Nigerian govt bungles prosecution of two Boko Haram suspects

Boko Haram, international News, local news, Politics, Terrorism

Two Boko Haram suspects who were arrested over five years ago have been freed.

They were freed by the court on Wednesday after the judge accused the government of poor prosecution.

The Federal High Court in Abuja discharged two persons, Ibrahim Ahmed and Sani Argungu, arraigned for alleged ties with Boko Haram, for lack of diligent prosecution.

Discharging the defendants, Justice Binta Nyako noted that Mr Ahmed had been in detention since 2013 while Mr Argungu had been detained since 2012. The judge said since the time of their arrest and prosecution, the government prosecutors are yet to call any witnesses.

“The defendants have been in custody with no trial because the prosecution cannot bring its witnesses to court. So, I discharge the defendants and the suit is hereby struck out,” she said.

Mrs Nyako, however, said that whenever the prosecution was able to get its witnesses to attend court, the defendants could be re-arraigned.

The judge added that the defendants, although discharged, would be monitored. She warned them not to associate with any person of questionable character.

Mr Ibrahim, who said in his statement that he was a security guard at the Government House, Sokoto, was alleged to have been responsible for giving passage to Boko Haram members.

Over 100,000 people have been killed across Nigeria due to the activities of the Boko Haram terror group.

However, the terror group’s activities have been heavily curtailed by the military, who have since restricted the limited attacks to Adamawa Borno and Yobe states. The military have also ensured that the terror group no longer controls any whole local government in the country.

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14 hurt in new fires at Nigerian camp for displaced people

international News, local news, Military, Politics, Terrorism
camp ra

Tens of thousands of people are holed up in the camp at Rann — many live in tents or ramshackle dwellings

At least 14 people sustained burns in a fresh outbreak of fires at a camp housing tens of thousands of people displaced by Boko Haram jihadists in northeast Nigeria, according to an aid agency.

The outbreak comes just two weeks after a blaze at the camp, located at Rann, about 175 kilometres (108 miles) east of the Borno state capital Maiduguri, killed five people.

“There have been three separate fires reported,” stated a memo seen by AFP from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) circulated among international aid agencies in Maiduguri.

The incidents, which occurred over a number of days, resulted in “reported 14 injuries (and) estimates that over 1,000 shelters have been burned,” said the memo, which blamed flying embers from “cooking of food”.

Kaka Ari, a civilian militia member assisting the military in fighting Boko Haram in the town said fires had ruined hundreds of tents. The camp shelters refugees as well as internally-displaced people.

“For three consecutive days we recorded fire outbreaks in different parts of the camp which destroyed more than a thousand,” Ari said.

“People cook in the open and the breeze carries firewood splinters in all directions which end up at the tents and fire breaks out,” Ari said.

Last month five people were killed and several others injured when a fire broke out in the camp while residents were making breakfast.

Rann, where nearly 80,000 people are living and supported with humanitarian assistance from international aid agencies, has been vulnerable to attacks from Boko Haram.

On March 1 heavily-armed Boko Haram fighters killed three aid workers and abducted a female nurse, prompting aid agencies to suspend their operations.

In January 2017, a botched Nigerian air strike intended to hit jihadist fighters killed at least 112 people in what the military said was a mistake and blamed on “the fog of war”.

(AFP)

My daughter’s Danish husband started assaulting her last year –Singer, Alizee’s father – Reuben Abati

local news, OBITUARY

alize.jpegalize2.jpegThe family members of the late Nigerian singer, Zainab Ali-Nielsen, aka Alizee, are still in shock over her death.

The 37-year-old singer and her four-year-old daughter, Petra, were found dead on Thursday in the kitchen at their residence in Banana Island, Lagos. Some reports have alleged that Alizee’s Danish husband, Peter Nielsen Schau, murdered them.

In a chat with Sunday Scoop, Alizee’s father, Ali Madaki, gave some information about the couple. He said, “I have known my late daughter’s husband for over seven years now. At the outset, he was of good character but last year, he started fighting his wife. Last November, a case was reported at the police station when he beat her to a coma. He then wrote an undertaking that he would never batter her again.”

Recalling how he was informed about the ugly incident, Madaki said, “On Thursday morning, he called me; I was in Abuja. Since I missed his calls, I called back and he told me he saw my daughter and granddaughter on the floor in the kitchen. I asked what went wrong; he didn’t say a word and dropped the call. One of my two daughters staying with them called their mother and broke the news. We took the next flight to Lagos and found out she was dead truly. I didn’t even know my grandchild was dead too. I told my daughter to get Petra for me and we should go, then she told me she was dead too. I was shocked. The husband claimed it was gas suffocation that killed them. We know that gas doesn’t kill people that way. In the pictures, you would see bruises all over their bodies. They were strangled to death. I strongly believe he did it because their compound is highly secured. Whenever I visited them, the security operatives had to confirm my visit with them before I would be allowed in.”

Stating that he was unaware whether the Danish man was a drug addict or alcoholic, Alizee’s father said, “I don’t know if he has a history of being an alcoholic or drug addict. She once came back to our house in Abuja after being battered by her husband. She was there for almost a month. The man came and started begging that he was drunk. He said he consumed too much alcohol on the fateful day he beat her. Since they had been together for a while and he had never misbehaved, I accepted his plea and allowed Alizee to return to Lagos.

“My two daughters are in the police station right now to give their statements because they witnessed all that happened. They said he hit her head on the wall. In the morning, he then asked them where his wife was. They pretended they didn’t know what happened. They knew that if they had made any attempts, they could be attacked too. There were five people in the house when the incident occurred – my late daughter, her child, husband and my two daughters – one 12-year-old and the other 10-year-old. I have four girls; Alizee is my first child and her immediate younger sister works in a bank.”

The mourning father stated that he wanted justice to prevail. He added, “He cannot do this in our country and get away with it even though he could get away with it if he had done it in his country. We want our government to pass a strong message to other foreigners with this. If this happens in their country, they would surely execute the Nigerian. Our government must give justice too as they do in other countries.”

Meanwhile, Alizee’s younger sister, Gift Madaki, who allegedly witnessed the incident, stated that when she heard Alizee crying for help, she went out to peep. “I was at home when the incident occurred. When she was crying for help, I went to see what was going on and I saw the husband hitting her head on the wall. I couldn’t come out because I knew he would descend on me too. The man is aggressive,” she said.

Punch.

President Muhammadu Buhari announce his intentions to vie for elections in the 2019 Presidential elections.

international News, local news, Politics

sarakii.jpg

The President has also asked party members to grant waiver to the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odegie-Oyegun and other members of the National Working Committee, NWC, who want to recontest in the party’s Congress. Speaking at the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting ongoing at the APC Secretariat CBD, Abuja, the President also appealed to members of APC NEC to grant weavers to the party’s national chairman, Chief John Oyegun and other National and State Executive members wishing to seek re-election.

NEC meeting which is ongoing and  is being attended by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara and 24 APC state governors.

More Reports soon….

FCTA to relocate all night clubs from residential areas to curb noise pollution

local news, Politics

The Coordinator of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Umar Shuaibu, says the council is set to remove lounges and clubs in residential areas to curb the menace of noise pollution in the territory.

Mr Shuaibu said this at a news conference on the council’s readiness to curb the menace of noise pollution in the council area, on Friday in Abuja.

According to him, the concerns of the city residents about noise nuisance within the residential precincts are recognised, and the AMMC through its various departments is taking steps to address the challenges.

He said the various noise nuisances from the lounges, night clubs and worship centres within the residential areas were in contravention of the extant statutes and city regulations.

“The council has observed the increasing trend of conversion of residential buildings to lounge/night clubs and has taken several steps to address the situation.

“This is in recognition of the fact that the implications are beyond noise nuisance, and also include intractable traffic challenges within the precinct.

“There is also negative social influence on the psyche of the youth resident in the area where these lounges are located,’’ he added.

The coordinator said some of the steps taken by the Department of Development Control to deter the trend were the removal of contravening structures at De Point Lounge/Night Club along Lingu crescent, Wuse 2.

“We also ordered the demolition of Lounges located at Kampala Street Cadastral Zone A08, also at Wuse 2 District.

“As a follow-up to this, and in order to ensure inclusionary governance process to address this city management challenges, a meeting was convened on the instruction of the FCTA with majority of the night club operators.

“The operators include Messrs Caramelo Lounge, Utako, Jorany/Passport Lounge, Xtacy Lounge, De Point Lounge, House of Freeda, Neiverder Lounge, and Midnight Lounge all at Wuse 2.

“The meeting was to enlighten the operators on how their lounge/night club activities amount to contravention of the city’s Master Plan.

“Also, the meeting is to discuss the need to revert the use of the premises to its designated residential use,’’ he said.

Mr Shuaibu noted that the riot act reeled out by the FCT Permanent Secretary stated “the operators should revert to their respective premises to the designated land use within 30 days.

“This decision has been further communicated to the lounge operators.

“According to Clause 10 in the condition of Certificate of Occupancy, a developer is not to erect or permit to be erected or build on the said land buildings other than those permitted to be erected by virtue of this certificate.

“The Clause 10 also states that the developer should not make or permit to be made any addition or alteration to the said buildings erected or buildings already erected on the land.

“The Clause further added that except in accordance with plans and specifications approved by the President or the other officer appointed by the President on his behalf, in this case the Minister of the FCT’’.

“With regards to the noise levels generated from places of worships (Churches and Mosques), the city regulation specifies the minimum of threshold of decibels expected from residential and commercial area during day and night times.

“The council has mandated the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) to ensure strict compliance to the City Regulations, serve abatement notice and shall very soon constitute mobile court to prosecute offenders where necessary.

“For avoidance of doubt, the management is not on `auto-pilot’.

He said that the area council has the mandate to rid the city of any nuisance, adding that it is doing its best to create enabling environment for functional, efficient city for working, living and recreation.

Mr Shuaibu, also a Town Planner, said the council would ensure that the city was safe for both residents, visitors and realises the beautiful city envisioned by the founding fathers and the Master Plan.

(NAN)

One Billion Dollar CVE Operation Fund: Measuring and Evaluating CVE Operations in Nigeria

Terrorism

Policymakers and practitioners have often engaged in the use of absolute force and a top-down approach in the design of programs to counter violent extremism in Nigeria. This top-down approach relies heavily on the insights from politicians, religious leaders, and few elites while failing to incorporate the insights of those most affected by violence—the shopkeepers, students, farmers, and other ordinary people- in most areas of northeast Nigeria. Increase deployment of resources and finance has been the most employed strategies of succeeding governments in battling conflicts within Nigeria. Unfortunately, the militarisation of conflict management processes have failed to achieve peace and tranquility in most areas of current and past engagements.

Lack of a national Peace Indicators framework and formal process for monitoring and evaluation of successes and failure have been confirmed in the repetitive conflict situation being experienced in all areas of engagement in the country. Lack of formal indices has challenge practitioners in measuring and understanding on how ordinary Nigerian’s can easily assess peace and security and identify factors that lead to violent extremism.

One of the few points of consensus in global debates about violent extremism is the problem of measurement. There are no agreed-upon metrics for what success in countering violent extremism (CVE) might be. When designing CVE programs in Nigeria, policymakers and practitioners are stuck in the traditional top-down approach, consulting religious leaders, elders, local politicians, and other elites. Ordinary citizens at the village level and IDPs who are directly affected by the violence are rarely consulted in a systematic way about the metrics to determine success or failure of programming.

As The Nigerian State are poised at investing further $1billion Naira on CVE operations, there are needs for policymakers and practitioners to determine a formal metrics for CVE successes and failures. Proper accountability processes must be ensured towards getting value for each dollar spent.  it should now become important for the state to understand what indicators citizens use in their everyday lives and how they compare to measurements of peace and violence traditionally used by policymakers.

The Nigerian state should create platforms for direct engagement of CVE operators; The Nigerian Military and local actors in an effort to identify the “everyday indicators” of peace in villages in the highly insecure provinces, the use of national security as excuse to loot the national treasury should be discouraged in favour of a more accountable system. Equally, State efforts should be directed at reducing the indicators for violent extremism and radicalisation in Nigeria.  Researches have revealed that the most frequently cited indicators of violent extremism were unemployment and gender-based violence.

Aside from spending one billion Dollars -almost $360 Billion Naira on buying arms and armament for security operations, its my believe that seventy percent of this fund should be invested in developing local law enforcement agencies; facilitate equitable and prompt Justice; develop proper evaluation and  accountability process towards reducing corruptions in government spendings; industrialization within affected communities towards reducing youth unemployment rate which  stays at over 60% by 2016 figures; and develop access to infrastructures and government projects by cities within conflict areas coupled with sustainable youth development projects might influence a reduction in current rate of youth radicalisation in Nigeria. Guns alone cannot keep the peace!!

You have crippled Oyo economy – Ex-SSG, Alli berates Ajimobi over N208b debt profile – Daily Post Nigeria

Politics

tessyFormer Secretary to the Oyo State Government, Barrister Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli, on Wednesday declared that the debt profile of N93.5billion (external) and internal debt of N115.8billion in the State was enough to show that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) government led by Senator Abiola Ajimobi has crippled the economy of the state.

Alli, while speaking on a Galaxy Television program in Ibadan, the state capital and monitored by DAILY POST, disclosed that the statistics, based on the December 2017 National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), report was unfortunate.

The former Chairman, Odu’a Investment Company Limited alleged that “market men and women have been totally crippled economically because the economic policy of the Ajimobi administration favours only the few rich within their fold.”

Alli said “Imagine a situation where the government would establish a market and ask the people to deposit N1million for a single shop, tell me how many people can afford it in this kind of economy where people borrow to establish their trade and as a result, many of them can no longer continue with their normal buying and selling again.”

He pointed out that the jointly owned university, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomoso had been in serious crisis, saying that “parents now to pay through their nose.

“And at the same time, Senator Ajimobi established another university which he openly rebuffed the citizenry, the tax payers, that the university is meant for only the rich.

ajimobiFormer Secretary to the Oyo State Government, Barrister Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli, on Wednesday declared that the debt profile of N93.5billion (external) and internal debt of N115.8billion in the State was enough to show that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) government led by Senator Abiola Ajimobi has crippled the economy of the state.

Alli, while speaking on a Galaxy Television program in Ibadan, the state capital and monitored by DAILY POST, disclosed that the statistics, based on the December 2017 National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), report was unfortunate.

The former Chairman, Odu’a Investment Company Limited alleged that “market men and women have been totally crippled economically because the economic policy of the Ajimobi administration favours only the few rich within their fold.”

Alli said “Imagine a situation where the government would establish a market and ask the people to deposit N1million for a single shop, tell me how many people can afford it in this kind of economy where people borrow to establish their trade and as a result, many of them can no longer continue with their normal buying and selling again.”

He pointed out that the jointly owned university, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomoso had been in serious crisis, saying that “parents now to pay through their nose.

“And at the same time, Senator Ajimobi established another university which he openly rebuffed the citizenry, the tax payers, that the university is meant for only the rich.

Alli, on the fight against corruption by President Muhammadu Buhari, said that the “APC government has been that of deceit since inception.

Reigning Daily With Christ -Pastor Jide Ogunsakin New Kingdom Church, Abuja

Church, God, local news
JIDE OGUNSAKIN

PASTOR JIDE OGUNSAKIN Senior Pastor, New Kingdom Church, Pameec Plaza, Wuye, Abuja, Nigeria +234 806 313 4845

Friday April, 6

GIVE GOD HIS DELIGHT

MEMORY VERSE:

…therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name (Habakkuk 13:15).

TEXT:

Psalms 34:1-10

The only thing that keeps God on His toes is praise. God can’t see quality praise and remain seated, NEVER! Each time God sees quality praise He goes into action immediately. God is super active and most dangerous at the verge of quality praise. Remember the bible says: “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11). Do you want to experience the glory of God? Do you want God to show Himself fearful in the camp of your adversaries? Do you want God to do wondrous things in your life even today? Then give Him heartfelt Praise!!!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

Praise is a go-getter. You can pray amiss but you can never praise amiss.

PRAYER:

Father, show Yourself fearful in my favour today.

READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR

Deuteronomy 4:15-49,   5     Luke 11:5-32     Proverbs 8:32-36

IGP reinstates Janga as Kogi police Commissioner – Daily Trust

international News, local news, Politics, Uncategorized

jangaMr Ali Janga has been reinstated as the Commissioner of Police in Kogi State, the state police command spokesman, ASP William Aya, has confirmed.

Aya told the News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) in Lokoja on Thursday that Janga returned to office on April 3 on the order of the Inspector -General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris.

He said that Janga was reinstated after meeting the one week ultimatum given to him by the Inspector -General of Police to re-arrest the suspects who escaped from police custody.

The police spokesman confirmed that all the six suspects that escaped from lawful police custody on March 28 had been re-arrested.

Aya also said that 13 persons that aided the escape of the suspects had been arrested in Lokoja.

According to him, those arrested are commercial tricycles operators that ferried the suspects to safety after their escape and the owners of the houses where they slept after their escape from custody.

He said that all the suspects would be charged to court after conclusion of investigation.

Janga had on March 28 announced that six suspects, including Kabiru Seidu a.k.a Osama and Nuhu Salisu, who had named Sen. Dino Melaye as their gun supplier escaped from lawful police custody in Lokoja.

Following the incident, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, removed Janga as the state Commissioner of Police and named Mr Sunday Ogbu as his replacement.

Aya said that the 13 policemen that were on duty on the day of the incident had gone to the police headquarters for interrogation as directed by the IGP, saying that they had started returning to their duty posts.

Breaking: 18 killed, 84 injured in Boko Haram attack in Maiduguri.

international News, local news, Politics, Terrorism

deploymentMaiduguri- At least 18 people were killed and 84 wounded when Boko Haram jihadist  clashed with Nigerian soldiers near the northeastern city of Maiduguri overnight, the emergency services agency said Monday.

“So far we have recovered 18 dead bodies from the two villages Bale Shuwa and Bale Kura,” on the outskirts of Maiduguri, Benlo Dambatto, an official from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) told AFP.

Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, is the birthplace of Boko Haram, whose nearly nine-year fight to establish a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria has claimed at least 20,000 lives and displaced more than two million people.

“The victims were killed while trying to escape the fight between the insurgents and the military,” said the Borno branch of SEMA.

Source: 

 

Troops kill 21 bandits, recover arms in Zamfara

local news, Politics, Terrorism

The Nigerian Army on Thursday said its troops killed 21 armed bandits in the ongoing clearance operation at Tunga Daji in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara.

Brig. – Gen. Texas Chukwu, the Director, Army Public Relations, said in a statement that many bandits escaped with gunshot wounds in battle with soldiers on April 4

He disclosed that an army officer and a soldier lost their lives in the fierce battle with the bandits. Chukwu said the troops recovered five AK 47; one Light Machine Gun, five AK 47 magazines and 35 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition.

“Troops of 232 Battalion Zuru, on clearance patrols on Wednesday, April 4, neutralized 21 armed bandits in encounter at Tunga Daji in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

“During the fierce battle many bandits escaped with gunshot wounds to the top of high ground close to the area.

“Unfortunately, we lost an officer and a soldier during the encounter. The remains of the gallant troops have been evacuated to the Federal Medical Centre, Gusau.”

Meanwhile, troops deployed in Bena, acting on intelligence, have raided a bandits’ camp at Laka village in Kebbi.

Chukwu explained in a statement that the troops killed one of the bandits and recovered an AK 47 rifle with a magazine.

According to him, the troops were mobilised on a special operation to comb the general area and arrest any fleeing bandit.

Benue: Herdsmen kill two farmers, injures three

international News, local news, Politics, Terrorism

Two persons have been reportedly killed by suspected Fulani militia in Agasha town, Guma Local Government area in Benue state. The herdsmen also shot and wounded three persons who are receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital and rustled hundred cows.

Police spokesperson DSP Moses Yamu said he was yet to get the information from the Guma Divisional Police Office.

President of Tiv Barenda Association (TBA) Chief  Aondona Adzuu, reported that the Fulani herdsmen stormed the house of the victim called Asema at about 2am when everyone fast asleep.

“They surrounded his house located on Tilley Gyado Farm road in Agasha town and shot him dead before rustling his 100 cows,” said Chief Adzuu.

While escaping, they shot and wounded three other persons who are receiving treatment at a hospital .

airforces

Adzuu, who is a community leader in Agasha said that the second person died as a result of the gunshot he sustained from the attackers .

This is the second time Agasha town is coming under Fulani attacks. First was in 2014 where seven Tiv farmers were slaughtered.

NAF deploys Special Forces to Zamfara State

international News, local news, Terrorism

Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has confirmed the deployment of Special Forces to Gusau, following the recent attack on Bawan Daji community in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State where some lives were lost.

A statement by Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF said the deployment was directed by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar

He noted that the NAF Special Forces, who were trained in asymmetric warfare, were airlifted from Kaduna with the NAF C-130 Hercules aircraft to complement the efforts of other security forces on ground to prevent further attack on innocent citizens.

He said the personnel and other supporting staff would operate from the recently established 207 Quick Response Group in Gusau, where they would reinforce the existing Regiment personnel in the Unit in support of the ongoing Operation SHARAN DAJI in the State.

In his address to the troops at Gusau shortly before their deployment, the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command, Air Vice Marshal Ismaila Kaita was quoted as saying that the Special Forces would be further deployed to remote areas of Zamfara State, where they would be engaged in Internal Security operations.

He therefore urged them to effectively utilize their experience and training to protect the lives and properties of the people of Zamfara State.

airforcesHe added that the NAF leadership expects the Special Forces to exhibit the highest standards of professionalism and respect for human rights in discharging their duties.

In recent times, the NAF had taken additional measures to enhance its contributions to tackling Internal Security challenges in the country, in fulfilment of its constitutional responsibility.

In addition to earlier established Quick Response Groups and Wings and the deployment of NAF Special Forces to various states, the NAF recently established Quick Response Wings at Agatu, Doma and Nguroje in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States respectively to bring security closer to those in the relatively remote areas.

He said arrangements were also ongoing to establish a new Quick Response Group in Jalingo, Taraba State to superintend the activities of the 3 new Quick Response Wings

Emergency rule: Marafa is being mischievous, envious – Zamfara govt

international News, local news

Zamfara state has fired back at the senator representing Zamfara central in the senate  Kabir Marafa over his recent call for the removal of  Abdulaziz Yari as the executive governor of the state.

Senator Marafa had earlier clamoured for the removal of governor Yari when he raised a point of order at the plenary of the senate calling for the adoption of former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s approach in addressing the killings in the state.
But in their reaction to the statement, the state government through the commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism Alhaji Sanda Muhammad Danjari Kwatarkwashi said for Senator Marafa to make such calls he was only being mischievous and envious.
“As for the clamour for emergency rule in the state by senator Marafa we are at lost as to what his motives actually are. He has unlimited access to governor Yari why can’t go and advice him. Senator Marafa did not even find it expedient to go and condole with the people there,” he added.
Alhaji Danjari further said that after the recent unfortunate killings in Bawar Daji village governor Yari has directed that any civilian caught wielding rifle illegally should be shot at sight and that was part of the numerous measures taken by the state government to ensure that peace has returned to the state.
“Our simple assessment is that Marafa is up for mischief against governor Yari and is envious of the position Almighty Allah has bestowed on governor Yari. Marafa is on a race against time. The people of the state are waiting for him to come and test his popularity in 2019,” he added.

UEFA Champions League: Reds halt Guardiola unbeaten run at Anfield

international News, local news, sports

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane each scored their seventh UEFA Champions League goals on Wednesday as Liverpool stunned Manchester City 3-0 at Anfield.

Meanwhile, Barcelona benefited from two own goals as they beat Roma 4-1 at the Camp Nou, with Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez also getting on the scoresheet.

Here are Wednesday’s results:

* Liverpool 3-0 Man City
* Barcelona 4-1 RomaHere are the top scorers in the tournament,  WhoScored.com
1. Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid: 14

2. Wissam Ben Yedder, Sevilla: 8

3. Roberto Firmino, Liverpool: 7

4. Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur: 7

5. Edinson Cavani, Paris Saint-Germain: 7

6. Mohamed Salah, Liverpool: 7

7. Sadio Mane, Liverpool: 7

8. Lionel Messi, Barcelona: 6

9. Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain: 6

10. Edin Dzeko, Roma: 5

Despite City controlling the possession early on, Liverpool stunned City inside 12 minutes as Salah broke the deadlock.

The Egyptian offloaded to Roberto Firmino after a surging run upfield, and received the ball back off the Brazilian after he saw his shot saved by Ederson and Kyle Walker failed to clear his lines.

Salah duly converted from close range, per the Independent’s Miguel Delaney:
Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaneyCity had been in control… only for it to be undone as quickly as Salah runs. Their backline brutally exposed.

Just eight minutes later, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain doubled the Reds’ tally with a vicious effort from the edge of the area.

By the half-hour mark, Liverpool were 3-0 up as Salah curled in a cross for Mane to head home, per football writer Melissa Reddy:

Melissa Reddy @MelissaReddy_Sadio Mane heads in Mo Salah’s cross at the far post to put #LFC 3-0 up. Emotional football at its finest at Anfield!
>
> ( https://twitter.com/MelissaReddy_/status/981612001276387331 )

Although City were able to regain some composure and controlled much of the match after the break, they nevertheless failed to trouble Liverpool’s goal, per football writer Jack Lusby:

> Jack Lusby @jacklusby_Man City had no shots on target tonight.
>
> ( https://twitter.com/jacklusby_/status/981633650168074240 )

At the Camp Nou, Barcelona took the lead seven minutes before the break when Daniele De Rossi intercepted Andres Iniesta’s pass to prevent Lionel Messi from receiving it, but contrived to turn the ball into his own goal.

Roma were similarly unfortunate shortly after the restart, when Samuel Umtiti’s effort rebounded off the post and went in via Kostas Manolas.

As Squawka Football noted, Barcelona have been the beneficiaries of several own goals in the Champions League this season:

> Squawka Football @SquawkaBarcelona have benefitted from five own goals in the Champions League this season; only Lionel Messi (6) has scored more for them this season.
>
> Roma providing two. 👀 https://t.co/TO7nirtbsT
>
> ( https://twitter.com/Squawka/status/981622934069489664 )

Gerard Pique tapped in a rebound from Suarez soon after, before Edin Dzeko netted his fifth Champions League goal of the campaign. The striker picked up the ball from Diego Perotti and held of Jordi Alba before firing past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Suarez rounded out the scoring with his first European goal since Barcelona’s 6-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain last year, capitalising on some poor defending from Federico Fazio to tuck home.

Breaking Sports News
via Bleacher Report – Front Page https://ift.tt/yO6Sgr
April 4, 2018 at 03:16PM

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the release of $1 billion to Nigerian Defence authorities

international News, local news, Politics, Terrorism

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the release of $1 billion to Nigerian Defence authorities for the purchase of security equipment to fight insecurity in the country.

This was revealed Wednesday by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, while speaking with journalists at the end of a security meeting chaired by the president.

“Of recent, our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari gave approval for the purchase of more equipment for the military, worth $1 billion,” he said.

Mr. Dan Ali also said Wednesday’s meeting was a normal meeting of security agencies in the country.

“As usual, we discussed the current activities that affected most of the states in the federation like Taraba, Zamfara and other states,” he said.

The minister also said the recent deployments to Zamfara and other neighbouring states of Sokoto and Katsina is expected take care of the security challenges in the area.

boko-haram

Boko Haram: Terrorists flee back to Nigeria after hitting military base in Diffa –                Daily Post Nigeria

“Of course, the strength of security personnel has increased including the Air Force additional quick response group, they have added enough manpower in that area,” he said.

On Leah Sharibu, the only Dapchi school girl still in captivity with Boko Haram, Mr. Dan-Ali said, “Well, we are making all available efforts to see that the girl is returned safely”.

Senator Bukar Mustapha is Dead

international News, local news, Politics

Bukar Mustapha, the senator representing Katsina North, is dead.

Mr. Mustapha was President Muhammadu Buhari’s senator as he represented the president’s senatorial district.

He died after a brief illness on Wednesday, Securewatch gathered from reliable sources learnt.

The News Agency of Nigeria quotes Mr. Bukar’s younger brother, Kanta Bukar, as confirming the news.

Mr. Bukar’s death is coming less than a week after the deputy majority leader of the House of Representatives, Umar Jibril, died after a protracted illness.

It also came about two weeks after another senator, Ali Wakili, passed away.

 

buhari-senators

Where Is the Nigerian Opposition? By Reuben Abati

international News, local news, Politics

Less than a year to the next general elections in Nigeria, the biggest deficit in the political process leading to that moment is the absence of a robust, virile and effective opposition.

The role of the opposition in a democracy is to question, criticise, challenge, and audit the governments of the day – local and national – and make them more transparent and accountable, and even if these twin-objectives may not be immediately achieved, the opposition exists nonetheless to put the people in power “on their toes”, as it were in the people’s overall interest.

This is the underlying principle of a parliamentary system of government, and even in other forms of government including a presidential system, the opposition provides checks and balances, it is a kind of alternative government, a counterweight, providing such balance that could safeguard the integrity of the political process. But, of course, what is at stake is “the conquest of power”: the opposition provides the people with a choice and ultimately seeks to wrestle power from or out of the hands of the incumbent and present a different vision of social and economic progress.

In doing this, the opposition may be constructive – in this regard it could even work with the ruling party or government to promote the national interest. This was the case under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao of India, who once sent opposition leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, as leader of the Indian delegation, to defend the government on its human rights record in response to allegations by Pakistan.

Rao’s party members, who felt he had no business working with the opposition, criticised him as loudly as they could, but the prime minister felt it was more important to be bi-partisan and project a picture of national unity. It is not a strategy that has endured in India’s divisive politics. But what is known is that in other jurisdictions, members of the opposition in parliament sometimes vote on a non-partisan basis on key issues before the parliament. This may occur when the rivalry among the political parties is peaceful and there is a broad consensus that the country is far more important than the boundaries imposed by partisan politics.

For the most part however, opposition politics can be disruptive, and apropos, the strategy of the opposition is not to construct anything or offer any value but to “oppose, oppose, oppose” by any means possible to wear down and pull down the incumbent government. Physical violence, blackmail, abusive words, post-truth imagery and fake news are part of the arsenal of the disruptive opposition.

In Nigeria at the moment, we neither have, in my estimation, a constructive or a disruptive opposition. Whatever we have that may look remotely like any form of opposition is weak, uncoordinated, and ineffective. Our political parties are internally polarised, politics has become evil, our political leaders do not know where to draw the line, the ruling government is having an upper hand, it is committed to an unrelenting, overzealous persecution of the opposition and progressive ideas. The last time we witnessed what looked like organised opposition, even if it was disruptive, was ironically through the All Progressives Congress (APC). In 2013, a number of political parties formed a synergy with civil society groups to become the All Progressives Congress, and adopting an “oppose, oppose, oppose” strategy, they managed by 2015 to get the ruling Peoples Democratic Party out of power. It was a major turning point in Nigerian politics since the return to civilian rule in 1999.

But the PDP was not prepared for its new role as the leading opposition party, just as the new government, led by the APC, was equally unprepared for governance. This sudden reversal of roles caught Nigeria’s main political actors napping. The APC at the centre found it difficult to even appoint ministers: it took six months to come up with a list. In one or two states, the governors acted as sole administrators for up to a year. There are about 80 registered political parties in the country, but these are at best relatively unknown parties. The main political party, the PDP, has been largely in disarray since it lost power.

Most of its members have defected to the new ruling party, many of its founding fathers now prefer to be known and addressed as statesmen, and the party’s strong mouthpieces have all been cowed into silence by a ruling party that is wielding power like a whip. The PDP came out of power mired in corrosive in-fighting and blame-sharing that robbed the party of its soul. It was later “kidnapped”, and then rescued, but it is not yet in strong enough shape to stand up to the ruling party, offer alternative views or organise itself properly. Who is even the national leader of the PDP? Close to the next general elections as we are, nobody is quite sure. What exactly does the PDP want to do? It is not so clear either. Is the PDP still interested in power? If it is, it is not showing the kind of determination that the APC projected in 2014.

There are PDP members in the legislature at the federal and state levels, but their voices have not been loud enough. Nigerian politics has not been ideology-driven for a while – that is one explanation, but it is also possible that the remaining PDP members are hedging their bets and secretly planning to join the APC. This is the case because the ruling APC is now in charge of state resources – and that is a major attraction for Nigerian politicians, besides, the APC, not knowing how to govern, has been functioning more as an opposition party. It has spent the last three years hounding PDP members and the Jonathan administration, and making it difficult for anyone to come up with progressive, opposition ideas.

It had to take Microsoft’s Bill Gates to criticise the Economic Recovery and Growth Programme (ERGP) of the federal government before the PDP realised that such a document existed. The new PDP, failing in its role as an opposition party, cedes the initiative to the APC and merely reacts through statements that do not even make much impact. In the states across the federation, opposition members often forget what their role in the legislature is supposed to be as they join the queue of lawmakers trooping to the Government House to collect favours from imperial governors. At the federal level, APC Senator Dino Melaye has functioned more as an opposition leader than any PDP senator, with his persistent interrogation of executive policies and actions. One or two PDP senators, along with some other APC members, in comparison, have since acquired a reputation for going to the Red Chamber to sleep during plenary sessions! There is no quality debate as such in our parliaments, more or less, and so the debate about Nigeria has shifted to morning shows on radio and television, oftentimes conducted by ill-equipped analysts and the hysterical crowd.

It is the country that pays the cost when the opposition is asleep, and one political party is allowed to ride roughshod over everyone just because it is in power and office. When members of the APC claim that there is no alternative to President Muhammadu Buhari, I guess they are not saying there are no persons who are better qualified than the president; rather they are saying they cannot see any organised opposition that could pose a threat to the continued stay of the Buhari government in power beyond May 2019. And by conduct, they even make it clear that whoever challenges the APC should be prepared to face the consequences of doing so. The APC mastered bully tactics as an opposition party. It continues to rely on the same tactics as a ruling party.

The gap that has been created by the absence of an effective opposition in Nigerian politics since 2015 is gradually now being filled by thought leaders. Sometime in 2016, I wrote a piece titled “Where are the public intellectuals? in which I challenged the Nigerian intelligentsia generally to rouse from its slumber. That slumber is perhaps understandable. The Nigerian intelligentsia bought into the APC project in 2014 and 2015, and wanted the PDP out of the way by all means. Not too long ago, confronted with the failings of the APC as a ruling party, this special class has since recanted.

I dealt with that in “The season of recanting” (January 16) but since this other article, the political space has since become more interesting with the interventions of persons like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, General Ibrahim Babangida, General T.Y. Danjuma, Professor Wole Soyinka and the emergence of groups like the Obasanjo-led Coalition for Nigeria, the Agbakoba-led Nigeria Intervention Movement (NIM), the Ezekwesili-led Red Card Movement, and the Concerned Nigerians Movement, led by Charly Boy Oputa. The main battleground in recent times, however, has been the Nigerian social media where young Nigerians have been quite loud in expressing their dissatisfaction with the Buhari administration. The social media proved to be a strong weapon of mobilisation in the hands of the APC before 2015, now it is its main nemesis.

Useful as these interventions, this reawakening of the civil society, may seem, the value is limited except there is a formal opposition that is specifically organised for the “conquest of power” at the polls. There is a growing consensus among these groups that both the APC and the PDP are of no use, they have not yet identified an alternative political party that can engage the ruling party but I believe the point is not lost on the actors involved that elections are won or lost not on twitter but by political parties actively organised for political action. Opposition politics involves branding, strategy, organisation and pro-active action. Nigerian opposition parties seeking to dislodge the APC can work together to form a political coalition as the APC did in 2013, and even if they do not win in 2019, the country’s political process would be better enriched by a constructive and strong engagement from the opposition that any ruling government deserves.

The current infidelity of the average Nigerian politician is the biggest obstacle that I see. Most Nigerian politicians do not necessarily go into politics because of what they can contribute, but because of what they intend to take out of it. The APC would continue to insist on its self-ascribed invincibility if the best that other political parties can offer is to apologise. The PDP chairman recently apologised to Nigerians for whatever the PDP did while in power for 16 years. I don’t know whether that is meant to be a strategy or a confession but the meaninglessness of it has been exposed by the vicious responses from the APC and how the PDP has found itself having to struggle to put in a word. The Nigerian Opposition when eventually it awakens and seeks to engage the APC must realise that the APC has a tested opposition machinery, which found itself out of depths in the context of governance, but which in an election season could assume its emotional memory state, and with the resources now at its disposal, including power, prove to be deadly.

Opposition politics is not rocket science and nobody has to travel to India, the UK or the United States to master it. In Nigeria’s First and Second Republics, whatever may have been the problems of that era, this country had a rich culture of opposition politics. Chief Obafemi Awolowo of the Action Group and later the Unity Party of Nigeria, as an opposition leader, confronted the ruling government with hard facts and figures and an alternative vision of how Nigeria could be rescued. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Malam Aminu Kano and Alhaji Ibrahim Waziri – opposition figures at various times – also stood for something. Whoever wants to rule Nigeria or any part thereof should be prepared to tell us exactly what he or she wants to do and how and when. If we have not learnt any lesson, we should by now have realised that a politician wearing Nigerian clothes, taking fine photos, eating corn by the roadside, over-promising, pretending to respect women and children, distributing cash and food, claiming to be a democrat, dancing to impress, and sometimes projecting himself or herself as nationalistic, may not be what we are made to see. Nigeria needs a different breed, new faces, new ideas, a new way of politics.

To win this war of ideas against the Boko Haram, there should be a complementary force deployed to maintain and secure liberated town from being overrun and becoming battle areas again. The numbers if IDPs in Nigeria kept increasing while resources to maintain them are winning, clearly lives in those IDP camps are far below national average.

The military gains in recent years in routing out the Book Haram insurgency in Borno and other neighboring states are commendable and showed a high level of resilience and sacrifices in human and material resources. We are all aware of the high level of loses the Nigerian Military were exposed to during these seven years war and we all will continued to pray for the souls of our departed heroes who gave their lives for peace and tranquility to reign in our home.

One factor that stood out in this discourse is the fact that a more independent observer of this theater of war will confess that its either the Kanuris have a preponderance to repeatedly use the same names over and over again for their cities or this war kept going on in circles. the cities and towns librated over and over again in and around Baga and Sambisa shows a sign that something is not being done about securing and holding liberated cities properly by our conquering army.

The fact could be given the large area within which this groups operates, the number of soldiers needed to continue fighting and holding the erractic BH fighters at bay in conquered cities is not readily available. The military is involved in over 20 other states in the country and regardless of funding you can’t create good fighting men on cue. You need long term planning to get more men with good abilities in place and given further constraints in facilities for training and development, the Military is restrained from getting as much men, it needs to pursue its plans effectively.

In a period like these, thinking out of the box should become the new policy thrust. The military needs support from other security agencies in the country to achieve its aims and reduce operational bottlenecks it faces now. The Nigeria Police Force has over 390000 men in its arsenal, they are all averagely trained in basic offence, defense, intelligence gathering and other security maneuvers needed to secure and maintain a liberated city from being overrun while the troop moves on with conquest of newer territories.

The need to secure liberated areas become more important so as not to alienate locals who are easily worn out with repeated gun fights on their lands. Most civilians want to live their lives without any form of stress. Wars results in unwanted collateral damages which cannot be justified to victims families. Repeated engagements ultimately always create unnecessary enmity from locals. Winning the hearts of the locals has been championed by British and US armies in areas of conflict globally to reduce indoctrination and radicalization of locals by extremists.

To win this war of ideas against the Boko Haram, there should be a complementary force deployed to maintain and secure liberated town from being overrun and becoming battle areas again. The numbers if IDPs in Nigeria kept increasing while resources to maintain them are winning, clearly lives in those IDP camps are far below national average.

The IDP camps might become the new grounds for indoctrination and radicalization given the high level of suffering and lacks being experienced in those places. It is our job to as fast as practicable create safe haven for these people return to their homes. The reconstruction and rehabilitation of these towns with direct supports of the displaced groups from these areas will go along way in creating a job for the displaced through direct labour in building their own homes.

The Presidential Initiatives of North East and other programme designed to rehabilitate Northeast should refrain from being a normal government taskforce, always with all the answers. They could break the IDPs into groups based on areas they come from and design for them cooperatives to use direct labour in building and resettlement of their own people using states approved funding.

These methods has been employed in Italy to resettle victims of Mafia attacks and other victimised. Government indirect approach to help will create better cohesion amongst returnees as they systematically design and implement a proper framework for a workable society. Imposing order on people has bee known to lead to dissidence.

The need for newer training for a new policing structure in these newly liberated cities should be encouraged. The recruitment and use of locals as policing authorities could be experimented. The IGP could be prevailed upon to directly recruit and train special squads from current Civilian JTF and deploy under management of seasoned police officers to manage and secure these liberated town. The new force aside from understanding the challenges of the people, should be able to tactically withstand attacks from Book Haram insurgent when needed and design a proper security mix that will reduce infiltration from extremists as a kind of early warning system.

Intelligence driven security system, could be arranged covertly turning these areas into a highly policed environments thereby increasing exposure for budding radicals. Increased security patrols has been successful even in Pakistan and Iraqi where insurgency has become a way of life.

Education of locals using NGOs, CBOs and FBOs should be a major thrust of public spendings immediately. Education authorities should deaignate these areas as education emergencies which could be handled by locally approved educators and leaders. Government may direct one third of current military spending on CVE towards these projects to give it real bite. Youth and women development groups and associations should be formed to improve youth access to government resources and youth working in groups with state supports.

Funding for agricultural and basic start up investments could be specially designed for youth and farming cooperatives in resettlement areas. Local FBOs could be used to manage and dispense these loans on behalf of the state. Education of these startup owners could also be designed as conditions for loans.

Regardless of any other form of challenges northeast must return to its glorious past, we all have to collectively work to put an end to current hemorrhage of our collective Commonwealth currently going on in the area. God help Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Don Michael Adeniji. MA, Fpnm
Abuja-Nigeria

international News, local news, Politics, Terrorism

The most important external variable to the success of your business is whether or not you had great parents. But you can’t do anything about that. The next most important? Having the right deals in place, at the right times. No one has the team, the resources and the reach to succeed by themselves. Well-constructed partnerships, carefully structured joint ventures, and timely endorsements help a start-up build its brand, credibility, momentum and customer base.

Business success is based on the kind of deal and agreements you reach while doing these businesses. Multi-million Dollars business has been known to fail based on small errors in negotiations. When you make a deal, the deal should favour you and the other party or else one of you might pull out of the deal when they meet better options from other parties.

The best possible outcome in any deal making or negotiation is when both parties feel that they have gained more than they have given away, and more than if they had not entered into a negotiation in the first place. Conflict arises after agreements whenever people leave a meeting feeling quite unsatisfied with the outcomes. This means you have to create a bigger pie than the one that is being discussed. You are a dry cleaner; to build your business you need to create personal touch beyond cleaning peoples clothe. Several dry cleaners have clothes mending departments that help replaces lost buttons, small tears and other challenges to the cloth. Many do home pick ups and deliveries. I even know a mobile car wash firm that visits your house to clean your car. They are adding values to their products and the customers are exposed to better services.

Either you are looking for a job, selling a product or trying to win a contract; people tends to concentrate only on the benefit at hand and never looked beyond these to create newer benefits that could enhance current situations. In every situation where we need to influence the other party the ball is always in our court to make the meeting so valuable that the other party will always remember our offer because it goes beyond his plan before sitting with us. Let them leave the meeting with newer and more productive suggestions and your name will always be on the lips of the other party.

In job interviews, the stated qualifications are there, but the interviewer is looking for something unique, that extra thing that will stand the final candidate out amongst the crowd of applicants. Being prepared through understanding of the other party needs is important. Study widely and reflect on the undeclared needs of the other party before any meeting.

Understand the real needs of the client and fit your pitch towards what will satisfy that need

When Bill Gates was trying to establish Internet Explorer as the dominant browser against strong competition from Netscape, the industry-standard browser – based on what was, at the time, superior software. AOL was looking for a technically outstanding browser and Netscape was the obvious partner, with Microsoft’s prospects for winning over AOL in favour of Explorer looking bleak.

However, when studying the needs and desires of AOL, it became apparent to Gates that AOL’s ultimate goal was to increase market share, and he was able to use this knowledge to reframe the negotiation. Instead of ‘who has the best browser?’ the negotiation became about ‘who can best help AOL achieve its ultimate goal of increasing market share and profits?’

Microsoft then made two big offers. It offered to provide an improved Explorer to AOL free of charge and, also, to bundle AOL’s client software with the next version of its Windows operating system; the AOL logo would sit next to the MSN logo for Microsoft’s own online service. No longer would AOL have to spend $40 to $80 per customer by sending millions of promotional disks through the post. Gates effectively changed the set-up for the negotiation.

Bill Gates Goals:

  • Establish Internet Explorer as the most dominant browser in the world.
  • Upstage Netscape the already established browser in the industry

AOL Goals:

  • Technical out standing browser for its expansion project

Bill Gates offer avoided discussing the issues about the best browser in the market, but offered AOL something they really wanted; a bigger market share at no cost to AOL to win the deal.

INTRODUCE NEWER VALUES

Always look for other areas to add value to your interviewer or the other party, don’t get stuck on the main issues at play. Look at other values that could improve the relationship. In 2016 when my company was negotiating for the contract with Civil Defence to train over one million private security guards in Nigeria. There were over 10 international training companies competing for this consultancy, Mine was the least qualified based on the fact that our company was barely six months old and we were bidding against well grounded and tested firms from England and US.

Our presentation was basic and based on the paper experiences of the directors and no   reference, the only thing that got us the job was the fact that we introduce a free 3 days training for the Civil Defence itself as part of our presentation. We refused to discuss our competence, as we know that we have no clear advantage here, but come and see what we can do and pronto the job was for us.

While negotiating with the government of an African country to run for them a customised version of the Oxford Programme on Negotiation. Oxford University Executive Programme (Said Business School) offered the cabinet secretary a free place on the programme so that he could determine its suitability. The value to him of this offer was five days of executive education worth £7,500, free of charge except for his airfare and accommodation. The cost to the School of having one extra person in the class was zero, as it makes no material difference to Oxford whether they are teaching 35 or 36 people. Rarely will the difference be this pronounced, but value can be created whenever two parties perceive different values and costs for the same item.

Deal With Emotions.

Most decision making are illogical and emotionally based. Jim Camp attest to the fact that decision making is mostly based on emotions of the parties involved. Being logical might not be the solution to getting the best deals. We have to always acknowledge and never fail to address the “big elephant” in the room. A June 2014 work on Emotion and Decision Making” submitted to the Journals on Annual Review of Psychology by Jennifer S. Lerner, Harvard University; Ye Li,  University of California, Riverside; Piercarlo Valdesolo, Claremont McKenna College; and Karim Kassam, Carnegie Mellon University, concluded that “emotion and decision making go hand in hand”.    Understanding and managing parties emotions will surely enhance easy discussions and understanding, thereby making agreements easier.

 

Negotiation

Christian Conflict Management 101

Easter

To be able to live peacefully in any environment, we need to understand the fact that; Conflicts are inevitable and might not be totally avoidable. Regardless of our nature and personality traits, we tend to have issues with other people. Dealing with conflict isn’t easy; natural order of things has made scarcity of resources and time major challenges to humanity. As a leader, as a human being, you can be sure that you’ll face relational conflicts. No leadership model exists that will totally eliminate disagreements or clashes of personality. In fact, the tension that comes from conflict can be healthy and beneficial to growth if dealt with correctly. Life’s most important question isn’t “Will I face conflicts?” but “How can I best manage conflicts when they arise?”

The only Christ supported key to dealing with conflict is to follow God’s word and respond obediently and these are:

Eliminate Need to Retaliate: Understanding the others are important in handling conflicts. We need to listen more and be attentive to the inner pains being expressed by the others always. As Christians we should always learn to emphasize through active listening. Don’t totally avoid discussions. Don’t ignore underlining concern and covert interests that are instrumental to position of the other parties. Ignore the; insults, accusations and curses, they are all expressions of hurt. Emotions cannot be controlled by many people during quarrels, look beyond the tones, the pains and frustrations, concentrate on the issues at all time. Conflicts challenge our unity as a body of Christ. Our unity always poses a threat to the devil that will use every opportunity to take advantage of unresolved issues, especially those involving anger, bitterness, self-pity, and envy to bring us down (see Prov. 26:20)

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from us, along with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31). Conflict remains one major challenge to our prayers to the Lord. Jesus insisted that we love our neighbours as ourselves and that we should always promptly settle all quarrels with our brothers before coming for prayers (John 13:34: Romans 12:10). He specifically taught us to always express undying love to one another and tries to live in peace and harmony with our neighbours and brothers (Romans 15:5). Jesus commanded Christians to ensue: patience, kindness and tenderness of heart in dealing with each other always (1 Corinthians 13:4)

Discuss issues as they arise and acknowledge the other’s emotions: Jesus enjoined us to settle our differences among ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:11). Jesus was direct in His instructions about transgressions between brothers. “Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him” (Luke 17:3-4). Christians should learn the spirit of Jesus and the most essential part of conflict resolution process are; understanding the feelings of others and forgiving them.

We are taught to be long-suffering and tenderhearted toward one another. Good Christians will always consider others feelings and pains before theirs at all times (Philippians 2:3). We are to refrain from pre-judging issues and listen carefully to issues before we comment. In quarrels we should look beyond the explicit to the covert innuendoes in all statements. Interests determine people’s positions and as Christians we should always be conscious not to be selfish and over bearing in our attitude. Saint Paul admonishes us to always “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3–4).

Manage Emotions:

Uncontrolled emotional outbursts are the reasons for most arguments turning violent. We should always learn to appreciate the others standpoint and appreciates their emotions. Be emphatic at all times; listen attentively to what the others are saying. Never presuppose anything. Learn to be patient and see beyond the hurt and thoughtless argument of the other. Try walking away from argument when emotions can’t be controlled. We should always be the barometers of arguments, when it gets too hot to be reasonable walking away is a great option. We might not be able to solve any issue when tempers are flaring, hence when we are reaching our breaking point, please endeavours to move away for sometime for temper to cool down.

We are supposed to be strong and be the pillar for our friends and rejoice in finding solution to issues (Ephesians 4:2; 1 Corinthians 13:6). Always understand the role of emotion and ego in conflicts, as Christians; we should never aim at hurting others back, because of what they said during a quarrel. Learn to be more understanding and see beyond the hurt and thoughtlessness in other’s speech. Walk away, cool down and look for another way of addressing issues and not emotion later in a more mutually beneficial and rational way later (Coll. 3:120

Learn how to apologise:

 As peacemaker and Christian, we should learn how to diffuse tension with golden statements like ‘I am so sorry dear” “Please forgive me, if I in any way hurt you” even when you are not wrong! Disarm violent response with positive statements. Look beyond the hurt intended by the speech, learn to see the underlining tone and deal with issues while ignoring their position. Always be careful to craft your response at all time. Avoid deteriorating already fry nerves by saying the wrong things. Be smart to always ignore areas of disagreements and concentrate on points of agreements. This reduces argument from start and encourages better concentration by the other parties. You don’t drop a fish suddenly in a new tank; you do it slowly and gently. Arguments are not for winning; it’s about smoothing patches and designing better relationships. Hence you don’t throw cautions to the wind and attack the other parties relentlessly with violent words (Prov. 6:3; Coll. 3:13; Prov. 12:20).

Learn how to elicit underlining interests.

Clarify issues by asking open-ended questions thereby slowing down argument. These allow your opponent to pause and think out a response. People plan quarrel out in their minds before meeting the other parties. You should always throw a spanner in their meticulous plans by asking pertinent and clarifying questions such as:

  • “Please tell me, why is this so important to you..”?
  • “If I can understand you and rephrase that statement, what you are trying to say is that you are not being appreciated for all your hard works here, right”?
  • “Please tell me again, why is this so important right now”?
  • “Thanks for your complete honesty with me, but what do you think we can do right now, please”?

Always refrain from shouting and striking the others. Learn not to use words that can be deemed insulting, sarcastic and demeaning to others during quarrels. Abstain from raising your hand to strike others when temper flares. It’s barbaric and termed childish in all culture. Never use final words that leave your opponents with no choices. Statements like “ If you walk out, don’t ever come back here again”, “You are a bastard if you don’t do it” “Strike me if you are a man” “I hate you”. Reconciliations are made difficult by words spoken during quarrels. Many could forget the source of the quarrel, but what you say during the quarrel is etched in memories forever. You can’t unsay words, so be careful what you say during conflicts. Quarrels are to rework relationship processes not to end it. We lose great friends by being too excited and not watching our utterances.

Understanding the Lessons of Easter

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Understanding the Lessons of Easter

 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3)

The very purpose of this Easter weekend reminds us, no matter what we face today, what we’ve been through, or what uncertainties tomorrow may hold, Christ is our Hope. He conquered death; He makes all things new. The death of Jesus on the cross at Calgary was a culmination of challenges thrown at our Lord and Saviour towards denying us of His great deliverance and assurances for everlasting life with God.

Today one challenge or the other bows down many Christians. They have continued to lose hope and fail in their works in the church. I say this to you; Buckle up! Christ never assured us of an easy life. He maintained that we have to work hard and defeat the devil and his demons to get the glory of heaven. We are not Christians because it’s easy and fashionable to be, but because we are called to fight the good fight of faith.

Distinguished fellows, an analytical look at His life and the main lesson of Easter I bring to you today. Easter become the basis of our faith in Christ since Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected over a Glorious Easter weekend 2000 years ago. Looking back in history, Jesus’s crucifixion was treated as a routine issue by Roman Governor of Jerusalem, Julius Caesar and his court clerks that not even a records of His death was found in Roman official records of the period.   Yet, within a hundred years of His resurrection, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Government.

Jesus impressive life of great provision was filled with mysteries and these started from conception. His mother was a virgin. A virgin getting pregnant was seen as confirmation of fornication, which should have been treated with utmost dispatch. The culprit stoned to death. But surprisingly not even a stain was recorded on Mary during the course of this pregnancy. Challenge at point of deliver, led the young couple on the way to Jerusalem to opt for the stables by the roadside. And without any complications, the most popular and most used name in world history was born.

Even when King Herod in his Imperial jealousy wanted Jesus killed, our Lord escaped his snares and become more popular than the Kind when he appeared in the Temple at thirteen to the delight of the elders and scribes Christ travail was amplified immediately after His baptism by John the Baptist at River Jordan. He came face to face with the Devil after forty days and nights fast in the wilderness. At the point of His weakness after a long fast, the devil approached Him with several tests that tried Jesus knowledge of the Word “as written”. Jesus without breaking sweats won the temptations of the Devil.

In almost four years of ministry, Jesus Christ was never recorded to have had to run away from any challenge. He took the Pharisees and the Scribes on, on matter of the laws and sin; fed over 5,000 men –not counting women and children- with five loaves and two fishes; turned water into wine at wedding in Canaan; rose the dead; and walked upon the sea.

Jesus handled His last days with respect, utmost dignity with head held high. He never for once showed trepidation and allow the Satan a space for triumph. Jesus said, “It is finished”, meaning all our challenges are over in this world. Yet many of us still worry over issues and challenges bordering on living.

“That you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come” (Eph. 1:18-21).

The real lesson of His death and resurrection is captured in the challenges posed by the manner of His burial. Jesus was buried and His grave covered with a large big boulder, and guards were posted round the clock; the supposed coupe de grace. The enemies have also read the scriptures and are also aware of the fact that Jesus was to rise after three days in the bowel of the earth. To prevent this, proper efforts were made to thwart any efforts to steal His body, thereby proving that Christ is the “messiah”.

His resurrection regardless of the challenge showed us that nothing could really stop us from realizing our dreams. Challenges are just stepping-stones to our greatness. Understanding the basis that Jesus ended all our challenges on the cross was the basis for unqualified success. Christian living have qualified us for His Grace and forever absolve us from any attempt of the devil and its demon on our lives.

“He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” (Luke 24:6-7)

 “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” (Matt. 28:6)

Easter is the confirmation of our never finishing, never failing, and never ending Grace of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Because Jesus has and will never fail; any praying Christian is endowed with all these Grace inherent to our Saviour. Praying solves all things. Jesus left us with just a way to solve all problems in our life, he asked us never to succumb to the will of the devil. Our only solution is to Pray:

“If you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. If you believe, you will receive” whatever you ask in prayer”. (Matt. 21: 22)