Buhari Appoints Ilelah as NBC Director

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a substantive director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to replace Prof. Armstrong Idachaba.

Minister of information and culture Lai Mohammed announced in a statement on Friday that Balarabe Ilelah had been appointed as Idachaba’s replacement.

Mr Ilelah’s appointment is for a tenure of five years in the first instance, the statement said.

The change in leadership comes amid furore surrounding the suspension of Twitter in the country.

Idachaba’s NBC had ordered radio and television stations to deactivate their Twitter accounts following the suspension of the social media platform.

The commission had also asked all social media platforms and online broadcasting service providers in Nigeria to apply for broadcast licence.

Idachaba was appointed acting head after Modibbo Kawu was suspended for alleged financial impropriety in February 2020.

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1 student fatally shot in new abduction in Kaduna

Gunmen have launched a fresh attack on the main campus of Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic, Zaria, Kaduna State, killing a student and abducting several others.

It was gathered that the gunmen arrived on Thursday night and kidnapped two lecturers and eight students.

Kaduna commissioner for internal security and home affairs Samuel Aruwan said two of the students were shot, adding that a student Ahmad Muhammad died of gunshot wounds.

He added that another student Haruna Dunniya who was hit by a bullet was still receiving medical attention at an undisclosed hospital in the area.

“One student confirmed dead, one injured, and several kidnapped as armed bandits attack Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria,” Mr Aruwan said.

“The Kaduna State Government has been briefed by security agencies of an attack by bandits at the main campus of the Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria, late on Thursday night.

“According to the briefing, the bandits invaded the staff quarters of the campus, shooting sporadically. In the process, two students were hit and sustained gunshot injuries. They were identified as Ahmad Muhammad and Haruna Isyaku Duniya

“They were rushed to the hospital for medical attention. Sadly, Ahmad Muhammad succumbed to his wounds and died early this morning. Haruna Isyaku Duniya is still receiving treatment.

“Two lecturers and about eight students were abducted from the institution during the attack.”

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Katsina police arrest 13-year-old boy for killing bandits

Katsina State Police Command has arrested a 13-year-old boy for allegedly killing two men suspected to be bandits in the state.

The police said the suspect, Abdulkarim Mati, was once an errand boy to a bandits’ leader, Ardo Nashaware, who resides in Birnin Magaji forest, Zamfara State.

Mati fled the forest where he allegedly committed the act. According to the spokesman for the Katsina police command, Gambo Isah, who confirmed the incident on Saturday, officers recently arrested Mati from where he ran to after his escape from the forest.

Isah said the suspect confessed that he was taken away from his parents under the guise that he would assist in rearing cows for his masters, adding that instead, he was taught how to operate AK-47 rifles and serve as a guard for kidnap victims.

“The boy, who demonstrated skills in handling AK-47, also confessed to have been bullied by some elderly bandits, who provoked him, and as a result, picked an AK-47 rifle and shot dead two of the elderly bandits,” Isah said.

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Dele Momodu Visits TB Joshua’s Wife

Chairman of Ovation Media Group Dele Momodu on Saturday paid a condolence visit to Evelyn Joshua wife of the late founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations Prophet T.B. Joshua.

Joshua’s widow has been receiving guests on condolence visits at the church in Ikotun, Lagos since her husband passed on on June 5.

Mr Momodu signed the condolence register and paused for a few minutes to observe the clergyman’s photo.

Speaking after signing the register, the celebrity publisher recalled four occasions where he encountered Joshua.

Momodu said he had known Joshua for over two decades and that sometime ago he featured the preacher on the cover of Ovation Magazine.

He said Joshua ordered and paid in advance for 5,000 copies which were printed in England. After printing, Momodu said the cleric only collected 10 copies and asked him to sell the rest despite paying for them.

Momodu further said he had to do another cover featuring Joshua back-to-back, this time with his wife. According to him, Joshua again paid for 5,000 copies and only collected 10.

“He was such a man who was so generous,” he said.

The media mogul also recalled how Joshua called him at night years back when he (Momodu) went to London for a cataract surgery.

“He called three times that night and insisted I must send my account details and he paid. I will never forget that occasion,” he said.

Speaking further, Momodu said Joshua supported him during his bid for the Presidency in 2011. He said joshua supported him with cash, despite telling him he would not win the election.

Lastly, he said two years ago, he went with Joshua to Israel for the preacher’s crusade. He recalled that Joshua paid for the trip and that he was surprised that even taxi drivers in Israel knew who Joshua was.

“I pray that papa’s soul will find peace, eternal rest in our Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever anybody may say about him, he lived a very good life. He lived a life worthy of emulation. As successful as he was, he was very simple, easy-going. And I’m sure he would not deliberately hurt a fly,” Momodu concluded.

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Fani-Kayode blasts Okotie over pastor’s comment on TB Joshua

Former aviation minister Femi Fani-Kayode has rebuked the founder of the Household of God Church Rev. Chris Okotie for attacking the late Prophet T.B. Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations in a veiled message.

Okotie had described Joshua in a message posted on social media on Tuesday, June 8 as the “wizard at Endor who assumed the title Emmanuel” and “has been consumed by divine indignation.”

His criticism followed years which the Christian body in Nigeria have kept Joshua at arm’s length over what they believed was his unorthodox practices.

However, reacting to Okotie’s public attack on the deceased, Fani-Kayode said in a post to social media on Friday, June 11, that he had “much respect and affection” for Okotie from their days at the Nigerian Law School in 1985 and was inspired by his songs, but all that have now “gone with the wind”.

“To borrow our President’s words, I will now talk to you in the language that you can understand,” he wrote.

“You mock my brother in death yet you appear to have forgotten that death comes to us all. It is only a matter of time. Evidently you have no respect for yourself and no fear of the Living God whom you claim to serve.

“I have no doubt that the Lord would have thanked him for the millions of souls that he brought into the Kingdom and led to Christ in his 40 years of ministry.”

Fani-Kayode, who had repeatedly called on Christian leaders in Nigeria to stop attacking Joshua, added, “Even if you never liked TB Joshua or you had reason to suspect that his source of power was questionable, couldn’t you have just keep your mouth shut and let those of us that believed in him, loved him and respected him mourn him in peace?

“…Worse of all is the fact that you are a coward who, as is characteristic of all cowards, waited until he died and was no longer around to defend himself, before you opened your dirty little mouth to insult him.”

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You can threaten Nigerians not IPOB: Nnamdi Kanu replies Buhari

Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra Nnamdi Kanu on Thursday knocked President Muhammadu Buhari for describing IPOB as a “dot in a circle”.

Mr Kanu, in a tweet, assured the president that although IPOB seemed like a dot in a circle, would be free someday.

Buhari had said during an interview with Arise TV aired on Thursday, “That IPOB is just like a dot in a circle. Even if they want to exit, they will have no access to anywhere.

“And the way they are spread all over the country, having businesses and properties, I don’t think IPOB knows what they are talking about.”

Responding, Kanu wrote, “In his pre-recorded AriseTV interview, the pathetic passing off as BUHARI described Biafra as a ‘dot within Nigeria’

“Well, hear this: The Earth is also a dot within the galaxy. But it is still as great a dot as BIAFRA shall soon be amongst the comity of nations.”

The IPOB leader also said Buhari’s alleged refusal to take responsibility for the insecurity in the country was evidence that Nigeria is a “failed state”.

Buhari had in the interview urged governors to do more on improving security in their states.

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Femi Branch shades Yemi Solade over his comments on Twitter ban

Nollywood actor Femi Branch has shaded his colleague Yemi Solade over the latter’s recent comments on the suspension of Twitter in the country.

Yemi, during an interview with Goldmyne TV, applauded the government’s suspension of the social media platform, insisting that it insulted the president of the country and by large the citizens of the most populous black nation in Africa.

Femi said he didn’t want to comment on the Twitter saga but after hearing comments, he felt the need to air his opinion.

The 51-year-old actor and producer shared a video on his Instagram page on Tuesday where he bared his mind.

“I just want to express myself on the whole Twitter ban, I said I was not going to say anything, but after hearing the comment of someone I don’t want to mention the name, I feel compelled to say something, very quickly, there is nothing good about the Twitter ban,” he said.

“It is only those that are working for or supporting the government that will see nothing wrong with the action of the government. We all know the role Twitter plays in our life as people, especially young people. In terms of job and expressing themselves.

“It is only someone who is not progressive that will say the ban is a good thing, and Twitter has helped to save a life when things are happening in some extreme parts of the country, passing information that can save lives, helps in creating awareness.

“It is not good for the country and the image. Trump was removed from Twitter, but he didn’t ban Twitter, if you are a private individual and you see nothing wrong with the Twitter ban, I think you need to examine your brain.”

The Federal Government suspended Twitter operations in Nigeria on Friday, June 4.

According to the minister of information, Lai Mohammed, Twitter’s actions are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

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Unlike other Nigerian Pastors, Abiara visits TB Joshua’s wife

General overseer of Christ Apostolic Church, Vineyard of Comfort, popularly known as CAC Agbala Itura, Samuel Abiara, has paid a condolence visit to Evelyn Joshua, widow of the late Prophet Temitope Joshua.

Abiara, while commiserating with her during the Wednesday visit, said the works of Joshua would not die. He urged his widow to be strong and remain faithful to the call of God.

Joshua was the founder of the Synangogue Church of All Nations with its headquarters in Ikotun, Lagos. He died on June 5 after a church programme.

Speaking in Yoruba, Abiara further said pastors were devastated when the news came that Joshua had died.

He told Evelyn that God was in the best position to tell why her husband passed on at an early age noting that the work ahead was much.

He pleaded with her to forgive him for coming late saying, “God will be with you. I am really sorry I did not come early to come and greet you. I thought there would be too many people around. That was why I sent a message ahead.”

He added, “The work that God did through him showed he was a real man of God whether you believed him or not. He was our son. When he was alive I called him several times and I loved his work. Who are we to query God? If we don’t understand, God understands.”

Abiara urged the widow of the late prophet to take time to eat and be encouraged.

Abiara is the only high-profile Nigerian cleric who has identified with the bereaved family since it lost its patriarch known to the world as TB Joshua.

Throughout his lifetime, Joshua was rejected by the Christian body in Nigeria over his unorthodox practices.

Only three days after his death did the Christian Association of Nigeria send a condolence note to his widow.

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Buhari Insists On Armed Response to South-East Insecurity

President Muhammadu Buhari has again said he would deal with the Indigenous People of Biafra clamouring for secession in the “language they understand”.

The same statement last week which was posted to Twitter had resorted to the platform’s suspension in Nigeria.

However, this time the president spoke in an interview with Arise TV broadcast aired on Thursday.

He also said the IPOB was like a dot in a circle that has nowhere to go.

“That IPOB is just like a dot in a circle. Even if they want to exit, they will have no access to anywhere.

“And the way they are spread all over the country, having businesses and properties, I don’t think IPOB knows what they are talking about.

“In any case, we say we’ll talk to them in the language that they understand. We’ll organise the police and the military to pursue them,” he said.

Buhari added that he has been assured by “the elderly people” and “the youths” from the south-south part of the country that their region has no intention of seceding.

He said IPOB will not have “access to anywhere” even if they eventually secede from the country.

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I’ll keep when twitter ban will be lifted to myself – Buhari

President Muhammau Buhari says he would keep to himself the date when the suspension of operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, would be lifted.

In an interview on Arise TV aired on Thursday, asked when the Twitter ban would be lifted, Buhari said, “I will keep that to myself.”

But many Nigerians have been accessing Twitter via virtual private networks (VPNs) since the Federal Government ordered the site’s suspension last Friday.

The attorney general of the federation Abubakar Malami had also threatened to prosecute Nigerians still accessing Twitter.

But the AGF has attracted criticism after logging into Twitter via VPN to deactivate his account.

In a statement last week, minister of information and culture Lai Mohammed announced the indefinite suspension of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria.

He stated that the government was forced to act because of “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.

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Courts re-open as JUSUN suspends three-month-old strike

The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has suspended its two-month-old strike embarked on to demand financial autonomy of the judiciary.

The union said in a communique issued after its emergency National Executive Council meeting on Wednesday that workers would go back to their offices on Monday.

JUSUN began the industrial action on April 6.

“NEC-in-session discussed extensively and after putting so many issues into consideration, such as the intervention of NJC and other stakeholders, the NEC has resolved that the strike is hereby suspended,” the communique signed by the deputy president, Emmanuel Abioye; and general secretary, Isaiah Adetola read.

In the communique, the leadership of JUSUN commended the efforts of the National Judicial Council in making sure that the governors obey the memorandum of agreement, and the judgment on the financial autonomy of the judiciary.

The union also commended the chief justice of Nigeria and the heads of courts for their patience and understanding throughout the period of the strike.

It, however, expressed its displeasure with the governors of Kaduna (Nasir El-Rufai), Plateau (Simon Lalong), and Benue (Samuel Ortom) for withholding the salaries of judiciary workers in their respective states.

“NEC-in-session condemns the actions of the governors of Kaduna, Plateau and Benue States for withholding salaries of judiciary in their various states for months and urge all governors involved to do the needful,” the communique read.

It added, “NEC-in-session plead with the NJC, the Presidential Implementation Committee, Attorney General of the Federation, Accountant General of the Federation and all stakeholders to see that the issue of Judiciary Financial Autonomy is laid to rest as provided for in Section 81(3), 121(3) and 162(9) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.”

The union also condemned the deduction of the salary of the members of JUSUN in Bayelsa and requested that the deducted should be restored.

It also reiterated that no member of the union should be victimised on account of the strike action.

Meanwhile, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has commended JUSUN for ending the strike, but said the workers would not be paid for the first week of June.

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President Buhari commissions Lagos-Ibadan rail

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday inaugurated the Lagos-Ibadan railway project for commercial operation, describing it as another milestone in Nigeria’s railway revival.

The inauguration took place at the Mobolaji Johnson Railway Station, Ebute Metta, Lagos.

Buhari described the feat as “another milestone in the drive of this administration to revitalise the railway system and establish it as a choice mode of transportation for both passengers and freight.”

He pledged that his administration would continue to prioritise the railway system as a transportation backbone that could transform industrial and economic activity in the country.

On the benefits of the Lagos-Ibadan corridor as well as other on-going railway projects across the country, the president said that “this vital line establishes an end-to-end logistic supply chain in railway transport within its short corridor, Lagos – Ibadan.”

He said that goods coming into the hinterland would now be transported by rail directly from the Apapa Port Quayside straight to the Inland Container Depot located in Ibadan from where it can be distributed to other parts of the country.

While commending minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, for his drive and tenacity in achieving the milestone recorded today, the president praised the ‘‘wonderful team in the ministry’’ for a job well done.

Shortly after he inaugurated the project, Buhari took a ride from Ebute Metta Station to Energy Nature Light (ENL), Terminal, Apapa Port, Lagos.

He was joined by the Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, governors of Ekiti, Oyo, Ogun and the deputy governor of Ondo.

Others in the train were Mr Amaechi, minister of state for transportation Gbemisola Saraki and other ministers as well as some government officials.

Buhari’s last official visit to Lagos was on April 24, 2019 to commission projects by immediate past Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

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ICYMI: Tight Security as Buhari Visits Lagos Today

Security has been tightened across Lagos State as President Muhammadu Buhari is expected in the state on Thursday for project commissioning.

Inspector General of Police Usman Baba arrived the state on Wednesday ahead of President Buhari.

The PUNCH on Thursday quoted an anonymous senior police officer as saying Buhari’s “advanced team is already in Lagos and the President should be in the state if the weather is okay for flight”.

Presidential media aide Bashir Ahmad provided details of Buhari’s visit in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

“President Muhammadu Buhari will tomorrow, commission the 156km Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway line in Lagos, the first double-track standard gauge rail in West Africa, and the first Nigerian railway line to be started and completed by the same administration, since 1960.

“Construction started in March 2017, and test-running commenced in December 2020.

“The Ebute Metta Station, known as the Mobolaji Johnson Station, is the largest railway station in West Africa with a holding capacity of 6000 passengers.

“President Buhari is committed to developing a modern national railway network that will connect every part of Nigeria, and promote trade, travel, tourism, commerce and national integration,” Mr Ahmad wrote.

Buhari is also expected at the Energy Nature Light Terminal of the Apapa Port to commission the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project.

His last official visit to Lagos was on April 24, 2019 to commission projects by immediate past Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

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BREAKING: FG declares Monday June 14 public holiday

The Federal Government has marked out Monday, June 14 as a public holiday in commemoration of this year’s Democracy Day celebrated on June 12.

Minister of interior Rauf Aregbesola was quoted in a statement on Thursday by the ministry’s permanent secretary Shuaib Belgore to have warned against agitations capable of threatening the peace of the country.

“Aregbesola said any form of agitation that threatens the unity of the country should be shunned for the good of all, saying the space known as Nigeria would be a haven of peace, unity and progress if all citizens love his or her neighbour and embrace the spirit of brotherliness,” the statement read.

Aregbesola also called on Nigerians to support the Buhari administration in its efforts at ensuring a united and prosperous nation.

“As we mark another Democracy Day in the history of our dear country, let us reflect on the efforts of our founding fathers and ensure that Nigeria remains one united and indivisible entity,” the minister said, according to the statement.

“With the challenges we face in Nigeria today, I see an opportunity for us not to break up or break down but to break open; open up to ourselves in truth so that we may appreciate each other, understand each other, honour each other and live together in peace and prosperity.”

The minister’s caution against agitation comes amid plans by groups to hold protests nationwide on June 12 against insecurity, bad economy among others.

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Sanwo-Olu visits, sympathises with TB Joshua family

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday visited the family of the late Prophet TB Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) in Ikotun area of the state.

The governor described the death of the clergyman as a big loss to his immediate family, the state, people of Ejigbo-Ikotun axis and members of his ministry around the world.

Commissioner for home affairs, Anofiu Elegushi, who represented the governor during the condolence visit, also presented a letter officially signed by the governor to the family and the church.

The governor expressed sympathy with the church and the immediate family of the prophet, saying that the state government was at the Synagogue to pray with the family.

“We are here to condole with your family and the church over the death of Prophet T. B. Joshua.

“We are here to show our sympathy and to also offer our own prayers for the family. That’s why we visited SCOAN today,” he said.

Receiving the delegation, the wife of the deceased, Evelyn, appreciated the state government for the visit, describing the death of her husband as an act of God.

Also among the delegation were the special adviser to the governor on civic engagement, Princess Adebowale, the presiding chaplain, Chapel of Christ The Light, Venerable Ezekiel Oluwadare, directors of the state’s ministry of home affairs, among other state officials.

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TB Joshua: Why I Am Not Surprised by My Husband’s Death, Late Pastor’s Wife Opens Up

Evelyn Joshua, wife of the late Prophet TB Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), on Wednesday said her husband’s departure was not a surprise to her as she has been used to him saying his ministry is what he would die for.

She spoke when Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu visited her family in Ikotun area of Lagos.

Mr Sanwo-Olu was represented by the commissioner for home affairs, Anofiu Elegushi.

Joshua’s wife appreciated the state government for the visit, describing the death of her husband as an act of God.

“On behalf of myself and the entire synagogue family, we are grateful and thankful for your presence here today (Wednesday),” she said.

“What happened is an act of God. There is time for everything. Like my husband used to say. That is the word I knew from him very well. This is the job he was known for. This is what he was living for. That is what he was going to die for.

“So, it didn’t come to me as a surprise. I wasn’t surprised when it happened. As we all know, he was in service that day. So, that’s it.”

She added that the funeral arrangements would be made public, appealing for the governor’s presence and support.

“I appreciate you all. I’m pleading, this is my message to the governor. We need you; we need your presence,” she said.

Also among the delegation were the special adviser to the governor on civic engagement, Princess Adebowale, the presiding chaplain, Chapel of Christ The Light, Venerable Ezekiel Oluwadare, directors of the state’s ministry of home affairs, among other state officials

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NLNG, firms sign deals to deliver 1.1tons of gas yearly to domestic market

The Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) has signed sales and purchase agreements (SPAs) for the domestic supply of 1.1 million tonnes per annum of liquefied natural gas.

The move is in line with the company’s commitment to support the Federal Government’s decade of gas initiative.

Speaking at the announcement of the agreement held in Abuja on Tuesday, MD/CEO of NLNG Tony Attah said, “Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure, to welcome you and announce that our commitment, as a corporate entity, to unlocking gas utilization is now backed by the execution of Sales and Purchase Agreements (SPAs) to supply 1.1 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) of LNG on DES basis to Asiko Power Limited, Bridport Energy Limited and Gas-Plus Synergy Limited. The SPAs will facilitate the project execution and development of infrastructure led by off-takers to aid LNG delivery into the domestic market.

“The execution of these SPAs follows a Domestic LNG (DLNG) Workshop which was held in November 2019 to stress test the delivery model with industry stakeholders and a series of engagements to identify suitable actors to co-create the initiative and stimulate market interest for potential off-takers.”

Attah congratulated the NLNG board of directors, shareholders, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and other stakeholders “for this demonstration of faith in the Decade of Gas vision, and commitment to the actualization of that vision.”

“We believe this will be the decade for us to leverage on our gas reserves to accelerate our power generation solutions through Gas-to-Power projects. It will be the decade when as a nation we stop reporting deaths from pollution through the use of wood and solid fuels as domestic energy sources. And it will be the decade for empowering local SMEs to take advantage of the various investment opportunities that the Decade of Gas will attract.

“In addition to the Domestic LNG Scheme, we have the ongoing Train 7 project with capacity to attract about $10bn in foreign direct investment. We are also looking to expand the LPG value chain by increasing our supply to the domestic market, guaranteeing LPG supply and enhancing its affordability, and enabling the development of a value network for a sustainable ecosystem,” he added.

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Trump congratulates Nigeria for Twitter ban, says more countries should do the same

Former United States’ President Donald Trump has congratulated Nigeria for suspending Twitter.

Mr Trump congratulated Nigeria in a statement on Tuesday night, although he erroneously said Nigeria “banned” Twitter because it “banned” President Muhammadu Buhari.

Nigeria suspended Twitter last Friday after it deleted a post by Buhari which threatened to deal with IPOB members “in the language they understand”.

“Congratulations to the country of Nigeria, who just banned Twitter because they banned their president,” the 45th US president said.

“More countries should ban Twitter and Facebook for not allowing free and open speech – all voices should be heard.”

He also urged competitors to “emerge and take hold” of the opportunity.

Trump said he should have banned the social media websites while he was president, but “Zuckerberg kept calling me and coming to White House for dinner telling me how great I was.”

He also made a veiled reference to his speculated 2024 presidential ambition by simply adding “2024?”

Trump was banned by Twitter for inciting statements while he was still president. He had about 60 million followers at the time.

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Family of late clergyman TB Joshua to announce preparations for his burial in due course

The family of founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations Prophet TB Joshua on Tuesday gathered in Lagos State to plan his burial.

Joshua died on June 5 after a church programme in Lagos. He would have clocked 58 on June 12.

An uncle of the deceased Salisu Musa told PUNCH that the burial date had not been decided by the family.

He said, “We (family members) have just arrived in Lagos; we are to hold a meeting to decide on the burial arrangement. As soon as we meet and decide, we shall let you know. “

The family is drawn between heeding to the wish of the church’s members to bury him in Lagos and the traditional ruler of Joshua’s hometown Arigidi Akoko in Ondo State who wants him buried in his native home.

Meanwhile, the monarch of Ibaram Akoko Oba Olusegun Atibioke has called on the Ondo State Government to consider immortalising the late cleric by naming an institution in the state after Joshua.

He also urged Balogun family to bury the late pastor in his hometown.

It was gathered that residents of Arigidi Akoko organised a procession round the town on Tuesday to honour the departed pastor.

Joshua carried out several humanitarian projects in his hometown and neighbouring communities before his demise.

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TB Joshua’s Death Shocking, A Great Lost To The World – CAN

The Christian Association of Nigeria on Tuesday (CAN) broke its silence on the death of founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations Prophet TB Joshua.

The association, which has long treated Joshua as an outsider due to his unorthodox methods, sent a condolence message to his wife Evelyn Joshua three days after his death.

CAN president Samson Ayokunle, in a terse message, described him as “one of the foremost Nigerian charismatic pastor, televangelist, and philanthropist who devoted his entire lifetime to the propagation of the gospel.”

He said, “The news of the demise of your darling husband, Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua, who was until his transition at the age of Fifty-Seven (57) was the leader and founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations came to us amidst great shock and sorrow.

“We are particularly sad because the deceased showed no trace of illness prior to his demise after an Evening Church Service on Saturday 5th June 2021. We commiserate with you, the children and the entire members of SCOAN on this irreparable loss.

“Prophet T.B Joshua was one of the foremost Nigerian charismatic pastor, televangelist, and philanthropist who devoted his entire lifetime to the propagation of the gospel and ministering to the needs of the downtrodden. He was renowned for his philosophical simplicity and humility. His death is not only a loss to the family and the church, but to Nigeria and the world at large.

“There are indeed no exact words of comfort at a moment like this, but we humbly enjoin you to take solace in the Will of the Almighty God, who works in us both to do and work according to his good purpose (Philippians 2:13).

“We know that Our Lord Jesus Christ in whom there is all-sufficiency, and whom you have been serving wholeheartedly will make all grace abound unto you at this trying moment (2 Corinthians 9:8).

“On behalf of all members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), we commiserate with you, and the entire family on this loss. It is our prayer that the Almighty God grant Prophet TB Joshua an eternal rest in his creator, and may God’s perpetual light continue to shine on his path (Amen). Once again, please accept our heartfelt condolence.”

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Heated reactions as Tiwa Savage, Seyi Shay fight dirty

Singers Tiwa Savage and Seyi Shay have been involved in a nasty fight in a salon in Lagos.

In a video that went viral on Tuesday, both women are seen being pulled apart as they have a go at each other.

Trouble started when Seyi Shay walked up to Tiwa to exchange pleasantries, a move that did not sit well with the latter.

Tiwa immediately snapped back and warned Seyi not to ever say “hi” to her again.

According to the 41-year-old, memories of the “rubbish” Seyi Shay and Kenyan singer Victoria Kimani said about her some years ago were still in her head and she is not comfortable making friends with someone who talks trash about her.

“Don’t come to me and think you can say hi with the dirty and disgusting spirit that you have. You think I have forgotten what you guys did? How many years ago? You and Victoria Kimani. You think I can forget?” Tiwa said.

In response, Seyi fired back, saying “The only reason why I greeted you is to try and squash all that is going on and to say sorry. I am not going to listen to this because you got your facts wrong.

“Tiwa, how about the things that you have done? You want me to open everything here? I am not like you. I am not going to do that. If you want to start acting up and acting like an ‘agbaya’ right now, carry on.”

The 35-year-old’s comment did not sit well with Tiwa, as the latter dared her to spill the secrets she claimed she had.

“You’re the one that wants to open my ‘nyansh’. Please, open it. Your ‘nyansh’ is the dirtiest in this industry. You f*king hoe, slut! Open it! There is nothing I have done in this life that I regret. Nothing! Everybody knows I am very proud of my sht.

“But you, look at you. You look half-dead. Look at your skin. You know what? For a clear skin, you need to mind your business. That’s what will clear up your f**king ugly skin,” the mother of one added.

Tiwa further denied ever gossiping about Seyi Shay or Victoria Kimani or trying to take jobs away from either of them.

“I will say it to you. God should take my child that I birthed, God should take him if I have ever done or said anything about you or Victoria Kimani,” Tiwa said.

She continued, “B*tch, I am made! I have money; I have nothing to take from you. I am not going to be hired for a show and say something else.”

Seyi and Victoria had in 2019 released their covers of Kizz Daniel’s song ‘Fvck You’ in which they threw shade at Tiwa Savage.

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Sanwo-Olu mourns T.B Joshua

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has expressed sadness over the death of televangelist Prophet Temitope Joshua who died last Saturday at 57.

Mr Sanwo-Olu in a statement issued by his chief press secretary Gboyega Akosile said the death of the founder of the Synagogue, Church of All Nations, a Christian megachurch that runs the Emmanuel TV television station, was painful.

He urged the deceased family, friends, associates and entire members of the church as well as people and government of Ondo State to take the death of Joshua in good faith.

Sanwo-Olu said: “No doubt the death of a loved one is usually painful as it is irreparable but we must always take solace in God, especially if the deceased had lived a good life, just like Prophet T.B Joshua who impacted people within and outside the shores of Nigeria positively.

“The pastoral, wise counsel and philanthropic gestures of Prophet T.B Joshua will be sorely missed by his family, the less privileged and the entire members of The Synagogue Church of Nations, especially in Ikotun axis of Lagos State, where he played active roles as a cleric and philanthropist before he passed on.

“I sympathise with his family, friends, associates, widow of the deceased and the entire members of The Synagogue Church of Nations and the Ondo State Government. I pray that God will grant the late Prophet T.B Joshua eternal rest and grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

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‘Wizard At Endor’- Chris Okotie Rejoices Over TB Joshua’s Death

Founder of the Household of God Church Rev. Chris Okotie has released a strong-worded statement about the vengeance of God on the enemies of the church.

Okotie’s message released on Tuesday, June 8 came three days after the death of the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations Prophet Temitope Joshua popularly called TB Joshua.

Although Okotie did not mention any name in his message posted to social media, he wrote that the “wizard at Endor who assumed the title Emmanuel, has been consumed by divine indignation,” a reference many have attached to Joshua whose church’s slogan is Emmanuel.

“The wizard at Endor who assumed the title Emmanuel, has been consumed by divine indignation. And now his disciples bewail his ignominious exit.

“No marvel, one third of God’s angels followed the disgraced anointed cherub Lucifer!!” Okotie wrote.

“Jehovah-Jesus our mighty gladiator has broken the head of the dragon with his mighty blows. He has descended from the mountain of spices with the fiery sword of his indignation. Glorious in his apparel and traveling in the greatness of his strength, he goes conquering and to conquer the adversaries of his church.”

Okotie has been a long-standing critic of Joshua. In 2017, he accused Joshua who died aged 57 of “shamanist practices”.

Concluding his message, Okotie wrote, “Let those who swear by the Lord and by Malcham and the descendants of Haman, now tremble in fear. The day of the vengeance of our God has fully come to Nigeria. And they shall not escape. Operation Hupopodion (footstool) has commenced. More Power To You !!!”

Many Christian leaders in Nigeria have been quiet about Joshua’s death especially as the SCOAN founder had been considered an outsider in the Christian fold.

His methods were considered unorthodox and unbiblical and he was never accepted in the Christian Association of Nigeria and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria.

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UBA, DEG Sign $50m Term Loan to Support Small Businesses in Nigeria

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, a German development finance institution, have entered into a partnership aimed at supporting small and medium scale businesses (SMEs) in Nigeria.

To this end, both institutions have signed a $50m term facility agreement. The facility with a tenor of six years is targeted at supporting SMEs and family-owned businesses in Nigeria.

UBA America’s chief executive officer Sola Yomi-Ajayi, who spoke about the partnership, said as a financial institution, UBA remains passionate about the growth of the private sector and small businesses which according to her, remains critical for any developing country. She noted that the passion to see this sector succeed is what led both organisations to collaborate on this laudable feat.

Yomi-Ajayi, who is also the global head for financial institutions, multilateral and development organizations, said, “At UBA Group, we are proud of this collaboration with DEG, particularly as it supports our financial intervention in the SME space, enabling financial inclusion, as well as facilitating economic empowerment.”

She added, “These objectives remain core aspects of our strategy, particularly as regards to facilitating the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals on the African continent.”

In his comments, DEG’s regional director for West Africa Bernhard Tilemann said, “DEG is delighted to enter into a long-term cooperation with UBA in Nigeria and the region. This cooperation will address the current economic change callenges of the country while fostering private sector growth and impact in the largest economy of the continent.”

According to Tilemann, the funding provided by DEG is partly supported by EB-SME finance fund emerging markets, while the fund’s adviser is a 100% subsidiary of Evangelische Bank (EB).

The regional director noted that DEG has offices on the African continent in Lagos, Abidjan, Johannesburg and Nairobi; and pointed out that the move is a major milestone for DEG’s regional representative office in Lagos which was opened in 2019.

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NGX Lists Nova Merchant Bank’s N10Bn Bond

NOVA Merchant Bank has concluded the listing of its N10bn seven-year subordinated unsecured bond on the Nigeria Stock Exchange.

The bank marked the milestone while partaking in the closing gong ceremony held remotely with MD/CEO of NOVA Merchant Bank, Nath Ude; divisional head Listings Business NGX Limited, Olumide Bolumole; Group CEO United Capital Plc, Peter Ashade; and Rasheed Doyen of the Nigerian Capital Market in attendance.

This listing follows the recent reaffirmation by Datapro of the “A” rating on the bond and upgrade by Global Credit Rating of NOVA Merchant Bank’s long term issuer rating from BBB- to BBB with a stable outlook. This achievement also follows the recent publication of the bank’s financial results for FY2020 in which it declared a profit after tax of N3.49bn in 2020 compared to N1.65bn in 2019.

According to Ude, “The listing of this bond on the Nigerian Stock Market is a welcome development as the Bank seeks to increase its participation in the capital market in the future both as an operator and an issuer.”

Chairman of NOVA Merchant Bank Phillips Oduoza further noted, “This bond listing provides a forestate of the Bank’s ambitions to be an active participant in the capital market as we seek to reestablish merchant banking as a key economic driver by providing long-term funds and advisory services.”

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Founder of Venivici Spa in Lagos, Arinola Adeniyi, dies at 60

Wellness coach and founder of Venivici Health Club and Urban Spa in Lagos Arinola Adeniyi has died aged 60.

Arin, as she was fondly called, passed on at First Cardiology Consultants, Lagos on Monday. Tha cause of death has not been ascertained.

The former banker was the cousin of president of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick.

Adeniyi opened Venivici in the early 2000s which was a novel idea at the time.

Her childhood dream was to be a banker. She, however, rose to the post of deputy general manager in the banking industry before leaving to set up Venivici.

Adeniyi was an associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

Mourning her, editor of Ovation Magazine Mike Effiong said in the comments section of his Instagram post about her death that he had a chat with Adeniyi last week.

“We chatted last week about this her 21 day belly fat challenge and was urging me to join. We had a good laugh! Life!” he wrote.

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Mbaka confirms DSS invitation, vows not to keep quiet

Enugu-based Catholic priest and spiritual director of Adoration Ministry Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka has flayed the Department of State Services (DSS) over its reported summon to Abuja.

Mbaka said during a sermon on Sunday that he was told DSS operatives came looking for him, but wondered what his offence was.

The cleric’s public criticism of the Buhari administration in April has raised a lot of dusts even among the Catholic faithful.

Speaking on the DSS invitation, Mbaka said, “I got a call on Thursday that the DSS people from Abuja came here (Enugu) with a letter of invitation to Abuja; over what? What I cannot understand is how the mother church in Nigeria could be cowed.

“The mother church is both a lamb and lion. The Bible says if the foundation is destroyed, what can the just man do?

“I am the servant here. They don’t understand history. I spoke against Abacha; I went to Minna to tell Babangida what was wrong in his time. I spoke to Obasanjo face to face; I perform under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I ministered to the late President Yar’Adua; I am being used by a supernatural spirit called the Holy Spirit.

“If they are attacking me here and there, even from those that should save me, no wahala (no problem). The Bible says if God is for us, who can be against us? Only God can be God. I heard the security people did not accept the letter. They asked them to come on Monday to give me the letter.”

It was not immediately clear if the DSS operatives returned as told on Monday.

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Set your sights higher than mere survival, Mbaise USA, MLF counsel Ndigbo

Mbaise USA, a group of Mbaise people living in the United States, and Mbaise Leadership Forum (MLF), another group of Mbaise sons and daughters living across the globe, have expressed sadness at the escalation of violence, loss of lives, and destruction of property in the south-east.

“Recent events in Imo State and Mbaise have been difficult to watch” but “we sincerely hope that peace will soon be restored,” the groups said, and urged Ndigbo to “set our sights higher than mere survival.”

Violence has increased in recent weeks in Imo State as security operatives clash regularly with Biafra agitators.

“All of us are united by our shared purpose to live in peace and security and to go about our legitimate activities without let or hindrance. And we desire to be treated with fairness and justice,” Mbaise USA and MLF said in a joint statement.

The statement, signed by Mbaise USA president, S.O. Echendu, and MLF moderator, Chris Ohanele, insisted that “the constitutional rights of Nigerian citizens cannot be taken for granted. And so, we have the right to demand them.

“But on the various possible ways to achieve the purpose, and to make our just demands, reasonable people can disagree without resorting to violence.”

The groups said they welcome all peaceful initiatives aimed at securing the lives and property of law-abiding citizens whose lives have been significantly impacted by the unrests and general insecurity.

It expressed support for the call by Ezuruezu Mbaise “for our people to stay away from actions that will lead to insecurity in our land.

“We ask Mbaise people to desist from making utterances that may inflame the current situation and further endanger lives and property.

“Social media should be used responsibly and not as a tool to cause panic. It should not be used to post hateful propaganda and incendiary comments.”

In the face of a common threat to the nation’s security, the group stressed, “it is necessary that we stay united even as we may have different points of views. We must avoid the temptation to turn on one another.”

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Kumuyi Breaks Silence On FG’s ban on Twitter in Nigeria

General superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry Worldwide Pastor William Kumuyi has reacted to the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, saying the church’s tweets are for global audience.

Kumuyi’s tweet followed an order by the attorney-general of the federation Abubakar Malami for Nigerians still using Twitter to be prosecuted.

Tweeting on Monday, Kumuyi who recently turned 80 said the church has branches across 100 countries and five continents hence it can tweet from anywhere in the world.

“In view of the Twitter ban in Nigeria, please note that the content shared on this handle is targeted at a global audience in more than five continents and over 100 nations and we share the content from any of these locations,” he wrote.

Earlier in the day, the general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God Pastor Enoch Adeboye said his church is present across the world and tweeting is in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations universal declaration of human rights.

The tweet read, “The Redeemed Christian Church of God is domiciled in more than 170 nations and territories. The tweets here are in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations universal declaration of human rights.”

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Why we want TB Joshua buried in Arigidi, by monarch

The traditional ruler of Arigidi Akoko in Akoko North West Local Government Area of Ondo State Oba Yisa Olanipekun has appealed to members of the Synagogue Church of All Nations to allow Prophet TB Joshua to be buried in Arigidi, his hometown.

Joshua died in Lagos last Saturday at the age of 57.

According to Oba Olanipekun, traditional rulers in the four Akoko local governments had decided to give the late pastor a befitting burial.

Th church’s members are reportedly planning to bury Joshua in Lagos.

“We can handle all his burial arrangements, not only Arigidi but all the Akokos, comprising four local governments. We don’t joke with him, we know what he has done for us,” Oba Olanipekun said.

“Prophet had it in mind that he was coming home, so why would they bury his remains in Lagos? He is from here. Look at these late pastors, Moses Orimolade was brought to Ikare, Ayo Babalola was taken to Ikeji-Arakeji, Pastor Timothy Obadare was taken to Ilesa in Osun state, among others, so why will ours be different?

“Is he from Lagos? So, they shouldn’t get the whole Akoko angry with them because all the obas in Akoko have been calling me in respect to that.

“Some places in Ondo State had no light for six years but he solved our problems, bought transformers, fixed everything and paid, so it is not only my battle but the whole Akoko.

“As you can see me, I have not been myself because this is a great loss to me, my family and the whole Akoko and even the world in general.”

The monarch claimed Joshua visited him the night he died.

“His visit to me the night of his death signifies that he wants to be buried where he hails from. He had a lot of dreams for the town. He acquired lots of lands here and was building a church and school before he died,” he said.

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Pastor Adeboye, Kumuyi: Malami’ll prosecute those using Twitter in Nigeria – Lai Mohammed

Attorney-general of the federation Abubakar Malami will decide whether or not to prosecute popular clerics Pastor Enoch Adeboye and Pastor William Kumuyi and others tweeting despite the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, information minister Lai Mohammed said on Monday evening.

Adeboye had tweeted on Monday that his church is present in over 170 countries and tweeting is in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Hours later, Kumuyi also tweeted that his church has branches across over 100 countries and five continents hence it can tweet from anywhere in the world.

When asked during an interview on BBC News Africa what the government’s action would be, Mohammed said, “The attorney-general has made it clear that if anybody violates the regulation that such a person will be prosecuted and this is not about any particular person. It is in the realm of the Attorney-General to decide who or who not to prosecute.”

Speaking further, he said, “It is because there is a country called Nigeria that they have rights at all. If the country goes on fire, and there is insecurity everywhere, then, there will be no rights for anybody.”

When confronted by the interviewer that there is already insecurity in Nigeria, the minister said, “Of course, there is.”

“Are we supposed to use Twitter to increase insecurity?” Mohammed asked, adding that agents of destruction have chosen Twitter as a platform to destabilise the corporate existence of Nigeria.

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‘I found him unconscious’ — TB Joshua’s wife speaks on husband’s death

Evelyn Joshua, wife of the founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations, Prophet T.B. Joshua, on Sunday addressed the public on the death of her husband.

Despite the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, Evelyn spoke about Joshua’s death via a tweet.

She told the public to seek refuge in God because losing a loved one can be heartbreaking.

“Losing a loved one is never easy; whether sudden or foreseen. It is always heart-breaking. Grief can wreak havoc on our overall well-being,” she wrote. “That’s why it’s important to stay rooted to the Almighty. Only He can lessen our heartache and comfort us in these times. Seek refuge in him.”

Last year, Joshua said he does not put his wife on the spotlight because only God could do so.

“I would have loved my wife to be like me but I cannot make her what I am; it is God. I can’t anoint her; God is the one that anoints people,” he said, adding, “So, it is so difficult for me to display my wife, she has to be ready for God. As much as you are ready for God, God will display you.”

The couple wedded in 1990 and have three daughters together.

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Another Popular Nigerian pastor dies

General superintendent of Redemption Ministries Worldwide Reverend Stephen Akinola has died at the age of 68 following an undisclosed illness.

Akinola died on Sunday morning in a hospital in Abuja. His death came hours after that of Prophet TB Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations.

Akinola reportedly underwent a kidney transplant in the past.

According to one of Redemption Ministries’ pastors, Akinola’s body has been deposited in a morgue.

“The church has informed all the pastors of the incident and have deposited his body in a mortuary,” the pastor who did not give name over unauthorisation to speak on the matter told BBC Pidgin.

It was gathered that the church’s governing council in the headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State would meet to make a formal announcement.

Akinola was popular for his ‘Suya night’ and ‘Wind of Fire’ programme.

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Govs Sanwo-Olu, Udom Emmanuel praise Deeper Life G.O, Pastor Kumuyi on 80th birthday

Governors of Lagos and Akwa Ibom states Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Udom Emmanuel respectively visited the Deeper Christian Life Ministry headquarters at Gbagada, Lagos on Sunday to celebrate with the church’s general superintendent Pastor William Kumuyi on his 80th birthday.

Mr Sanwo-Olu, in his speech, described Kumuyi as “my leader, my daddy,” and a true man of God, who speaks and “nations listen.”

He said despite the insecurity the nation was confronting, he believed God would intervene and resolve the problem.

Mr Emmanuel, in his remark, said the church had impacted Nigeria from its early days, commending Kumuyi for being consistent in his message of holiness.

“At times people wonder, how come Nigeria is going through all this and we are still as strong as we are? Once you see things like this happen, know that people are standing in the gap,” he said. “And certainly one of them is our father in the Lord, making things to stabilise.”

Kumuyi, who preached on the topic, ‘Our glowing privileges from grace to glory,’ said long life should be measured by the fulfilment of purpose on earth.

“When you finish everything God has appointed for you to do, that is long life. That is why we don’t question, ‘But so and so died at 57,’ for her, that was a long life. Or you say, ‘So and so died at 72,’ for him, that was long life,” he said.

“For you, it is not the number; it is the appointment of God, what he has ordained that you will do. And once you finish and a reward is waiting for you in heaven, we glorify God on your behalf because that is long life.”

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FG can handle #Twitterban better – Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has called on the Federal Government to handle the Twitter standoff better, adding that e-commerce has been affected by the suspension of the micro-blogging site in Nigeria.

“People are losing money but there are also security issues. Let us be circumspect and not throw the baby away with the bathwater,” Mr Sanwo-Olu stated this on Monday on Arise TV’s The Morning Show.

The governor added that although he could not say if the suspension was right or wrong, he felt the Federal Government could establish rules of engagement with Twitter.

He said, “Regarding the specifics around Twitter, I cannot sit down here with all of the responsibilities that I have and fly (sic) the commander in chief of the armed forces. He would have the prognosis and security information that I do not have. I cannot begin to say that was he’s done is right or wrong.

“What I see is that on both sides, there are issues that can be resolved between Twitter and the (Federal) Government and I think what they’ve done is not a ban but a suspension. So, in the period of suspension, let us sit down…we need to have that conversation with them (Twitter).

“In other climes, they sign some underlying agreements on the rules of engagement. I am not sure that is happening here. Having said that, the Federal Government can also handle things a lot better because of the number of e-commerce, because of the number of youths that are doing a lot of things on the internet and we cannot throw that away.

“I believe there could be better restrain and management from both sides. In the next one or two days, let us see that happen. Lagos is hurting, our youths are hurting, Nigeria is hurting, let us understand the issues and put it behind us so that we don’t politicise it.”

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Twitter ban: Buhari regime summons Canada, UK, US, EU envoys

The Federal Government has summoned the envoys of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Republic of Ireland and the European Union over their comments on the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.

Minister of foreign affairs Geoffrey Onyeama is to meet the diplomats at noon on Monday, an invitation to the press signed by Kimiebi Ebienfa read.

“I am directed to inform that following the recent ban on Twitter by the Federal Government and Press Statement issued by some Heads of Diplomatic Missions Accredited to Nigeria on the subject matter, the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency, Geoffrey Onyeama has invited the affected Ambassadors to a meeting today at 12 noon.

“The venue is Minister’s Conference Room, 8th Floor. You are hereby invited to cover the meeting. Thanks for your usual cooperation,” the invite read.

The aforementioned diplomatic missions had in a joint statement on Saturday expressed disappointment over the suspension.

“We strongly support the fundamental human right of free expression and access to information as a pillar of democracy in Nigeria as around the world and these rights apply online as well as offline,” they had said.

“Banning systems of expression is not the answer. These measures inhibit access to information and commerce at precisely the moment when Nigeria needs to foster inclusive dialogue and expression of opinions, as well as share vital information in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The path to a more secure Nigeria lies in more, not less, communication to accompany the concerted efforts of Nigeria’s citizens in fulsome dialogue toward unity, peace and prosperity.

“As Nigeria’s partners, we stand ready to assist in achieving these goals.”

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GOCOP tackles Buhari on Twitter suspension, says action ruining businesses

The Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to rescind his government’s decision to suspend Twitter in Nigeria.

GOCOP made this call in a statement signed by its president Dotun Oladipo and general secretary Danlami Nmodu on Monday.

According to GOCOP, the suspension of Twitter is a major setback for online publishing and other businesses which rely on the social media platform for mass circulation and marketing of their businesses.

“We believe this suspension will ruin our businesses and shrink the democratic space.

“Even more, this action will leave many social media handlers who work full time doing legitimate businesses jobless. This will compound the already troubling unemployment situation in the country.

“We believe this action is more injurious to the survival of Nigerian young business entrepreneurs who rely on Twitter,” the group said.

Also, government’s move is a major setback for information dissemination, growth of the media, information technology sectors among others in Nigeria.

“We note that there are also millions of Nigerians who use Twitter to ventilate their democratic right of freedom of expression responsibly. The suspension clearly shrinks the democratic space,” the group further said.

GOCOP advised the president to explore alternative means of relating with Twitter to resolve whatever difference that have arisen.

“Once again, we call on government to lift the order suspending Twitter in Nigeria immediately,” GOCOP said.

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#TwitterBan: Pastor Adeboye speaks

General overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God Pastor Enoch Adeboye on Monday lent his voice to the suspension of Twitter of Nigeria, saying that tweeting is in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations universal declaration of human rights.

“The Redeemed Christian Church of God is domiciled in more than 170 nations and territories. The tweets here are in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations universal declaration of human rights,” Adeboye tweeted.

Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights read, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Nigerian authorities suspended Twitter last week after the micro-blogging site deleted a post by President Muhammadu Buhari which threatened to deal with IPOB members in the “language they understand.”

Despite the ban, many Nigerians have been using virtual private networks to access Twitter, forcing the government to announce they would begin prosecuting people still using Twitter in the country.

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Buhari breaks silence on TB Joshua’s death: ‘His legacies will endure’

President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the family and members of the Synagogue Church of All Nations on the death of Prophet Temitope Joshua.

His condolence message was contained in a statement on Sunday by his spokesman Femi Adesina.

The statement read, “The President notes that the renowned televangelist will be missed by his followers all over the world not only for his spiritual contributions but for touching many lives through philanthropic gestures.

“President Buhari urges Pastor Joshua’s followers to take solace in the knowledge that life is not measured and defined by chronological longevity but by enduring legacies and lives touched positively.

“He also condoles with the government and people of Ondo State and prays that God Almighty will accept the soul of the departed pastor.”

T. B. Joshua, as he was known, died at the age of 57 on Saturday after a church programme in Lagos. He would have clocked 58 on June 12.

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Unknown Gunmen Raze Country Home of Imo State Commissioner, Local Govt Chairman

Just over a month after an attack at the country home of Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma, gunmen have razed that of his commissioner for information and strategy, Declan Emelumba.

The attack at Mr Emelumba’s community in Ubulu-Ihejiofor in Oru West Local Government Area of the state took place in the early hours of Sunday.

Back in April, gunmen burnt Uzodimma’s residence in Omuma, Oru East Local Government Area of the state with two security aides shot dead.

No human casualty was recorded in Emelumba’s case. However, the two houses in the compound were razed.

A source said the gunmen shot indiscriminately when they arrived before setting the house on fire.

“it was a terrific night. Nobody slept last night. People are just coming out from the bushes. The shooting was so much and people had to take cover in the bushes,” the source told PUNCH.

Emelumba told the newspaper that his gateman escaped death.

“Yes, it is true. My house in the village has been burnt down. It was completely razed. We don’t stay in the village. My gateman managed to escape,” he said, refusing to point fingers.

Imo has witnessed increased violence and killings since the governor took a tough stance against the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

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Flags fly at half-mast at TB Joshua’s church, as worshippers wail, mourn

All the flags adorning the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos have been lowered at half mast as sympathisers throng the church on the news of the death of Prophet T. B. Joshua.

Also, the usual Sunday service did not hold in the church.

Joshua died on Saturday after preaching at a church programme. News of his death broke on Sunday morning.

Many of the mourners gathered at the church’s entrance singing.

Some of them told NAN that Joshua’s death was unfortunate, especially at a time the nation was in need of strong voices to unite it and entrench love and genuine spirituality.

They said that he committed his time on earth to serving God and humanity.

Joshua, who would have turned 58 on June 12, used his broadcast channel Emmanuel TV to amass large followership from across the world.

Melinda Soares, a member of the church from Seme, said “Baba”, as Joshua was fondly called by his followers, died for Nigeria.

“Baba has finally died for Nigeria! This has always been his wish. I have never seen a man of God like him. He does what he says and says what he does.

“He still said the same thing yesterday on the mountain where we went. His death is a pointer to the fact that God’s will for Nigeria is finally coming to pass,” Mrs Soares said.

Perter Lucas, another member, said God took Joshua at a very early age so that, through him, there would be peace in Nigeria.

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Fani-Kayode eats his words: Shocked over TB Joshua’s death

Former aviation minister Femi Fani-Kayode has said that one of the daughters of Prophet T.B. Joshua told him that news of Joshua’s death was “fake”, prompting him to tweet same early Sunday.

Mr Fani-Kayode’s tweet set confusion among many social media users as reports of Joshua’s death had begun spreading.

The ex-minister, however, said the same source later confirmed the report.

“The passing of my dearest brother Prophet TB Joshua saddens me deeply. At 3.00am this morning I was told by one of his daughters that this was fake news and I tweeted as much,” he wrote in a social media post.

“Sadly I was misled. Five minutes ago the same person called me back and confirmed the story. @GazetteNGR was right and I am in shock and pain.

“He was a wonderful, kind, generous, wise and loving man who was undoubtedly one of God’s ‘end-time’ Generals and who did so much for those in need and the Body of Christ.”

Fani-Kayode said his family would miss Joshua “dearly as he soars to the stars and takes his place amongst the angels and saints in Heaven.”

“Rest in peace God’s great general. You taught me the power and importance of faith, courage, love and strength even in the most difficult times! I shall miss you,” he added.

Perhaps one of the most vocally supportive politician of Joshua, Fani-Kayode condemned church leaders in 2019 for allegedly speaking ill of the man known across the world for performing miracles.

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NDDC BOARD: Tompolo Releases Fresh Statement On Ultimatum

Former militant Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo has “reluctantly” accepted pleas to stand down his threat to attack oil facilities in the Niger Delta if the Federal Government does not set up a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by June 7.

Tompolo’s change of stance followed a meeting on Thursday with Niger Delta stakeholders which had in attendance the minister of Niger Delta affairs Godswill Akpabio.

The Niger Delta top ex-militant, who had issued the ultimatum on May 31, emphasised in a statement on Saturday that he would not be bought over with money.

“As I expressed in my press statement of Monday, May 31st, 2021, I came into this matter because of love for the region and Nigeria. I make bold to say that I cannot be compromised by money and other material things. However, the only thing one can do for Nigeria in these trying times, where all the six geopolitical zones are in turmoil, is to pray to God for peace and tranquility, particularly for the economic hub of the country, the Niger Delta region,” Tompolo said.

“Therefore, I welcomed the consultative meeting of our revered Traditional rulers from the region, Delta State Government, the Ijaw National Congress (INC) led by its President, Professor Benjamin Okaba, leaders from the Itsekiri, Urhobo, Isoko, Ndokwa and other Nationalities with the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Akpabio in attendance, at the traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Oporoza town on Thursday June 3rd 2021.

“The outcome of the meeting has been made known to the public by the Minister. He promised profusely to start the process of the constitution and inauguration of the substantive board of the NDDC immediately (from Friday, June 4th 2021), and that he should be allowed to drive the process to an end on or before the end of June 2021.

“As it stands now, I have accepted the outcome of the meeting reluctantly. It is pertinent to state at this juncture that, I do not want anything to disrupt the relative peace we are enjoying in the region. It was on this premise that I accepted the outcome of the meeting. The ultimate goal in this issue is for the Minister to abide by the promise he has made to start the process of constituting the NDDC board now. Government shenanigans must be put away in this matter as constituting the NDDC board is very dear to the heart of the people of the region.”

Tompolo thanked Ijaw leader and elder statesman Edwin Clark, Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and others for the roles they played in the issue.

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Buhari’s civil war comment: Twitter doesn’t appreciate Nigeria’s trauma during 30 months war – Presidency

The Presidency on Saturday said the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria was more than a response to the removal of President Muhammadu Buhari’s post.

It said in a statement that the platform has continued to harbour misinformation and “fake news” and should have read all of the president’s post to understand his point.

Twitter deleted Buhari’s Tuesday post where he threatened to deal with the Indigenous People of Biafra “in the language they understand”. The social media giant took down the post after outcry, saying it violated its policies.

However, the statement from the Presidency signed by presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said Buhari’s statement was not a threat, but statement of fact since IPOB is a proscribed organisation.

“The temporary suspension of Twitter is not just a response to the removal of the President’s post. There has been a litany of problems with the social media platform in Nigeria, where misinformation and fake news spread through it have had real world violent consequences. All the while, the company has escaped accountability,” the statement read.

“Nevertheless, the removal of President Buhari’s tweet was disappointing. The censoring seemed based on a misunderstanding of the challenges Nigeria faces today.

“The President in his address at the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA in 2019 said ‘the world was shocked and startled by the massacre in New Zealand by a lone gunman taking the lives of 50 worshippers.’

“This and similar crimes which have been fueled by social media networks risk seeping into the fabric of an emerging digital culture.

“Major tech companies must be alive to their responsibilities. They cannot be allowed to continue to facilitate the spread of religious, racist, xenophobic and false messages capable of inciting whole communities against each other, leading to loss of many lives. This could tear some countries apart.

“President Buhari has therefore been warning against social media’s disruptive and divisive influences and the government’s action is not a knee-jerk reaction to Twitter’s preposterous deletion of his tweet which should have been read in full.

“The tweet was not a threat, but a statement of fact.

“A terrorist organisation (IPOB) poses a significant threat to the safety and security of Nigerian citizens.

“When the President said that they will be treated ‘in a language they understand,’ he merely reiterated that their force shall be met with force. It is a basic principle of security services response world over.”

The Presidency also alleged that IPOB has amassed a substantial stockpile of weapons and bombs across the country.

“Twitter does not seem to appreciate the national trauma of our country’s civil war. This government shall not allow a recurrence of that tragedy,” it added.

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Nigerian govt doubles down on #TwitterBan, as Malami orders prosecution of alleged violators

Attorney-general of the federation Abubakar Malami has ordered the federation’s director of public prosecution to immediately begin prosecuting those who violate the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria.

Malami’s order comes as many persons have managed to circumvent the ban using virtual private networks.

“Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has directed the immediate prosecution of offenders of the Federal Government ban on Twitter operations in Nigeria,” a statement on Saturday by the AGF’s spokesman Umar Gwandu read.

“Malami directed the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation at the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, to swing into action and commence in earnest the process of prosecution of violators of the Federal Government De-activation of operations of Twitter in Nigeria.

“Malami directed the DPPF to liaise with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, National Communication Communication and other relevant government agencies to ensure the speedy prosecution of offenders without any further delay.”

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Biafra: Twitter deletes Nnamdi Kanu’s threat to kill Nigerian soldiers

Twitter has reportedly removed a tweet by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra Nnamdi Kanu threatening soldiers.

Mr Kanu in the controversial tweet on Wednesday used derogatory words to describe some government officials, and threatened that soldiers deployed to the south-east would be killed, Premium Times reports.

“It’s not for the living to respond to the dead but given the lack of reasoning prevalent in the #Zoo Nigeria, I wish to assure @GarShehu (Garba Shehu), the Jihadi midget @elrufai (Nasir El-Rufai) & that Fulani lapdog Femi Adesina that any army they send to #Biafraland will die there. None will return alive,” his now-deleted tweet read.

Twitter deleted the post on Saturday for violating its policies after Nigerian authorities suspended its operations in the country.

The social media giant deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s Tuesday post where he threatened to deal with IPOB “in the language they understand”. The post was taken down following outcry.

In a follow-up to the suspension, attorney-general of the federation Abubakar Malami has directed the prosecution of citizens bypassing Twitter blackout through VPNs.

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Nigerians need bully like Buhari to knock sense into their heads: Femi Adesina

Special adviser to the president on media and publicity Femi Adesina has said his principal could be described as a “kind bully” following the president’s recent comments about dealing with trouble makers.

Twitter deleted some comments made by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday which it said violated its policies.

“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” Buhari had said.

However, in his weekly article published on Friday on Facebook, Mr Adesina said the president could not be described as genocidal, adding that Buhari makes decision in the best interest of the nation.

He wrote, “President Muhammadu Buhari spoke on Tuesday, warning troublemakers in the country that the picnic was over, and the next day, I saw this comment online from a Buharist, as lovers and admirers of the President are known:

“I just finished watching the President on TV reading the riot act to troublemakers, and I couldn’t be prouder of the President. I suddenly remembered why I fell in love with the President.

“That respondent sure spoke the minds of millions of Buharists in Nigeria and the Diaspora. The man we fell in love with is of iron and steel, one ready and willing to knock sense into contumacious heads, whipping everyone into line. And being kind to us in the process. A kind bully, if you like the oxymoron.”

Adesina explained that the president made the statement “that is perhaps the most epochal in recent times” because he was alarmed at the spate of attacks on public buildings in the south-east.

“President Buhari is not genocidal, and can’t ever be accused of such intentions. But a leader worth his salt cannot look on, and watch law and order break down irretrievably. It is not about a people, or region. It is about the country he took an oath to keep together,” he added.

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Police Council confirms Usman Alkali Baba as Inspector General of Police

The National Police Council on Friday confirmed Usman Baba as the 21st indigenous inspector general of police, nearly two months after his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Minister of police affairs Maigari Dingyadi told reporters that Mr Baba was unanimously confirmed.

The minister said Buhari directed the new IGP to ensure insecurity is brought to the barest minimum.

“We have just come out of the National Police Council meeting chaired by Mr President and the 36 state governors and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), who are also members of the council in attendance,” he said.

“The purpose of that meeting was, one, to get the appointment of the acting IG confirmed by the council – that is in keeping with the Section 215 of the Constitution, which requires the affirmation or confirmation of the full members of the Council before he is finally confirmed as substantive Inspector General of Police.

“Secondly, to brief the police council on the security situation in the country and as usual the meeting started with the presentation of the acting inspector general for confirmation which fortunately the council, because of the track records of service of the appointee, was unanimously confirmed as the Inspector General of Police for the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Mr President used the opportunity to congratulate him for this appointment, and to call on him to ensure that he does not betray the confidence repose in him by Nigerians.’’

Buhari, on April 6, appointed Baba as acting inspector general of police following the retirement of Mohammed Adamu.

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11-year-old girl rescued from abusive father in Lagos

Lagos State Ministry of Justice has rescued an 11-year old girl allegedly being abused and assaulted by her father in Ketu area of the state.

The ministry’s directorate of citizens’ rights was invited into the matter after a neighbour residing on the same street with the family reported the case.

Director, Citizens Rights Oluwatoyin Odusanya said officials of the ministry of justice gathered that the assault by the father had occurred on several occasions before it was formally reported to the authorities.

“The good neighbour stated that the 61-year old man, who lost his wife – the mother of the victim and had remarried – was always in the habit of assaulting the victim and her sibling,” Odusanya explained.

She noted that officials of the Child Protection Unit, Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development, arrested the alleged abusive father and took him to a police station for further investigations.

Director, Child Protection Unit Olubukayo Odukoya said the rescued child would be taken to a government facility for necessary care and rehabilitation.

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BREAKING!!! FG Suspends Twitter’s Operations In Nigeria

The Federal Government has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, citing the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

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