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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Former Oyo Gov. Akala Snatched His SSG, Layiwola Olakojo’s Wife, Relocates Her To America

A big drama is playing out in the Oyo political circle which involves former associates and friends; ex-Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala and the Secretary to The State Government (SSG), during the last administration, Chief Layiwola Olakojo.

Chief Olakojo is regarded as one of the most experienced politicians in the State who enjoys a considerable followership in the state’s political set-up and has participated in different governments both as the SSG to ex-Governor Ladoja and later Chief Bayo Alao-Akala.

During the high point of Governor Akala’s administration, Chief Olakojo who was in his late 70′s did the unusual and married a very young beautiful wife who was in her early 20s. They had a big wedding ceremony which was attended by all the political bigwigs in the State then.

However, the robust relationship being enjoyed by Chief Olakojo and ex-Governor Akala ended when the Governor was being hounded by the EFCC and arrested his SSG, Chief Olakojo. It was revealed that the old man who couldn’t endure the hard measure and feared what would become of his political life squealed on some activities of his boss, and that spelt long years of rift between the two politicians.

Recently the former SSG’s marriage to his youngest wife was rocked with a big crisis that led to the wife moving all her things out of his house.

Sources revealed that Chief Olakojo now lives alone in his country home in Oyo town. It was revealed that ex-Governor Akala was the mastermind of the break-up in Chief Olakojo’s marriage. Those in the know claimed that the ex-Governor has been in close contacts with Oyin during his days as a Governor when the wife used to visit him and report Chief Olakojo’s frugality and she gets cash gifts from the Governor.

First Weekly Magazine learnt that Akala pampered Olakojo’s wife so much that the beautiful lady couldn’t resist the advances the former governor eventually made. The source informed us that Akala and the woman began to have sexual relationship on a regular basis.

It was also revealed that during one of their secret rendezvous, Akala convinced her to move out from her matrimonial home. The source revealed that the young woman who already had a child for Chief Olakojo left her husband’s home with the child and Akala relocated her to America where she now lives.

“It was so funny the way Oyin left Chief Olakojo. She had earlier told Chief she wanted to travel to America, but Chief asked her to wait for some days, that he wanted to do some things in India. He promised to take Oyin to America when he comes back from India. Chief traveled to India, but unknown to him Oyin has her own plans,” an insider said.

The source revealed that Oyin, through the help of Akala perfected all her traveling papers, while the husband was in India.

“She went into Chief’s room, took 20,000 dollars out of the 100,000 dollars she saw and the funny aspect was that it was the day Chief Olakojo landed at the airport that Oyin also boarded a United States bound flight. They were probably at the airport at the same time. While the husband was at the arrival lounge, the wife was at the departure,” the source added.,

The recent development was said to have sparked off a new row between the two politicians, as Olakojo has been reporting the matter to all the influential people in the state. Chief Olakojo was said to have threatened to end Chief Akala’s political career and his recent activities has pointed to that direction.

The former SSG has been at the forefront of the move to reconcile ex-Governor Ladoja with other PDP chieftains and he has been engaging in different activities that exhibit his agony, and hatred towards his ex boss.

Source: DailyPost Nigeria

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Posted by on April 30, 2013 in Politics

 

HEDONISM AND THE WEST (“OLOWO FI OWO RA IKU”) – by Femi Olabisi

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Olowo fi owo ra iku” (the affluent seeks death with his wealth).

The above Yoruba adage came to mind in my search for what defines the Britons, Americans and some other Western citizens.  With daily reports of kidnapping, killing and incarcerations one could not but wondered why they have never relented in their search for trouble in the name of holidaying, sightseeing and other pleasures that have become part and parcel of their lives.

News headlines seem incomplete without the mentioning of skirmishes of Westerners’ abduction in Pakistan or Afghanistan; arrests on real and phantom charges in Iran, North Korea or Venezuela; killing and kidnapping by terrorists in Sudan, Mali, Cameroun, Somalia, Nigeria, etc.  Yet, they seem oblivious to all these dangers and never waver in their search for good life in most odious places.

It is understandable that some of these Westerners go to these ‘volatile’ spots because of the nature of their job (soldiers, humanitarian workers, etc.), but it is unfathomable that some, without reasonable excuse, do endanger their lives by going to places where they are not wanted or where they would become easy target.  It may not be appropriate to say that these people do not have adequate knowledge of where they are going.  On the contrary, they are usually well acquainted with the places they intend to visit.  It is just unthinkable that one should deliberately endanger his/her life because of pleasure. 

It is obvious that these pleasure seekers cannot hide their identity when in hostile environment.  For one, the colour of their skin will make them conspicuous; and second, their lifestyles would negate that of natives – theirs would show opulence in the midst of abject poverty as common in most Third World countries.  One then wonder why they can’t go on vacations where there are relative piece.

If our world is one beset with transnational conspiracy and rivalry, division between powers that be and emerging powers and unrelenting devilish attempts to undo one another, then it becomes imperatives for pleasure seekers to know where they are wanted and where they are not.  I cannot see why an American would go to Iran or North Korea and/or why a Westerner would pack his bag and go to some impossible places where war, kidnapping and killing are rife.

Whether real or phantom, scores of foreigners have been kidnapped, arrested, jailed and/or killed in hostile countries.  On Jan 6, 2011 Haley Talayan was arrested in Iran for spying; three Americans, Shourd, Bauer and Fattal, were similarly arrested on July 31, 2009 by Iranian authorities at Iran/Iraq border where they claimed to be hiking (I don’t know why anybody would be hiking in one of the most dangerous places on earth, except if are actually spies). 

Venezuelan government last week announced the arrest of an American filmmaker Timothy Tracy. He was accused of being a spy and charged with conspiracy to destabilize Venezuela (only God knows what would be his fate).  And few days ago pariah North Korea Republic announced that the American tour operator, Kenneth Bae, arrested on charges that he tried to overthrow the government of Kim Jong-un in December 2012 would not be allowed to appeal if convicted.  He has not been tried in any court till date and would definitely be declared guilty if eventually taken to court.  Same fate has befallen other Westerners who felt the comfort of their countries is not enough. 

Unfortunately, the trend will continue as long as some cannot distinguish between enjoyment and endangerment.  Few other Americans who had fallen victims of similar fate include Laura Ling, Euna Lee, Aijalon Mahli Gomes, Haleh Esfandiary, Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, Roxana Saberi, Kian Tajbaksh, among others.  Phantoms charges, kangaroo trials and unbelievably long sentencing have always been the outcome while death sentence is never ruled out.

More worrisome is venturing into danger-prone climes.

The Maghreb and some part of West Africa have lately become haven for terrorists with particular hatred for the Whites.  It is no longer news to hear of Westerners being killed or kidnapped, yet some pleasure seekers cannot think of a better place for holiday.  Just last week a French family of seven was released by their captors (I want to believe huge ransom must have been paid for their release).  They were kidnapped few months ago in Cameroon by the dreaded Nigeria Boko-Haram terrorist group.  This is just one of the few instances where those kidnapped were lucky.  Scores have not been so lucky.  Gruesome death is usually the outcome. 

These countries have arrays of disgruntled elements who have found criminalities as the opium to feed their hatred for the failures of their governments.  Aside from being thorns on the flesh of the people and governments of their home countries, they seem to harbour mutual hatred for anything Western.  Boko Haram, Ansaru – otherwise known as JAMBS (in Nigeria), Al-Shabaab (Somalia), al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and others are notorious for targeting Westerners.  One would think foreigner would look for better havens to feed their hedonistic needs but reverse is the case.

Pleasure seeking is not totally wrong, but it is baffling that some Westerners would leave the comfort of their countries and other peaceful climes and venture into hostile nations where deaths, persecutions, real and phantom charges, imprisonments, etc. have always been their lot.

Or is it the Yoruba adage “Olowo fi owo ra iku” (the affluent seeks death with his wealth) that is at play?

 

The writer is on twitter: @Femiolas

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Thoughts

 

WHO IS NIGERIA’S YOUNGEST COMMERCIAL PILOT?

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Contrary to recent reports that Favour Odozor, 20, who graduated at the Afrika Union Aviation Academy, South Africa, is the youngest Nigerian licensed commercial pilot there are indications that this record belongs to Sam Phil-Ebosie (1951 – 2012), who graduated as a licensed commercial pilot at the age of 19 in 1970.

Chinedu Ozordi, a journalist reports that Sam was born to Emman Phil-Ebosie and Yewande Phil-Ebosie on the 271h July, 1951, in Lagos and was the third of four brothers. Sam’s father was the foremost indigenous ENT Surgeon in Nigeria. He attended Ladi-Lak Institute and later transferred to Government Demonstration School, Surulere, Lagos, for his primary education.

He proceeded to Kings College, Lagos, for his secondary education; after which he shocked his family, teachers and mates by his decision to become a Civil Aviator.

To accomplish his ambition, Sam sought and was admitted into the second course at the Nigerian Civil Aviation School Zaria, graduating top of his class as a pilot in 1970.

He thereafter commenced his commercial flying career with the then Nigerian Airways Ltd. Through his career, he was trained on the Fokker 27, Fokker 28, Boeing 737, Boeing 707 and DC 10.

While he at Nigeria Airways, Sam was said to have been confirmed the youngest Fokker F 27 Captain at the age of 25 years in 1977.

The height of his professional flying career was when, as the youngest ever captain in the world, he flew the wide bodied aircraft at the age of 30 years in 1981.

During his career, he was the preferred long haul Captain for the Presidency on the Presidential Fleet. He flew the then President Shehu Shagari to the Hajj in Saudi Arabia, Australia for the Common Wealth Conference in 1981, New York to the United Nation’s Conference and several other destinations; and the Vice President Alex Ekweme also on several occasions.

Sam later retired from Nigeria Airways in 1985, after which he joined Saudi Airlines, Saudi Arabia in 1985 where he worked as a Lockheed Tri-Star Ll 011 Captain. Between 1986 and 1995, he worked at PH Aviation Teterboro, New Jersey, UPS, New York and Federal Express Memphis.

Sam retired from commercial flying after 27 years in 1995. Upon retirement he set up his own private aviation support company called Skynote.

Sam, until his death, remained a keen aviator, consulting in different areas of the aviation sector.

Source: The Nation

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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Do You Know?

 

4 Reasons Why North Korea Won’t Start A War

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Pyongyang talks a big game, but it doesn’t quite have the political will and military muscle to back it up

Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities remain in question, but its deftness at violent rhetoric is pretty clear. In The New York Times, Andrei Lankov, author of The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia, called the country “a tiny dictatorship with a bankrupt economy” that, nonetheless, has leaders that are “remarkably adept at manipulating global public opinion.”

Continuing its string of threats, the North Korean government warned foreigners on Monday that they might want to leave South Korea due to the threat of nuclear war. Walk through Seoul, however, and it’s difficult “to find any South Koreans who are panic-stricken,” says Lankov. Why aren’t they worried? Because North Korea is not likely to start a war. A look at why:

1. Kim Jong Un isn’t a madman

North Korea likes to paint its “supreme leader” as something of a super-villain — a powerful, unpredictable man with his finger always on the button. The truth is Pyongyang has always been more pragmatic than it lets on. As Lankov points out, Kim Jong Un isn’t Osama Bin Laden, planning a holy war from a cave:

North Korea is not a theocracy led by zealots who preach the rewards of the afterlife.

In fact, there are no good reasons to think that Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s young dictator, would want to commit suicide; he is known for his love of basketball, pizza and other pleasures of being alive. The same logic applies to his advisers, old survivors in the byzantine world of North Korean politics who love expensive cars and good brandy. [New York Times]

It would be pretty hard to hang with Dennis Rodman if your country were hit by missiles. 

2. The whole thing is just an international shakedown

Why act like you might start World War III at any minute? Because it gets results. Kim Jong Il played the same game and, as Howard French of The Atlantic notes, “steadily won concessions: fuel oil deliveries, food aid, nuclear reactor construction, hard cash-earning tourist enclaves and investment zones.”

Max Fisher of The Washington Post likens Kim Jong Un to a kid with a temper tantrum who you give “the attention he craves and maybe even a toy, not because you think the threats are real or because he deserves it, but because you want the tantrum to stop.” North Korea’s economy is in a “dire state,” says BBC News, with an estimated per capita income of $1,000 to $2,000 per year. With few natural resources and only one (legal) trade partner, winning some foreign aid in exchange for toning down the rhetoric would be a big win for Pyongyang.

3. China doesn’t exactly have North Korea’s back

Susan Shirk of China File calls China the “the economic lifeline of North Korea,” essentially propping up the regime with trade and some aid in times of crisis. China has every reason to want peace, mostly because the consequences of war would be disastrous, writes Steven Metz in World Politics Review:

Thousands, perhaps millions, of North Korean refugees would seek sanctuary in China. A nuclear exchange could poison the region. The global economy would be thrown into turmoil, hindering China’s exports and increasing the cost of imported energy. And, worst of all, the ultimate outcome would be a North Korea less beholden to China and possibly occupied by the United States. [World Politics Review]

 

Despite its strong incentive to keep the current North Korean regime in place, China has been showing signs that it’s getting tired of its ally. Beijing partnered with the United States to draft tough sanctions against North Korea after it conducted a third nuclear test. On Tuesday, it announced it was shutting down tourism into North Korea, striking a blow to its neighbor’s economy.

To top it off, Chinese President Xi Jinping publicly acknowledged his frustrations with Pyongyang Sunday when, according to The Washington Post, he told an economic forum, “No one should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gains.” Those are not the words of a country ready to storm into war alongside North Korea.

4. North Korea would lose

North Korea, with a collection of 1.1 million soldiers, actually has the fourth largest standing army in the world, according to NBCNews.com. The problem is that its “equipment is seriously outdated, going back to its alliance with the former Soviet Union during the Cold War.” South Korea, on the other hand, has been armed by the United States, which has also promised to defend South Korea militarily if necessary.

North Korea could hold out for a few bloody days or weeks, but ultimately it would lose. “This is a military that if you ran them against the Iraqi military in 1991, North Korea would lose,” Jennifer Lind, a professor at Dartmouth College, told USA Today. Kim Jong Un couldn’t possibly like those odds.

 

Source:  The Week

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Posted by on April 10, 2013 in Politics

 

Incredible! Russian Billionaire Plans to Make Humans Immortal by 2045

A Russian billionaire has unveiled plans to make humans immortal by converting them into ‘Terminator-style’ cyborgs – a creature that’s part human and part machine – within the next three decades.

Thirty two-year-old mogul, Dmitry Itskov has been pushing the project forward since 2011 when he founded the 2045 Initiative.

His ultimate goal is to transfer a person’s mind or consciousness from a living brain into a machine with that its personality and memories intact, according to website Digital Trends.

The so called ‘Cyborg’ will have no physical form, and exist in a network similar to the Internet and be able to travel at the speed of light all over the Earth, or even into the space.

Itskov’s first highly ambitious goal, called Avatar A, involves a person controlling a robotic human replica through a brain-machine interface (BMI), a technology that already exists.

The deadline for this first stage is set for 2020, ‘The Mashable’ reported.

The Avatar B, due in 2025, would involve transplanting a human brain into an artificial body “at the end of one’s life.”

Next in line is the Avatar C, that rolls around in 2035, that would also involve a human-machine brain transplant, but with all personality intact.

Itskov hopes the Initiative will have learned enough about the human mind to free it completely from physical form finally, by 2045.

According to the report, from the Internet-like hive mind, individual personalities could manifest themselves as holograms when they need to interact with their environment.

“We believe that it is possible and necessary to eliminate ageing and even death, and to overcome the fundamental limits of the physical and mental capabilities currently set by the restrictions of the physical body,” the project website says.

Itskov is recruiting scientists and authoring an open letter to the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, asking him to support to push society’s transition to “neo-humanity.”

Source:  Hindustantimes

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Posted by on April 7, 2013 in True Life

 

War without End: The Price of Inaction in Syria

A Commentary by Christoph Reuter

Western leaders – and German ones, in particular – have come up with countless reasons for not providing military support to Syrian rebels. But this just plays into the hands of Assad, who has nothing to win, but plenty to destroy.

Take a moment to imagine it the other way around: A Syrian dictator with a full beard — an Islamist harboring al-Qaida sympathies — has the Christian population of his country shot, starved and bombed, lets fanatical militias massacre non-believers and burns the country down to ashes. Were that the case, an alliance of Western nations would step up to intervene faster than you could say “Mali.”

Yet the people of Syria have been trying to rid themselves of a dictator for two years now. They spent months getting shot at while participating in peaceful demonstrations before they starting putting up violent resistance, and now they are facing a regime that intends to annihilate them. But it would seem that they’re simply out of luck.

The reason isn’t hard to see: Most of these rebels are Sunnis or, more broadly, Muslims. Many of them also have beards and shout “Allahu akbar” (as do the much smaller numbers of Ismailis, Druzes and Christians who fight alongside them). Sunnis also live in the areas that are being bombed almost daily when visibility is good.

Muslims rising up against their rulers to demand justice simply doesn’t fit into our worldview. Over the past decades, this view has been fed on news of the Taliban, of radical Islamist clerics preaching messages of hate, of “honor” killings, of battles over a Danish cartoon and of the events of 9/11. Held responsible for the sum total of all we have heard over the years, Syria’s Muslims are finding that the world views their struggle with suspicion and as just another attempt to establish a Muslim theocracy.

If they were Tibetans, you could be things would be different. But, as is, Bashar Assad’s air force has been allowed to bomb with impunity. Scud missiles level entire city blocks, while Syria gradually empties out. Over 70,000 people have died in the conflict, and more than 1 million have fled the country.

From the start, Assad’s regime has played on the West’s fears expertly. It has denounced Syrian protestors as foreign jihadists — while simultaneously releasing hundreds of al-Qaida supporters from prisons. It has faked attacks and worked to incite the country’s various religious groups against one another, only to then turn around and present itself as a secular bulwark against radicalism.

And the regime’s message finds willing ears in the West, where the fact that Assad bears primary responsibility for all this murder is dutifully mentioned. But, of course, the latter is only done as a prelude to enumerating, incident by incident, human rights abuses on the part of the rebels, in order to arrive at the conclusion that both sides in the conflict are terrible.

Should … Should … Should

The West doesn’t want to intervene. In Germany, both the government and the opposition have assumed the stance that, in addition to not providing the rebels with military aid, it should also stringently uphold the EU’s arms embargo. Yet it’s not as if the Syrian opposition has always been clamoring for weapons at all costs. Instead, asking for them is more of a last resort now that all its other appeals to the international community — for everything from a military intervention to a no-fly zone — have been turned down.

Despite a number of successes on the rebels’ part, the regime’s troops still hold the city centers of almost all major cities. They have also held on to enough airports to allow them to carry out strikes on the regions of the country that have been liberated, something they do continually. Assad no longer has anything to gain in this conflict, but there is still plenty he can destroy.

Very slowly, the West is coming around to a different perspective. The United States has been covertly providing aid since late fall, flying arms and ammunition into Turkey — 3,500 tons’ worth, according to the New York Times — to be delivered from there to Syrian rebel groups. However, not many of those supplies seemed to have arrived by late January, when rebel commanders in northern Syria were still issuing their fighters individual, carefully counted rounds of ammunition. The rebels urgently need anti-aircraft missiles to defend themselves against air strikes, but Washington is holding back on supplying such weapons, afraid they might eventually fall into the wrong hands. Great Britain and France now want to supply the rebels with arms, but the EU embargo is still in place — and Germany still supporting it.

How, then, can the inferno in this land that was once Syria be brought to an end? Supporters of the embargo come up with all sorts of declarations, all of which seem to employ the same verb: “Assad shouldresign!” “We should support the UN’s mission in Syria!” “We shouldprevent Russia from further arming Assad!” “We should make clear to those who support the Islamists that they had better stop doing so.”

We should, but apparently we can’t — and therein lies the problem. To base our policies on airy appeals that haven’t produced any results in the last two years is merely self-deception.

Illogical Arguments

There are many good reasons to refrain from military involvement in other countries. In the case of Syria, however, some of the rationales put forth are simply illogical. For example, there is the argument that there are already so many weapons in the country that it doesn’t make sense to send in any more. By that logic, we could have spared ourselves the invasion of Afghanistan, not to mention the entire arms race conducted in recent decades.

The curious thing about many German politicians is that they continue to praise Germany’s involvement in Afghanistan, even though it has been a failure when measured by its own goals, yet they don’t want to intervene militarily in a situation in which it would make sense to do so. In taking this stance, these politicians are ignoring one fundamental difference: In Afghanistan in 2001 and in Iraq in 2003, there was no revolution from within, no vision of a different form of government; instead, there was an invasion from outside. The US was able to topple Saddam Hussein and the Taliban, but not to create stable governments to replace them.

Syria is different. The uprising that began here in many different places simultaneously and without centralized leadership gave rise to hundreds of rebel groups that are not subordinate to any single, centralized command, yet manage to cooperate passably well. Committees for self-government have formed in the places where Assad’s troops have been driven out. What is in place at the moment is chaotic and inadequate, but people here don’t want anarchy. They want a government — just a different one from what they had. Lawyers, businesspeople, religious leaders and civil servants are all doing their best to maintain public order. The question is how long this system will continue to function.

Empty Excuses

Worn down between the regime’s brutality and the jihadists who have been growing stronger for months, embittered by the West’s passivity and terribly impoverished, some people have turned to brutality, while others have fled. More and more of the rebels have joined with the radicals, not least because these groups receive abundant supplies from networks of influential clerics in the Gulf States. “Ahrar al-Sham” — one of the two largest fundamentalist groups within the rebels’ ranks — “always buys the latest weapons, and plenty of them. They have money,” a middleman in northern Syria reported in December.

To hold up these Islamists as a reason not to get involved is to confuse cause and effect. And those who defend the arms embargo — as German Chancellor Angela Merkel does — on the grounds that supplying the rebels with arms could further fuel the conflict, are misjudging both the nature of the regime and the dynamics at work in this war.

Assad has systematically tested out whether the international community would object to his use of tanks, of military helicopters, of jets and of missiles. US President Barack Obama has drawn a line only at the use of chemical weapons, which taken the other way around amounts to a declaration that the US will not get involved under any other circumstances. Assad and his generals would sooner accept the country’s destruction than yield their grip on power. And as long as the West allows them to continue, they will.

This is the prospect we face: an utterly ravaged country, with 6 million instead of 1 million refugees, and a civil war that will drag Lebanon along into the fray — a war that will not end with Assad’s downfall, but will continue indefinitely, fueled by a cycle of revenge and retaliation.

Should that happen, Germany’s government will of course condemn it vehemently.

 

Source: Spiegel International

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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Politics, True Life

 

GEJ Succumbs, To Consider Amnesty For Boko Haram

It has been revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan might have decided to consider granting amnesty to members of the Boko Haram sect as a means of ending the spate of raging violence across the region.

Reports emerging from the Vanguard have it that the president reached a deal with northern leaders to grant amnesty to members of the Boko Haram sect. Jonathan reportedly met for several hours on Wednesday night with members of the powerful Northern Elders’ Forum, NEF at the Presidential Villa to secure their support and cooperation towards ending the malevolent onslaught.

It was noted that the president specifically wanted an undertaking from the elders that they would impress upon the sect leaders and their followers to lay down their arms and embrace the peace, as a condition for offering the olive branch. Under the plan, the Federal Government is to set up an Amnesty Commission (AC), which would serve as a quasi-judicial body, to register and cater for repentant members of the sect and protect them from being harassed or intimidated by security agents.

According to a source at the meeting, “The AC will then set up modalities for any member of Boko Haram, who wants amnesty. Once a person signs up for amnesty, he is to be protected by the commission… It is our strong belief that the arrangement would give the government the leeway to find a lasting solution to the security crisis in the North,” the source said.

Source: Vanguard

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Politics

 
 
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