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Obasanjo reveals how Gowon tongue-lashed him over US agency building

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Former Presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday revealed how he was tongue-lashed and dressed down by ex-head of State, Yakubu Gowon over a choice property situated in Lagos which was used by an agency of the United States.

Obasanjo recalled the experience at the launch of Ahmadu Ali’s biography – “Many Colours Of A Rainbow,” at the Shehu Yar’ Adua Centre, Abuja..
Obasanjo was the chairman of the occasion while Gowon was father of the day.

As chairman of the occasion, Obasanjo was listed to deliver the welcome address.

Typical of him, he did not come with a prepared speech. He mounted the podium and cleared his throat in his characteristic manner.

He then went down memory lane to capture his relationship with Ali who was then a fellow army officer.

According to the ex-President, it was way back in 1975 when Ali approached him for assistance.

Ali, then a Federal Commissioner for Education, wanted a particular building located close to Race Course, Lagos, for use as office accommodation.

Incidentally, the said building was being occupied by an agency of the United States as operational office.

“So a few days after, I conspired with Ahmadu and mobilised troops to surround the building as early as 4:00 a.m.

“When the officials of the agency came to report for work in the morning, soldiers prevented them from entering the building. That was how I seized the building for Ahmadu and his staff.

“Then hell was let loose. The U.S government had protested the action, which sparked a bitter diplomatic row between the U.S and the then Federal Military Government, headed by Gen. Gowon.

“Consequently, Obasanjo was summoned to Dodan Barracks where he said he was tongue-lashed by Gowon and other superior officers at the time.

“I was scolded and dressed down by Gen. Gowon and other superior officers for my actions. I was seriously washed down,” he said

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‘Tinubu’s Ex-Wife & Mother Of His First Son Is Dead’

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The National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, has lost his ex-wife.

Though information about the death of the estranged wife of the political icon was shrouded in secrecy, make it exclusively gathered that the deceased died about three and a half weeks ago.

She was said to be the mother of Jide who died on November 1, 2017. Jide was said to be the first son of Tinubu.

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‘I don’t believe foreigners are involved in Nigeria killings’ – French envoy contradicts Buhari

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Denys Gauer, outgoing French ambassador to Nigeria, says he does not believe that foreigners are involved in the killings across the country.

The French’s envoy position contradicts that of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari had said that the killings are as a result of the influx of mercenaries from the Sahel region.

“It has always been there, but now made worse by the influx of armed gunmen from the Sahel region into different parts of the West African sub-region,” the president had said when Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, visited him in London back in April.

But speaking with journalists on Friday in Abuja, Gauer said impunity is encouraging the killings in the country and those responsible must be punished.

The envoy spoke to journalists in commemoration of the 2018 French National Day.

“The reason for the killings is demography; some people are fighting for land, so there must be direct policy to develop agriculture and animal husbandry,” he said.

“I think impunity is encouraging the killings and those responsible must be punished. I don’t believe foreigners are involved in the killings.

“The second is justice. When there is that kind of killing, there must be proper prosecution and perpetrators must be properly sentenced. If that does not happen then, it cannot end.”

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INEC: Smartphones can be used at polling units but not inside voting cubicle

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has not banned the use of smartphones around polling unit areas.

The electoral body says the rule only comes into effect once a prospective voter enters the voting cubicle to cast his or her vote.

Rotimi Oyekanmi, chief press secretary to INEC chairman, made the clarification in an interview with NAN on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said this while reacting to a statement issued by Uche Secondus, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), condemning the decision of INEC to ban the use of smartphones at polling booths.

Secondus had alleged that the decision was to perfect a rigging formula for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

But Oyekanmi said the challenge of vote-buying and selling had prompted many stakeholders to call on INEC to devise innovative ways to tackle the problem.

He said: “In consultation with other stakeholders, the Commission came up with new measures to solve the problem, one of which is to disallow the use of smartphones and other electronic devices in the voting cubicles on election day.

“In other words, INEC is not banning phones around the polling unit area, but the ban takes effect from the moment a prospective voter collects his or her ballot paper and enters into voting cubicle to thumbprint and thereafter drop the folded ballot paper into the ballot box.

“After that, the voter can have access to his or her phone.”

Oyekanmi urged Nigerians to disregard any attempt by any individual or group to politicise what was purely a preventive measure.

NAN

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