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Hajj: 9 pilgrims die in Saudi – NAHCON

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The number of Nigerian pilgrims that died while performing the 2019 Hajj in Saudi Arabia has risen to nine, the Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Ibrahim Kana, has announced.

Kana made the announcement in Muna while briefing journalists on activities of the medical team of NAHCON for the pilgrims.

“The deceased, a Lagos State pilgrim, collapsed at Jamrat and brought to the hospital in Muna but died, she was hypertensive”.

Speaking with a correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Muna on the issue earlier, the Lagos State Amir Hajj, AbdulLateef Abdulkarim, identified the deceased as Folashade Lawal.

He said that the late Mr Lawal hailed from Oshodi Local Government Area of the state, noting that she slumped at 3 a m while heading to Jamrat to throw stone at the devil.

Throwing stone at the three devils is one of the Islamic rites towards acceptable hajj.

The chairman of the team said the commission opened 21 field offices in Muna with adequate drugs and ambulances.

Kana said well-trained medical personnel were on ground to attend to pilgrims.

He identified cough and hypertension as some of the health challenges presented by patients.

Meanwhile, Nigerian pilgrims had begun aggressive buying and selling after Arafat and Eid el- Kabir.

NAN correspondent, who visited Nigerian camp in Muna, reports that many pilgrims, mostly women, were seen buying women wears and other gift items, they claimed were meant for their families and friends at home.

Others, however, devoted their time to accomplishing the remaining rites such as stone throw at the three devils and special prayer.

Pilgrims who spent three days to accomplish religious rites in Muna were expected to move to the Grand Mosque, Makkah on Tuesday to complete the remaining rites to ensure an acceptable hajj.

According to sources from NAHCON, August 17 has been fixed as kick-off for the flight of Nigerian pilgrims back home.

(NAN)

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Irate IPOB members attack Ekweremadu in Germany

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Irate members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, in Nuremberg, Germany, Saturday attacked the former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.

The Senator, who gave the account of the event on his social media handle, @iamekweremdu, however, assured Ndigbo and his supporters across the nation that he was safe.

But in a statement by Ekweremadu’s media aide, Uche Anichukwu, he quoted the lawmaker as saying, “I attended the Second Annual Cultural Festival and Convention organised by Ndi-Igbo Germany in Nurnberg today where I was billed to give a keynote address along with the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who, however could not make it eventually.

“I was given a resounding welcome by Ndigbo in Germany and everything went smoothly until some men, who identified themselves as IPOB members stormed the venue and began to complain about the killings in the South East, stressing that there would be no Igbo event at the venue.

“I tried to engage them, but when they became unruly, I had to leave the venue. The organisers also invited the police and I was accompanied out of the venue.

“Much as I am disappointed in their conduct, especially as I am one of the persons, who have spoken up on justice for Ndigbo, the Python Dance, judicial killings in Igbo land and elsewhere both on the floor of the Senate and in my written and personal engagements with the Presidency as well as rallied the South East Senate Caucus to secure Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s release with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe taking him on bail to douse tension in the South East, I nevertheless do not hold this to heart against them, for they know not what they do.

“I have received thousands of solidarity calls and messages from well meaning Ndigbo. I want to assure them that I am hail and hearty. I have also spoken with the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar”.

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ICPC ex-boss takes over Salaries and Wages Commission

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Former chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission (ICPC), Ekpo Nta, has taken over the chairmanship of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC).

The Chief Press Secretary of the Commission, Emma Njoku, made this known in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.

According to Mr Njoku, the Chairman of the Commission, Richard Egbule, handed over to Mr Nta, who is also the Commissioner for Compensation at the NSIWC, after the completion of his statutory 10 years tenure.

Egbule, while handing over to Nta, described his tenure as historic, being the first to complete two terms and the first chairman as the pioneer staff of the Commission from inception in 1992.

He called on staff of the Commission to get acquainted with the Act establishing the Commission.

This, according to him, will enable them know the enormous contributions and importance of the Commission to the development of the Civil Service and overall welfare of Public Service.

Nta, in his response, commended Egbule for his achievements in streamlining the nation’s salary administration.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Mr Egbule started his working career as an Administrative Officer on grade level 08 in the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation and rose to the post of Chief Management Consultant in the same office in 1992.

He became a pioneer staff of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission in 1992 and worked to structure and builds the Commission with the best professional practice.

In 2006, he was appointed the Secretary to the Commission and on Aug. 17, 2009, former President Umaru Yar’Adua made him the Executive Chairman of the Commission.

He attained 10 years as the Executive Chairman on August 17.

(NAN)

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RevolutionNow: DSS frees Dan-Halilu over Facebook post

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has finally released Ibrahim Dan-Halilu, eleven days after he was arrested at his residence in Rigachikun, Kaduna.

Dan-Halilu, a former Political Editor at Daily Trust newspaper, had been picked up by the intelligence agency over a Facebook post he made allegedly “supporting” Revolution Now movement.

The movement was convened by Omoyele Sowore, detained publisher of Sahara Reporters and Presidential candidate of Action Democratic Congress (ADC) in the 2019 election.

Dan-Halilu, a former staunch supporter of President Muhammadu before the 2015 elections was once a communication specialist with USAID, Information Assistant at the US Embassy and a Regional Communication Specialist for Family Health.

A DSS officer told PRNigeria on Saturday that the journalist was released in Kaduna at about 6pm on Friday.

TIMELY POST gathered that Dan-Halilu was released last Wednesday after preliminary investigation but was re-arrested after the operatives of DSS in Kaduna received a directive from Abuja that he should be made to undergo further grilling.

A family source, who prefers to remain anonymous, confirmed that Dan-Halilu has been released and is happy to be re-united with his loved ones after a long while.

The Facebook post that put him against the state reads: “I feel I should share because it resonates with me. If resonates with you too, please share until all oppressed people of Nigeria get the message and domesticate it. This is #Not the Nigeria of My Dream.

“Somebody asked me why we need a revolution now, this was my reply: The aim of the revolution is to challenge the uncommon hardship why we have 16m children on the street; challenge why we have become the poverty capital of the world; challenge why we have 20 persons with corrupt cases as federal legislators and would-be ministers.

“We need to restructure the country. We need to put an end to trillions spent on electricity while we live in darkness and pay estimated bill for electricity and meters. Why do we have huge oil reserves but our refineries are dead and we are re-importing what we exported as crude oil? It is time to ask why those in government travel abroad for medical care when they have left our hospitals dilapidated; why they send their children to school abroad when our children learn under mango trees.

“We are revolting against the continuing killings that have left 20,000 Nigerians dead while those in office move around under state paid security and do nothing. We are revolting against the because over a thousand Nigerians soldiers killed by Boko Haram have been secretly buried without identifiable graves, dignity or honour. $16m was purportedly spent on mosquito nets but our children die daily from malaria. $320m Abacha loot was purportedly distributed to the poor. Where is the verifiable list? N500bn was purportedly distributed to the poor as so-called Trader-moni. Where is the verifiable list?

“With divine grace, God gave us about 40 natural resources spread across the length and breadth of the country. No country on mother earth is as blessed! The persons destroying Nigeria in and out of government are less than 10,000. For how long will the 201 million of us be silent? Forever?

“It will be sheer stupidity and very unfair of us to be silent and bequeath today’s sorry Nigeria to our children. For how long shall we continue to endure bad leadership from certificate forgers, election riggers, ritualists and yahoo politicians, hoping upon hope for a better tomorrow when things get worse by the day? We are too rich to be poor. We are too blessed to be a mockery of the world!!! No!!!”

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