Below are the headlines found on The Daily Sun Online Newspaper for today, Sunday, 11 February, 2018.

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Revd Dr Matthew Hassan Kukah, has said that the Coalition of Concerned Nigerians proposed by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo in his 18-page letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, to take Nigeria out of the woods, is a continuous coup against democracy in the country.

In this online interview with Sunday Sun, Kukah, a social critic and public commentator, also said he would have thought that if Obasanjo thought he made a mistake, he should at least, apologize to Nigerians before offering the people another recipe to correct the current state of affairs in the country.

Taking a look at the current administration, Kukah further said one of the main mistakes that the Buhari administration made was to assume that everything that happened before them was wrong and everyone who came before them was a criminal.

Kukah also said he had no regret in participating in the General Abdulsalami Abubakar-led Peace and Reconciliation Committee that ensured a peaceful transfer of power from former president Goodluck Jonathan to incumbent President Buhari.

You are a cleric who is supposed to be primarily concerned with spiritual affairs, yet, your name cannot be wished away when it comes to national affairs, more importantly, when one considers the important assignments you have handled for the nation and your constant chastisement of the government. In view of this, how do you see the recent letter written by former president Olusegun Obasanjo to President Muhammadu Buhari?

 You are generous with your observations. It is very interesting how politicians map our roles for us priests. When you say something that makes them happy, they hail you, but when the shoe is on the other foot and you say the same thing, they charge you to mind your spiritual duties and leave politics out. I am a free citizen of my country and will continue to make my little contributions. I am not out to entertain and make people happy. In fact, the sadder they are, the more likely it is that you are saying the right thing, only they are unhappy. What do you expect me, an ordinary citizen to say when a General has written a letter to another General, a former president has written to a sitting president whom he himself brought to power? I prefer to choose the battles I can win. But at another level, I would have thought that if people think they made a mistake, they should at least apologise to us before offering us another undated youghurt.


In x-raying the letter, which areas do you think ex-President Obasanjo was right and wrong? 

I have no x-ray machine and I do not know if the one in the Villa clinic is working now. The letter was not written to me and, if you saw the banter between the two people last week (during the just concluded 30th Ordinary Session of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), then you will be more restrained in your response.


The coalition proposed by Obasanjo: is it feasible in our clime?

 I do not know anything about the coalition and I am honestly not in a position to make any comment. As a person, I am not sure that this emergency ambulance mentality is the best form of institutionalizing democracy. Most of this is the indiscipline which does not understand how democracy and consensus building works. It is a continuation of this coup against democracy when those who have held Nigeria to ransom, decide on whom they want in power and then go ahead to manipulate the levers of power for their ends. We can only wish them luck.


Looking at the totality of the current state of affairs in the country, what is your verdict on the incumbent administration?

 I take it that what this administration has offered is the best they can offer, given that they have covered over three quarters of the time allocated to them. My verdict is not important and Nigerians should pass their verdict at the next elections. This time, we will be judging based on evidence not propaganda.


In your estimation, where did President Buhari get it wrong?

 Who told you he got anything wrong? What is your marking scheme? I believe that what we have is the best that President Buhari can and has offered. He has not told you or anyone that he feels he has made a mistake or wishes to do anything differently. He says he takes his time and I believe we should respect that.


Even though as a Nigerian, he is eligible to vote and be voted for, taking a look at the nation from 2015 till now, do you think if the resident decides to take a second shot at the presidency, it will be right for Nigerians to queue behind the president and vote for him?

 Why not? He should be free to offer himself to Nigerians. It is left for Nigerians to decide and luckily for us, we have records of his promises, his achievements in fulfillment of those promises. These should be the basis of decision not the issue of if he should or should not contest. The decision is his to make.


You were very prominent in the General Abdulsalami Abubakar-led Peace and Reconciliation Committee that ensured a peaceful transfer of power from former president Goodluck Jonathan to President Buhari. Judging by the activities of the current government, do you regret participating in that committee?

 I am very proud of what General Abdusalam led the committee to achieve. We made our own contribution along with other Nigerian civil society groups. I can only thank God for the miracles of answered prayers. In any case, should we not thank God that the current administration has been given a chance to showcase what they are capable of doing?

 When we finished the elections, we thought we should disband and go home, especially given that the people who were involved in the exercise were extremely busy people who made sacrifices because no one received or asked for a single penny. We had believed that the committee’s work was done. However, we were encouraged by the reaction of Nigerians across the board when we undertook a consultative initiative to find out what Nigerians felt about the committee.

 So, rather than disbanding and going home, we sought the views of the media, the leaders of the two parties, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC). We had audience with the Senate President and the Speaker, former president Jonathan and current President Buhari. Each and everyone expressed satisfaction and encouraged the members to continue in view of the fact that the country still needed some wise counsel and that the people needed encouragement.


Do you think the president consolidated on the gains recorded by your committee?

 It is not for us to judge, but my views are pretty well known. When a midwife helps in a delivery, is she to follow the new mother home to inspect how she is looking after the baby? It is left for Nigerians to judge.


Some people have said that where we are economically, politically, socially, et cetera, is worse than where we are coming from? Do you agree?

 Where are we coming from? The problem is that we always think yesterday was better than today. One of the main mistakes that this administration made was to assume that everything that happened before them was wrong and everyone who came before them was a criminal. They created the impression that they had to drain the swamps and literally write a new script. More energy could have been committed to identifying what was worth continuing and in the process, building confidence in the country.

 Now, they have realized rather late in the day that the team is the same, only the jerseys are different. Can you name one thing that is substantially different today from what it was yesterday after you have mentioned Boko Haram? At the beginning, I made a case for the fact that national cohesion was an urgent project, holding our people together and developing a vision. Now, look where we are as a people, see how divided we have become, see how scattered and littered the landscape is. Can we continue like this into the next election?  

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
After a long trail and eventual arrest last week of Lawal Kwali, a dreaded kidnap kingpin and 11 members of his gang in Niger State, operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Anti-Kidnapping Squad have another unpleasant task to accomplish. They might be saddled with the responsibility of identifying the locations and exhuming the corpses of 19 victims murdered while being held hostage in Kwali’s den.

“I ordered the killing of 19 of my victims in separate instances, but I did not kill them personally. I usually gave directives on who to be killed. If I found out in the process of questioning my hostages that any one of them knew us or that the relatives cannot pay the ransom demanded, I ordered my boys to kill,” he confessed to a bemused team of police operatives.

He says of about 50 persons abducted by his gang before his recent arrest, 19 were killed and buried in shallow graves in a forest. “I have people whose job was to dig graves to bury dead victims,” he further revealed. His arrest came as a big relief for residents of the state, particularly those living in communities where he held sway.

For two years, the inhabitants of Erena and Alawa in Shiroro and Pandogari, Rafi Local Government Areas of the state had been under siege following the activities of Kwali, described by the police as a notorious kidnapper, and members of his gang. Within this period, they lived in frustration and fear of who would be the next victim of the gang.  They abducted residents and killed with glee.

Age or sex was no factor, as Kwali and his men abducted anyone on sight and killed victims whose relatives failed to pay the ransom demanded.

In some cases, they killed victims who are acquainted to them even after collecting ransom from members of their family.

Zakari Mamman, aka Sarkin Yaka, which translates to chief slaughterer, was the main executioner of the gang, who killed victims as directed by the leader. “Before we kill any victim, we usually took directive from Lawal Kwali. He told us who to kill and how. Sometimes we slaughter; at other times, we just shoot the person to death,” he disclosed.

A 12-year-old boy and his father were among victims killed, and Mamman said that was an incident that stretched his beastly instincts to a limit. But he couldn’t challenge Kwali’s directives and had to murder them when nobody could pay the ransom to secure their freedom. “The man pleaded with us to leave the child and kill him but my boss refused. He said the two of them should be killed. We slaughtered the boy and shot his father.”

It was a pathetic scenario at the Niger State police command headquarters in Minna, the state capital, when Adama Umarin, a 54-year-old Fulani woman who hails from Erena, broke down in tears as the police whisked away Kwali and his gang members to Abuja without telling her the whereabouts of her son, Abubakar Umarin, suspected to have been abducted by the gang on October 6, 2017.

After spending months in Zamfara State where he had taken his cattle for grazing, Abubakar, aged 27, visited his two wives and five children he left at Erena, his community. Barely two days after, he was on his way to a local market when he was abducted. Since then, he has not been found despite several attempts by his mother to secure his release.

“When my son was abducted, I met Lawal Kwali and he told me it was his men that kidnapped him, and that I should provide a sum of N200,000 before he would be freed. I spent four days in his house begging him to tell me the whereabouts of my son and he kept assuring me that my son was alive, but that I must look for money and pay the ransom before they can release him,” his distraught mother narrated.

However, she thought Abubakar had been rescued when she learnt that Kwali and members of his gang had been arrested by the police. But it turned out to be a misplaced optimism when she dashed to the police headquarters and discovered that her son was nowhere in sight. Neither was she given a clue as to his whereabouts. When the kidnap kingpin eventually confessed to the murder of 19 of his hostages, she broke down in tears. She feared her son might be among the dead victims. “Up till now, I don’t know where my son is. I don’t know whether he is alive or not because nobody talks to me. I want the police to ask Lawal the whereabouts of my son,” she pleaded.

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari has said he lacks the constitutional power to create cattle colonies across the country, under the Land Use Act of 1978.

Buhari has also stated that his administration was determined to build an equitable and progressive society, where Nigerians can look forward to the opportunities for realising their full potential without hindrance.

He declared this yesterday, while speaking at the South-South Zonal meeting of the National Committee of Buhari Support Groups (NCBSG) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

President Buhari, who spoke through his Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, said provisions of the Land Use Act of 1978 gave powers to state governors and local government chairmen to control land in their domains.

He said: “When Nigeria was one region or state, that was before Nigeria was formed as a country, we had cattle routes running from Chad, Niger and others down to the Atlantic. When Nigeria became four regions, we had cattle routes in each of the regions. 

“When Nigeria created states, each of the states made laws to regulate rearing of animals. In 1978, under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, as head of state, March 28, I think I am correct, the Land Use Act was made. Under the Land Use Act, the President of Nigeria has power to control lands in Abuja only. 

“Under the Land Use Act, each state governor, under Section 2 of the Land Use Act, land in urban areas of each of the state of the federation shall be vested on the governor. Now, subsection 1(2b) says land in the rural areas shall be vested on the local government chairman of that area”, Buhari explained.

He further said that the commitment of his administration to lay the foundations, informed its actions in tackling “theft, diversion and misappropriation of public funds but steadily diversifying the economy for sustained growth and tackling the myriads of security challenges bedeviling the land. He said, “As a government, we are committed to laying the foundations upon which an equitable and progressive society can be built, in which all citizens can look forward to the opportunities for realising their full potential without let or hindrance. 

“This informed our actions in tackling theft, diversion and misappropriation of public funds, gradually, but steadily diversifying the economy for sustained growth and tackling the myriads of security challenges bedeviling the land.

“While it is still work in progress, we are confident that the amount of work done in the first 32 months of this administration, points to a new solid foundation for building the Nigeria of our dreams. 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Although Kassim Afegbua, spokesman of former military president, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, has worked with him for 14 years without blemish, he is currently in the centre of a controversy over a statement he issued on behalf of his principal last Sunday. Between then and now, Afegbua has submitted himself to both the Police and the Department of State Services (DSS) for interrogation. Nevertheless, he has approached the court for the protection and preservation of his fundamental human rights.

In a suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/129/2018, which was filed against the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) before the Federal High Court in Abuja last Tuesday, Afegbua is asking for N1billion as damages for the breach of his fundamental human rights. Joined as respondents to the suit are the NPF, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris; the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Moshood Jimoh, the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Channels TV.

  But what is behind his present travails? What did he get wrong this time in doing his routine job that has pitched him against the security agencies or is he just a victim of the political intrigues that are beginning to unfold ahead of the 2019 general elections?

  It could be recalled that the controversy arose last Sunday after Afegbua issued a statement on behalf of his principal asking Nigerians to vote out President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019. In the statement titled, ‘Towards a National Rebirth,’ and signed by Afegbua, Babangida advised Nigerians to do away with analogue leaders and embrace those of the digital age.

  “In 2019 and beyond, we should come to a national consensus that we need new breed leadership with requisite capacity to manage our diversities and jump-start a process of launching the country on the super highway of technology-driven leadership in line with the dynamics of modern governance. It is short of saying enough of this analogue system. Let’s give way for digital leadership orientation with all the trappings of consultative, constructive, communicative, interactive and utility-driven approach where everyone has a role to play in the process of enthroning accountability and transparency in governance,” the statement read in part.

Babangida had concluded the statement by noting that, “I have not written an open letter to the President; I have just shared my thoughts with fellow compatriots on the need to enthrone younger blood into the mainstream of our political leadership starting from 2019.”

  However, few hours after the statement emerged, another one, which was purportedly signed personally by Babangida, was issued. In the latter statement, Babangida debunked the content of the earlier statement, saying he had existing communication channels through which he could reach President Buhari on topical issues of national importance should there be the need to do so.

  The statement read: “My attention has been drawn to a report making rounds especially online in which I was quoted as advising Nigerians not to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari in the coming 2019 election. Not only is the said statement untrue, it is in its entirety, an inaccurate representation of my view of the state of our dear nation.

  “As a former president and an elder statesman, I have existing communication channels through which I reach out to President Muhammadu Buhari on topical issues of national importance, should there be the need to do so.

  “The media, both online or mainstream and indeed the unsuspecting public are advised to disregard such false reports. Thank you and God bless you all.”

  Expectedly, Nigerians were confused as to which statement to believe. The confusion, however, became heightened when it was observed that while the first statement had Babangida’s current Nigerian National Honours title of Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR) behind his name, the second one erroneously identified him as a Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON). But following enquiries by the media, Babangida affirmed that his earlier statement stands, saying the second statement was issued by friends and had nothing to do with him.

The police, perhaps, sensing foul play along the line, got into the fray and went after Afegbua. They declared him wanted, accusing him of “making false statements, defamation of character and for an act capable of instigating public disturbance throughout the country.” The DSS followed suit last Wednesday by inviting him to their headquarters in Abuja.

  But who are the friends that issued the second statement on Babangida’s behalf? Why did they issue it? Why hasn’t Babangida called on the security agencies to investigate the issue and prosecute those that did the hatchet job? And why are the security agencies harassing Afegbua, a loyal assistant, whose principal has clarified that he authorised the statement he issued? These posers and more further obfuscate the issue.

  But speaking with Sunday Sun, President/Lead Consultant at Africa Network for Peace and Justice (ANPeJ), Prof. Nick Idoko, said the former military leader might be behind the controversy, which he noted was needless.

  He said: “It’s just a typical Nigerian thing. I can imagine that Afegbua wouldn’t lie. But our political class tends to always renege or recant when they think that their public statements have become a nemesis. For somebody as high ranking as Babangida, I would have felt that he shouldn’t have gone public to recant and then demonise his media person. Babangida and Afegbua had been partnering faithfully and mutually ever since he (Babangida) drafted him to be his media consultant. So, what Nigerians witnessed was a very surprising turn of events that Babangida would disown a statement he made through his media person; perhaps because of the reverberations the statement has made. It could be that he felt that he shouldn’t be the one, as a northerner, asking Buhari not to re-contest. So, it’s a second thought if you ask me.”

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Chidi Obineche A Chieftain of Nigeria's main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
The claim of Fulani being father of Tiv absurd Omoniyi Salaudeen The media has been awash with a new 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
For twenty-four years, Linus Okorie, the founder of GOTNI (Guardians of the Nation International) has 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Monica Iheakam Arsenal fans have pleaded with Carlo Ancelotti to replace Arsene Wenger as manager, 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
.As Imama returns to the Cathedral Today, the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL),will witness 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Amkar Perm are working on a deal to sign CSKA Moscow striker Aaron Samuel before the close of the winter 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Oghenekaro Etebo is disappointed following Las Palmas's 0-0 stalemate with Athletic Bilbao in Friday's 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Real Madrid all-time great, Roberto Carlos will lead a team of experts to Nigeria on March 19, during 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Russia's flag has been projected onto the headquarters of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Montreal 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Owu sportwears and Akwa United have released the special kits which the team will wear for the CAF Confederation 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
A member of the NFF Executive Committee and Chairman of the NFF Match Commissioners' Appointment Committee, 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
The United World Wrestling (Africa) has presented an award of excellence to Rivers State Governor Nyesom 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Buhari expresses happiness, urges increased efforts on remaining Chibok girls Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Tony John, Port Harcourt Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has donated N500 million grant to PAMO University 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
As Ambode promises bigger 2019 edition Kenyan born French athlete, Kiprotich Abraham breased the tape 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
The Presidency yesterday confirmed the death of two members of President Muhammadu Buhari's extended 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Insists no cattle colony in Ebonyi' Chairman Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has set in motion 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
The weird proclamations and actions of some Christian clerics HENRY OKONKWO Clerics are perceived holy. 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha The kinsmen of Ogbonnia Moses of Ibuhubu village, Umuchu, Aguata Local 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
MATTHEW DIKE Twenty-four-year-old, Matthew Ighoja, has proved to be an extremely lucky person. The 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Snail meat is white meat with a difference: It is similar in taste and texture to that of seafood; but 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
In VeryWell Health Magazine published last month, Dr Kristin Hayes wrote a piece titled 'why do we 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Two weeks. Two letters. Three geriatric Generals. If we were to turn the events of the past two weeks 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo is calling for the creation of state police. He said the Federal 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Like life, power is transient. Regrettably, many power-drunk political office holders pretend not to 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Let me begin today's discourse with a disclosure. My intention was to do a follow up to my article 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
A friend once remarked that God indulges in the humourous; or at least has a good sense of comedy. He 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Concluded Posing this question this way especially situates the FCSC within the global dynamics of human 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Talk about learning the hard way, French journalist, Caroline Broue', will not forget January 2018 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Revealed! The State Governor collapsed as he laboured out of his car on his return to the expansive leafy 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
By Samuel Nwanjoku 'I understand the vision of my boss. I feel his pulse in his passion to render service 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Aidoghie Paulinus Former first lady of Edo State, Mrs Eki Igbinedion, has given a peep into the Idia 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
CHRISTY ANYANWU Nollywood actress, Jennifer Eliogu, has been a screen queen for 20 years. Not quite long 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Bolatito Adebayo Gabby Ibeabuchi is a celebrity designer and he is the CEO Twelve O6 Fashion Designing 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
By CHRISTY ANYANWU dr. Jide Idris is the Commissioner forHealth, Lagos State. He spoke about his 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
The planned electronic transmission of election results by the Independent National Electoral Commission 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Tony Ogaga Television presenter cum movie producer,Agatha Amata, could be described as a strong-willed 

Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Tinny Entertainment isnow set to terminate its contract with Sony Music Africa. According to a statement 
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