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Fashola On The Roads

Fashola On The Roads


By Salisu Na'inna Dambatta

On November 11th and 12th, 2019, Nigeria hosted the 70th Meeting of the Tran-Sahara Road Liaison Committee in Abuja, which was attended by the equivalent of Works Ministers from Algeria, Tunisia, Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Mali.

The meeting, which was instituted in 1966, was convened to appraise each member-nation's progress in the construction of the highway within its territory that will link Lagos and Algiers. The Trans Sahara Road  is a branch of the continent-wide Trans African Highway conceived by African leaders in 1964.

The  meeting was held as the end of the year travelling season in Nigeria for Christmas, New Gregorian-calendar year and family get-together approaches. The travel season is perennially preceeded by  outcry against the bad patches of Nigerian highways.

While some newspapers and social media sites recently published photographs of bad roads shot in other countries which they dishonestly presented as images of Nigerian roads, other publications used photographs of excavated sections of Nigerian roads under construction and projected them as failed parts of the roads that were allegedly neglected by the Federal or state Governments.

In continuation of the outcry, the  truthful remark of the Minister of Works and Housing, Alhaji Babatunde Raji Fashola, that not all the roads in Nigeria are bad, was twisted and taken out of  context and projected negatively just to score a political point, or propagate the impression that everything about our country is bad.

It is certainly true that segments of some of the State and Federal highways in Nigeria have failed due to abuse by users running overloaded trucks on them, and irregular maintenance by the relevant agencies. But another undeniable truth is that the two of government, especially the Federal Government are doing a lot of work on the roads to make them safer for motoring.

Regular travellers, truckers and commercial car drivers often testify to the ongoing reconstruction and expansion of many of the Federal roads in Nigeria.

Examples of such roads  are the Ibadan-Lago and the Zuba-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano dual carriageways. The construction of the vital Second Niger Bridge is similarly ongoing.

Rehabilitation efforts are equally noticeable on dozens of other roads, including Umuahia-Aba road and the Zaria-Funtua-Gusau-Sokoto route and the Yola-Jada-Toungo highway, while construction work has commenced on the N54 billion Ibbi Bridge on River Benue in Taraba state. The bridge has been on the drawing board since colonial times.

One of the reasons for low awareness of such projects is that road construction companies hardly inform Nigerians on the projects they are executing for the government. They rarely give updates on the projects, leaving that to government publicists. The inadequate publicity for such projects prevents many Nigerians who see them ongoing daily from linking to government efforts.

Many Nigerians will be glad to hear that the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing is currently working on  504 road reconstruction and rehabilitation projects in the six geopolitical zones of the country. Many others have been completed. Keen observers would certainly notice that every state of the Federation is benefitting from one or more of such projects.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Alhaji Babatunde Raji Fashola, was visibly happy when he led delegates to the just-concluded 70th meeting of the Trans Sahara Road Liaison Committee to inspect the ongoing reconstruction and dualisation of the 221-kilometerKeffi-Akwanga-Lafiya-Makurdi road.

This project is being implemented by the China Harbour Engineering Company Nigeria Ltd on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing at a cost of more than $500 million.

In the project brief, the Minister of Works and Housing and the delegates to the 70th Meeting were informed that 170 kilometers of  the total length of the project has been cleared, while excavation and filling works on 78 kilometers have been achieved,  and 169 culverts completed.

The Ministry of Works and Housing and the Chinese construction company both said it would be completed in  36  months. Work started in April 2019. The second stage of the project will cover Makurdi-Enugu, preparations for which have been completed.

Informational documents from both the Ministry of Works and Housing and Chinese Harbour Engineering Company Ltd indicate that the scope of work include the building of eleven new bridges, straightening of  bends that cause accidents and loss of lives on the route, and the construction of 394 culverts. Mountains of granites will be blasted to make way for the road which facilities domestic trade. In all, 3,400 jobs have so far been created for Nigerians through the project.

Indeed, it is the duty of every Nigerian as his brother's keeper to wish all Nigerians on trips by whatever means of transportation safe journey at all times. It is equally fair to call on both states and the Federal Governments to engage in adequate public communication to create awareness of their efforts on the development of infrastructure, especially  roads.
APC Suspends National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole

APC Suspends National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole



The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State has suspended its national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.

The State chairman, Anselm Ojezua, who made this known in a statement on a Tuesday night said
Oshiomhole‘s suspsension followed the vote of no confidence passed on him by the chairmen of the APC in the 18 local government areas (LGAs) of the state.

Recall that of the Deputy State Chairman of the APC in Edo State, Kenneth Asekomhe was earlier on Tuesday quoted as saying, “After the meeting of the State Executive Committee, in pursuant of Article 17, Section 5 of APC constitution of 2014, as amended, we the undersigned members passed a vote of no confidence on the State Secretary of the party, Mr Lawrence Okah. He is hereby removed from office.

“The committee also passed a vote of confidence on the State Chairman of APC, Mr Anselm Ojezua.

”The APC chairmen in the 18 LGAs of the state also reaffirmed their support for the second term bid of Governor Godwin Obaseki on account of his developmental strides.

”The chairmen passed a vote of no confidence on the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.”

The statement reads, “Consequent on the development, the State Executive Committee has adopted the vote of no confidence passed on him and the subsisting suspension order from the organs of the party in the state.

“Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is the one behind the crisis in Edo APC. We have passed a vote of no confidence on him and he stands suspended from the party.”

“We don’t want what happened in Zamfara State or other parts of the country to happen in Edo State,” the Nation reports.
Controversy Trails Senate Introduction Of Hate Speech Bill

Controversy Trails Senate Introduction Of Hate Speech Bill



Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has described the hate speech bill sponsored by Senator Sabi Abdullahi as an ‘abuse of the legislative process that will violate Nigerians’ constitutionally guaranteed right to Freedom of Speech.

Senator Sabi Abdullahi representing Niger North Senatorial district on Tuesday sponsored a private bill to tackle hate speeches and other social media related contents, considered antagonistic to the interest of Nigerian society.

The lawmaker, who was Senate Spokesman in the 8th Senate and now Deputy Chief Whip, wants the National Assembly to establish a Commission with administrative structures to deal with hate speeches in Nigeria.

The bill titled: “National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches (Est., etc) bill, 2019 (SB. 154)” passed its first reading on Tuesday.

Reacting, a statement by Atiku’s Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, on Tuesday warned against the passage of the bill.

He urged the Senate to focus on issues that matters to Nigerians.

The Statemenr reads in part, “Atiku Abubakar wishes to sound a note of caution to those now toying with the idea of an Anti Hate Speech Bill, with punishment for supposed Hate Speech to be death by hanging.

“The contemplation of such laws is in itself not just hate speech, but an abuse of the legislative process that will violate Nigerians’ constitutionally guaranteed right to Freedom of Speech.

“Atiku urges those behind this Bill to awake to the fact that Nigeria’s democracy has survived its longest incarnation, because those who governed this great nation between 1999 and 2015 never toyed with this most fundamental of freedoms.

“It is prudent to build upon the tolerance inherited from those years and not shrink the democratic space to satisfy personal and group interests. Freedom of Speech was not just bestowed to Nigerians by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)

“ It is also a divine right given to all men by their Creator. History is littered with the very negative unintended consequences that result when this God given right is obstructed by those who seek to intimidate the people rather than accommodate them.We should be reminded that history does not repeat itself. Rather, men repeat history. And often, to disastrous consequences.

“Nigeria presently has too many pressing concerns. We are now the world headquarters for extreme poverty as well as the global epicentre of out-of-school children. Our economy is smaller than it was in 2015, while our population is one of the world’s fastest growing. We have retrogressed in the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International,from the position we held four years ago, and our Human Development Indexes are abysmally low. It therefore begs the question: should we not rather make laws to tackle these pressing domestic challenges, instead of this Bill, which many citizens consider obnoxious?

“Again, Atiku cautions that we must prioritise our challenges ahead of the whims and caprices of those who do not like to hear the inconvenient truth. Stop this folly and focus on issues that matter to Nigerians.”
Nigeria VS Benin Republic: Rohr Finally Identifies Six Players That Could Start 2021 AFCON Qualifier

Nigeria VS Benin Republic: Rohr Finally Identifies Six Players That Could Start 2021 AFCON Qualifier



Head coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, has identified six players that could star when his side tackle Benin Republic in Wednesday’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier.

According to Rohr, Samuel Chukwueze, Joe Aribo, Samuel Kalu, Victor Osimhen, Chidozie Awaziem and Ola Aina could start against the Squirrels in Uyo.

Rohr’s men head to the game following a 1-1 draw with Brazil in an international friendly encounter last month.

”I don’t know how many young players will start because I have to see how they are after the traveling yesterday,” Rohr told reporters in his pre-match press conference in Uyo ahead of Wednesday’s clash.

”What is sure is that we will have at least Awaziem or Ola, we will have Aribo if he is ready but he is not U23, we will have Osimhen who played on Saturday night, yesterday he was okay so I think he’ll be ready.

”We have Chukwueze, he played only 45 minutes in his club so it is possible to start the game. Kalu played on Friday which is good so he has a chance to start.”

The kick-off time for the match is 5pm.
Cristiano Ronaldo Faces 2-year Match Ban [Read Details]

Cristiano Ronaldo Faces 2-year Match Ban [Read Details]



Juventus superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo faces a two-year match ban for leaving the stadium before the end of the match against AC Milan on Sunday.

Juventus defeated AC Milan 1-0 on Sunday night to reclaim the top of the Serie A table from Inter Milan, however, it was not a great evening for their star player, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Juventus boss, Maurizio Sarri replaced Ronaldo with Paulo Dybala in the 55th-minute with the score still 0-0 and the Argentine went on to score the only goal of the game.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner didn’t look happy as he muttered something under his breath in the direction of the manager and walked straight down the tunnel.

Sky Sport Italia confirmed that Ronaldo had left the Allianz Stadium before the match had even finished – in the 87th-minute to be exact.

According to former Italian footballer, Antonio Cassano, Ronaldo could be facing a two-year ban.

“Did he leave before the end of the game?” Cassano asked on the Italian television show, Tiki-Taka.

“You can’t do that because there is an anti-doping control.

“I had to go back to the stadium urgently to avoid a two-year ban.”
EFCC Begs Nigerian Youths To Stop "Yahoo-Yahoo"

EFCC Begs Nigerian Youths To Stop "Yahoo-Yahoo"



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has appealed to Nigerian youths, particularly students, to distance themselves from criminal tendencies capable of disrupting their future endeavours.

Mr. Isyaku Sharu, Head of the EFCC Zonal Office in Ilorin made the appeal on Tuesday while addressing students at the University of Ilorin, NAN reports.

Sharu said the call had become necessary following the increasing pervasiveness of cyber crimes, otherwise called “Yahoo-Yahoo”, among the youth.

He said that many of the suspects currently being investigated for one form of financial crime or the other were students of several institutions of higher learning across Nigeria.

Sharu said that the commission, would in strict adherence to the laws of the land, stop at nothing in the eradication of the scourge.

He said that he was particularly disturbed by the high number of students who were involved in the swindling of innocent individuals and organisations of their hard-earned resources.

Sharu charged students to face their studies squarely and never be enchanted with the get-rich-quick syndrome, which according to him, often propelled the misguided ones into criminalities.

He explained that the sky could not limit the success of those who were hardworking, honest and law-abiding.

The EFCC Zonal Head explained that the laws guiding the activities of his Commission have no respect for the age of suspects.

He reiterated the commitment of the EFCC to continue to do everything within its capacity to bring the incidence of criminality down.

Sharu added that the commission was ready to address any information brought to its attention without any special treatment for age or any other stratification into which the suspect may fall.

He, therefore, implored students to attach greater importance to moral values and respect for constituted authorities at all times to avoid the wrath of the law.
BBNaija: Mercy, Ike In Trouble Over Raunchy Picture

BBNaija: Mercy, Ike In Trouble Over Raunchy Picture



Big Brother Naija, BBNaija 2019 winner, Mercy has come under attack over her recent picture with lover, Ike.

Mercy on Monday shared a picture on her social media pages exposing her butt while sitting on Ike’s lap.

The picture has since generated comments from Nigerians on social media.

Nollywood veteran actress, Joke Silva condemned Mercy’s outfit in the picture.

Joke Silva questioned why the reality show winner was scantily dressed while her boyfriend was fully covered.

She wrote: “I really don’t get this picture, the lady half exposed the man fully clothed….do we get the implication?”
Intimate Talks: Five Stages Of Relationships; Stage 3 Is Dangerous

Intimate Talks: Five Stages Of Relationships; Stage 3 Is Dangerous



“We come to love, not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly”- Sam Keen

Have you ever gotten tired of a relationship before? Have you ever looked at the person you are with… and be like, “I’m tired, I just have to leave this relationship?” I bet you have! Most times, we give up on relationships simply because we are oblivious of the stage we are in. We struggle with what we don’t know.

There are five stages of relationship that demand different levels of approaches, responses and maturity. Most people give up on relationships because they are unwilling to outgrow their previous approaches and mentalities to relationships.

The trajectory of relationships, most times, normally go from the excitement mode through the sweet, nasty, boring down to the complacent and irritational mode. No doubt, each stage of relationships would put a high demand on your commitment, compassion, emotional capacity and maturity.

Whether it is a relationship between couples or lovers, the stages are the same, only with some mild adjustments.
The Attraction Stage

This is the stage where you always have butterflies in your stomach. It is the stage where you are being controlled totally by the excitement hormones. You are totally obsessed at this stage. The physical (sexual) attraction is at its peak, making your palms sweaty, your face blush and your heart race in quick successions.

At this stage, you are constantly drawn to and attracted to the sight, sound and smell of the other person.

The Romantic Stage
This is also the stage where you are being controlled totally by the excitement hormones. This unique stage is filled with a lot of euphoria and exuberances and is ascribed with the age long expression, “love is blind.” Your endorphin level is unprecedentedly high at this level and you begin to feel a unique sense of peace and security about the relationship.

This self-deluding stage draws your attention only to the good things in your partner and blankets the bad ones. It is filled with a lot of costly assumptions and it is often called the “assumption stage.”

The truth is that most of the assumptions at this stage are wrong and can be very costly and many times, they cost us our relationships.

The Intellectual Stage
Leo Tolstoy said: “Nothing is so necessary for a young man as the company of an intelligent woman.” This is the stage where ‘intelligence’ and not ‘attractiveness’ is sexy.

Most people who are not compatible intellectually normally see relationship as hell at this stage. This is where the romantic love begins to normalise or wear off and you now engage more in intellectual discourse or intercourse. You begin to observe the flaws and inadequacies of your partner. All hidden flaws begin to encounter open intellectual bashings.

Those in the attraction and romantic stages probably think they would be in these stages forever, which is the most delusive assumptions in relationships.

This is also called the ‘irritational stage,’ because all irritations and frustrations peak at this stage. In fact, at this stage, couples or lovers begin to question and challenge their previous assumptions and confirm the veracity of their previous claims. It is a stage where you look at your partner and you may erroneously conclude that both of you have no future together.

Those who decide to stick together at this stage do so either by acknowledging the flaws or holding on to the positive things that attracted them to their partner in the first place. This is the most difficult stage of relationships, because it requires deep conviction, compromise and sacrifice to still stick to your partner at this stage.

Some of the challenges of the intellectual stage are the issues of comparism, insecurity, abuse, complexes (inferiority and superiority complexes), defensiveness, identity crisis, incompatibility and external interferences.

Each of them requires different approaches to manage, but they all require that the lovers or couples build a healthy self-esteem. Except in the cases of extreme abuse and irreconcilable differences, there is a great hope that making necessary adjustments, deep commitments and mutual respect can take the partners to the next level.

The Acceptance Stage

This is the stage where you would need to make a lot of adjustments; a stage where you would need to accommodate the other person’s flaws and inadequacies.

The acceptance stage shifts us from ‘assumption’ to ‘reality.’ This is where you need to strongly accept your partners, while helping them work on their flaws. In a conjugal relationship, the realities of life, work, household responsibilities, children and individual life styles determine how long this stage will last.

Maturity Stage

Bill Lemley said: “When nobody around you seems to measure up, it’s time to check your yardstick.” This is the stage where we need to totally abandon unhealthy and unrealistic expectations.

To live a productive and fulfilling relationship, we must progressively abandon unrealistic expectations. When we relinquish our unhealthy and unrealistic expectations of others, we begin to see and appreciate their worth. It would take many years for you to realise that true love is more than just a feeling. It is accepting a person for who they are and respecting the differences.

This is the final stage where you totally accommodate your partner and even sometimes overlook many things. It is a stage where you learn to make yourself a priority and see the strength in your differences.

Many times, relationships don’t make it pass the intellectual stage. This is where most break-ups, divorces and separation happen. You must be able to evaluate where your relationship is to know the approach that is needed.

The pertinent question to ask is this: What stage are you in? And how can you keep or regain the ‘highs’ you felt in the attraction and romantic stages?
Sometimes, dealing with your partner’s flaws could take a toll on your attraction to him/her.

Are you losing romantic interest in your partner? You can spur it back to life with ample date nights. Don’t stop the playful things you used to do while you were growing in love. Hug frequently and enjoy the taste of long kissing if you are married couples. Spice up your sexual life and bring in varieties as married couples.

If you are not yet married, respect boundaries and exchange gifts almost every time. Don’t wait for special occasions to show your love to your partner; make every moment count. Don’t just allow intimacy to happen; initiate intimacy.

Enjoy the attraction and romantic stages if you are still there, but you must know that a great level of sacrifice lies ahead of you. There is no perfect marriage or relationship; everything only gets better as we begin to work on them. Perfect doesn’t exist; it is what we all strive towards.

You must be willing to make adjustments and changes in order to make your relationship a fulfilling one.
Stop comparing your partner with others. Instead, cultivate the habit of appreciating your partner daily and give them space for improvement.

There is a common saying: “What you appreciate, appreciates.” Many times, we don’t know what we have until we lose it or it is found by another person that considers it more precious.

Stop taking each other for granted in relationships, as what you take for granted, gets taken.
Crisis Looms As ASUU Vows To Fight Government To The Finish

Crisis Looms As ASUU Vows To Fight Government To The Finish



The leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities on Tuesday vowed to fight the Federal Government to the last on its insistent that members of the Union must enrol on the Integrated Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

National Vice-President of ASUU, Comrade Emmanuel Osodeke, speaking at a ceremony marking 2019 ASUU Heroes’ Day in Abuja, said the Union has made its position known to the Federal Government that ASUU would not join IPPIS.

Osodeke, fielding questions from newsmen restated the position of the Union that there was nowhere in the world that salaries and wages of university staff are paid from the central government.

The ASUU Vice-President said: “The Union has made its position known to the Federal Government and we awaiting the government response.

He added that in line with the best practices in the world and the peculiarities of the university system, every university should have its own structure, noting that every university has its own Governing Council that employ the workers and not the Federal Civil Service Commission.

“Therefore, the Council must determine the mode of payment of its workers and not the Accountant General Office. We are looking at peculiarities of universities and we must fight for it.

When reminded that stopping salaries of university workers would affect them, he said: “When we get there we know what to do.”

On sex-for-marks scandal rocking many universities in Nigeria, the ASUU President said this was a media hype, saying every university has a law and the laws spelt out how to deal with such cases.

Besides, he said ASUU as a Union has committees on ethics and discipline of members in all the branches, adding that those who are involved in sexual harassment have been dealt with accordingly.

He said what is happening was that the media tend to have overblown the issues, saying these were isolated cases but were being presented as if it is the general thing happening in all universities in Nigeria.

“Some who were involved have been disciplined, some have been sacked and we even have those who are in jail. But when they are disciplined it does not make the news,” he said.

Osodeke, who earlier read the speech of the ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, at the event, said the 2019 Heroes’ Day marks the second occasion ASUU is celebrating their comrades and compatriots, who have made significant contributions to the growth and resilience of the Union.

He noted that 12th of November of every year is set aside for this Heroes Remembrance Day in honour of the late Festus Iyayi. Iyayi, one of past President of ASUU was killed on 12th November 2013 at Lokoja by the convoy of the then Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada.

He noted that over a long time some of their members had made sacrifices with some losing their lives in the struggle.

“You are aware of Festus Iyayi who lost his life in the course of the struggle and we felt we should not allow that name to just go like that, which was why we instituted the award and Heroes Remembrance Day celebration to spur the younger ones on the need to make sacrifices.

The hight point of the celebration was the conferment of heroes awards on the former Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, who was the President of Union from 1990 to 1994.

Others awarded include Prof Biodun Jeyfo, Prof. Assisi Asobie, Dr Dipo Fashina, Prof Abdullahi Sule-Kano and Dr Nasir Isa Fagge, who were also former Presidents of the Union.
See What Femi Otedola Did After Zlatan's Performance At DJ Cuppy's Fundraising [Photos]

See What Femi Otedola Did After Zlatan's Performance At DJ Cuppy's Fundraising [Photos]



Femi Otedola and Zlatan Ibile

Nigerian billionaire, Femi Otedola has thanked Zlatan Ibile following his outstanding performance at his daughter's fundraising.

Billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola couldn't hide his happiness after Zlatan Ibile gave an outstanding performance at his daughter, DJ Cuppy's Foundation Fundraising in Abuja.



The wealthy businessman couldn't help but give the musician a warm hug for his performance.

Recall that Femi Otedola made news headlines after he donated five billion naira, the largest single donation ever made to any charity in Nigeria, on the occasion of CUPPY FOUNDATION launch and gala night.

DJ Cuppy was able to raise (through donations) over N5billion for her initiative, Cuppy Foundation. She announced this on Instagram.

According to her, the gala was a success. She noted that the money raised would be used to help Nigerian children.