Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Wednesday, 28 February, 2018.

Wed, 28 Feb 2018
The Federal Government has set up a 12-member committee to unravel the circumstances surrounding the abduction of 110 pupils of the Government Girls Science and Technical College (GGSTC) in Dapchi, Yobe State, as it released the names and details of the girls.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known in a statement in Abuja yesterday.

The committee, convened by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), will be chaired by a military officer of the rank of major general.

It will comprise one senior provost each from the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force; representatives of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA); Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA); Nigeria Police Force (NPF); Department of State Service (DSS); Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC); two representatives of the Yobe State government and a representative of the Office of the National Security Adviser.

The terms of reference of the committee include ascertaining the circumstances surrounding the abduction, confirming the presence, composition, scale and disposition of security emplaced in Dapchi and at GGSTC before the incident, and suggesting measures that could lead to the location and rescue of the girls.

The committee, expected to submit its report by March 15, 2018, will also recommend measures to prevent future occurrence, and will be inaugurated tomorrow.

Of the missing girls, eight are in JSS1; 17 in JSS2; 12 in JSS3; 40 in SS1; 19 in SS2; and 14 in SS3. Their ages range from 11 to 19 years.

The list, which also contains the contact address and phone number of each girl, was verified by a 26-member screening committee that included the Executive Secretary, State Teaching Service Board, Musa Abdulsalam; Director, Schools’ Management, Ministry of Education, Shuaibu Bulama; Principal of GGSTC, Adama Abdulkarim; the two Vice Principals, Ali Musa Mabu and Abdullahi Sule Lampo; Admission Officer, Bashir Ali Yerima, and the Form Masters for all the classes.

The House of Representatives, meanwhile, summoned all service chiefs to brief on the state of security in the country. It set up an ad hoc committee to visit Dapchi and investigate the abduction, and also urged the Federal Government to mobilise security agencies for a speedy rescue of the abducted girls.

This came as the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, yesterday relocated to Yobe State to personally oversee the search for the girls. The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) had earlier deployed more platforms to the North East for the operation.

Goni Bukar Lawan (APC, Yobe) raised the girls’ matter during a plenary presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara. Recalling the 2014 murder of 58 students of the College of Agriculture, Buni Yadi, Yobe State, he regretted the absence of security operatives in Dapchi on the day of the abduction.

In a statement, Dogara said rather than trading blame over the incident, security agencies should strengthen collaboration towards rescuing the girls.

He said: “Statements credited to the army and the police in which they tried to exonerate themselves from any culpability in the unfortunate and embarrassing abduction is highly condemnable.

Wed, 28 Feb 2018
The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, yesterday, survived renewed efforts to oust him, as the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party extended his tenure by an additional year.
The extension also covers both elective and non-elective members of the NWC, and the chairmen and executive members of the 36 state chapters.

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State made this known at the end of the NEC meeting attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, the party’s 24 state governors and chairmen from the 36 states of the federation.

Bello justified the decision, saying it was aimed at preventing the crises plaguing the party from getting worse. He explained that the extension starts from June 30, after the tenure of the Oyegun-led NWC expires.

He also reiterated the party’s belief in the ability of National Leader Bola Tinubu to reconcile warring APC members, stressing that the party would still conduct its non-elective convention before the end of the year.

He said: “Considering the time left for the party to conduct all the congresses and convention and the considering that our leader, Bola Tinubu, has been charged with the responsibility of reconciling all aggrieved members of our party, we cannot afford to approach the general elections with more disputes and crises.

“And relying on Article 13 of our constitution, which empowers the NEC to carry out functions of the convention, the NEC has decided to extend the tenure of the current NWC and other executive committees at various levels for another 12 months, starting from June 30, this year. ”

The decision implies that both the NWC and the state chairmen have been saddled with the responsibility of conducting the presidential, National Assembly, and state Assemblies primaries ahead of the 2019 election.

At the start of the meeting, which lasted over three hours, Buhari enjoined supporters of the party to ensure free and fair primaries for aspirants vying for elective positions.

He commended the party’s leadership for its stewardship and urged support for Tinubu in the task to end feuds within the party.

He said: “Soon, primaries for wards, local governments, state and the centre will be due. I urge all members to take account of the fact that the APC has a history of conducting free and fair primaries whenever consensus about any position is not reached. Regardless of the outcome of the primary processes, it is imperative that we all work together to ensure victory for our party.”

The president commended the armed forces, the police and other security agencies for successes recorded in the fight against Boko Haram and showcased his administration’s effort at restoring prudence to the management of public finances.

He said: “On February 23, Nigeria issued 12-year and 20-year Eurobond on the international market, which were both oversubscribed. The 12-year bond was within days subscribed by 332 per cent. The 20-year bond was subscribed by 372 per cent.

Wed, 28 Feb 2018
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday downplayed Transparency International’s (TI) damning verdict on Nigeria, saying the latest corruption perception index should not be misconstrued as a set back but an opportunity to continue building on the many successes recorded in key sectors of the country.
Speaking on the theme: “The imperative of cooperation of arms of government in a democratic dispensation,” at the Dialogue of Organs of Government on Reform of Justice Sector and Campaign Against corruption, Osinbajo insisted the administration is particularly recording tremendous success in the fight against corruption, noting that perception may indeed lag behind reality.

The Deputy Chief of Staff, Ade Ipaye, represented him at the jointly organised dialogue by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) and Federal Ministry of Justice.

He said: “This dialogue couldn’t have come at a better time, the ranking of Nigeria by the 2017 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, released on February 21st, 2018, should not in anyway be seen as a set back but rather as an opportunity to continue building on the many successes that have already been recorded by this government in all the key sectors.

“It is also important to note that the main reason for Nigeria’s decline in the Transparency International 2017 Corruption Perception Index, is that Nigeria recorded a major drop in score on just one out of the nine international recognized indexes used by Transparency International, to ascertain perceived levels of public sector corruption from the perspective of experts and business people.

“The index in question scored Nigeria low on the economy intelligence unit country’s risk service with the decline from 37 points to 20. This is an index that analyses the risks of financial exposure in countries.

“The question to be asked then is what changed so dramatically between 2016 and 2017? As we speak, the budget for 2018 is under public scrutiny at the National Assembly, the allocation and use of public funds is guided by the budget and represents one of the key areas of consultations and interaction between the two arms of government, that is the executive and legislature.’’

Wed, 28 Feb 2018
No fewer than than 5,000 residents of Mbatoho community, a suburb of Makurdi, the Benue capital have been sacked by armed herdsmen.
The settlement is located on an island in Mballagh ward of the capital city.

An informant, John Tehemen, who led some members of the community to the Government House, Makurdi, said that the attackers invaded the community and forced over 5,000 to abandon their homes.

He said: “There are over 5,000 people in the community. Herdsmen, who were fully armed with sophisticated weapons, in   early hours of today (yesterday) stormed our community and ordered everyone to leave.

“They came in their numbers, burnt down our houses, barns and farmlands, though they did not harm anyone.”

The deputy governor, Benson Abounu who received the people, promised prompt intervention, stating that government was just receiving the information from the community.

He added that he had ordered the Security Adviser, Paul Hemba, to liaise with the police and take a tour of the area.

His words: “The community just came to tell us about the attack. I have directed the security adviser to report to police and find out the situation of thing. The village is right here (pointing to across the River Benue).

Asked if government was not worried that the herdsmen could use the place as a launch pad, Abounu said the next line of action would be taken after the fact-finding tour.

When contacted on phone, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, told our correspondent that he just got the report.

Wed, 28 Feb 2018
Professor Peter Emeka Arinze of the Department of Economics, University of Jos, has suggested the creation of cattle ranches as panacea to herdsmen/farmers clashes in parts of the federation.
Opposing the proposal for cattle colonies, the don feared that the disturbing development was posing serious danger to the country’s corporate existence.

He told The Guardian in Jos that the harmony and unity of the nation must not be threatened by the mindless killings, stating that most of the cattle on the streets belonged to politicians but only use herdsmen as cover.

Arinze said: “Most of the cattle that are being reared belong to our politicians, Muslims and Christians together. Some of our politicians own about 300 to 3000 cattle. Most of the cattle we see on the streets or in the farms are not owned by the herdsmen who drive them in different farms and streets.”

According to the university lecturer, the incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers were endangering Nigeria’s food security, disrupting school programmes, posing security threat, inflicting diseases and creating needless refugee camps everywhere in the communities.

He continued: “To tell ourselves the truth, these challenges must be resolved if Nigeria should remain one and foster economic growth and prosperity. Some people in government are advocating cattle ranches or colonies in all the states of the federation. This makes people suspect that there is a political motive or hidden agenda behind all this.

“Nigeria is a democratic free enterprise. We are not practising dictatorial socialism where government could impose its will on the people. Cattle rearing is a private business and farming also is a private business. For the government to suggest cattle colonies in all the states of the federation is a primitive economic policy.

“The capitalist system is characterised by private ownership of resources and the freedom of individuals to engage in the economic activities of their choice as a means for advancing their material well being and self-interest is the driving force of such an economy.”

Wed, 28 Feb 2018
Troops of Sector 1 Sub-Sector A of the Nigerian Army say they have arrested 10 herdsmen for destroying farms at Yelwata as the military maintained that Exercise Ayem Akpatuma (Cat Race) has continued to record feats in Benue State. The Army, in a statement by its spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Jude Chukwu, said the troops, while on [] 

Wed, 28 Feb 2018
The Odiologbo of Oleh Kingdom and Chairman, Isoko Traditional Council, HRM Anthony William Ovrawah Omogha 1, has urged his subjects to be vigilant and report any attacks, saying there was no land for cattle colony in the area. The monarch made his position known while inaugurating chairmen of standing peace committees at his palace in [] 

Wed, 28 Feb 2018
Nigeria's economy had for over three decades now been presided over by the brightest economists from all over the world, from the top echelon of the World Bank, ADB/ADF, the Academic Community and other economic pundits. Yet, The Human Development Index (HDI) of Nigerians which is an aggregate of the general standard of living of [] 

Wed, 28 Feb 2018
A common antibiotic used to treat infections could be deadly for heart disease patients years after taking the drug, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned. Clarithromycin, sold under the brand name Biaxin, is used to treat many skin, ear, sinus and lung infections. But a 10-year study revealed that people suffering [] 

Wed, 28 Feb 2018
Enugu-based Mrs. Ifeoma Okoye, author of The Fourth World, a novel that depicts extreme poverty, the sort inflicted on a hapless citizenry by insensitive governments that cripple youthful aspirations, will read to university students today, February 28, 2018. Venue is the third floor, Faculty of Arts Boardroom, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos. Time is 11am. [] 
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