Buhari Storms Sambisa Forest
President Muhammadu Buhari will visit Sambisa Forest, the former enclave of Boko Haram on Monday to declare open the Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship, NASAC 2017.

The insurgency group, Boko Haram, who at the peak of it’s siege on the nation occupied towns in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, made the Sambisa Forest their stronghold and strategic headquarters until they were pushed out by the military on Christmas eve, last year.

The military had subsequently declared the former game reserve as a proposed site for military institution, building roads into it and kick-starting the new status of Sambisa Forest with the hosting of the annual Small Arms Competition.

The competition which starts on Monday is expected to be hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He is to be accompanied by the Minister of Defense, Alhaji Mansur Ali and Service Chiefs,  Chief of Defense Staff, General Gabriel Olanisakin, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar Sadique and  Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Obet Ebas.

The Chief of Training and Operations, Army, Major General David Amadu, during a press briefing on Friday in Maiduguri to kick-start the NASAC 2017 championship, said the championship would  be formally declared open by the President on Monday, March 27, 2017.

He said the championship which drew to a close on Friday, March 31st has lined up a chain of activities which would include medical outreach to Bama, Konduga, and Magumeri IDPs camps, educational training for Army Education Corps in Maiduguri , security awareness meetings with  the traditional rulers and distribution of relief materials to IDPs within Maiduguri and surrounding towns.

Amadu added that the championship was aimed at testing and shaping the intelligence and professional capacity of the Nigerian Army officers and soldiers as well as equipment.

 Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi, (Telu I)
The Oluwo of Iwo and the Paramount Ruler of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi, (Telu I) has won the prestigious City People Magazin Award for Excellence as the Royal Father Of The Years.

The City Peoples Media Group's letter sent to the monarch and seen by News Punch states that Oba Abdulrasheed emerged the winner of the award considering his exemplary and remarkable works in building and developing his communities.

The award according to the Magazine will come up on the 2nd of April 2017 at Lagos Airport Hotel, B Event Centre, Obafemi Awolowo Way Ikeja, Lagos by 2:00pm

Kelechi Iheanacho
The Manchester City striker cancelled out Moussa Sow’s opener to ensure Gernot Rohr's men share the spoils with the Teranga Lions

An 83rd minute penalty from Kelechi Iheanacho helped Nigeria secure a 1-1 draw against Senegal in their friendly encounter at the Hive Stadium in London.

Moussa Sow had given the Teranga Lions an early second half lead but they could secure victory against the Super Eagles.

The Senegalese started the brighter of both sides in the opening 20 minutes with Idrissa Gueye exerting his influence. And their best chance of the half fell to Sow who rattled the woodwork from close range.

Halfway into the match, Super Eagles skipper for the night, Ogenyi Onazi was stretched off after collision with the Teranga Lions striker, Mame Diouf. The Trabzonspor midfielder was replaced by John Ogu.

And Ogu’s combination with Wilfred Ndidi at the heart of the midfield shifted the momentum to the Rohr’s men.

Nigeria could have gone ahead on two occasions, both opportunities falling to Iheanacho. The Manchester City man fizzled a low shot across the face of the Senegalese goal before missing a point blank effort after some good work from Alex Iwobi and Moses Simon. The first half ended goalless.

After the interval, the Senegalese regained dominance and were rewarded nine minutes into the half after Sow benefitted from poor defending to get the curtain raiser.

Rohr rang the changes with Ogenekaro Etebo and debutant, Isaac Success coming on for Iwobi and Simon respectively.

Etebo almost had an instant impact after an Eagles' breakaway saw Iheanacho release the Feirense attacker whose effort was parried.

However, the Eagles would have the final say in the match after Iheanacho was tripped in the area by goalkeeper Pape Ndiaye and the youngster made no mistake from 12-yard out to rescue Nigeria from their first loss under Rohr. The strike also marked his fifth in his last six games for the national team.

The Super Eagles will now play their second friendly encounter against Burkina Faso at the same venue on March 27.

dino melaye
Sahara Reporters - The fiasco over Senator Dino Melaye’s fraudulent claims of possessing several degrees and certificates has continued to escalate as SaharaReporters learned today that the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has discredited the senator’s assertion that he possesses a degree from the UK university. The university stated that it had absolutely no evidence that the senator received any formal education at the reputable university. LSE, which is based in London, is one of the higher institutions of learning where Mr. Melaye claimed that he had earned one certificate or another.  

In an email to SaharaReporters, Candy Gibson, a Senior Media Relations Officer at LSE, stated, “We have checked our records and can find no evidence of Dino Melaye having any degree qualification from the London School of Economics and Political Science.”

Mr. Melaye, who runs no known form of business but flaunts his material possessions, especially such expensive automobiles as Bentley and Lamborghini, had claimed that he obtained seven degrees from several institutions, including Harvard and LSE. Under scrutiny, the senator’s academic claims have been exposed as bogus after a colleague of his, Senator Ali Ndume, urged the legislative body last Tuesday to probe Mr. Melaye’s educational records. 

On various sites, including the official Senate online page as well as such social media forums as LinkedIn and Twitter, Mr. Melaye claimed that his educational profile includes degrees from seven universities. He created the impression that he earned three degrees from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) in Zaria, his first university where he purportedly graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography. Among his discredited or questionable academic claims are the assertion that he studied at the University of Abuja for a Masters in Policy Analysis, and received degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Harvard University and a post-graduate degree from the University of Jos. 

SaharaReporters has confirmed that at least two of these claims are outright falsehoods. The registrar’s office at Harvard University noted in a statement that while Mr. Melaye completed a week-long leadership seminar in November 2016, he did not graduate from the university. Then, just today, the London School of Economics and Political Science responded to our correspondent’s inquiry by stating unambiguously that there was no proof on the institution’s database that Mr. Melaye obtained any degree qualification from the school. 

At one point, officials at ABU indicated their plan to make a statement on whether Mr. Melaye completed his coursework in the Department of Geography. However, they may have abandoned the plan following resistance from key officials of the Geography Department who insist that the senator never met the criteria for graduation. 

Since last Tuesday when SaharaReporters broke the report that Mr. Melaye’s academic claims were hollow, the flamboyant senator tweeted a threat to sue the website for N5 billion.

Examination officers at the Department of Geography, where Mr. Melaye spent almost eight years as a student, told our correspondent that the senator never fulfilled his course requirements to graduate. They accused then Head of Department of Geography, David Ogbonna, of cooking up results to enable Mr. Melaye to evade course requirements, which included mandatory courses required for graduation. 

SaharaReporters learned that since the certificate scandal broke, some top officials of ABU had been pressuring the staff of Geography Department to certify that Mr. Melaye graduated with a third class. A source at the Geography Department told our correspondent that such a certification would be fraudulent. 

Elizabeth Orefuwa: Lasu Best Graduating Student 2017
Mrs. Elizabeth Orefuwa, the 2017 Lagos State University Best Graduating Student has delivered a baby girl barely 24 hours after the award during the 21st convocation ceremony of the institution.

The news of Elizabeth who was already pregnant as she was awarded yesterday as the Best Graduating Student delivery of a baby girl broke today during the convocation of the of the Postgraduate Diploma, Masters and Doctorate degrees at the University, News Punch learned reliably.

Elizabeth, 29, graduated with a 4.74 cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) making her the best graduating student in Lagos State University, has revealed that it was no easy road for her. According to her, she wrote the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) 7 times before finally gaining admission into the tertiary institution.

The Accounting Education graduate made this revelation at the institution's 21st convocation ceremony held on Wednesday. According to her, she had always wanted to be an accountant but when she could not gain admission into the university after years of trying, she started a professional career in accounting.

“The journey through the institution was not easy; it took me seven years of writing the UTME before I finally gained admission in 2012. I also applied for direct entry three times at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. During this period of waiting, I started professional career at the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) in 2007 and became qualified as an Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) in 2010,’’ she said.

She explained that she did not relent in her effort to get a university education because she was determined and her father also motivated her to get a university education despite having a professional certificate in Accounting. She had wanted to study Accounting but ended up in Accounting education, however, she had no idea she would graduate with the best result overall in the school.

"My aim is to get my first degree certificate after several years of waiting and to satisfy my dad, who has been insisting on academic certificate before professional certificate. He would always say to me then that I have put the cart before the horse. However, what kept me going was self-belief, focus and determination bearing in mind that I am not competing with other but with my own capabilities."

Orefuwa got married in her final year and is now pregnant. Surprisingly, her increased responsibilities as a wife did not affect her academic performance. If anything, it even made her better.

She said: “I had a CGPA of 4.72 before marriage and I graduated with 4.74 point. I got married during my final year in 2015 and my husband was very supportive throughout that period.’’

She intends to teach accounting and also practise accounting as a profession.

Adugbe John
Adugbe John, The Secretary General, Fed. Poly Ede
Students of Federal Polytechnic, Ede in Osun State have accused the leadership of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP) and the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) of disrupting academic activities in the polytechnic and urged the two staff unions to allow smooth running of the institution.

The President and Secretary of the Students Union in the institution, Messrs Bakare Nureni Adejare and Adugbe John, in a press statement demanded that the management of the polytechnic must investigate the activities SSANIP and NASU in the institution.

They urged the school management to curtail the excesses of SSANIP and NASU so that the unions would not jeopardise the future of the students because of their selfish interest.

The students’ union leadership lamented that the mid-semester break declared by the school management of the polytechnic was unwarranted and that it was a tactical closedown of the institution because of the activities SSANIP and NASU.

The students warned that any attempt to destabilise the school would be resisted and urged the school management to reopen the institution without further delay. The students insisted that the Chairman SSANIP, Mr. Adekanola Johnson Kayode must be probed.

The SUG leaders commended the entire students for persevering the hardship and difficulties that the staff unions inflicted on them. Babare and Adugbe urged the students to remain peaceful and assured them that issue would be resolved soon.

According to the statement, “While we await the immediate action of the management of this noble institution, we implore all students to continue to be law abiding and we promise not to swerve from catering for the welfare of the ever conscious Nigerian students of Federal Polytechnic Ede.”

“Pursuant to these reasons, we unanimously move a motion of no confidence on the barbaric act displayed by the leadership of Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP) Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) on our campus.”

“It is so disheartening to note the steps taken by the leadership of the SSANIP and NASU of the Federal Polytechnic Ede by taking away the basic amenities from the campus and subjected the students to inconvenience and hardship.

“It is evident that they want to do everything in their power to disrupt the peace that we enjoy in the institution after realising that their previous one week strike didn’t have much effect on our peaceful campus.”

“The activities of SSANIP and NASU on our campus have become unbearable. They disrupt the peaceful registration of the prospective students that were applying for UTME. Also, on 22nd of March, 2016, a similar scenario was experienced on campus which truncated the examination process leading to the closedown of the institution.”

“Their latest action arouse a major concern about their general state of mind concerning decision making as it depicts lack of interest in the future of the students of this noble institution.

It is shocking that they could easily forget that every student is entitled to a safe, orderly and peaceful environment and that students will only succeed in an environment that is conducive for learning.

“Every student has their responsibility as well as that of the management. Students succeed best when the leadership of an institution and the management maintain a strong partnership at all levels.”

“If you want your voice to echo to the hearing of the Federal Government, there are ideological ways to achieve this. Not by disturbing the peace on our campus and the entire community.”

The students’ union advised the staff unions to take their agitation to the appropriate quarters. “If you feel that the federal government has failed to listen to your yearning, there are more meaningful strategic measures to achieve your aim without making us to suffer unnecessarily.”

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