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Jihadists Kill Three Teachers In Kenya School Attack

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Suspected Al-Shabaab Islamists killed three teachers and kidnapped another at a primary school in eastern Kenya on Monday, police said, the latest in a spate of attacks in the region.

The assailants also torched a police post and damaged a telecoms mast in the attack in Kamuthe, 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of the town of Garissa.

At around 2am (2300 GMT Sunday) “suspected armed AS Militia attacked Kamuthe primary school, Kamuthe Police Post, a telecommunications mast and murdered 3 teachers”, a police statement said.

“The telecommunications mast is partially damaged but operational.”

A separate police report on the incidents seen by AFP said the three teachers killed were not from the region, and that a local teacher was abducted. The assailants spared a nurse as she was a woman.

“They also set fire” to the police post in Kamuthe, a senior police officer who asked not to be identified told AFP.

Since the start of the year, the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab have stepped up their attacks in eastern Kenya, along the Somali border, and Kenyan police have been on high alert.

On January 5, the Islamists stormed onto a US military base in the coastal Lamu region, destroying several aircraft and killing three Americans.

Two days later they killed four civilians, including a child, during an attack on a telecommunications mast near Garissa.

Al-Shabaab issued a statement last Wednesday warning that Kenya “will never be safe”, threatening tourists and US interests in the country.

The group said Kenya should withdraw its forces from Somalia while they still “have the chance”.

Kenya sent troops into Somalia in 2011 as part of an African Union peacekeeping mission fighting against Al-Shabaab, and has seen several brutal retaliation attacks both on its troops in Somalia and civilians in Kenya.

This week Kenya marks a year since the January 15 siege of the upscale Dusit hotel complex in Nairobi left 21 dead. Previous attacks have killed 67 at the Westgate shopping centre in 2013 and 148 at Garissa University in 2015.

Supreme Court Hears Governorship Appeals From Sokoto, Kano, Four Other States

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The Supreme Court has begun hearing of the appeals from the governorship elections in Imo, Bauchi, Sokoto, Kano, Plateau and Benue States.

The hearing of the appeals, brought by various aggrieved candidates in the March 9 polls in the affected states, is ongoing at the apex court in Abuja, the federal capital Territory.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, is presiding over a seven-man panel hearing the appeals.

However, the court rose some minutes after the hearing commenced due to the inability of the security operatives to control the crowd and the noise level in the court.

The apex court is hearing the appeals filed by the governorship candidates 10 months after the elections held in the affected states.

The governors returned elected by the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the states are Emeka Ihedioha (Imo), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Simon Lalong (Plateau), and Samuel Ortom (Benue).

Minimum Wage: 25 States Fail Labour’s Dec 31 Deadline

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  • No fewer than 25 states of the federation have failed to meet the December 31, 2019, deadline given by organised labour to conclude all negotiations on the consequential adjustment arising from the N30,000 new minimum wage or face industrial unrest.

Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, had on December 31, 2019, in its New Year Message, directed its state councils to start preparing for industrial protest against defaulting governors.

It said: “We use this medium to implore states that are yet to implement the new national minimum wage, including the states that are yet to begin negotiation with labour on the consequential wage adjustment to speedily do the needful.

In tandem with our position as adopted and communicated after a stakeholders’ meeting on December 11, 2019, organised labour in Nigeria will not guarantee industrial harmony in states that fail to implement the new national minimum wage by December 31, 2019.

We direct our state councils to be on the standby to robustly engage state governments that fail to obey our laws.” Vanguard checks revealed that only six states have begun implementation of the new wage, while five states have concluded negotiations with organised labour on consequential adjustment and agreed to commence implementation this month (January).

 Meanwhile, four states are yet to set up committees for the negotiations of the consequential adjustment. However, 21 states are still embroiled in negotiations on the consequential adjustment. The states that have commenced implementation are Lagos, Kaduna, Kebbi, Jigawa, Kano and Adamawa, while the five states that agreed to commence implementation this month are Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Bauchi and Katsina.

The 21 states at different stages of negotiations are Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, Ogun, Oyo, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Akwa Ibom,    Enugu, Imo, Plateau, Zamfara, Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Bornu, Sokoto, and Gombe, while those yet to commence negotiation are Yobe, Nasarawa, Taraba and Niger states.

It will be recalled that while the N30, 000 new national minimum wage was signed into law on April 18, 2019, by President Muhammadu Buhari, Organised Labour and the Federal Government agreed on the consequential adjustment on October 18, 2019, after protracted negotiations. Following the perceived slow pace of most state governments in constituting negotiating committees for the consequential adjustment to pave way for the implementation of the new wage across the states, labour last month issued a December 31, 2019, deadline for the government to conclude negotiation on the consequential adjustment for face industrial unrest in the New Year.

Iran Request Trumps Head For $80m

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Iran has offered to give $80 million (£60 million) to anyone that would get her the head of the United States President, Donald Trump.

This huge bounty was placed because of the killing of the Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. Disclosing this, according to Metro.co.uk, the organiser of the funeral of Soleimani on Monday called on every Iranian to donate $1 to fund a bounty on Donald Trump.

His words, “On behalf of all of Iran’s people – 80 million Iranians – and each puts aside US$1, it would equal $80million.

NRC bows to pressure, introduces e-ticketing

“And we would give this $80million, on our own behalf, as a gift to anyone who brings the head of the person who ordered the murder of the grand figure of our revolution.

“Anyone who brings us the head of this yellow-haired lunatic, we would give him $80million on behalf of the great Iranian nation. Chant if you agree.”

Recall that Soleimani was killed last week after a US drone strike on his convoy at Baghdad airport.  Miffed by his death, Iranian MP Abolfazl Abutorabi warned the country could respond to the general’s death on US soil.

 His words, “We can attack the White House itself, we can respond to them on the American soil. “We have the power, and God willing we will respond in an appropriate time. “This is a declaration of war, which means if you hesitate you lose.

 “When someone declares war do you want to respond to the bullets with flowers? They will shoot you in the head.”

 Trump to Iraq:

Expect sanctions if US troops are expelled Reacting to Abutorabi’s threat, Trump via his official twitter handle opined that “Let this serve as a warning that if Iran strikes any Americans or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago)”.

However, the US government has warned its citizens to be cautious of their movement in response to the recent world events.

Disclosing this in a statement published in the United States embassy’s website, US admonished its countrymen to review their personal security measures.

One Killed As APC, PDP Supporters Clash In Imo

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A young man identified as Amajuru Ahamefule was on Monday killed in Isu local government area of Imo State.

Ahmefule was shot dead during a violent clash between supporters of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

Police spokesperson in Imo State, Orlando Ikeokwu who confirmed the incident told Channels Television that the clash started after some local government chairmen who were suspended by Governor Emeka Ihedioha Ihedioha-led administration claimed to have gotten a purported Supreme Court judgment.

Ikeokwu, however, noted that the police in the state is yet to receive any court order or directives on the matter to enforce the takeover.

According to the local government chairmen, the court judgment gave them the mandate to take over office from the Interim Management Committee put in place by the governor in all the local government areas in the state.

The Police PRO added that the action to forcefully take over office by the local government chairmen and their councilors was vehemently opposed by members of the Interim Management Committee and supporters of the PDP.

This eventually led to a clash and sporadic gunshots rent the air.

Several people sustained injuries and Ahemefule was shot dead in the process.

Mr Ikeokwu added the Imo State police commissioner has since waded into the matter and an investigation has been launched into the incident.

He advised the warring factions to sheath their swords and adhere to the rule of law to prevent any further breakdown of law and order in the state.

6.2-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Indonesia’s Northwest

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A strong earthquake jolted Indonesia’s northwest on Tuesday, but no tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The 6.2 magnitude quake struck at a depth of 20 kilometres (12.5 miles) just off the coast of Simeulue island, west of Sumatra, according to the US Geological Survey.

Indonesia’s weather and geophysics bureau said there was no tsunami threat.

People panicked and ran outside their homes when the quake hit.

“We are now watching at the beach to monitor the movement of seawater,” Simeulue resident Ahmadi told AFP.

No casualties or infrastructure damage have been reported so far.

Indonesia suffers frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide.

More than 2,200 people died and another 1,000 were declared missing in 2018 after a 7.5 magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami on Sulawesi island.

A 9.1 magnitude earthquake on Boxing Day in 2004 struck Aceh province, causing a tsunami that claimed the lives of more than 170,000 people in Indonesia alone.

Nigerians To Start Paying Increased Electricity Tariffs From April, Says NERC

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Following an outcry over the decision to increase electricity tariffs in the country, the Nigerian Government says the implementation will commence in April.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Professor James Momoh, stated this while addressing a news conference on Monday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

A series of documents dated December 31, 2019 indicate an increase that ranges from 59.7 per cent to 77.6 per cent.

The increase affects all categories of electricity consumers, except those classified as residential (R1) whose N4 per kWh charge was left unchanged.

According to the documents jointly signed by Professor Momoh and the Commissioner for Legal, License, and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye, the NERC said the reviewed tariffs were effective January 1, 2020.

The development affects the 11 Distribution Companies (DISCOs) in the country such as Abuja DISCO, Benin DISCO, Enugu DISCO, and Eko DISCO.

Others are Ibadan DISCO, Ikeja DISCO, Jos DISCO, Kaduna DISCO, Kano DISCO, Port Harcourt DISCO, and Yola DISCO.

This sparked widespread criticism of the government, apparently forcing the NERC to make further clarification on the controversy.

At Monday’s press conference, Professor Momoh explained that the review of the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) does not mean an immediate increase in tariff for electricity consumers.

He added that the commission would engage the public on the planned review in the next three months, before deciding on any implementation.

The NERC boss also said the electricity body would begin the regulation of estimated billing by electricity distribution companies who fail to provide meters for their customers.

In a bid to further explain the rationale behind its decision, the regulatory body issued a statement.

Read the statement below:

TARIFF REVIEW CLARIFICATION.

We make this statement to inform all our esteemed customers that we are not unmindful of news making the rounds that Electricity tariffs have been increased effective January 1 2020 as reported in some print and electronic media.

For clarity and improved understanding, we state the following points:

The Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) is primarily regulated by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

NERC is empowered by the EPSR Act (EPSRA) to make Orders and Declarations in a manner promoting efficiency and sustainability within the NESI.

NERC is empowered by EPSRA to carry out minor reviews of the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) 2015 (the Electricity Tariff), twice a year.

An accurate electricity tariff assists greatly in ensuring efficient power supply delivery from the different stages of the electricity process, from Generation through Transmission to Distribution, as it assures stakeholders and participants of their costs recovery and return on investment. This makes the business viable.

NERC has just reviewed the MYTO 2015 and has published an Order on Tariffs and Minimum Remittance for Jan-June 2020.

The tariffs anticipate changes in the currency exchange rates between the United States and Nigeria, changes in the rate of inflation and Gas prices.

The Tariffs shall remain the same as they presently are (i.e. 2015 levels) until April 01 2020 when there will be a slight increment to cater to tariff shortfalls which shall be gradually passed on to the consumer until this is fully completed by the end of 2021.

In view of the foregoing, we state emphatically that there shall be no change or increase in the existing Electricity tariff until April 01 2020 when the new adjusted tariffs shall begin to gradually reflect the dynamism of our macro-economy.

We sincerely hope that this statement substantially clarifies the accurate position and allays any fears and concerns, our esteemed customers may have.

We thank you for your continuing patronage.

Signed.

ANED

Gunmen Abduct Seventy Year Old Woman In Ondo

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Unknown gunmen have kidnapped a seventy–year old woman, Mrs Fehintola Wewe of 13 broad street, Sabomi, Ese odo local government area of Ondo state.

Her abduction came three weeks after Some gunmen kidnapped the wife, children and driver of the traditional ruler of Odigbo town, Oba Rufus Akinrinmade.

The victims were abducted on Ikare-Owo Expressway in Oba Akoko, Akoko South West Local Government Area of Ondo State.

For Mrs. Wewe, her abductors took her away at about 11pm on Friday 3rd January,2020.

The gunmen raided the area and also left with valuables.

A source close to the family, said the case had been reported in Igbekebo divisional police station while the scene had been assessed.

The abductors are yet to contact the family of the aged woman.

Governor Of Borno Confirms Six Killed After Boko Haram Attacked Chibok

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No fewer than six persons were killed when Boko Haram insurgents attacked Kwaragilim village in Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State on Christmas Eve.

Two women were also feared kidnapped while three persons were reportedly injured in the attack.

The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, confirmed the incident on Christmas Day during a meeting with members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Uba.

“it is unfortunate that Boko Haram insurgents attacked Kwaragilim village of Chibok Local Government Area where six people were killed and three injured”.

The Commissioner for Poverty Alleviation in the state, Nuhu Clark, also addressed party faithful at the gathering.

He said the three injured persons have been taken to the General Hospital in Chibok and were responding to treatment.

Pogba Is ‘Best Midfielder In The World,’ Says Solskjaer

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The World Cup winner was in action for United for the first time since late September as a substitute in their chastening 2-0 defeat at Watford on Sunday.

He could be in the starting team against Newcastle on Thursday as Solskjaer desperately seeks the creativity the team needs to break down stubborn opposition defences.

“Let’s see how he reacts to this, how he feels,” said Solskjaer. “He did really well when he came on. Big, big plus and it might be that we do get him in from the start.”

Pogba, who had only played twice since the end of August due to an ankle injury, was introduced on Sunday with United already trailing by two goals and went close to scoring during a late attacking flurry from the visitors.

“He can play anywhere, he can play the whole midfield,” said Solskjaer.

“He’s a box-to-box midfielder. He can drop deep, get it, play long passes. He can get it higher up and combine like he did today.”

“That’s the beauty of having Paul because he is the best all-round midfielder in the world,” added the United boss, who has said the 26-year-old will not be leaving in the January transfer window despite links with Real Madrid.

– Reaction –

Solskjaer said he was looking for a reaction from his players against Newcastle after United again failed to turn dominance of possession into a positive result at Watford.

“One of the good things about the team this year, we have reacted after bad results,” he said.

“We haven’t kept the consistency as we would have liked the other way but we’ve never gone on a big (bad) run like we did towards the end of last season so there will be a reaction, definitely.”

United are struggling in eighth place in the Premier League, seven points behind fourth-placed Chelsea despite recent morale-boosting wins against Tottenham and Manchester City.

Solskjaer admitted progress had been slower than expected but said he was focused on developing a team that could dominate and break sides down.

“It’s taken Liverpool a few years to get to that stage and we need to keep on building because that’s what we want to get to,” he said.

“Yes, we’re good at counter-attacking. Yes, we’ve got pace and fast players. We should always keep that because that’s in our tradition. Now we need to be better at breaking lower blocks.”

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