Anguish, Tears as 77 Girls are Identified
• Watch moving identification of students on Arise TV
It was a day of anguish and tears yesterday when parents of the kidnapped schoolgirls and their classmates converged on the Government House, Maiduguri, Borno State, to identify the girls who were shown in a video released by Boko Haram on Monday. The exercise which was painstaking and lasted throughout the day and last night, however, yielded some results, as parents, girls from Chibok secondary school and Borno State Government officials, were able to identify 77 of the abducted girls who featured in the video. Shortly after the terror sect released the video, the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, had directed that it should be reproduced and distributed so that the parents of the girls could identify their daughters. But for other parents who could not identify their daughters, the pain and sorrow continued, with speculation rising that some of the girls who appeared in the video may have been kidnapped before April 14 from other communities in Borno. The leader of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, had released a video on Monday showing over a hundred of the kidnapped girls who are believed to have been abducted from their secondary school in Chibok, Borno State, a month ago. He had said that the girls, all dressed in the Muslim hijab and reciting verses of the Qu’ran, would only be released if the federal government accepts to exchange them for members of his sect who have been in government detention facilities for years.
Thisday, front pg cont on pg6
Jonathan seeks emergency rule extension in Adamawa, Borno, Yobe
President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday asked the Senate to approve the extension of the state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. Jonathan, in a letter to Senate President, David Mark, explained that his action was based on the fact that terrorism had yet to abate in the affected states. The letter reads in part, “May I respectfully draw your attention to the State of Emergency Proclamation 2013, in respect of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, which was approved by the National Assembly. “By virtue of the provisions of Section 305(6)(c) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the proclamation aforementioned would have elapsed after six months from the date of approval of the National Assembly. “However, after due consideration of the representations made to the Senate to the effect that, while substantial progress had been made to contain the situation and restore normalcy in the affected states, the security situation that necessitated the proclamation of a state of emergency was yet to abate. “It will be recalled that the Senate had upon consideration of the realities of the security situation in the affected states that had been placed before it, graciously approved by resolution, the extension of the state of emergency for a further term of six months from the date of expiration of the subsisting period.
The Punch, pg2
Chibok: NLC, TUC, Tinubu, APC women lead protests
LAGOS—FOR the second day running commercial activities in the Central Business District, CBD, of Lagos, including Governor Babatunde Fashola’s Office, at Alausa, were pralaysed yesterday as leaders of Lagos State councils of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, and thousands of women of the All Progressives Congress, APC, demanding immediate rescue of female students of the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State abducted by the Boko Haram sect. The APC women, led by wife of former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and the APC woman leader in Lagos, Mrs. Kemi Nelson, converged at the Archbishop Vinning Memorial Cathedral in Ikeja, GRA, where the protest march took off. NLC and TUC leaders, who stormed the governor’s office around 9 am, demanded more concerted efforts by the Federal Government and security agencies to rescue the girls unharmed and presented a letter to Governor Fashola for onward delivery to President Goodluck Jonathan. They appealed to all well-meaning Nigerians, including religious leaders and the international community, to continue to put pressure on Boko Haram to release the girls unconditionally.
Nigerians want Confab outcome subjected to referendum
An opinion poll conducted by Nigeria’s foremost polling services company, NOIPolls reveals that 87 per cent of Nigerians affirmed their support for the constitution of the National Conference. NOIPolls which is reputed for country-specific polling services in the West African region conducted the exercise in partnership with Gallup Inc. of USA. According to the organisation, 27 per cent of that segment was of the opinion that the conference will bring progress and development to Nigeria, 21 per cent believed it would bring unity while 19 per cent were optimistic that the outcome would bring peace to the country. However, the 13 per cent that opposed the conference did so on the assumption that it would be another waste of money as it would be incapable of addressing the problems of the country. The poll revealed that 79 per cent of the respondents would like the outcome of the conference to be subjected to a referendum. Respondent suggested that the top three key stakeholders who should be part of the conference should be religious leaders (51%), traditional rulers (47%) and civil society organisations (37%).
Daily Independent, pg5
Insecurity stalls N15bn northern hotel projects
Insecurity stemming from the Boko Haram insurgency in parts of northern Nigeria has led to the cancellation of about four hotel branding deals and caused investors to abandon about seven hotels under construction.
Also, a few hotels completed or nearing completion cannot be opened due to low patronage and apprehension. Losses from the botched projects come to about N15 billion. These include the Magwan Water Hotel in Kano, which would have cost close to N5 billion; the Kaduna Plaza Hotel (about N3 billion), and the Bauchi three-star hotel estimated at N1.5 billion. The remaining four three-star hotels would have cost not less than N2 billion each. One of the cancelled branding deals, according to Salami Oketola, a representative of a South African hotel brand, is the abandoned multi-billion naira Magwan Water Hotel in Kano which a South African hotel brand wanted to buy into to rebuild and turn it into a five-star hotel.
BusinessDay, front pg, cont on pg4
Court jails Israeli ex-PM, Olmert, for accepting bribes
It was a day of reckoning for former Premier of Israel, Ehud Olmert, who was yesterday sentenced to six years in prison for accepting bribes linked to a major property development in Jerusalem. The verdict came barely a week after a Thai court sacked Thailand’s erstwhile prime minister, YingluckShinawatra, after she acted illegally by transferring her national security head. According to a report, Shinawatra, who was Thailand’s first female Prime Minister, was accused of abuse of power in improperly transferring Thawil Pliensri, her national security chief appointed by the opposition-led administration, in 2011. The ousted nine cabinet members who the court said were complicit in the transfer.
The Guardian, front pg, cont on pg4
CBN Directs Banks to Destroy Cards Trapped in ATMs
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks to render payment cards of other banks trapped in their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) ineffective by perforation them before returning same to the issuing bank. The central bank gave the directive in its approved “Guidelines for Card Issuance and Usage in Nigeria,” obtained on its website yesterday.
‘We won’t allow terrorism to paralyse economy’
The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said that the Federal Government will not in any way allow the activities of terrorists to paralyse the nation’s economy.In an interview with Yahoo News, the minister described the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls by the Boko Haram insurgents as frustrating, adding that the Federal Government would do all within its power to rescue the girls. A copy of the transcribed version of the interview was made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday.
The Punch, pg27
Why Oduah’ll always be recognised — Anya
LAGOS — The President General of Ogbako Ndigbo, Lagos, Professor Anya O. Anya, weekend, explained why the former Aviation Minister, Princes Stella Oduah, is being honoured by different organisations and groups after she has left office. Anya, who spoke while Oduah was honoured in Lagos by Ndigbo, said Oduah’s determination to turn the aviation sector around marked her out as a patriotic Nigerian who deserves to be honoured.
Tinubu Calls for Jonathan’s Resignation over Girls’ Abduction
• Falana deplores clampdown on protesters
The Senator representing Lagos East senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Tuesday advised President Goodluck Jonathan to resign for failing to ensure security of lives and property, in the country, which she said, was the main reason the government exists. According to the senator, the president had failed in securing an unconditional release of the girls abducted in Chibok Borno State, on April 14.
Falode cries out, urges govt to intervene over son’s murder
Ace sports broadcaster, Aisha Falode yesterday, appealed to Nigerian authorities to immediately intervene in the alleged murder case of her only son, Oloruntoba, who died under mysterious circumstances in Dubai. According to Falode, there is a plot by the Dubai Police authority to cover up the alleged murder of her 19-year-old son, who was alleged to have fell from the balcony of his 17th floor (Apartment 1703) in Manchester Towers, Dubai Marina, Dubai on Saturday February, 15, 2014.