Synagogue splits as ex-TB Joshua’s pastor establishes break-away church

In what seems like a battle of pastors, a breakaway clergyman from the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, has set up a New Synagogue a stone’s throw from Prophet T.B. Joshua’s church and has been attracting a lot of members.

T.B. Joshua has warned his congregation not to attend the new church or be confused by the similarities between both places of worship.
The new church is called Christ Holy Mountain, A.K.A House of Prayer, but residents refer to it as the New Synagogue because the healing sessions, miracles and mode of worship is similar to Prophet T.B. Joshua’s.

The church is located at Ajata street, behind Igando-Ikotun Local Council Development Area in Lagos, western Nigeria.

Investigations revealed that many worshippers who come to see T.B Joshua’s church are now diverted to the New Synagogue where miracles and healing sessions are also performed in a similar manner.

Former members of T.B. Joshua’s church have also thronged the new church, it was learnt.
The battle of pastors became public recently wen Pastor T.B. Joshua, during a church service, warned his members not to attend the new church.

Joshua told worshippers that he was aware that former members of his church established a church in the area claiming that it is a New Synagogue Church. He warned members not to attend or be deceived because the church was not established by him.

It was learnt that the church is now providing alternative to numerous worshipers who come from within and outside the country to see Joshua but cannot due to the huge crowd waiting to see the prophet.

On a visit to the new church, the pastor of the church was not around to speak. However, a senior worker at the church who identified himself simply as Godwin, confirmed that the church was founded by a breakaway pastor and some other dissatisfied members from SCOAN.

High expectations as Emefiele resume Tuesday as CBN governor

Two months after his March 26 confirmation by the Senate, Godwin Emefiele will tomorrow resume officially as 11th Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Godwin Emefiele is the current MD of Zenith Bank.
Emefiele, 53, replaces Lamido Sanusi, who was suspended by President Goodluck Jonathan on February 20, while on official assignment in Niger Republic.

According to a CBN source, Emefiele will be received by the management and staff of the bank at the Abuja office of the apex bank, led by Sarah Alade, who acted as Governor since February 20.

It would be the job of Alade, who returns to her portfolio as Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, to officially hand-over to the new helmsman.

Unlike his two immediate predecessors, Emefiele is known to be reserved, preferring that his works speak, while the institution he manages remains the subject, instead of him, as can be seen from his almost four-year stint at Zenith Bank.

Stakeholders say he is not known to court the limelight.

In his last public appearance as Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank (the bank’s annual general meeting in Lagos), Emefiele, while fielding questions from shareholders, promised to ensure fairness and justice, while being firm in taking decisions.

“We will be fair…we will be just, and I say we would be firm in taking those decisions that need to be taken,” he had said.

According to him, the governorship of the CBN “is a national assignment. It is about our economy and we would work very hard to ensure that we take Nigeria to greater heights”.

One issue Emefiele must have to deal with at the CBN, according to Brigadier General Emmanuel Ikwe, Chairman, Port Harcourt Zonal Shareholders Association, is the nationalisation of some banks in 2011.

He lamented that shareholders who are ordinarily owners of the banks were not consulted, and even now that the banks are being sold to new core investors.

Ikwe, therefore, urged the in-coming governor to take another look at the entire process, to see if justice had been done to all.

Afterwards, he said, “anything wrong should be redressed. It is not right for the CBN to appoint people, and then negotiate with the appointees to sell the bank”.

For Nona Awoh, a shareholder rights activist, Emefiele must determine what Nigerian banks should do with their reserves which are idling away, and which they only keep reporting.

The CBN Governor comes onboard with 27 years of banking experience, 24 of which he spent at Zenith Bank, where he rose through the ranks from Manager, Corporate Banking (loan origination and analysis) in 1991.

A 1984 graduate of Finance & Banking, University of Nigeria, Nzuka (UNN), where he also obtained a Masters of Business Administration (Finance & Banking) two years later, Emefiele started his banking career as a credit analyst at the Nigerian-American Merchant Bank Limited in 1987, before joining Industrial Bank Limited (Merchant Bankers).

Between 1984 and 1985 he undertook his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme as assistant lecturer (1984-1985) in Mathematics of Finance and Bank Management; and University of Port Harcourt, River State, as Assistant lecturer in Principles of Insurance between 1986 and 1987.

He became Assistant General Manager in 1995, General Manager in 1997, Executive Director (1999), and Deputy Managing Director in 2001, from where he assumed the position of chief executive nine years later in 2010.

He was credited with growing Zenith Bank’s Shareholders’ Funds from N372 billion in 2010 to over N462 billion in 2012; driving profitability from N37 billion in 2010 to over N100 billion in 2012, and getting its $850 million Global Depository Receipts (DGR) listed on the London Stock Exchange – the largest of any Nigerian bank on the LSE.

Meanwhile, Emefiele’s replacement at Zenith Bak, Peter Olisamedua Amangbo, resumes today.

Before now, he has been Executive Director of the bank for the last nine years, with responsibility for supervising corporate and commercial banking, corporate finance, trade services and all the subsidiaries of the bank.

A 1988 Bachelor’s Degree holder in Electrical/Electronic Engineering from the University of Benin, Amangbo trained with PricewaterhouseCoopers and qualified as a chartered accountant before joining Zenith Bank in 1993.

He also holds a post-graduate diploma in computer science and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

With over 16 years post-graduate experience, 12 of which were in the banking industry, he was the head of Financial Control and Strategic Planning before his reassignment as head of the Corporate & Retail Banking Group and Zenith Bank’s group zonal head, Lagos.

As part of his job as Executive Director, he supervised the Power & Infrastructure Group as well as the group’s foreign subsidiaries.

He has also gained experiences in Corporate Finance and Investment Banking, Business Development, Credit and Marketing, Treasury, Financial Control and Strategic Planning and Operations. He was appointed to the board of the Bank and its subsidiary companies in 2005.

He was a pioneer Non-Executive Director of Zenith Bank UK.

Before joining the banking industry, he was a senior consultant with PriceWaterhouse where he covered assignments in financial services, manufacturing and general commerce.

According to a statement by the bank, “Amangbo brings the experience and expertise to meet the current competitive banking challenges that require constant innovation through proven leadership and team-building skills, an exceptional ability to drive product, process and customer service improvements and a talent for building partnerships with key business decision-makers.

“He also has demonstrable ability to motivate, mentor and lead talented senior professionals and to direct cross-functional teams.”

Source- Daily Independent

Cameroun kills over 40 Boko Haram insurgents

   
Cameroun security forces have killed some 40 Boko Haram militants in clashes in the country’s far north, state radio said on Sunday, shortly after the release of two Italian priests and a Canadian nun suspected to have been held by the Islamist group.

A presidency source confirmed the clashes, which took place west of the town of Kousseri, in the region bordering Nigeria and Chad.

Cameroun, which has been criticised by Nigeria for not doing enough to fight the Nigeria-based Boko Haram, deployed some 1,000 troops in the far north this week as it steps up the fight against the Islamist militants.

Pele’s son jailed 33 years for money laundering

The son of the Brazilian football legend Pele has been sentenced to 33 years in jail for laundering money raised from drug trafficking.

Edinho is a retired footballer who played goalkeeper for Pele’s old club, Santos, in the 1990s.

He was first arrested in 2005 and has served a sentence for drug trafficking offences and links with a notorious drug dealer in the city of Santos.

He admits he had a drug problem but denies the trafficking charges.

The ruling was issued by a judge in the nearby coastal city of Praia Grande, in Sao Paulo state.

Brazilian media have not been able to contact Edinho, whose real name is Edson Cholbi do Nascimento, but they say he is expected to appeal.

US childhood

Pele, or Edson Arantes do Nascimento, played all his professional career in Brazil for Santos.

Playing for Brazil, he won the World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970 and was acclaimed as the greatest footballer of his generation.

Pele won the World Cup three times with Brazil and scored more than 1,200 goals in his career
He retired in 1974, but made a comeback a year later for New York Cosmos.

Edinho is Pele’s third son from his first marriage. He was five when the family moved to New York to play for Cosmos.

When he returned to Brazil he decided to pursue a career in professional football – as a goalkeeper, much to his father’s surprise.

He was Santos’ goalkeeper in 1995 when the team reached the Brazilian league final, losing the title to Botafogo.

His detention and alleged involvement with drug gangs took most people in Brazil by surprise.

Pele, now 73, went to visit his son several times in jail.

“God willing, justice will be done. There is not a shred of evidence against my son,” he said in 2006.

Edinho said that his father was his idol.

Four other people have also been convicted for many laundering, including a man accused of controlling much of the drug trafficking in the region – Ronaldo Duarte Barsotti, known as Naldinho.

BRAZIL 2014: Super Eagles in fresh match-fixing mess

Nigeria officials may face prolonged ban if found guilty of match fixing.
Nigeria has been implicated in yet another football match-fixing scandal, with the revelation that the friendly match between the Super Eagles and North Korea on the eve of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was doctored.
The allegation, published by the New York Times, opens a fresh can of worms in a series of claims that Nigeria has featured prominently for years in the dubious art match-rigging.
Nigeria won the friendly against the North Korean side by 3-1.
Besides the result, that match also grabbed the headlines over a stampede that occurred before the commencement of the exhibition game, as hundreds of South Africans and other fans trooped to the stadium to catch a glimpse of the Eagles.
It now turns out they were served a script worked out by a gambling syndicate.
The New York Times said South African officials allowed a notorious Singaporean syndicate, Football 4U, to pick the referee for that match.
Fixing games has serious profit implications for Asia’s largely unregulated but lucrative betting market.
Most fixed bets are placed on which team will win against the spread and on the total number of expected goals. By some estimates, the illegal betting market in Asia amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars annually, the report said.
Quoting from FIFA investigative report, the New York Times said FIFA investigators found that the referee in the Nigeria-North Korea match made several questionable calls. But investigators could not confirm whether the referee was a rogue Nigerien referee, Ibrahim Chaibou.
The investigators said they were however certain that the referee who officiated was not the Portuguese who had been assigned.
Such replacements are part of the trick, and do happen in fixed games presumably without FIFA’s knowledge.
The referee took “a very harsh stance” in giving a red card for a seemingly lesser infraction, and he later took “a very liberal stance” in awarding a suspicious penalty kick, the report was quoted by the New York Times as saying.
Mr. Chaibou had his hands soiled in many other matches adjudged to have been fixed including the South Africa Vs Guatemala game in which South Africa won 5-0. The referee was said to have received $60, 000 for his role.
It was also Mr. Chaibou who officiated the Nigeria – Argentina friendly in Abuja, also adjudged to have been fixed as the Eagles triumphed 4-1.
It is not clear what role Nigerian officials played in fixing the North Korea match.
But in recent months, Nigeria has been mentioned as a beneficiary of fixed matches.
One notorious Singaporean gambler cum match fixer, Wilson Raj Pemural, said in a personal memoir published this year that he aided the Super Eagles qualify for the South Africa 2010 Mundial.
Mr. Pemural played significant role in all of the Times findings.
Even Nigeria’s friendly with Scotland last week which ended in a two goal draw is under investigation for suspected fixing.
Officials of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, have consistently denied all the allegations.

New weight control pill takes America by storm

Move Over Weight Watchers, a new dietary supplement has everyone raving. Due to its almost unbelievable results, it has also created quite a frenzy among dieters. Garcinia Cambogia, a fat burning extract from a rare tropical fruit, is so effective it has become one of the hottest diets in the United States – But not without controversy.

Critics say the compounds – hydroxycitric acid, or HCA (the extract from the Garcinia Cambogia fruit) – cause such dramatic weight loss that they are ripe for abuse by people who only want to lose weight for cosmetic reasons. Proponents of the nutrient claim that banning the natural compound would be akin to banning vitamins.

One thing people on both sides can agree on is that the controversial, new supplement works. According to a new study from researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center, men and women who took the Garcinia Cambogia supplement for 8 weeks lost an average of 16.5 pounds without additional diet or exercise.

Another study published in the journal Nutrition Research found that people taking Garcinia Cambogia extract lost an average of 6.7 percent of their total body weight, including 12.3 percent of their total body fat – with zero side effects. In fact, not only were there not any side effects, but people using the supplement actually experienced improved health measures across the board, including reductions in bad LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar.

And if all that weren’t reason enough to have desperate slimmers stocking up, researchers from the Department of Laboratory Medicine found that people taking Garcinia Cambogia extract experienced a significant decline in cravings for sweets and other foods high in carbohydrates – likely due to the nutrient’s positive effect on insulin and blood sugar counts.

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EBONYI HOUSE 2015: ‘In my ‘work’ revolution, I will work for my people till I bend’ -Afikpo Chic

  10966614_395387077290588_1035891817_nMaria Ude Nwachi, popularly known as Afikpo Chic is an entrepreneur and media expert who is gunning for the Afikpo North-East Constituency slot in the Ebonyi State House of Assembly. Nwachi, whose legacies flow from philanthropy to statesmanship spoke with Onu Ibiniukpabi in her country home at Afikpo town, Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
She analyses the Nigerian political arena, enumerating reasons why she thinks the time has come for more women like herself to venture into political leadership, and contribute meaningfully to the development of not just the nation, but also the world at large. She also expresses confidence that rigging via ballot snatching has become a thing of the past:

10966989_395387073957255_2041027488_nWhat gave you the impression that you can serve in the capacity of the lawmaker for Afikpo North East?

My people know my strengths and weaknesses, and they believe with certainty that I am the only one that will go out there, make N10, add my own personal N2 to it and work for them. I will do it, because I have been doing it since I was born. I have been sharing whatever money I have, when I am very rich, when I am not rich, when I am broke, I still share whatever money I have with others. Especially with my people.
So they know that I am eager to serve, that I am eager to change the face of Afikpo. I will do it. In my first week of resumption of office, I will put over 50 people on the streets of my constituency, to sweep it every day and ensure that it is very clean. We will also go ahead and beautify Afikpo. This will be done on a continual basis, its not going to be a one-time thing. What I have in mind, I am going to break a record that doesn’t even exist in America. I will bring in investments which will double the allocations I am working with. I don’t say anything unless I am sure I can do it. I am going to be the most-impacting legislator in the whole world.
Get this clear- I am also going to impact on the lives of people, not just in my constituency, but others in Ebonyi State, and probably beyond.
10723427_395387070623922_1104736882_nWhat is the assurance that your promises are not empty, just like in the case of other politicians?

The situation in Nigeria today is that, before they can believe in you, they would look at your life before. In Igbo land for instance, because of the experiences of the people in the hands of their political leaders, they would never allow themselves be deceived by any politician unless they know the antecedents of these people.
In Abia State today, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah of Masters Energy came out to run for governorship, and the people are going gaga. The reason is because of his antecedents. He has done a lot, and he has a super clean record of philanthropy. Real philanthropy, people like him, who have trained people, gives scholarships, helps the poor have records people can make reference to. The same is applicable to me, in my own little way. I don’t want to brag, but there are things I have done that not even men have been able to do.
10967040_395387080623921_849391234_nWhat are some of these things you have done for your people?

I literally bridged the gap between the poor and the rich in this town. There were times when things like cars were big deals in this town. I rubbished that idea when I bought a car for myself and also buying a bunch of cars which I gave out to people. That immediately brought down the value they placed in cars. On a daily basis, if a I walk down the streets of Afikpo with N3 million, by the time I am home, I am left with nothing. I just go on and share it around. So my whole life is about sharing whatever I have with my people, and making sure that no one is looked down upon. If I see anyone look down on others, I must do something for the victim. These are the things my people know me for. My people know that I have seen so much money, and so, that my reasons for running for this elections is not to enrich myself.
I don’t want to brag, but I still have the biggest house in this part of the town, yet I am still the same person- still walks the streets when I like, still takes okada, greets you the same way, and respect you, and love you the same. No matter how lowly you may be, I don’t care. I am still the same old Maria. There is no height, the only height that is above all is God. I don’t consider earthly heights-it means nothing to me, no matter how big you are. So my people know this of me, that’s why they are loving me and I am loving them. I love my people with all my heart, I can die for Afikpo.
10955862_395387083957254_1350523119_nIs that why they address you as ‘our mother’, ‘Eze Nwanyi’, and so on. Are these names there because of the things you do for them?

They nicknamed me ‘Eze Nwanyi’(Woman King). It’s not a title, it’s just a nickname. They just looked at the things I do and named me that. I am the Woman King in this town, it also means that I am the mother of all, men and women, and they are my children. Every Ehugbo person is my child, and as a mother, a mother cannot eat when her children have not eaten, and I will not eat until my children eat. So if I enter the government, I will not put food into my mouth until I put food in their own mouths. It’s my daily life. My people don’t joke with me because they know I don’t joke with them.

IMG_20150117_140325I noticed that the crowd overwhelmed the venue of your flag off, and even made it difficult for your convoy to move around Afikpo. It was like the days of Jim Nwobodo’s campaigns in the old Anambra State. Did you anticipate such a crowd coming out?

Never. This is a presidential crowd, what my people gave me will never pass for a crowd coming out for me. Imagine, I am only running for a House of Assembly office. But it happened. The funny thing is, everybody kept saying I must run for governorship. Nobody was promoting me for anything else. And I asked why they didn’t. someone said to me, ‘your kind needs to lead a state. If you are a senator, you will only deal with a certain constituency, if you are a rep, only a certain constituency. But if you are a governor, you will lead the whole state, and Nigeria will experience another type of leadership’. I was overwhelmed. I knew my people love me, but I never ever in my wildest imagination expect this type of love. Afikpo people do not worship anyone, if you like be a governor. I don’t understand it, I don’t. it’s too much, its beyond me. All I IMG_20150117_140244If you are called tomorrow to be a governor of Ebonyi State, what will you do?

I am very happy that I am starting with the state assembly. I need to make a very important point with it. I want to work. I want to use whatever they give us, the so-called allocations to work, so that Nigerians will see how much is in the state assembly, and how much someone in the state assembly is capable of generating in order to do what they need to do. I want it like this, assembly which they consider in their scheme to be the lowest. I want to start with it and show the world that if people elected to serve actually use the money they get to serve, Nigeria won’t have any problem. Nigeria will be a beautiful country. I want to start working like yesterday- June is so far away. I want to start yesterday to show people, to prove to people that there is nothing with the Nigerian system of governance. It is the people who are so heartless and greedy that make is look so. Imagine going in there, you are aid N100, you send the whole cash into your bank account and start building houses, buying lands, doing all sorts of things, without thinking of the people you are sent out to represent. This is wickedness and heartlessness of the highest order. It amazes me that so many people are doing this and I wonder, are they not ashamed? I would be so embarrassed, so ashamed of myself. I wouldn’t even want to be seen on the street, or to walk down the streets. I know now why these people don’t like to be seen. Me, I like to walk around in my town. Now I know why most of them don’t like to be seen.
How can you embezzle money belonging to every one? Building houses, buying cars, looking good, looking hot, while everybody else suffer. This has to end, I have to end it. I am going to start a revolution in this country- work revolution. You are elected to work, work. Bring out the money, spend it. Do the work. Am going to start it.
10947703_395387063957256_249754449_nThere are certain politicians who might want to stop you. Are you prepared to ensure that no matter what, your revolution continues?

They cannot stop what is about to happen. This is because I am glad you are here in Afikpo with me, to see the genuine love these people have for me. You have to put this question to Ehugbo people, because they are the ones to fight this battle, not Maria. I am just a vessel to carry out this mission. I am going to do my best, whatever it is I have to do. I cannot stop the bigwigs from doing their thing, but the bigwigs can be big, but no one is almighty. They cannot get everything they want. I am going to be a change agent, powerful change agent- selfless. I will work, work, work, until I bend. If they don’t want to follow suit, that’s not my problem, because I cannot encourage bad. We can’t leave politics for scoundrels. Enough of them. If you don’t enter and work, they will be your masters for life, because they are the ones making the rules. If you like sit in your house and insult them, it makes no difference. Rather, enter and show us what you can do. Most of the time, you insult him because you haven’t had an opportunity to go and loot your own.
How are you prepared to protect the votes and defend the peoples’ mandate after the votes are cast?

The rigging that used to be there is no more there. The issue of snatching ballot boxes, if you try it in my town, they will burn you instantly. You can’t even try it, so anybody who is planning to come and carry ballot box, don’t try it. Afikpo people will lynch you. You can give anybody else whatever you want to give them, but nobody must steal my mandate. Afikpo people said, let anybody who will get anything get it. But just give us Maria. It’s not too much to ask, and Maria is going to be handling only seven wards in the whole of Ebonyi State. Anybody that tries to deny them of Maria, sorry for that person. This is beyond me. I don’t want anybody to rig for me, but do not rig me out. Just allow my people to have their choice. If you attempt rigging in this Afikpo, sorry for you.

10966684_395387067290589_355575964_nWhy do they call you NEPA? Do you work with the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC)?

What happened is that my town had been in darkness for almost three months, and this darkness affected four local governments in Ebonyi South- including Edda, Okposi, Amasiri, Unwana, and all these areas. They were in darkness for about three months. Normally, I will pay something, and they will restore the power. But during this election period, I was spending a lot of money so things were tight. I couldn’t act. But at a point I just said to myself, ‘Maria, if this NEPA thing continues like this, my people will be in darkness for Christmas, and many people will not come home, and it’s going to be boring’. Also, I use my generator 24/7 because I am an internet junkie. So I just said to myself, ‘you just have to take some of your election money and do this’. So I went to EEDC, and they told me. I wired the money to them same day. A few days later, there was light.
It made my people so happy, so happy, I can’t even quantify how happy they were. People in Owutu-Edda, Amasiri, Unwana, everybody was happy, calling me, thanking me. The light issue has taught me that any president that gives us stable electricity will never be forgotten in the history of Nigeria. Any amount of money he looted will be forgiven. So since then, my people call me ‘Up NEPA, up Maria, oku(light), and all sorts of NEPAish names. I didn’t even think it was a big deal, but it became such a big deal.
This is because they felt that we had all the big duds, all the politicians, and they didn’t do anything. But me, the way I look at it, I just did what I had to do. I cannot be enjoying electricity 24/7 in my house and then, allow my people stay in darkness.
When I am elected, the matter will be treated legislatively. There has to be a way we should have a better working relationship with EEDC. We will work out a situation whereby our people have light whenever they need it.

Oil pipeline explodes in Ogun State, casualties feared to be high

There has been a pipeline explosion in the Arepo area of Ogun State.

The explosion occurred on Sunday with eyewitness reports of a huge cloud of smoke covering the affected area.

The explosion is believed to have been caused by the action of vandals who attack Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines in order to siphon petroleum products.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesman, Ibrahim Farinloye said the incident occurred around 5:20am and that fire fighting experts from the NNPC have been deployed to the area.

Farinloye refused to put a figure to the casualties who are may have been affected by the explosion but he explained that supplies have been stopped and valves locked up to prevent more fire.

WAR THREATS: Niger Delta ex-militants give Danjuma 7-day ultimatum

Former defence minister, Gen. Yakubu Danjuma, yesterday got a seven-day ultimatum from a group of ex-militants in the Niger Delta to withdraw his statement in which he called for the arrest of some former warlords or face their wrath.

Gen. Danjuma had, on Wednesday,  condemned last weekend’s meeting of the former warlords in Yenagoa where they threatened to unleash terror on the country if President Goodluck Jonathan loses next month’s election.

Danjuma called for immediate arrest of the war mongers including Government Ekpemupolo a.k.a. Tompolo, Asari Dokubo and Victor Ben Ebikabowei a.k.a. Boyloaf.

A group of ex-militants —the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative—led by Reuben Wilson, issued the ultimatum to Danjuma to withdraw the ‘insult’, failing which it said he would be courting trouble.

Boyloaf, reacting separately to Danjuma’s call for the arrest of the militants, threatened yesterday to attack the general’s assets in the Niger Delta if he fails to “retrace his steps” and apologise to the former militants and the people of the Niger Delta.

The Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative, in a statement by its  President, Reuben Wilson, said that Danjuma, by calling for the arrest of the militants “has walked on the tail of the serpent.”

The group said: “As much as he has the right to free speech, Danjuma ought to know that the oil money he is enjoying today, through his ownership of oil blocs, came from our sacrifices and blood. We staked our lives to fight for the development of our country.

“We fought for freedom for our land and it pains us that people like Danjuma who have reaped bountifully from the Niger Delta, can wake up to insult our sensibilities.

“For Danjuma to call for the arrest of Asari Dokubo, then he has walked on the tail of the serpent.

“The much we know is that we the ex militants who decided to drop our guns to join forces with the federal government to develop the country, especially the Niger Delta, have never said anything or taken any action that would warrant such explosives from Danjuma.“

Restating its support for President Jonathan in next month’s election,the group said: “All we have said overtime is that our brother and president, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, a true son of the Niger Delta, deserves to enjoy the two terms in office provided for in the constitution.

“We stand by this right and we will do everything legal and legitimate to make sure that he is not robbed of that right; not by a thousand Danjumas.

“Danjuma cannot be enjoying our oil money and be insulting us at the same time. We are therefore giving him seven days from today to retract the statement he made to the media on the arrest of Asari Dokubo. We see his call as a declaration of war with the former fighters and we will like to tell him that we are ready to face him, having declared himself our enemy.

“We are well aware that he owns oil blocs in the Niger Delta. He cannot be eating from our farm and at the same time calling us stupid and wishing that we should be arrested while he continues to harvest from our farm.

“Danjuma should apologise to all the former fighters or we will assume that he has no regrets for his utterances.

“We wish to sound this note of warning to all those who think they can intimidate us and force us to abandon our struggle for the re-election of Jonathan-their joint effort aimed at denying us our right will not work. They may be in the majority but we have a minority oil and that is what is feeding this country.

“If they want to push a minority man out of Aso Rock by force, they should start thinking of where they will get money to keep their man in Aso Rock because our oil money will no more be there for them to share.

“Danjuma must retract the statement within 7 days and apologise to us.”

Ebokabowei, on his part described Danjuma’s demand for their arrest as “reckless and provocative,” and wondered why the former chief of army staff did not condemn the attack on the president’s convoy in some northern states.

His words:“What are the issues that elicited retired General TY Danjuma’s reckless and provocative call? When the motor convoy (sic)  of the symbol of our collective national sovereignty, President Goodluck Jonathan, was attacked in northern cities of Jos, Katsina and Bauchi, by hegemonic Northern establishment and their hired elements, retired General T.Y Danjuma did not grant any interview to condemn the act.

“He lost his voice because he is in tacit support of such manoeuvres to disgrace and remove President Goodluck Jonathan from office using whatever means possible.

“Nigerians should not be deceived; retired General TY Danjuma is not moved to intervene in national issues for altruistic reasons.”

He alleged that Danjuma has failed to provide for the Niger Delta communities where his company prospects for oil.

“Is this the kind of man that will now speak about the unity of Nigeria? For General TY Danjuma and his likes, the unity of Nigeria centres on the control of the oil resources in the Niger Delta.

“Our eyes are now open. Wwe are watching. Any attempt to cause any inconvenience by way of arrest or intimidation of any Niger Delta leader will be met with stiff resistance and the consequences will be grave and disproportional. This is a promise and not a threat,” he said.

However, Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on the amnesty programme, Mr Kingsley Kuku, dismissed reports that the Ijaw will go to war if President Goodluck Jonathan is not re-elected into office.

Tompolo, Dokubo, Boyloaf and other former warlords, Kuku said, only expressed concern over the way the president was treated during his campaign in Bauchi and Katsina states.

Kuku reacted to the reports in Abuja yesterday at a forum on how to apply the lessons learnt from the solutions that brought the Niger Delta militancy to a calm, in solving the Boko Haram problem.

Aside from this, Kuku also asked leaders from the North-East to take ownership of the Boko Haram problem and end it.

Kuku and Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State were at the Yenagoa meeting of the ex-warlords.

The meeting took place at the Government House, Yenagoa.

Also yesterday, the Northern Coalition for Good Governance condemned the recent war threats issued by the Niger Delta militants.

It urged politicians to shun acts capable of endangering the country’s democracy.

The group also insisted that all the people suspected to have played any role in the post 2011 election violence should be brought to book with a view to ensuring violence-free elections next month.

The Group’s Director of Research and Documentation, Dr. Ibrahim Baba, told journalists in Abuja after a protest demanding justice during the elections that Nigerians should not allow the 2011 post-election violence repeat itself.

He argued that one of the ways that election violence could be averted is by the prosecution of those involved.

He said the group would stand against anybody or group trying to divide the country through religion, ethnicity or tribalism.

On Dokubo, he said, “We condemn Dokubo’s threat and any act of linguistics intimidation. We condemn it in all entirety. There is nobody that is above the law; nobody should try to sectionalize the country for whatever reason. We condemn Asari-Dokubo and his vituperations; we condemn any person that is trying to promote ethnicity, religion and tribalism. Asari-Dokubo is not an exception and we want to say that if he is found culpable in any thing we will also take him head on”.

Bisi OLANIYI and Vincent IKUOMOLA, The Nation

Boko Haram shelling Maiduguri now

Members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect are at the moment exchanging fire power with soldiers of the Nigerian Army.

This is the second Sunday, in which the city is coming under such attack. Christians in the troubled capital of Borno State, Northeast Nigeria could not leave their houses to worship in churches for fear of killing.

Bomb blasts and sporadic gunfire were heard all over the town as from 6am as the insurgents tried to invade the town.

A member of the youth vigilante group, Hassan Ibrahim, on phone from Maiduguri said the insurgents who attempted to invade the town from Ajilari Cross area were been engaged by the military and members of the youth vigilante.

As at 7:30 am Sunday, the battle was still on with many residents apprehensive and staying off the roads.

It would be recalled that just last Sunday the town was under attack and a-24 hour
curfew had to be imposed.

During the siege about 65 persons were reportedly killed.

Buhari, Jonathan finally agree to presidential debate

The campaign teams of President Goodluck Jonathan and General Muhammad Buhari have finally reached a consensus agreement to hold a presidential debate on Tuesday, February 3, 2015.

The debate will be anchored by Channels Television, Arise Television and Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria.

This puts to rest the controversies arising from Buhari’s refusal to participate in a debate organized by the Nigeria Election Debate Group (NEDG) to be beamed live on national television and radio channels.

All Progressives Congress (APC) had excused the boycott on “unhidden bias and campaign of calumny by some key organizers of the programme, against the corporate political interest of the party (APC) and its candidates.”

Akwa Ibom Unity Choir Enters Guinness Book Of World Records

The Akwa Ibom State choral group has broken the world record for the largest number of Christmas carol singers in the world.

The Guinness World Records has officially certified it and now has it on its website.

The unity choir, a 25,272 man-choral group, broke the record at a concert in the Uyo Township Stadium on Saturday, December 13, 2014 with Guinness World Records representatives in attendance. The choir beat the record set by a group known as CENTI in Bogota, Columbia, which had 15,674 carol singers the previous year (December 15, 2013).

Guinness World Records adjudicator, Liz Smith, who did the announcement in Guinness World Record Headquarters, London, United Kingdom congratulated the choir and said “It is now time to reveal the report of the official attempt to break the Guinness World Record of the largest group of carol singers. Our team of highly trained record specialists have reached a decision. The record to beat was 15,674. I can now confirm that your attempt to break the record has been successful. Congratulations on receiving a new Guinness World Records Title. The title of the largest group of carol singers has been achieved by Godswill Akpabio Unity Choir. You are officially amazing.”

An elated Governor Godswill Akpabio broke the news to the people of the state saying, “This month, we broke the Guinness Book of World Records, for the largest number of carol singers ever in the world. This momentous feat was achieved when Akwa Ibom people drawn from all the nooks and crannies of the state came together in the spirit of love and brotherhood. I believe that if we imbibe the virtue of love and stand together in brotherhood in the New Year, we would keep setting records and the walls of division, which have been erected by some selfish politicians, would tumble down.”

President Jonathan’s younger sister dies

President Goodluck Jonathan’s younger sister, Mrs. Nancy Jonathan-Olei, is dead. According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the deceased died on Sunday at a hospital in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. She was said to have died during a brief illness. The three-paragraph statement read, “President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan  announces with deep sorrow, the passing away of his beloved junior sister, Mrs. Nancy Jonathan-Olei.“Mrs. Jonathan-Olei passed away earlier today at a hospital in Yenagoa after a brief illness. She was  52 years old.“Burial arrangements will be announced later by  the family.”