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Today’s Punch Newspaper Headline, Saturday 1st December 2018

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Atikus visa status confidential, says US official advises politicians to embrace issue-based campaigns
Sat, 01 Dec 2018

The United States Consulate in Lagos on Friday said matters relating to the application for or issuance of visa to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, or any other individual was a confidential matter.

This came barely 24 hours after the Federal Government called on the US government to be cautious about giving a US visa to Atiku, who is the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 election.
The Public Affairs Officer of the US Consulate in Lagos, Brussel Brooks, stressed that the issue of US visa for anyone, irrespective of their social standing in the society, was strictly a confidential matter.

Brooks spoke while fielding questions from journalists seeking to know his view on the raging controversy surrounding Atiku’s application for US visa after attending a programme in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Friday.

He, however, called on candidates at all levels, from presidential to House of Assembly elections, to focus on issue-based campaigns instead of dwelling on things that were not important to the well-being of Nigerians.

He said, “The position of the US Mission has remained the same throughout any discussion on this issue that visas are a confidential matter.

“We don’t discuss visa status of any person, whether it be a highly rated official, a presidential candidate or an average citizen.

“Anyone who applies for a visa should know that there will be some records that are confidential. It is classified as a private document by the United States Government, and we never discuss them in public.”

He stressed that candidates in the forthcoming elections must engage in issue-based campaigns, while asking Nigerians to ask the candidates their plan to improve the education sector.

He said, “Oftentimes, unfortunately, campaigns are full of distractions; things that are not that important to the lives and welfare of average Nigerians, especially the children that are with us today. What is important is to give them (children) the opportunities to serve in order to thrive in today’s world.

“This means they need good education. The schools should be improved. When I heard about the letter from the students describing their lack of books and dearth of desks in their schools, this is very disheartening. There are things that should be corrected.

“I will also encourage parents and voters to ask the candidates what they plan to do to improve education. I think issue-based campaigns will be beneficial to all Nigerians.”

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Widowhood wont give you automatic ticket in APGA, Oye tells Bianca Ojukwu
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Tony Okafor and Gibson Achonu The National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Chief Victor Oye, has condemned recent attacks on him and the party by Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu, the widow of the late Biafran leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. Bianca has been leading campaign for the resignation of the APGA national chairman
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Diamond Bank gets CBNs nod to operate as national bank
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Nike Popoola Diamond Bank Plc has received the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria, following its application, to operate as a national bank with immediate effect. This is, however, subject to conclusion of the sale of Diamond Bank UK- DB UK Plc. According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Uzoma Dozie, on
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Investment in FGN savings bond below expectation DMO
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Feyisayo Popoola The Director-General, Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha, says the investment so far recorded in the Federal Government Savings bonds is below expectation. Oniha, revealed this while speaking during a panel session on Pathways to inclusive growth in Africa: Digital finance, financial literacy, inclusion and the democratisation of wealth at the 2018 African Securities
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Private sector got N46.53tn from banks in nine months NBS
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja The banking sector gave out a total amount of N46.53tn as loans to the private sector between January and September this year. This is contained in the banking sector report released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Friday in Abuja. Giving a breakdown of the bank loan of N45.58tn, the NBS
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IATA seeks support for open skies
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi The International Air Transport Association has expressed strong support for the Single African Air Transport Market initiative. The IATA said the initiative would boost air travel in the continent which currently has the lowest global market share in aviation. The IATAs Director General, Alexandre de Juniac, was quoted to have said at the
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US, Mexico, Canada sign new trade deal
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
The leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada on Friday signed a new trade deal replacing the old NAFTA in a triumph for President Donald Trump who insisted on what he said were better conditions for US workers. This is a model agreement that changes the trade landscape forever, Trump said at the signing
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Confusion as PDP presidential campaign council gets eight spokespersons
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Success Nwogu, Abuja The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council on Friday named eight persons as its spokespersons. A statement by the Director, Media and Publicity of the council, Mr.Kola Ologbondiyan, listed the spokespersons as Buba Galadima, Akin Osuntokun, Osita Chidoka, Senator Dino Melaye, Nnenna Ukeje, Segun Sowunmi, Kazeem Afegbua and Umar Sanni. Our correspondent
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APGA faction asks Obiano to resign for endorsing Buhari
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Friday Olokor, Abuja A faction of the All Progressive Grand Alliance on Friday emerged in Abuja with a call on the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, to resign for single-handedly endorsing President Muhhamadu Buhari for the 2019 elections. The governor had in a video, which went viral, reportedly endorsed the President during the public presentation
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Im Abrahams descendant, says Buhari
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
John Ameh and Jesusegun Alagbe President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said he was a descendant of Abraham, a Biblical hero regarded as the Father of Faith. The President said this in an article he wrote in The Church Times United Kingdom, titled, Dont politicise religion in Nigeria. The Church Times is the UKs Anglican newspaper.
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2019 election: Eight Amosuns aides resign
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Tunji Bosun No fewer than eight aides of the Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, have tendered their resignation letters as the 2019 elections approach. Those who tendered their resignation letters were; Amosuns Chief of Staff, Tolu Odebiyi, and the State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Afolabi Afuape. Others who resigned from their appointments were
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2018 party primaries among the worst in Nigeria INEC chairman
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Friday Olokor, Abuja The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has said that the primaries conducted by the various political parties ahead of the 2019 elections are some of the most acrimonious in the nations history in recent times. He added that the commission had already been joined in 396 pending
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Tax evaders will be jailed Rivers govt
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Chukwudi Akasike, Port Harcourt The Rivers State Internal Revenue Service has warned that those in the habit of evading tax in the state stand the risk of being committed to prison from January 2019 if they continue in the act. Chairman of RIRS, Adoage Norteh, explained that with the new system put in place by
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Why minimum wage has been problematic in Nigeria Onaiyekan
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Friday Olokor, Abuja The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, says the agitation for a new minimum wage in Nigeria has not yielded the desired result because some people are benefitting from the present situation. He, however, expressed hope that the planned implementation of the minimum wage would be done in a way
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No salary for striking ASUU lecturers FG
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Ademola Babalola, Ibadan The Federal Government has directed the vice chancellors of public universities and inter-varsity centres to enforce no-work-no-pay rule on the lecturers who are on strike. The directive was communicated to universities in a memo by the National Universities Commission to univercities VCs. The memo, which was signed by the Director, Research, Information
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EFCC seeks permanent forfeiture of Bola Shagayas N1.9bn
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed an application before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos seeking the permanent forfeiture of N1.9bn belonging to business mogul and socialite, Bola Shagaya. This comes two years after Sunday PUNCH exclusively reported that the EFCC had frozen the bank accounts of Shagaya due
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I was sending money to my father, not knowing he was dead Toyin, daughter of guard who committed suicide at Ekiti secretariat
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Abiodun Nejo, Ado-Ekiti With teary eyes, 27-year-old Toyin Olaofe looked down and said a prayer for her father, perhaps the umpteenth one in the last 48 hours. She looked lost, defeated and disorientated as she darted her eyes in every direction, unsure of what to say or how to begin. Toyin is the eldest daughter
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Lagos traffic robberies: Hoodlums worsen motorists nightmare as Yuletide fever soars
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
As Lagos battles its perennial traffic debacle and the state government continues its search for a permanent solution, Eric Dumo writes about how increased activities by robbers is putting the lives of road users at risk Johnson Obot saw the other side of Lagos recently. A private taxi operator, the 38-year-old father of four was
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I cant take responsibility for Chibok girls abduction Jonathan
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja Former President Goodluck Jonathan says there is sense of worry among Nigerians regarding the neutrality of government agencies that will take part in the conduct of the 2019 general elections. He also said he could not take responsibility for the April 14, 2014 abduction of Chibok schoolgirls in Borno State. Jonathan,
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We sleep on bare floor, have no bathroom Corps members at Niger NYSC camp
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Enyioha Opara, Minna When Emeka Okechukwu, a corps member serving in Niger State, first got to Paiko, a town about 25 kilometres away from Minna, the capital city, he didnt have any complaints. But that was before he arrived at the National Youth Service Corps orientation camp in the town. On getting to the camp,
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Foreign bandits invade Sokoto LG, levy residents
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Adeniyi Olugbemi and Kayode Idowu Residents of the Tangaza Local Government Area of Sokoto State have raised the alarm over the activities of some suspected bandits who allegedly demand levies from people. But the state police command has debunked the claim, urging people to go about their lawful business without panic. The bandits were said
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Unsigned Electoral bill: Over 70 parties threaten to boycott 2019 polls
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Olalekan Adetayo and John Ameh, Abuja The Chairmen of about 70 registered political parties on Friday threatened to pull out of the 2019 general elections if President Muhammadu Buhari failed to sign the Electoral Bill already transmitted to him by the National Assembly. The country currently has 91 political parties registered by the Independent National
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One dead, seven injured as Boko Haram attacks military base again
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Adelani Adepegba with agency report Boko Haram militants attacked an army base in northeast Nigeria, killing one soldier, military sources told AFP on Friday, a day after regional leaders urged more international support to fight the jihadists. Fighters with the Islamic State West Africa Province came in trucks fitted with anti-aircraft guns and attacked the
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Alakijas to build 250-bed hospital for Osun varsity
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Eric Dumo To improve the standard of learning at the Osun State University, Chairman of Famfa Oil Limited, Mr. Modupe Alakija, and his wife, Folorunsho, have commissioned a 250-bed teaching hospital in the institution. The health facility, whose foundation was laid recently by the immediate-past governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, coincided with the schools
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NAFDAC to burn seized N198bn tramadol
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control says it has destroyed substandard and falsified medicines, unsafe drugs and unwholesome food and chemicals worth N3bn in the last one year. The agency also revealed that it had seized tramadol with a street value of N198bn and would set the products
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With ongoing work, we face threat of eviction, can no longer fish, farm Communities around Dangote Refinery
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Ihuoma Chiedozie Idasho community, a coastal town in Lekki Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, is located by the entrance of the site of the Dangote Refinery, which is currently under construction. However, the days of the village, which has a population of about 3,000 inhabitants, appear to be numbered as a result of
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Chevron begins deworming of 45,000 schoolchildren in Delta
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Theophilus Onojeghen, Warri The wife of the Delta State Governor, Mrs. Edith Okowa, has inaugurated the 2018 Chevron-sponsored deworming exercise for 45,000 schoolchildren in Warri North and South local government areas of the state. The scheme is part of Chevrons corporate social responsibility activities in the area. Speaking at the ceremony in Warri, the General
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Emotional intelligence, important for success Utomi
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Timileyin Akinkahunsi A renowned political economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, has said that emotional intelligence is important for human success. Utomi made the statement at a recent book launch held at the MUSON Centre in Lagos. According to the economist, government needs to encourage an atmosphere that would encourage freedom of expression. He said, Government needs
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Electoral violence, threat to democracy Afariogun
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Eric Dumo Violence related to elections and its entire process has been described as a big threat to Nigerias democracy, hence the need to tackle it strategically. Making the statement in Lagos during a press briefing to mark his return to the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Adekunle Afariogun, a candidate contesting for a seat in
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Remain apolitical, Buratai tells soldiers
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Kayode Idowu, Maiduguri The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Friday warned officers and soldiers to stay clear of politics. According to him, they need to be apolitical, as the nation approaches the 2019 general elections. The COAS issued this warning while addressing officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army at the
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Fulani herdsmen invading Benue, says Ortom
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
John Charles, Makurdi Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Friday raised the alarm over the migration of Fulani herdsmen into the state. Ortom stated this during a special mass at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Mbalom, where some priests and parishioners were killed about seven months ago. He said Fulani herdsmen had openly declared that
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Benue rape: FG plans sex offenders register
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Olaleye Aluko, Abuja The Federal Government says plans are underway to open a sex offenders register, noting that it is pained by the death of Ochanya Ogbaje, a pupil of Federal Government Girls College, Gboko, Benue State, who was raped to death in October 2018. The Director-General of the National Centre for Women Development, Mrs.
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EU to fund nutritional projects in Taraba
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Justin Tyopuusu, Jalingo The European Union has set aside 20m to support nutritional and resilience projects in Taraba State by distributing high yielding crops to farmers for optimum productivity. The project, which is to be implemented in phases through OXFAM, will commence with 10m while additional 10m will come in the second phase. The EU
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Buhari jets out to Poland today
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
John Ameh, Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari will leave Abuja on Saturday (today) for the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Buhari will attend the session, which will be held in Katowice, Poland, from December 2 to 4. The conference is expected to finalise the
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Police begin recruitment of 10,000 constables
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Adelani Adepegba, Abuja The Police Service Commission has begun the recruitment of 10,000 police constables. The commission advised applicants with passion for a career in the Nigeria Police Force to apply through its portal, www.nigeriapolicecareers.net, adding that the application would close on January 11, 2019. The PSC disclosed this in a statement by its spokesman,
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Buratai orders investigation into alleged militias camp in Rivers
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Olaleye Aluko, Abuja The Chief of the Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has ordered investigations into an alleged militias camp discovered at the National Youth Service Corps orientation camp in Nonwa Gbam in the Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State. The troops of 6 Division Nigerian Army, had on Wednesday raided the camp,
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CAC centenary: Osinbajo charges Christian leaders
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on church leaders and Christians to contribute their quotas to nation building by being agents of change. Osinbajo said this on at IkejiArakeji, Osun State, during the final ceremony of the centenary celebration of the Christ Apostolic Church. In a statement by CAC, the VP was quoted as saying,
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Catholic archbishop to honour old couples
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Olushola Ricketts The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Adewale Martins, is set to recognise couples, who have spent more than 25 years in marriage The Coordinator, Catholic Men Organisation of the Church of Divine Mercy. Kingsley Ekwem, said this would take place on Sunday at the Whitesands School in Lekki, Lagos. He said this at a
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Six tips on shopping wisely in promo seasons
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Tunde Ajaja With the crowd entering the premises and music blaring from the giant speakers mounted at the entrance of the mall, it almost felt like a carnival at a popular mall in Lagos that Saturday evening. But as one would later find out, it was the last day of a promo-cum-Buy One, Get One
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Why you would never catch me in native attire Benedicta Sadoh
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Head, Value Chain Banking, Sterling Bank, Benedicta Sadoh, tells ADEMOLA OLONILUA about her career, family and how she spends her leisure moments You are currently the head of the Value Chain for Sterling Bank. How has the experience been so far’ Value Chain Banking in my bank basically represents individual banking, which is better known
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Many educated people that should know better look down on us Adeniyi, visually-impaired UNILAG graduate
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Adeniyi Ajayi is a graduate of Political Science from the University of Lagos. The 30-year-old native of Ogun State, who is currently undergoing the National Youth Service Corps programme at the Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs, tells TOLUWALOPE KAREEM how he has managed to forge ahead in life despite losing his ability to see
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I ran away from home at 13 when my father wanted to marry me off Nike Davies -Okundaye
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Founder of Nike Art Empire, Chief Nike Davies-Okundaye, is an award-winning artist and textile designer, who is internationally known in the arts industry. She tells ADEMOLA OLONILUA about her life, career and struggles in life How would you rate the art industry in Nigeria today’ I would say that Nigeria has really achieved a lot
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If you had the power, what would you like to change about your lifes journey
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
A motivational speaker, Roger Crawford, once said, We are a product of the choices we make, not the circumstances that we face. In life, some people sometimes wish they had made different choices in life. Saturday PUNCH asked a cross-section of Nigerians what they would change about their lifes journey if they had the opportunity
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How to clean your bathroom in 10 minutes or less
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Toluwalope Kareem Are you always in a hurry’ These tips can get your bathroom clean in around 10 minutes. Gather your bathroom cleaning supplies What would make this cleaning routine so efficient is that you have to keep the cleaning supplies in the bathroom, like under your bathroom sink or tucked in the linen closet.
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Rivers seven-storey building came down seconds after I stepped out to clean myself Worker who lost brother in collapsed structure
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Sampson Itode, Port Harcourt Wisdom Christopher, 34, is too distraught to speak coherently. The sun is dazzlingly bright, nearly blinding, making it a gloriously bright day, but it does nothing to dispel his gloom or offer him any comfort. It is Tuesday, the fourth day after a seven-storey building in the Government Reserved Area of
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For me, it goes beyond just being good, one must be exceptional to get there Forward, first-class graduate
Sat, 01 Dec 2018
Forward Ngozichukwu, 19, graduated with a first-class degree from the Department of Accounting, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, having scored 4.55 out of a possible 5.0 CGPA. In this interview, she tells TUNDE AJAJA about the choices she made as an undergraduate What have you been doing since you graduated few months ago’ I graduated
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