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Audu Maikori retracts statement that 5 students of Kaduna state College of Education were killed in Southern Kaduna crisis

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Chocolate City president, Audu Maikori, has released a statement retracting a story he shared online some weeks ago where he said that 5 students of the Kaduna state College of Education were killed in the Southern Kaduna crisis.

According to Maikori, after carrying out a detailed investigation that involved the police, he found out that his driver who claimed his brother was also killed, lied to him just to extort money. Read the statement below

 

Following the statement by the College of Education, Gidan-Waya Kaduna and the Kaduna State government refuting the story that 5 students of the school were killed by Fulani herdsmen en-route to school on the 27th of January 2017, as reporter by my one Simon Joseph (my personal driver) I decided to further investigate the story to ensure that all the facts of the case and evidence were presented to the authorities.

My driver Simon Joseph had travelled to the village to attend his younger brother’s burial and on his return on Monday the 30th of January 2017, I asked him for pictures from the burial, the ID card of his brother and also pictures of the casket so I could submit to the authorities and he told me that he had phone issues so he could not store pictures on his phone. He told me however that his sister had the pictures on her phone and I proceeded to give him money to go to Ikeja to get the pictures from his sister, so I could have evidence. He didn’t return till evening, and when he did, he showed me some blurry picture of a male body which didn’t show the face of the victim. At this point I began to strongly suspect foul play. I again questioned him about the veracity of his story to which he swore on the bible that his brother was dead and even began to shed tears.
Not totally satisfied with the story I made contact with his referees ( who helped to engage him) and they didn’t seem to know about any death in his family . So on the 2nd of February, 2017 I went in company of his referee one Mr Dauda to the Lekki Police Station for questioning in the absence of his providing any concrete evidence of the death of his brother and fellow students(He clearly didn’t suspect anything at this stage). When we got to the station, I lodged my complaint and when he was questioned he maintained his story about the deaths were real until the police officers at the station threatened to arrest him . It was only then that he confessed and said he was just trying to collect money from me; that he knew that I was involved in the advocacy on the Southern Kaduna crisis and he thought that I after obtaining money for me for the fake burial expenses I wouldn’t cross check the veracity of his story. So he was duly arrested.
Following this development, I decided that the right thing to do was to issue a statement retracting the tweet which reported the killings of students of the College of Education as relayed to me by my driver. And I had no reason to doubt him due to the spate of killings in the area and because in the 8 months he has worked for me, he had never “lied” to me about anything or so I thought. Besides why would any right thinking human lie about the death of a sibling?
Consequently, I hereby tender an unreserved and sincere apology to the Management of the College of Education, Gidan Waya, His Excellency the Governor of Kaduna State and the Kaduna State Government, and also to the people of Southern Kaduna and the Fulani community and also VANGUARD newspapers whos source was my driver for the false statement by my driver which I also publicized believing same to be true.
This action is made even more imperative because I understand that as a leader in my community, my statements are taken seriously and shapes the narrative. But nothing is more important in leadership than owning up to mistakes honestly and with integrity regardless of the repercussions or circumstances.
I make this statement with all sense of responsibility, realizing that by admitting what transpired, people may begin to doubt my credibility and that of my statements in future… this is a risk I am willing to take but I would rather tell the truth about the situation than suppress it.
Besides this what is clear to me is that there are people who are simply just creating and concocting pictures and stories to deliberately mislead people , like I was misled. With benefit of hindsight I should have checked the story in detail but given that I am not a journalist or Police officer my experience in these matters are/were limited.
I must also seize this opportunity to plead with my brothers in Kaduna, regardless of ethnic or religious persuasion that the time to unite and fight for peace is now. This unfortunate situation is now actively being used by crisis opportunists, politicians and some unpatriotic elements to forge their personal or commercial agendas to the detriment of the peace and stability of the state. This must stop.
Instructively, it is important to note that nothing in my clarification undermines the fact that the lives of Nigerians citizens have been lost in the Southern Kaduna crisis rather it refers to this particular incident which I have verified to have been untrue and fraudulent.
The arrest of the arrest of 17 suspects with arms and ammunition in connection with the Southern Kaduna killings on the 3rd of February by security agents is evidence that our agitations are yielding fruit and to that end I commend the government on these arrests as well as many more in the nearest future.
To this end, I am even more resolved in this quest for the restoration of peace in Southern Kaduna and also working even more closely with the all the stakeholders to ensure that normalcy returns to Kaduna. What is however clear is that unverified facts , hate messages and ethnic stereotyping only exacerbates the issues ,they don’t help the pursuit of peace.
As I speak, my former driver Simon has been handed over to the police authorities.He is available to help the authorities with any further investigations.

Finally all the people that posted #IstandWithAudu I appreciate the trust bestowed on me and hope I haven’t lost it.

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Obasanjo donates former residence as isolation centre

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has offered his former residence at the Presidential Hilltop, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, to be used as an isolation centre for victims of the ongoing coronavirus disease.

An aide said Mr Obasanjo made the offer on Friday, and has since handed over the 32-room facility to the Ogun government for immediate use. Ogun State has recorded three cases of the coronavirus, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). A total of 70 cases have been recorded in Nigeria as at 8:00 p.m. Nigerian times.

Mr Obasanjo’s special assistant media, Kehinde Akinyemi, who confirmed the development said the former president was concerned about the pandemic. “And I think those who can in one way or another assist in this situation should do so,” Mr Obasanjo was quoted as having said.

The facility located off the Presidential Boulevard, Oke Sari, Abeokuta has each of the 32 rooms ensuite, with a standby generator

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Coronavirus: Google commits $800 million to support small businesses, health workers, others

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The CEO of Google and Alphabet, Sundar Pichai, has announced a new $800 million commitment to support small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), health organisations and governments, and health workers “on the frontline of coronavirus”.

Mr Pichai made this known in a statement published on Google’s blog on Friday.

According to him, the commitment is necessitated as the coronavirus outbreak continues to worsen around the world.

He said the pandemic is taking a devastating toll on lives and communities.

The Google boss said the commitment includes, “$250 million in ad grants to help the World Health Organisation (WHO) and more than 100 government agencies globally provide critical information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other measures to help local communities.

“This is an increase from our initial $25 million announced last month. In addition, we’re providing $20 million in ad grants to community financial institutions and NGOs specifically to run public service announcements on relief funds and other resources for SMBs.

“A $200 million investment fund that will support NGOs and financial institutions around the world to help provide small businesses with access to capital.

“As one example, we’re working with the Opportunity Finance Network in the U.S. to help fill gaps in financing for people and communities underserved by mainstream financial institutions. This is in addition to the $15 million in cash grants Google.org is already providing to nonprofits to help bridge these gaps for SMBs,” he added.

Mr Pichai also said that “$340 million in Google Ads credits available to all SMBs with active accounts over the past year. Credit notifications will appear in their Google Ads accounts and can be used at any point until the end of 2020 across our advertising platforms. We hope it will help to alleviate some of the cost of staying in touch with their customers.

“A pool of $20 million in Google Cloud credits for academic institutions and researchers to leverage our computing capabilities and infrastructure as they study potential therapies and vaccines, track critical data, and identify new ways to combat COVID-19. Learn how to apply for credits on the Google for Education site.

“Direct financial support and expertise to help increase the production capacity for personal protective equipment (PPE) and lifesaving medical devices. We’re working with our longtime supplier and partner Magid Glove & Safety, with the goal of ramping up production of 2-3 million face masks in the coming weeks that will be provided to the CDC Foundation.

“Additionally, employees from across Alphabet, including Google, Verily and X, are bringing engineering, supply chain and healthcare expertise to facilitate increased production of ventilators, working with equipment manufacturers, distributors and the government in this effort.”

In addition to these commitments, the CEO increased the gift match Google offers every employee annually to $10,000 from $7,500

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IG orders investigation into destruction of beer bottles by police officers

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The Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Adamu, has directed the police in Lagos to immediately investigate some police officers captured in a video destroying beer bottles at a drinking spot.

The one-minute video, which has been trending on Twitter since Thursday, showed uniformed police officers kicking and pulling down stacks of crates, and breaking several beer bottles.

The incident reportedly happened in Lagos, and the officers were apparently enforcing the restriction order in the state occasioned by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Nigerians have been expressing outrage over the action of the officers.

A tweet from the police Twitter handle (@PoliceNG) on Friday said the police chief “condemned the apparent unprofessionalism and highhandedness exhibited by the Police officers”.

Mr Adamu is said to have directed the commissioner of police in Lagos State “to immediately investigate and commence disciplinary actions against the officers involved”.

The police chief said officers involved in enforcement of restriction orders and other law enforcement functions “must exercise discretionary powers with the utmost sense of professionalism, compassion and respect for the citizens.”

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