U.S. offers to assist in search for abducted students
• Women group declares one-day fast
UNITED States President Barack Obama yesterday offered to assist Nigeria in the ongoing efforts to locate the whereabouts of the female students of the Government Secondary School, in Chibok, Borno State by deploying troops to the country. President Goodluck Jonathan has welcomed the gesture, saying the offer would boost the search efforts being embarked upon by the Nigerian government. In a statement in Abuja last night, the Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to the President, Reuben Abati, said Obama ‘s offer was conveyed to Jonathan by the United States Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry in a telephone conversation which the two leaders held. According to him, the US offers includes the deployment of U.S. security personnel and assets to work with their Nigerian counterparts in the search and rescue operation. Kerry assured President Jonathan that the United States is wholly committed to giving Nigeria all required support and assistance to save the abducted girls and bring the reign of terror unleashed on parts of the country by Boko Haram to an end. Thanking Kerry for the call and offer of further assistance, President Jonathan told him that Nigeria’s security agencies who were already working at full capacity to find and rescue the abducted girls would appreciate the deployment of American counter-insurgency know-how and expertise in support of their efforts.
Jonathan allowed insurgency to fester, says Soyinka
Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Tuesday said the era of denial of President Goodluck Jonathan on the magnitude of the Boko Haram menace was over. Soyinka said the President should have sought international assistance long ago before allowing the situation to fester and escalate. He accused the President of failing to heed his earlier warnings and addressing the insurgency “very late and lackadaisically.” He spoke on Tuesday during a global affairs interview television programme, Amanpour,on Cable News Network, monitored by our correspondent in Lagos. Soyinka described the video released by the leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, as “gleeful obscenity” and called on the international community to intervene. He said, “President Jonathan should have asked for it (assistance) from the very beginning. I don’t believe in false pride. The history of the movement to which Boko Haram belongs is one which is a menace to the entire world.“This is a government which is not only in denial mentally but is in denial of certain obvious steps to take. It is the missing humanity that the problem will go away; an attitude that occurs in the subconscious.
The Punch, pg18
Reps summon PPMC, MD over N10bn aircraft charter scandal
ABUJA— THE House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, PAC, mandated to probe the alleged air charter services scam involving the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke, has again summoned the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, PPMC, and its Managing Director, Mr. Haruna Momoh, to appear before it or face criminal charges. According to a memo dated April 30 and signed by the Chairman of PAC, Solomon Adeola Olamilekan and addressed to Momoh, PPMC and its MD have within one week to submit in a written form all they knew about the charter of the 850 Challenger Aircraft.The Committee, in the memo, said that the summon was “based on the response from Vistajet International Limited one of the companies involved in the transactions. “It was emphasised that you and PPMC played a central role in the charter of the 850 Challenger Aircraft.
Another 300 Killed in Attack on Border Town with Cameroun
No fewer than 300 people were killed on Monday night in Gamboru Ngala, a border town with Cameroun, when heavily armed Boko Haram insurgents laid siege to the town in Borno State. THISDAY was informed that the insurgents targeted a local market, where they fired sporadically into the crowd before proceeding to the town to wreak more havoc. Gamboru, situated along Nigeria-Cameroun border, is the administrative headquarters of Ngala Local Government Area of the troubled Borno State. It is about 200km from Maiduguri, the state capital. Senator Ahmed Zannah, who represents the area in the Senate, confirmed the killings. He said the invaders spent about 12 hours wreaking havoc on the defenceless Nigerians. He revealed that several other persons were also injured in the attack, while almost all the houses and shops in the town were burnt down. The senator, who spoke on the Hausa service of the BBC, said many people were wounded, while surviving victims had been rendered homeless as thousands of houses and shops were burnt by the rampaging gunmen.
Thisday, front pg, cont on pg6
China Railway inks $13.1 billion construction contract with Nigeria
China Railway Construction Corp Ltd has signed a $13.1 billion deal to build a high-speed railway in Nigeria, as China’s pushes to develop fast rail and other infrastructure projects on the continent. China Railway unit China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation signed the contract with the Nigerian government on Monday, according to a filing to the Hong Kong bourse on Tuesday evening. Under the contract, the state-backed Chinese company will build a railway with a single track length of 1,385 kilometres (860 miles) and a speed of 120 kilometres per hour. The filing gave no details about where the line would be built. The announcement came as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, during a visit to Ethiopia, unveiled extra aid for Africa totalling at least $12 billion and offered to share advance technology with the continent to help with development of high-speed rail, state media reported. It was not immediately clear if the China Railway deal was linked to the new aid package.
BusinessDay, from the net
World Economic Forum begins amidst tight security
Security was tightened around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Tuesday ahead of today’s opening of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Senate also on Tuesday suspended its plenary for the remaining part of this week, to enable the Senators participate in the summit. With about a thousand participants expected from over 70 countries, the Federal Government had announced a lock-down of the city with closure of government offices and schools between today and Friday. Government’s measures followed a second bomb blast in Nyanya on May 1 that left at least 20 people dead. At Kugbo, a point between the city centre and Nyanya, soldiers with sniffer dogs replaced the regular troops, as cars going into the city were thoroughly screened. While there was noticeable low traffic, residents and workers rushed around to complete their business before the commencement of the three-day lock down. A civil servant, Monday Okorie, told Daily Independent that residents were practically in a state of alert, as rumours of possible attack from the Boko Haram sect heightened.
Daily Independent, front pg. cont on pg2
Why power shortage persists — NERC
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has clarified why industries and homes in the country are still having acute power shortage more than six months after government handed over to new investors in the power sector. Dr. Sam Amadi, Chairman of the Commission, while addressing the business community under the aegis of the Nigerian-Danish Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, said that things were not going as envisaged but that radical steps were being taken to address the situation. Vanguard, pg21
FDI inflow: FG seals pacts with China, Canada
The Federal Government on Tuesday in Abuja signed two agreements that would help to facilitate investment cooperation as well as fast-track the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment into the country. While one of the agreements was between Nigeria and China, which is aimed at encouraging and supporting Chinese enterprises to invest in the country; the second was with Canada to help investors from both countries have access to each other without encumbrances.
The Punch, pg28
FCT School Bus Robbery Raises Fear of another Abduction
• No school child abducted, bus recovered says FCTA
The residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, still smartening from the devastating attacks in Nyanya and the abduction of over 200 female students of Government Girls Secondary School (GSSY), Chibok, Borno State; were yesterday further traumatized When the news of the snatching of a private school bus in the same Nyanya hit the city. Many feared it could be a precursor to the kidnap of school children within the city.
FG inaugurates panel on contents, HND curriculum
The Federal Government on Tuesday in Abuja inaugurated a Technical Review Committee on Contents and Curriculum of Higher National Diploma. The Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, said the inauguration was part of government’s efforts to meet the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics.
The Punch, from the net