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I Am Upset With The Level Of Poverty In Nigeria, The Elites Should Come To Our Rescue —– Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said he is upset with the level of poverty in Nigeria.

The president made his feelings known when he hosted Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Ministers, Service Chiefs, Heads of Security Agencies and Chief Executives of Federal Government Agencies and Institutions to a breaking of fast at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He also frowned at the inability of the Nigerian elites to address the welfare and educational needs of the less-privileged members of the society.

He challenged the elite to do something very urgent to ameliorate the pathetic situation.

He stated that already Federal Government had introduced people friendly programmes like the School Feeding and `Trader Money’ to alleviate the hardship being experienced by the less-privileged individuals across the country.

He, therefore, commended the Vice-President for successfully managing the school feeding and `trader money’ programmes.

“When I drive around the country what upset me very much is the status of our poor people in this country – you see young people, the so-called Almajiris with tore dresses, with plastic bowl. They are looking basically for what to eat.

“The question of education (to them) is a luxury. I think Nigerian elite we are all failing because I think we should have a programme that will at least guarantee some basic education for our people no matter how poor they are.

“So, I welcome the Vice-President for initiating the School feeding programme. If you check in your localities the enrolment into schools improved because a lot of children can get at least one good meal a day. This is the position of this country.

“But, culturally some of us are quiet merciless, we don’t care about what happen to others we just keep on moving forward.

“This `market money’ I warned the Vice-President I don’t like him to be mobbed, especially the way I see hefty women coming and confronting him, he should be very careful.

“These are very good initiatives. Initially, I was quite reluctant but I must admit that they are very good programmes and they endear this government to a lot of poor people because of these N5,000 or N10,000 being given to them as loans.

They are fantastic programmes and I have to admit quite honestly that the Vice-President was ahead of me by insisting on them.

“But he knows me if he insists I will say `okay go and do what you like.’ He did it and I’m very pleased as he is being very successful,’’ he said.

Vice-President Osinbajo, who spoke on behalf of the members of the cabinet, thanked the president for inviting them, both Muslims and Christians, to the breaking of fast with him.

He said that regardless of ethnic and religion affiliations Nigerians must continue to be their brothers’ keepers and must work towards building a united nation.

He, however, condemned some politicians, who were bent on dividing the people along ethno-religious lines.

On the Ramadan period, Osinbajo said: “Mr President I must say that there are some reasons I had always look forward to the Ramadan session. But some of those reasons are now being seriously challenged.

“The first of those reasons is that during the Ramadan meetings are usually very short. But, unfortunately last Wednesday Mr President seemed to have destroyed that very good notion by taking us through the longest FEC meeting in the history of the Federal Executive Council.

“So, we shouldn’t expect anymore that meeting will necessary be short during the Ramadan.

“The second is that some of my friends are far less troublesome during the Ramadan. People like Lai Mohammed, Abba Kyari, Adamu Adamu they are usually very well behaved during the Ramadan. But I’m not even sure that that is true anymore.

“So, I think that all we can truly expect now from the session is possibility of what it was meant to do which is to remind us of some of our responsibilities to ourselves as brothers and to our fellow men/women especially our roles as leaders.

“I think is auspicious that this particular Ramadan falls at the eve of the new term in office.

“So, it is an opportunity for us to remind ourselves over the core mandates which is the welfare and security of majority of our people,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that those, who joined the President for the fast-breaking meal known as Iftar, included some heads of federal government agencies and institutions.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, the Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority, Alhaji Yakubu Ibn Muhammed, and the Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Abdullahi Mukhtar, were among the dignitaries at the event.

(NAN)

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BREAKING: Many Feared Dead In Multiple Accident At Otedola Bridge, Lagos [GRAPHIC PHOTO]

Peter Okunoren

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Tragedy occurred again at the notorious Otedola Bridge, Lagos, along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, in the early hours Wednesday, when many were feared dead in fatal multiple-accident.

According to an eyewitness, Remilekun Abiola, the accident involving five vehicles, occurred about 8 am during the early morning downpour at Otedola Bridge, out ward Lagos to Berger.

Though, the immediate and remote cause of the accident could not be ascertained at press time, but eyewitness attributed over speeding and sloppy nature of the road by Otedola Bridge, coupled with the heavy rainfall which affected visibility of motorists.

At press time, one of the victims, an unidentified male, has been confirmed dead by men of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA and Lagos State Ambulance Service, LASAMBUS, who raced to the tragic scene.

There were different versions on the number of casualties.

While eyewitnesses said many people died, LASEMA confirmed one person dead so far.

The injured victims have also been taken to various hospitals for treatment. Other rescue team at the scene, include: Men of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, of the Lagos State Police Command, Lagos State Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Ciro’s, FRSC, among others.

The accident led to chaotic gridlock along the axis as motorists were trapped in the resultant traffic.

Meanwhile, motorists have been urged to make use of alternative routes.

“Anyone going out of Lagos should take either Otedola under bridge or go through Ogba-Ojodu-Berger axis to connect the Lagos Ibadan Expressway and move on their journey,” LASEMA source stated.

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ICPC Declares Buhari’s Former Aide, Obono-Obla, Wanted Over Fraud Allegations

Peter Okunoren

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has declared the suspended Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Mr. Okoi Ofem Obono-Obla, wanted due to his repeated failure to appear before it to answer questions bordering on allegations of fraud and corruption.

The spokesperson of the ICPC, Rasheedat Okoduwa, in a statement Tuesday, said Mr. Obono-Obla is facing a series of allegations levelled against him by members of the public on his role as head of the government panel on asset recovery.

She said the Commission was in receipt of petitions accusing him of abuse of office, falsification of admission records, living above his income and collection of gratification from suspects under his investigation.

She said the suspended chairman is also facing allegations of working outside the guidelines governing the panel by investigating unauthorized petitions and prosecuting suspects without recourse to the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

Okoduwa said the ICPC had conducted series of investigations on the allegations with preliminary findings showing that some provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and extant laws of Nigeria had been allegedly violated by Mr. Obono-Obla.

“Consequently, ICPC had extended several invitations to him, which he had failed to honour without giving any reason.

“Attempts to track and make him appear before the Commission also failed to lead ICPC to contact other law enforcement agencies for assistance concerning his whereabouts,” she noted.

She explained that “one of such contact has yielded results as records from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) show that Mr. Obono-Obla had travelled out of the country.”

She said the NIS records revealed that he left the country to an undisclosed location on 17th August 2019, through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, and has not returned two months after.

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VIDEO: How We Arrested Mompha With N20million Watches On His Way To Dubai — EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has revealed how its operatives from the Lagos Zonal Office arrested Ismaila Mustapha, a social media celebrity, popularly known as Mompha.

EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement, on Tuesday, said: “The suspect was arrested on Friday, 18 October 2019, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on his way to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, following series of actionable intelligence reports linking him to organized transnational cyber fraud and money laundering.”

He added Ismaila allegedly perpetrates his fraudulent activities under the cover of being a Bureau de Change operator, to launder his proceeds of crime.

The five wristwatches with a total value of over N20,000,000 was recovered by the EFCC from Mompha.

Also in a series of tweets by the commission, it quoted EFCC operatives saying, “actionable cross border intelligence received from collaborative law enforcement agencies about his alleged involvement in the criminal activities further strengthened our suspicion.”

It added: “Ismaila who allegedly perpetrated his fraudulent activities under the guise of being a Bureau de Change operator is always seen with his little son flaunting huge amount of foreign currencies on his social media platforms.

“Investigations have also revealed that Ismaila is only using the BDC business, he jointly owned with his siblings, as a decoy to launder his proceeds of crime.

“However, the suspect has volunteered useful information to the operatives and has admitted being reasonably involved in the first two cases he was alleged to be involved.”

Uwujaren further noted that the suspect had volunteered useful information while the investigation continues.

“At the point of arrest, five wristwatches with a total value of over twenty million Naira (N20, 000,000:00) was recovered from him.

“The suspect will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded,” the EFCC spokesman added.

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