Saturday, June 27, 2015

US court approves same sex marriage nationwide

The United States Supreme Court on Friday delivered a historic ruling legalising same sex marriage across the country.

In the historic judgement, Justice Anthony Kennedy said gays, like every normal human, have the right to be happy.

She said, "No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were.

"Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."

Friday's Supreme Court ruling now makes the US the 21st country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage across its territory. Following the latest development, couples of same gender would now be accorded every rights and privileges enjoyed by normal unions.

Reacting to the development, President Barack Obama congratulated the gay community in the US, saying the ruling had changed the country.

"I just wanted to say congratulations. Americans should be very proud, because small acts of courage slowly made an entire country realise that love is love. The situation has changed our country," he said.

Share your thoughts!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Old age will limit my performance - President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has admitted that his age would limit his performance as the President of the country.

Buhari, who was a military governor at 33 and Head of State at the age of 40, said he would have loved being a President when he was at a younger age. He will be 73 on December 17, 2015.

The President spoke with Nigerians resident in South Africa on Monday after taking part in the 25th assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Johannesburg.

He said, "I wish I became Head of State when I was a governor, just a few years as a young man. Now at 72, there is a limit to what I can do."

Despite his advancement in age however, Buhari gave assurance that his administration would make a difference.

Buhari explained that what brought him to his current position was his love for the country.

He recalled that he was in the war front for 30 months during the civil war, adding that like any other Nigerian, he lost relatives and loyal people to the war.

Buhari said considering the fact that two million Nigerians died during the war, nobody should come forward to talk about a breakup of the country.

He stressed that Nigeria would remain one country since God had given him another opportunity to reorganise its affairs.

The President promised that his administration would "kill" corruption before it wrecks the nation.

He added that the All Progressives Congress government which he leads was determined to secure the country and improve its economy.

“Our government is determined to secure the country, manage the economy, create employment and fight corruption. Some articulate writers have said if we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria. This APC administration intends to kill corruption in Nigeria. We will do our best, I assure you,” Buhari stated.

The President said he was at a time afraid that Nigeria might become a nation like Somalia which “self-centered elite” had succeeded in turning to a war zone in the last 20 years.

He said Nigerians were more vulnerable because the country has many nationalities who were merged in 1914 in spite of their religious and cultural differences.

Buhari stated that only crazy people whom, according to him, are not in short supply, would talk of dividing the country.

He said there was no big deal in the claims by those who accused him of jailing them because he was also jailed for over three years.

“After being in the military for 25 years, and getting to the highest rank and becoming Head of State and under unusual circumstances, as Head of State, I went straight to detention for three-and-a-half years. So, those who accuse me of locking them up, I too have been locked up; so what?” he declared.

The President said he would not have believed if he had been told during his days in the military that he would one day join partisan politics.

He explained that he joined partisan politics with a view to meeting the needs of the people.

Buhari said, “Why did I join partisan politics in spite of that? When I went home people knew that I have no money and I thought they will leave me alone, but they didn’t.

“They were coming to me asking me to do this and do that. I found out that the only way I could do it is by joining partisan politics.

“And maybe if I speak even if I’m not a member at any level, people will listen to me.

“But then I joined the opposition (the All Peoples Party). I didn’t want any political office at first, if I wanted, I would have joined the PDP(Peoples Democratic Party) then and maybe I would have got to where I am much earlier. But then, I wanted to go with the opposition.

“The second thing that finally convinced me to join partisan politics was what happened in the Soviet Union. You know the Soviet Union was an empire in the 20th century that collapsed without a shot being fired.

“Everybody went home, there was confusion. Now, there are 18 countries out of the old Soviet Union.”

Buhari said he believed that the best form of governance was democracy, but elections must be free and fair.

That, he said, was why he was in trouble and he had to move from the APP to the ANPP(All Nigerian Peoples Party) to CPC(Congress for Progressive Change) and eventually to the APC.

Buhari explained that he contested his defeats in 2003, 2007 and 2011 up to the Supreme Court because of his belief that elections must be free and fair.

He said, “In all those cases from the High Court to the Supreme Court, we sent people to the field, they found out why the elections were not fair.

“They came to the court and gave evidence but in the end, they will say ‘oh well, there were some flaws in the elections but the PDP has won.

“But at last, the PDP has lost."

While explaining that he had occupied different positions like military governor of the North Eastern State, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Head of State and Chairman of the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund, he stated people only remember his days at the PTF because he equipped hospitals and schools.

The President said, “I bought bed sheets and X-ray machines for hospital and buses for the schools.

“They (Nigerians) remember me more as chairman of the PTF than as a former Head of State, than a governor or a Minister of Petroleum.

“In spite of the fact that it was during my time that I signed the contract for the Warri Refinery, Kaduna Refinery, more than 3,500 pipelines and more than 20 depots.

“We got the tankers off the roads; we saved lives; we saved fuel and we saved the roads.

“But from 1999 till date, the PDP messed them up. That is why Nigerians decided to vote me.”

Buhari said despite the money politics being played in Nigeria, his victories during APC’s primary and the March 28 presidential elections had proved that Nigerians knew what they wanted.

He said some rejected inducement while some collected and still did exactly what they wanted to do when there was time to vote.

Buhari regretted that some “strong Nigerians” were responsible for the destruction of strong institutions in the country.

He said, "We have a system in Nigeria. No matter what you say about the British colonialists, they built institutions for us, unfortunately we have destroyed those institutions.

"When (Barack) Obama came to Africa, he went to Ghana; he refused to come to Nigeria. And he said Africa or developing countries should have strong institutions instead of strong leaders.

"If he was in Nigeria, he would have known that it was strong Nigerians that destroyed the strong institutions. And paradoxically, maybe another strong Nigerian will come and revive the institutions and make them strong again."

Source: Punch

"Why Goodluck Jonathan should get a Nobel Peace Prize"

Ex President, Goodluck Jonathan deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, a former Special Assistant on Youths to Mr Jonathan, Mr Jude Imagwe said yesterday. He said that his former boss deserves it for accepting defeat in the last presidential elections.

According to Imagwe, "If not for his calm attitude and his not being crazy for power, Nigeria would have been burning today. The people must not forget the sacrifice made by this man to save Nigeria."

He lampooned the forrmer Governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, who recently said that conceding defeat by the former President should not be seen as an achievement, therefore, suggested that the former President should not be given a hero's status.

Imagwe, who spoke to newsmen in Benin City, shortly after a thanksgiving service for a successful tenure, at the Saint John Vianney Catholic Church, stressed that Jonathan's singular act disappointed doomsday prophets, who had predicted that the country would be plunged into bloodshed after the 2015 general elections.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Buhari orders release of N4 billion to fight Boko Haram

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the immediate release of $21 million (N4.2 billion) to the Multinational Joint Task Force, MNJTF.

The money is to be released within the next one week to the multi-country military agency fighting the insurgent group, Boko Haram. Nigeria made a pledge of $100 million as part of funds needed by the MNJTF- made of troops from Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Cameroon – to fight the war against Boko Haram.

Speaking while chairing the Peace Security Council meeting at the ongoing 25th African Union summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mr. Buhari said it is time to put an end to the crisis in the African region before the 2020 target.

"Our continents is inundated with conflicts of diverse forms. They include the crisis in Burkina Faso, Mali, Libya, Central Africa Republic, South Sudan, and more recently in Burundi.

"As you are aware in 2013 during our 50th anniversary celebration of our union, we as African leaders committed ourselves to the objective of silencing the local guns in Africa by 2020.

Mr. Buhari said though achieving a conflict free continent within five years might seems doubtful with the numerous conflicts persisting, efforts must be made for peace to exist.

He spoke about the Boko Haram crisis and the global dimension to the crisis and added that countries need to partner to curb the crisis.

"In particular, we are witnesses to the rampant destruction of homes, roads, communications lines, vital infrastructures and displacement of persons not to mention terrible loss of lives.

"The Boko Haram insurgency has extended its reach to Nigeria's neighbours but is not necessarily limited to these immediate countries as terrorism is a global phenomenon with linkages across the globe.

"In this regard, the member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin, met recently where far reaching decisions were taken to immediately put into operations the Multinational Joint Task Force.

"To this end, the summit approved the immediate provision of $30 million for the Multinational Joint Task Force.

"Consequently out of the pledge of $100 million which Nigeria made to the Multinational Joint Task Force, I have directed that $21 million be released within the next one week," Mr. Buhari said.

Mr. Buhari lamented the situation in South Sudan and Burundi and criticised their leaders for what he termed "bickering".

"Today's meeting of PSC, which is to discuss the situations of South Sudan and Burundi, requires us to put these situations in proper context. The people of these countries are suffering while their political leaders are bickering among themselves.

"I believe that it is incumbent upon us as leaders to always place the interest of our countries above narrow and personal interest.

"It is therefore my expectations that at the end of this summit, the PSC will come out with a united message to call on all parties to act in the interest of their people and the entire continent.

"We must change the face of Africa, we must give hope to the hopeless.

"The time to do so is now as we look forward to the much await 2020 to deliver a continent that is at peace with itself, prosperous, a global partner and a democratic show case," the President said.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Man trekking from Bauchi to Abuja for President Buhari declared missing

Nurudeen Maimako, a man trekking to celebrate President Muhammadu Buhari's election victory have been declared missing. Nurudeen, a resident of Dass town in Bauchi State, left his town on May 15 to Abuja, but has not been seen since then.

The Bauchi State Police command today declared him missing after his father made an official complaint about his son's unknown where about, Vanguard reports.

A statement from the spokesperson of the command, DSP Haruna Mohammed, made available to the public narrated Maimako's ordeal.

"On the 3/6/2015 at about 11:15am, one Muhammadu Hussaini, male, of Dass town, reported at Dass Divisional Police Headquarters, that on 15/5/2015 at about 6.00am,his son, one Nuruddeen Maimako, male and 38 years, left Dass on Foot Solidarity to attend the swearing in ceremony of President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

"Since then, his whereabouts is not known and all efforts made to locate him proved abortive.

"The last contact he (father) had with Maimako was when he (son) informed them that he was in Jos, Plateau State.

"Particulars of the son are: 1.50 metres tall, Jarawa by tribe, light in complexion and speaks English and Hausa fluently. Members of the public who know his whereabouts are to report at the nearest Police Station, or contact his father through GSM no 07051789119," the statement concluded.