NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: Today's Thisday Newspaper Headlines [25 February, 2018].

Below are the headlines found on Thisday Online Newspaper for today, Sunday, 25 February, 2018.

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
With the positive leadership changes in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana and even the likes of Ethiopia, people are wondering if Nigeria would follow suit. Only last week, President Muhammadu Buhari told some APC governors, who visited him at the State House, Abuja, that he was yet to make up his mind on the 2019 presidential elections. Reports say he is still considering the pros and cons of the case for a second term or the arguments of those who advise that he, Buhari, should embrace the Mandela option given his age and health. And considering the fact that whatever he has not achieved or set in motion now, it would be difficult to achieve in four years, they say the President as set a new moral high for Nigerian leadership and laid a solid foundation for tackling corruption in high office. They fear that should Buhari run, his legacy could be tainted. Against the backdrop of whether the president will run or not, there has been a flurry of activity among political leaders across Nigeria with many positioning themselves to replace him, especially the young politicians, who claim they have the energy and vision required for Nigeria at this time, and feel that this is their last chance to take Nigeria to the next level.


This thinking, of course, has been accentuated by the recent positions of two former presidents. While former President Olusegun Obasanjo has advocated a third force, former Military President Ibrahim Babangida has canvassed a new leadership with digital disposition. In all this, THISDAY is identifying candidates who may not necessarily be in the race but who people are talking about. Here are 11 of such candidates. (The first of a two-part series)

Muhammadu Buhari / The man to beat

He is the incumbent, but President Muhammadu Buhari has maintained a stoic silence over his re-election in 2019, a decision he is constitutionally entitled to. Until his recent pronouncement at the State House during the visit of APC governors, Buhari had twice hinted at a possible presidential run. First at a summit on terrorism in Abidjan, C’ote d’Voire and second, when he visited Kano State weeks back on a working visit.

His body language to run the 2019 presidential election was given a new life, when his Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, quietly got President Buhari to re-appoint him as the Director-General of his re-election campaign. After all, Amaechi led the campaign to an electoral victory in 2015. However, while this appointment has not been officially announced due to internal intrigues, Amaechi is said to already have his letter of appointment, which he presented to the President to sign, a proof that Buhari might be considering seeking reelection, albeit reluctantly.

Yet, Buhari has not come out outright to speak about 2019. His ‘marketers’ in the South, argue it is politically correct to have a Buhari do another four years, than have the North do another eight years through another candidate, perhaps, a younger element. But until Buhari takes a stand, the extrapolations remain fluid and the field, still very much unfriendly to hop in. Though difficult to fully ascertain his take on reelection, Buhari remains the CONTENDER to beat.

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
Parents of the girls kidnapped on Monday from Government Girls Science Technical College, Dapchi, in Yobe State, at the weekend submitted to the school authorities the identities of 105 schoolgirls that remained unaccounted-for after Monday’s raid on the school by gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram. The parents gave the names and local government areas of those kidnapped, as well as their parent’s telephone numbers. They said the number of abductees was expected to rise because some people had yet to come forward with reports of their missing wards.

The parents accused the state government of not treating the case of the abducted girls seriously and appointed a leader to coordinate their response to the ordeal.

There had been discordant claims regarding the aftermath of the armed attack on the school by suspected Boko Harm operatives. While the military claimed it rescued some kidnap victims, Yobe State government denied any rescue, but the parents of the schoolgirls insisted insurgents took away students.

Leader of the affected parents, Mallam Bashir Manzo, said from the circumstances of the incident, the terrorists had come just to kidnap.

Manzo stated, “The insurgents came into the town with a plan to abduct the girls. They did not know the exact location of the school; so they abducted some boys in town to take them there. The boys mistakenly took them to the Central Primary School, and when they found out that it was the wrong place they were angry and threatened to kill the boys. They subsequently abducted some other boys who took them to the school.

“When they got to the staff quarters gate, as they could not locate the girls, they started shooting and since the girls were alerted at their hostels, some scaled the fence and some others tried escaping through the main gate and they saw some men in khaki whom they mistook for soldiers, they invited the girls into their parked vehicle and took off in the name of rescuing them from Boko Haram.”

He also explained, “We have compiled the list of the girls still missing, the number is 105, and we have formed ourselves into a forum and in the list of the names collected is the girls name, their parents name, the phone number of the parents.

“We would want those parents that have not yet seen their children to come and register on the list.”

One of the parents, who did not want his named mentioned for fear of being targeted, explained why Governor Ibrahim Gaidam was attacked on Thursday by some aggrieved residents of Dapchi, headquarters of Busari Local Government Area.

He said, “When the governor came, we were gathered at the house of the District Head and the governor told us that none of the girls had been rescued. The governor said he was not sure whether our children are in Boko Haram’s captivity, but we are sure that Boko Haram took our children. We have evidence.

“When they took them (children), they were crying and screaming for help. They came through the Gumsa Road and went back on the same road.

“Residents of villages along that road heard the children crying and screaming in the vehicles.

“In one of the villages, residents overheard the insurgents saying they needed to tie the children well so that they won’t escape.

“We are calling on those that would help us get back our children to help us. We are sure Boko Haram took our children. This one is an undisputable fact. That is the truth. We gave our children to the school authorities and so they should bring back our children. We will go as far as meeting President Buhari to present our case.

“They (insurgents) only came to get the girls and not to do anything in this town. We took the photographs of the store of the school and everything is intact. No single food item was removed.”

The parents said they were angered by the governor’s announcement that some of the kidnapped girls had been rescued, only to come to tell the people the next day that no been had been rescued.

Gaidam had on Wednesday announced that the military had freed some of the seized schoolgirls. But when he visited Dapchi on Thursday, he broke to the people a grim reality that none of the girls had been rescued, to the annoyance of residents.

“This is irresponsibility of the highest order of someone in his position,” a pa

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
Former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Ahmadu Ali, has provided fresh insights into the intrigues that led to the emergence of Dr Goodluck Jonathan as the presidential running mate to the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, at the party’s convention on December 16, 2006.

Ali, a retired Army Colonel, three-time Senator, medical doctor, former Federal Commissioner of Education in the seventies and PDP National Chairman between 2005 and 2007, also made revelations on several issues, including how Jonathan preferred being Governor of Bayelsa State to being Vice President of Nigeria when he (Jonathan) was offered the job.

According to Ali, in his authorised biography that will be launched in Abuja on Thursday to mark his 82nd birthday, the trio of himself, President Olusegun Obasanjo and Chief Tony Anenih decided on Jonathan to checkmate the PDP Governors who were scheming to nominate another person for Yar’Adua, after they had rejected the choice of the then Rivers State Governor, Dr Peter Odili.

Titled, “The many colours of a rainbow: A biography of Senator Amadu Adah Ali” and written by Gideon S. Tseja, a copy of which Ali personally gave THISDAY at the weekend, the former PDP Chairman also provided details of why Yar’Adua got the nod to succeed Obasanjo in 2007.

“Amongst all the PDP governors who wanted to contest for president, he (Yar’Adua) was the only one on whom the EFCC could not find any evidence of corruption or misappropriation of funds. He left over N6 billion for his successor in the state coffers while other governors left virtually nothing. He was reluctant to contest for president.”

Although written by a third party, the recollections are that of Ali who stated in his preface dated August 22, 2016, that the effort took more than 30 years. “I started jotting down episodes in the merging story of my life since 1983 when the military coup d’etat of that year terminated the life of the civilian regime and the senators, amongst whom I was one, were unceremoniously booted out of office.”

Because of his hectic schedule, Ali said he could not bring himself into writing an autobiography until in 2008 when he finally decided to invite a university don, Gideon S. Tseja, “to assist me in writing my biography.”

With Ali as PDP Chairman in 2006, the book captures what followed after the nomination of Yar’Adua as the party’s presidential flag-bearer. According to the author, Yar’Adua was summoned to the basement of Eagle Square where Obasanjo, Ali and Anenih were waiting. This was what followed, going by the recollections in the book:

Even before the final results of the primaries were tallied, it was clear to the party leaders that Yar’Adua was going to win hands down. They—President Obasanjo, Chairman, BOT, Chief Anenih and the National Chairman, Dr Amadu Ali—decided to shift their attention to the nomination of a running mate on the PDP ticket, the man who would be vice president if Yar’Adua won the presidency.

“Congratulations”, the chairman began unceremoniously. “It is a well-deserved victory, and the party will give you all the support you need to win the presidential election.” He (Ali) paused for a moment as the president and the others also gave Yar’Adua their congratulations. “Peter Odili will be your running mate. He came third in our search for a presidential candidate. Governor Ahmed Makarfi came second in our score. For equity, the running mate had to come from the south.”

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
Confirmed: nothing ever changes in Nigeria. The more things change, the more they stay the same. This immortal epigram of Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, the 19th century French critic, journalist and novelist, captures the fortune of the Federal Republic of Drama aka Nigeria. That is why when anything happens these days, I'm like: haven't I seen [] 

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
Lists adoptive measures to stay in OPEC output pact with new oil volumes Chineme Okafor in Abuja The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said the federal government is yet to conduct the bid rounds for marginal oil fields because it is still awaiting approval of President Muhammadu Buhari. At an [] 

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
Seeks arraignment for the indicted, release for the innocent Abimbola Akosile Human rights activist and lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, saturday called on the Federal Government panel set up to investigate the abuse of human rights concerning the prolonged detention without trial of over 3,000 terror suspects in Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri, Borno state, to arraign in [] 

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
Michael Olugbode in Damaturu The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has expressed readiness to contribute towards the economic emancipation of Nigeria by building viable entrepreneurs. The organisation is in the first phase of its planned training of 50 young entrepreneurs in each of six states in the country, namely Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Benue, Delta and [] 

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
After intense pressure on him by stakeholders from the three senatorial zones of Nasarawa state to contest the 2019 governorship election, former Clerk to the National Assembly, Dr. Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, has decided to throw his hat in the ring. But Maikasuwa, an alumnus of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS) and [] 

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
Damilola Oyedele in Abuja The Senate Committee Chairman on Customs, Excise and Tariffs, Hope Uzodinma has expressed the determination of Igbos to support the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term in order to pave way for an Igbo President in 2023. Speaking in an interview in Abuja weekend, Uzodinma said it was [] 

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has assured citizens that the mistake of 2015 and the attendant hardship would be remedied in 2019 to make Nigeria work again. He gave the assurance in his acceptance speech at the weekend during the 2017 Silverbird Awards where he received the Silverbird Legislative Award in [] 

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
The Transparency International verdict corresponds largely with the perception of many Nigerians Since we were almost certain that the anti-corruption outing of this administration was bound to unravel under the weight of its numerous contradictions, the result of the latest Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index came as no surprise to us. There was no [] 

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
To effectively contain the increasing killings in many parts of the country, the police and other sister agencies must follow through the arrest and prosecution of suspects in the recent killings in Zamfara and Benue States, writes Olawale Olaleye On February 14, when people around the world were celebrating love being Valentine's Day, people in [] 

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
When you hear the views of people like a former Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, on contemporary issues of governance and development, the first doubt you would strive to clear is: 'what ideas did they propound when they held sway in service to father land'' Certainly, they must have promoted such [] 

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
Governor Nasir El-Rufai's intolerance of political opponents, particularly in his ruling All Progressives Congress in Kaduna State, is assuming an alarming proportion, writes Olawale Olaleye The demolition of Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi's properties by the government of Governor Nasir El-rufai last Tuesday has continued to dominate public discourse across the country. The Hunkuyi faction of the [] 

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
If there was any doubt that all was not well with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), a recent protest letter by a national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, a man who was recently handed the task of re-uniting the party by President Muhammadu Buhari, is the evidence needed to verify such a doubt. [] 

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
The partnership between the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to assist victims of insurgency in the North-ewast and militancy in the Niger Delta provide a new template for changing the dynamics of fighting insecurity through economic empowerment. Paul Obi writes For nearly two decades, Nigeria have had [] 

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
Management of contaminated environments in Nigeria for sustainable development was the thrust of discourse at a one-day National Summit on the Niger Delta Clean-up held in Abuja recently. Funke Olaode, who was at the summit, reports The Niger Delta Region produces the oil wealth and account for over 90 per cent of Nigeria's foreign earning. [] 

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
Pioneer Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Chief Albert Korubo Horsfall, who is also a former director-general of the State Security Service, in this interview with ARISE NEWS CHANNEL Anchor Modele Sarafa-Yusuf speaks on what should be the relationship between intelligence agencies and the government in power; the controversy over the discovery of NIA [] 

Sun, 25 Feb 2018
Last week, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his estranged political godson, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, met three times in a space of three days in Bayelsa, Jonathan's home state, in what has been variously interpreted to mean a reconciliation of their differences. Emmanuel Addeh writes Politics, like the weather, remains largely unpredictable. Many a time, its [] 

Ashade: Lagos, Kano Economic Partnership in Line with Big Cities' Relationship
Sun, 25 Feb 2018
Mr. Akinyemi Ashade is the Commissioner for Finance in Lagos State. Before his deployment, Ashade was in charge of the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget. At some points, he was steering the affairs of these two strategic ministries. In this interview with Gboyega Akinsanmi, Ashade speaks about the upcoming Lagos-Kano Economic and Investment Summit [] 
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