Monthly Archives: July 2015

Breaking News: Yoruba Actor, Ajigi Jaga Is Dead!

Another star in the Nigerian entertainment firmament has fallen. Popular actor, Muftau Adio famously known as Ajigi Jaga is dead. His death was confirmed to E24-7 MAGAZINE by the President of The Golden Movie Ambassadors (TGMA), Saidi Balogun.

In his tribute to the deceased, Saidi told E24-7 MAGAZINE, “Ajigi Jaga’s death is a big loss to the movie industry, especially to members of The Golden Movie Ambassadors.

Just last week, he called me to explain why he couldn’t attend our last monthly meeting. I can recall that he mentioned that his absence was due to injuries he sustained in a motor-bike accident about two weeks ago.

I was shocked this morning to get a call from one of his children that he has passed on. We shall miss his useful contributions to discussions on how to move the movie industry forward and instil discipline and professionalism in our members. May his soul rest in peace.”

Ajigi Jaga better known for his toughie roles that earned him the moniker, ‘Broken Bottle’ would be sorely missed.

Empire360

FEDERAL UNIVERSITY GUSAU, ZAMFARA STATE POST UTME SCREENING FOR THE 2015/2016 ADMISSION EXERCISE, ELIGIBILITY.

ONLY CANDIDATES WHO SAT FOR 2015\2016 SESSION UNIFIED TERTIARY MATRICULATION (UTME) AND HAVE SCORED A MINIMUN OF 180 MARKS IN THE EXAMINATION AND DIRECT ENTRY (DE)

CANDIDATE WHO CHOSE FEDERAL UNIVERSITY GUSAU AS THEIR FIRST CHOICE INSTITUTION ARE ELIGIBLE TO TAKE PART IN THE POST UTME SCREENING INTERACTION SESSION.

SCREENING INTERACTION DATES
COMMENCEMENT OF ONLINE REGISTRATION SAT 1TH AUGUST,2015.
CLOSING DATE OF ONLINE REGISTRATION SUN 16TH AUGUST,2015.

SCREENING/INTERACTION DATE MON 17TH TO TUE 18TH AUGUST 2015.

EMPIRE360 SPORTS: PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG EXTENDS BVB CONTRACT UNTIL 2020

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Borussia Dortmund have agreed to prematurely extend the contract of forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has been coveted by a number of European clubs, until 30 June 2020. The speedy striker’s initial contract was set to expire in 2018.

“I’m absolutely delighted that the next years of my career will be spent at Borussia Dortmund. I feel very happy at the club, in this team and in this city. BVB has become like a second home to me. Every part of me wants to be here and I have never wanted to leave,” said the 26-year-old striker, who joined the club in 2013.

“Auba has developed outstandingly. We are very happy that we have been able to tie him down to a long-term contract,” explained Sporting Director Michael Zorc after Aubameyang’s contract had been extended.

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The Gabon international, who was born in the French town of Laval and has a French passport, was a consistent performer in his first two seasons in Dortmund, scoring twelve and 16 Bundesliga goals respectively. In the 2014/15 season, he found the net 25 times across all competitions.

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South Africa’s sports minister joins Drake-Meek Mill feud

Fikile
Fikile

As a sports minister, one of you duties will be to oversee the body in charge of combat sports in your country. Right? But does that extend to ‘verbal combat’ in rap arena music, especially when the combatants are way out of your jurisdiction?South African sports and recreation minister, Mbalula Fikile, has joined the issues with American rapper, Robert Rahmeek Williams also known as Meek Mill, who is currently engaged in a feud with another rapper, Drake.

Fikile believes that Meek Mill song ‘Wanna Know’, in which he dissed Drake was weak and could be considered an ‘own goal’ . He went further to call the rapper ‘Mealie Mill’.

Fikile is not the first public figure who has gone up against Meek Mill for insulting Drake. Recently, Toronto city mayor said Meek Mill would not be welcomed in the city.

Aye American @MeekMill. Didn’t say don’t come. Just puzzled why you’d diss a Canadian hero a week before coming to his city.

— Norm Kelly (@norm) July 22, 2015

You’re no longer welcome in Toronto,@MeekMill.

— Norm Kelly (@norm) July 22, 2015

I officially declare you Mealie Meal not Meek Mill, adopt that as your new name @MeekMill

— RSA Min of Sport (@MbalulaFikile) July 31, 2015

#IWannaKnow why your diss to drake disses you rather, why such an own goal ?@MeekMill

— RSA Min of Sport (@MbalulaFikile) July 31, 2015

I will end Boko Haram ‘very soon’ – New commander of Multinational Joint Task Force 

Major General Iliya AbbahThe Nigerian commander of a new multinational force set up to fight Boko Haram Islamists on Friday pledged to bring an end to their six-year insurgency “very soon”.

“I assure (you), by the will of God, that I will live (up) to expectations and we will see the end of this menace very soon,” Major General Iliya Abbah said at a ceremony in Abuja, where he was formally appointed chief of the Multinational Joint Task Force.

The 8,700-strong force has its headquarters in the Chadian capital N’Djamena and is expected to be more effective than a regional offensive launched earlier this year to fight Boko Haram, whose insurgency has claimed some 15,000 lives.

“As soon as I get on the ground, everybody will take position,” Abbah said, adding that troops would be deployed “any time from today”.

Abbah was named commander on Thursday, when Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said during a visit to Cameroon the force would be ready to go into action “by the end of this month”.

The force will contain troops from Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad, with Benin also committed to help.

However Buhari also complained of a lack of resources, saying: “After the promises of G7 countries to help the region defeat Boko Haram, we are waiting for training, equipment and intelligence assistance.”

Abbah, a Muslim from northern Nigeria, previously served as the army’s military secretary, where he was responsible for promotions, postings and retirements, and was also part of Nigeria’s contingent to peacekeeping operations in Sudan’s troubled western Darfur region.

On Friday Abbah described his new assignment as “familiar terrain”.

“I assure you, when we hit the ground, the story will be different… The formation of the Multinational Joint Task Force is the best thing that has ever happened to the region,” he said.

Nigeria’s army chief Major General Tukur Yusuf Buratai described Abbah as a “seasoned, experienced” infantry general.

“He did extremely well to contain Boko Haram from spreading into the northwest,” Buratai said at Friday’s ceremony.

While the regional offensive launched in February has successfully forced Boko Haram out of several positions, the Islamists have unleashed a new wave of violence since Buhari became president in May, killing more than 800 people in just two months.

EMPIRE360 SPORTS: CAZORLA AND WALCOTT SIGN NEW DEALS

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Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott have both agreed contract extensions with the club. Walcott, 26, is Arsenal’s longest-serving current player, making his 300th appearance for the club last season. He has scored a total of 76 goals since joining the Gunners in 2006.
Theo finished last season in outstanding form. The England forward netted a first-half hat-trick against West Bromwich Albion in the final Premier League match of the season, before scoring the opener in the FA Cup final victory over Aston Villa the following week.

“As well as their huge contributions on the pitch, they both have a great deal of experience and are very popular off the pitch.”Wenger on Cazorla and Walcott

Cazorla, 30, enjoyed another excellent year for Arsenal in 2014/15. Playing in a deeper midfield role for the Gunners, he made 53 appearances in all – more than any other player. In total, the gifted Spaniard has featured 148 times for Arsenal since his arrival from Malaga in 2012. His tally of 27 goals includes many important strikes, most notably in the 2014 FA Cup Final victory over Hull City. An experienced international, Cazorla has won more than 70 caps for his country and was part of the squad that won the European Championship in 2008 and 2012.

Arsène Wenger said: “We’re delighted to have extended the contracts of Santi and Theo. Both are top quality players who are hugely important and influential to our squad.
“As well as their huge contributions on the pitch, they both have a great deal of experience and are very popular off the pitch. We’re very pleased with them both signing contract extensions, as it provides our squad with further stability of quality.”

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Everyone at the club is looking forward to the continued contributions of Santi and Theo in the seasons ahead.

Empire360

DISCOs seek Presidency’s help over alleged N7b debt

Amadi

• Blame generation for electricity woes
• NERC protects ministries, govt agencies 

ELECTRICITY distribution companies (DISCOs) yesterday lamented how the debts allegedly owed them by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are crippling the electricity sector.

They therefore, called on the Presidency to come to their aid and direct security agencies and other government bodies to pay up their debts.

The DISCOs, which have come under the umbrella of Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), say many of the establishments of government have refused to pay for electricity consumed, thereby placing their operations in jeopardy.

Director of Research and Advocacy for ANED, Sunday Olurotimi Oduntan, who spoke to newsmen in Abuja, cited the example of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), which he alleged is being owed over N7 billion by government ministries, departments and agencies. Oduntan said, “We have a lot of losses especially due to non payment of bills.

So many customers are not paying and we are appealing to the federal government to prevail on departments and agencies that owe us huge debts. The Department of State Services (DSS) and military formations owe us. It is same with many other agencies. The MDAs owe Abuja DISCO alone N7billion.

If we have that today, don’t you think we will invest more in this system?” On the volume of debts owed other DISCOs, he noted: “To tell you the fact, we are compiling the list of what the MDAs owe the 11 DISCOs. State governments are fond of owing electricity bills all over the country.

These are the same officials that are using N40 million bulletproof cars. They will be going in a convoy of 14 to 15 cars yet they can pay their electricity bills. For how long should we continue that? This is no more NEPA.

They accuse us of not investing in the networks but they don’t pay their bills. “So let them start paying their bills. A federal agency in Abuja owes Abuja DISCO N90million.

On disconnection, they paid N20million and later they were taken to court. We told them to pay N10milion and then sign a monthly payment plan to offset the N70million debt but they refused and so they remain disconnected.

They reported us to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and instead of NERC supporting the DISCOs’ effort of getting their money, shockingly our regulator that should be a neutral arbitrator sent a letter to the DISCOs that the agency must be reconnected despite the huge debt that the corporation is worth billions of naira and must not remain in darkness.

In a related development, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have sealed a deal to boost electricity to the industrial sector.

The deal is said to have been approved by the Presidency. Among other things, both parties would work together to develop a framework for the creation of micro grid for industrial clusters across the country.

Both parties agreed after a long consultation process that the quickest way to supply power to the industrial clusters and centres would be through micro grid. Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, said Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo had been briefed on the objective of the meeting which is to make power available to industrial clusters in a reliable and quickest possible approach.

Options being considered, according to him, entail an arrangement to upgrade licenses of captive electricity generators with excess capacities to supply firms within their vicinity through commercial arrangements that would be jointly beneficial to the electricity distribution companies and the industries.

He said that the establishment of micro grid could be “beneficial, as it will provide commercially viable electricity to industries and free grid electricity that goes to industries for residential and other consumers.” A technical committee with nominations from the Commission will be coordinated by MAN since its members will be the main beneficiary of a stable and adequate power supply.

The committee is to develop the framework that would surmount associated financial and technical impediments to realising the objective.

The framework on the micro grid is expected to adapt the NERC’s regulations on Embedded Generation, which is applicable when electricity is generated and consumed within a distribution network and Independent Electricity Distribution Network, which permits development of electricity distribution to an area yet to be developed by a distribution company.

According to Oduntan, “We hope the regulator is not telling us to be condoning debt, while it wants us to invest hugely in the sector? If they are helping the sector, they wouldn’t be condoning debtors but will condemn them. There are many examples of that like the military barracks in Keffi beating up our officers just to collect their bills.”

He called for the urgent intervention of the Presidency in the issue. He noted: “Now we have a change and what President Muhammadu Buhari promised voters in this country is that there will be a change. So we need change in the power sector, in the Regulator and the federal government.

He needs to talk to his people from the State House to the state governments to pay their bills. There are provisions for utilities in the budget of agencies. Since they are not paying the bills, what then happened to the money? “The Armed Forces should also speak to their people that they need to pay their bills hence we will be going public to name and shame the bodies owing us debts.

For individual consumers, we keep saying that it is cheaper to take electricity from the grid than to use generators as you pay three times more coupled with the pollution.

There is improvement in generation in recent weeks with over 4,000megawatts and I can assure you that will still go up but need the assistance of consumers to regularly pay up their debts.” He called for greater support from consumers, noting that the low generation capacity was greatly responsible for energy challenges in the country.

Army rescues 59 Borno villagers from Sambisa forests

FRONT

TROOPS of 7 Division of Nigerian Army yesterday rescued 59 residents of Kashimri and Amarmari villages in Konduga local council, Borno State, after a six-hour operation against Boko Haram terrorists in Sambisa Forests.

There were however no arrests, but the soldiers recovered a Land Rover and tipper truck allegedly used by the insurgents. Presenting the rescued villagers yesterday at the Maiduguri military garrison, the spokesman of 7 Division of Nigerian Army, Col. Tukur Gusau said, “The military yesterday (Wednesday) in an offensive operation against terrorists in Konduga local council of Borno State, succeeded in killing many of them, while others fled with gunshot wounds.

We also recovered a Land Rover and a tipper truck used by the terrorists in two camps. “The rescued villagers were rescued by troops in Kashimri and Amarmari villages, used as terrorists’ camps in detaining these people, including 25 children and elderly persons.”

He said out of the 59 rescued villagers, there are 29 women, 25 children and five elderly persons, who would be taken to one of the resettlement camps in Maiduguri.

Also, a statement by Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, the Acting Director Army Public Relations disclosed that troops of 21 Brigade and elements of Nigerian Army Engineers yesterday cleared notorious terrorists camps at Chuogori and Shantumari, Borno State.

During the operations the fleeing terrorists left underground silos. The statement added that troops of 151 Task Force Battalion conducted operations on Kashingeri, Wale and Kushingari Boko Haram terrorists camps.

Anxiety over Ooni of Ife

Oba Sijuwade

IT was obvious something was amiss yesterday at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, although traditional chiefs claimed there was no cause for alarm.

If the chiefs were right, then the huge crowd of anxious townspeople who had gathered as early as 7.00 a.m. at the Enuwa Square frontage of the palace located at the heart of the ancient town would not have been there.

The denial also continued at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington , West London where the Ooni was reported to have died.

When The Guardian got to the hospital around 2 p.m. yesterday, a front desk official emphatically refuted the story, saying: “I know what you’re after . I’m a Nigerian myself .He’s not here, he didn’t die here. That’s the truth. I know that for sure.”

Inquiries at another National Health Service – Trust Hospital, the BUPA Cromwell in South West London, revealed that nobody matching the age range of the monarch passed away there Tuesday evening.

“Was there any death here, last night?” A worker asked his colleagues, before coming back to say, ‘I’m afraid, not here. Nobody in that age range or description died here Tuesday night.”

The townspeople, most of them wearing long faces and discussing in hushed tones, were obviously at the palace for a confirmation or denial of the news of the demise of the monarch,.

To prevent a breakdown of law and order and keep the crowd at bay, three police vans were stationed at the main entrance. Armed policemen, assisted by traditional palace guards, formed a protective wall and screened those seeking to enter the expansive palace, particularly inquisitive journalists who had arrived in droves.

At the nearby National Museum, a handful of workers were on duty while the neighbouring shop owners gathered in groups discussing the royal father’s death.

As the uncertainty and controversy continued, some residents who pleaded anonymity stated privately, that the monarch may have passed on after all.

But despite the fact that some very senior chiefs were seen entering the palace, many of them looking sad and walking hurriedly, and the somber atmosphere in the section where reporters were restricted to, an announcement was to be made later, that contrary to the speculations, the monarch was hale and hearty.

The Royal Traditional Council (RTC) of Ife, which comprised all the traditional chiefs, said Oba Okunade was not only in sound state of health but ‘‘the royal father is preparing for his son’s wedding holding next week Sunday.”

Addressing newsmen in the House of Chiefs situated within the premises of Ile-Oodua Palace of Ooni, Lowa of Ife, Oba Joseph Ijaodola, who spoke in Yoruba language, said the report in the media that the monarch died in a London Hospital due to an undisclosed ailment, was untrue.

A separate address delivered in English by the RTC Secretary and the Ladin of Ife, High Chief Adetoye Odewole, said the Ooni is hale and hearty and even had telephone conversation with the chiefs a few hours earlier.

He said those behind the death story of the Ooni are enemies of Ife adding :”As I speak with you, the chiefs have not heard anything like that. This is not the first time such rumour would be carried about our loving father.

“They did it in 1984, also in 2004 and now, these people are coming up with another rumour. Oba Sijuade remains in sound state of health.”

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Similarly, the Chairman, Ife Development Board (IDB), Prof. Muib Opeloye, said Ife as a town with rich tradition and culture has its way of managing its affairs. He urged the people to verify claims on the demise of the Oba properly before they rush to the press.

In consonance with Opeloye’s assertion that Ife has a way of managing its traditional affairs, The Guardian gathered that the main burden on the shoulders of the chiefs was how to manage what a source described as “the information leak” about the monarch’s passage.

According to a very senior source who craved anonymity “because of the sensitive nature of the matter,” certain rites have to be performed before the death of an Ooni could be announced to the public to satisfy tradition and to protect the immediate family of a deceased monarch.

He said: “The announcement of the demise of an Ooni can only be made by the Obalufe of Ife and one of the traditional kingmakers, Oba Folorunso Omisakin. He is the only person authorised by tradition to do so and until he does that, the king lives on.

“Besides the announcement must not be made until the family of the late occupier of the throne remove all their personal belongings from the palace otherwise the property would be forfeited to the community because, nobody would be allowed to take a pin out of the palace once the Obalufe made the announcement.”

It was also gathered that Obalufe’s announcement will be followed by immediate closure, for seven days, of all the markets within the town and the cutting of all the trees to signify that the monarch has indeed joined his ancestors.

DSS boss was APC campaign committee chief on intelligence, PDP alleges

Daura

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rose from its National Working Committee (NWC) meeting yesterday asking President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately remove the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura, over his alleged partisan links with the All Progressives Congress (APC).

At a press conference presided over by its Acting National Chairman, Uche Secondus, in Abuja, PDP alleged that Daura was not supposed to be appointed as director-general of DSS because he was the chairman of the Intelligence Committee of the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation.

PDP alleged that the DSS has been harassing its members in Akwa Ibom and Rivers states over the election petition tribunal cases in those states. Secondus urged Buhari to stop the DSS from harassing electoral officers, cautioning that such could lead to break down of law and order.

Secondus’ address at the press conference reads in parts: “The NWC brings the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari to some disturbing development in the polity which, if not nipped in the bud, might significantly affect our democracy and stability as a nation negatively, and that is the growing and unwarranted intrusion of some overzealous security operatives on issues bordering purely on politics.

“In particular, the NWC wishes to draw the attention of the President to the continued intimidation, harassment as well as the hounding, arrest and detention of electoral officers and members of election tribunals by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and other PDP states.

“The NWC notes that this unfortunate development has been the case since the appointment of the new Director General of the DSS, Alhaji Lawal Musa Daura, whom we learnt was a critical intelligence stakeholder of the APC as a card-carrying member of that party during the campaigns. This is ungodly and unacceptable.

“We do hope that in his new job, the Director General of DSS is not mixing issues on the APC presidential candidate and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, hence the need for Mr. President to rein him in as the development is capable of eroding the cherished independence of the judiciary and the electoral commission, a sine qua non, for a virile democracy, which guarantees our unity and stability as a nation.

“Similarly, we urge Mr. President to take a critical look at the issue of the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari as Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for which our party has severally raised some salient issues on why she is not
suitable for that position. It is incontrovertible that Mrs. Zakari, by virtue of her blood relationship with Mr. President, cannot preside over the affairs of an Independent National Electoral Commission.
Nigeria belongs to all of us, irrespective of political, religious and ethnic affiliation, and as a responsible political party, we shall not fold our hands and watch while our nation drifts along dangerous line.”

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