Kidnappers demand N500m ransom to free Pres. Jonathan’s uncle

Abductors of Inengite Nitabai, the 70-year old uncle of President Goodluck Jonathan, have demanded a N500m ransom, Sahara Reporters report.
A security source said that the abductors threatened to kill him if the family fails to produce the money. The source also said the family had constituted a committee to evaluate the demand, establish negotiations with the abductors and facilitate his release.
He said the kidnappers had also warned against the involvement of security operatives in the matter.
“The kidnappers contacted the family four days after and demanded a whopping sum of N500m. It is believed that the family of the victim has begun negotiations with the hoodlums,” he said.
Tension and panic set in when the kidnappers failed to establish any contact with the family of their victim three days after he was abducted.
That development was said to have rattled the Presidency, which reportedly ordered a massive deployment of security in Otuoke, the hometown of the Jonathans, and the Niger Delta creeks.
The gunmen abducted Nitabai on Sunday after collecting about N400,000 from his wife.<ins
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Brazil 2014: FG approves N1.6bn for Eagles

The Federal Government has approved N1.6bn for Nigeria’s 2014 World Cup campaign.The PUNCHlearnt the amount was approved as a ‘special grant’ for the World Cup, which makes it separate from the budgetary allocation of the Nigeria Football Federation as contained in the 2014 national budget.
A breakdown of the approved sum for the Brazil 2014 campaign shows that the money will not only cover the Super Eagles participation in the finals of the FIFA competition, but will also cover their training programmes in the build-up to the event. The Super Eagles are billed to camp in the United States of America for the Mundial.
The Minister of Sports Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi told our correspondent that the government was giving the country’s participation in the World Cup the highest level of attention necessary to make the Eagles excel.
He said, “We are aware of the financial challenges of Nigerian teams while preparing for big events. It is not just about football but sports in general including the Commonwealth Games and the World Youth Olympics also coming up this year. In view of the challenges posed by the budgetary process, we had to work ahead to get funding for the teams in a way that funds will not hamper the entire plans.
“President Goodluck Jonathan has keenly followed the problems over the years and that has made it possible for us to find a solution that will be beneficial to the athletes and their aspirations and the entire country at large.”
An official of the National Sports Commission, who spoke withThe PUNCHon the condition anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said the minister was also working to get extra funds from independent sectors to complement what the government had given.
He said, “The minister is considering leading big players in the private sector to help raise funds for the team also. The idea is to ensure that nobody has any excuse to fail. If the funds come early and sufficient, then the rest is left for the team and their managers. We have heard about poor funding as reason for not performing well in the past and that is what is being avoided now.”

Boko Haram stops 15,000 pupils from schooling …destroys 200 schools

Activities of the Boko Haram sect has resulted in no fewer than 15,000 pupils dropping out of school in Borno State in the last one year, a non-governmental organisation, ActionAid Nigeria, has said.
The group, which made this known on Thursday, also claimed that the actions of the sect had led to the destruction of no fewer than 800 classrooms and 200 schools in Borno and Yobe states respectively.
The disclosure came as the NGO also described the killing of 59 pupils of the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe State as “a heinous crime and a violation of the rights of children to life and education”.
According to the Country Director of AA, Dr. Hussaini Abdu, in a statement, on Thursday, since February 2013, over 15,000 children have stopped attending classes in Borno State.
Abdu said, “In the past eight months, over 100 students have been killed in different attacks on schools in the North-East.
The perpetrators should, of course, be brought to justice, but the government, at all levels, must also be held accountable; it is their duty to protect the lives and education of children. A duty they are utterly failing to uphold.”
Declaring that the North-East was already behind the rest of the country in education enrolment, retention and completion, the AA noted that security challenges in the zone would undermine education of their children.
He added, “More than 200 schools have been destroyed in Yobe and over 800 classrooms destroyed in Borno State. Since February 2013, over 15,000 children have stopped attending classes in Borno State alone. Every child has the right to learn in an environment free of danger.
“ActionAid Nigeria demands that the Federal Government upholds its obligations as a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and immediately implement special protection mechanism to safeguard the lives and education of our children, particularly those in the vulnerable North-East.
“As Nigerian citizens, we must consciously hold the government at all levels to account and demand that the government go beyond rhetoric and take concrete steps to end this senseless violence.”
Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission has called for the transfer of pupils in the eight unity schools in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe to other schools outside the region,The News Agency of Nigeriahas reported.
The Chairman, Governing Council of the commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, made this known in a statement on Thursday following the killing of some pupils of the Federal Government College, Buni-Yadi, Yobe. Gunmen, suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect, invaded the school on Monday, killing no fewer than 50 pupils.
“In the interim, proposals for the transfer of children in the eight Unity Schools in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe to other schools outside the region should be taken seriously,” the statement said.
The commission also called on the National Assembly to urgently reconvene plenary in memory of the pupils and others that died in the ongoing crisis in the North-East.
Odinkalu, who described the incident as a tragedy, added that the perpetrators clearly did not wish the country well.
“Words are insufficient to comfort parents of the affected pupils as the killing of children is any parent’s worst nightmare.’’
He said it was painful that the killings took place while the pupils were exercising their right to educational pursuit.
“The pursuit of education cannot be a cause for the mass murder of innocent children.
“These children were killed while exercising their right, and education is a basic right guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,’’ Odinkalu said.
He said it was disheartening to note that children, who were symbols of the country’s unity, had become sacrificial offerings in some people’s project toward disunity.
The President, Nigeria Bar Association, Mr. Okey Wali, also called on President Goodluck Jonathan, security chiefs and governors of the affected states to intensify efforts in addressing security challenges in the country.
“We call on the President Goodluck Jonathan, the service and security chiefs and governors of the affected states to intensify efforts to address the increasing security challenges that we are currently facing in Nigeria.
“This carnage must stop,’’ the statement read.

Strategies against B’Haram not working – Govs

Nigeria governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors Forum have said the current strategies against the Boko Haram insurgent is not working.
They therefore asked the Federal Government and the security agencies to review their tactics in order to make it achieve maximum result.
The governors also condemned the spate of killings in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States .
They particularly said they were alarmed at the killing of students in Yobe and what they described as unproved attack on the civilians by the attackers.
A statement by the Chairman of the NGF, who is also the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi in Abuja on Friday, also commiserated with the families of the students.
However, he said that time has come for the Federal Government to comprehensively review the strategies with which it is fighting this insurgency.
He said, “The current approach is definitely not working and it is important that all of us are humble and sincere enough to accept this reality and then work out a stronger and more workable strategy.
“Of course the Federal and state governments should not be left alone to fight the terrorists.
“Citizens need to help our security agencies with accurate and timely information. But government itself needs to engage new allies wherever they may be in the world.”
He urged the Federal Government to continue to support affected states in the bid to check violence and that the Federal Government should remain focused and continue to provide leadership until every part of Nigeria is rid of violence and insurgency.
Amaechi added that the governors were alarmed with the killings of students and others during the attacks.
He said, “We in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum hereby condemn the recent spate of killings in some parts of our country – Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states – by the Boko Haram sect. We are alarmed by the slaughter of 29 pupils at the Federal Government College in Yobe and the unprovoked attacks against defenceless people in those states.
“We commiserate with the people and government of those states, the families of the victims, and pray God to give them and indeed every Nigerian the fortitude to bear the loss.
“This is a very difficult period for our country and its people and we must collectively pray and rally round families, friends and fellow citizens affected by these tragedies. We must provide whatever support and save the lives of those still alive.”
Amaechi said that while security agencies should continue to do their jobs as professionally as possible, he appealed to all aggrieved individuals and groups in Nigeria to appreciate the fact that violence can never be a solution to any problem.
He said Nigerians should know that they have no other country to call home and that it was important that “we understand the danger and futility of destroying our land in the pursuit of a selfish agenda.”
He added that it was gratifying that government – Federal and State – were working hard to get to the root of the killings and nip these orgy of violence in the bud.
He also commended the security agencies for the selfless sacrifice he said they were making in the interest of all Nigerians to restore calm to all parts of our country.


i now charge 1million to write a song

Five Star Music signee,HarrysongakaMr.Songz,who wroteKcee‘sLimpopotold Punch that these days he charges as much as 1 million naira towrite a song..He also said he made over 50M from MTN callerback tunes for his “Mandela song”That’s good oh!“Before now we charged between N100, 000 and N2000, 000 for a song. Today I charge as much as 1million to write a song. Truth is, Nigerian artistes have begun to appreciate songwriters. They pay me my money and appreciate me. I have written a lot of songs but I don’t talk about them because Nigerian artistes don’t like it when the songwriters take credit for composing songs for them.”
The proceeds from the caller-back tune is actually worth more than N50m. Truth is, I was paid a lot of money; you know – when they say money that can change someone’s life. That’s the value of what I received .I can’t reveal the exact amount because we work as a team. So, all the money realised is shared among us. You just want to forget all the years of suffering. It’s not a mere hype because the money is there. The song is everywhere. You go to South-Africa , the girls are crazy about it.”

‘I prefer a man more intelligent than me’

British-born entrepreneur, Zaria Mimano, speaks on life as a single celebrity,AKEEM LASISIwrites
When many other people are still waiting for the Valentine’s Day to catch fun, Zaria Mimano is feeling specially inspired. The British-born entrepreneur may not be holding any big Val party, but to her, February is always a very special month.
That is the month of her birth. From her high horse as the founder of Aba Oil LLC, the lady who clocks 27 on February 5 (today) is reflecting on a number of issues – from personal to leisure, entertainment and business. She confesses that she has not monitored the Nigerian entertainment industry closely, but the potential in the tourism sector is such that she may explore it in the nearest future.
She notes, “Definitely as regards tourism, there is so much that could be done. But I am not so clued up about the entertainment industry here.”
The growth that the hospitality sector, festivals and carnivals are experiencing could mean that many smart businessmen will find opportunities there. As a widely-travelled person, Zaria, born of a Kenyan father and Ghanaian mother, may soon diversify her interests in the right direction. She says she passionately likes Nigeria and Africa as a whole based on the opportunities that abound there.
For one, Zaria, as she is popularly called, is still single. In an earlier interview, she spoke about what can be called her ideal man. According to her, she believes in a man that challenges her intellectually.
“The option is there. It is simple. I used to love men who are tall, well built and handsome. But that has changed now. Nowadays it is all about a confident, intelligent man. Maybe I may change my mind again one day,” she had said.
But she maintains in an online interview with our correspondent that she has a very clear picture of the man to whom she could say ‘I do’.
On whether she can marry a Nigerian, she goes a little smart, noting, “Either way I answer this one I will get myself in trouble. So, let me say ‘no comments.”
On the whole, however, she has an ideological perspective to marriage.
“Marriage is no big deal to me,” she says. “Of course, I would like to have kids as long as the man is confident and intelligent. That will be okay for me regardless of where he is from. As my aunt said to me the other day, ‘Zaria, I only have one piece of advice for you: Only marry a man that is more intelligent than you are.’ I actually agree with her. I love mischief. So, the idea of my potentially out smarting a man is no fun.”
On how she tries to maintain her looks, Zaria says she tries as much as possible to eat well and drink plenty of water.
She adds, “I love bread and could literally live on bread alone. As it is said, bread is not the best for you. So, I completely cut it out. It wasn’t easy but feel better for it. No looking back. I joined a gym, but I do not go for exercise. It is just headache for me. I would rather just watch what I eat than overindulge and go and suffer in the gym. I do my dips everyday, without failing.”
There is a story about Zaria, which alleges that she is a spy, based on the speed at which she moves in the elite circle. She says this is untrue, and an impression borne out of misconception.
She explains, “It’s the general joke due to our fearlessness and the fact that we move without limits. Ultimately I can truly only be myself. Our niche is that we actually meet people’s needs. Personally, my work is my passion. We focus on the art of what we do. Africa is where our heart is. We dream and we build. We never quit. Whatever it is we’ve got to do, we the best we’ve ever done.”


Aba man dies ontop a prostitute matter

A young man, identified as Ogadinma Chukwu, has lost his life while having sex with a commercial sex worker at a popular brothel located on St. Michael’s Road, Aba, Abia State.
Sources saidthe deceased, whom they alleged to be a regular visitor to the brothel, died while romping the prostitute.It was gathered that immediately Chukwu slumped and died, the prostitute contacted her colleagues and the manager of the brothel who moved his corpse to a sanitary lane at the back of the brothel.As a result of the development, shop owners around the area quickly closed business for fear ofpolice arrest.Those who spoke anonymously to our reporter disclosed that some staff of the brothel at about 5 p.m. brought out the corpse through their back door, dropped it at the sanitary lane and disappeared.When our correspondent visited the area, the brothel was deserted as people were gathering at the adjoining St. Michael’s Road by York Street junctionand HospitalRoad.A cross section of sympathisers said the deceased might have died of acardiac arrestor exhaustion as white foam gushed out of his mouth.Policemen from the Aba Central Police Station, who conducted a search at the scene, recovered an ATM card, acheque book, cash of over N200,000 and a Man O’ War Association of Nigeriaidentity card, bearing the name, Ogadinma Chukwu.Contacted, the Commander, Man O’ War Association, Aba, Uche Egbuziem, identified Ogadinma Chukwu as a former member of the association, stressing that thevdeceased and some other members of the group still use their old identity cards.

FG urges polytechnic teachers to end strike

The Federal Government has urged the Governing Councils of Federal Polytechnics to prevail on striking lecturers of the institutions to accept the offer made them.
The Federal Government had offered N40 billion for the payment of CONTISS 15 arrears in two instalments.
The Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, made the call on Friday at a meeting with the chairmen of the
Governing Councils of Federal Polytechnics in Abuja on Friday. He said the government was determined and remained committed to the payment of CONTISS 15 in two instalments, with the first in March and the second in November.
He said that the Federal Government’s offer also applied to striking members of staff of Federal Colleges of Education.
He said that the two instalments of the payment of the arrears to both polytechnics and colleges of education was put
at N40 billion.
At an exhaustive meeting with the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, we agreed on the two instalment payment
of the CONTISS 15.
We have since raised a memo to the President to this effect. I took the risk of committing government because we are deeply
worried over the prolonged strike.
Thereafter, ASUP wrote to inform us that they have rejected this offer.
“Please, as chairmen of Polytechnic Governing Councils, we ask that you communicate our commitment to adhering to the schedule of payment. All the processes are on and we are committed to resolving the strike action.”
He called on the chairmen of Governing Councils of Federal Polytechnics to prevail on striking Polytechnic staff to accept
the offer to pay outstanding CONTISS 15 arrears in two instalments.
Wike said that their acceptance would lead to the immediate resolution of the ongoing strike and stressed that the Federal Government was unhappy that polytechnic students were at home.
He said that the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation was already concluding work on the release of the
white paper on the report of visitation panels to the institutions.
The minister added that work on the Needs Assessment for polytechnics and colleges of education were about being concluded.
According to him, the Jonathan administration will tackle the rot in the institutions the way it is implementing the Needs Assessment report on universities.
He, however, appealed to unions of polytechnics and colleges of education to focus on the welfare of their members and not on
the appointment of rectors and provosts.
Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Chairman of the Committee of Chairmen of the Governing Councils of Federal Polytechnics, commended the determined efforts of the minister to resolve the strike by polytechnic staff.
Babatope said that with the detailed briefing by the minister, the governing councils would inform staff of their respective
polytechnics on the commitment of the Federal Government to pay CONTISS 15 in two instalments.
He said Nigerian polytechnic staff needed to return to their jobs so that further progress could be made.

Senate orders army to the North after Yobe school massacre

With 59 school children dead in Yobe State, the Senate Defence Committee has ordered the Nigerian Army to the North East today to provide protection. (A survivor pictured above)
The Senate Defence Committee, chaired by Senator George Thompson Sekibo suspended budget hearings to pass a resolution which ordered the Nigerian Army to the North East.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Kenneth Minimah was ordered to provide security for all schools and health institutions in the Boko Haram affected areas to include Maiduguri and Yobe.
General Minimah thanked the Committee for its concern and said, “…it will be the last of such from the insurgents.” Continue…
The resolution, introduction by Senator Ojudu from Ekiti Central, was critical of the military’s failure to pick up intelligence before the attack and its slowness to respond to the attack for five hours.
Ojudu said, “The North East calls for special attention and we should not be seating down here in Abuja discussing budget while our young ones are being slaughtered in cold blood.”
It ordered the army to develop a strategy to curb to the attacks of Boko Haram using all military resources, and relocate to Maiduguri temporarily.
All schools and health institutions to be provided with special security.
And the Committee of Defense invited the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to provide the Armed Forces with what it needs.
The Committee of Defence will tour the three affected states when the Senate resumes it plenary.
Source: Sahara Reporters


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