Idowu Sofola, YCE president, dies at 84

•Amosun mourns

THE President, Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Chief Idowu Sofola (SAN), is dead.

He died in Lagos on Friday, aged 84, according to the Secretary General of the YCE, Dr Kunle Olajide.

The prominent jurist, bencher and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association took over from Maj.-Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo, who died last year.

Sofola, who was born on Sept. 29, 1934, was the first black to be appointed the Secretary of the International Bar Association (IBA) and was a prominent member of the Ikenne Social Circle and the Obara Ruling House for the Alakenne Royalty.

Olajide told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone on yesterday that the YCE was grieved and shocked by Sofola’s death, who he said, was not ill or bedridden.

“I spoke with him few days ago, congratulating him on the appointment of his son as a high judge and we were planning an event to host him.

“The icon is leaving us at a critical time particularly in Yorubaland as the country prepares…

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Soka kidnappers’ den turns college but its past haunts residents, hampers enrolment

TOLUWANI ENIOLA writes about the transformation that has taken place in the Soka community in Ibadan, Oyo State, where a kidnappers’ den was uncovered four years ago

A stunning school structure, pupils running gaily to their classrooms with bags strapped to the backs and a serene mien were what confronted our correspondent during the week while on a visit to the Soka community; the former ritualists’ den in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Exactly four years ago, the Soka community was thrown into confusion when a ritualists’ den was uncovered in the community. The kidnappers’ den was located amid factories, specifically at the back of Macmillan Publishers, a few metres from the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway leading to Iwo Road in the state capital.

Residents of the area were surprised to find out that an expansive area, housing some buildings, initially used for a local clinic for mentally deranged persons, had become a slaughterhouse for ritual killers.

When the news broke on…

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Executive rascality and delay in budget passage

JOHN AMEH examines the delay in the passage of the 2018 national appropriation bill and how the marching order from President Muhammadu Buhari to the heads of federal ministries, departments and agencies is accelerating the process

The outcome of a late-night meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly on some pressing national issues, particularly the 2018 budget, has thrown certain facts bare – our budget is in some kind of trouble; and the Executive arm of government, specifically ministers and heads of agencies, are to blame substantially for the delay in the passage of the money bill.

Arguably, there is no further proof of this than the President’s threat, issued barely 24 hours after the meeting, to sack about 50 heads of ministries, departments and agencies, reported to be delaying the budget, owing to their refusal to appear before committees of the National Assembly to defend their proposals. The leadership of the legislature…

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Some Nigerians think kids with disabilities are demonic –Mother of five-year-old with cerebral palsy

Bukola Ayinde is the mother of a girl with cerebral palsy allegedly abused by her therapist. She talks about the current state of her five-year-old daughter among other issues with GBENGA ADENIJI

What is the current condition of your daughter with cerebral palsy captured in a CCTV footage that went viral on the Internet in 2016 while being allegedly assaulted by her therapist in school?

My daughter, Nimi, is a five-year-old girl with cerebral palsy; apart from that, she is fine. Judging by what she has been through, I would say she is indeed a strong girl.

What further steps did the Medical Rehabilitation Therapist Board of Nigeria take after the matter went viral?

Well, they felt I was trying to put them in a bad light and thereafter, I didn’t get any other communication from them. Our lawyer wrote the board a letter asking them to give the US Consulate some documents but they replied that the right department would do it but no department got in touch with us. I was informed…

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Kid voters: INEC receives report, wants perpetrators exposed

ENIOLA AKINKUOTU with agency reports

The committee set up by the Independent National Electoral Commission to investigate the allegations of underage voting that trailed the local government elections conducted by the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission has submitted its report.

The committee, according to a statement by INEC Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, in Abuja, submitted the  report to the Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Friday.

The statement, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, quoted the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Ahmed Nahuche, as saying diligent and wide consultations with stakeholders were made by the committee.

The committee was inaugurated by INEC in February to investigate the allegation of underage voting which was allegedly linked to the voter register in Kano.

Nahuche said in carrying out the assignment, the committee consulted with critical stakeholders through visitations and interactive sessions.


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FG, parents disagree on return of freed girls to Dapchi school

Olusola Fabiyi, Olaleye Aluko and Justin Tyopuusu

The parents of the released Dapchi schoolgirls and the Federal Government may be set for a showdown on the plan of the government to send the released schoolgirls to continue their education at the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State.

While the parents have vowed that their daughters would not return to the GGSTC, Dapchi, to continue their education, the Federal Government insisted the girls would resume normal academic activities this week in the school where the girls were abducted on February 19.

Boko Haram terrorists had released the girls dramatically on Wednesday in Dapchi while they were brought to Abuja to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.

Five of the 110 girls, abducted on February 19, reportedly died of shock on the day of their abduction while one, Leah Sharibu, who was said to have refused to renounce Christianity, is still being held by the Islamic insurgents.


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Parents of the remaining Chibok girls who are yet to be released by Boko Haram terrorists, on Saturday, met with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta the Ogun state capital.

Addressing them at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, the former president asked them not to lose faith and confidence in God despite their anguish.

Thier visit comes days after the Federal Government secured the release of students who were equally abducted from the Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, Yobe state.

Over 100 of them were abducted on February 19, 2018, but following negations between the terrorists and the Federal Government, they were subsequently released on March 21.

While parents of the girls and the nation at large celebrated their release, the government has come under attacks by the opposition over the circumstances surrounding the entire incident.

Some families have also been thrown into mourning following news of the death of five of the…

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Herdsmen killings: FG can’t reduce Christians to second class citizens -COCIN President

Gyang Bere, Jos

President of Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), Rev. Dachollom Datiri, has said that the Federal Government cannot reduce Christians in Nigeria to second class citizens following the unabated attacks and killings of innocent persons by Fulani herdsmen.

He said the Fulani herdsmen were being shielded by security agents after carrying out deathly attacks that claimed several lives of poor Nigerians in rural villages while people in the defenseless villages are also usually being arrested as the aggressors.

Rev. Datiri stated this, on Saturday, during the coronation of Gwom Turu, Da. Ezekiel James Dalyop, held at RCM Primary School Turu, in Vwang District of Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.

He urged community leaders to join hands with traditional rulers in protecting their subjects against the evil being perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen with the sole aim of marginalizing and reducing Christians to second class citizens and refugees in their own…
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