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Ex-Minister ‘Mama Taraba’ dies at 61

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A former minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha-Jummai Alhassan, has died at the age of 61.

Suleiman Dantsoho, her former media aide, confirmed the death, saying she died at a Cairo hospital on Friday afternoon.

She was appointed minister in 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari to represent Taraba State after losing the 2015 governorship election to the incumbent Darius Ishaku.

Popularly known as ‘Mama Taraba’, Ms Alhassan was born on September 16, 1959 in Jalingo, Taraba State.

She resigned as the minister on July 27, 2018 after the ruling APC screening committee disqualified her from the 2019 governorship primaries.

She was appointed in 2015 to the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari after his election.

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Soyinka: Nigeria on the edge, Buhari must take urgent action

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Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, says Nigeria is on the “edge”, and asked President Muhammadu Buhari to move beyond mere talk, and take urgent action to set the country on the right path.
He said the President should stop exuding false confidence and speak like a leader ready to take action concerning the country’s challenges.
Last week, Buhari spoke, in two recorded interviews and a national broadcast, on challenges facing the country, stating that his administration was committed to ensuring growth and improved security.
Soyinka on Arise Television programme on Monday said the problems of the country could be addressed with the right actions by the leaders.
He said, “First of all, he should start talking to people like a leader — and a leader who is awake to the realities of the situation. Then, let us see actions being taken.
“I’m tired of hearing things like ‘you will see differences in a few weeks’ time’. We are tired of that. He’s got to put his cards on the table and take people into confidence.
“He’s got to stop exuding a false confidence, because that kind of confidence is totally false. It is not based on realities, and we’ve got to see an acceleration of actions to retrieve this nation from the very edge.
“It is no longer a problem of the people,; it is a problem of leadership, because the people have shown themselves ready to act, to save their own community.”
Soyinka also said the national assembly and the 36 state governors were not doing enough, considering their constitutional responsibilities.
He said, “Members of NASS are not doing enough. If you study the constitution very carefully, you will realise that they have certain powers which they haven’t touched
“There are certain areas they can compel this government to act the way it should, and that applies especially to governors — the governors themselves are too timid.”
He warned Nigerians to stop spreading fake news, stressing that it is a way of distorting constructive narratives that could help the people.
Soyinka said, “I appeal to people to stop putting words in my mouth. If you think you can pressure me to speak by stealing my identity and putting words in my mouth on social media, you are wasting your time. Not only that, you are acting in a distorting way.
“At this sensitive time, I must warn Nigerians to stop playing around with such serious issues, otherwise they are going to lose the kind of support they have from people like me.”

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Surrender and seek forgiveness, Army tells B’Haram insurgents

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The Nigerian army has called on Boko Haram insurgents to drop their arms, “seek forgiveness and reconciliation”.

General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division, Nigerian Army, AA Eyitayo, made the call on Sunday at an event organised for journalists by the army in Maiduguri, Borno state capital.

Eyitayo said Boko Haram insurgents are in a state of disarray, following the recent military onslaught against them.

He asked the insurgents to surrender and take advantage of the opportunity to be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society.

The brigadier-general, who is also the commander sector 1, operation Hadin Kai, asked the media to enlighten the insurgents about the call for them to “shun violence”.

“We are not here for bloodletting, nobody is happy that people are dying,” the GOC said.

“Some of them (insurgents) are listening to the media so it is good for us to appeal to them through the media to shun violence, turn up to seek forgiveness and reconciliation.”

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BREAKING: Bennett replaces Netanyahu as Israel’s prime minister

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Israel has elected Naftali Bennett its new prime minister after its parliament narrowly voted in favour of a new coalition government, ending Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s historic 12-year rule.
Sunday’s vote, passed by a 60-59 margin, ended a two-year cycle of political paralysis in which the country held four elections.
Bennett, a former ally of Netanyahu turned bitter rival, will preside over a diverse and fragile coalition comprising eight parties with deep ideological differences.
Netanyahu remains head of the Likud party and will hold the post of opposition leader, according to a report obtained Sunday evening.

Netanyahu reportedly sat silently during the vote.
And after it was approved, he was said to have stood up to leave the chamber, before turning around and shaking hands with Bennett.
Netanyahu, wearing a black medical mask, then sat down in the opposition leader’s chair.
Minutes later, Bennett was sworn into office, followed by members of the new cabinet.

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