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Former Atiku’s spokesman knocked down, dies after Obasanjo’s library opening

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A former Managing Director of the Daily Times Nigeria Plc, Dr. Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba, is dead.
He was aged 57.

Onukaba died at about 6pm on Sunday at a village near Akure, the Ondo State capital.

The spot is said to be about 10 minutes to Akure.

He was on his way back to Abuja from Abeokuta, Ogun State, where he had joined other dignitaries to attend the inauguration of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library.

One of his relations, Yusuf Itopa, confirmed his death to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lokoja on Monday.

Itopa said that late veteran journalist turned politician was knocked down by an oncoming vehicle, while running into a nearby bush to escape an armed robbery attack.

Itopa, who is devastated by the death of Onukaba said three of them, including his driver, were traveling when they ran into a blockade mounted by armed robbers.

He said Onukaba’s corpse was later deposited at a mortuary in Akure, from where it will be brought for burial on Monday (today) in his hometown, Ihima in Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State.

Onukaba, who was Senior Special Assistant on Media to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, had earlier lost his first wife, Rachael, about five years ago.

He, however, remarried in 2015 to Memunat

Onukaba is survived by three children – two girls and a boy.

He started his journalism career in The Guardian in 1983.

A biography provided by a close friend of Onukaba said he was born on March 9, 1960 in Oboroke-Ihima, Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State to the family of Mallam Shuaibu Onukaba and Hajia Aisha Onukaba.

He obtained his first degree in 1982 in Theatre Arts from University of Ibadan.

He observed his National Youth Service Corps at Radio Nigeria, Ikoyi, Lagos in 1982/83.

He joined The Guardian newspaper as one of its pioneer reporters in 1983.

He rose to the position of News Editor before travelling out in 1989 for graduate studies.

He bagged Master of Arts degree in Journalism from New York University, New York, USA.

He worked as a Research Officer at the African Leadership Forum, New York.

Onukaba also served as the Information officer, Division of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations Operation in Somalia between 1994 and 1995.

He obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1996 from New York University.

Dr. Onukaba became Adjunct Professor of Mass Communication at the School of New Resources, College of New Rochelle, New York in 1997.

Between 1997 and 1998, he worked as Press Officer, Department of Public Information, United Nations.

In June 1998, he was sent to Iraq as an Information Officer, United Nations Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator.
Upon his return to Nigeria in 1999 to participate in the present democratic dispensation, his sterling qualities and ability to succeed caught the attention of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who appointed him as Special Assistant on Media Relations.

He had known and related closely with both Abubakar and Obasanjo since 1984.

Onukaba got to the peak of his journalistic career in August 1999 when he was appointed Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the then ailing Daily Times of Nigeria Plc.

He worked tirelessly to reposition the Daily Times and made it attractive to investors.
The company was privatized in 2004.

Onukaba returned to the Presidency as Senior Special Assistant to the former Vice president Atiku Abubakar on Public Communications between July 2003 and April 2005.

Beyond Onukaba’s humble exterior lies impenetrable armour of principle and dedication to duty.

In December 2005, the Okun Youth Solidarity Forum, led by Hon. Adeniyi Sunday Bello, honoured him with the “Pillar of Youth Award” in recognitioin of his services to the State.

Earlier in 2001, the then Governor Abubakar Audu of Kogi State honoured him as one of the distinguished citizens of the state.

Onukaba has received numerous other awards for his decency, integrity, creativity and kindness.

Onukaba, a seasoned journalist, playwright and publisher of high repute, has published so many books and journals, including: “In the Eye of Time” – a biography of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. “Atiku Abubakar”- a biography of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. “Born to Run” – a biography of late Dele Giwa, co-authored by him and Dele Olojede.
Some of his plays include Her Majesty’s Visit, A Resting Place, Tower of Burden, The Virginity Flee, The Lone Ranger, Bargain Hunting, and Soommalliyya.

His play: “The Killing Swamp,” was one of the three finalists for the 2010 Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Literature Award.

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Fire guts documents, furniture, others at Nigerian National Assembly

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he management of the National Assembly has confirmed the fire outbreak at the new wing of the House of Representatives on Thursday evening.

The incident happened at a storeroom in the lower chamber’s section of the complex in Abuja.

Passers-by around 6pm who noticed smoke coming out from a store on the second floor of the New Building, House of Reps Wing of the Complex, raised the alarm.

The wing houses the offices of the lawmakers, committee rooms, banks and other private businesses.

The office of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and principal officers are on the fourth floor.

Firefighters from the Federal Fire Service within the premises and other first responders rushed to the scene.

The inferno was later put out by the firefighters and other responders.

Agada Rawlings, Director, National Assembly Information in his reaction to the Incident in a late-night statement, said that the situation was immediately brought under control.

He said the fire was suspected to have resulted from an electrical fault which was noticed by one of the staff members working with the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

He said the employee quickly alerted the Federal Fire Service Unit in the complex.

Rawlings explained that the fire was put out with the assistance of staff members on duty who immediately broke into the affected office and used fire extinguishers before the arrival of the fire service officer.

He said; “There was a fire incident this evening (Thursday) in one of the Janitors, located on the 2nd floor, Room 227 in the new-wing, of the House of Representatives, suspected to have resulted from an electrical fault which was noticed by one of the Staff to the Clerk, House of Representatives, who promptly alerted the Federal Fire Service Unit stationed in the National Assembly Complex.

“Consequently, the combined prompt efforts curtained the fire to the affected office only and power supply to the wing put off to enable a full assessment and investigations into the incident.

“It is expected that after due assessment by the fire service and the Estate and works directorates, normalcy in the New Wings, housing all principal officers of the House of Representatives and Honourable members offices will be restored immediately.

“Management wishes to commend the prompt response/actions by the first responders particularly, National Assembly staff and the Fire Service Unit in helping to curtain the fire outbreak.”

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El-Rufai writes Buhari, says terrorists creating ‘parallel’ govt in Kaduna

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Terrorists are consolidating their grip on communities in Kaduna with a parallel government and permanent operational base, according to Governor Nasir El-Rufai in a memo to President Muhammadu Buhari.

El-Rufai in the memo, warned the president of the terrorists’ consolidation in a late July memo, according to online platform, Premium Times.

The terrorists belonging to Ansaru for short, are believed to have moved to Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State in 2012 when they broke away from Boko Haram.

In the memo, the governor laid  bare how the terrorists have infiltrated and dominated communities and formed “a parallel governing authority,” exercising control over social and economic activities and dispensation of justice in the area.

He said the terrorists had advanced in their plans to make Kaduna forest areas their “permanent operational base” for the North-west region, citing a “series of intelligence reports.”

“Observed movement patterns and intercepted communications of migrating terrorists have shown a clear interest in setting up a base, with the stretches of forest area between Kaduna and Niger states strongly considered,” he wrote.

Law banning political activities

As the political activities towards the 2023 general elections pick up steam, the terrorists, El-Rufai told Buhari, have promulgated a law to ban residents from participating.

“The insurgents enacted a law in the District, banning all forms of political activity or campaign ahead of the 2023 elections, especially in Madobiya and Kazage villages,” the governor wrote.

The Ansaru terrorists are known to have an extremist ideological posture against democracy and secular authorities.

In 2021, the census enumeration exercise could only hold in two of the 11 wards that form Birnin Gwari due to the threat of armed banditry and terrorism, officials in both Kaduna State government and the population commission had said.

The ban on political activities, the governor said, followed a recent wedding ceremony involving the terrorists.

“According to actionable intelligence, members of the Jama’atu Ansarul Musulmina Fi’biladis Sudan (aka Ansaru) are hibernating in Kuyello district of Birnin Gwari LGA, which recently conducted a nuptial ceremony during which they married two yet-to-be-identified female residents of Kuyello village,” Mr El-Rufai wrote.

“The ceremony was attended by various Ansaru members and witnessed by residents of the area. After the marital rites, insurgents in attendance reportedly conveyed the brides to the dreaded Kuduru forest, in the same District.”

Extracting revenues

In the area of adjudicating disputes, Mr El-Rufai said the terrorists “fined one Mu’azu Ibrahim, a resident of Kuyello community, the sum of One Million Naira for selling plots of land without the consent of the owners.”

In addition, with the government becoming removed from rural communities, leaving them at the mercy of violent criminals, terrorists, Mr El-Rufai suggested, are manning the ungoverned space and extracting revenues from the people.

“Multiple reports also exist of bandits and terrorists exacting protection levies and similar taxes from farmers and communities, in return for permission to cultivate their fields,” the governor said.

Terrorism researchers say that revenues from taxes and levies forced on ungoverned spaces – created by the failure or limited capacity of the government – are a major source of financing and sustenance for terrorists.

Like the Kaduna situation described by El-Rufai, ISWAP terrorists based on the Lake Chad islands are also extracting huge revenues from the fishing activities and pastoralists operating in the area.

El-Rufai, when contacted, said he would not comment on this story because his correspondence was supposed to be confidential communication to the president.

In 2016, he wrote a similar confidential letter to the president, warning that the Buhari administration was losing momentum just about a year after coming to power

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Soludo suspends LG Chairman over alleged killing of wife

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Anambra State governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has suspended the transition committee chairman of Nnewi North Local Government Area, Hon Mbazulike Iloka.

Iloka, who is popularly known as Mba Mba, was suspended over the circumstances surrounding his wife’s death last Sunday morning.

Iloka’s wife, Chidiebere, was said to have slumped and died on Sunday morning, after serving her husband breakfast.

But those who know the coupe insisted that Iloka may have killed his wife, as he has a record of consistently battering her.

Signs of violence was also found on her body, while a huge wound on her head aroused suspicion, leading to public outcry over her death.

In a letter of suspension, which was signed by Anambra State Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affair, Tony Collins Nwabunwanne, the chairman was asked to hand over to the head of Local Government administration, to avoid interfering in investigation.

The letter read: “Following the sad news of the death of your wife, late Mrs Chidiebere Iloka on 7th August 2022, there have been a massive outcry over the circumstances leading to her death, including alleged possible homicide.

“While you are presumed innocent until the completion of investigations, it has become imperative that you step aside to allow unfettered investigation and justice.

“Consequently, you are directed to step aside and to hand over the affairs of the local government to the head of local government administration, not later that 12th August 2022, until further notice.”

Iloka has only recently been appointed chairman of the local government. He has only been in office for about a week before his eventual removal.

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