Two buses collided head-on and burst into flames in northern Nigeria’s Yobe state on Friday, killing at least 29 people, police said.
“Two Toyota Hiace Buses… travelling in opposite directions had a head-on collision and thereafter went off in flames. Twenty nine persons — eleven of them burnt beyond recognition — have so far been confirmed dead,” national police spokesman Frank Mba said in a statement, adding that 16 people were also injured.
Police said the accident happened at 1:00 pm (1200 GMT) in the state’s Nengere area and the injured were taken to a hospital in the neaby city of Potiskum.
The statement lamented the “incessant cases of accidents” on Nigeria’s highways, considered some of the most dangerous in the world.
More than 17,000 people died in about 31,000 road accidents across the country, between 2007 and 2009, according to the federal road safety agency’s 2010 report, the most recent published.
Over nine hundred passengers aboard an Iddo-bound 10-coach train escaped death on Friday morning when their train rammed into an articulated vehicle at the Ilupeju Railway Crossing near Oshodi, Lagos. The accident, which occurred at about 7:30 a.m., led to traffic gridlock along the Ilupeju/Oshodi road for several hours.
Confirming the accident, Ademuyiwa Adekanbi, the Lagos District Public Relations Officer of the Railways, said that no life was lost in the incident.
Adekanbi said that the corporation has embarked on enough enlightenment campaigns on the use of the railway crossings.
“We have done enough jingles on radio and television, we have rallies and distributed fliers to sensitise people of the right of way of a train at level crossings,” he said. Each of the coaches on the train has 90 seats which are usually overloaded.
An eyewitness told journalists that the articulated vehicle blocked the railway crossing when the train was already close by.
The loaded trailer had crashed into the double barriers on the railway crossing shortly before the train arrived.
On seeing the approaching train, the driver jumped out of the trailer and ran away. The train then dragged the truck for some distance, scattering the goods inside it, which were mostly empty cartons of Malta Guinness drink, along the track.
The dragging of the truck also led to the damaging of some vehicles parked along the rail track by motor mechanics.
It was gathered that the accident caused some damage to the engine of the locomotive and the track.
The incident makes it the third time in August that passenger trains have rammed into vehicles at railway crossings in the Lagos metropolis.
It has come to the knowledge of family members and close friends of Osarere Debbie Idiagbonya (the young lady with breast cancer) that one Miss Durodola Damilola Bolaji with phone number 08168267590 has opened an account with Skye bank, account number 1051725734 in Ila Orangun, claiming that Debby is her friend and that people can pay into this account on behalf of Debby.
However, Debby, her family members and friends disclosed that they do not know the said Durodola Damilola Bolaji and therefore advice members of the public that she is a fraud, therefore should not have anything to do with her.
To donate to Debbie, please see her account details below:
Account name: Idiagbonya Osarere
Bank: Access bank
Account no: 0000216933
Debbie needs N6 Million for surgery. No amount is too small.
The Federal Government has approved the sum of N1.8 billion ($11.3 million) for the procurement of condoms and family planning commodities, as part of its efforts at reducing maternal mortality and promoting planned parenthood.
The Director of Family Health in the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Bridget Okoeguale, disclosed this in Abuja during the 47th National Council Meeting of the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria.
According to her, the amount is for the purchase of condoms, implants and other necessities.
She said that some states do not have a budget line for family planning, despite the global campaign.
“Last year, in order to reduce the maternal mortality rate, the Federal Government proclaimed that reproductive health commodities and family planning commodities like condom and implants would be free. Now that it is free, people will have to be rushing it,” she said.
“So, the government, along with the partners, made a forecast as to what we need in the country, and contributed $3m in 2011 through a Memorandum of Understanding which we implemented. But this year, globally, on July 11 to be precise, in London, there was a family planning summit organised by DFID and other partners to increase the commitment of governments all over the world to family planning.
“Nigeria came in a big way, and Mr. President, through the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, announced the Federal Government’s commitment to the world with an additional $8.3m reproductive health commodities.”
Okoeguale said that FG was appealing to states to key in, because health is on the concurrent list.
“The Federal Government has a plan and policy but we cannot force states to key in. We can only advocate for them; they make requests to us as regards what they need but it is for them to ensure that these commodities reach the grassroots,” she said.
Panic is spreading across some of Nigeria’s major cities over the “666” mark allegedly received by two people at the popular Computer Village in Ikeja, Lagos.
A text message currently making the rounds says: “Please don’t pick calls from 08016660666. Two people at Computer Village Ikeja received “666” mark on their forehead after picking the calls today. Please send to others.”
As is the norm with such messages, the text identity of those who allegedly received the mark and the exact location where the incident purportedly happened were not disclosed.
On receiving the text message from a staunch Pentecostal who works as a company executive in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, News Express Publisher promptly sent a text to the number, 08016660666 but it repeatedly failed to deliver. News Express then repeatedly called the number but a pre-recorded female voice said: “The number you are trying to call does not exist. Please check the number and try again.
Widely known as “The Mark (or Number) of the Beast, 666 is found in chapter 13 verses 15–18 in the Bible Book of Revelation. It reads thus in the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures: “And there was granted it to give breath to the image of the wild beast, so that the image of the wild beast should both speak and cause to be killed all those who would not in any way worship the image of the wild beast. And it puts under compulsion all persons, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the slaves, that they should give these a mark in their right hand or upon their forehead, and that nobody might be able to buy or sell except a person having the mark, the name of the wild beast or the number of its name. Here is where wisdom comes in: Let the one that has intelligence calculate the number of the wild beast, for it is a man’s number; and its number is six hundred and sixty-six.”
While many Christian groups teach that the number 666 is literal and is identified with the Antichrist, a few, notably Jehovah’s Witnesses, insist that it is symbolic. The Watchtower magazine of February 15, 2009, for instance, said that the wild beast of Revelation symbolises human governments while the sea out of which it ascends is the turbulent masses of mankind the number 666 denotes heightened imperfection. “Accepting ‘the mark of the wild beast in our hand or upon our forehead’ would amount to permitting the wild beast to control our actions or affect our thinking,” the magazine stated.
Source News Express
President Goodluck Jonathan has promised to go on exile if he fails to build the Second Niger Bridge before completing his term in 2015.
The Nigerian leader made the promise in his remarks at a Town Hall Meeting held yesterday in the commercial city of Onitsha as part of activities marking his one-day visit to Anambra State. During the visit, Jonathan commissioned several projects, including the oil production facilities of Orient Petroleum at Aguleri, the massive SABMiller Brewery at Onitsha and the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu Gateway in Onitsha.
The issue of Second Niger Bridge naturally came up during the Town Hall Meeting since Jonathan had during his campaigns for the 2011 presidential ballot promised to construct the bridge if elected President. Experts have warned that the existing bridge constructed in 1965 may collapse any time in view of the heavy traffic.
Speaking yesterday at the Town Hall Meeting, the Nigerian leader said that “when the first bridge was built, it was during the presidency of Nnamdi Azikiwe; the second Niger bridge will be built under the presidency of Azikiwe Jonathan.” To further reassure the people, the President said he would go on exile on the completion of his term if he does not build the bridge.
To convince his audience that serious efforts are being made to build the bridge, invited Works Minister Mike Onolomemen and Finance Minister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala to brief the people on what was being done about the construction of the bridge. Onolomemen reeled out the technical details about the design of the bridge and the companies bidding to construct it, while Okonjo-Iweala unfolded details about the financial arrangements being made to construct the bridge.
At the end of the meeting, some of the participants, among them businessman Prince Arthur Eze were so thrilled that they urged President Jonathan to seriously consider seeking re-election in 2015.
US Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney tells a crowd of supporters one of the most insulting statements of all times during a speech on Monday by claiming he can relate with black people because his ancestors once owned slaves.
Here is what Mitt Romney said while addressing a crowd in Prattville, Alabama on Monday:
I understand how difficult it can be for an African-American in today’s society. In fact, I can relate to black people very well indeed. My ancestors once owned slaves, and it is in my lineage to work closely with the black community. However, just because they were freed over a century ago doesn’t mean they can now be freeloaders.
They need to be told to work hard, and the incentives just aren’t there for them anymore. When I’m president I plan to work closely with the black community to bring a sense of pride and work ethic back into view for them.
Even though this latest statement by Mitt Romney will undoubtedly be spun so that it will be seen as being taken out of context, someone needs to tell this man to just keep his mouth shut.
So far, he has told citizens that he is friends with NASCAR owners, NFL owners, and now that he is related to slave owners. Stick to economic policy Mitt, that’s your strong point. Your history at Bain Capital speaks for itself.
The Romney campaign has yet to release its version of the speech made in Prattville.
A 50-year-old widow, Juliana Oluwafemi, has committed suicide by hanging in Apata Elere area of Ibadan, Oyo State. It was learnt that Oluwafemi, popularly known as Iya Iyanu, was found hanging on a tree close to the Odo-Ona River, Apata on Monday. A youth leader in the community, Mr. Ayodele Obaro, who spoke with journalists on the issue, said the deceased was discovered around 8am by mechanics that had gone to the river banks to defecate.
He said, “When I heard about the incident, I reported to a nearby church, Saint Paul’s Anglican Church and they later informed the police.” According to the younger sister of the deceased, Iya Subomi, Juliana was declared missing on Saturday after efforts to trace her whereabouts failed.
She said, “She came to her son’s house at Odo-ona on Friday and was left at home by her son who went for a vigil. “However, by the time he came back on Saturday morning, he did not see his mother at home. “Her disappearance was suspicious, because she left the house without her shoes and phone.”
Subomi added that someone informed her that a dead woman was found hanging on a tree by the river. She said after she was shocked to discover that the dead woman was her sister.
Subomi said, “Her business was thriving and her children were doing well. I am also very sure that she was not in debt. I cannot say why she decided to take her own life.”
Efforts to get comments from the police were abortive as the Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Bisi Inobanafor, could not be reached.
A mild drama played itself out at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, when Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, Leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), was asked to identify himself before being issued his Boarding Pass.
Uwazuruike had been booked on the Aero Contractors’ 9:15 a.m. flight to Lagos yesterday but was told by officers at the Check-In Counter that he had to produce a means of identification before he could be checked in.
The MASSOB Leader, who was being assisted to check-in by an aide, rummaged through his bulky purse for minutes, muttering: “Do I have a passport? What do I use to identify myself now?”
After searching for sometime, Uwazuruike announced that he did not have any ID Card or International Passport with him. As the chief campaigner for the revival of the shortlived Republic of Biafra (1967 – 70), the MASSOB Leader had several times in the past said that he is a Biafran citizen and, so, does not need a Nigerian Passport.
“There was a dilemma on the part of the officers at the Check-In Counter as to what to do, but the problem was soon resolved when they said Uwazruruike could be checked in if he had a cheque book with him. The MASSOB Leader promptly produced a cheque book and was immediately checked in,” reports the News Express Correspondent who witnessed the incident.
Uwazuruike, who flew first class, then proceeded to the VIP Lounge and was given VIP treatment until he boarded the flight.
Special Adviser on Communication to the former Minister of Power, Mr. C-Don Adinuba, on Wednesday faulted media reports that his boss, Prof. Bath Nnaji, was fired by President Goodluck Jonathan over conflict of interest in the ongoing privatisation of power generating firms.
Adinuba said, “Let me tell you clearly that he was never interested in Afam; he only got to know on Thursday that a company he used to have dealings with was involved in the bid for Afam and on Friday, he had a meeting with the Vice President and told the NCP. So he was the one who called attention to it.
“As is the case all over the world, he has resigned from all these companies; and when you leave, you don’t even know what happens to them.
“He left the meeting on his own terms; key people in government were sponsoring negative stories against him in the media; he was being stabbed in the back.”
He stressed that Nnaji resigned voluntarily from office, stressing that people were only making up the stories that he was fired.
He also dismissed reports that the minister was interested in the Afam Power Plant, saying it was Nnaji that drew the attention of the National Council on Privatisation to the fact that a company he once had dealings with was involved in the bid for the Afam Power Plant.
Adinuba argued that the NCP members did not know until Nnaji volunteered the information and decided to leave the meeting for evaluation of bids on his own.
He claimed that Nnaji resigned because of the painful realisation that even “very highly-placed people” in government were sponsoring negative stories against him in the media.
Adinuba said that his boss was back-stabbed in the process of ensuring successful implementation of the power sector reforms.
He insisted that the ex-minister only knew about the issue of the company on Thursday and consequently alerted Vice- President Namadi Sambo, who is the Chairman of the NCP, and other members.
He argued further that the former minister had resigned from all his companies and did not even know what was going on in them.
“I can tell you that he resigned voluntarily based on principle; you see, when (Dr. Ngozi) Okonjo-Iweala resigned as foreign affairs minister, people came up with all manner of stories. PUNCH