Buhari Meets With APC Governors/ Leaders In London

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday met with the governors and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in London.

In a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President, Mr Femi Adesina, the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, said the President was very cheerful and has not lost any bit of his sense of humour.

Okorocha, who is also the chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum, added that the party delegation spent more than an hour with President Buhari over lunch.

He said the President was delighted to receive the delegation and asked each governor about affairs in his state. He also asked the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, about the state of the railways.

The governor stated that it was very clear from the discussions that President Buhari followed developments at home very closely.

Reacting to the negative things being said about him, Governor Okorocha said President Buhari “just laughed”, describing such reports as lies and sent his best wishes to Nigerians.

The governor further asked Nigerians to remain calm and that the President would be back as soon as the doctors give him the green light.

“By our visit to London today (Sunday), the merchants of lies have been put out of business and Nigerians will not buy the garbage they have been selling. All those who look up to fake news can find a better use for their time,” Okorocha said in a telephone conversation.

State governors at the meeting include Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), and Yahaya Bello (Kogi); as well as the APC National Chairman, John Oyegun among other leaders of the party.

The meeting is coming more than six weeks after the wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, said that the President was recuperating fast.

President Buhari had travelled to the United Kingdom for medical attention for the second time this year on May 7.

President Buhari In High Spirits, Recuperating Fast – Osinbajo

Mrs Buhari, who returned to Nigeria from London with the news on June 6, had conveyed the President’s appreciation to Nigerians for their prayers, and Acting President Yemi Osinbajo for his loyalty.

She said the President urged Nigerians to continue to be strong in the face of challenges and to support the Federal Government in implementing the agenda for which they were elected.

Nine days later, on June 15, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, had described Mrs Buhari’s comments about the President’s health as “the most authentic news” available at the time.

Professor Osinbajo had also said that President Buhari was in high spirits and recuperating fast, after travelling to meet with the President on July 11.

File photo: President Buhari and Professor Osinbajo before proceeding on his medical trip
He had stated that the President would be back soon, although he gave no specific timeline regarding his return.

Professor Osinbajo told State House correspondents that his visit to the President was simply to check on his general welfare and brief him on the developments back home.

He had, however, declined to go into details about the hour-long conversation with the President.

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Widow Cries For Help, Alleges Threat To Life By Late Husband’s Family (Photo)

Mrs. Odinaka Ibeh, a widow and mother of five, today lives at the mercy of people for the provision of food and shelter as she runs from her in-laws who are accusing her of being responsible for the death of her husband. She says she goes to God daily in tears and prayer for vindication over her present predicament.

Odinaka’s problem began immediately she lost her husband Cyriacus Ibeh, who was once a well-to-do businessman. They had lived together in Lagos until his health condition began to deteriorate as a result of a kidney infection. He later died at St. Rita Hospital and Maternity Ugwuabo Umuobom in Imo State where he was taken to for treatment.

She said her late husband, who was a Sabbath Mission faithful, had initially refused medical treatment due to his faith and rather sought spiritual treatment which did not yield any positive result.

The widow, who is now taking refuge in a prayer house in Abakaliki, with her children, is alleging that one Mr. Ekene Ibeh, who claims to be the most senior member of the Ibeh family, is threatening her life.

In a letter signed by Mrs Ibeh and addressed to the National Council of Non Government Organizations and Civil Society Organization in Nigeria, to come to her aid, she stressed that the intentions of Ekene and others in the family is to deny her and her five children access to and ownership of her late husband’s property.

Part of the letter read, “We are now taking refuge in Abakaliki with a woman of God who has been responsible for our feeding for the past 4 months. I hope you would help to save us from being killed by Mr. Ekene Ibe and his group,” she pleaded.

Odinaka in the letter further noted that she was the legitimate wife of the deceased, married to him according to law and custom, with all rights fulfilled since 2010.

“To be honest with you, when he became seriously ill, one of his brothers named Chinonso Ibeh, in company of some other relatives, conveyed him to our home town for proper upkeep and from where he was finally admitted at St. Rita’s Hospital and Maternity, Ugwuabo Umuobom, Imo State.”

“It would sound unbelievable that instead of the so called Ekene Ibeh to sympathize with me and my little children over the death of their father and brother, and help to collectively plan his burial, Mr. Ekene Ibeh and his cohorts took to threatening my life and that of my children and other members of the family who opposed him and has succeeded in chasing us away to Abakaliki,” the letter stated.

When contacted, Mr. Ekene Ibeh accused his brother’s wife of desecrating the custom of the land. He insisted that Odinaka and Chinonso Ibeh had no right to fix the burial of late Cyriacus without the consent of the other members of the family.

Ekene, who expressed worry over their disregard of the family’s directive to conduct an autopsy on the deceased to ascertain the cause of his death, maintained that the wife had no right according to tradition to bury her husband without the approval of the entire family.

However, Jacob Cyriacus – the only male child of the late man, told Daily Trust that he has not attended school since the death of his father.

“I’ve not been to school since my father died because we’ve not been able to settle in one place. We’ve been moving from one town to another and worse still, we no longer eat together, joke and play as a family.”

Jacob called on good spirited Nigerians and organization to come to their aid, saying their present lifestyle would seriously affect his future.

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New York state raises legal age of marriage from 14 to 18 in bid to prevent forced weddings for child brides

The state of New York has raised the legal age of marriage from 14 to 18, overturning a little-known law that saw hundreds of young girls become child brides each year, often through coercion.

New York was previously one of just three out of the 50 states to allow 14-year-olds to marry without parental permission, the other two being North Carolina and Alaska.

More than 3,850 minors married in New York between 2000 and 2010, with 84 per cent involving cases of child brides and adult men.

The new law bans marriage altogether for those aged 14 to 17 and requires 17-year-olds to obtain both parental and judicial approval before they are allowed to exchange vows. Judges will be given guidelines to help them decide whether a 17-year-old wishes to enter into a marriage freely.

Campaigners had fought for the change claiming child brides often have poor educational and job opportunities and frequently fall victim to domestic violence.

New York state assembly member Amy Paulin, who put forward the legislation, said that children are often trapped in unhappy and violent marriages because they find it difficult to access legal services and domestic violence shelters.

She said the old law was “antiquated” because “it reflects a time when everyone married younger,” adding: “Times have changed. Child marriage is coerced marriage. It condemns young women to a life they did not choose.”

New York’s Democrat Governor, Andrew Cuomo, who signed the legislation, said: “This is a major step forward in our efforts to protect children and prevent forced marriages, and I am proud to sign this legislation that puts an end to child marriage in New York once and for all.”

The previous state law dated back to 1929 and did not provide guidance on whether or not judges should grant consent. While the law allowed a girl to marry at just 14, it did not allow her to divorce until the age of 18, while the new law mandates that if a girl marries at 17, she must also be allowed to divorce at the same age.

“We cannot solve the child marriage problem globally if we don’t first solve it here in the United States,” Fraidy Reiss, founder and executive director of the organisation Unchained at Last, told CBS News.

Ms Reiss was raised Orthodox Jewish in Brooklyn, New York, and was forced into marriage when she was over the age of legal consent at 19.

She said that while most people might not think of the US when they thought of forced marriage, it remains a reality that is often ignored.

“This isn’t something that is happening only in one insular community, this is a widespread problem in the United States.

“We really don’t know (how widespread it is). There has been no in-depth study done on forced marriage in the United States.

“Our clients come from every major religion, they’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh … they have come from Unification Church backgrounds and even secular backgrounds.

“This is a widespread gender violence issue, and the common thread we see is that the victims are almost always girls and that the perpetrators are almost always the parents and the family members.”

Unchained at Last aids women and girls to escape forced marriage in the US and is calling for a blanket ban on all marriage under the age of 18 across the country, where it remains legal with parental permission in all 50 states.

Half have no minimum age for marriage when exceptions such as pregnancy and parental and judicial permission are taken into consideration.

According to a 2010 report by National Centre for Health Statistics, 2.1 per cent of all girls in the 15-17 age group in the US were in a child marriage, with the practice remaining more common in the southern states.

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18 Year Old Nkechinyere Chidi-Ogbolu, Chemical Engineering Genius in America!

WHEREAS ACROSS AFRICA, people in her age are still in High Schools still attending classes, but Nkechinyere Chidi-Ogbolu, a Nigerian born academic gift has made Nigeria proud in United States as she graduated in Chemical Engineering at Howard University-making her the youngest person to graduate from Howard this year and one of the youngest in Howard’s history. Now, Chidi-Ogbolu sets her eyes at University of California Davis where she plans to attend her PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering with a focus on creating and discovering new medicines.

But that’s not all for Chidi-Ogbolu, as she seriously plan to come tops in her class. She’s now preparing to start a Ph.D. program at the University of California-Davis after the summer ends, where she will be studying Biomedical Engineering with a focus on creating and discovering new medicines.

Chidi-Ogbolu reportedly said: “I have always been interested in the medical field. But I want to have a broader scale of impact than in treating patients one-on-one.”

This Nigerian revealed she is always been the youngest person in her classes, that why most students from Nigeria graduate high school at the age of 16, Chidi-Ogbolu finished high school particularly early, at 14, since she skipped 5th grade and attended an accelerated high school.

She left Nigeria after her High School high school for America, enrolled full-time at Howard University, a historically black university and her first-choice school.
Her words: “I thought I would be more comfortable at the age going to a school with more people that looked like me and therefore I could more easily relate to. Plus, they gave me a full scholarship, so that definitely helped.”

True, leaving her parents in Nigeria was difficult, but Chidi-Ogbolu was not alone. Many of her extended family members live in America, including an aunt who lived not far from her house and other family members in Texas and Alabama.

Chidi-Ogbolu traced her success to God and family support, “I spoke to my mom almost every day on the phone — for over an hour almost every time. My dad and I talked really often too. I spent most holidays with my aunts in America. She explains: “Talking to them definitely helped sometimes when things were overwhelming. My support system was a very big part of why I was able to stay very grounded during the whole journey.”

Going by her parents’ blessing, Chidi-Ogbolu spent the summer after her junior year researching African weather patterns with Professor Paul Ullrich at UC-Davis. “While I was there, I decided that grad school was what I wanted to do.”

She started working on her graduate school applications during her senior year. “I can’t say it was stress-free,” she jokes. Her hard work paid off on February 7, when she received her acceptance letter from UC-Davis. It was definitely a wonderful moment.”

Prasant Mohapatra, UC Davis vice provost of graduate education, and dean of graduate studies, had this to say about Chidi-Ogbolu: “We are delighted to welcome Nkechinyere into the graduate education community at UC Davis. We hope to provide a dynamic educational experience that will deepen and expand her passion for advancing the field of biomedical engineering, and we are truly impressed by her future plans to help people worldwide through scientific research and innovation.”

For this intelligent Nigerian this summer, she’s taking an advanced biology class at a local community college to prepare for her doctoral program. She’s also working on a book, provisionally titled Tales of an Uber Minor in College.

In her spare time, she unwinds by saying: “I love watching movies and series, especially Korean ones, and I like to sing and do karaoke.”

Chidi-Ogbolu offers credible advise for teens in her age: “Don’t limit yourself because you think you can’t do it or because no one you know had done it,” she advises. “You can always be the exception to the rule and end up being exceptional.”

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Breaking News

Kenyan MP arrested, again accused of inciting violence

Kenyan police on Saturday arrested a lawmaker already accused of inciting violence after he urged people to take land away from white farmers, senior officers said.

Opposition deputy Mathew Lempurkel was in custody, an officer at the Naromoru station in central Kenya, told AFP by phone.

“He is being questioned because of remarks he made recently asking locals to take away their land from white settlers,” he added.

Kenya’s police chief Joseph Boinnet also confirmed in comments to Capital FM radio that Lempurkel had been arrested for “inflammatory remarks calculated to stir up racist and ethnic hatred”.

Several local news organisations reported that opposition leader Raila Odinga, who is running for the presidency in elections next month, was at the meeting where Lempurkel made the remarks.

For several months, heavily armed herders have forced their way into private ranches in central Laikipia, seeking pasture for their livestock suffering from the current drought.

Several people have been killed in the ensuing violence.

Already in March, Lempurkel, who represents the local constituency, was arrested and charged with inciting violence.

Lempurkel called into a local radio station saying: “There is no private land in Laikipia North. Nobody will go short of grass while I am MP.”

While some have blamed the increase in land invasions on the drought others argue the reasons are more complex.

There is increased competition for land and resources as a result of population growth and a massive increase in the number of livestock.

But there is also growing anger over historical land injustices. The region has enormous tracts of land owned by white settlers and Kenyan elites.

The approach of next month’s presidential, parliamentary and local elections has also increased political tension.

Lempurkel is due in court on Monday could face fresh charges.

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Kaduna Senator Disowns El-Rufai For Criticising Nigeria’s Founding Fathers

The lawmaker representing Kaduna Central, Senator Shehu Sani, on Friday distanced himself and the people of his senatorial district from Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s purported comment that Nigeria’s founding fathers maintained regionalism and failed to build a united country.

Sani was reacting to a video wherein the Kaduna governor criticised the former Premier of the defunct Northern Region, Ahmadu Bello; the late former Premier of the defunct Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo; and the first Executive President of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.

El-Rufai had said in the video, “Our founding fathers maintained the regions; maintained the divisions because it benefitted them politically. I know it is not politically correct to say that Ahmadu Bello, (Nnamdi) Azikiwe and (Obafemi) Awolowo did something wrong, but they did. They did not work hard enough to build a nation; they maintained what they found and they benefitted politically from it.”

But disagreeing with El-Rufai’s comment in a post on his Facebook page, the lawmaker said: “On behalf of myself and the good people of Kaduna-Central, the very district where the late Sardauna of Sokoto and the Premier of Northern Nigeria lived, served and was cruelly murdered by mutinous soldiers, I wish to unreservedly disassociate the good people of Kaduna-Central from any demeaning utterances or denigrating innuendos by any person or group of persons against the Sardauna or any of the founding fathers of Nigeria.

“Sir Ahmadu Bello lived for his people and was murdered for his people and his principles; and we appreciate his exceptional, outstanding service and sacrifice to the North and to Nigeria.

“We equally also wholeheartedly appreciate the sacrifice and service of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and late Owelle of Onitcha, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. They fought for our freedom and laid the foundation for our nationhood. Kaduna City, Kaduna-Central and I believe the entire people of Kaduna State, the North and Nigeria remain ever grateful.”

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