POLICE TAKE CHARGE OF KANO EMIR’S PALACE, SACK LOCAL HUNTERS The Police have taken charge of the security of Kano Emir’s main palace previously guarded by local hunters after Lamido Sanusi was reinstated. These hunters, called ‘Yan Tauri’, had come from various parts of the state to secure the palace following rumours that federal authorities intended to move Aminu Ado-Bayero amid the ongoing emirship dispute. Ado-Bayero, who was recently removed from his position by the state government, is now under the protection of federal security agents at the Nasarawa mini palace. According to Premium Times, security agents took control of the main emir’s palace, Gidan Rumfa, on Sunday evening, where the hunters had been engaged in activities like playing card games. A security source confirmed that the hunters had been sacked. “You can see for yourself that the hunters are no longer here,” a police officer at the palace noted. Residents said that the hunters left the palace between Saturday and Sunday morning after a court ruling on Thursday declared Sanusi’s reappointment invalid. Some residents mentioned that the hunters left their machetes behind to avoid identification after being ordered to leave the palace or face the security agents’ consequences. “Some of them left behind their machetes to conceal their identity after they were asked to vacate the palace or face the wrath of the security agents”, one of the residents said. The court decision nullified Sanusi’s reappointment and directed the state government to stop implementing the Kano Emirate Council (Repeal) Law, 2024.Judge Abdullahi Liman ruled the reappointment void due to the government’s failure to comply with a previous court order prohibiting further action on the new emirate council law.


WHY WE CAN’T GO BACK TO FARMING – NIGERIANS REPLIES TINUBU Nigerians have expressed resistance to the presidency’s suggestion that they should return to farming as a solution to economic hardship and hunger. Recall that The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, during a meeting with a group of online editors, urged Nigerians to embrace subsistence farming to combat the rising cost of food. In response, Nigerians cited numerous reasons for their reluctance, including the high level of insecurity in rural areas, particularly threats from armed herdsmen, which make farming dangerous. Additionally, Nigerians pointed out that the cost of living, deepened by the removal of fuel subsidies, has driven up prices of goods and services, making it difficult for people to afford the initial investment required for farming. An Instagram user @dellinpc wrote, “ Go farming without security in the land.” Another user, @ridwandaud2 reacted, “when you can provide security. Do you know how many people left farming as a result of government failure due to insecurity….?” Lamenting the high cost of agricultural tools, @ sulaimanansar72 wrote, “ With fertilizer at 40k pesticides, 8k. Shame on this government.” @adema opined, “Nigerians really want to go back to farming but they are scared of the smallmighty keelers.” “And get mustered by the bandits. Secure Nigeria, then farmers will return to their land”, @enofele wrote. Still reacting on Instagram, @liquid_auyo said, “……how do you expect people to with the bandits and BH everywhere?.” Stating insecurity as a reason farming can’t be possible, a Facebook user, Abubakar Sadiq Bala said “When insecurity is ravaging everywhere and farmers can not farm anymore.” Another Facebook user, Muraina Akeem Olatunji also wrote, “For notorious herdsmen to graze on or to be kidnapped on the farm ?!” Users on X (formerly Twitter) echoed these concerns, highlighting insecurity as the main issue. They urged the Federal Government to provide soft loans for farming and improve security to protect farmers. @StephenOkpo tweeted, “Our bushes are not secured to begin with, no incentive provided for any farmers, is that how to command people to go into farming? Nawao” Our bushes are not secured to begin with, no incentive provided for any farmers, is that how to command people to go into farming? Nawao — Odukpani son (@StephenOkpo) June 23, 2024 @Mustapha75687718 wrote, “If you really mean it, please provide fertilizer at a subsidized rate and avoid giving loans to farmers.” If you really mean it, please provide fertilizer at a subsidized rate and avoid giving loans to farmers. — Mustapha Hussaini Hassan (@Mustaph75687718) June 23, 2024 “Only Northerners are given agricultural loans while Southerners suffered bcoz no ministry offer loans 2 Southern farmers. Then I will urge FG 2 open Benin Republic border with adequate security 2 ensure terrorists doesn’t troop in bt on farm produces”, @AdeyanjuKolade lamented. Only Northerners are given agricultural loans while Southerners suffered bcoz no ministry offer loans 2 Southern farmers. Then I will urge FG 2 open Benin Republic border with adequate security 2 ensure terrorists doesn’t troop in bt on farm produces. @NGRPresident @officialABAT


RANGERS CROWNED LEAGUE CHAMPIONS, FINISHED SEASON WITH 70 POINTS Rangers International of Enugu have been crowned champions of the Nigerian Premier Football League (NPFL) after beating Gombe United 2-1 in their final game of the season in Jos, the Plateau State capital, on Sunday. The dramatic final day of the season saw Remo Stars finished second behind champions Rangers with 65 points ahead of third place Enyimba of Aba on 63 points. Rangers won the league title with 70 points. Remo Stars secured a hard-fought 2-1 win over Katsina United on final day of the season and will compete in the CAF Champions League next season. Sporting Lagos and Doma United were relegated from the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL.) The two clubs suffered defeats on the final day of the season. Sporting Lagos also fell to a 1-0 defeat against Shooting Stars in Ibadan. Doma United were also relegated after a 1-1 home draw with Abia Warriors. Sporting Lagos thus finished 17th on the table with 46 points from 38 matches, while Doma United were 18th with 44 points. Also relegated from the topflight league were Heartland of Owerri and Gombe United of Gombe. – CAF Champions League: 1. Enugu Rangers (Champions) 2. Remo Stars – CAF Confederation Cup: 3. Enyimba 4. FA Cup winner (Abia Warriors vs. El-Kanemi Warriors) Relegated from NPFL: 1. Sporting Lagos 2. Doma United 3. Gombe United4. Heartland FC


GO BACK TO FARMING – PRESIDENCY TELLS NIGERIAN The Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, has confirmed the presidency’s commitment to alleviating the suffering of Nigerians. He also stressed that all well-meaning Nigerians should play prominent roles in leading the country, especially the media. Onanuga made this statement over the weekend in Abuja while receiving the Association of Corporate Online Publishers (ACOE). He confirmed that all Nigerians would need to embrace agriculture to combat hunger. Onanuga said, “On the part of the government, I want to tell you that I cherished this meeting; we will do our best. Once I have your contacts, anything we want to send to this group in terms of government information, we will use that contact to pass information to the group. Also, when we get to the festive period, we would know who to approach in terms of talking to the entire group. “That is the spirit. “I am here to assist the president. When he started, I wasn’t part of the media team; I was the publicity secretary for the campaign. Later, the president realised something was missing, and that’s when I came on board. “I will do my best, drawing from over forty years of experience, to help the government communicate its message effectively. “Currently, things are not working as the president wants, but I can assure you that in the next twelve months, Nigerians will begin to see the results of the government’s efforts for the country’s benefit. “Though people complain about hardship, I told the BBC that the cost of living crises exists globally. Maybe what is happening in the world is a cycle, and countries will have to go through certain difficulties. We are going through it, but this government is making serious efforts to reduce the hardships faced by our people. “For example, a lady showed us a basket of tomatoes being sold for ₦4,000, and in Lagos, it is ₦10,000, and in Abuja, it is ₦8,000. I bought a basket of mangoes for ₦1,000 in Ogbomoso, but in Lagos, only three mangoes were sold for ₦1,000. “There might be sabotage or profiteering by traders, but the solution is for all of us to engage in agriculture. Let’s start planting something in our yards. “In 1976, Obasanjo introduced ‘Operation Feed the Nation’, promoting farming. In 1984, when Buhari came in, there were shortages of rice, milk, and sugar, and the government had to open warehouses to make these items available to people. “This is not the first time we are going through this kind of crisis. The government is investing in agriculture to make things available and affordable, and as individuals, we also have a role to play.“I will be starting my farm very soon. Everyone should farm. We don’t need to depend on greedy traders who are making us suffer. This is why I am welcoming all of you to my office at the Villa for collaboration. Thank you.”


PASTOR CHRIS SPEAKS ON FIRE AT CHRIST EMBASSY, SAYS ‘LET DEVIL LICK HIS WOUNDS, WE’LL BUILD A BEAUTIFUL ONE’ The General Overseer of Christ Embassy Church, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, has spoken out about the fire outbreak that gutted the church’s building in Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos. The Loveworld Convocation Arena (LCA), formerly the headquarters of Christ Embassy Church, was gutted by fire on Sunday morning. In a message to his congregation, Pastor Chris, President of the Loveworld Nation disclosed at the ongoing International Cell Leaders Conference (ICLC) Sunday Service at the Church Camp Grounds in Asese, along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, that the building is one of the best worship facilities. “That’s the best worship facility, frankly, in this part of the world. It’s worth multiple millions of dollars,” he said. Pastor Chris called on the Secretary General of Loveworld, Kay Adesina, to share his eyewitness account of the incident. Adesina said: “It’s really, really messed up. We were not able to enter, but we could see from outside. I took some of the pictures. The whole of the interior was coated in fire. And everywhere inside actually collapsed, including the offices.” He also noted that the fire services tried to put out the fire from outside, as they couldn’t enter the building. “The fire services that were there, they saw that they couldn’t go in. So they tried to put out the fire from outside. But all, including the external wall, you see, all the walls are compromised. “But the only reason why the whole structure is not compromised is because they are steel structures. Otherwise, you would think that the whole building would collapse. So it’s really in a bad state,” the Secretary said. Pastor Chris however emphasized that the church is not defeated and will build an even more beautiful structure. “We will build a beautiful one, let the devil licks his wounds. We must look at life from the spiritual. “It is painful to watch such a thing happen. The place is filled with fire and smoke, they can’t even go inside. “When a thing like that happens, you can say, oh Lord, why? You say, Lord, Thank you for your Grace from those very grounds,” he said. The general overseer also referenced a past experience where the church faced a similar challenge, the Ikebukuro attack, and how they overcame it. “I’ll never forget, when the supposed bombings took place at the Ikebukuro attack, they thought it was war. “There were explosions at Ikebukuro, atomic. The sounds were so loud, the explosions were so loud. Many thought there was war. And they began to flee from all that area,” he recounted. When asked if he was surprised by the fire outbreak, Pastor Chris said, “Not, not even the slightest surprise, not even the slightest surprise. But that’s another day’s talk. “When something like this happens, we have to remember that we are not of this world. “What do I mean by that? Every single day, God protects us. He protects us, He protects everything that He gives us, with His glory and His grace, every single day. He protects us.”The cause of the fire remains unknown, but officials from the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service are currently investigating the incident. Despite the physical damage, Pastor Chris and the Christ Embassy Church are determined to rebuild and continue their mission.


50 FEDERAL LAWMAKERS WRITE TINUBU WANT NNAMDI KANU RELEASED A group of 50 members of the House of Representatives, known as Concerned Federal Lawmakers for Peace and Security in the South-East, have appealed to President Bola Tinubu to invoke Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Section 107(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, to facilitate the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The lawmakers believe this move is crucial for the restoration of peace in the South-East region. In a three-page letter dated 19th June 2024 and addressed to President Tinubu, the lawmakers urged the President to initiate a presidential peace initiative to address the ongoing challenges in the South-East. Among the signatories are Hon. Obi Aguocha (Abia), Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere (Imo), Hon. Aliyu Mustapha (Kaduna), Hon. Midala Balami (Borno), and Hon. Afam Ogene (Anambra), among others. The letter stated, “The Minority Leadership of the House of Representatives is deeply concerned by the alarming rise in cholera cases across thirty states in Nigeria, as reported by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). This outbreak highlights critical deficiencies in public health safety measures and underscores the urgent need for immediate action.” Reflecting on past actions, the lawmakers noted that the President had previously extended a similar gesture through the Attorney General in cases involving Omoyele Sowore and Sunday Igboho. They argued that a similar approach for Nnamdi Kanu could pave the way for peace initiatives, economic revitalisation, and a renewed sense of belonging among South-East citizens. The letter concluded with an appeal to President Tinubu to adopt this approach, emphasising that facilitating Kanu’s release would demonstrate a commitment to justice and fairness, and could significantly alter the current narrative, showcasing the President’s dedication to national unity and progress. “Your Excellency, we resolutely believe that this singular act can serve as a pivotal gesture towards national unity as it would address some of the political, security, and economic concerns in the region,” the letter read. “It would encourage stakeholders from the Southeast to engage more actively in the national discussions on the Renewed Hope Agenda, thereby promoting inclusivity and addressing long-standing grievances.”The lawmakers expressed optimism that President Tinubu would consider their request with the gravity it deserves, taking necessary steps to usher in a new era of peace and inclusivity in Nigeria.


ENUGU RANGERS VETERANS TRUST: PRESERVING MEMORY, HONOURING A LEGACY By Chidi Anselm Odinkalu Umuawulu, a sleepy settlement in Awka, the capital of Anambra State in the south-east, is the unlikely origin of one of the greatest sporting resumes ever to come out of Nigeria. In the bowels of this village lies Holy Cross High School, the site from which story sprouted.Until the politicians contrived to destroy education generally, Nigeria’s High Schools used to guarantee an interminable production line of rarefied sporting talent. This role pre-dated Independence. Historian, Peter Alegi, recalls that in territories – such as Nigeria – ruled by the British, missionaries and colonialists formed steeped in Victorian traditions, anchored their mutually complementary missions on “a belief that sport forged physically fit young men of sound moral character.” In the pantheon of sporting activities inspired by this belief, football was the undisputed king. In 1963, a young man arrived Holy Cross Umuawulu to begin his secondary education. Emmanuel Okala was 12 when his goalkeeping career began in Umuawulu. Born in May 1951, his contemporaries from then remember him as a rather spindly figure whose height took him to the lower reaches of the heavens. Even as a new arrival at the beginning of his High School journey at the time, those who beheld him acknowledged that they were in the presence of a generational phenomenon. In 1970, Emma joined a football club created around the talents of a few young men most of whom had been demobilized from the war. Its name was Rangers International Football Club of Enugu. At the time, the leading continental footballing super-star was Robert Mensah, the legendary goalkeeper of Ghana’s Black Stars and also of Ashanti Kotoko Football Club. After Mensah was killed in a stabbing incident on 2 November, 1971, the continent cried out for a new goalkeeping supremo. From his humble beginnings in Umuawulu, Emmanuel Okala rose rather effortlessly to become the country’s undisputed goalkeeper over the next decade, ultimately growing to fill the void created by the untimely passing of Robert Mensah. Emma’s influence grew to outstrip the role of the solitary minder at the rear of the outfield players. In 1978 the African Sports Journalists Union (ASJU) voted him as the African Footballer of the Year, the first person and the first Nigerian to win that distinction. By then, he was better known as the “Man Mountain” a moniker invented by leading football commentator, Ernest Okonkwo. Two years later, in 1980, Okala was goalkeeper of the national football team, then known as the Green Eagles, which won the African Cup of Nations (AfCON). The captain of that team was Christian Chukwu, who, like Emmanuel Okala, also began his footballing career as an “Academical” at the National Secondary School, Nike, on the outskirts of Enugu. Like Emmanuel Okala, Christian Chukwu was also born in 1951. From Nike National, he also joined the Enugu Rangers. As a footballer it was said that his “outstanding will to lead and motivate others earned him the nickname ‘Chairman’, as his colleagues saw him as an anchor of hope.” That story of hope was not confined to the soccer pitch. The Rangers Football Club for whom both Christian Chukwu and Emmanuel Okala were leading super-stars, embodied the hopes of the people of south-east Nigeria as they emerged from the ruins of an utterly destructive civil war at the beginning of 1970 bereft of both capital and dignity. The core of that team also included Johnny Egbuonu described by a leading sports publication as “a classic dribbler” who could “do anything with the ball.” Popularly known as “School Boy”, Johnny’s career also began in the High School. He was destined for a great career in the colours of his country…


BREAKING: CHRIST EMBASSY HQRS IN LAGOS ON FIRE The headquarters of Christ Embassy Church, located in the Oregun area of Ikeja, Lagos State, is on fire. The incident was revealed through multiple videos shared on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) by eyewitnesses present at the scene. One user, Augustine, tweeting under the handle @Chief_Augustin1, shared a video and wrote, “Christ Embassy Church on Billings Way, Oregun, is on fire. Serious fire is raging, and men of the Lagos State Fire Service are working hard to put it off. Thank God service hasn’t commenced fully.” Officials from the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service were quickly deployed to the scene and are currently working to control and extinguish the blaze. The exact cause of the fire is yet to be determined, and there have been no reports of casualties at this time. Residents and church members have gathered at the scene. The church, known for its large congregation and significant influence in the community, is a landmark in the Oregun area.


ABAGANA WATERLOO: HOW BIAFRAN FORCES ROASTED NIGERIAN SOLDIERS IN AN AMBUSH The Abagana Ambush of March 31st 1968 is one out of the many confrontations between Nigerian and Biafran troops during the civil war which lasted for exactly two years, six months and nine days. It was during this ambush that the Nigerian army suffered the heaviest single loss in the civil war. In October 1967, the 2nd Division of the Nigerian Army, led by Col. Murtala Muhammed, chased Biafran Soldiers into Onitsha. Right after the Biafran army crossed into Onitsha, they blew up a part of the River Niger Bridge to prevent the Nigerian troops from crossing. Struck on the other side of the river, the Nigerian troops turned back to Asaba and ransacked the town in an attack that is later known in Nigerian history as the Asaba Massacre of 1967. In December 1967, the 2nd Division of the Nigerian Army finally crossed the River Niger Bridge into Onitsha and captured the city after three failed attempts. After crossing into Onitsha, the Murtala-led 2nd Division planned to link up with the 1st Division, led by Col. Shuwa, which was penetrating the Igbo heartland from the north through Nsukka in Enugu. So, on the 31st of March 1968, the Nigerian 2nd Division moved out towards Enugu in a long convoy escorted by armored cars. The Abagana Ambush Prolific Nigerian novelist, Chinua Achebe, wrote: “The amalgamation of these two forces, the Nigerian Army hoped, would then serve as a formidable force that would ‘smash the Biafrans”. Col. Murtala Muhammed was said to have assembled and deployed a convoy of 102 vehicles which included troop carriers, fuel tankers and four armoured cars to facilitate this plan on March 31, 1968. However, the Biafran secret intelligence caught wind of the plan and reported it to a higher Biafran command which instantly planned an ambush. A 700-man troop, led by Major Jonathan Uchendu, was given the task to ambush the invading Nigerian force at Abagana in the Enugu-Onitsha highway. The unsuspecting Nigerian 2nd division, numbering about 6000 soldiers, marched on until they were halted by a surprise attack from a smaller but well-prepared Biafran army. The Biafran troops allowed the Nigerian troops to march right into their midst before raining bullets on them. A homemade rocket called ogbunigwe was used during the Abagana Ambush. One of the ogbunigwe rockets was launched directly at a fuel tanker in the Nigerian army convoy leading to chains of explosions which created a 400-metre conflagration that incinerated men and metals within seconds. Refuelling vehicles exploded and burnt many infantry units. After the OGBUNIGWE rocket attack, Biafran soldiers opened fire, killing what is left of the shocked 2nd division of the Nigerian Army. About 600 Nigerian soldiers died in the attack; many others scampered in different directions. Col. Murtala Muhammed was relieved of duty afterwards and never commanded a division again during the war. Although some accounts put Murtala as having been among those in the convoy, this had not been definitively shown to have been the case. Jonathan Uchendu, the commander of the Biafran army that led the Abagana Ambush, recounted that the sight of the 2nd Division convoy almost paralyzed his troops. His boys were so anxious to start firing, more out of panic than anything else. He asked them to remain calm until he gave the command. He allowed much of the Nigerian 2nd Division convoy to pass through. His boys were shocked why he would allow them go through into the Biafran held zone. They were nervous and suspicious, yet they trusted his military gallantry and so awaited to know his strategy.The Abagana Ambush was probably the most resounding battle ever won by the Biafrans during the…


LP CRISIS ENDS AS APAPA FACTION ENDORSES ABURE AS CHAIRMAN The leadership crisis rocking the Labour Party (LP) seems to have finally come to an end as the factions led by Chairman Julius Abure and Lamidi Apapa have put aside their differences and agreed to work together. The rift began in April 2023 when a court judgment restrained Abure and three others from parading themselves as national officers of the party. Despite this, Abure maintained his position with the support of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). However, Abure’s relationship with the NLC soured after a controversial national convention in Anambra that returned Abure and his loyalists to office. The NLC subsequently retracted its support for the new leadership and established a transition committee to conduct a fresh convention. Facing pressure from the NLC led by its National President, Joe Ajaero and the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, it has been revealed that Abure reached out to the Apapa faction for unity. A source close to the LP national secretariat confirmed that Abure sought to close ranks with Apapa’s faction to present a united front against the NLC’s demands. “It is the only logical way for him to have a united front against the threat of the NLC in particular. I believe you already know Abure has a long history with Lamidi Apapa and Abayomi Arabambi before now,” the source said. Abayomi Arabambi, spokesman for the Apapa faction, confirmed the reconciliation. He said that they had no issues with Abure initially, but rather with the NLC’s perceived attempt to hijack the party. He said, “We are together to stop all those political hawks from taking over our party. We thought they (NLC) were fighting for a just cause. But it is very obvious they only want to take over our party and we are not going to accept that. We in the Lamidi Apapa group are not lawbreakers like those who supported Abure in disobeying the court order. I have said this several times on air. “It was because of this threat that Abure extended an olive branch for all of us to bond together. It was obvious that these people were not only with him to fight us but to take over the control of the party. So we cannot be outside and allow some people to take over our party. That was why Abure asked us to come together in the party’s interest. “We are here to fight those people who want to use the Labour Party to foment trouble and destabilize the country. That is what we are against. Nobody is contesting or running for any election now. We know the next race is in 2027. Why should we now be seeking ways to bring the nation down? We are averse to that.” He added, “I also want you to know that there is nothing like Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign here anymore. It has been dissolved. Everybody has reverted to former governorship and presidential candidate. We don’t want disinformation at the Labour Party. “Again, you recall that there was a crisis in APC and the PDP. Yet, the warring parties came together and resolved it. So what stopped us from resolving ours? When you are fighting, there is no permanent enemy. It is all about permanent interest.” National Publicity Secretary Obiora Ifoh also confirmed the reunion. He said, “Labour Party is united. We do not have a division in the sense that as a party that came out of the election hugely successful with a lot of results to show, several people would want to have a stake in the Labour Party. The implication is that a lot of stone-throwing and interest will begin to manifest. But the Labour Party has a…