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Check el-Rufai’s Excesses, Wike Tells EU …Urges More Sanctions On Election Manipulators …Direct Venom To Buhari, PDP Tells el-Rufai …Northern Youth Disown Gov

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has charged the European Union to take appropriate punitive measures against the embattled Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai to check the excesses of violent politicians of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Ketil Karlson at the Government House, Port Harcourt yesterday, Governor Wike said if El-Rufai escapes without sanctions , other perpetrators of violence would be encouraged to promote hate speech.
He said: “With what is happening now, is it likely for them to hand over when they lose? The European Union should use El-Rufai as an example. That statement is worse than hate speech.
“If El-Rufai gets away with this hate speech, it will send the wrong signal. The President defended the hate speech as the defence of national interest. That is not true “.
He said beyond saying that the European Union will not be deterred by the threats of the APC governor, concrete steps should be taken to wield the big stick against El-Rufai.
He told the European Union Ambassador that the threat by El-Rufai to kill foreign observers is part of a plot by the ruling party to unleash mayhem on the opposition.
He said the opposition is not interested in violence during the elections because they are ready for victory. According to him, the ruling party is orchestrating violence because the signs of defeat are everywhere.
“Those who will benefit from violence are the ones who are not on ground. They stand to benefit from electoral violence”, he said.
He said in Rivers State, the APC Federal Government and associates are working to create crisis for the illegal postponement of elections in the state. He noted that the plan is to isolate Rivers State so that security agencies can be deployed for rigging purposes.
The governor charged the European Union to pay close attention to Rivers State because the votes of the people must count .
Earlier, the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Ketil Karlson said that he was in the state to meet stakeholders for the promotion of peaceful and credible elections.
He said since 1999 , the European Union has been observing elections in Nigeria , noting that the 2019 elections will not be different.
The European Union Ambassador added that the group has since 1999 supported the elections with one hundred million euros.
He called for issue based campaigns, but added that the European Union has no preferred candidates.
Also yesterday, the United States Consul General to Nigeria, John Bray held a meeting with the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike at Government House, Port Harcourt.
Bray called for peaceful, free and fair elections. He said that the United States of America has no preferred candidates or political parties.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has called on the international community to step up sanctions against those found manipulating or behind election violence in the forthcoming elections in Nigeria.
The governor made the call yesterday when the new British High Commissioner to Nigeria , Catriona Laing paid a courtesy visit to him, Wednesday, in Government House, Port Harcourt.
Wike said restriction of visas to those behind election violence is not enough .
He said: “ We are happy for your interest in free and fair election, but we want you to scale it up.
“ Not merely saying about visa restriction , that is not enough. Those who have property there should have their property confiscated”
Wike said that it is time the international community comes out strong so that nobody should do anything that could precipitate crisis during the elections.
He noted the interest of PDP in violent free election but stressed that that depends on the two major institutions responsible for the conduct of elections in the country , the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) and security agencies, particularly the police.
He said there cannot be violence where the election is free and fair.
“ What brings violence is when people want to manipulate the process. Then people will want to react or resist. In doing that, violence erupts ,which is no necessary.
“Sometimes, people would say okay, let’s seek redress in the law court. But people are afraid because the judiciary has been intimidated .
The governor said judiciary which is being seen as the last hope for the common man has been frightened by the APC- led Federal Government, thereby making people lose confidence in seeking redress.
He said it is key that the international community focus and put an eye in the election in Nigeria because Nigeria is so important in African continent such that what happens in the country directly affects Africa.
“We appeale to you to talk to INEC because the major problem we have is INEC and security agencies, in particular, police.
“ They should allow Nigerians to vote freely. They should allow Nigerians votes to be counted. Then you will see that people will be happy.
He maintained that attempt to short change people or manipulate the electoral process may likely result in resistance by the people.
Wike stated that PDP does not need to rig to win election because the party has performed to the satisfaction of the electorate and has equally campaigned very well and is ready for the election.
Earlier, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Cariona Laing, said she has to come down to the state to see for herself the situation on ground, in view of the interest of her country in a free , fair and nonviolent election Nigeria.
She said Britain has huge interest in the state and Niger Delta because of her economic importance.
Laing who disclosed that for past two months she came into the country as the new High Commissioner to Nigeria she had spent two weeks reaching out to people and trying to encourage them to support a nonviolent election.
She also noted the environmental challenges in the Niger Delta stressing that the essence was to see how businesses was being done in the area considering the economic interest her country has in the area.
Similarly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has told Kaduna State governor Nasir el-Rufai to channel “his frustration” to President Muhammadu Buhari, who the main opposition party recalled, he “aptly described as an incompetent, old fashioned, corrupt, insensitive, parochial and tyrannical leader, who should not be voted into office, instead of seeking to incite violence in the country.”
In a statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan National Publicity Secretary and Director, Media & Publicity PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, the party also noted that el-Rufai’s threats that members of global democratic institutions working towards peaceful 2019 general elections in the country will return in body bags, has raised new questions regarding those behind the killing of expatriates and aid workers in various troubled parts of the country.
The statement added: “It is quite revealing that el-Rufai, who exposed Gen. Buhari in 2010 as ‘unelectable’ is now prancing about in defence of Buhari’s incompetent and anti-democratic administration, to the extent of issuing death threats to others, just to secure his place under a dictatorial administration.
“Governor el-Rufai had in 2010 described Gen. Buhari as ill-equipped for modern day governance. He berated Gen. Buhari of lacking the capacity to comprehend current trends, to the extent that he would think that a “blackberry was a fruit”.
“In his reply to Gen. Buhari’s response to his earlier criticisms, el-Rufai stated: ‘Mallam El-Rufai wishes to remind General Buhari that he has remained perpetually unelectable because of his record as military head of state, and afterwards, is a warning that many Nigerians have wisely heeded. His insensitivity to Nigeria’s diversity and his parochial focus are already well-known.
‘In 1984, Buhari allowed 53 suitcases belonging to his ADC’s father to enter Nigeria unchecked at a time the country was exchanging old currency for new…..
‘Buhari was so high-handed that he gave himself and his officials immunity even from truthful reporting. That obnoxious Decree 4, against which truth was no defence, was used to jail journalists and attempt to cow the media as a whole. That tyrannical legislation shows the essence of his intolerance. These are facts of recent history. The story of counter-trade and import licensing, the cornerstone of Buhari’s stone-age economic strategy and those whose interests it served, is a tale for another day.’
However, the statement observed: “Today, President Buhari’s inept and colossally corrupt administration has wrecked our once robust economy, divided our nation, instituted executive high-handedness, violation of human rights, incessant breach of our constitution, disobedience of court order, assaults on our democratic institutions, clamp down of the media and dissenting voices, a scenario that has brought so much pain and anguish for Nigerians.
“Governor el-Rufai’s venom should, therefore, be directed towards President Buhari, who has brought so much pain to Nigerians and of course himself, for his own insensitivity to Nigerians and his support for anti-democratic tendencies of the Buhari administration.
A group, under the auspices of Joint Action Committee of Northern Youth Associations, JACON, have condemned in strong terms the recent threat to international community, election observers by Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
JACON group said the governor to throw the state and country into another round of bloodletting.
The Kaduna State Governor had last Tuesday warned that those who intervene in the forthcoming general elections will “go back in body bags”.
Reacting, the association called on Nigerians to remain steadfast and not be perturbed by the comment made by El Rufai.
Murtala Abubakar, convener of JACON, in a statement said, “The recent outburst and threat to the international community, especially election observers by Kaduna State Governor, Nasiru Ahmad el-Rufai is not surprising. What is surprising is extending it outside the shore of Kaduna and Nigeria, targeting the international community who are interested in fair, transparent, credible and peaceful elections in Nigeria.
“In the face of this, we call on all to remain steadfast, not to bow to intimidation, not to play into the hands of people like el-Rufai whose plan is to throw the state and the nation into another round of bloodletting. We shall triumph over those who don’t want to see us in peace.
“This is not new. But as northern youths, we have resolved not to be drawn into any act that will lead to loss of lives and property in Kaduna State, the region or the nation as a whole.
“For the record, Governor el-Rufai is no stranger to such inflammatory statement meant to stock ember of discord and results in violence. But we have seen through his veiled calls to violence.
“El-Rufai is known to have called the opposition in Kaduna termites and ants and should be crushed. He has asked those who asked questions on his style of scothearth leadership to climb Kufena Hill and jump to their death.
“The most recent and bizarre was his allusion to a religious icon; the celebrated and revered Catholic leader, The Pope. That statement was meant to infuriate the Catholics and Christians to cause religious conflict. But we thank the Christian community for their restrain and the show of maturity by not playing into the hands of the governor.”
The associations noted with dismay that just this week, three young boys were mowed down in cold blood at Unguwan Muazu within Kaduna metropolis right under the watch of Governor el-Rufai in his campaign train.
“Despite the security agents in the Governor’s motorcade, no one has been arrested nor did he visit to condole with the families of the murdered boys. It took serious intervention of peace loving people to ensure the killings of the young boys did not lead to another circle of bloodletting in Kaduna,” the associations explained.
They said, “Nigeria like the governor said in this last infamous interview on a national television has been involved in other countries to ensure they have peaceful and credible elections. What is wrong to ensure Nigeria does same with other countries as observers.
“El-Rufai’s statement that “those that are calling for anyone to intervene in Nigeria, we are waiting for the person to come and intervene. They would go back in body bags because nobody would come to Nigeria and tell us how to run our country” is unfortunate, condemnable, a call to violence and veiled threat to all peace loving people.”
They called on the security agencies to ensure the protection of lives and property before, during and after the forthcoming elections.
“We also urge the international and the election observers not to bow to threats such as the one coming from Governor Nasir Ahmad El-rufai,” they assured.

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How Soldiers Helped Me Escape, Kidnap Kingpin Reveals …They Opened Fire On Police, Took Me To Their HQ, Cut My Handcuffs …How We Re-Arrested Hamisu Wadume –Police …IGP Hails Operatives

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A suspected kidnap lord in Taraba State, Hamisu Bala popularly known as Wadume, has been reportedly re-arrested and taken to the Louis Edet House Force headquarters in Abuja.
It was not immediately clear when and where Wadume was taken into custody, but a police source confirmed the development, yesterday.
However, Wadume was sighted at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, yesterday.
In his reaction, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Adamu, has commended the police operatives for their painstaking efforts in the re-arrest of Taraba notorious kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Wadume.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Frank Mba, disclosed this, yesterday, in a statement in Abuja.
He said Wadume was re-arrested in the late hours of Monday in his hideout at Layin Mai Allo Hotoro area of Kano State.
Mba said the police had been on a massive manhunt for the suspect since August 6.
He said the manhunt followed the incident in Ibi, Taraba that led to the killing of three police officers and two civilians as well as injuring of five others.
Mba said the suspect, who was appropriately restrained at the time of the first arrest, was subsequently released by his “rescuers”.
The FPRO said the IGP had expressed his profound gratitude to Nigerians for their show of love and empathy to the Force and the families of the murdered officers and civilians.
“The re-arrest of Wadume will help in bringing answers to the numerous but hitherto unanswered questions touching on the incident and the larger criminal enterprise of the suspect,” Mba quoted the IGP as saying.
It would be recalled that Wadume was the ‘high profile’ kidnapping suspect arrested by the police on August 6.
He was being driven to Jalingo, the state capital by the police team when soldiers opened fire on them along Ibi-Wukari Road, killing three police officers and a civilian.
The attack immediately sparked friction between the police and the Nigerian Army, as well as a nationwide apprehension, prompting President Muhammadu Buhari to order an investigation.
The investigation panel, which includes persons with police and military background, was initially scheduled to conclude its findings, last week, but the team sought additional two weeks to wrap up.
Meanwhile, captured suspected kidnapper, HamisuBala Wadume, has explained how he escaped from the operatives of Intelligence Response Team on August 6.
Wadume escaped from the custody of IRT operatives when they came under attack from soldiers attached to Battalion 93, Takum, Taraba State, as they conveyed the kidnap suspect from the scene of his arrest.
The Army later explained that the soldiers attacked the IRT operatives when they mistook them for criminals, following a distress call they had received.
In the said attack, three policemen and a civilian were killed, while five other operatives sustained injuries.
Wadume was, however, re-arrested on the eve of Monday, August 19, Force spokesperson Frank Mba said yesterday
In a video clip posted on the verified Twitter handle of Nigeria Police Force yesterday, Wadume, who spoke in Hausa, virtually implicated soldiers at the Battalion 93, Takum, Taraba State, in his escape from the IRT custody.
Wadume spoke in Hausa, which was interpreted by our in-house staff member.
The suspect, who is alleged to have received millions of naira as ransom from his victims, said, “My name is Hamisu Bala Wadume.
“Police came to arrest me, When they arrested me, army chased after them and opened fire.
“From there, they (soldiers) took me to their headquarters, and cut up my handcuffs.
“I went back to my house and Police came to re-arrest me…”
Also, Force spokesman, Frank Mba, has described how the Police re-arrested millionaire kidnapper, Hamisu Wadume.
Wadume escaped when the operatives of Intelligence Response Team came under attack from soldiers attached to Battalion 93, Takum, Taraba State, as they conveyed the kidnap suspect from the scene of his arrest.
“His arrest followed massive manhunt launched by the Police special forces and IRT members,” Mba said in a statement released to media yesterday.
The statement read, “The operatives of the Nigeria Police have re-arrested the notorious kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume.
“He was re-arrested in the late hours of Monday, August 19, at his hideout at Layin Mai Allo Hotoro area of Kano State.
“It would be recalled that the Police had been on the massive manhunt for the suspect, Alhaji HamisuBala Wadume, since August 6, following the unfortunate incident in Ibi, Taraba State which resulted in the brutal murder of three Police Officers and two civilians, and injury to five others.
“The suspect, who was appropriately restrained at the time of the incident, was subsequently released by his “rescuers” after they had destroyed the restraining handcuffs.”
The Police noted that Wadume’s arrest,” will, no doubt, help in bringing answers to the numerous but hitherto unanswered questions touching on the incident and the larger criminal enterprise of the suspect”.
Reacting to the recapture of the kidnapper, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, has commended the police operatives for their efforts in the re-arrest of Taraba notorious kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Wadume.
The Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, disclosed this yesterday in a statement in Abuja.
He said Wadume was re-arrested in the late hours of Monday in his hideout at Layin Mai Allo Hotoro area of Kano State.
Mba said the police had been on a massive manhunt for the suspect since August 6.
He said the manhunt followed the incident in Ibi, Taraba that led to the killing of three police officers and two civilians as well as injuring of five others.
Mba said the suspect, who was appropriately restrained at the time of the first arrest, was subsequently released by his “rescuers”.
The FPRO said the IGP had expressed his profound gratitude to Nigerians for their show of love and empathy to the Force and the families of the murdered officers and civilians.
“Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni while commending the Police operatives for their perseverance and painstaking efforts, has expressed his profound gratitude to all Nigerians for their unparalleled show of love and empathy to the Force and the families of the officers and patriotic civilians who paid the supreme price in the service of their fatherland.
It is his belief that the re-arrest of Wadume, will help in bringing answers to the numerous but hitherto unanswered questions touching on the incident and the larger criminal enterprise of the suspect,” Mba quoted the IGP as saying. The Army is yet to respond to the allegation of the kidnap kingpin.

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Wike Lauds US, RSG’s Synergy To Fight HIV/AIDS …As Symington Unveils $75m Funding Grant

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has commended the United States Government for working with the state government to reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the state.
Also, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Stuart Symington said that the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) administered by the U.S. Centre for Disease Control (CDC), U.S. Department of Defence, and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was implementing an Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) surge programme in Rivers State to identify and provide treatment to approximately 180,000 PLHIV who have not previously received such.
The two leaders spoke at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, during a high-profile meeting on the promotion of the health of Rivers people.
Wike said: “I want to thank the Government of the United States for working with the Rivers State Government to reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS.
“I thank the United States Government for recognising the contributions of the Rivers State Government in the fight against HIV/AIDS “.
Wike assured the United States Government that his administration would continue to fund programmes that would reduce the prevalence of the healthcare challenge.
“We will continue to work for the reduction of HIV/AIDS in the state. We are glad that we are partners with the US Government. For us, health is key. Education is key. With Education, you can talk to people on measures to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.
“At present, with the support of the United States Government, we are running 115 sites to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS”, he said.
He said that the health programmes of the Rivers State Government is yielding results as the immunisation statistics of the state has moved from 54 per cent to 82 per cent.
Speaking further, Wike thanked the United States Government for insisting that votes count in Rivers State during the last General Election.
He said that the United States Government ensured that democracy survived in the country, despite the fact that it came under threat.
It would recalled that Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike recently announced that the Rivers State Government would pay the user-fees for People Living with HIV in the state to access free treatment.
In his remarks, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Stuart Symington said the U.S. Government’s $75million budget increase for HIV control activities in Nigeria, with about $25million allocated for the ART surge activities.
Symington thanked Wike for announcing his intent to eliminate user-fees for PLHIV.
The ambassador emphasized that Wike’s pronouncement serves as an example to other states and the Federal Government to eliminate such user-fees.
“The United States remains committed to supporting Nigeria as it works to reduce and ultimately eliminate the scourge of HIV/AIDS among its people,” Symington said.
He noted the increased funding to make anti-retrovirals available would enable more people living with HIV to lead healthy, productive lives until the day a cure for the virus is found.
Symington noted that disbursement of the additional PEPFAR HIV funds are contingent upon Nigerian federal and state governments’ reducing or eliminating financial barriers to PLHIV access to services, in particular fees charged by healthcare facilities for non-essential services or those already provided by PEPFAR.
The U.S. delegation was in Rivers State to advocate for elimination of user-fees for all people living with HIV, antenatal care charges for pregnant women living with the virus, and other barriers hindering PLHIV from accessing health services.
Earlier, on August 19, Symington had paid a similar visit to Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel in Government House, Uyo, the state capital, with members of the diplomatic corps.
During the meeting, Governor Udom Emmanuel applauded the existing bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the United States of America which has spanned several decades, and particularly thanked the US Ambassador for his contributions to make Akwa Ibom and Nigeria a global family through economic, educational and cultural cooperation.
He expressed appreciation to the diplomatic corps in their observer role during the last elections in the country and the rich counsel to the stakeholders for a hitch-free democratic process.
The state chief executive also expressed appreciation to the United state for the choice of Akwa Ibom in the pilot scheme to reduce the HIV/AIDS pandemic is a coastal state bordering other state and countries who interface daily for commerce and other economic pursuits, adding that Akwa Ibom is richly blessed by human and economic potentials and sued for more bilateral cooperation to create wealth both for the state and country.
He described Symington as a brother with a passion for humanity and expressed regret that his tenure in the country as an ambassador is short-lived and wished him well as he returns to his home country.
In his remark, the outgoing Ambassador of the United States of America, Mr Stuart Symington, had described Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel’s vision to industrialize Akwa Ibom State, equipped health care facilities and provide beautiful road network as placing the state on the global map as the state with the treasure.
While expressing appreciation to the people of Akwa Ibom and Nigeria for the hospitality accorded him throughout his stay in the country, the US envoy said that for sustainable development his country has chosen Akwa Ibom for the implementation of the health care support next year to stem the tide of HIV/AIDS pandemic and make the state a place for succour to those affected by the disease.
These, he said, was buoyed by the love for humanity and the future of the younger generations and those unborn.
He said that provision is made for a hundred and thirty patients to benefit from the Health support system.
The highpoint of the event was a toast proposed by former Ambassador to Russia, Chief Assam Assam SAN, for long-lasting relationships and love for humanity in the global family.
Earlier, Akwa Ibom State Government had disclosed that it is set to partner the United States of America in healthcare and other development efforts aimed at making life meaningful to humanity.
Udom said that his administration has invested so much to transform the health care delivery system to save lives.
According to him, you cannot talk about human capital development without a functional health care system.
Udom expressed appreciation to the US and its development agencies in the plan to partner the state in the fight against HIV/AIDS to reduce the scourge in the country and other countries within the Gulf of Guinea.
The state chief executive described as alarming the 130,000 targets set by the agency to address the menace, and called for accuracy and transparency in the records and expenditures of funds allotted for the program.
He, however, said that as a border state in the coastal region, there is an influx of people from other states and countries to transact business in the state it becomes expedient to partner to save humanity in the global family.
Udom said that relevant agencies would have to collaborate with personnel from the state, and expressed the hope that with the health care facilities on ground Akwa Ibom best suits the pilot scheme and thanked the United States for the choice of the state for the programme.
The governor, however, took exception to the fact that over $30 billion had been expended in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic without any verifiable records, nor input from the relevant agencies in the state.
He congratulated Governor Emmanuel on his re-election and the investment in the health care delivery system as well the industrialization of the state.
He said the visit which is his last as the Ambassador to Nigeria was to intimate the government and people of the state of the United States contributions to stem the HIV/AIDS pandemic and to provide necessary assistance to those who are infected and to provide drugs, equipment and personnel to help humanity.
Symington applauded Governor Emmanuel for the high premium placed on the healthcare delivery system and his efforts at transforming all the secondary health centres to meet international standards.
He sued for collaboration to stem the tide of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.
The ambassador pledged his governments readiness to partner the state in education, healthcare, agriculture and commerce.

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S’Eagles’ Coach Backs Alex Iwobi To Succeed At Everton

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Alex Iwobi has the potential to become a key figure for Premier League side, Everton, according to Nigeria national team assistant coach, Imama Amapakabo.
The 23-year-old joined the Toffees on a five-year deal from Arsenal for a fee of an initial £28million deal – which could rise to £34million with add-ons.
Iwobi has yet to make his debut for Everton (he remained on the bench for the duration of the win over Watford at Goodison Park this past weekend) but he should see regular playing time for the Merseyside club.
And his move has been given a ringing endorsement from Amapakabo, who is Gernot Rohr’s right-hand man with the Super Eagles.
“I think he has been able to prove himself that he’s a good player, he didn’t just sell himself to Everton, they came for him knowing the reason why they came for him and the role he’s going to play for them,” Amakarkabo told newsmen.
“The league just started in England, let’s give him some time we will be able to have a discussion with anyone that will doubt Iwobi’s capabilities.
“He is a young lad, and he has his football ahead of him so, let us give him all the backing that we need to give him, hopefully at the end of the season, we would be able to take stock of how well he has fared with Everton.”

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