caked in dust, some carried on stretchers or the backs of others.
The first thing they ask for is usually a cigarette. Smoking was forbidden under the Islamic State regime, but many people still risked lashes for a few puffs.
Supplies of most commodities have run out and prices have skyrocketed in west Mosul since Iraqi forces cut off the last road westward to IS-controlled territory in Syria three months ago. Many families have subsisted on little more than bread.
An elderly man waiting for security screening said people had died in their homes from hunger. "There was nothing to buy. You have money but what can you do, eat money?" he said.
"It's not that prices are high, (but that) there is no food. "Some people had to leave their dead relatives in their house."
The journey out of western Mosul is treacherous and disorienting. Families are often separated and unsure when they will see each other again or where they will ultimately end up.
Civilians say Islamic State has targeted them with mortars and snipers along the route, which takes at least an hour of walking and another half hour piled into military trucks.
A 16-year-old shepherd lost part of his flock last week when a mortar crashed into it. He slaughtered the wounded animals and sold the meat to Iraqi policemen securing the area.
This week, families were squatting in a ditch in the open desert waiting for trucks to carry them the rest of the way.
A few women seized the opportunity to swap their black niqab veils for colourful headscarves, which show their faces and so were banned by Islamic State.
Dawud Dargham was boarding a bus to a government-run camp after fleeing from a village near Mosul airport. He said he was anxious about the future. "There is a limit to what we can endure. We are humans made of flesh and blood."
The teenage cook exposed as an IS supporter, clad in a blue tracksuit and barely old enough to grow a beard, was sitting later in the bed of a truck as three other men with pillow cases over their heads were tossed in.
When the intelligence officer began to ask him more questions, the youth's eyes welled up.
"Don't cry," the officer advised with a hint of tenderness before the vehicle took off, kicking up a cloud of dust.
Here is a reply by Amaechi through his media aide David Iyiofor
A Letter To Wendell Simlin aka Reno Omokri On Your Petty Vituperations Against Rotimi Amaechi….By David Iyofor
My dear Wendell aka Reno,
I am not sure how to address you, whether to call you Reno Omokri or Wendell Smilin. This in itself is a fundamental problem. Your multiple identities send a profound message about your character and duplicitous personality.
For the benefit of those who may not remember, I crave your indulgence to remind them that Wendell Smilin is one of your multiple names, the fake name(like the fake opinion articles, replete with fake news you write), you used to create a fake document that sought to portray our former Central Bank Governor, now Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as a sponsor of terrorism in 2014 when you worked as the lead social media attack dog for former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Your role was simple: disparage and demonized anyone who attempts to disagree with, and criticize, most times constructively, your principal. I have no qualms with how you decide to put food on your table. However, I quiver whenever I recall that you used and faked the name of your brother-In-law’s innocent young son, Wendell Simlin to demonize Emir Sanusi. Who does that? What kind of a human being are you? You’re at liberty to sell your conscience, soul and even your entire being (both physical and spiritual), for a mess of porridge; but must you drag the name of your innocent young relative into your mess?
Before I dig into your niggling obfuscating article- Time to question the pot bellied Amaechi’s sanity- on Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation (by the way, one of our finest administrators), again, indulge me to make a confession. I sometimes sympathize with you, especially during the early days after you and your principal were unceremoniously and shockingly (to you) voted out of Aso Rock Villa; no thanks to Rotimi Amaechi and other gallant democrats.
I imagined your abysmal pain, your colossal loss, and the awful, dreadful end to your Aso Rock meal ticket; and tried to situate your profound angst, uncontrollable anger and intense hatred for Rotimi Amaechi because of the key role he played (which was noble) in dislodging your principal, which inadvertently took away your source of livelihood. Honestly, I tried to understand how you felt and that made it less difficult to ignore your early meaningless and nonsensical vituperations against Amaechi. But for how long will you stay angry and mad at Amaechi for playing a key role in the removal of your boss? As a pastor (that is one prefix in front of one of your names I can’t seem to wrap my head around), you ought to know that the Bible tells Christians not to hold a grudge or stay angry. In your case it’s been such a long time-almost two years after your principal lost the Presidential election.
My dear Wendell Simlin aka Reno Omokri, your recent tirade, like the previous ones targeted at Rotimi Amaechi clearly signposts a dark vengeful heart. You called Amaechi a ‘confirmed liar’ and questioned his sanity; while the reality is that you are the one who had consistently lied and is still lying to Nigerians, faking documents and faking news to deceive Nigerians.
Tell me where, when and how Amaechi lied? Did Amaechi lie when he said recently in the interview with some national newspapers that the then CBN(Central Bank of Nigeria) governor, the same Sanusi Lamido Sanusi that you faked documents to demonized, wrote a letter to your principal our then President, that $49 billion cannot be accounted for and so was missing from NNPC account and not paid to the federation account?
Was it because Sanusi had the guts and courage to write the letter of the missing $49 billion to your principal that made you fake documents and social media accounts that designed to portray Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as a sponsor of terrorists?
Was Amaechi lying when he said in the same interview that if the missing billions of dollars were deployed for developmental projects by your principal’s administration, the infrastructural gap we suffer today won’t be this huge and half of the missing money is enough to build the rail projects we are now going to borrow money from China for?
Did Amaechi lie when he said your principal did not save money in spite of the huge savings he inherited from previous administrations and was surreptitiously spending alone the money meant for Federal, States and Local Government Councils? Was Amaechi lying when he said your principal’s administration refused to call NEC (National Economic Council) meetings for about two years, in violation of the constitution, so that the administration you were part of, can covertly continue to spend the money meant for the three tiers of government?
Does it not trouble you that there seems to be an obvious link between the missing billions Sanusi Lamido Sanusi wrote about to your principal and the billons of naira and other currencies that were allegedly squandered on frivolities like the N2 billion supposedly given to marabouts to pray for your principal’s election victory or the N4 billion for propaganda work and many others? How do you even sleep at night?
You say Amaechi lied and no money was missing; yet billions in Naira and other currencies are been recovered regularly from top operatives of your principal’s administration.
You even went as low as writing that Amaechi consistently betrays his benefactors without mentioning one benefactor he betrayed; and the accusations from matters that are in court. How low can you go?
While you questioned the sanity of Amaechi, many Nigerians feel pity for you and know that you are the one who needs psychiatric and perhaps spiritual help. You are like a mad man in the market square that points his fingers at sane people, calling them mad. The Amaechi I know will not apologize for the prominent role he played to remove your boss from the Villa. Your principal is gone and gone for good; perhaps, he may never return to Aso Rock as its landlord. No amount of demonizing Amaechi would reverse this. The earlier you get over the loss, the better for you, mentally and otherwise, Wendell Simlin aka Reno Omokri.
David Iyofor wrote from Abuja
Reno Omokri's RESPONSE
Rotimi Amaechi: A Decorated Monkey is Still a Monkey!
It has been brought to my attention the attack on my person by the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, after I exposed his lies with regards to the figure of $49.8 billion which he claimed former President Goodluck Jonathan pilfered from the national treasury.'
In my response to that false allegation, I stated with facts, figures and dates that not only did Mr. Amaechi lie, but that he is directly to blame for some of the economic challenges facing the nation. Unable to dispute my facts, Amaechi has resorted to insults and abuse on my person. My response is as follows:
I will never, ever exchange insults with a lowlife. A lowlife with a ministerial position is still a lowlife just as a decorated monkey is still a monkey. Other than holding one government position or the other, Amaechi has never been associated with any private success so he is very insecure when people challenge his unenviable record in government with facts.
To borrow a line from a hit song, I Reno Omokri, know who God says I am, where he says I am at and what he says I will be. I do not need a government position to maintain my relevance. I was somebody before I went into government, I am somebody after leaving government and by the grace of God, I will forever remain somebody without a government position, so nothing a pot bellied man can say or do to me can ever alter what God has said about me.
I would rather advise Rotimi Amaechi to respond to the issues I raised, namely that there was no missing '$49.8 billion' and that on September 21, 2012, he called on the Federal Government to share the funds in the Excess Crude Account, and that it was he, Rotimi Amaechi, as Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, that led some state governors to take the Federal Government to court to compel it to share the proceeds from the Excess Crude Account because then President Jonathan insisted on saving the money, a case that they won and therefore it is hypocritical of him to accuse former President Jonathan of not saving for the rainy day.
I challenge Rotimi Amaechi to separate himself from his government positions and see if he can maintain his relevance. He borrows his relevance from government. He does not add relevance to government. In two years as a minister, the only 'achievement' he can boast of is the Abuja-Kaduna railway that was built and completed by the very same Goodluck Jonathan he likes to castigate.
President Jonathan has been out of office for two years. I am no longer his aide, neither am I on salary, yet I continue to be loyal to him. Can Amaechi say the same of himself? Is he capable of being loyal to anybody or institution without having something to gain? Is that not why his stomach is protruding and potbellied? Because he is only loyal to his stomach! No wonder he admitted spending $500,000 to host Professor Wole Soyinka to a one day dinner. Amaechi epitomizes stomach infrastructure!
It is this loyalty to stomach only that has placed Amaechi in the awkward position where ALL the living ex-Governors of Rivers state are against him along with the incumbent Governor, Nyesom Wike. A man who cannot command loyalty at home and can't walk the streets of Port Harcourt without armed guards.
What Amaechi does not understand is that there is life after government. Whenever President Muhammadu Buhari retires from politics, he will be received with joy by Katsina people. Whenever Bola Tinubu retires, he will be received with arms wide open by Lagos people. But who will receive Amaechi when he retires? Certainly not Rivers people who view him as a serial betrayer of their interests and the interests of his zone.
A man who can sell his own mother for a useless government position cannot expect to retire in the motherland. Maybe Amaechi will retire to Daura with Buhari as his domestic servant and in house sycophant for life!
Has he forgotten so soon how he was publicly disgraced by his colleague, the minister of Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, when he was trying to sabotage the Maritime University at Okerenkoko? While others are attracting development to their zones, Amaechi is subtracting progress from his zone. Thank God for Kachikwu who told him that "We are not going to throw away the baby with bath water. We deal with the issues but the university will be developed. If he (Amaechi) does not want it in Maritime, I will take it in petroleum"?
Even if Rotimi Amaechi spends all day insulting me directly or through proxies, it takes absolutely nothing from me. If insults could kill, Donald Trump would be dead, but he is in the White House instead.
A lizard with an overinflated ego is still a lizard, not an alligator. Rotimi Amaechi may have left his village but his village never left him! That is why he continues to display his inferiority complex by dressing in ill fitting designer clothes bought at huge expense! Alas, he is trying to suppress the memory of when he wore the same clothes for three days. But the man makes the clothes, the clothes don't make the man. Poverty mentality is his undoing!
He calls himself lion of Ubima. A lion with a pot belly and that can't win elections? If he wants to see a real lion he should go to Bourdillon!
Finally, rather than insult me, Rotimi Amaechi should seek medical attention for his protruding pot belly. Doctors warn that a protruding belly, like his, is a symptom of too much food and too little exercise.
Obviously, Rotimi Amaechi should focus more on exercising his body and his brain. Unfortunately, he seems to only exercise his mouth by eating too much and talking too much which is why he is prone to frequent verbal and anal diarrhea.
Reno Omokri is the founder of the Mind of Christ Christian Center in California, author of Shunpiking: No Shortcuts to God and Why Jesus Wept and the host of Transformation with Reno Omokri
The concert which was sponsored by Lesrosesrouges Entertainment encapsulated a fan-focused event, laying emphasis on live performance. Comedy performances by Instagram comedian, Woli Arole, SenseiUche & VJ Dadaboi Ehiz kept the feeling of euphoria on the ground going during interludes in-between performances by premium artistes like Olamide, Ice Prince, Small Doctor, Ycee, Niniola, DJ Spinall, Harrysongz, Eva Alordiah, Falz, Reekado Banks, Koker, Orezi, CDQ, Phlex, Dremo, Oladips, Mayorkun, Seriki, Terry Apala and a host of others.