UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called for transparent and peaceful elections in Nigeria on the eve of the vote that will be closely-watched by world governments.Ban Ki-moon

“The international community has high expectations that Nigeria will provide leadership in setting a high standard for this election,” Ban said in a statement.

The UN chief called on Nigerians to vote in large numbers and voiced hope that the presidential and parliamentary elections will be “transparent, inclusive and peaceful”.

Nigerians head to the polls on Saturday in one of the closest races in the country’s history, pitting President Goodluck Jonathan against former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari Read More →

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential candidate, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (ret) has call on Prsident Goodluck Jonathan to call errant security agencies to order.Buhari and Jonathan

Buhari made this known in a press statement on Friday.
The statement read thus

The Abuja Peace Accords Must Be Worth Their Wordings

On Thursday, March 26th, President Goodluck Jonathan and I signed a new accord reinforcing our commitment to violent-free elections.

The new accord is a follow up to the Abuja Accord which we signed, along with nine other party leaders, on Jan. 14th 2015, to show our commitment to free, fair and credible elections in our dear country.

I take these accords very seriously, and this has reflected in the issues-based campaign which I ran all through the period of electioneering campaign, despite the provocative and sleazy campaign directed at my person and my party. Read More →

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Senator Iroegbu in Abuja

In a symbolic defeat to Boko Haram and in line with the assurance by President Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian Military has this morning liberated Gwoza, the Headquarters of the terrorists’ caliphate.Nigerian-troops

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) announced the recapture of what is regarded as the last frontier of Boko Haram through their twitter handle
@DefenceInfoNG. Read More →

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by David Attah, Kaduna



Widow of the  late Kaduna State Governor Patrick Yakowa, Amina, said in Kaduna on Sunday that her worst regret was not praying with her  husband before he embarked on his last journey to Bayelsa State on Saturday.

Amid sobs, Amina narrated how her husband left the house on Saturday without the usual ‘prayer of agreement’ and how they had planned to meet in Abuja for  a  thanksgiving  service  for  President Goodluck Jonathan’s wife, Patience.

She told the congregation at a church service organised for the late governor inside the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House that, “Everyday, we normally hold our hands to pray before he steps out of the house to the office. But on Saturday, when he told me he was leaving for Bayelsa State. I just bid him farewell and we said  we would  meet in Abuja for the thanksgiving ceremony of President Goodluck Jonathan’s wife, Patience. I regret that we could not pray as usual. After that he came down and left for Bayelsa.

“We used to wake up every morning to pray. Before yesterday (Saturday), he used to  insist  that we  pray  before he would  step out of the house  for any engagement. On  December 23, we would have celebrated our 34th year of marriage but for death.”

She said she could not pray for her husband on Saturday because she was down with catarrh.

“We planned to meet in Abuja today for the thanksgiving service of the President’s wife. He (Yakowa) had been a pillar of support to our  family,” she added.

Yakowa; ex-National Security Adviser, Gen. Andrew Azazi , and four others died when a Naval Augusta 109 Helicopter in which they were travelling crashed in the Nembe-Okoroba  in  Bayelsa State.

They were returning from the burial of  Pa Douglas, the father of an aide to  Jonathan, Oronto Douglas.

Other victims of the crash were  Yakowa’s special adviser, Dauda Tsoho; Azazi’s bodyguard, Warrant Officer Mohammed Kamal; and  two naval pilots –  Commander Muritala Mohammed Daba and Lt. Adeyemi O. Sowole.

The traditional ruler of Kagoma,  Col Paul Zaka Wyom,  said he would never forget his last encounter with the late governor during the just concluded council poll which incidentally took place on Yakowa’s birthday.

Wyom said, “It is very difficult to give a full description  of the governor. The last time that I saw him was during the Local Government election in the state on December 1, 2012. That was the moment that I will never forget in my life.

“He was a seasoned civil servant. He will be remembered for being the first civilian governor of Kaduna from the Southern part of the state and he will also be remembered for his prudent management of state resources.”

Also on Sunday,   the President-General of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, Dr. Ephraim Goje, narrated how Yakowa visited his parents’ grave barely 15 days before he met his death.

Goje said, “One of the last encounters I had with him that I will never forget happened on December 1, 2012 which was his birthday. If you remember, he also conducted the local government elections on that day.  At about 1 pm, I called him to congratulate him on his birthday and for successfully conducting the local government elections.

“He said to me, my president, as I speak to you, I am standing by the graveside of my parents. I have not had the opportunity to come here in the past two years and I am using the opportunity of this elections to come to their graveside.

“He said further that he will surprise the people of Kaduna State when he presents his 2013 budget and that through the document, the people of the state will know that he meant business. I told him that wherever his parents were, I am sure that they would be proud to have him as their son, especially rising through the ladder to be the governor of the state. We are also proud of him and his achievements.

“After the election, I went to his village (Kagoma) to see him and discovered that he had left for Kaduna. I never knew that 15 days later, he will be no more. We are really grieving and sad.”

Goje said the death of the governor came to him as a surprise, noting that  with the loss of  a “great son” like Yakowa, a big vacuum had been created in the state.

“The death of Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa came to me as a surprise and with great shock. I want to say that Kaduna State has lost a great son and a big vacuum has been created. He was a man with a passion to develop Kaduna State. There were no religious or ethnic considerations in his actions and he was dedicated to the development of the state,” he said.


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Muhammad Bello


President Goodluck Jonathan has conferred the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award on Professors Samuel Ohaegbulam and Emmanuel Yoloye, for their contributions to the development of medicine and humanities.

President Goodluck Jonathan

The honour is the highest and most prestigious of its kind bestowed on outstanding, creative and talented Nigerians at home and Diaspora, whose works have made impact significantly at home and abroad.

Speaking at the presentation of the 2012 Nigerian National Order of Merit Award yesterday, the President observed that in the last three decades, the esteem and integrity of the award had not decline.

Instead, he observed that its recipients were increasing by emerging as beneficiaries from a rigorous selection procedure that confers the honour only on those that best deserve it in diverse fields of human endeavour.

“With our two awardees this year, the total number of Nigerians who have been honoured with the award now stands at only 67, an average of two per year. This is a strong pointer to the high standard and merit-driven evaluation procedures underlying the selection of the winners of the award,” President Jonathan said.

He expressed hope that the award “also underlines our nation’s expectation that our new awardees, like their industrious predecessors, will hold the banner of creativity and intellectual development,” Jonathan emphasised that the country is in dire need of their knowledge, expertise and contributions “to boost its overall development, particularly in the successful implementation of the government’s transformation agenda.”

This, he stated was the reason why the apex government two years ago increased the statutory cash prize attached to the award from N5 million to N10 million per recipient.

“These recipients are today admitted into this very admirable, respected and distinguished class of Nigerians as 66th and 67th members. By your remarkable achievements, you have made Nigeria proud and once again put our nation on a high global pedestal. It is my hope that you will sustain your interests in research and excellence and remain sources of inspiration to all and sundry especially our upcoming generation,” the president added.

He said his administration will study and support the recommendations in the communiqué of the 5th annual forum of the laurets, to find solutions to problems, adding that “the report is also being studied by the office of the SGF.”

He assured that the Federal Government would boost the endowment fund of the NMMA and take necessary steps to strengthen the institution.
In his remarks, Chairman of the NNMA Governing Board, Prof. Sylvester said: “Out of the more than 40 nominees evaluated by the governing board and four specialised committees of assessors only these two gentlemen were found to have successfully scale the hurdles and found worthy to be conferred with the NNM order of merit award for 2012.”

He requested that there should an annual staging of the Forum of Laureates, the urgent establishment of the Nigerian National Research and Development Fund to be manage on behalf of the federal government in a merit driven fashion by reputed researchers and proper funding of the NNMA endowment fund as well as the formal recognition and launch of the NNMA Policy Group.


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