Boko Haram Insists on Prisoners-for-Girls Swap
• Says kidnapped students are in good health, not all of them were converted to Islam
• Council of State: There will soon be good news on schoolgirls.
A man claiming to be a member of Boko Haram has maintained that the federal government must release its members detained in numerous facilities nationwide before the terrorist group releases the 219 Chibok schoolgirls it has held in captivity for almost three months. This came as the National Council of State (NCS), at the end of its meeting yesterday, assured the Nigerian public that schoolgirls will be rescued very soon but failed to give detail as to how this would be achieved. The federal government had given the same assurance Monday when the Coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mr. Mike Omeri said the girls would soon be freed. Speaking on the BBC World Service, the man whose voice was disguised in order to conceal his identity, said he was a teacher or scholar in the sect and joined the group in 2004. He told the BBC that the girls were in “a state of amnesty”, healthy and eating well, adding that the Christians who refused to convert to Islam were not forced to do so as it is anti-Islamic. The Boko Haram member maintained that the girls were taken for a specific reason and reiterated the condition for their release, adding that the girls would be released once the federal government met the terrorist group’s demands for a prisoner exchange deal. “Today, if the government releases our members, tomorrow or the next day, we promise you can see all of them. As our leader Abubakar Shekau promised to the media, if the government releases our members, we will release them.” On the condition of the girls, the Boko Haram teacher said: “I am telling a fact, they are in a state of amnesty, they don’t have a problem.
Thisday, front pg, cont pg6
Confab rejects North’s move to reverse decision on 18 states
• Clark, Yadudu bicker over plot to scuttle meeting • Participants divided over proposed derivation benchmark • Blame corrupt leadership for poverty in Niger Delta
INDICATIVE of the rift between the north and the south at the ongoing national conference, delegates from the two regions disagreed on the proposed creation of more states Monday. The northern delegates particularly wanted to cause a reversal of last week’s adoption of the proposal by the conference for the creation of 18 additional states across the country. The conference Chairman, Justice Idris Kutigi, who faulted the move, insisted that a position had been taken by the meeting on the matter. The delegates were also divided yesterday over the appropriate percentage to be recommended as derivation funds for the oil-producing states in the Niger Delta, amid the allegations of corrupt leadership being the cause of the poverty in the region. While considering the conference report from the Committee on Devolution of Power co-chaired by Victor Attah and Ibrahim Coomasie, delegates stressed the proposal that the status quo should be maintained. The Guardian, front pg, cont on pg2
Two ex-heads of state, emirs plead for Nyako
Two former military heads of state led the embattled Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako to a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday night in Abuja as part of the efforts to save Nyako, who is battling to escape impeachment by legislators in his state. The PUNCH learnt that the meeting was at the instance of the two ex-heads of state. A source close to the meeting confided in one of our correspondents that the two former dictators’ intervention rested on the fact that Nyako was a mutual friend. Nyako is a retired Vice-Admiral and one-time Chief of Naval Staff under ex-dictator Ibrahim Babangida. The source said, “The two military leaders took the governor to meet with the President last night. They, however, did not get a commitment because the President insisted that the governor should withdraw his contentious memo to the Northern Governors’ Forum and publicly apologise for his indiscretions. The Punch, pg2
I killed my father in anger, says SAN’s son
*Apologises to mum, seeks God’s forgiveness *Says I’m meant to pay for what I have done
ABEOKUTA— The 21-year-old Tolani Ajayi, who killed his father, Charles Ajayi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, in the Redemption Camp along Lagos/Ibadan expressway last week, has said that he was provoked by his father. Ajayi, a 300-level student in the Department of History and International Relations, Redeemer’s University, RCCG Camp, Ogun State, spoke with Vanguard, yesterday, at the Police Headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta, where he is being detained over the crime. Vanguard gathered that the young man was into drugs as he has been caught twice by his school authorities. Actually, a panel is said to have been set up to interrogate him on drug-related matters before he committed the murder. The accused, who was reluctant to speak at first, referring to his official statement with the Police on the crime, later opened up, saying he regretted the action. Apologises to mum He said he had sent some people to his mother over the matter to beg her for forgiveness and that he had sought forgiveness from God. Vanguard, pg6
North, South split over resource control
•Ahmadu Ali, Ezeife in war of words over oil wells •Confab retains mines, oil fields in Exclusive List
Delegates from the North and South divide of the country again on Monday looked themselves in the face, as they debated the report of the Conference Committee on Power Devolution. The debate was heated up between the Northern and Southern delegates over whether or not to increase the current 13 per cent derivation to oil producing states. While some Northern delegates expressed satisfaction with the report of the Committee which recommended retention of the 13 per cent, others said the derivation should go up to as high as 50 per cent. Delegates from the South South and South East called for an increase from the present 13 per cent to between 21.5 and 50 per cent. Speaking on the report, former Senate President, Adolpus Wabara, said it would be unfair for the people of the South South to maintain 13 per cent derivation for the people of their zone.
Daily Independent, pg2
Jonathan assigns portfolio to 4 new minister, Shekarau gets education ministry
President Goodluck Jonathan, in posting done on Wednesday, named the former Governor of Kano State,Ibrahim Shekarau, as the new Minister of Education. Shekarau, was assigned the education ministry portfolio alongside three other new ministers recently confirmed by the Senate. Dr. Stephen Oru was made Minister of Niger Delta Affairs; Adedayo Adeyeye, Minister of State for Works and Dr. Abdul Bulama, Minister of Science and Technology. The president directed the former Minister of State for Works, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, to take over as the substantive Minister of National Planning as well as Minister of State, Finance. Announcing the portfolios minutes before the start of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting, Jonathan said their appointments could not be described as enviable because they were brought in at a time when Nigerians expected a lot from them. He urged them to perform not only to satisfy him but all Nigerians. BusinessDay, from the net
• FG to reduce losses caused by vehicle breakdown
The Federal Government on Tuesday moved to reduce economic losses caused by vehicle downturn as it opened the automotive mechatronics training workshop for Nigerian auto engineers. The move, according to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, is part of efforts aimed at supporting the National Automotive Industrial Policy of the government. The Punch, pg32
World Bank unveils new strategy for growth, poverty reduction
The World Bank Group has launched the new Country Partnership Strategy, CPS, aimed at helping the Federal and State Governments boost development and reduce poverty. The World Bank said the new strategy was deemed necessary, following the recent Gross Domestic Products, GDP, rebasing exercise in which now puts Nigeria as Africa’s largest economy. It added that the new strategycame at an opportune time just as Nigeria is redoubling efforts to tackle critical development challenges. Vanguard, pg21
Oshiomhole: I Have the Right to Contest for the Presidency
Despite the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly, the state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday said that his state was not on fire, but for the lawmaker of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who are celebrating lawlessness. He equally stated that he has the right as a Nigerian to contest for the presidency if he so desired, adding that all efforts by PDP in the state to intimidate him would continue to fail.
Thisday, front pg, cont on pg6
Bomb scare: FG beefs up security at Lagos airport
LAGOS—Security agencies, including the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, Nigerian Police, Nigerian Air Force and security agents of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Custom Agents, ANCLA, yesterday intensified security checks at the Nigeria Aviation Handling Company, Following a report that Al-Qaeda and its affiliates may bomb airlines travelling to the United States and other destinations through mobile phones or laptops, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, on Monday, ordered its Aviation Security, AVSEC, to direct passengers to switch on their electronic gadgets before security screening at the airports. Vanguard, pg10