Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Lagos State Government Paid Over 18 Billion Naira Into Retirement Savings Account.

The Lagos State Government says it has paid over eighteen billion naira into the retirement savings account of over three thousand retirees in the state service since inception.

The state Head of Service, Adesegun Ogunlewe made this known at the eighth retirement bond certificate presentation ceremony in Alausa.

Ogunlewe who represented Governor Babatunde Fashola said the money is the accrued pension rights which is made up of gratuity and pension benefits for entitlements under the old scheme.

The head of service said the government is paying over three point five billion naira for the seven hundred and eighty retirees in the eight batch.

For his part, the Director General of the State Pension Commission, Rotimi Hussain said the state is committed to ensuring a better retirement life for the employees of the state.  

Camilla Mberekpe Is Possessed By Marine Spirit

I just got this news from mercy Johnson website and I cannot confirm the authenticity,
But an excerpt from says that Camilla Mberekpe Is possessed by marine spirit.

She made the confession at TB Joshua’s Emmanuel TV during their broadcast at the Synagogue Church of all Nation on Sunday 28th April 2013.

Al - Mustapha Accuses Prosecutors Of Delaying His Death Sentence Appeal

 Convicted Major Hamza Al Mustapha has accused the Lagos State prosecutors of delaying the hearing the appeal of his death sentence by a court of Appeal.

Speaking through his lawyer Joseph Daudu SAN, the former chief security officer to late Gen Sanni Abacha wondered why the state is just replying to an application served on them over two months ago.

Mr Femi Adamson on behalf of the prosecution had earlier informed the court that he just filed an application for the extension of time to regularize his papers.

The justices of the court of Appeal told the parties that there was a need for them to familiarise themselves with the content of the prosecution application before proceeding with the case.

The same position was taken in a similar case involving Lateef Shofolahan

Further hearing is adjourned to May 30 2013.

Major Mustapha and Lateef Shofolahan were on January 30th last year sentenced to death by a Lagos High Court for the murder of late Kudirat Abiola.

Prof Wole Soyinka Speaks On Jonathan/Amaechi Rift: "Do Not Manipulate The Judiciary"

Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka has said that he is alarmed that the judiciary is being debased and manipulated as he responded to questions from journalists on his reaction to the recent Abuja High Court Judgement that removed the Chief G. U. Ake led Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) State executive in Rivers State.
“I think that the judiciary right now while it is trying to reform itself, recognizes the fact that there are still some dark areas and I think it is the effect of the dark areas that seems to be creating a crisis in Rivers State right now....  I am just alarmed. I am alarmed that a situation exists at all where it strikes me, it appears to me that the judiciary is being manipulated.  That is the impression which I had and that is an alarm which should be sounded in every corner of the nation”, Prof. Soyinka said.

Soyinka also lashed out at pettiness in governance at any level, saying that it is not appropriate for any government in a democratic situation to pay attention to small and unimportant issues rather than the serious matters.

Prof. Soyinka spoke in an interview with journalists in Port Harcourt on Monday when he responded to journalists’ questions on the current challenges being faced by the Rivers State Government over the grounding of the  State aircraft by the federal government.

He said: “Witch-hunting is a very heavy word. Let me just say this generally that I hate evidence of pettiness in governance.  I think pettiness at any level is unbecoming of any democratic situation. That is all I want to say about that. I see that I cannot escape all what is going on.  I have also put some questions myself, I mean, obviously, I am a citizen of this nation, so I am affected personally by what is happening at the opposite end of the nation.  Those who feel that any kind of transgression of the collective rights of groups will not affect, will not have a kind of ripple effect which will affect other parts of the nation must be living in a cloud… and so I am concerned, and I will be quite frank with you.  I am very much concerned about the imbroglio in which the state  (Rivers State) appears to be involved at the moment and my main comment is for heaven’s sake, whatever happens internally between parties and so on, please don’t debase and don’t manipulate the judiciary. That is my appeal to governance at all levels.  Please do not manipulate the judiciary because when you do you have chaos, you have total anarchy, you reduce the nation to a space of complete breakdown of law and order which is what this nation had better avoid”.

He congratulated the government and people of Rivers State for the emergence of Port Harcourt as 2014 World Book Capital, and stressed the need to use knowledge to fight the forces of retrogression in the Nigerian society.

PDP Gives Amaechi 48 Hours To Explain The Real Owner Of Bombardier Aircraft

The Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State has given the Rivers Governor Chibuike Amaechi 48-hours ultimatum to explain to Rivers people the real owner of the Bombardier aircraft grounded by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

The chairman of the PDP Exco in Rivers State Felix Obuah gave the ultimatum while briefing journalists at the party secretariat in Port Harcourt on the grounding of the aircraft.

The PDP chairman in Rivers State said investigation shows that the aircraft purportedly bought by the Rivers State government was not registered in the name of the Rivers State government.

The PDP chairman in Rivers State Felix Obuah also announced the suspension of the twenty seven members of the Rivers State House of Assembly from the party for voting for the sack of the elected executive of Obio/Akpor local government in Rivers State.

He said the assembly members have failed to heed to calls for due process in the investigation of allegations against the Obio/Akpor executives.

Monday, 29 April 2013

US Pledges To Support Nigeria Towards 2015 General Election

The United States government has pledged to step up support for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) towards ensuring the success of the 2015 general election.

 This pledge was made by the American envoy to Nigeria, Ambassador Terence P. McCulley, when he visited INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega,at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

Ambassador McCulley said his home country would continue its collaboration with INEC to promote democracy in Nigeria, and would be glad to offer whatever additional assistance is necessary for deepening the electoral process.

Professor Jega told the envoy that INEC hopes for early amendment of legal provisions deemed to constrain the aspiration for flawless elections in the country. 

The INEC Chairman also said the Commission would intensify its engagement with political parties between now and 2015 to encourage internal party democracy in accordance with provisions of the law. 

He expressed appreciation for the assistance being provided by the United States government, especially through the USAID which periodically provides BRIDGE training for INEC staff and presently offers technical support for on-going efforts by the Commission to conduct delimitation of constituencies.

Salary Arrears: NUJ To Picket Defaulting Media Houses From May 1

The National Executive Council (NEC) of the  Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has mandated the  leadership of the union to liaise with labour  and civil society groups in the country to begin  picketing of media houses owing journalists salaries.

 The NEC-in-Session gave the directive during its quarterly three-day meeting held  in Umuahia, Abiia state capital.             

 In a communique issued weekend at the end of the meeting and signed by the President of the Union, Mallam Mohammed Garba and the National Secretary, Shauib Usman Leman, the NEC gave April 31 as deadline for the payment of all outstanding salaries, after which  picketing of defaulting media houses will commence  from May 1, 2013, in Lagos before being extended to other states of the federation and Abuja.

Already, all the affected media houses in Lagos and Abuja had been duly notified by the national secretariat of the union.

NEC also re-affirmed its commitment to the welfare of its members.
While decrying  spate of arrests of Journalists, especially  four journalists from Leadership newspapers, the union viewed such arrest  as a siege on the media, describing it  as undemocratic and uncalled-for. Noting that the union will  not shy away from its responsibilities in protecting its members, the Union urged  members to discharge their responsibilities in line with the ethics of the profession.

The union while clearing the air  on Good Governance tour said the leadership  embarked on the tour based on conviction that it  was a  genuine assessment of projects executed by different state governments in the country and not as  jamboree as speculated in different quarters.

The meeting-in-session however disclosed  the need to  review the Code of Ethics for Nigerian journalists in order to be  in tandem with global  media industry. 

The Union however  appealed to federal government to ensure security of lives  and property of Nigerians by addressing security challenges in the country.     

The NEC-in-Session also congratulated NUJ President Malam Garba Mohammed for emerging as the first Nigerian to be elected President of the Federation of African Journalists-FAJ as well as Fatimah Abdulkareem, who emerged as the Vice Chairman, Gender Committee  of  FAJ.

While appealing to state governments to implement the 22 percent Weigh-in allowance for journalists in their employ, the Union urged the federal government to also  pay arrears of the allowance  to members.

Nigeria Signs Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement With The Us And Argentina

Nigeria has signed Cooperation and Mutual Assistance Agreement on Customs Matters with Argentina and the United States of America in a bid to forge a strong counter force against smuggling.

Comptroller General of Customs, Dikko Inde Abdullahi was at the head of a delegation to the two countries expressed optimism expressed optimism that the agreements would boost anti smuggling activities in Nigeria and enhance regional security.

Cooperation between Customs administrations is a major pillar recommended by the World Customs Organization to operate a modern and effective customs service

The agreement with. Argentina is particularly important to Nigeria's battle against Drugs trafficking particularly as Argentina remains a major drug trafficking route via Nigeria.

Interestingly a large percentage of Nigerians in Prison in the South American country are there on charges relating to drug trafficking.

Mindful of the importance of these agreements Nigeria's Comptroller General of Customs noted that the agreement demonstrated the commitment of the customs agencies of both countries to forge a formidable partnership in tackling trans-border crimes.

His counterpart in Argentina the Director General of the Argentine Revenue Service was upbeat that these discussions that started two years ago had been successfully concluded.

Meanwhile, the trip to Washington DC was a mere formality as the agreement on Customs matters had been concluded last year and it only needed Nigeria's Comptroller General of Customs and the US Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border protection to come together.

The US Acting Commissioner expressed optimism that the agreement would open a vista of opportunities for partnership between the countries.

The Acting Director of International Affairs for Homeland Security Peter Vincent agrees, acknowledging the cooperation and support the US had enjoyed in previous operations in Nigeria.

Mr Abdullahi for his part was confident the agreement would provide a structured approach to consolidate the partnership already in existence between the Customs Administrations of Nigeria and the United States.

These agreements signed demonstrate the importance of Nigeria to the two countries in question but may not answer questions about the success of the Nigeria Customs Service in modernizing its operations in the country.

The Customs Service remains the top revenue spinner amongst government agencies in the country often surpassing targets given to it by government.

But many  say the Customs service has not been able to effectively police the nation's borders and close loopholes in the application of customs and duties while 24 hours ports operations remain a mirage despite the mandate given to the Service and the Nigeria Ports Authority.

State House Press Release: President Jonathan Hails Adenuga @ 60

President Goodluck Jonathan has written to congratulate one of Nigeria’s most successful and renowned businessmen, Otunba Michael Adenuga as he celebrates his 60th birthday, today.

Felicitating with him on the occasion, President Jonathan noted that Otunba Adenuga who was recently conferred with Nigeria’s second highest National Honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, GCON will be celebrating 60 years of great achievements in business and philanthropy.

The President described Otunba Adenuga  as an embodiment of the ideals of “diligence, commitment, unmediated  patriotism and selfless service”.

“Come Monday, April 29, 2013, you shall be celebrating  60 years of a remarkable life filled with monumental achievements in high entrepreneurship, philanthropy and dedicated service to God and country.

“On behalf of the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I join your family, friends, protégés and well-wishers in thanking God for your exemplary life.
“It is my prayer that Almighty God continues to bless you with robust health and enduring happiness,” President Jonathan wrote.

He wished Otunba Adenuga very happy birthday celebrations.

Pictures: Governor Fashola Delivers Special Lecture At John Hopkins University,Washington

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) being welcomed by the Associate Professor and Director, African Studies Program, Mr Peter Lewis to deliver his Special Lecture on the theme,’’ Liberating and Co-ordinating Diversity’’ at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced and International Studies, African Studies Program, John Hopkins University, Washington DC, United States 

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola ( SAN) delivering his Special Lecture on the theme,’’ Liberating and Co-ordinating Diversity’’ at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced and International Studies, African Studies Program, John Hopkins University, Washington DC, United States on Friday, 26 April, 2013.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

JTF Clamps Down Kidnappers & Pirates Den In Bayelsa State

The Joint Task Force,codenamed 'Operation Pulo Shield'says it  has successfully scuttled 7 hide outs used by Kidnappers and Sea robbers in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State in a recent operation in the area.

JTF in a statement signed by its spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu says from series of thorough surveillance and investigations carried out by the operatives of the Joint Task Force ,a number of hideouts that has served for hibernation to these criminals has been uncovered.

Nwachukwu noted that the kidnappers and sea robbers have over time harassed and intimidated not only the inhabitants of these communities but also those engaged in commercial activities in the water ways.

He observed that the nefarious activities of these criminals have therefore to a large extent detrimentally impacted on the socio-economic activities of the people in the affected areas and the generality of users of the water ways. 

The JTF also said they have commenced a joint operation to rid the water ways and creeks of all criminal hide outs to restore normalcy.

The JTF spokesman also confirmed that the operation, code named OPERATION CLEAN UP THE WATER WAYS have commenced clean up in Azuzuama community which they claimed served as a safe haven for notorious Kidnappers and Sea robbers and have been used as a platform for launching attacks on innocent victims.

My Administration Is Not At Logger Heads With National Assembly - President Jonatthan

President Goodluck Jonathan says his administration is not at logger heads with the legislative Arm of government despite protracted face off between both Arms of government in recent months.

The president, who was speaking at the opening ceremony of a two day conference on Legislative - Executive relations, stated that both arms were not  in competition for power but in government to deliver good governance to the electorates.

Represented by the Vice President, the President insisted although there is a constitutional provision for separation of powers among the three arms of government, the provision of checks and balances is also in the same constitution to ensure harmony among the arms of government.

The sometimes frosty relationship between both the National Assembly and the Presidency has always been in recent times, some believe, underscores the need for this conference.

The two day conference is expected to enhance cordial relationship between members of the parliament and officials of the executive arm toward a better working environment.

Former South African Vice President and current chairperson of the African National Congress, Minority Leader of the Jamaican parliament are some of the speakers gracing the event.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Imo State Police Parades Hard Drugs Suspects

The Imo state commissioner of Police, Mister Muhammad Katsina has reassured Imolites and all residents in the state of adequate protection of their lives and properties.
He gave this assurance while parading some suspected drug dealers at the command headquaters in Owerri, the Imo state capital.

The Compol said that the special ambush squad of the command arrested a gang of 3 who claims to be students of the North American University, Udegbe, benin Republic with nine packs of well concealed substance believed to be indian hemp at Ihiagwa, FUTO junction in Owerri while heading to their final destination of supply.

In a related development, the police also paraded a 2 man gang who were arrested with 49 wraps of hard substance suspected to be cocaine at west end, Nekede Road also in Owerri.

Meanwhile, the police has called on the general public or any person whose car was snatched or missing to come to the police headquarters with proof of ownership for collection of his or her car.
This followed the display of 32 cars recovered by the police in the state in the last 2 months.

According to the police boss, within the period, a number of 121 suspects involved in various crimes ranging from kidnaping, Robbery, Murder, rape and child trafficking were arrested in the state.

NURTW Members Will Be Issued ID Cards- Ajimobi

Governor of Oyo state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi today distributed 100 eighteen-seater buses to ease the transportation system in the state with the promise that his administration will modernise transportation system in the state.

Distributing the buses to the thirty-three local governments in the state at the state secretariat, Agodi Ibadan,Governor Ajimobi disclosed that all members of NURTW in the state will be issued identity numbers.

The Governor who advised the public drivers in the state against arbitrary charges on transport fare also promised that the Pace-Setter Transportation Scheme will soon be supplied with another 100 buses.

Interpol Seeks EFCC Collaboration to Train Officers

The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to collaborate with it in facilitating training for anti-corruption personnel in West and Central Africa. 

Mr. Hapaz bin Nazar of the Interpol headquarters, Lyon, France made the request on April 23, 2013 during a courtesy visit to the Commandant of the EFCC Academy, Karu, Abuja.
The Interpol officer said they were at the Academy to seek the assistance of the EFCC to host and train participants in a training programme on Anti-Corruption in West and Central Africa.

Ayo Olowoniyi, Commandant EFCC Academy, who received the delegates, expressed his appreciation that such event was coming to Nigeria. He said though the Academy is seen as a baby of the EFCC, it has been organizing training programmes for staff and other stakeholders, including members of the civil society.  

Olowoniyi bemoaned the situation where Nigerians are held liable for economic and financial crimes committed abroad even when such culprits are not Nigerians.  

Nazar said the proposed training programme was a response to the demand and requests from across the globe for Interpol to play a more active role in the fight against corruption.

Federal High Court Adjourns Adeyemi Ikuforiji Trial Indefinitely

A  Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 adjourned indefinitely the trial of the  Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji.  Justice Okechukwu Okeke, in a short ruling, said that he was transferring the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for re-assignment to another judge.

The trial judge had previously refused the request by the EFCC that he transfer the case to the Chief Judge for reassignment to another judge in view of the imminent retirement of his Lordship from the bench. 

Justice Okeke is due to exit the bench in May. Counsel to EFCC, Godwin Obla had argued that it would be impossible for the judge toconclude the case before he exits the bench.

But rather than withdraw from the trial, Justice Okeke promised accelerated hearing, 

He consequently chose 13 consecutive days for him to sit on the trial.

At the last court session, Obla wrote to the court indicating his desire to withdraw from the case. In the letter dated April 5, 2013 he noted that the manner the court fixed dates for the trial would deny him the opportunity to diligently prosecute the case.

 Ikuforiji and his aide are expected to be re-arraigned when a new judge takes over the case.

President Inaugurates Committees To Tackle Security Challenges; Tasks Military To Exercise Restraint In Containing Terrorist Threats

President Goodluck Jonathan is of the firm belief that the 2 Committees set up to tackle the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and the conflicts in the North are crucial to returning the country to the path of peace.

The President spoke on Wednesday at State House, Abuja as he inaugurated the two committees.

The  committee on dialogue and peaceful resolution of the security challenges in the north has a 3 month mandate while the committee on small and light weapons is a standing committee.

President Jonathan is very concerned with the effect of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons has had on the African continent, describing it as more damaging than the threat of nuclear war and insisting that munitions producers who sell  these weapons to insurgents must stop.

Coming closer to home President Jonathan acknowledges the controversies that had arisen in the past weeks over the membership of the committee to negotiate terms with Boko Haram.

In the interim in obvious reference to the recent mass killings in Baga, the President is pleading with Officers and Men of the Armed Forces to be mindful of the civilian population in containing the excesses of the Boko Haram insurgents.

Members of the committee are aware of the reservations trailing their assignments

These committee members are not taking their assignments for granted and recognize that a lot of groundwork and negotiations lie the months ahead.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

EFCC Arraigns Bureau De Change Operator for $4,016.25 Scam

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday April 23, 2013, arraigned Benjamin Otuorimuo, on a one count charge bordering on, inducement, false pretence and stealing before Justice Adebisi Akinlade of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja. The suspect allegedly obtained the sum of $4,016.25 (Four Thousand, Sixteen Dollars and Twenty Five cents) under false pretence from Kemud International Limited by inducing the company to pay the sum into Audu Mohammed’s account in one of the first generation banks in Lagos.

The fraudster allegedly hacked into Kemud  International Limited's e-mail address to deceive it into paying $ 4,016.25 USD into his account with First Bank. The money was a balance of a contract sum which Kemud International Limited  gave to Intech Process Automation Nigeria Limited. The fraudster, a bureau de change operator, got into trouble when Intech approached Kemud International Limited for its balance and was told that it had been paid into the fraudster's account number which he presented as Intech's new account number.

The charge reads: “that you Benjamin Otuorimuo on or about the 12th day of September, 2012 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of US $4,016.25 (Four Thousand, Sixteen Dollars and Twenty Five United States Cents) under false pretence from Kemud International Limited by inducing the Company to pay the sum into Audu Mohammed’s account No 2015862776 at First bank Plc, Sabo Lagos”.

When the charge was read to him, he pleaded not guilty. 

In view of the plea of the defendant, the prosecuting counsel,  Gbolahan Latona prayed the court to fix a date for trial and to remand the defendant in prison custody.
Justice Akinlade adjourned the case to July 10, 2013 for hearing of bail application and ordered that the defendant be remanded in Kirikiri maximum prison.

Okotie Berates AGF Over Suit On De Registration Of Party

Chris Okotie

Presidential candidate of Fresh Democratic Party (FDP) in the 2011 general elections, Rev. Chris Okotie, has accused the federal government of ploting against his participation in the country's political process by stalling the suit challenging the de-registration of the party by the Independent National Electoral Commission last December.

The clergy, who spoke at the resumed hearing of his suit in Abuja, accused the Attorney General of the Federation and INEC of employing delay tactics to shut his party from participation in current local council election in parts of the country.

Okorie, who spoke through his counsel, Fred Agbaje, berated the office of the AGF and INEC of deliberately frustrating the case in court.

Counsels from the AGF office had sought adjournment pleading that they needed time to prepare for the case.

Okotie is challenging the de-registering his party describing it as a violation of the 1999 constitution.

He is seeking a declaration that the party has satisfied all the conditions and requirement of a political party as stipulated under the Electoral Act 2010 and therefore is an extant political party in Nigeria.

Police Intercept Cache Of Arms In Plateau

The Plateau state command says, it intercepted a cache of arms and improvised explosives devices set to be detonated within the state capital.

The commissioner of Police, Chris Olakpe said the Police made the discovery following a tip off by concerned members of the public.

Correspondent Samson Omale quotes the Police commissioner as saying that Police command in Plateau state will soon start a house to house search for arms where attacks and counter attacks have become prevalent.

The police commissioner is also calling on the state and local governments administration  to partner with the police by providing vehicles and other logistics support to help fight the growing security challenge in some parts of the state.

He attributed the current conflict in some communities outside the state capital on the continuous disagreement between farmers and herdsmen on Grazing areas and farmland.

Nigerian Senate To Investigate Borno Mass Killing

The senate has mandated its three committees on Army, Police and National Security and Intelligent to investigate alleged mass killing of civilians in Baga area of Borno state. 

The senate President Senator David Mark gave the directive while reacting to the move by senator Maji Lawal to sponsor a motion on mass killing. 

Senator Mark noted that the Federal Government has already ordered an investigation into the matter but that would not prevent the Upper from carrying an independent investigation. 

The senate President also directed the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Azubike Ihejirika to call his men to order and ensure that they keep to the rule of the engagement. 

In another development, the senate also directed all senators from Enugu, Kogi and Anambra states to meet and resolve the communal clash between Echenwo/Odeke in Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi state and the people of  Enugu-Otu Aguleri in Anambra. 

The two communities have been on each other following the discovery of crude oil in what is known as the Anambra basin which geographically covers parts of Kogi, Enugu and Anambra States. 

The two committees have two weeks to submit their reports. 

Protest Broke Out In Benin Central Over Swearing In Of Elected Local Government Chairmen

Protest broke out in central Benin this morning over yesterday's swearing in of fourteen local Government Chairmen elected from Saturdays Council Polls.

 Youths in their thousands blocked all entrants into the Kings Square chanting anti Government songs and asking that controversies surrounding the election be resolved before those elected are administered oath of office.

The protest took a different dimension when thugs led by a consultant to the state Government on revenue attacked the protesters with dangerous weapons inflicting serious wounds on them.

How ever Edo state Police command rose to the situation and promptly restored peace and order.

The police commissioner Mr Folorunso Adebanjo who personally supervised quelling of the protest warned the People to maintain peace and order asking those aggrieved to seek redress in Court.

State House Press Release:President Jonathan Orders Investigation Into Reports Of High Civilian Casualties In Baga

President Goodluck Jonathan 

Having received preliminary briefings from the Military High Command on the incident, President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered a full-scale investigation into reports of high civilian casualties in the confrontation between Nigerian soldiers and insurgents at Baga in Borno State at the weekend.

While the preliminary briefings indicate that the casualty figures being reported by the foreign media may be grossly exaggerated, President Jonathan assures Nigerians and the global community that the Federal Government of Nigeria places the highest possible value on the lives of all citizens of the country and that his administration will continue to do everything possible to avoid the killing or injuring of innocent bystanders in security operations against terrorists and insurgents.

Rules of engagement for the military and security agencies are already in place for this purpose and the investigation ordered by President Jonathan into the incident in Baga is to amongst other things, determine whether or not these rules were fully complied with.
The President has also ordered the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) and Federal health agencies to liaise with the Borno State Government and take urgent steps to provide immediate relief and medical support for all who suffered losses and injury in the fighting at Baga.

He commiserates with all those who have regrettably lost their lives in the fighting, including the soldiers who gallantly made the supreme sacrifice in the operation against terrorism, insurgency and insecurity in Nigeria.

The President is deeply pained by the continuance of these needless deaths and will continue to do all within his powers to achieve lasting peace, security and stability in all parts of the country.

It is his hope and expectation that the National Committee which he will inaugurate on Wednesday for dialogue and the peaceful resolution of security challenges in the North will contribute significantly to ending the continuous  loss of lives to wasteful violence.