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Drama as Yahoo boy rakes N39m

Inhabitants of Yenagoa will long recollect the thunderous drama of jubilation when a yahoo boy, Mr. Tom Monicat an applicant, rakes N39m into his bank account. It is gathered that the celebration started all the way from Benin City where he bought two siren cars blaring to Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa state. Tongues of inhabitants wagged who the celebrant was as they neither see escort vehicle nor military officer in the convoy. Eventually when the celebrant pull over at his resident in high spirit of delight, there and then the bubble burst. gathered that Mr. Monicat is said to have stumbled on his best friend Perebote King's yahoo site. He deleted and tips all scaming documents on it to his advantage to make instant windfall rather than his pal. His undergraduate friend, who later learn this terrible deal turned furious, swearing fire and brimestones to kill him. However, when Tom Monicat got wind of his friend deadly plot, he moved to an unknown destiny with his family immediately. Sources say antigraft operatives may invite Mr. Monicat for interogation on how he made his money.

US Withdrawal From Afghanistan Largely Complete, to Finish by Late August

Almost 20 years after the United States first went to Afghanistan, and just months after President Joe Biden announced his intent to pull all combat troops from the country, the U.S. withdrawal is nearly complete, with America's military presence limited largely to the capital of Kabul and the nearby international airport. Multiple U.S. officials said Friday that the vast majority of troops and equipment have been pulled from Afghanistan, with the rest expected to leave by the end of August, slightly ahead of the early September deadline set by Biden in April. "We're on track exactly as to where we expected to be," Biden said, when questioned repeatedly about the developments while trying to talk up the latest U.S. jobs report. "We were in that war for 20 years, 20 years," he added, calling the drawdown "rational," before trying to change topics by telling reporters, "I want to talk about happy things." Other U.S. officials also conceded the somber nature of the U.S. pullout, acknowledging that the situation on the ground has deteriorated as the American footprint has shrunk. "The president has long felt, as many Americans have, as many leaders have, that the war in Afghanistan was not one that could be won militarily," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday, arguing that a pre-withdrawal assessment "did not sugarcoat what the likely outcomes would be." Violence across Afghanistan has surged since the U.S. began its withdrawal, with the Taliban insurgency overrunning dozens of districts across the country, practically doubling the amount of territory it controls, according to an analysis by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies' Long War Journal. Casualties have also risen, with the Afghan government and Taliban officials claiming ever higher death tolls on the battlefield. Friday, however, seemed to mark a milestone for the decadeslong conflict, with U.S. officials confirming to VOA that American and coalition forces had left Bagram Airfield for the last time, turning it over to Afghan security forces. All Coalition and American troops have departed Bagram Air Base last night. The base was handed over to the ANDSF. ANDSF will protect base and use it to combat terrorism. — Fawad Aman (@FawadAman2) July 2, 2021 For nearly the entire span of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, the base, 60 kilometers north of Kabul, served as the center of the U.S. fight to remove Taliban forces from power and take down the al-Qaida terrorists responsible for killing thousands of Americans on September 11, 2001. "Bagram was a key hub for air support for everything that we were doing over there for the last 20 years," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters Friday. "I wouldn't describe it as the end of a chapter," he said. "But we don't need that kind of capability right now." Instead, Kirby said, the Pentagon will focus most of its attention on Kabul and the surrounding areas, including Kabul airport, where U.S. forces will join with Turkey, at least for the near term, to provide security. U.S. forces will also concentrate on protecting the ongoing U.S. diplomatic presence in Kabul, advising and assisting Afghan government forces, and providing support for Washington's counterterrorism efforts against groups such as al-Qaida and Islamic State-Khorasan. Kirby also said the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General Austin "Scott" Miller, would remain in the region and retain the authority to launch airstrikes in support of Afghan forces for the time being. Other changes, though, are coming. The Pentagon announced Friday that U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved a plan to transfer combat authorities from Miller to General Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie, the U.S.-based commander of U.S. Central Command, later this month. It is also establishing a Kabul-based military office, U.S. Forces Afghanistan-Forward, to lead security efforts for the U.S. diplomatic presence, and adding a military office in Qatar to coordinate financial support to the Afghan security forces and help facilitate maintenance needs for the Afghan air force. However, not all details have been worked out. U.S. officials say they are engaging in ongoing talks with Afghanistan's neighbors about securing basing agreements and other rights, which might allow military planners to position assets such as drones and aircraft nearby to make it easier to conduct counterterrorism strikes if needed. "It's more important for us to do this right and to make sure that the solutions are sustainable over time than it is to just slap a solution on it," Kirby said. "We're confident that in working in concert with our colleagues at the State Department, we're confident that we're going to get there." "It exists, it's tangible. All of you have seen it" per @PentagonPresSec on over-the-horizon CT capabilities in #Afghanistan "There's nothing mythical about it" Kirby adds US seeking more options in talks with neighboring countries — Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) July 2, 2021 'Positive step' Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid on Friday welcomed the announcement that the U.S. had finally vacated Bagram Airfield, describing it as a sign of things to come. "We consider this withdrawal a positive step. Afghans can get closer to stability and peace with the full withdrawal of foreign forces," he told VOA, adding that the withdrawal was also beneficial for both the Americans and the Afghans.  Pro-Taliban social media outlets also erupted in celebration as soon as reports of the U.S. military vacating Bagram became public early Friday, declaring it an insurgent victory. Analysts added that the changes, especially the U.S. departure from Bagram, cannot be overlooked. "Its grandeur and command, at its peak, once symbolized American dominance in the country," said Tamim Asey, executive chairman of the Kabul-based Institute of War and Peace Studies. "Now, its empty camps, with equipment that Afghans can't operate or maintain because it is too costly, symbolizes abandonment and defeat," Asey said. "It symbolizes everything that has gone right and wrong with the American intervention in Afghanistan." VOA's Ayaz Gul contributed to this report.

Kenyan Woman Who Served 5 Years In Prison For Brutally Beating Her Husband’s Side Chic, Advises Women To Walk Away

A Kenyan woman, Robby Mukonjere served five years in prison for brutally beating up her husband’s side-chic after finding the two together. In an interview with Tuko, Robby said her husband kept lying about taking work trips, and sometimes he would stay in a woman’s house for a few days. Before she met her husband, Robby had a budding career in the hospitality industry despite only going up to the primary school level and dropping due to lack of fees to proceed to high school. She started out working in a hotel, and slowly due to her service and hospitality. Her then-boss opted to take her back to school and gave her promotions that saw her get to the level of a hotel manager, where she ended up meeting her husband. She bought her own piece of land and furnished her house. As soon as she met her husband, she sold the land and carried all her house stuff and moved in with him without telling her family members. The husband had two sons, whom she took in. They were also blessed with a child. However, trouble began when the husband started lying that he is going on work trips and instead would spend days away from home within their area in some woman’s house. “One day, I found a hotel receipt in his trouser while doing laundry, and he lied and told me he and his colleagues went to sleep at the hotel. But one day, someone came and told me that he and my husband and his other woman were drinking together, so I decided to go to that place,” said Robby. When her husband saw her, he ran away using the back door and left his shoes. But due to her anger, she started beating up that woman and hurt her so badly that she had to be admitted to Kenyatta Hospital. Later, the police came looking for her, but because her kid was very sick, they left a message that she should go to the station immediately. When she got to the station, she was told that she hurt another woman and that the case was to be handled in Nairobi and because he was living in Western, she had to travel to Nairobi every two weeks for the hearing. “The lady was badly hurt. I knew I was going to get a life sentence because she was even coming to court in a wheelchair, and her family kept telling me that I will know who they are for messing with their child,” she added. Robby was handed a five-year jail term and taken to Langata Women’s Prison. Back home, one of her son’s was told by her cousins that her mom passed on. But her daughter, who was in Uganda, came home and found the younger brother struggling, so she packed and went to the mom’s uncle. Since she was jailed, the man never visited her or the children at her brother’s place. They are, however, planning on visiting him because they were told he is very ill. While in prison, she found out she was HIV positive and that depressed her. But, she got help from the prison warden. Robby advised women to walk away when anger takes the better part of them.

End Twitter suspension in Nigeria

On Friday, 4 June, the Nigerian authorities announced a ban on Twitter in Nigeria and directed Internet Service Providers in Nigeria to block access to Twitter. Media houses also had to deactivate their Twitter accounts. These actions are clear violations of the right to freedom of expression, access to information, and freedom of the press. The suspension of Twitter in Nigeria followed the removal of a controversial tweet from Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. In that tweet, the President had threatened to deal with those causing trouble in the country using “the language they understand,” referencing the experience of the 1967-1970 civil war where millions of Nigerians got killed. The Nigerian authorities have since set plans to force social media platforms to register in Nigeria and comply with local regulations before they are licensed to operate. These actions are the latest symptoms of the alarming backsliding on human rights across Nigeria. Social media platforms have helped Nigerians get information, communicate, hold useful dialogues and conversations, and demand accountability from the Nigerian authorities, particularly during the #EndSARS protests last year. When in the streets, peaceful protesters are met with violent reprisal from the Nigerian authorities, and now their online voices are being silenced as well. Legislative bills popularly known as the ‘Hate Speech Bill’ and ‘The Social Media Bill’ both of which provide severe punitive sanctions such as the death penalty in some cases for social media users convicted of “crimes” provided under them are also signs of the regression in the rights to freedom of expression, access to information and freedom of the press. It’s time to end the unlawful suspension of Twitter in Nigeria and let President Buhari know that Nigerians’ voices matter. Take action now.

Change without changers

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has said Nigeria is not only at war but also is in a war zone. If this statement is anything to go by, then there are unsatisfied voices within the country. They are agitating for autonomous republics. The Biafran agitators demand for their country, problems of insecurity caused by Fulani cattle herdsmen, Boko Haram, SARS protesters and many others rear up their ugly heads. But could these demands ever be realized without the changing changers? I mean the national assembly and presidency. Let me quickly say here that the APC change slogan is not applicable here. Doubtless, it was Isaac Boro and Odumegu Ojukwu that has carried out revolution for separate republics but they never succeeded. Axiomatically, change of leadership is possible only in the country by the ballot as the constitution stipulates. Now, Nigerians who ought to support the clarion call for autonomous status are within the system. Moreover, they were at one time or the other part of the drafters of the 1999 constitution. They are momentarily beneficiaries of the “crazy document” that some groups are calling for new one. Could the agitators effect change without the highly placed national assembly, presidency and other powerful Nigerians left alone by jobless youths, students, market women, traders and of course labor who at most times cage by the government of the day? It must be a fruitless far cry thus the nation is just like under siege. For instance, the insecurity situation particularly in the north-east is terrible. The hydra headed Boko Haram insurgency has claimed thousands of lives since it started years ago. They are of the view that western education is alien to them. It is only a few minorities that enjoy government job opportunities while the majority wallop in poverty. It is alleged that politicians arm and use them to rig elections with a promise of handsome monetary rewards. However, there is nothing for them after election. Their revenge mission is to use the weapons politicians bought for them against the state. Banditry, robbery and kidnappings have become the order of the day. Some even went further to declare takeover of some local governments. The Federal authorities can’t nip the crises in the bud following the absence of effective laws to curb its spreads particularly victims who pay huge sums of ransom money to their abductors for freedom. More saddening is the fact that the aforesaid changing changers, their representatives at the National Assembly and governors cannot do anything to curb the menace. It’s as if the country is in the disintegration process. Today, one hears stories of arson in the East with bomb explosions targeted at INEC offices and more worrisome at some security outfits. Looks like some politicians use these personnel to rig election and those suspected to be victims are revenging as new election is in the making soon. SARS protesters would want PMB to go over insecurity and police brutality on innocent youths in the nation any time they protested. However, the police assured that people should protest as long as they have a permit to do so. The Biafran frustration to the presidency was once expressed economically by Owodo ““Number One and the shortest one is an Igbo presidency in 2023, without which our continued participation in the politics of Nigeria is highly questionable. Even a child here believes in it. And far more important than this is the restructuring of the federation as soon as soon as possible. These are our two irreducible conditions. And anybody in the South East who does not believe in this is in the minority. He dare not shout to the public because he will be almost committing suicide,” Nwodo maintained. Certainly, that may be one reason the Biafrans agitating for a republic of its own in terms of marginalization of their ethnic group. As if that is not enough, armed Fulani herds men and farmers in the Southern part of Nigeria fight over the destruction of farmlands by the herdsmen. Scores of them die any time they clash. The Presidency is perhaps ignorant on this for a longtime because of the federal structure of the nation, believing that Nigerians can live and do business anywhere in the country. It’s unfair for the Presidency is poised to teach agitators the consequence of civil disobedience is a misnomer. Meanwhile several calls have gone out to the National Assembly for the making of a new constitution for the country has turned to deaf ears. These are powerful and influential individuals of change but unfortunately they dismissed the call. They live in paradise, no mosquito bites at night so they don’t care a hoot if there is starvation in the land except warfare, seeing them flee abroad with their families. In that process, many die on the way. They say two wrongs cannot make a right. If the unsatisfied voices within were to be late TB Joshua, they may have turn their wish to become a reality. Meanwhile, me advises them to freeze and put their tents together until the next general election in 2023 to vote leaders ready in changing the 1999 document for better future of their dreams even if the nation seems unstable now. Beware no condition is permanent, but change is.

Civil Servants Are Corrupt Than Politicians – Senate

The Senate Public Accounts Committee has disclosed that its investigations so far revealed that civil servants are more corrupt than the political class. According to reports, the Chairman of SPAC, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, made this known in an interview in Abuja. Urhoghide, “Let me say this, we are in a clime where accusations are quick to be made, where people are quick to condemn, particularly against the political class.” He made it known that, “Everybody believes that any evil that happens in Nigeria is perpetrated by the politicians or the political class but we keep telling them that all the political parties put together, in terms of membership, are not up to 10 per cent of the Nigerian population. So, we do not form the greater majority of our population as a country.” He added that, “Findings by our committee have revealed that the public wealth stolen from the system were not stolen by politicians. We have uncovered billions of naira stolen from the accounts of the MDAs. How many politicians have that kind of money?” He stated that, “We have been summoning accounting officers, who are civil servants, to account for the stolen funds. We are not summoning ministers. There is no way a minister could misappropriate public funds without the active connivance of the accounting officers. The permanent secretaries, directors general and executive secretaries of the MDAs are the accounting officers.” He stressed that, “We have uncovered billions of monies spent without due regard to extant Act and regulations. We are not at war with anybody but Nigerians too, must know that the greatest misuse of public funds are perpetrated by people from the civil service. That’s the truth and no one can controvert that. It is possible that today, in the presidency, the man who symbolises the office, the President would be blamed whereas those under him were the ones perpetrating fraud.” Urhoghide stated that, “The President, who won his election on the mantra of anti-corruption, will approve the implementation of our report when it is passed on to him by the National Assembly.” Talking about the erring agencies, he said, “Those agencies, particularly those that has to do with non-payment of taxes are usually indicted by the Office of the Auditor General when they erred. They ought to have collected five per cent withholding tax and 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax In terms of consultancy, they are expected to collect 10 per cent withholding tax.” He added that, “Government is expecting revenue from capital expenditure in terms of withholding taxes and value added tax. On any Federal Government capital expenditure now, we are expecting that a minimum of 12.5 per cent will return to government coffers. It is a way of ensuring that government gets money back when it is spending.” He made it known that, “Agencies that erred were told to go and reconcile their accounts with the Federal Inland Revenue Service or pay to the Consolidated Revenue Fund. We also have cases of misuse of public funds and we directed those involved to go and pay. We have decided to personalise the verdict against the individual head of an agency who stole public fund when he or she was in office and the Chief accounting officer.” He disclosed that, “Any public officer who stole public funds some 10 years ago, would be contacted and made to give account, they risked being jailed if they failed to refund the money they stole while in office. There must be consequences or repercussions for certain misdeeds.” “Somebody who stole N10m about years ago would have invested it and he would be richer and financially comfortable to pay now,” he concluded.

Senators Dismiss Call For New Constitution

Following the call for a new Constitution, after claims that the 1999 Constitution is obsolete, some senators have reportedly dismissed the idea of a new constitution, stating that the amendment of the 1999 Constitution will address grievances and challenges in the country. According to reports, Senators Gabriel Suswam , Gersom Bassey, Frank Ibezim and Opeyemi Bamidele stated this in separate interviews. According to Suswan, “If you look at developed economies, constitutional amendment is a continuous process. Nobody calls for a brand new constitution anywhere. What we need is a change of attitude of Nigerians. If you produce a brand new constitution, will that change Nigerians?” He added that, “What I think is that we should be talking about change attitude and the sincerity in the implementation and interpretation of the constitution.” Basset on his part stated that, “I think that constitutions in most part of the world are living documents which means that they are continuously being amended as they are used. I think the idea of sitting for a new constitution is not workable since we have a constitution that allows itself to evolve.” He added that, “The amendments allow us to achieve the type of constitution that we desired. The argument of a brand new constitution is debatable.” Ibezim also said that, “Nigerians know their challenges. The ongoing constitution review is timely so as to tackle the challenges facing Nigeria.” Bamidele opined that, “Nigerians who are calling for a brand new constitution are doing so based on their own assumption of what ought to happen. We cannot have a totally new constitution because the law does not grant us the power to do that. What Section 9 of the constitution grants us the power to do is amendment to the existing provisions.” He stressed that, “However, part of the amendment that can be made is an amendment to Section 9 which has specified the mode of altering our constitution. If it can be amended to provide for referendum by Nigerians that would make it possible for us to go for a new constitution, it is okay; but we have considered so many bills and we have concluded the national public hearing and we would start the process of compilation.” “However, no single bill from any quarter in Nigeria has proposed an amendment to Section 9 of the constitution,” he added. Meanwhile, the Senator representing Osun East Senatorial District, Francis Fadahunsi, reportedly argued that the amendments being made to the 1999 constitution would not sufficiently address the challenges facing Nigeria. According to him, “What the country need is a brand new constitution. When former President Goodluck Jonathan was in power, he organised a constitution conference but its report was not implemented by President Muhammadu Buhari.” He added that, “Nigerians believe that trying to amend the 1999 Constitution is like a tailor trying to mend a rag. The 1999 constitution is not a product of Nigerians; so we need a constitution that is produced by Nigerians and which they could claim ownership of.” “The powers in the centre are too much. We should produce a brand new constitution. We should meet as a region,” he stressed

Today's Opinions: I’m a woman who runs on rural roads. The fear is always there

Natalie Ruth Joynton lives in rural northern Michigan, where on her regular morning run she revels in “the mist rising off the water, the towering beech trees, the rolling hills.” Each day out in nature “restores my sense of wonder,” she writes. But it also inspires a sense of fear. “Out here,” Joynton explains, “it isn’t the black bears or the rumored cougars” that scare her. “It’s the moment a single truck I don’t know turns down the dirt road where I’m running” — a truck that might be carrying a person who wants to hurt her. Surely many women can relate. I know I’ve had the same thought every time I’ve run on a rural road alone, or wanted to venture out on a solo hike. As Joynton writes, the simple act of taking a solitary run is never simple for a woman. We hold too many stories in our heads about women who’ve sought to roam free and, through no fault of their own, found themselves in harm’s way. It’s a constant weighing of desire against risk. Joynton, haunted by these women’s stories, says she’s still waiting for a national conversation about lethal predation on women and nonlethal harassment, which has similar chilling effects. In the meantime, she runs, in “one of the most beautiful parts of America.” She enjoys it “far too much to give it up.”

New and newly rated photos a 14-year old Catholic girl photographed in June 2015