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Breaking News in Nigeria Today Nov 23 2020

Benjamin Ukpabi

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Breaking News in Nigeria Today Nov 23 2020

These are the breaking news a d latest Newspaper headlines in the country today. Get informed via flliqqa

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has announced its audited financial results for the half year ended June 30, 2020, showing a growth across key performance indices as well as increased contribution from its African subsidiaries. Notwithstanding the challenging business and economic environment occasioned by the Covid-19, the pan African financial institution was able …

I won’t regret dumping PDP for APC – Umahi

Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Dave Umahi, in this interview, speaks on why he dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC). UCHENNA INYA brings the excerpts There is this speculation that you left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because the party decline you its 2023 presidential ticket. What … (Breaking News)

2023: Whither S’East in the calculation?

Felix Nwaneri reports on the jostle for the 2023 presidency by the various political blocs across the country and the quest for power by the people of South-East geopolitical zone The two leading political parties – ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) andmainoppositionPeoples DemocraticParty(PDP)– areyetto takedecisionsonwheretheir respectivetickets for the 2023 presidential election will go to, …

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FBN Holdings’ Q3 profit rises 32%

FBN Holdings Plc announced its unaudited results for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 with a profit after tax growing by 31.71 profit. According report obtained from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the profit after tax stood at N68.156 billion, up 31.71 per cent y-o-y, from N51.747 billion reported in 2019. The …

Wema Bank grows Q3 net interest income by 17%
Wema Bank Plc has recorded 16.86 per cent growth in net interest income for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020. According to a report obtained from the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the bank’s net interest income stood at N20.10 billion for the Q3 as against N17.20 billion in 2019, representing a growth of 16.86 …

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Securities dealers kick against FG’s unclaimed dividends bill

Stock market halts weekly rally by 2.57% loss The proposed plan by the Federal Government to manage unclaimed dividends, which is projected to hit N200 billion by the end of this year, has drawn the ire of capital market operators on the adverse effects on investor confidence and future growth of the market. …

Healthy sleep habits can lower risk of heart failure
Scientists in the United States (U.S.) said adults with the healthiest sleep patterns had a 42 per cent lower risk of heart failure regardless of other risk factors compared to adults with unhealthy sleep patterns. These are the findings of a new research published yesterday in ‘Circulation,’ a flagship journal of the American Heart … (Breaking News)

Efekoha: We must learn how to document our insurance policies

Eddie Efekoha, the Managing Director, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc, in this interaction, speaks on the need for sound business continuity plans by investors and prevailing developments in the insurance sector. SUNDAY OJEME reports Why is business continuity plan mandatory for investors? We have recognized that a lot of companies failed in their first …

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Budget, constitution top agenda as Senate resumes tomorrow

There are indications that passage of the 2021 Appropriation Bill will top the agenda of the Senate when the apex legislative chamber resumes plenary tomorrow, November 24, 2020. New Telegraph checks also revealed that the Senate would be busy with bills seeking to further alter the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria … (Breaking News)

Recession: Yoruba group blames ruling class
As Nigeria officially enters its worst economic recession in over three decades, a Diaspora Yoruba coalition, Yoruba One Voice (YOV) yesterday restated its commitment to selfdetermination, saying Nigeria cannot work under the present arrangement. In a statement issued by its Secretary- General, Dr. Sina Okanlomo, the group said it was committed to liberating Yoruba …

Breaking News in Nigeria Today

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Breaking: Gunmen raze police station in Abia

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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While details of the attack were still sketchy at the time of filing the report, it was gathered the gunmen overpowered the policemen on duty and released suspects in custody.

It was however not clear if they invaded the police armoury.

Gunmen have reportedly attacked and razed down a police station in Uzoakoli, Bende local government area of Abia State.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Monday.

details shortly…

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Before I Fled Boko Haram’s Den, Many Chibok Schoolgirls Were Pregnant

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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A student of the College of Business and Management Studies in Konduga, Juliana Christopher, who was kidnapped by Boko Haram, has said she saw many Chibok girls in the insurgents’ camp.

He added that many small girls were either pregnant or nursing children belonging to the insurgents.

Christopher, in an interview with The PUNCH, said he spent three weeks in Boko Haram camp after the insurgents, who were dressed in military uniforms, stormed her school in Borno State and abducted her.

She explained that after she and her colleagues were kidnapped by the insurgents, they took them into the forest, where she saw other victims who were pregnant and nursing babies of the Boko Haram insurgents.

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She said, “On reaching their camp, we met many young girls there and the whole place was in disarray. It was in 2014 and I was in the Boko Haram camp for three weeks. We met Chibok girls in the camp. While in the camp, I saw so many small girls, who were kidnapped. Some were being molested.

“Some were carrying children, while others were pregnant for the Boko Haram insurgents. It was a disgusting thing. Fortunately for me and some other girls, we escaped from the forest and found our way back to Chibok.”

My abduction led to my father’s death, now I can’t continue education –Konduga student, who escaped from Boko Haram captivity
She explained that her father took ill shortly after she was kidnapped, adding that efforts to rescue him proved abortive.

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She said, “On getting to Chibok, I found the whole community in a state of confusion; so, I asked after my parents and was told that my father took ill when he heard about my abduction and my mother took him to the hospital in Maiduguri. I set out to go and look for them in Maiduguri, but I could not go far because the road was blocked and no movement was allowed, except for military vehicles; in that process, my father died.

“When I heard about my father’s condition, I became worried and tried to locate my parents in the hospital, not knowing that he was already dead. When I eventually got to the hospital in Maiduguri, my mother had conveyed my father’s corpse to Chibok for burial, so my mother said I should stay back to avoid another kidnap.
“That was how I got to this camp. I couldn’t continue with my education, because my mother alone could not take care of my schooling and that of my other siblings.”

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Boko Haram terrorists are our Muslim brothers, shouldn’t be killed like pigs: Minister Pantami

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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President Muhammadu Buhari’s communications minister Isa Pantami once condemned Nigerian Army’s incursion into Boko Haram strongholds, describing the insurgents as “our Muslim” brothers who did not deserve to be killed like pigs.

“See what our fellow Muslim brothers’ blood has turned to? Even pig blood has more value than that of a fellow Muslim brother,” Mr Pantami lamented in a sermon issued a few years ago when former President Goodluck Jonathan ramped up military operations against the rampaging terror sect.

Peoples Gazette obtained the audio through an anonymous contact on Thursday night. The location of Mr Pantami’s sermon and those who attended could not be immediately obtained, but the words, nonetheless, contradicted his recent claims that he had long maintained a hardline posture against Boko Haram.

Mr Pantami’s media allies have also been on an image laundering blitz to cast him as a moderate preacher who has been widely celebrated for his longstanding contempt for Boko Haram. Mr Pantami also joined his supporters to amplify a threat issued against him by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, evoking it to dismiss insinuations of his sympathy towards terrorists as counter-intuitive.

But in the February 2020 video, Mr Shekau appeared more frustrated by what he saw as Mr Pantami’s betrayal in becoming a top government official after spending years preaching Salafi doctrine than he was about the minister’s purported condemnation of Boko Haram’s deadly exploits.

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Mr Pantami has long been famous across northern parts of Nigeria as a respected Islamic cleric. He used most of his preachings to rail against the government’s high-handedness, and Peoples Gazette published a video on Thursday that showed him promising never to go into public service. The sermon was delivered in the mid-2000s, years before Mr Buhari appointed him in 2016 as the head of NITDA and later in 2019 as a cabinet minister in charge of communications.

“We are praying to God to answer all our prayers. It’s our right and obligation before all Muslim leaders, politicians, government appointees, academics,” Mr Pantami said in his prayers. “All of us should not fold their arms and watch helplessly how they shed our Muslim brothers’ blood and cheat them in vain.”

Mr Pantami said Boko Haram elements should have been treated with dignity as against the deadly military campaign, saying extermination of insurgents amounted to extrajudicial killing.

 

“Even if the Boko Haram fighters commit a crime, but can we justify the way and manner they are being killed?”

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“Just look at how they are killing people as if they are shooting pigs even though they commit a crime, why the extrajudicial killing? Take them before the law for a fair trial.

“You caught someone sleeping and you killed him. If it’s not Muslims that undergo such treatments who else?” Mr Pantami said.

The minister also said the previous administration should have pampered Boko Haram insurgents in the same manner as the Niger-Delta militants. Unlike Boko Haram that has been on senseless bloodshed against Nigerians of every faith and creed, the militants were fighting for a better share of oil wealth explored and extracted from their parts of the country.

After about three years of their violent campaign, which largely involved frequent abduction of expatriate oil workers and exchange of fire with security forces, the militants acquiesced to economic solutions and relinquished their arms in a deal brokered by former President Umar Yar’Adua.

But Mr Pantami disregarded the context of both groups and instead took a parallel position on how the government should respond to them.

“The Niger Delta people did something similar to this. They massacre people, steal weapons, killed expatriates and kidnap some of them,” Mr Pantami said. “Yet, you still accept them back, open a ministry for them, gave them a minister and put them on a monthly salary pay without work.”

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“The militants did more harm compared to what Boko Haram boys did,” the minister said. “But why will they do something like this? Why selective justice?”

 

The audio was part of a series of controversial sermons which Mr Pantami delivered at several worship centres and learning institutions across the northern parts of the country between the mid and late 2000s. The Gazette obtained the audio this week, most of which had already been transcribed and contextualized by an academic journal published online since March 2019.

Calls have now intensified for Mr Pantami to either publicly renounce his statements or step down from office, with some activists arguing that his position as a federal minister in charge of citizens’ data and the country’s telecoms infrastructure had become untenable.

As part of our series, The Gazette reached out to Mr Pantami repeatedly to learn whether or not he had renounced his controversial views but he declined all requests.

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