Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Sunday, 14 January, 2018.

Sun, 14 Jan 2018
The Senate Ad hoc Committee on Security Infrastructure yesterday expressed shock that President Muhammadu Buhari, his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, all ignored several warnings of the planned attack on Logo and Guma local councils of Benue state.

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, who disclosed efforts to inform the Federal Government of these warnings while meeting with the committee that is investigating the breakdown of security infrastructure in the country, also blamed security agencies for the unabated massacre committed in the state by Fulani herdsmen since 2008.

In the report of the committee’s visit to the state, which was made available to journalists in Abuja, Ortom stated that upon getting information on the planned siege by the Fulani herdsmen he immediately wrote a letter to the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who was acting president, while Buhari was away for medical treatment abroad.

According to him, all attempts to get the vice president’s attention through the letter failed, as he got no reply whatsoever from him.

Ortom added that Buhari upon his return to the country, was also written to many times, but no reply was also received from him on the issue.

The governor further disclosed that additional efforts were made by the state government to draw the attention of the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, through a separate letter, but that also yielded no response. 

In his submission to the committee led by the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, the governor said: “We wrote to the Vice President on the planned attack on parts of Benue by Fulani herdsmen, because the word was everywhere on the street, but he refused to reply.

“When there was no response, and upon the return of Mr. President, I personally went and intimated him, and also wrote. The documents are here, I will hand them over to you. I wrote to him on the planned attack by Fulani herdsmen because these threats were on the streets,” Ortom stated.

He added that on October 7, 2017, “I wrote to the Inspector General of Police, I told him of a planned attack on our people. When there was no response, on October 27, 2017, I reminded him that these people are planning to attack us, and that we are law-abiding people; we have disarmed our youths, and we are looking onto security agencies. And the way to do it is to arrest those people, who were inciting the herdsmen to combat us, and we knew they were going to come.
Sun, 14 Jan 2018
The Centre for Social Justice (CENSOJ) has accused the executive and the legislative arms of government of condoning corruption in the country, citing the lull in the probe into the alleged Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) $25 billion contract.

Besides, the Institute for Fiscal Studies of Nigeria (IFSN) has stated that the country may be forced to wait endlessly for the outcome of the probe.

In the wake of the alleged contract scam at the NNPC, both chambers of the National Assembly set up ad hoc committees to investigate the allegations as raised by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu. Both ad hoc committees have since gone cold.

At some point, there were growing protests within and outside the National Assembly against subterranean moves to compromise the investigation.

Commenting on the development, the Lead Director of CENSOJ, Mr. Eze Onyekpere, also described President Muhammadu  Buhari’s corruption war as a sham because of the alleged lack of sincerity of purpose in the fight.

Onyekpere, while commenting on the lull yesterday insisted that Buhari and the NNPC Group Managing Director (GMD) Maikanti Baru must explain to Nigerians the transactions, which were believed to be undertaken in an opaque manner.

According to him: “I learnt there was a directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to the leadership of the National Assembly to stop investigations into the allegation. I read it in the papers that the president cautioned the Senate president not to proceed with the investigation but rather douse the fire.

“For me it shows that both the executive and the legislature are both hands in glove in condoning corruption because you would recall that when Kachikwu raised that issue he was told to shut up because the NNPC GMD got approval from the president, and that it was not his business. In fact he was literally told that he was just a figurehead to satisfy all righteousness. But now when the fuel crisis came up, he was directed to be running around. So the President and Baru should tell us what happened to that money. Nobody should pretend that anything is happening again. The country has gone to the dogs.”

He continued: “Buhari’s anti-corruption war is a serious scam; every Nigerian knows that it is a scam all in the name of fighting corruption. It doesn’t make sense.”
Sun, 14 Jan 2018
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has issued a stern warning to all officers and soldiers in the Nigerian Army to steer clear of politics.
Buratai, represented by the Commander, Infantry Corps, Maj.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, gave the warning on Saturday at the graduation ceremony of officers who underwent a Regimentation and Leadership training of the 64 RC and SSC 44 course at the 20 Infantry Battalion Serti, Taraba.

“Leave politics to the politicians and concentrate on your chosen career” he noted.

He charged the graduating officers to use the knowledge and experience acquired during their training to help in tackling the current security challenges in the country.

The COAS said the relevance of the just concluded course in their career as commissioned officers cannot be overemphasised.

Buratai said ” it is pertinent to state that the recent gains of the Nigeria Army in the North-East and other internal security operations all over the country is expected to present the challenges of a growing rank of criminal elements and criminal activities”.

“Such challenges were characterised by kidnapping, assassination, sabotage, armed robbery and other act of terrorism, he noted while urging them to lead by example.

“I therefore urged you to keep alive the knowledge acquired so that you will give a good account of yourselves by adding value to the Nigeria Army in your respective capacities”.

Earlier, the Commanding Officer of the 20 Battalion Lt.- Col. Anwar Abdullahi, said that the 206 graduating students who had earlier finished from the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) were assembled in Oct 2017.

He said the objectives of the course was to enhance the proficiency of the officers on weapon handling, marksmanship and shooting skills .

Others include regimentation, customs, ethics and tradition of Nigeria Army and Junior Leadership training among others.
Kayode Bashir, a pensioner from Osun State turned 70 in August 2017. In a country where life expectancy is plunging at great speed, celebrations ought to be considered, but the Bashirs did not roll out the drums, just as there were no garlands to festoon their patriarch.
Reason: In their household, the year 2017 remains in the league of annus horribilis, and so they want to push it behind them as fast as possible.

With Pa Bashir among the thousands of pensioners begging Governor Rauf Aregbesola to have mercy on them by settling their pension arrears, his two sons, Dayo and Supo were swept off their bank jobs in January 2017 by the gale that accompanied the Muhammadu Buhari government-induced recession.

In view of all these bad memories, they could not be happier when the curtain fell on 2017 as they looked forward to an exhilarating 2018.

Across the country, there are millions of families like the Bashirs, who had a bleak 2017, bleak Yuletide, and who are currently wallowing in want on account earned, but unpaid salaries as well as sundry emoluments owed them by their states and local governments.

For a long time, state governors have been playing games with the salaries of public service workers as well as pension for retirees. Most former governors while in office were never frugal in managing scarce financial resources at their disposal. And their financial recklessness is what has now made them regular guests of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies.

Many analysts are of the view that huge wage bills did not just suddenly become an albatross to state governments, to the point that they began to pay half or modulated salaries. In fact, they are of the view that the failure to manage their fiscal operations properly and set their priorities right by both previous and incumbent governments are some of the key factors that gave rise to the unpaid salary syndrome. 

For instance, shortly after the inception of this administration, it emerged that public service workers in more than half of the country’s 36 states were being owed salaries of between three and eight months by their governments.

Among the debtor states at the outset of this administration were Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Cross River, Ekiti, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Kastina, Kogi, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, and Zamfara.

Much as this brought to the fore the leadership deficit as well as the harrowing experience that Nigerians had to put up with over the years, the malady of unpaid has simply refused to give way nearly three years into the life of the incumbent administration.

Sun, 14 Jan 2018
The Executive Chairman, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), Debo Adeniran, in this interview with GBENGA SALAU, said that the non-payment of salaries deepens corruption in the civil service. He also spoke on options available to civil servants who are owed by their state governments. First and foremost, we differ from the mainstream opinion that the [] 

Sun, 14 Jan 2018
A brilliant performance by the Nigeria U-20 girls in Polokwane yesterday drew them very close to another outing in the FIFA U20 Women's World Cup... 

Sun, 14 Jan 2018
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Jideofor Kwusike Onyeama, in this interview tells LEO SOBECHI the challenges, achievements and position of his ministry in managing Nigeria's diplomacy. Nigeria recently voted against the declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, what motivated that stand' There is a UN resolution on our foreign policy, which is hinged [] 

Sun, 14 Jan 2018
Phones have become a way of life for many people. This device enables modern man with hectic schedules to multi-task and undertake activities, which ordinarily would require lots of time and energy. So, it's understandable, when some people appear unable to do without their handsets.However, despite its numerous positive attributes, there have been health worries [] 

Sun, 14 Jan 2018
As investigation into the cause of fire that gutted Arts and Crafts Village, Abuja, continues, Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe, has blamed arts and crafts dealers for the incident. According to him, Police preliminary report indicted owner of Shop 47, whose electric cooker, which was not turned [] 

Sun, 14 Jan 2018
The Centrefor Social Justice (CENSOJ) has accused the executive and the legislative arms of government of condoning corruption inthe country, citing the... 

Sun, 14 Jan 2018
The filmmaker Omoni Oboli is perennially busy. She got Okafor's Law and Wives On Strike out in 2016 and just as 2017 was about to end, she had turned up with the sequel to the latter. While Wives On Strike is a thumbs down on Child Marriage, Wives on Strike: The Revolution is a damning [] 

Sun, 14 Jan 2018
Fela and his Kalakuta Queens, the new stage production on the Fela Years, had sold out even the one weekend extension as of Friday, January 12, 2018. The musical drama ran through the holiday season at the Terra Kulture Arena on Victoria Island, and was expected to have closed on January 7. But the sold [] 

Sun, 14 Jan 2018
Arthouse Contemporary's twice-a-year auctions have become a way to gauge the prices of Nigerian artworks, but they contribute quite a small part of the volume of works traded in the country in the year, in the opinion of a keen art collector. 'I don't think that auctions and even the (large fair) ArtX contribute more [] 
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