The 2015 Diary: AUGUST-OCTOBER

saraki in courtAUGUST

August 18. Telecoms Operator bar 10. 7 million defective SIMS from networks. Holders of pre-registered Subscribers Identification Modules (SIM) cards on the network of mobile network operators in the country were to lose the privilege of access to and use of the network to stamp out this illegality. So far, the de-activation exercise led to the blocking of 10.7 million lines in the previous two weeks. By implication, the 10.7 million people who owned these lines were blocked from either making or receiving calls until they were able to regularize their details.

August 19. 10.7 million barred GSM users groan. Affected telecommunication service subscribers , in their thousands, besieged their network service centres across the country over the ban placed on their Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM) cards about 10.7 million telephones lines were barred both partially and in full.
August 20. NNPC, others insist on oil sector deregulation. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) re-iterated the need for deregulation of the industry to ensure efficiency, transparency and free enterprise in the country’s oil sector. The United States (US) and the Independence Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAT) pledged their readiness to work with the new management of the NNPC to achieve the Federal Government’s reform agenda in the oil and gas industry.

August 21. Co-pilot, Bello, laid to rest. The remains of the co-pilot of the Bristow Helicopter plane which crashed into the Lagos lagoon, Peter Kayode Bello, were interred at the Eyo Ita axis of the Hawkins Cemetery in Calabar, cross River State, amidst wailing and tears by family members and sympathizers.

*NERC orders DISC to refund N50 million over-billing charges to FCT consumers. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) ordered Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (DISC) to refund about N50 million over-charged amount to its various consumers in the Federal Capital Territory. Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, gave the order in reaction to the query issued to his Commission by the Senate.

August 28. Buhari endorses $18.5 billion Centenary City Project. President Muhammadu Buhari endorsed the $18.5 billion Centenary City Project flagged off by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015. He noted that skills, expertise and vast experience that would be brought into Nigeria to build the Centenary City on the Dubai Model, would also be of immense benefit to the country’s overall development.

August 29. Another air crash claims seven in Kaduna. Barely three weeks after a helicopter crashed in Lagos State killing six persons, a Dornier -228 plane went down in Kaduna State, killing all seven persons on board. The aircraft was on route Abuja from the Kaduna Military Airfield when it crashed few minutes after a 6.45 am take-off.

August 30. DSS warns of Boko Haram attacks in Southern cities. Cruel disregard for human life was yet to abate in the North-East as a gang of suspected Boko-Haram gunmen in a convoy of Toyota Hillux Vehicle and Motor-cycles laden with Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDS) attacked Badu Village in Nganizai Local Council of Borno States, killing 56 people.

SEPTEMBER

September 1. Electricity generation slumps as six power plants stop running
Six electricity generating plants were shut down across the country, causing worry that the retentive stability in power supply in recent times might be short lived. It was gathered that the situation made power generation to fall uncontrollably to about 4,652 Megawatts (MW).

September 2. NNPC rules out sale of refineries. From the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikunu, came a declaration that there was no plan by the Federal Government to privatise the national refineries.

September3. At last, Buhari, Osinbajo declare assets. The Presidency released details of President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration of assets, which put his net worth at less than N30 million. Also, his deputy, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, a successful lawyer and accomplished university teacher, was said to have about N94 million and $900,000 in his Bank accounts.

September 4. PDP faults Buhari, Osinbajo’s assets declarations. The people’s Democratic Party (PDP) described as “a deceptive window – dressing to hoodwink unsuspecting Nigerians”, the release by an aide of the President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, in place of the pledge made to Nigerians by Mr. President as candidate of

All Progressives Congress (APC) on March 18, 2015”.

September 5. Anxiety over Olu of Warri. Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwase II, might have passed on September 4, according to sources. The Guardian investigations said the Olu recently suffered brain injury after a fall from the stairs of his residence in Warri. He was also reported to have suffered stroke, and was due to undergo surgery at the Reddinton Hospital, Victoria Island, Lagos, where he was taken before he passed on.

September 6. TSA: FG operates illegal accounts for 48 years. Until August 11, 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari ordered stoppage of multiple accounts, the Federal Government had, for at least 48 years, breached its own rules on collection and management of national revenues.

September 9. I appointed trusted party members, says Buhari. President Muhammadu Buhari came out in defense of the political appointments he made so far, saying he chose those he trusted. The President had, in the past weeks, come under serious criticisms, for what many considered as the lopsided appointments he made so far. But Buhari, in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service, said the Constitution allowed him full control over the choice of his closest officials.

September 10. Buhari backs down unbans 133 oil vessels. Less than 24 hours after the United States authorities warned Nigeria’s leaderships against shutting out foreign competitions, President Muhammadu Buhari lifted the ban on 113 vessels from engaging in crude oil / gas loading activities in any of the terminals within the nation’s territorial waters.

September 12. Mecca tragedy: Three Nigerians sustain injury. Three pilgrims from Nigeria were among the 238 people who sustained injuries in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, when a crane collapsed on a mosque, killing the initial 87 pilgrims. But death toll from the accident had since risen to 107.

September 13. Alleged N34 billions NBC, MTN spectrum deal raises dust. There were indications that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) might have sold the spectrum frequency in the 700MHz bands to MTN Nigeria for N34 billion in a deal that was yet to be made public even as industry leader said its transaction was transparent.

September 14. Treasury Single Account Scheme takes off today. The new initiative of the Federal Government to harmonise its revenue accruals through the Treasury Single Account (TSA) took off.

*The Guardian honours Reporter for hard work. The management of The Guardian Newspapers Limited (GNL) honoured one of its Reporters, Mr. Chukwuma Muanya, for his outstanding performance on the Health Desk. Muanya produced a daily Health News page, besides his regular weekly health pages every Thursday.

September 15. We’re already negotiating with B’Haram, says Buhari. President Muhammadu Buhari finally laid to rest the speculations regarding whether or not the Federal Government would negotiate with Boko Haram as the President in Paris, the French capital, confirmed that talks with the dreaded Islamic terrorists had, in fact ,begun.

September 16. Plane crash averted in Kebbi. What would have been a terrible accident involving 545 intending pilgrims from 545 intending pilgrims from Kebbi State to Saudi Arabia was averted early by the pilot of the Boeing 747, a plane belonging to Max Air.

*Saraki faces 13 – count charge over asset declaration. The Federal Government was to arraign the Senate President, Bukonla Saraki, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal on a 13-count charge bordering on false declaration of assets in breach of the Code of conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.

September 17. Court Summons CCB to Defend Saraki’s trial. A move by the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to prevent his trial by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), for alleged false declaration of assets, suffered a setback as the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, refused his experte application. The court, instead, ordered Saraki to put the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), which proffered the 13- count change against him on notice to appear before it on

September 21, 2015, to show cause why it should not be restrained from arraigning the embattled Senate President over the said charge.

September 19. Providence: HID dies Saturday, like Awo. The Mother of Yoruba Nation and Jewel of inestimable values passed on 28 years after her husband died, and two months to her 100th birthday.. President Muhammadu Buhari described the death of Chief (Mrs.) Hannah Dideolu Awolowo as a loss of immense proportion, saying he received the passage with profound sadness.

September 20. I wish mama lived another two years, says Buhari. As hundred of sympathizers trooped to Ikenne-Remo, Ogun State, the home country of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, to condole with the family over the death of Chief Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo, President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo described her demise as a great loss to the Yoruba race and Nigeria.

September 21. Olu Falae Kidnapped on his 77th birthday. Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Olu Falae, was kidnapped by suspected Fulani herdsmen on his 77th birthday. Falae, who was also a chieftain and leader of the Yoruba Social-culture group, Afenifere, was said to have been abducted on his farm, Ilado, along Igbaroro Road, in Akure, Ondo State.

September 22. Saraki: docked, pleads not guilty. For hours, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki,. Was docked at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja over alleged falsification of assets declaration in 2003 when he was Governor of Kwara State. About 15 Senators, led by Saraki’s Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu were at the tribunal in solidarity support for the number three citizen Saraki, however, took the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to task on the mode employed to prosecute him as he denied all the charges against him.

September 23. President directs IGP to ensure Falae’s release. President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Inspector-General of police (IGP), Solomon Arasi and security agencies to take all necessary actions to ensure safe and speedy rescue of former Secretary to the Federal Government, Chief Olu Falae, from kidnappers who abducted him from his farm on September 21, 2015.

September 24. Nigerians among 717 killed in Hajj stampede. About 717 people taking part in this year’s pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia were reported killed near the Islamic holy city of Mecca, in what was described as the most fatal stampede during the religious rite in the last 25 years.

*Jubilations in Akure as Falae regains freedom. After about 96 hours in the den of his abductors, former finance Minister, Chief Olu Falae, regained his freedom and swiftly rejoined his family.

September 25. Over 200 B’Haram terrorists surrender to Nigerian Army. As the war against the Boko Haram insurgents raged on, over 200 members of the sect surrendered to the troops of the Nigerian Army,even as the soldiers over- ran Banki town and captured the group’s Islamiyya schools.

September 27. Presidency defends Buhari’s absence at UN forum on displaced persons. The Presidency explained why President Muhammadu Buhari and other members of the Nigerian delegation to the concluded 70th anniversary session, of the United Nations General Assembly in New York were absent at an event organized on the side lines of the summit to discuss rendering assistances to millions of people displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency.

September 29. How Mr. Integrity, Gamaliel Onosode passed on at 82. Nigeria lost one of her finest technocrats, Deacon Gamaliel Offoritsenere Onosode Onosode, fondly referred as ‘Mr. Integrity’ by his admirers. He died at the age of 82 after a protracted illness. He was on the previous Sunday night, flown in alive from the United Kingdom and died on the following Tuesday at about 8.15am, at his Adelabu Street home, Surulere, Lagos, after spending a day in Nigeria.

*Buhari seeks N’ Assembly’s approval for $200 million World Bank loan for Lagos. President Muhammadu Buhari wrote the National Assembly seeking approval for a $200 million World Bank credit facility for the Lagos State development policy operation.

OCTOBER

October 1. Workers, students, others protest in Ekiti, Ondo, Osun. As Nigerians marked the 55th anniversary of the country’s independence, protesters deplored the plight of students, workers and other suffering people in Ekiti, Osun, and Ondo states.

October 2. Britain crime agency arrests Diezani Alison- Madueke. Former minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison- Madueke, who was arrested in London by the United Kingdom (UK) National Crime Agency (NCA) was granted bail by a magistrate court in London. The former minister, the foremost influential cabinet member of the President Goodluck

Jonathan administration was picked up with four others.

October 3. Mecca stampede: Sanusi wants ‘No stoning of the devil’ for pilgrims. In order to avoid future casualties among Nigerian pilgrims, the Emir of Kano and Amiral Hajj, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi II, said he would recommend that Nigerians did not participate in the stoning of the devil in Saudi Arabia, unless they were given accommodation close to ‘Jamrat’, where the Hajj ritual was performed.

October 4. Buhari confirms plan to reduce ministries. As part of measures to reduce redundancy in public service, President Muhammadu Buhari was working on reducing the number of federal ministries which stood at about 28. He intended to merge those with similar functions.

October 5. Senators give terms for confirming ministers. Some Senators spoke that screening of ministers at the upper legislative chamber would adopt stringent measures in line with the provisions of the Constitution. Any list that did not cover the 36 states of the Federation would meet serious opposition on the floor.

*UK agency gets court order on N8.05 million allegedly seized from Alison –Madueke. The UK National Crime Agency (NCA) was granted six months to hold the sum of £27,000 (N8.05 million) allegedly seized from former Petroleum Minister Mrs.
Diezani Alison-Madueke when she was arrested with four others on October 2, 2015.

October 6. Ministerial list splits Senate. A crack seemed to have appeared among Senators over the confirmation of ministerial nominees following the unveiling of the list transmitted to the upper chamber by President Muhammadu Buhari. Some senators were not comfortable with particular candidates, while others faulted the members.

October 7. Lawyers divided over Buhari’s plan to head petroleum ministry. President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York that he intended “to remain the minster of petroleum resources”, as some lawyers took positions over the matter, some for, others against.

October 8. Belarusian writer, Svetlana Alexievich, wins Nobel Prize for Literature 2015. The Belarusian writer, Svetlana Alexievich’s, whose oral histories recorded thousands of individual voices to map the implosion of the Soviet Union, won the Nobel prize for Literature. The Swedish Academy praised Alexievich’s “polyphonic writings”, describing them as a “monument to suffering and courage in our time”. She became the 14th woman to win the prize since it was first awarded in 1901.

October 10. DSP Alamieyeseigha slumps, dies at 63. Former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha, died at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), presumably from cardiac arrest. He was age 63.

*Ex-NTA Anchorman, Mike Enahoro, 75, passes on. Former Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) anchorman, Mr. Mike Enahoro, passed on after a brief illness in a Lagos hospital.

October 12. Ministerial nominees need mental screening, says WHO chief. A professor of psychiatry and director, World Health Organization (WHO) Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health, substance abuse and neuro-science, Oye Gurije said that ministerial nominees must undergo medical fitness test apart from assets declaration to determine their suitability for the job.

October 13. President Buhari’s cabinet nominees set agenda. There was drama in the senate as the ministerial nominees, the list of which was sent by President Muhammadu Buhari on September 30, 2015, took turns to appear for screening in an exercise that was filled with thrills, excitement and jokes. The upper chamber screened 10 ministerial nominees before it adjourned the screening to the following two days.

October 14. Inflation rose to 9.4 percent in September, says bureau. The National Bureau of statistics (NBS) said the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measured inflation, increased marginally to 9.4 percent (year-on-year) in September compared to 9.3 percent rise in August

*WAEC recovers N2 billion from debtor states. Barely two months after the West African Examination Council (WAEC) alleged that 19 states were indebted to it to the tune of over N4 billion, the organization said it recovered N2 billion.

October 16. Prime Minster of Ife, Omisakin, dies at 83. The people of the ancient town of Ile- Ife, Osun state was again thrown into mourning following the sudden death of the Obalufe of Ile-Ife, Oba Solomon Folorunso Omisakin. Omisakin, was the Prime Minister and second-in-command to the Ooni of Ife.

October 20. Buhari replaces Head of Service, Kifasi, with Winifred Oyo-Ita. President Muhammadu Buhari removed the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Danladi Kifasi and replaced him with Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology.



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