Traditional ruler regains freedom from abductors

The Chief of Ikulu, Mr Yohanna Kukah, has been released by his abductors, the police confirmed on Thursday.
The Chief of Ikulu, Mr Yohanna Kukah, has been released by his abductors, the police confirmed on Thursday.
ASP Mukhtar Aliyu, the spokesman for the Nigeria Police Command in Kaduna State, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna that Kukah was released by his abductors about 3p.m.
Aliyu said the traditional ruler was unhurt and had re-united with his family.
“On the issue of ransom paid before his release I cannot confirm that.
“We are doing everything humanly possible to arrest the suspect.
Kukah, who is the Chief Ikulu in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State, was abducted in the evening of Jan, 2 at his residence.
He is a brother of the Rt. Rev. Hassan Kukah , the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese.

Pulse Opinion: Donald Trump just confirmed that he’s an unrepentant racist

Donald Trump has called the rest of the world ‘shit-hole’. Leaders of the developing world should see this as a challenge. US President Donald Trump can no longer help himself from his racist disposition because deep down inside him, that’s who he really is. During a meeting with lawmakers at the Oval office on Thursday, one source quoted Trump as saying; “Why do we want all these people from ‘shithole countries’ coming here?”According to a CNN story of what transpired; “Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham brought a plan to Trump that involved cutting the visa lottery in half and, at the behest of the Congressional Black Caucus, the rest would go to underrepresented countries in Africa and Temporary Protective Status nations, including Haiti. “One person briefed on the meeting said when Durbin got to Haiti, Trump began to ask why we want people from Haiti and more Africans in the US and added that the US should get more people from countries like Norway”.White House all but confirmsTrump’s comments reportedly shocked lawmakers some of whom proceeded to leak it all to the media. White House spokesperson Raj Shah did not deny the “shithole” remark, CNN reports. Shah however said in a statement that Trump “is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.”Immigrant haterIt isn’t the first time that Trump would be deploying racist slurs as he deals with the rest of the world. In December, The New York Times (NYT) reported that during a meeting at the Oval Office in June, Trump said immigrants from Haiti “all have AIDS”, Afghanistan was described as a ”haven of terrorists” and Nigerians living in the US were scoffed at by the US President for residing in huts back home. “Forty thousand (migrants) had come from Nigeria, Mr. Trump added. Once they had seen the United States, they would never ‘go back to their huts’ in Africa,” the NYT piece read, quoting sources at the meeting.At the time, Trump was fuming at the number of immigrants in the US, in spite of all his travel bans.Yet Trump’s posturing isn’t coming as a surprise because during his campaign to become US president, he proposed an anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim agenda which first horrified before numbing the rest of the world.It says a lot when the so called leader of the free world becomes a real and present danger to the rest of the world, one careless remark at a time.  Trump has never hid his disdain for people of colour or for people of other races. He pines to rid the US of immigrants someday. It’s an agenda that wakes him up at night.  The challengeAs the third world begins to unpack the latest racist slur from a president who churns them out by the truckload, Trump’s anti-immigrant posturing should be seen as a challenge to leaders of these countries he so abhors. It’s time to fast-track development back home in order to reduce influx of persons to the developed world. To change an insular, protectionist president remains a pipe dream at best. Trump has always been a president who wants to build walls and more walls. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, they say.Trump won’t change who he is, but the rest of the developing world can change what they’ve become—a laughing, derided stock.

Psquare: Remember when the pop group showed off their exotic cars on CNN in...

Psquare’s rise to stardom came with a lot of wealth and trust these guys had some of the best cars as far back as 2010. In 2010, the group Psquare were making hit records, selling out shows and riding around in big cars.Today, many Nigerian singers ride around in exotic cars but in 2010 only a few of them could boast of this. Psquare topped the list with the likes of 2face Idibia and D’banj, of artists with expensive cars.Eight years ago, Psquare had some sleek cars among the fleet of cars in their garage. Among their exotic cars were the popular Hummer jeep which was a real big deal at that time for artist at that time. They also had in their garage a Ford Edge and a Land Cruiser jeep. ALSO READ: 7 controversial celebrities of 2017 It just didn’t end there, they had two other exotic jeeps which at that time which cost a fortune. Back in 2010, the Psquare frenzy was so high that even CNN visited the duo who showed off their cars and jewelry.  With the style of life Psquare created for themselves, they not only became an idol to a lot of people but also made way for the flamboyant lifestyle a lot of celebrities began to live. It was more like Psquare set the pace at which Nigerian celebrities began to leave affluent lifestyles.

Nigerians React As Benue Govt Buries Attack Victims

Nigerians on Thursday wept as dozens of Benue residents who were killed in an attacked by alleged herdsmen on New Year’s day were being buried.
The state government held a mass burial for the victims with many gathered to witness the sad occasion.
With the day being labeled as a ‘Black Thursday’ for the people of Benue state, many have cried out to the government to seek justice for the deceased. Read More
On the other hand, many took to social media to vent their pain and frustration.
See some of the comments below.
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106-Year-Old French Cyclist Finally Retires

A centenarian French cyclist whose exploits garnered fans worldwide is retiring, ready for more leisurely rides after racing into the record books, his friends told AFP.
But Robert Marchand, 106, is still eating up kilometres on the stationary bike at his modest studio apartment northeast of Paris.
Last January, Marchand pedalled for 22.547 kilometres (14.01 miles) in an hour at the national velodrome in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines west of Paris.
It was a new record for his age group — though the category had to be created specially for him, and he had no competition.
“His doctors don’t want him to make these huge efforts anymore,” his neighbour Christian Bouchard said, confirming a report in the local newspaper La Marne.
In 2014, he had managed 26.927km in one hour, the record for racers over 100.
And as recently as last August, Marchand claimed the world road racing championship in the over-105 category, though again nobody was challenging him.
Going for yet another record “would mean lots of pressure, lots of demands,” said Alain Gautheron, president of the Cyclos Myrtriens club in Mitry-Mory, where Marchand is the eminent cardholder.
“If he pedals, he should be doing it to relax, purely for the pleasure,” he added.
Fireman, sugarcane planter, wine merchant, vegetable farmer: Marchand, born on November 26, 1911, in the northern French city of Amiens, worked in a variety of fields over a life that spanned the two World Wars.
The former national gymnastics champion and boxer also found time to backpack around Venezuela and Canada.
He has chalked up his outstanding physical form to plenty of exercise, “loads of fruit and vegetables”, not too much coffee, no cigarettes and “very little alcohol”
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Global LinkUP: There is a new tech soccer referee in the Premier League

There was a lot of beautiful and cutting edge technology on display at the Consumer Electronic Show(CES) in Las Vegas this week. Here are 16 pictures of cool tech and 10 exciting new products. But in other news, there’s a new tech referee in the Premier League and a whole dizzying load of stuff in the […]
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Henry Onyekuru: Super Eagles star speaks on his duel with Alves in Champions League...

Oyekuru played against Dani Alves and tries to get one over the veteran defender. Super Eagles star Henry Onyekuru has revealed how he went up against one of the best defenders in the world Dani Alves in a Champions League game.Onyekuru who is currently nursing an injury has been at Belgian giants Anderlecht on loan from Everton.At Anderlecht, the 20-year-old had the opportunity of playing in the Champions League where he has come across a host of high profile names. Among these names is Paris Saint-Germain star Alves whom the attacker came up against when Anderlecht faced the French giants twice in 2017/2018 Champions League Group B fixtures.In an interview with Pulse Sports, Onyekuru revealed that playing against Alves has been one of his most memorable encounters of his budding career.Memorable meetingS“I think it was the game against PSG, playing against the highest signing in the history of football Neymar and also playing against Alves because I normally watch him,” the Super Eagles star told Pulse Sports.“I was just very happy because I watched how Cristiano Ronaldo tried to get past Dani Alves. “I remember the night before the game, I went through some El-Clasico clips, I tried to watch something about Ronaldo and how he normally gets past Alves. “Then all of a sudden I just stopped, I said okay, it’s better I do it my way.”He further recalled how he got motivated with the Champions League anthem before the game how he tried to beat the defender on some occasions.“I got a chance to meet Alves one on one which I tried to get past him and I was happy,” he said.“Before the game ended I went to meet him and I was like ‘we watched you play as a kid and it’s a pleasure for me to play against you’.“He told me I’m a young and good player and urged me to continue like that.”While the meetings with Alves was a memorable one for Onyekuru, it wasn’t to be so for Anderlecht as they lost 4-0 at home to Paris Saint-Germain before a 5-0 loss in the second leg away.

Appeal Court clears way for Anambra senatorial re-run election

The Court of Appeal on Thursday in Abuja dismissed a motion seeking to restrain Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from conducting the re-run election into the Anambra Central Senatorial District.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Abubakar Yahaya held that the earlier order made on Nov. 20, 2017 directing INEC to conduct election for the senatorial seat within 90 days could not be reversed.
The judge said such action was not recognised by the court’s practice direction, adding that the panel would not succumb to an invitation to make mockery of the judiciary.
“The court hereby refuses to grant the request for the postponement of the election already scheduled for Saturday,” the judge held.
Yahaya also said that the court could not compel INEC to make any undertaken to postpone the election over an application that was not ripe for hearing.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we have not restrained INEC from conducting the election as ordered by this court on Nov. 20, 2017’’, Yahaya said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Sen. Ani Okonkwo, an aggrieved aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had approached the appellate court with the application.
Okonkwo had through his counsel, Chief Solomon Umoh (SAN), sought for leave to appeal against the Nov. 20, 2017 decision of the court of appeal, which ordered INEC to conduct a re-run election in that senatorial district within 90 days.
Okonkwo had claimed that he was interested in challenging the decision of the appellate court last year as a senatorial aspirant.
He, however, averred that the application could not be entertained because most parties joined in the application were not served with the court processes.
In order to meander this legal tight corner, Okonkwo then applied for an adjournment to enable him effect service on all the parties.
Worried that he could lose out since the election had been slated for Jan.13, the applicant filed a motion seeking the court to bar INEC from holding the election pending the determination of his appeal.
He also urged the court to compel INEC’s counsel, Mr Tanimu Inuwa, to make an undertaken in the open court that INEC would not go ahead with the election having been aware of his pending application.
The counsel for INEC immediately objected to the request on the ground that huge public fund had been expended on preparation for the poll.
Inuwa also said he did not have the powers to make any undertaken to postpone the poll because of the subsisting appeal court judgment of Nov. 20.
He submitted that decision compelling his client to hold the election within 90 which was billed to expire on Jan.13.
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2018 budget implementation may be tough – SGF

The Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, on Thursday alerted Nigerians that Federal Government may not fully implement the 2018 budget if the National Assembly fails to pass the fiscal estimate on time.
Mustapha also said the preparation for the 2019 general elections, expected to commence at the end of February, would also pose a challenge to the budget implementation.
He noted that serious government business would likely end by November when political parties would commence campaigns and conduct primaries.
The SGF appealed to the National Assembly to pass the budget as soon as possible to avoid possible poor implementation.
Mustapha spoke when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Federal Character to defend the 2018 budget of his office.
He said: “I will make an appeal that the 2018 budget must be passed on time. We do not have time. If you consider the time left for us as politicians and in line with the timetable released by INEC, you will realise that we have till November 2018 to do what we have to do.
“By then, politicians will be engaged in political activities. There will be no time. I am appealing that we pass this budget on time. This is the last budget we will have to deliver on the dividends of democracy. For those of you coming back, promises will not work. What will work will be the scorecard.
“I am begging that it should be passed as quickly as possible. I am also appealing to the executive arm to appear for budget defence. Intense political activities will begin this February and as public officials, we have to quickly deliver.”
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Juliet Ibrahim: Discover 7 things you never knew about her affair with Iceberg Slim

Juliet Ibrahim and Iceberg Slim had a very revealing interview with Pulse and here are 7 things to take away from the exclusive interview. Juliet Ibrahim and Iceberg slim are unarguably one of the hottest celebrity couples around.The adorable couple had their very first exclusive interview in Nigeria with Pulse and here are 7 cool things to take away from the 15 minutes clip.1. How they metThey both met in Durban in South Africa at some event and had the opportunity to start off a conversation where they both wanted to be in charge of the music they were playing for friends. The couple also revealed that they started off as friends before the finally fell in love and blossomed into a relationship.”We met in Durban, South Africa, we were both there working on a project we were playing music for everyone through our phones and she was in charge, I wanted to connect my phone, so when I connected my phone, she was like I have these songs… I was going to play these songs. For me that was what got it for me, we had a similar taste in music,” said Iceberg Slim. 2. How they manage public scrutinyTheir relationship was already going on for a while before people even paid attention. It was when they dropped some photos online that was when everyone found out about their relationship. The couple also spoke about how they don’t allow public scrutiny affect their relationship because, at the end of the day, it’s just two normal people dating.”It’s life we don’t let it get to use take away the lights, camera, you are we someone, public scrutiny or public opinion doesn’t get to us or phase us”  Iceberg Slim explained.3. What they like about each otherJuliet Ibrahim said she likes the fact that Iceberg slim is very intelligent and also very confident in himself. Iceberg Slim said he liked the fact that she is so real and down to earth. He also said one thing he loves about Juliet Ibrahim is her good heart.”The first thing that got my attention from her was her kind heart. When we started talking and she began to tell me about the things she has done I just knew that she was a kind person. She was real and down to earth, that was the first thing that caught my attention, she’s cool and we became good friends from there and the relationship just grew. So one thing that I would say about her is her kind heart,” Iceberg revealed.ALSO READ:  5 most talked about celebrity couple in 2017 4. Collaborating on a new song/ Matching tattoosIceberg Slim says in 2018 they both will do a song together. It will be a Juliet Ibrahim song featuring Iceberg Slim. The Ghanaian actress also revealed that the matching tattoo was the very first tattoo she had.”So we discussed it before we did it. It’s just something we wanted to do. It took a lot of convincing to get to go it. Its just one of those things we decided to do as a couple.””2018 we definitely have done the song she has a song featuring me. 2018 you will hear the song featuring me,”  Iceberg revealed.5. Spending time together despite busy careersThe couple also spoke about how they find time to spend quality time with each other despite their busy schedule. They also revealed that they share similar things in common like staying indoors and watching movies. 6. The business side of their relationshipJuliet Ibrahim also revealed that there is a business side to their relationship because a lot of people see them and admire their relationship as they have become brand ambassadors already as a couple.”We still have a business side to our relationship. We just got signed to a perfume brand and then choose us as a couple. Its how you put your relationship out there, if certain brands see you setting an example for others, there so many people who see us and say they are inspired by our relationship and now we are brand ambassadors as a couple and now we are looking at more deals because at the end of the day, its business going on and us in a relationship. That’s where people need to get it right,” Juliet Ibrahim explained.7. The caught in the moment kiss scene  The couple also spoke about how they got to kiss during a live interview, according to Iceberg Slim he was caught off guard. Well during the exclusive interview with Pulse, the couple also got in the moment and share a passionate kiss.

In Kaduna: Kidnappers release Bishop Kukah’s brother

The spokesman for the Nigeria Police Command in Kaduna State, ASP Mukhtar Aliyu said traditional ruler was unhurt and had re-united with his family. The Chief of Ikulu, Mr Yohanna Kukah, has been released by his abductors, the police confirmed on Thursday, January 11, 2018.Kukah was reportedly freed around 3p.m. on Thursday.The spokesman for the Nigeria Police Command in Kaduna State, ASP Mukhtar Aliyu said traditional ruler was unhurt and had re-united with his family.He said, “On the issue of ransom paid before his release I cannot confirm that.”We are doing everything humanly possible to arrest the suspect.”Kukah, who is the Chief Ikulu in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State, was abducted in the evening of January 2 at his residence.ALSO READ: How kidnappers killed Missionary after singing Amazing Grace [Video]He is a brother of the Rt. Rev. Mathew Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese.

Tech: A senior Google exec allegedly personally intervened to block an employee from discussing...

“If the majority of your coworkers are Nazis, it is better if you don’t know about it.”
In a newly-released memo from January 2016, a former Google engineer alleges that Senior VP Urs Hölzle personally intervened to stop him from sharing topics related to diversity.
“If the majority of your coworkers are Nazis, it is better if you don’t know about it,” Hölzle allegedly said.
Another Google Senior VP had previously intervened to quell a contentious email thread on women in tech, the memo alleges.
The memo’s release follows a lawsuit filed against Google by James Damore for allegedly discriminating against whites, males, and conservatives.
A newly-released memo written by a former Google engineer alleges that Urs Hölzle, a senior executive at the search giant, personally intervened to encourage him to stop discussing matters pertaining to diversity within the company.
Hölzle serves as Google’s Senior VP of Technical Infrastructure, and holds the distinction of Google Fellow. He’s best known as the company’s eighth employee. The release of the memo comes days after former employees James Damore and David Gudeman sued Google for allegedly discriminating against whites, males, and conservatives.
A report from Gizmodo identifies the memo’s author as Cory Altheide, who worked as a security engineer from 2010 through January 2016. The memo is titled “What happened to Cory?” It was originally written to coworkers to explain his departure to Google, but was released on Thursday night as a public Google Docs file.
“I’m leaving because I don’t trust Urs. I’m afraid of Urs. He inserted himself into what should have been a conversation with my direct manager, and ‘requested’ I stop doing talking about things he doesn’t want me to talk about,” wrote Altheide.
The memo details a summer 2015 thread on an internal Google group regarding the so-called “pipeline problem” in tech — the idea that women are underrepresented in the tech industry because there’s a lack of qualified talent. That thread, turned “sadly contentious,” writes Altheide.
Hölzle tried to quiet things down, says the memo. But the thread didn’t die down until Google Senior VP Sridhar Ramaswamy allegedly wrote: “As both the tech diversity lead at Google and someone who cares deeply about our workplace culture, I respectfully ask that everyone stop engaging on this thread.” It worked, and the thread died down.
A few months later, Altheide writes that he started another e-mail chain, called “Just Asking Questions,” addressing what he saw as a lack of good faith from his coworkers in addressing matters pertaining to diversity. He writes that Google HR got in touch to ask his intentions with that chain, which he defended as relevant to the industry.
Nevertheless, Altheide writes that he kept posting news articles relating to matters of diversity in tech to internal employee groups. Eventually, he got another email from HR, asking to discuss his postings. But when he took the video call, it wasn’t HR, it was Hölzle on the other end.
Hölzle allegedly insinuated that Altheide was just trying to stir up trouble with the “Just Asking Questions,” thread and that he shouldn’t bring up matters of diversity for the sake of getting along.
“If the majority of your coworkers are Nazis, it is better if you don’t know about it,” Hölzle allegedly said, according to Altheide. He writes that he remembers this verbatim, sticking out in his memory as “a savagely tactless analogy for a Swiss man to be making.
Altheide writes that after that meeting, he got a message from Hölzle, with his direct manager copied. To Altheide’s knowledge, he writes, this was the first time his manager was informed of Hölzle’s involvement. The email formally asked Altheide not to post about “controversial topics,” and warned him that openly discussing their conversation could constitute retaliation on Altheide’s part, which would violate the company’s code of conduct.
Wrote Hölzle, according to the memo:
“As discussed, from now on I request that you avoid posting on controversial topics. I believe your intention is to make Google better; nevertheless I ask you to refrain from such posts since they are prone to inciting others to comment in a way which violates our policies.”
Not long after, Altheide quit Google.
“I don’t want to work with jerks,” wrote Altheide in the conclusion to his memo.
Google did not immediately return a request for comment. Altheide did not immediately return a request for comment.
You can read the full memo here.

CHAN: Eagles hit Tangier today

Nigeria’s Super Eagles team B are expected to arrive Tangier this afternoon to prepare for their CAF African Nations Championship opener against Rwanda on Monday night.
CHAN EaglesThe Eagles played out a goalless draw with Cameroon on Wednesday in Rabat and according to team official the players are in top shape to chase the tournament.
“The good practice game, it was not about the result but how the players performed,” said team spokesman Toyin Ibitoye.
“It was a very physical game as both teams went for it, good for us, this was more than just a friendly. But so far, no injury to worry about.
“The game showed that this tournament won’t be a stroll in the park.
“The boys are hungry to do well, they are motivated to deliver with the World Cup on the horizon.”
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Ambode pledges to compensate owners of demolished buildings in four weeks

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode• To prioritise education, health, job creation
• Sacks three commissioners, appoints five new ones
The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, yesterday pledged to pay compensations to owners of buildings demolished to facilitate construction.The governor, who spoke at the 10th Quarterly Town Hall meeting, said he would begin the payment in the next four weeks.He added that henceforth, such displaced persons would be relocated before construction begins.He disclosed that his government would not embark on any development without carrying the people along.
While promising to prioritise education and healthcare, he added that he would stimulate the economy and create employment.He said: “Despite the harsh economy, our state’s budget performed at 82 per cent. The total revenue generated was N503.7billion, representing a performance of 78 per cent.
“The total recurrent expenditure was N281.33billion, which is a performance of 92 per cent. Also, the total capital expenditure stood at N387.60billion or 76 per cent performance.
“With this, we initiated and delivered many high impact projects and critical infrastructure aimed at making life easier for the people. We disbursed funds to small businesses and individuals to stimulate the economy.”Ambode commended the people whose support enabled him to perform well last year.
On security, he said the government has taken strategic steps to secure the residents, adding that killer herdsmen would not have a space in the state.The governor revealed that the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund disbursed N4.5billion to 5,500 beneficiaries in 2017, who also received training on financial literacy and business management. He said in fulfilling the promise to students in tertiary institutions across the state, N635.5million was disbursed to 8,419 students across the state.
“Our government acquired healthcare equipment worth N2.5 billion. The equipment would strengthen the capacity of our health facilities to render improved health services and also facilitate the smooth take off of the Lagos State Health Scheme. “In order to meet the needs of the youth in the area of technical and vocational development, we have approved the establishment of three new technical colleges, bringing the numbers to eight,” he said.
Meanwhile, the governor yesterday sacked three of his commissioners, and appointed five new ones.In a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, the three affected cabinet members are Mrs. Adebimpe Akinsola, Mr. Femi Odubiyi and Mr. Anifowoshe Abiola.The newly appointed commissioners are Mr. Hakeem Fahm (Ministry of Science and Technology), Mr. Ladi Lawanson (Ministry of Transportation), Mr. Segun Banjo (Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget), Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye (Ministry of Commerce and Industry), and Mr. Hakeem Sulaiman (Communities and Communications).
Among those redeployed were Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye, from Commerce and Industry to Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, from the Ministry of Information and Strategy to Tourism, Arts and Culture and Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, from Communities and Communication to Information and Strategy.
Others were Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi Etti, from the Ministry of Wealth Creation to the Environment, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf from Youth and Social Development to Wealth Creation and Mr. Agboola Dabiri, from Central Business District to Youth and Social Development.
Also redeployed were Dr. Samuel Adejare from the Ministry of the Environment to Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Engr. Ade Akinsanya, from Waterfront Infrastructure Development to Works and Infrastructure.
The statement added that Mr. Benjamin Olabinjo was moved as Special Adviser, Commerce and Industry to Civic Engagement, while Mr. Kehinde Joseph was redeployed from Special Adviser, Civic Engagement to Housing.
Mr. Deji Tinubu, Special Adviser Sports has been redeployed as Special Adviser to the Governor on Commerce and Industry, while Mr. Anofiu Elegushi was moved as Special Adviser, Transport to become Special Adviser, Central Business District.

Benue leaders, at burial of 73 victims, threaten armed resistance to Fulani herdsmen

Grieving women during the mass burial of the 73 killed in Logo and Guma council areas of Benue State on New Year Day in Makurdi…yesterday.
It was all grief yesterday as Governor Samuel Ortom supervised the mass burial of the 73 victims killed by suspected herdsmen in Logo and Guma council areas of Benue State on New Year day.The atmosphere at the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida Public Square, Makurdi venue of the exercise was sober as well as somber as families of the departed wore depressing looks while “heroes of Benue Anti-Open Grazing Law”, as they were described by the government, were accorded their last respects.
The governor remarked that the incident was the most heartless killing in the state, noting that the “herdsmen came, killed and destroyed homes and properties.” The 73 persons, excluding the two policemen, were slaughtered between January 1 and 6.Economic activities were disrupted as sympathisers as well as families of the victims, dressed in black attire, trooped out en masse to bid the slain a final farewell.
However, the Convener of Northern Elders Forum, Wantaregh Paul Unongo, says if President Muhammadu Buhari further fails to protect lives and properties in the state, the people would raise and train an army to defend themselves. Speaking at the church service for the departed, he noted that a large number of Benue sons and daughters had contributed immensely to the unity of the country and as such, do not deserve this disdain.
“ Benue people sacrifice enough blood for the unity of this country and would not allow a section of Fulani terrorists to continue to come and kill our people in cold blood”
Unongo asked the President to take drastic steps in addressing the killings as well as arrest the leaders of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore.
“If the Federal Government fails to stop or arrest those behind the incident in two weeks, we shall raise an army of our own. We cannot allow people to colonise us again. We have all it takes to do that, “ the elder statesman stated.
Corroborating Unongo, General Lawrence Onoja (rtd) described the act as a genocidal conspiracy against the people, warning that if the carnage does not stop, he would head the proposed force.He therefore called on the government to replicate Operation Python Dance or Fulani Dance in the state, just as he urged support for the governor.
To former member of the National Assembly, Senator JKN Waku, the people are known for love and peace, asking the central government to entrench true democratic values in the polity.
On behalf of the House of Assembly, Benjamin Adenyi, saying enough to the massacre, regretted that the Buhari administration was reciprocating the huge support his people gave him at the poll with the oddity.
To erstwhile governor, Senator George Akume, the primary aim of government was to protect lives of the citizens. He urged the President to proscribe the faction of the herders’ association that had allegedly been combatant and uncharitable with words and actions. The representative of the United Nations, Dr. Martins Ejibike, noted that the situation demands international attention.
The paramount ruler of Tiv nation, Professor James Ayatse, alleged that his subjects resident in Nasarawa and Taraba states were being murdered by herdsmen on a daily basis. Also speaking, state Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) chairman, Rev. Akpe Leva, commended the governor for his love for the people.