Girl gang-raped by three men, hospitalised for internal bleeding

  • My mother’s friend handed me over to rapists – Victim

  • She was first raped by four men in August – CPN

  • Surgery needed to save her life – Doctor

Twelve-year-old Juliet (not real name), was bent over, unable to walk straight as she was taken to the Mirabel Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Ikeja, Lagos on Wednesday.

She would occasionally hold her lower abdomen and grimace when she thought no one was looking.

Officials of the Child Protection Network said her situation was worse than that when she was first found, barely 24 hours after she was gang-raped at the Ojuwoye, Mushin area of Lagos by three men in the neighbourhood.

It was difficult for officials to get preliminary information out of her as her health had deteriorated.

But when Juliet finally opened up, she told her rescuers how the men who raped her were allegedly aided by a woman, she took as a mother.

The girl, who lived with her grandmother in Mushin following the death of her mother, said she would sometimes go to the shop of her mother’s closest friend.

The woman in question is a vendor of alcoholic herbal drink in the neighbourhood called Mrs. Salawa.

“I went to her house sometimes to play. On Wednesday, I was there when the three boys came. They bought drinks from her and drank it there. When they finished, they dragged me inside her shop. When I was struggling with them, she helped them to push me inside. Then they locked the door,” the girl said.

According to Juliet, as she screamed, she had hoped that the woman would come to her aid.

“She did not do anything and when they finished, they gave me N4,000 and opened the door. After they left, she collected the N4,000 from me,” Juliet said.

The girl said the next few hours would become a living hell for her as she started bleeding heavily. Then, she could no longer stand on her feet.

Saturday PUNCH learnt that the woman panicked as she would later called one of the alleged rapist, who took the girl to the hospital, where they reportedly paid N20,000 for the girl’s treatment.

But despite the treatment at the clinic she was rushed to, Juliet was not out of the woods yet. She continued to be in pain, until a resident of her neighbourhood, who had heard of what happened, alerted a non-governmental organisation, who reported the matter to the CPN.

The Coordinator of CPN for Oshodi and Isolo Local Government areas of Lagos, Mr. Ebenezer Omejalile, told Saturday PUNCH that the case was later reported at the Alakara Police Station, Mushin.

He said, “We directed that the child be taken to the Mirabel Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Ikeja for immediate consultation but when tests were carried out on her, it was discovered that her case was worse than expected.

“They discovered she was bleeding internally and had to be admitted at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital for intensive care.”

Saturday PUNCH learnt that one of the alleged rapists has been arrested.

However, as Juliet stabilised in the hospital, she gained the strength to reveal more information about her plight in the neighbourhood. She revealed that she had been a victim of several sexual assaults in the past.

Omejalile said, “We believe the girl has so much to tell us about what she has been going through. She said that four months ago, she was gang-raped by four men in the same Mushin. She does not know their names. The case was never investigated because nobody made any report about it.

“She has also revealed that an elderly man, whom she identified simply as Jimoh had been raping her long before the two cases of gang-rape.”

On Friday, a more dire diagnosis came from the hospital; a doctor said she required a surgery if she were to survive.

The police said the investigation was still at an early stage and that efforts were being made to visit the victim and get a full statement from her that would enable them to effect the arrests of those she had mentioned as having to do with the assault.

“The investigators at the Department of Criminal Investigation, Panti, are working with the organisation handling the case so they can visit the hospital and speak with the girl,” the spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Mr. Chike Oti, said.

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MSF conclusion than 6,700 Rohingya killed in Myanmar

At least 6,700 Rohingya were killed in the month after violence broke out in Myanmar in August, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says.

Based on surveys of refugees in Bangladesh, the number is much higher than Myanmar’s official figure of 400.

MSF said it was “the clearest indication yet of the widespread violence” by Myanmar authorities.

The Myanmar military blames the violence on “terrorists” and has denied any wrongdoing.

More than 647,000 Rohingya have fled into Bangladesh since August, MSF says.

  • Is the refugee crisis ‘textbook ethnic cleansing’?
  • Seeing through the official story in Myanmar
  • The injured sheltering in Bangladesh
  • What sparked the Rakhine violence?

The aid group’s survey found that at least 9,000 Rohingya died in Myanmar, also known as Burma, between 25 August and 24 September.

“In the most conservative estimations” at least 6,700 of those deaths have been caused by violence, including at least 730 children under the age of five, according to MSF.

Previously, the armed forces stated that around 400 people had been killed, most of them described as Muslim terrorists.

A case for the International Criminal Court?

Jonathan Head, South East Asia correspondent

There have been plenty of detailed reports by journalists and researchers, based on interviews conducted with refugees, which make it hard to dispute that terrible human rights abuses took place at the hands of the security forces.

But many of these reports focussed on the worst cases; there are several media reports about a massacre at one village called Tula Toli. Some Rohingya I interviewed told me they had fled in fear of violence, but had not actually experienced it.

This well-researched figure by MSF suggests the operation conducted by the military was brutal enough to raise the possibility of taking a case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity.

The problem would be that Myanmar has not ratified the Rome Statute of the ICC and is not bound to co-operate with it. Bringing a case would require the approval of all five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and China has until now given its full support to the Myanmar government’s handling of the crisis.

  • ‘A Muslim village was burning’
  • The truth about Rohingya militants

The military crackdown began on 25 August after Rohingya Arsa militants attacked more than 30 police posts.

After an internal investigation, the Myanmar army in November exonerated itself of any blame regarding the crisis.

It denied killing any civilians, burning their villages, raping women and girls, and stealing possessions.

The mostly Muslim minority are denied citizenship by Myanmar, where they are seen as immigrants from Bangladesh. The government does not use the term Rohingya but calls them Bengali Muslims.

The government’s assertions contradicted evidence seen by BBC correspondents. The United Nations human rights chief has said it seems like “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

An injured Rohingya boy lifts his T-shirt to reveal a large bandage across his stomach
Image captionMSF says the experiences recounted bye were “horrific”

“What we uncovered was staggering, both in terms of the numbers of people who reported a family member died as a result of violence, and the horrific ways in which they said they were killed or severely injured,” MSF Medical Director Sidney Wong said.

According to MSF:

  • 69% of the violence-related deaths were caused by gunshots
  • 9% were due to being burnt to death in their houses
  • 5% were beaten to death.

Among the dead children below the age of five, MSF says more than 59% were reportedly shot, 15% burnt to death, 7% beaten to death and 2% killed by landmine blasts.

Momtaz BegumImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionMany refugees have been subject to brutal violence

“The numbers of deaths are likely to be an underestimation as we have not surveyed all refugee settlements in Bangladesh and because the surveys don’t account for the families who never made it out of Myanmar,” Mr Wong said.

In November, Bangladesh signed a deal with Myanmar to return hundreds of thousands of the refugees.

MSF said the agreement was “premature” pointing out that “currently people are still fleeing” and reports of violence have come even in recent weeks.

The group also warned there was still very limited access for aid groups into Rakhine state.

The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority who have long experienced persecution in Myanmar.

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Not Less Than 20 Vehicles Blaze Tanker Explodes in Festac

No fewer than 20 vehicles and four commercial motorcycles were, on Wednesday afternoon, burnt when a tanker laden with petrol fell and spilled its content on the Festac Link Bridge in Awuwo Odofin LGA of Lagos State.

The fire started at noon and raged for about an hour.

Fire fighters arrived at the scene about 30 minutes later but did not have enough water to quench the fire.

A witness, Mr. Olufemi Popoola, told theNews Agency of Nigeria that the tanker, coming from Apple Junction and going to FESTAC Town, was ascending the bridge but suddenly rolled back and fell.The impact of the fall separated the tank from the truck’s body, resulting in an explosion, according to Popoola.

 He said some residents and passers-by attacked the fire with buckets of water to no avail.

Popoola , who lives in FESTAC, said the fire from the tanker spilled over to nearby vehicles, forcing their occupants to run, abandoning them.

“The fire then spilled into a car shop on the foot of the bridge, burning some of the cars, while the attendants quickly drove out some.

“Furniture items, bags and boxes displayed for sale on the foot of the bridge were all burnt,’’ he told NAN.

NAN reports that the vehicles burnt included a 2010 Toyota Highlander and a commercial bus.

The fire caused gridlock on the bridge and in the adjoining roads.

A crowd of affected persons and sympathisers gathered at the scene to lament the situation.

One of the owners of the burnt motorcycles, Mr. Akuko Okoli, said he narrowly escaped death.

It was not clear at the time of the report whether any life was lost to the fire.

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EU Governments Conspiracy in Migrant torture in Libya, says Amnesty

European governments are knowingly complicit in the torture and abuse of refugees and migrants in Libya, Amnesty International has alleged.

In an effort to stem migration, the EU is actively supporting a “system of abuse and exploitation” on Libyan shores, the group said in a report.

EU funds are going to authorities working with militias and people smugglers, the report says.

The EU has provided ships, training and funding to the Libyan coastguard.

Libya is the main thoroughfare for migrants trying to reach Europe. Arrivals in Italy – the main destination for boat crossings – fell sharply following the provision of EU funds to the Libyan coastguard.

Libyan migrant detention centre: ‘It’s like hell’

But Amnesty says the coastguard is working with criminal gangs and people smugglers who are guilty of a range of abuses, with the knowledge of EU officials.

It alleges that the drive to stem migration has resulted in “mass, arbitrary and indefinite detention” of refugees and migrants.

Refugees and migrants intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard are sent to detention centres run by Libya’s general directorate for combating illegal migration (DCIM).

Amnesty said about 20,000 people were currently detained at these centres, and it had testimony showing detainees were subject to “torture, forced labour, extortion, and unlawful killings” at the hands of authorities, traffickers, and militias.

Map showing Central Mediterranean migrant routes

“Tens of thousands are kept indefinitely in overcrowded detention centres where they are subjected to systematic abuse,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty’s Europe Director.

“European governments have not just been fully aware of these abuses; by actively supporting the Libyan authorities in stopping sea crossings and containing people in Libya, they are complicit in these abuses.”

When a BBC correspondent visited a detention centre earlier this year, detainees described violence and abuse and conditions “like hell” and “even worse than jail”.

Speaking to Amnesty, one man from the Gambia who was detained for three months said he was starved and beaten.

“They beat me with a rubber hose, because they want money to release me. They call the family while beating [you] so the family send money,” he said.

The human rights group said it believed it had enough evidence to take EU governments to court.

Libya has spiraled into lawlessness since Nato-backed forces overthrew long-serving ruler Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011, with a myriad armed militias vying for control.

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Charles Jenkins: US Soldier Who Defected To North Korea Dies

A former US sergeant who defected to North Korea and became Pyongyang’s prisoner for nearly 40 years has died.

Charles Jenkins, 77, lived in Japan where he had settled with his family after his 2004 release.

He was among four US soldiers who defected in the 1960s and later became North Korean film stars, but was the only one who was released.

The others reportedly died in North Korea,including James Dresnok who was said to have died of a stroke in 2016.

Charles Jenkins died on Sado island on Monday, where he was living with his wife Hitomi Soga, also a former prisoner of North Korea.

The US defectors who became film stars in North Korea

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  • The Australian who shot a North Korean propaganda film

He collapsed outside his home, Japanese media reports said, and later died of heart problems in hospital. His wife said in a statement that she was “very surprised” by his death and “cannot think of anything”, according to AFP news agency.

A plan that went wrong

Mr Jenkins had led an extraordinary but also difficult life in North Korea, which he would later chronicle in a memoir and several interviews.

In 1965, while stationed with the US Army in South Korea by the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), Mr Jenkins decided to abandon his unit and defect to the North, fearing he would be killed in patrols or sent to fight in the Vietnam War.

He said he thought that once in North Korea, he could seek asylum with the Russian embassy, and eventually return to the US in a prisoner swap.

One January night, Mr Jenkins said he downed several beers, walked across the DMZ, and surrendered to North Korean soldiers there. He was only 24 years old.

But Russia did not grant him or the other Americans asylum. Instead, they were held as prisoners by the North Koreans.

“Thinking back now, I was a fool. If there’s a God in the heaven, he carried me through it,” said Mr Jenkins in a 2005 interview with US broadcaster CBS.

The men were forced to study the teachings of then-leader Kim Il-sung; did translation work; and taught English. But they also became minor celebrities when they acted in North Korean propaganda films, starring as Western villains.

Mr Jenkins said his captors often beat him, and conducted medical procedures on him that were sometimes unnecessary or brutal, including cutting off a US Army tattoo without anaesthesia, an experience which Mr Jenkins had described as “hell”.

‘Oyasumi’ and ‘Goodnight’

But one bright spot in his life was Ms Soga, who was abducted from Japan to teach North Korean spies her language.

Hitomi Soga speaks during a press conference one day before Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's one-day-trip to Pyongyang at a Tokyo hotel 21 May 2004 with other four former abductees.Image copyrightAFP/GETTY IMAGES
Image captionMs Soga, seen here in a 2004 file picture, was taken from Sado island

In 1980, North Korean officials moved her in with Mr Jenkins. Within two weeks they were forced to marry, according to Mr Jenkins, but they eventually fell in love, bonded by their mutual hatred of their captors.

“Well, I’ll put it like this. I looked at her one time. I wasn’t letting her go,” he told CBS.

In his memoir, Mr Jenkins said that every night before they went to bed, he would say “oyasumi” (Japanese for goodnight) to his wife and she would respond in English.

“We did this so we would never forget who we really were and where we came from,” he wrote.

The couple had two daughters, Mika and Brinda. Mr Jenkins said that as foreign prisoners, they were treated better than ordinary North Koreans and given rations, even during the famine that swept North Korea in the 1990s.

In 2002, Ms Soga was freed after negotiations by the Japanese government. Pyongyang then allowed Mr Jenkins to leave two years later, along with their daughters.

The family reunited under intense scrutiny from the press in Japan, where there was widespread sympathy.

US army deserter Charles Jenkins (L), accompanied by his wife Hitomi Soga (2nd L) and daughters Mika (2nd R) and Brinda (R), receives flower bouquets upon his arrival at Sado island in Niigata prefecture, 300km north of Tokyo, hometown of his Japanese wife Hitomi Soga as he left a US base 7 December 2004.Image copyrightAFP/JIJI PRESS
Image captionMr Jenkins and his family left North Korea in the early 2000s

In Japan, he surrendered to the US Army, almost four decades after he had defected, and was court-martialled.

He was eventually given a 30-day prison sentence, and a dishonourable discharge.

‘North Korea wants me dead’

The family settled in Sado island, Ms Soga’s hometown, and Mr Jenkins eventually found work as a greeter in a tourist park.

But he had to cope with the culture shock of adapting to the modern world, after spending so many years in an isolated country.

He claimed he had never touched a computer, let alone used the internet, and was surprised to see many women serving in the army as well as black people working as policemen, according to CBS.

In this handout photo from U.S. Army, alleged U.S. Army deserter Sergeant Charles R. Jenkins (R) receives training on a computer from Staff Sgt. Andrew Rogerson, the U.S. Army Garrison Japan training noncommissioned officer and Jenkins's supervisor, at Camp Zama in 17 September 2004 in Zama, JapanImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionMr Jenkins was given computer training by the US army while waiting for his court martial in 2004

  • He also suffered from lingering complications from medical procedures he received in North Korea and had to be hospitalised after his release, he told the Los Angeles Times in one of his last media interviews published in August.

Even while living in freedom, Mr Jenkins still remained afraid of his former captors, and was constantly worried that he or his family would eventually be assassinated.

“North Korea wants me dead,” he told the paper

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Alabama Senate race: Trump records message for Roy Moore

US President Donald Trump has recorded an audio message for a Republican Senate candidate accused of sexual misconduct, on the eve of the election.

The president has thrown his political weight fully behind former Alabama judge Roy Moore, who is vying with Democrat Doug Jones for the seat.

Mr Moore denies claims by several women that he made unwelcome sexual advances, mostly when they were teenagers.

The race remains too close to call a day before Alabamians go to the polls.

  • The eyes of the world are on Alabama
  • Ten things Roy Moore believes
  • Roy Moore accuser: I was a child

Tuesday’s election could alter the balance of power in the Senate ahead of next year’s mid-term Congressional elections.

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Mr Trump has pointed to Mr Moore’s repeated denial of the allegations against him as part of his reason for endorsing the former Alabama supreme court judge.

One woman alleges Mr Moore molested her when she was 14. Another says he tried to rape her.

At a rally on Monday night, Mr Moore reiterated his denials, again questioning why his accusers kept quiet for 40 years while he held various political offices.

Speaking alongside Mr Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, in front of a crowd which chanted the president’s slogan “Drain the Swamp”, Mr Moore drew heavily from the Bible.

“I want to make America great again with President Trump,” he said. “I want America great, but I want America good, and she can’t be good until we go back to God.”

Mr Moore’s campaign rolled out an audio message earlier on Monday with a recording of Mr Trump telling voters his agenda will be “stopped cold” if Mr Moore were to lose.

At a rally in Florida on Friday, Mr Trump proclaimed his support for the 70-year-old conservative Christian.


Fitting end to unpredictable year

Analysis by Anthony Zurcher, BBC News

Democrat Doug Jones is ahead by 10 points. No, Republican Roy Moore has a nine-point lead.

The latest batch of Alabama opinion polls are having a difficult time contending with the idiosyncrasies of a low-turnout, mid-December special election, a scandal-plagued Republican candidate in a deeply conservative state and a Democratic base that, while small, may be intensely motivated.

With so many variables at play, it will be tough to draw conclusions about the results of this election – but that won’t deter anyone.

A Jones win would not only be seen as a stern rebuke of President Trump, who has put his name on the line for Moore, it would make Democratic control of the US Senate in 2019 a much more realistic possibility.

If Mr Moore prevails, it’d be a prize for the anti-establishment Steve Bannon faction of the Republican Party and an indication that, when it comes to a seat in the US Senate, ideology matters most for some.

Back when Mr Trump named Senator Jeff Sessions to be attorney general last November, no one imagined all eyes would now be on Alabama. It makes for a fitting end to an entirely unpredictable year, however.


Many other national Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have distanced themselves from their party’s candidate.

But Richard Shelby, Alabama’s other senator, said on Sunday he could not endorse Mr Moore because he found his accusers “believable” and the state “deserves better”.

The Moore team is banking on voters in the Deep South staunchly conservative heartland refusing to pick a Democrat.

On Monday in Birmingham, Mr Jones, a 63-year-old prosecutor, accused his Republican opponent of hiding.

In Washington, a Democratic lawmaker has sent a letter to the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms urging that Congress take steps to ensure the safety of teenagers working in the Senate page programme from Mr Moore’s “predatory conduct” .

“I believe my fears are well founded”, wrote Wisconsin Congresswoman Gwen Moore, citing the multiple allegations against Mr Moore.

Mr Moore has kept a low profile in recent days, but he said in an interview with The Voice of Alabama Politics on Sunday that he “never molested anyone” and had been a victim of “ritual defamation”.

Mr Jones has spent the past week rallying African-Americans, and he held a series of rallies across the state on Sunday.

Former President Barack Obama and former Vice-President Joe Biden have recorded robo-calls for him.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, an African-American Alabamian, released a statement on Monday urging voters “to reject bigotry, sexism, and intolerance”, but did not include an endorsement for either major party candidate.

“It is imperative for Americans to remain focused on our priorities and not give way to side shows and antics,” she said, adding that the state needs “an independent voice in Washington”.

Tuesday’s winner will take the seat held previously by Trump administration Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Mr Trump won the state by 28 percentage points over Hillary Clinton in last year’s presidential election.

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Coalition Holds #EndSARS Reassemble Nationwide Today.

A coalition of civil society groups will on Monday (today) hold rallies nationwide to press home their demand for the dismantling of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad by the police authorities for alleged high-handedness.

The movement said the rally would hold in Abuja ​​​at the Unity Fountain; Lagos – ​​​Gani-Fawehinmi Park, Ojota; Warri – ​​​Enerhen Junction; Jos​​​ – Polo Terminus and Port Harcourt​​ – Garrison Junction.

The peaceful protest would also take place in Kaduna​​ – Murtala Square; Ibadan​​ – Mokola Junction and Awka​​​ – Wetheral/Okigwe Road Roundabout, the coalition said in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

The organisers of the protests included Convener #EndSARS, Segun Awonsonya; Convener, Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju, Coordinator, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy, Ariyo Atoye; Adebayo Raphael of theOurMumuDonDo Movement, and Abdul Mahmud and Bako Usman of the Campaign for Democracy.

The group said they were appalled by the brutality and extrajudicial executions perpetrated by the SARS operatives, noting that the government must put an end to the lawlessness by the squad in the country.

It contended that the allegations against the squad, some of which were corroborated with pictures and videos, showed that the unit had outlived its usefulness and had become a menace to the Nigerian society.

“We are appalled by the stories told by victims, friends and family members of victims who have recounted experiences of extortion, torture, murder and disappearance of friends and loved ones.

“To this end, we will be holding a series of peaceful protests around the country on Monday, December 11, 2017 at locations in several cities to call for the immediate dissolution of SARS as a police unit,” the coalition stated.

The movement explained that its protests would also demand greater funding of the police, better training, provision of equipment and insurance for police personnel among other issues.

“Whilst calling for the scrapping of the unit, we are also calling for greater funding of the police, better training, the provision of better equipment and living quarters, the provision of insurance, the establishment of a stricter code of conduct, the public prosecution and discipline of errant police officers and such other connected matters,” the #EndSARS campaigners disclosed.

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Critics React To Trump’s Tweet On Firing Flynn


President Donald Trump’s tweet on Saturday about firing Michael Flynn from his position as national security adviser is garnering a lot of attention from critics — with some calling it a possible admission of obstruction of justice.

Trump tweeted about Flynn’s Friday guilty plea, in which the former national security adviser said he lied to the FBI about conversations he had with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak during the transition and disclosed that he is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI,” Trump wrote. “He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”

The tweet immediately caught the attention of critics, who questioned whether Trump knew Flynn had lied to the FBI when the President asked then-FBI Director James Comey to let the investigation into Flynn go.

California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted, “If that is true, Mr. President, why did you wait so long to fire Flynn? Why did you fail to act until his lies were publicly exposed? And why did you pressure Director Comey to back of flynn

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Buhari Approves N164.7m For Freed Chibok Girls

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the payment of N164,763,759 for the tuition fees of 106 Chibok girls that have regained freedom from the Boko Haram terrorists.


This was contained in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu.
According to the statement, the money is meant for the second semester school fees of the Chibok girls at the American University of Nigeria (AUN) in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.
The President, who was reviewing the progress report submitted to him in line with his commitment to personally monitor the rehabilitation and reintegration into society of the freed Chibok girls, said the Federal Government would provide full support for their education.
He also renewed his commitment to bringing back the remaining girls held by the terrorists through all possible means, just as he commended the progress made in the rehabilitation the 106 freed girls who are already back in school.
“According to the progress report received by the President, the decision to pursue avenues in addition to military action to free the abducted girls is in the resolve to protect the lives of all Nigerians, to end the insurgency in the North East of the country, and to fulfil one of the campaign promises of the President.
“In line with this, the Federal Government entered into negotiations with the Boko Haram terrorist group for the release of the Chibok girls who were kidnapped from their school dormitory on the night of April 14, 2014. So far, two batches of 21 and 82 girls have been freed as a result of those negotiations.
“Three additional girls were rescued by the gallant efforts of our armed forces, bringing the total number of freed Chibok girls so far to 106,” the statement read in part.

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Three Soldiers Killed, Six Injured As Boko Haram Attack In Borno.

​Nigerian Army on Saturday repelled an attack by Boko Haram insurgents at Magumeri town, headquarters of Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno State losing three soldiers in the process.

Boko Haram terrorists were said to have attempted the attack by 6:00 p.m. with the intent to attack the town and dislodge the Forward Operational Base in Magumeri, Borno State.
The army in a statement on Sunday, November 26 said, “However, soldiers of 5 Brigade Garrison located in the town repelled the attack. The troops fought gallantly but unfortunately, three soldiers lost their lives, while six others sustained injuries.”
The statement which was signed by the Deputy Director Public Relations of the Force Division, Colonel Timothy Antigha said the bodies of the late soldiers and the wounded have been evacuated while the wounded are currently receiving medical attention.
“The 8 Division wishes to assure all residents of Magumeri that everything is being done to ensure their safety and security. To this end, they are to continue pursuing their legitimate activities without any fear,” he said.
Antigha in the statement also said some platforms were attacked and damaged by the terrorists and further developments regarding the incident will be communicated accordingly.

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Now That Atiku Has Dumped APC, Who Is next? – Dele Momodu Writes.

Read his article below…
Fellow Nigerians, these are not the best of times for the ruling Party, APC. It was a prophecy long foretold by me, though. As you all know, the trending news is that the serial “decampee”, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has done what he knows how best to do, decamping from one political party to another. Let no one say it is not a big deal. And even if it is not, it is still big news, and an even bigger embarrassment to a Party that coasted to victory on the wings of a major alliance of strange bedfellows and an unprecedented conspiracy that succeeded in unseating a sitting President in Nigeria. I therefore, wish to disagree vehemently with my brother, Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State, who said yesterday that Atiku’s exit from their embattled Party is a non-event.
If truth must be told, I believe this is just the beginning of a mass exodus from a fledgling Party that is certainly on the road to perdition, unless drastic measures are taken to stem the rot in the Party, seriously and sincerely heal wounds and massage miffed egos. Let no one fool our dear President Muhammadu Buhari into thinking naively that he would win the 2019 election like he did in 2015, on a platter of gold. The masters of the game are already goading him on by pretending to be endorsing him and telling him he is the best thing ever to happen to Nigeria.
 All you have to do to expose their hypocrisy and charade is to go back in history to see how previous Presidents had been praised to high heavens whilst these praise-singers were actually sneering and collaborating in their downfall. We saw how some people misbehaved and mis-jived during the draconian era of the Abacha regime and convinced him that Nigeria needs him to rule for life. Well, nothing of the sort happened.
Here we go again, our leaders are staging their absurdist theatre by falling over themselves in endorsing a man most of them abuse and stab behind his back. It is just unbelievable seeing how deceitful human beings can be. This is why I salute the courage of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who has virtually become a pariah in a Party he partly founded and funded in recent times. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu must also be mentioned, in this regard, for making bold to categorically assert that there is no automatic ticket orendorsement for President Buhari.
The reasons Atiku Abubakar adduced for leaving the Party are very valid to keen observers of events after the Party came to power, even though they may sound like sour grapes, coming from him. It is certain that APC failed to learn any lessons from how it sacked PDP and history is about to repeat itself so soon. This was how PDP allowed some of its golden assets to walk away from the Party. The same words being bandied now were the same we heard repeatedly then; “Rotimi Amaechi and company can go to blazes, they won’t be missed in PDP!” Unfortunately, their exit wreaked maximum havoc on the PDP, and today the Party is still wondering what hit it like thunderbolt.
I seriously doubt if Atiku would ever get the PDP Presidential ticket. I’m sure he is not under any illusion that it would be easy to defeat Buhari even if he gets the ticket. But what he has done is to put APC on the defensive from this moment on and probably try to encourage other dissenters to abscond and abandon ship as soon as possible from what appears a sinking ship. I would have been surprised if Atiku stayed much longer after the unfortunate harassment he’s received in recent time. His business interests have been under intense and incessant attacks and whatever love existed between him and his Party had since evaporated. If I were in his shoes, I will not contest again so that it doesn’t appear like I’m in politics and in any political party just to obtain a Presidential ticket. That may be wishful thinking given the man’s political history and his quest for the holy grail of the Presidency!
However, my opinion is that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar still has a big role to play in the affairs of Nigeria. At over 70, he is undoubtedly one of the most experienced and exposed leaders in our country. God has been very kind to him. He’s been able to establish a megabusiness conglomerate. He is blessed with a wonderful family. His children are well-educated and his brand is very big in Nigeria and beyond. He would do well to use his humongous resources to help drive the search for much younger and accomplished leaders for Nigeria. It shouldn’t always be about his personal ambition. I wrote recently that age is no longer on his side. Anyone above 70 cannot achieve more in Nigeria today. We supported Buhari in 2015 out of acute frustration against the recklessness and profligacy of PDP. For some of us, it was meant to be a stop gap. But as democrats, we believe the President has the right to run for a second term, if that is his wish but he should not be forced on the Party and cannot certainly be foisted on the nation.
I say with all emphasis at my command, that any attempt to impose President Buhari on his political party will backfire. The President should go through the laid down democratic processes and if he gets the ticket, fine and fantastic. If he fails, he should go home quietly and enjoy his retirement, finally. There is life outside power. It would be unfortunate if opponents of President Buhari are muzzled out of the race. The sweetness of democracy is in providing a variety of aspirants and wealth of ideas.
None should feel like a second class citizen in a political party that was jointly formed and consummated by many stakeholders. On attaining power, certain APC chieftains behaved like they had everything locked down and as if they forgot another election was going to come in a jiffy. Now that reality is beginning to dawn on them, they are hurriedly rushing frantically to please many of those they’ve ignored since 2015. It is doubtful if anyone would swallow the bait, hook, line and sinker, again. The talk in hushed tones is that President Buhari cannot change his style.
If he gets a second term, and chance, many politicians would be hauled into prison, for the right and wrong reasons. I hope the President gets the chance to read this script and adapt to the crisis situation he now faces. His current failure to do this, is why there would soon be a groundswell of conspiracy against him.. The trust issue would be a greatdeterminant in the next election. Even if APC opens the vaults of the Central Bank to its leaders in the coming months, in clear and brazen disregard for its anti-corruption crusade, it is not going to be an easy ride this time around.
Now that Atiku has dumped the APC, I’m certain other rebels would be emboldened to follow his example. The Presidential race is looking hot already. I foresee the PDP ticket as being a much-coveted one because APC is likely to implode as a result of imposition. If PDP manages its affairs better, and more democratically, by eliminating fifth columnistsamong them, APC would be in hot soup. Nigeria is blessed with many fantastic leaders with proven records in both Parties. They should be encouraged to come out from hibernation. It is payback time and I’m suspecting that APC is about to be punished for its carelessness and insensitivity.
The time to properly correct ills and wrong is now, otherwise it will be too late!
Wonders, as they say, will never end. One of those wonders of the world occurred early this week as President Robert Mugabe, one of the world’s longest serving leaders, finally agreed to step down after the military that swore to protect him as their Commander-in-Chief actually sold him out. After so much dilly-dallying and refusing to sign his resignationletter, he eventually agreed to handover to influential and his erstwhile deputy, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, aka the Crocodile, whom he had fired as a means of creating a smooth-sail for the Presidential ambition of his delectable young wife, Mrs Grace Mugabe. But this backfired big time. Indeed a veritable tale of a fall from grace to grass!
When I visited the then Vice President, Mnangagwa, in Harare a few months ago, at the behest of my good friend, Josey Mahachi,, little did I realise I was meeting with a President in waiting. He appeared and sounded very loyal to the old warrior, Robert Mugabe. He said he was happy to receive me and looked forward to partnering with Ovation International magazine in the promotion of investments and tourism in Zimbabwe. He promised to send a report to the President about my visit since I couldn’t wait the few extra days required to meet the old man in person.
I was thus dazed when news broke of the great rift between both of them. I had thought theirs was a perfect synergy until, it seems, Mrs Grace Mugabe’s unbridled and vaulting ambition put them asunder. The military intervention that eventually ousted and ended the nearly four-decade reign of Mugabe was exceptionally unique in its conception and execution. For the first time, we saw a military that refused to agree that it carried out a coup against a civilian government. The world was left confused and confounded by developments in Zimbabwe for a little while.
The Zimbabwean military, led by General Constantino Chiwenga, must be commended for the disciplined and professional manner it handled the impasse. It was a sight to behold seeing them showing respect for the President as he read that curious statement that had been predicted as a resignation speech but turned out to be a show of defiance by a usually loquacious and bewildered geriatric! The military was determined not to be tempted to derail democracy, but to be seen to correct an injustice and let democratic institutions do the rest. That is all history now. Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as Interim President yesterday in the presence of a tumultuous crowd.
Many are already wondering what the new President can and would do different from his former boss. He made a long and stirring speech in which he praised Mugabe for his service to their country and insisted that some of his policies including the controversial land acquisition from the whites were appropriate and would be followed. He asked for reconciliation, saying Zimbabweans should “let bygones be bygones”. However, he pledged to chart a new course and promised improvement in the economy and lives of Zimbabweans. He insisted elections would take place as scheduled and portrayed the image of a man of destiny.
He has the next few months to organise a credible election. I’m hoping that he would act like our own General Abdulsalami Abubakar by handing over power in record time, if that is the will of his people. The world would give him a standing ovation for it. But if he falls into the temptation of grabbing power, ignoring and curtailing the democratic will and zeal that brought him to power, it would be such a monumental shame and tragedy.
All eyes are now on Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zimbabwe.

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Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel Presents N651.5bn For 2018 Budget


On Frday, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom  presented the 2018 budget of N651.50 billion to the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly for consideration.  
The budget is higher than the 2017 figure 0f N485.79 billion with N165.71 billion.  The Appropriation Bill comprised N92.69 billion recurrent expenditure and N437.67 billion for capital expenditure while consolidated revenue stood at N120.86 billion.  Emmanuel said that the total projected recurrent revenue for the year was N289 billion as against N188.50 billion estimated in 2017.  
He said that the Bill named “Budget of Consolidation on Industrialisation”, was expected to drive the state government’s industrialisation policy to logical conclusion.  The governor said that the preparation of the budget was guided by the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS).  According to him, the policy framework of 2018 budget is also predicated on developmental objectives.  He assured that catalysts outlined in the state’s Medium Term Plan document would be strictly adhered to in pursuing transformation agenda.  Emmanuel said the budget would also aim to actualise the economic power base of the state through industrialisation and sustainable public-private initiatives that would open opportunities for growth and improved living standard.  
He explained that the 2018 policy framework would be to ensure accountability and transparency in government by fighting and tackling corruption in all facets of state administration.    
He further explained that the budget would also focus on promotion of trade, commerce and tourism between Akwa Ibom, the country and the world.  He announced that the budget was predicated on oil bench mark of 45 dollars per barrel and production rate of 2.3 million barrels per day.  Highlights of the 2018 showed that roads, works and transport got the lion share of N211.42 billion; education, N10.53 billion and N17.91 billion for agriculture.  In his remarks, Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Onofiok Luke, assured the governor that the lawmakers would quicken the consideration process to ensure speedy passage of the Appropriation Bill.

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Popular pastor dies during sex romp with 19-year-old girl in Delta state

A Pentecostal pastor reportedly died during an alleged sex romp with a 19-year-old-girl in a hotel room in Kwale, Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta.

Delta Police Command Spokesperson, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, confirmed the incident on Wednesday in Asaba. He said the incident happened on the evening of Sunday, November 19. He revealed that the pastor, who will not be named, had been in a hotel with the girl when he started gasping for breath and the girl raised the alarm thereby alerting hotel workers to the incident. Aniamaka added that the victim’s wife reported the incident to the police that same day.

The police spokesperson said: “The incident happened last Sunday evening. We learnt the pastor took the girl, who is said to be 19 years of age to the hotel room. While they were in the room after some few minutes, the girl reportedly raised alarm which attracted workers in the hotel, who rushed into the room to find the pastor dead. The wife of the pastor was called to the scene of the incident, where he met her husband stone dead. She subsequently reported the matter to the Police Division in Kwale.”

Aniamaka said the police have launched an investigation into the incident and an autopsy would be conducted to determine the cause of death.

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Former Ghana president John Dramani Mahama paid tribute to outgone Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for the past 37 years, but his reign was finally brought to an end after he was placed under house arrest by the country’s army.
In a letter read out by the Speaker of Zimbabwe’s Parliament, Mugabe said his resignation was voluntary and a move to allow for a smooth transfer of power.
Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for the past 37 years, but his reign was finally brought to an end after he was placed under house arrest by the country’s army.
In a letter read out by the Speaker of Zimbabwe’s Parliament, Mugabe said his resignation was voluntary and a move to allow for a smooth transfer of power.

Mahama took to Facebook to describe the ex-leader as “a patriot” and “a great Pan Africanist”, while wishing Zimbabwe well in this new era for the country.
He wrote: “A sad ending for a liberation hero, a patriot and a great Pan Africanist. I pray the dramatic events of November serve as a reboot for democracy and prosperity in #Zim. History will remember Comrade Mugabe kindly.”
Former vice-president  Emmerson Mnangagwa  is expected to succeed Mugabe.

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Dangote Opens New Cement Plant In Congo

Dangote Cement will officially open its 1.5million metric tonnes per annum capacity Cement Plant in Congo on Thursday, this week. Constructed at a conservative cost of $500 million, the Plant is expected to directly employ more than 1000 people as thousands of indirect jobs will also be created. The Plant which is now the largest in Congo rolled out its first bag of cement on the 7th of August, 2017. Currently in 17 African countries, the Congo Plant commissioning will bring the total of Dangote Cement fully operational Plants to 10 across Africa. The company’s third quarter unaudited results showed that the Congo plant which recently began operations has almost doubled the size of the cement sector in the country. In the overall, Dangote Cement maintained its strong hold in the domestic cement market accounting for 65 percent of the Nigerian cement market while Pan-African volumes went up by 7.5 percent to 7.0 mta.  Analysis of the results indicated that the company recorded strong volumes in Senegal, Ethiopia and Cameroon. In the nine months under review, the 1.5 mta clinker grinding facility in Douala Cameroon sold approximately 938 kt of cement, indicating an increase of 16.4 percent on the 806 kt sold the same period in 2016. The company attributes the increase in sales to a number of factors ranging from strong brand recognition, increased point of sales branding, improvements in sales and marketing strategies to higher visibility through trade shows. Dangote Cement Ethiopia increased sales by 16.8 percent to nearly 1.7 mta in the first nine months of 2017 representing capacity utilization of approximately 88 percent. The cement plant in Pout Senegal sold 1.0mta of cement in the period under review, up by 21.7 percent on the comparable period of 2016. This represents almost 89 percent capacity utilization at the factory. Statement from the company stated that “Our Pan-African operations are performing strongly with excellent sales growth in Cameroon, Ethiopia and Senegal. We are consolidating our success across Africa and have just commissioned our 1.5Mta factory in Congo, the tenth country in which we have established operations. ‘’In our key operations in Nigeria we have significantly improved our fuel mix and this has helped increase margins across the Group. It is especially good for Nigeria because most of the coal we are using is mined in our own country”. It would be recalled that top rating agencies, Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’) and Global Credit Ratings recently scored Dangote Cement high marks in their recent published ratings assigning a stable outlook to the foremost cement conglomerate. Moody’s assigned a first-time Ba3 corporate family rating (CFR), Ba3-PD probability of default rating and national scale rating (NSR) corporate family rating to Dangote Cement Plc (DCP), with the outlook on the ratings as stable while Global Credit Ratings accorded initial long term and short term national scale issuer ratings of AA+(NG) and A1+(NG) respectively, to Dangote Cement Plc, with the outlook accorded as Stable.

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Finally Mugabe, Agrees To Resignation.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has agreed to direct talks with the former Vice President he recently fired, the country’s military chief said Monday.
Emmerson Mnangagwa has been out of the country since Mugabe ousted him earlier this month. His ouster triggered a political crisis amid repeated calls for Mugabe to step down.

Zimbabwe’s military has agreed with Mugabe on a “roadmap on the prevailing situation in the country,” Gen. Constantino Chiwenga told reporters. Mnangagwa will soon be returning to Zimbabwe to meet with the veteran leader.
“The nation will be advised on the outcome of talks between the two,” he said.

Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party, which he co-founded and led for nearly four decades, ousted the 93-year-old as party leader on Sunday and gave him an ultimatum — relinquish the presidency by midday on Monday or face an impeachment vote in Parliament. The party has said it will introduce that plan to Parliament on Tuesday.

Mugabe has refused to answer repeated calls to step down even after effectively being stripped of his powers.

A source told that Mugabe had agreed to terms for his resignation in talks with military leaders who have seized control in the country, and that a letter had been drafted. But the midday deadline for his resignation passed Monday with no word from the defiant leader.

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See why President Donald Trump puts North Korea on the list of state sponsors of terrorism

President Donald Trump has placed North Korea back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism.  

Trump announced the  move today during a public meeting with his Cabinet at the White House and said the Treasury Department will announce new sanctions against North Korea on Tuesday.

In his words, “today the United States is designating the North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Should have happened a long time ago. Should have happened years ago,”. North Korea was removed from the list by President George Bush back in 2008.

Trump said that North Korea has “repeatedly” sponsored acts of terrorism, including “assassinations on foreign soil. This designation will impose further sanctions and penalties on North Korea … and supports our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the murderous regime”.

Trump said new sanctions announced over the coming weeks, including Tuesday by the Treasury Department, will bring US sanctions against Pyongyang to their highest level ever.

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