City Voice Newspaper Just another WordPress site Sun, 19 May 2019 11:44:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Breast Cancer is not a spiritual problem, Akeredolu charges women Sun, 19 May 2019 11:44:58 +0000 The Wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has observed that breast cancer is neither a spiritual problem nor a death sentence.

She made this known on Saturday at the Daughter of Zion Convocation which held at Trans Camp, Iju, Ondo State. Themed “The Wise Woman”, the convocation is a four-day camping exercise which equips women with needed spiritual and social capacity to live healthier and more productive lives in the society.

Speaking at the event, she identified early detection through breast self examination as the veritable entry point to surviving breast cancer. She also encouraged the women to always seek out prompt medical help anytime they noticed a lump within their breasts.

She said: “Sadly, most of our women seek help at the fourth stage of breast cancer . At this point, the breast has already started to decay. When you notice any symptom, go to a doctor.

“We also need to know that empowerment is not about sharing money. It is about equipping one with the right information. We must all inform our people that breast cancer is not a spiritual problem. It is not a death sentence. I am a living witness to that. With adequate knowledge, you can take the right action.”

The first lady also implored the people to key into the crowd funding initiative of the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), noting that this would help more women access treatment.

While admonishing the women to be more involved in health advocacy, the Wife of the Governor equally lauded the efforts of the Akeredolu-led government towards citing a cancer treatment centre in Ondo State. She revealed that this has attracted global partnership from Harvard and University of Washington.

Also speaking at the event were Mrs Funmi Odeyemi and the husband, Pastor Joshua Odeyemi, who commended the efforts of Arabinrin Akeredolu in the fight against breast cancer while charging the women to take care of themselves.

Facebook shuts down Israeli-run accounts used to manipulate elections in Nigeria, African and Asian countries Fri, 17 May 2019 09:31:38 +0000 Facebook has put out of business an online political influence campaign run by Israeli firms that has been ‘changing reality according to clients’ wishes’ targeting elections in African, Latin America and Asian nations for years.
Facebook said on Thursday it has shut down 65 Facebook accounts, 161 pages, 23 groups, 12 events, and four Instagram accounts run out of Israel, citing its policy on “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” Some pages boasted as many as 2.8 million followers, while thousands of users had joined the groups and expressed interest in scheduled events – though Facebook isn’t sure whether those ever actually held.
The fake accounts masqueraded as locals and local news outlets, pumping out glowing stories and smear jobs on candidates in local elections, including allegedly leaked information.
The campaign primarily targeted Nigeria, Tunisia, Angola, Senegal, Togo, and Niger, though “some activity” focused on Southeast Asia and Latin America, according to a Facebook post by Nathaniel Gleicher, the company’s head of cybersecurity policy, on Thursday.

The Israelis had invested considerable time and money into the deception, dropping about $812,000 on ads over the past seven years in dollars, shekels, and Brazilian reals. This is compared to roughly $100,000 mainstream media claims was spent on ‘Russian bots’ to allegedly sway the 2016 US presidential election.

Facebook has been much less forthcoming about this particular campaign than some previous mass takedowns, perhaps because the culprits aren’t linked to Russia or Iran, while Facebook regularly cooperates with the Israeli government to have politically inconvenient accounts deleted.

“The individuals behind this network attempted to conceal their identities,” Gleicher complained, refusing to speculate about their motives beyond a hint that the campaign “may be commercial or political or for some other strategic goal.” Some of the manipulation was traced to the Archimedes Group, a shadowy Israeli corporation whose website boasts that it can “change reality according to our clients’ wishes.”

Archimedes’ slogan is oddly reminiscent of another secretive Israeli social media manipulation firm, Psy-Group (motto: “Shape reality”), which closed its doors after coming under scrutiny during the Mueller investigation for its possible involvement in the election of Donald Trump. Psy-Group drew up a detailed prospectus for a Facebook meddling campaign seven months before the 2016 election, but supposedly never deployed it in real life. Both Psy-Group and Archimedes touted their ability to operate multiple fake online avatars simultaneously.
Archimedes is run by Elinadav Heymann, a consultant with Negotiations.CH and a former director of lobbying group European Friends of Israel, a seasoned political operative who appeared embarrassed to have been unmasked by the social network – he reportedly asked the managing director of Negotiations.CH to remove his biography from the site after the story broke. Archimedes’ website now boasts – in the past tense – that “our teams took significant roles in many political and public campaigns, among them presidential elections.”

Suspected internet fraudsters unleash dogs on EFCC operatives in futile bid to escape arrest Thu, 16 May 2019 21:09:23 +0000 Detectives from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal office got a dose of ‘corruption fighting back’ when suspected internet criminals unleashed a dangerous, wild dog on them in order to resist arrest.

Upon receipt of intelligence reports and launch of preliminary investigations into their alleged illegal activities, officers of the Commission stormed the suspects’ hideout at Agara area of Ibadan, Oyo State, at the early hours of Wednesday 15 May.

Instead of allowing them in, after proper introduction, one of the suspects instructed the guard to release the attack dog on the operatives.

The trick, however, failed to work.

It rather tasked the detectives to display their dexterity and professionalism. They were able to dislodge the dangerous dog, carry out extensive search on the apartment and effect arrest of the suspects.

Again, out of desperation to conceal useful information that could help the Commission in their investigation, one of the suspects smashed his android phone with the intention to destroy the gadget and deny access to the data therein.

The attempt equally failed as the operatives took possession of the broken phone, which is currently with the forensic unit, where analysis is being carried out to obtain data from it.

The second-in-command to the zonal head, Bright Igeleke, who led the operation, described the experience as part of the ‘hazards of the job’.

Suspects arrested in the operation are: Paul Afolabi, Balogun Ibrahim Adebayo, Izu Ibobo Chukwunalu, Abe Tolulope, Onifade Gidion Idowu, Komolafe Tosin and Igwe Kinsley Otuu.

Similarly, operatives from the zone earlier in the week arrested four other suspects over their alleged involvement in cyber-related offences.

The suspects are Adebisi Adewale Michael and Olowolayemo Olakunle Quddus, Opaaje Oluwatobi Isiah and Itowe Kelvin Olutayo. They are now under interrogation, and are giving useful information to the operatives in the quest to unravel the extent of their illegal activities.

Information obtained from them so far reveals that they used the internet to defraud unsuspecting victims while posing online as white ladies and foreign military officers.

At the point of their arrest, a Lexus car, iPhones, other brands of phones and International Passports were recovered from them.

All the arrested suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

SEC warns Nigerians of Loom Money ‘ponzi scheme’ spreading on social media Thu, 16 May 2019 20:58:50 +0000 By Lucy Ogalue

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned Nigerians against fraudsters currently running an online investment scheme tagged “Loom Money Nigeria’’.

Acting Director-General of the commission, Ms Mary Uduk gave the warning at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja.

A statement by SEC’s Head of Media, Mrs Efe Ebelo, said that Uduk, who was represented by acting Executive Commissioner, Operations of SEC, Mr Isyaku Tilde, said Loom Money Nigeria had taken over the social media.

She said that the scheme targeted young people, luring them to participate in a pyramid model of the Ponzi.

The director-general disclosed that the fraudsters carried out their illegitimate activities via social media platforms like Facebook and whatsapp.

She added that they lured young Nigerians to invest as low as N1000 and N13, 000 and to get as much as eight times the value of the investment in 48 hours.

Uduk said that the venture was a Ponzi scheme, where returns would be paid from other people invested funds, adding that it had no tangible business model.

“We are aware of the activities of an online investment scheme tagged ‘Loom Money Nigeria’.

“The platform has embarked on an aggressive online media campaign on Facebook and whatsapp.

“They lure the investing public to participate by joining various Loom whatsapp groups to invest as low as N1, 000 and N13, 000 and get as much as eight times the value of the investment in 48 hours.

“Unlike MMM that had a website and the promoter known, the people promoting Loom are not yet known and this pyramid scheme operates through closed groups mainly on Facebook and Whatsapp.

“If it were a local Ponzi scheme with known offices, it would be very easy for the Commission to seal their offices and freeze their accounts.

“We therefore wish to notify the investing public that the operation of this investment scheme has no tangible business model hence it’s a Ponzi scheme, where returns are paid from other people’s invested sum.

“Also, its operation is not registered by the Commission,” she said.

Uduk, therefore, advised the public to distance themselves from the scheme, adding that anyone that subscribed to the illegal activity did so at his own risk.

She assured that an inter-agency committee, Financial Services Regulation Coordinating Committee (FSRCC), was working on the issue, and that the commission was also collaborating with security agencies to track them down.

A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors.

Loom Pyramid Scheme is not new to the world. Last month, Daily Mail UK reported that the scheme has resurfaced online all over the world, with different names such as ‘loom circle’, ‘fractal mandala’ and ‘blessing loom’.

In Nigeria, its central name is Loom Money Nigeria with individuals creating their own WhatsApp groups such as Jack Loom, Catherine Loom, among others. (NAN)

Hoodlums burgle Ogun APC secretariat, cart away sensitive documents Thu, 16 May 2019 20:52:40 +0000 By Michael Adesanya/ Abeokuta

Suspected burglars on Wednesday night, broke into the Ogun State Secretariat of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), located at Iyana Mortuary, Abeokuta, carting away alleged “vital documents”.

The State Chairman of the Party, Derin Adebiyi told journalists at a Press conference yesterday that all offices and floors in the two storey building were burgled by the hoodlums.

Adebiyi disclosed that the hoodlums also destroyed all air conditioners, television sets, and chairs in all the offices, adding that the air conditioners and televisions were only a “decoy” as none of them were taken away from the complex but documents.

He said the intention of the vandals remained unknown but he was suspicious that it might not be unconnected with an attempt to “destabilise the party as Governor Ibikunle Amosun winds down his administration”.

He said, “The attack was massive and destructive. All offices were broken into including those of the chairman, the state secretary, the organizing secretary, among others”.

“The attack witnessed vandalization of property, such as air conditions, pumping machine, ceilings, chairs and television sets. The offices were ransacked while important files and documents were taken away.

“The intention of masterminds remain unknown but suspicious. This is because it is coming at the twilight of the Governor Ibikunle Amosun administration that prides itself of eight years peaceful coexistence and security of lives and property.

“The Ogun State chapter condemns the incident in the strongest terms as barbaric and uncalled for. This trend is worrisome as it is believed that the incident targeted at destabilizing activities of the party as the governor winds down”.

“We wish to state that the Ogun State chapter of APC is a peaceful and law abiding political party. Our party believes in the rule of law and due process. In this regards, the party has reported the matter to the security agencies for investigation,” he said.

Ex-African football stars storm Lagos for Ambode testimonial match Thu, 16 May 2019 20:48:36 +0000 African football legends both in Nigeria and abroad will on Saturday, May 18, storm the Agege Stadium in Lagos to feature in the testimonial match organised to honour the outgoing Governor of the Lagos State, His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.

Among the stars that have confirmed their participation for the one day event include The President of Liberian and former World Footballer award winner, George Weah, Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o, Ivorian Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure also from Cote d’Ivoire, Diomansy Kamara, Peterside Idah, Geremi Njitap, Michael Essien, Lomana Lua-Lua, Samuel Eto, Didier Zokora, Kader Keita, Richard Kingston, Christian Karembu, El- Hadji Diouf.

Others include Peter Rufai, Finidi George, Mutiu Adepoju, Samson Siasia, Augustine Eguavoen, Joseph Yobo, Ike Shorunmu, Kanu Nwankwo, Austin Jay- Jay Okocha, Daniel Amokachi, Emmanuel Amunike, Phillip Shuaibu (Deputy Governor, Edo State), Taribo West, Victor Ezeji, Tijani Babangida, Emma Okocha, Ifeanyi Udeze, Uche Okechukwu and Garba Lawal.

In a statement on Thursday signed by the Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr. Kweku Tandoh, the event tagged ‘Match for Ambode’, is being organised to honour Governor Ambode for his laudable contribution to sports development in Lagos since he assumed office in 2015.

He said the organisers, a group of ex-internationals led by Waidi Akanni have promised to put up a memorable event, adding that all the African football legends who come for the match will have a taste of good hospitality of the government and people of Lagos State.

Tandoh added that the testimonial match would be spiced up with music from a-list artistes including Wizkid, Small Doctor amongst many others.

He also assured that adequate security before, during and after the event which starts by 10am on Saturday have been firmed up.

Paris Club refund: Ogun denies owing Bond Investment $11m consultancy fee Thu, 16 May 2019 20:41:05 +0000 By Michael Adesanya/ Abeokuta

The Ogun State Government on Thursday denied claims by Bond Investments and Holdings Limited that the government owes it $11,740,362.00 as consultancy fees, on ‘external debt and multilateral loans’, saying that government has no legal contract with the firm.

The government accused the company, believed to be owned by Bode Mustapha, of plotting to rip off the state, “upon the inauguration of Mustapha’s political ally, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on May 29, 2019″.

A press release by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Oshinowo, copies of which were made available to journalists in Abeokuta, said: ” the Senator Ibikunle Amosun government warns Ogun indigenes to be on their guard, as regards the finances of the state, as some unconscionable politicians will do everything possible to recoup their investment in the last governorship election from the public till.

“From the facts available,” said Oshinowo, “Bond Investments and Holdings Limited, in 2009, entered into an 80-day agreement with the state government, as Consultants on Paris Club Refund, which ended in 2010, by effluxion of time and operation of law. Worse, the firm did nothing within the duration of the contract”.

According to the release, “For emphasis, Clause 2.1 of the agreement between Ogun State Government and Bond Investments and Holdings Limited, dated 23rd December, 2009, stipulated clearly 80 working days and could be terminated at the instance of either of the parties. We note that a letter from the state government titled, Re: Notice of Termination of Contract, Ref. No. DMU/012/122 and dated 15th November, 2011, indeed terminated the said contract.

“It is shocking, to say the least, that the company, which accepted the termination of the contract, without a whimper, kept silent until 2017, when the Federal Government began the release of the Paris Club Refund, thus laying bare the opportunistic intention of the promoters of the firm to reap where they did not sow.

“Paris Club Refund was released to states, under stringent conditions and its use closely monitored by the Federal Government, such that states that deviated, were investigated by EFCC and sanctioned. The Bond Investments and Holdings Limited did not facilitate the refund of any external debt, in respect of Paris Club Debt and any multilateral loan(s) to Ogun State.

“The sudden resurrection of 2009 purported contract, was a premeditated action, designed to scam the state government, under the guise of an anticipated arbitration judgment. The Amosun government, noted for its probity and accountability in public finance management, will not be a party to this orchestrated scheme to swindle the state,” Oshinowo said.

As the new government comes on board on May 29, 2019, the statement urged the public to discard the claims by Bond Investments and Holdings Limited and called for public vigilance, as “Ogun does not owe any firm a service debt; it is not in breach of any agreement; and will not need to pay a dime as consultancy fees to any company on Paris Debt Refund.

“Finally, we are not unaware that the targets of the spurious claims by the consultancy firm are the N126 billion refund for federal roads, constructed by the Amosun administration (which is due for payment) and possibly, the $350 million World Bank concessionary loan, negotiated by the current government. The general public is hereby put on notice to ensure Ogun State is not shortchanged under any guise. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.”

Lai Mohammed accuses Atiku, PDP of sabotaging Buhari’s administration Thu, 16 May 2019 20:28:07 +0000 By Ismaila Chafe

The Federal Government has condemned the increasingly `unpatriotic and desperate’ opposition politics being played by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who made the condemnation when he addressed State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday, warned that such opposition could be toxic for the nation’s democracy, if left unchecked.

“Never in the history of politics in Nigeria has an opposition party and its presidential candidate exhibited the kind of desperate tactics being deployed by the duo of the PDP and its flag-bearer, especially since President Muhammadu Buhari overwhelmingly defeated Atiku to win the 2019 presidential election.

“Either by themselves or via their proxies, the PDP and its presidential candidate are doing everything possible to sabotage the Buhari Administration, generally overheat the polity and make Nigeria seemingly ungovernable, especially through their public utterances and their poorly-thought-out press releases before and after the 2019 general elections.

“Unless they quickly retrace their steps, they may, sooner than later, overreach themselves.

“For those who may be quick to accuse the government of crying wolf, the pre-election statement credited to the former Vice President, that unless Nigerians vote out the APC Administration, killings by herdsmen will continue and ultimately spark a series of ethno-religious crises that will be irreversible, is looking more like a Freudian slip than anything else.

The minister also noted that in recent times, the PDP had taken its desperation to a new level by attacking the judiciary, “an action many see as indicating a reversal of the party’s hitherto self-assured stance that it has a solid case against the election of the President.

“And either by coincidence or orchestration, a faceless group emerges from nowhere calling for an overthrow of a democratically-elected government, a totally egregious act of treason.

“It beggars belief that a candidate who prides himself as a democrat can so allow desperation to becloud his sense of propriety to such an extent that he will be associating with anti-democratic forces or making inflammatory statements.

According to the minister, for acclaimed democrats, there are acceptable channels of seeking redress after an election defeat.

He noted that even President Buhari himself went to court three times to challenge election results.

“What is not acceptable is to either resort to self-help after an election defeat, or to embark on a journey of subterfuge and sabotage while also mounting a legal challenge or pretending to do so.

“Worst still, painting the judiciary bad for whatever reason is anti-democratic and unconscionable.’’

The minister, therefore, urged the main opposition party to stop beating the drums of war but to concentrate on the “legal challenge by its candidate against the election of President Buhari if indeed they have any faith in the country’s judiciary’’.

He also called on the opposition to desist from unnecessarily overheating the polity

Malaria cases distracting us from our primary duties – UBTH CMD Thu, 16 May 2019 06:13:19 +0000 By Peterson Ibi/Benin

Prof. Darlington Obaseki, the Chief Medical Director of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), says the influx of patients with minor cases of ailments​ constitute a distraction to the Hospital from performing its primary duties.

Obaseki said this while briefing the press on activities lined up for the inaugural Founder’s Day celebration, which coincides with the 46th year anniversary of the hospital.

He said: “We have our challenges, but we know what we are supposed to be doing. Specialist health centre like ours is supposed to be doing things like hip replacement surgery, open heart surgery, kidney transplant, stem cell transplant, cancer treatment, etc.

“We are being distracted from our primary duties, which is, spercialist services. Ideally, primary health issues should go to primary health care centres. The majority of the work we do are things like malaria.

“Our doctors here are specialist surgeons, gynaecologists, oncologists, and so on. They are not supposed to be treating ailments like malaria, which, ordinarily, should have been handled at primary health facilities.

The CMD however expressed appreciation to the Edo state government’s recent decision to upgrade all primary health centres in the State, to make them functional, so that they could take the pressure off UBTH.

“That will take the pressure away from us and will enable us to help our people more,” he added.

The CMD also used the occasion to appeal to well-meaning Nigerians to assist the Hospital in giving its best, by contributing to the endowment fund planned to raise money for the hospital.

While noting that public health venture is not profit-oriented, Obaseki disclosed that the non availability of interventional fund has crippled the stem cell centre of the hospital.

“We have done so much, we have produced manpower for this country. We are one of the pillars in the health sector in Nigeria, with so many sectors depending on us to sustain their workforce.

“We are using this opportunity to sensitise the public to contribute to the development of the hospital through our Endowment Fund. We need to expand the range of our investigational and interventional services to modern standards to the extent that it will reverse the current trend of outward medical tourism,” Obaseki said.

Nigerian Victoria Obaze becomes Mayor in UK Thu, 16 May 2019 05:47:28 +0000 By Emmanuel Afonne

Mrs Victoria Obaze made history on Wednesday after she was sworn into office as the first black female Civic Mayor of London Borough of Tower Hamlets, United Kingdom (UK).

Obaze’s inauguration on Wednesday is the latest in turn of events that have seen Nigerians emerge as Mayors in their area councils of residence in the UK.

It will be recalled that Mr Ernest Ezeajughi, and Mrs Kate Anorue, both from Anambra State, were recently sworn into office as Mayors of London Borough of Brent and Enfield, respectively.

Obaze, a Nigerian from Imo State, who contested three previous councillorship elections in 2010, 2014 as well as 2016 and failed, eventually succeeded in an election conducted on May 5, 2018 in Whitechapel Ward.

She later became the Council’s Deputy Speaker following her nomination by her Councillor Colleagues from where she took over the mantle as Mayor of London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

A statement containing brief history of Obaze obtained by NAN from her close associate and UK Chapter Coordinator, Ugonwanne Social Club Nigeria Int’l, a Nigerian socio-cultural group in UK, Ms Blessing Chijekwu, revealed that the newly sworn-in Mayor had lived in Borough for over 30 years.

“For Councillor (Cllr) Obaze life is all about service to humanity with diligence. Her political experience started when she was elected as one of the board of directors to oversee the regeneration of her area, the Ocean Estate, in the 1980s.

“The move motivated her to get into politics having noticed that there were no black women in the council chambers and this led her to open a project named Healthy Life Style for Stepney Women, East London.

“The project was funded by local authority through Ocean African Caribbean Association which she and her late husband Chief Evangelist Charles Obaze, co-founded.

“She also established Ocean Saturday School aimed at ensuring school attainment for children, as well as Ocean Football Club through which young boys were able to have residential football experiences with Chelsea football Club.

“Above all, Cllr Obaze loves God with a passion; she is a member of Parochial Church Council (PCC), as well as an Executive Council member at St Dunstan’s Church of England Parish in Stepney.

“She is also a Secondary School governor in Tower Hamlets and a habitual visitor to the elderly and physically challenged in the community,” the statement quoted Chijekwu as saying.

The statement also quoted Lolo Ngozi Nwanze, President, Ugonwanne Social Club Nigeria Int’l as saying that Obaze was chosen as life matron of the club because of her meekness and morality.

“These are the virtues that have brought her to where she (Obaze) is today.”

Obaze who has four children and two grand Children attended West London College and Metropolitan University where she studied Business Administration and Community Sector Management at different times.

She also has certification in childcare which enabled her operate a registered charitable childcare centre in UK named Vicharles Play Centre.