Trump Puts Schumer and Pelosi in a Brilliant Vise Grip – By Jim Davis

Between a Reduction in Force cashiering hundreds of thousands of federal workers and a state of emergency building the wall, which will Democrat leaders choose?

Source: The+federal+government+shutdown+has+presented+a+unique+opportunity+for+President+Donald+Trump+to+clear+out+the+deadwood+in+the+federal+bureaucracy+saving+U.S.+taxpayers+billions+of+dollars+in+salaries+perks+and+rented+office+space+for+people+who+a…

Kano govt revokes contracts of contractor who filmed Ganduje’s bribe taking

January 19, 2019Abdulaziz Abdulaziz

Kano Governor Ganduje caught on video receiving dollars from suspected contractors

Kano Governor Ganduje caught on video receiving dollars from suspected contractors. [PHOTO CREDIT: Screen shot of the video obtained from Daily Nigerian]

The Kano State Government has revoked three contracts awarded to Tiamin Multi Services Ltd, a company belonging to Aminu Mohammed. Mr Mohammed is believed to be the contractor behind the videos showing the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, receiving money from contractors.

The three projects were worth N1.6 billion.

The state commissioner of information, Mohammed Garba, announced the cancellation at a widely reported press briefing on Friday, on the resolutions of the State Executive Council.

The state government gave “non-performance” as the reason behind revocation, which affected Tiamin and one other company, FNL Engineering Limited. It is unclear if the second company is also linked to Mr Mohammed.

Last year, an online newspaper, Daily Nigerian, published a series of videos showing Mr Ganduje collecting wads of dollar bills at different times believed to be kick-backs from contracts awarded by the state government.

Findings by this newspaper indicate that Tiamin’s managing director, Mr Mohammed, was the one who filmed the videos while delivering the cash to the governor at different times.

Mr Mohammed however declined to answer PREMIUM TIMES inquiry on his role in the sting operation.

However, a senior official in the company, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES Friday evening but declined to be named as he was not authorised to speak by his boss, confirmed that Mr Mohammed was indeed the unseen face in the infamous Ganduje videos.

He said the cancellation is not unconnected with the decision of Mr Mohammed to blow the whistle on Mr Ganduje’s alleged misconduct.

Ironically, one of the projects by Tiamin that was revoked by the government, dualisation of Kofar Dawanau-Dandinshe-Kwanar Madugu was mentioned in one of the bribe-taking videos among those the contractors needed the governor’s intervention for payment.

Mr Ganduje was heard promising to talk to the state’s Accountant General on the outstanding payments.

The other two projects by the same contractor revoked by the government are roads linking different parts of Bichi and Fagge local government areas.

Mr Garba said the road projects in Bichi and Fagge were awarded on August 2, 2017 and November 13, 2017 with completion period of four months and 14 months respectively.

He said the contracts were revoked based on the contractors’ inability to complete the projects despite collecting respective advance payments of N204 million and N96 million.

Mr Ganduje is enmeshed in the bribe-taking scandal in spite of his denial and his suit against the news platform and its publisher, Jaafar Jaafar.

A probe into the scandal by the Kano State House of Assembly was also stalled in November by a high court of Kano State at the instance of Mr Ganduje.

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed resentment over the misconduct as captured in the videos.

He was reported to have made references to it at a meeting with Nigerian community in Paris last year, and at a meeting of his party’s campaign council penultimate week.

On Thursday, Mr Buhari re-echoed the dilemma he expressed at the party meeting on the irony of campaigning for Mr Ganduje with the allegation still around the governor’s head.

Mr Buhari mocked the governor for going to the extent of receiving the bribes personally and “smiling”. He said he hoped the issue would be cleared before his scheduled campaign visit to Kano and suggested the videos could have been doctored.

Presidential Debate: I’ll Be There If Buhari Will Take Part – Atiku

BY CHECKPOINTCHARLEY on 19. JANUARY 2019 • ( 0 )

atiku-buhari-ezekwesili-durotoye-and-moghalu

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said he will only participate in the presidential debate tonite if the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, President Muhammadu Buhari would also take part.

Mr. Abubakar said this through the Spokesman of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, Kassim Afegbua.

The former vice president was reacting to the statement credited to the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof Itse Sagay that President Buhari will not debate with political dwarfs.

He blasted Sagay, saying the erudite professor has become a turncoat academic, with the senility of his intellect attaining double jeopardy.

He said, “When you realised that a supposed law professor like Itse Sagay now talks with tongue in cheek, you easily know that societal values and morality have become debased.

“When you realised that he once taught in the University, then the senility of his intellect has attained double jeopardy.

“Itse Sagay has not only become a turncoat academic but one whose sight invokes pity, sympathy and empathy. How can APC presidential candidate who has been fighting ‘battles’ with his WASC consider others who are duly qualified and well read as dwarfs?

“Does it not suggest that something is amiss somewhere?

“Who is actually a dwarf here? Is it a presidential candidate running away from debate or one who is challenging the other to a debate?

“Didn’t you see them packaging a phoney debate for him where he would have studied the questions and answers and regurgitate them to the best of what would have been prepared for him?

“If the APC presidential candidate is not presenting himself for debate, we will not allow our presidential candidate to attend any debate. But if APC candidate is ready to engage our candidate, he is ready and prepared for him.”

The debate will hold from 7pm at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

The Executive Secretary of NEDG, Edidi Emesiri, had in a statement listed candidates to debate alongside Buhari as those of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Oby Ezekwesili, Alliance for New Nigeria, Fela Durotoye; Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar and Young Progressives Party, Kingsley Moghalu.

The running mates of all the candidates are expected to take their turn on December 14, 2018.

Meanwhile, the Coalition for United Political Parties had on Thursday alleged that the Mr. Buhari was planning to evade the debate.

Another Nigerian tortured to death in South Africa

January 19, 2019Agency Report

South African police used to illustrate the story. [PHOTO CREDIT: The Guardian Nigeria]
South African Police (File photo)

Nigerians living in South Africa have expressed displeasure with the alleged killing of a Nigerian, Celestine Nwokeocha, 36, by the South African Police.

The President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Adetola Olubajo, expressed the feeling of Nigerians to the News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) on the telephone from Pretoria, South Africa, on Saturday.

He said witnesses reported that Mr Nwokeocha was allegedly tortured and beaten to death in his house at Sasolburg area of Free State Province by the police on January 15.

“An inquest docket has been opened at Zamdela Police Station, Sasolburg, with case number 183/01/2019.

“Also, Independent Police Investigation Department (IPID) is involved in the case and we have been assured that justice will be served in the matter,” he told NAN.

Mr Olubajo said that two witnesses, Nonso, a Nigerian and Palesa, a South African, were arrested by the same police officers who allegedly killed Nwokeocha.

“The witnesses, however, appeared in court on Jan. 17, but while the South African, Palesa was granted bail, Nonso, who is a Nigerian was denied bail.

“Autopsy has been done by one Dr Humphris and no sign of any substance was found in the deceased stomach.

“But there are bruises on his face, blood in his mouth and two bruises on his chest; a sign of lack of oxygen,” the president said.

He advised Nigerians resident in Sasolburg to stay calm and remain law abiding while the union works to find justice for the deceased.

According to him, Nigerians are advised to avoid engaging in activities that will jeopardise the successful prosecution of the alleged police officers.

“Nwokeocha is survived by his wife and seven-month old baby girl,” Mr Olubajo said.

Also, on the matter, the office of the Consulate General of Nigeria in South Africa, condemned the killing of Nwokeocha.

Laren Jingina, the Vice-Consul, Information and Culture, said: “The Consulate detests in strongest terms, infringements of the law by security agents.

“The consulate demands compliance with the due process of the law, if it suspects infringement by anyone it will do the needful.”

He said that the consulate was already in discussion with the relevant host authorities and would ensure that justice is done and the affected police officers brought to justice.

Mr Jingina also urged members of the deceased family and Nigerians living in Sasolburg to remain calm and law abiding as the consulate seeks justice for the deceased. (NAN)

Catholic bishops caution Nigerians against vote selling

BY AKAHI NEWS ON SAT. 19/01/2019

The Catholic Bishops of Lagos Ecclesiastical Province have cautioned Nigerian electorate against allowing themselves to be financially induced by unscrupulous politicians.

elections in nigeria election Voting INEC VOTE

They made the call in a statement signed by their president, Archbishop Adewale Martins in Lagos.

The statement said the call followed the decisions reached at the end of a conference of the bishops, recently held at St Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland, Lagos.

They called on voters across the country to vote their conscience.

“To sell one’s vote is to sell one’s conscience, as good citizens, we must avoid actions that will reduce the credibility of the elections,” the statement quoted the clerics as saying.

The Bishops urged Nigerians to defend the country’s democracy by electing patriotic and credible leadership that would be sensitive to peoples’ plight.

Being an election year, 2019 appears delicate; we call on Nigerians to carry out their civic responsibilities with diligence and patriotism.

“Nigerians should see the election as a duty to enthrone good leadership, and no amount of financial inducement should sway us,” the clerics admonished.

The Bishops further called on the electorate to shun politicians and parties that indulged in violence and electoral vices.

They also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to give equal treatment to all the parties in order to ensure fairness and credibility.

“The hopes of a free and fair election in Nigeria rests on the ability of INEC to be neutral in the discharge of its duties,” the religious leaders stressed.

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: Expecting extravagance

Jan 19, 2019 by Mary M. McGlone

Cana c.jpg

Wedding Church at Cana, pictured May 2017, was built circa 1881 in Kafr Kanna, Israel, and named in commemoration of the wedding in the Gospel of John. (Wikimedia Commons/Larry Koester)

“There’s nothing worth doing that isn’t worth overdoing.” Thus spoke one of my delightfully irreverent college friends. Impudent as that sounds, it echoes one commentary about the first of Jesus’ signs recorded in John’s Gospel. Scripture scholar Silvano Fausti says that this story “tries to show us in one fell swoop how scandalously distinct God is from what we would imagine.”

January 20, 2019

1st Reading Isiah 62:1-5; Psalms 96; 2nd Reading 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Gospel John 2:1-11

Really, what wedding celebration needs 600 liters of wine? But that is the story John tells us. The theological message seems to be that God is willing to go to extremes — and not necessarily the kind people ordinarily preach about.

While we have probably heard that the wedding at Cana showed Jesus’ blessing of marriage, the story falls miserably short on marital details. The only member of the wedding party who even gets mentioned is the anonymous groom, and his only role is to hear that the new wine is better than the old.

The principal characters in the story are two of the wedding guests: Jesus and his mother. The secondary characters are servants. The family, disciples, bridesmaids, etc., are just extras. The entire plot flows around the wine. John the Baptist and his ascetic friends would be shocked!

Obviously, this is not a story about marriage and family. Nevertheless, it is a story about a marriage feast. In John’s Gospel, it is the first act in the Messiah’s mission to bring the union of God and humanity to fulfillment.

John the Evangelist called this the first of Jesus’ “signs,” events we often think of as miracles. But Jesus’ signs were far more than one-time miracles. They were portents of things to come. Jesus’ signs announced that something radically new was happening. We could consider the sign of the wedding wine as a living parable, a performance that explained Jesus’ first declaration of his mission when he said: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand!” (Mark 1:15).

John pays almost no attention to the actual bride and groom because this story is about the marriage of God and the people. The wedding without wine is the situation in which the old traditions, like the empty ceremonial jars, have lost their power.

This wedding is a lifeless liturgy. The principal players are nameless, the disciples are mere bystanders. People go through the motions, but there is no passion. It is as if they think this is what they are supposed to do, but they have no idea why they still believe in it. Anybody could do what they are doing and it would make no difference.

Then the mother of Jesus enters the scene. As the representative of Israel’s hope, as Israel’s potential to give life, she protests. A wedding without wine is a liturgy with no passion — a sacrilege.

The ever-enigmatic Jesus responds that his hour has not yet come. But Mother Israel, trusting that prayer will never go unheard, tells the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Like Moses who bid his people to choose life, she instructed God’s servants to obey Jesus’ word.

This brings the scene to its climax. Jesus asks the servants to do something utterly simple. He instructs them to fill their empty ceremonial jars. He tells them to fulfill the religious practices they had allowed to fall into neglect. Their obedience provided him with the raw material for working his sign. When they filled the jars to the brim, they demonstrated wholeheartedness, and God had something new to work with.

In a story that will be echoed in the account of the loaves and fishes, Jesus took the little they could provide and transformed it into an overabundance. John tells us that this event marked the first revelation of Jesus’ glory and that the disciples began to believe in him.

According to the Gospel of John, this was Jesus’ primordial sign, the event that foreshadowed everything that was to come. Jesus said that his time had not yet come, but Mary believed that his very presence meant that the time was ripe.

We may be living in the same time zone as the guests at Cana. Too many of us have become accustomed to dryness. Like impassive wedding guests, we go through the motions of the ceremonies without great expectations. The real scandal highlighted in this story is not wine, but passivity.

Today, Mary asks us if we want things to be different, if we are willing to risk the experience of God’s lavish love. If so, it is time to turn to Jesus and do whatever he tells us. It is time for great expectations.