All posts by Mohammed Lere

Gunfire in Zaria as Nigerian Army, Shiite Muslims clash

Zaria

Nigerian soldiers have exchanged fire with members of a radical Islamic group in Zaria, Kaduna State, residents said.

Witnesses said troops clashed for more than an hour with thousands of Shiite Nuslims, leaving many injured.

Shootings started after the soldiers restricted the procession of the group, around the Sabon-gari area of the town.

According to our source, many were injured in the stampede that ensued.

“No live was lost,” the witness said.

Calm has since returned to the city.

Zaria is the second major city in Kaduna State, and near the state capital, Kaduna, where twin bomb blasts killed more than 40 people on Wednesday.

Zaria is regarded as the spiritual headquarters of the radical Islamic congregation in Nigeria. After the tafsir of Ramadan, the Shiite in Zaria usually hold the Muzahara – a procession round the city in their thousands, dressed in black.

Details later.

Dunga named new Brazil coach

Dunga

Dunga was the 1994 World Cup-winning captain for Brazil

Brazil’s football federation, CBF, has confirmed Dunga as the new coach for the country senior national team, popular football website, Goal.com, is reporting.

Dunga succeeds Luiz Scolari, who left the post after failing to claim Brazil’s first World Cup on home soil, following a humbling 7-1 defeat to Germany in the semi-finals.

Dunga was the 1994 World Cup-winning captain for Brazil and will return for what will be his second stint in charge of the Selecao, having spent four years at the helm between 2006 and 2010.

In Dunga’s previous spell in charge of his country, he won 42 and lost just six of his 60 games, guiding them to the Copa America 2007 and Confederations Cup 2009 titles.

The 50-year-old was fired from what was his first senior coaching role in 2010 after suffering a World Cup quarter-final defeat to the Netherlands.

Dunga’s only other experience in the dugout came at Brazilian Club Internacional in 2013, but he lasted less than 12 months before being dismissed after suffering four straight league defeats.

His first Brazil squad will be announced in late August ahead of the Selecao’s Gillette Brasil Global Tour friendly fixtures with Colombia and Ecuador in the United States.

Germany captain, Philip Lahm, retires from national team

Philip Lahm

Lahm played 113 times for Germany.

Barely one week after returning victorious from the Brazil World Cup, Germany captain. Philip Lahm, has announced his retirement from international football.

The defender said he had been pondering the decision over the past season.

“I decided that the World Cup in Brazil would be my last tournament,” he was quoted as saying by German Bild newspaper as saying.

Lahm is reported to have told World Cup wining coach, Joachim Löw, of his decision to step down from international football on July 14, a day after Germany’s World Cup final victory.

The World Cup final was Lahm’s 113th international cap. His national team career spanned over 10 years and started in February 2004 in a 2-1 win against Croatia.

The victory in Brazil made him the fourth Germany captain after Fritz Walter (1954), Franz Beckenbauer (1974) and Lothar Matthäus (1990) to lift the trophy. But he is the only one to have lifted the trophy for a unified Germany.

The 30-year-old is expected to see out the rest of his playing career at German club, Bayern Munich. Lahm is captain of the record Bundesliga champions and has a contract until 2018.

Forbes names Real Madrid most valuable sports team for 2014

real-madrid1

Real Madrid is worth $3.44 billion

According to Forbes, the three most valuable sports teams in the world play the non-American brand of football.

Spain’s Real Madrid, worth $3.44 billion, leads the way for the second straight year, a notch ahead of fellow Spanish soccer power, Barcelona, which is worth $3.2 billion while England’s Manchester United completes the top three with a value of $2.81 billion.

Also, on the social media platforms, the contrast between elite soccer clubs and top American teams is vast.

Barcelona (69 million), Real (67 million) and United (53 million) have the three biggest Facebook followings among sports teams.

The top eight were all soccer clubs before the Los Angeles Lakers broke the string with 21 million fans. The New York Yankees are the top non-soccer/NBA team with 8 million fans.

The National Football League, NFL’s 32 teams have a combined Facebook following of 75 million people, barely more than that of Barcelona.

NFL and Major League Baseball, MLB, teams play and do business on a national scale, while Europe’s top soccer clubs with fans worldwide can tap every corner of the globe for deals.

Luis Suarez joins Barcelona

Suarez is serving a FIFA ban after biting a fellow player at the ongoing World Cup

The 27-year-old is currently serving a four-month ban which runs until October 26.

The Uruguayan striker, Luis Suarez, had signed a five-year deal with Barcelona.

The deal was revealed on the club’s website and is worth just over €88 million.

The agreement comes after a week of intense negotiations between the clubs.

Barcelona signed Suarez in a straight cash deal after agreeing to meet the release clause in the Liverpool contract he signed last December.

Suarez will undergo initial medical examinations from Barcelona doctors in his native Uruguay, where he has been staying following his country’s elimination from the World Cup.

The 27-year-old is currently serving a four-month ban – which runs until October 26 – for biting Italy defender, Giorgio Chiellini, while playing for Uruguay in his nation’s final World Cup group stage match.

Under the terms of the suspension, Suarez is not allowed to train with his club or enter the confines of any stadium during his ban.

Barcelona will partly fund the signing of the 27-year-old with the proceeds of the sale of Alexis Sanchez to Arsenal. The Chile World Cup star moves to the Emirates Stadium after Arsenal agreed a package worth €40m (£31.8m) with the Spanish club.

World Cup: Romario wants Brazil football chiefs “in prison”

Romari

“They will leave with the Cup and we will be left with our overbilled stadiums.”

A Brazil football legend, Romario, now a lawmaker in the Brazilian parliament, said on Thursday that his country’s sports chiefs should be jailed for the national team’s humiliating 7-1 World Cup defeat to Germany.

One day after the semi-final thrashing, Romario said the Brazilian Football Confederation, CBF, was plagued by corruption because clubs have elected the same leaders for years.

“Our football has been deteriorating for years. It is being dragged down by leaders who don’t even have the talent to juggle the ball,” Romario said in a letter posted on social media. “They stay in their luxury box seats, enjoying the millions that go into their accounts.”

The prolific striker said players and coaches were not to blame for the sport’s deterioration. He said CBF president, Jose Maria Marin, and his deputy, Marco Polo del Nero, who will take over in 2015, “should be in prison”.

Romario, a critic of the record $11 billion spent on the tournament, bemoaned the fact that President Dilma Rousseff will have to hand the World Cup trophy to a team other than Brazil in Sunday’s final.

“They will leave with the Cup and we will be left with our overbilled stadiums and no material legacy,” he said. “This will be the Cup of shame.”

‎FIFA bans Luis Suarez for four months

Suarez bit

The punishment takes immediate effect.

Uruguay forward, Luis Suarez, has been banned for nine international matches, and from all football activity for four months, after being found guilty of biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini.

Suarez, 27, bit the defender during the latter stages of the 1-0 victory that secured their place in the knockout stages of the ongoing Brazil 2014.

FIFA launched an immediate investigation and an independent disciplinary panel confirmed the punishment on Thursday.

The punishment takes immediate effect.

It means that, in addition to his World Cup immediately being over, Suarez will miss nine club matches including the Premier League, Champions League, and Capital One Cup matches.

A FIFA statement said: “The player Luis Suarez is to be suspended for nine official matches. The first match of this suspension is to be served in the upcoming [round of 16] FIFA World Cup fixture between Colombia and Uruguay.

“The remaining match suspensions shall be served in Uruguay’s next FIFA World Cup matches, as long as the team qualifies, and/or in the representative team’s subsequent official matches.

“The player is banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity — administrative, sports or any other — for a period of four months. A stadium ban is pronounced against Luis Suarez, who is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium during the period of the ban.”

Suarez was also ordered to pay a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs.

Claudio Sulser, the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, said: “Such behaviour cannot be tolerated on any football pitch and in particular not at a FIFA World Cup, when the eyes of millions of people are on the stars on the field.

“The Disciplinary Committee took into account all the factors of the case and the degree of Mr Suarez’s guilt. The decision comes into force as soon it is communicated.”

Winners or Losers? Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme report launch – Live updates

Simon Kenny, DFID

The Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme, NSRP, a DFID sponsored programme that aims to reduce violent conflicts in Nigeria is today launching a report titled; “Winners or Loser: Assessing the Contribution of Youth Employment & Empowerment Programmes to reducing conflict risk in Nigeria: at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja.

Sani Tukur and Mohammed Lere are attending the launch and will be provided live updates from the venue.

Liveblog


14.19

Its a wrap. Thanks for following.

13.09

Samson Itodo just gave a message to the SA to the president on Job creation, Mrs Joesphine Washima-Attah.
A message to President Goodluck Jonathan
"Please tell the president to make sure that bombs stop taking off by providing employment to the youth, tell him to prosecute all corrupt government officials who ask unemployed youth to pay N200,000 to be employed, tell him also that those he promised compensation after the NIS job stampede have not seen any compensation up to now o!"

12.32

Speaking now is Samson Itodo, the Head of Research at YIAGA Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement.
Mr. Itodo commended previous speakers who represent government agencies for their 'sincere comments'.
He also said it is good the report is coming now because it poses a huge challenge to government on job creation initiatives.
He said certain concepts such as coordination needs to be redefined "It is a often question of who holds the money and who disburses the money" he said.
The solution is to prosecute corrupt officials that politicise job creation initiatives. He recalled the job interview that led to the death of many Nigerians recently and the government appear to be playing lip service to the matter.
He said the National Assembly had directed that no government agency charge job seekers, yet it continues unabated. He asked the SA to the President to relay these to him in case he is not aware.
He said government Institutions must learn to respect the law of the land. He said most government agencies refuse to adhere to requests made based on the Freedom of Information Act. He said for any policy to work, interaction should start with the local populace first before any 'elitist summit". He said the top to bottom approach of government in Nigeria is not working and there is the need for a rethink.
He also said the apparent polarization that pervades the country is also inhibiting the implementation of any policy. Added to that he said, is the lack of information from the government to the people.
He said part of the problem of the Youth Council is that many people who have overgrown the age of being a youth prefers to remain there "as if it is their birth right".
He also said the issue of funding of the council through the Youth Ministry is another problem. He said the Youth Council needs an autonomous source of funding.

12.27

Next to speak is the Secretary General of the National Youth Council, Saleh Kubah.
Mr. Kubah also commended NSRP for an honest report. He said this is the first time he is coming across a report that is sincere in its findings.
He said there is serious lack of confidence by the youth and that is because the youth are not involved as a body. He said his organisation has been balkanized by politicians with vested interests in controlling the body.
He said any programme for employment that is merely a palliative and intervention, it will fade out. He said such programmes should be tied to the nations long term economic goals
He said most of the initiatives had not helped in mitigating violent conflicts because of the competition for power by politicians and the youth are use as the vehicle for that.
He said rather than decrease, the interventions actually exacerbate the conflicts.
Like others who spoke before him, Mr. Kubah identified the lack of synergy among the agencies involved jobs as leading cause of negative data. He said states are not keying in on these programmes. He said states are simply stealing proceeds from SURE-P and the programme is only implemented at the Federal level while majority of those targeted by the programme reside in the states.
He said governors now find it convenient to set up vigilante group as intervention scheme which turn out to actually lead to violence.
He said the President has laudable programmes for youth development but their is no outcome because of the lapses by agencies involved. "I see no reason why the Ministry of Finance will be running a Youth Development programme" he said.
He advocated for a unified Youth Council to partner with government to mobilise the youth for national development.
"As I speak with you now, we have five persons parading themselves as the President of the youth council" he said.
He said there is the need for a declaration of emergency on the unemployment sector.

11.56

Next to speak is Mr. Mangset the Director Enterprise Development and Promotion, Federal Ministry of Youth Development.
Mr. Mangset said the Ministry made contributions to the research and also the study came at the right time because it touched on almost all the issues that his Ministry is working on. He identified data generated as one of the key things that will aid the Ministry. He hopes the report will not be locked away like many others in the past.
He said the report also shows that majority of the youth in Nigeria are in the rural areas and the fact that most f the programmes are politicized, the target beneficiaries are often left out.
He said the president cannot be everywhere, and urged those in positions of authority to sit up and do their jobs diligently.
He gave example with the Youwin Programme that requires applicants to apply online saying "many of the target beneficiaries do not have access to the internet".
He said most agencies working on job creation do so independently and the lack of coordination and synergy is hindrance the success of the programmes.
"Everybody wants to coordinate, but no one wants to be coordinated" he said He said politicization as identified in the report is a key factor that also hinders job creation.
He said policies are developed without taking the beneficiaries taken into consideration. He said beneficiaries should be part and parcel of all developments leading to a policy. "If you don't carry them along, whatever policy you adopt may end up somewhere else" he said.
He said as a Ministry they have never received a report from the National Youth Council identifying lapses in any area and possible solutions.

11.53

Mrs Okpuno also highlighted many government interventions that seek to generate employment in the country. She said Labour based technology remains the best way to "utilize the idle hands we have in this country".
She also commended the report for being an "evidence based research".

11.41

The discussants nsrp panelists

11.38

First to speak is Mrs Okpuno who said employment generation is a task that must be accomplished.
She also said the launch of the report provides an opportunity to look at the challenges of youth unemployment in Nigeria.
She said over the years Nigeria's economy has been witnessing wide income disparity, with high unemployment in a fast rising population. She said the transformation agenda focuses on special areas of development that include human resource development.
She said the government is seriously thinking about job creation and it cuts across all MDAs.
She said the NSRP's report has confirmed that youth unemployment remains the major challenge in Nigeria. She said the figures speak volumes hence the country is facing serious unrest.
She also said the report has shown why unemployment remains high despite government's effort and reiterated that government is aware of the lack of coordination mentioned in the report.

11.36

Break is over. A panel discussion on perspective on NSRP's report to be chaired by Akupo Adege who is representing Peter Papka, the Director GIS-SURE-P follows.
Others on the panel are Mrs. Jessie Okpuno, Director Wages and Employment in the Federal Ministry of Labour, Luka Jonathan, Director Enterprise Development and Promotion, Federal Ministry of Youth Development, Engr. Saleh Alhassan Kubah, Secretary General, Nigerian Youth Council, Samson Itodo, Head of Research and Advocay, YAIGA and Mrs. Attah, the SA to the president on Job creation.

11.13

The event is on a tea break now. But here are the audience and speakers in pictures. Josephine washima Attah nsrp1.JPG audience3 nsrp1.JPG audience5   nsrp Abubakar mohammed nde nsrp banfield nsrp ILO rep Denis Olu nsrp1.JPG audience nsrp1.JPG audience1 nsrp1.JPG audience2

10.53

Mrs Attah said one of the key functions of her office is to interface with job creation agencies and bodies, create job fairs and generate data on job creation.
She said most of the initiative in place today should be maintained by successive administrations because it is the best way to solve the problem. She said she was in the Niger Delta recently and reconfirmed that there is a strong correlation between unemployment and violent conflicts.
She said she came to the programme late because she lost two person in yesterday's bomb blast in Abuja.
she urged politicians to stop politicizing employment generation initiatives and also called on the media to play a part in reducing unemployment.
She said the government is doing something "but we can do better".
She added that what is required is the solution to the problems, saying one of which is report such as the one launched today. She urged all present to study the report and implement same in their various capacities.

10.52

The Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation Josephin Washima-Attah is now presenting her key note address.

10.51

Ms. Banfield also highlighted some of the outcome of the Cohort with youth during the research.
she said 39% agreed that the government publish information on selection process, 26% agreed that programmes had contributed to reducing unemployment in the country, while a whopping 79% agreed that only youth closed to politicians eventually get employed.
Ms. Banfield thereafter highlighted some of the recommendations which include Planning and coordination as a sector, result- based management, sector- wide standards (Transparency, conflict gender-sensitivity, youth involvement) and then Active citizenship; monitoring government programmes.

10.48

Ms. Banfield also said the President had also inaugurated a presidential committee on job creation and appointed a Special Assistant on Job Creation as part of his Transformation Agenda.
Findings from the report according to Ms. Banfield include; Varied Technical Quality, both in design and implementation, quality control and result monitoring.
Limited consultation with the youth: the youth felt excluded from policy design and implementation
Gender; she said there is limited efforts made in given consideration to women in youth employment programmes.
Conflict Sensitivity: most of the employment programmes are designed with rhetorical goals.
Politicization of youth employment programmes and initiatives, she said it it paradoxical that politicians design employment programmes to reduce conflicts with one hand and then take it away with another through politicization.
Problem Institutional coordination and leadership.
Finally she identified the problem of also looking at the Symptoms not causes of the problems.

10.38

Ms. Banfied also said apart from unemployment, other factors such as patrimonial politics, poverty and inequality also lead to violent conflicts.
She also highlighted some of the Youth employment schemes of government such as SURE-P, YESSO, NEDEP, UEDP, IYDI, JOB FAIR, NDE, NYSC, SMEDAN, NAPEP EDC's e.t.c.
She also identified the National Action Plan for Employment Creation, National Youth Policy and National Policy on MSME's, as well as the Agricultural Transformation Action Plan.

10.37

The report is now being presented by Jessica Banfied an NSRP consultant.
Ms Banfied identified the methodology of the report which involved Literature review, State and Federal Level policy mapping and analysis, Youth Cohort Study; FGDs in 8 states; Civil Society and Peer Review Process.

10.37

ILO representative, Denis Olu, speaking also said for peace to be maintained the dividends of peace are provided. He also said it is not just about Jobs but the quality of jobs to be created. He also spoke about the sustainability of the jobs created and an all inclusive growth.
He said unemployment should not be left to the markets alone. He said data is very important in finding solution to the problems of unemployment in Nigeria."Not just about data but information and some of the information that ILO is looking for will be in the report" he said.
He said a lot of programmes in Nigeria is always on the supply side with very little attention to demand.
"What sort of graduates are we getting into the market, we might be training people whose demand is not in the market" he said.
He said greater attention should also be given to skills acquisition through entrepreneurial training. He said NSRP has provided the resource needed by all involved and thanked the body for the report.

10.31

NDE, DG said the NDE considers the launch so important that all the Directors of the agency are present at the launching.
He said the NDE constantly carry out in house assessment to find out the impact it is having on employment generation.
He said relevant local and international bodies has commended the agency for this assessment efforts.
He said employment and empowerment, without a doubt, remains one of the most effective method of reducing violent conflicts in Nigeria.
He said the NDE is fully committed to working with the NSRP in the implementation of the recommendations of the report.

10.29

Also attending launch is the Director General of National Directorate of Employment, Abubakar Mohammed.
NSRP Programm Manager Dr. Ukoha Ukiwo speaking said NSRP seeks to work with Nigerian Institutions and actors to support them manage their capacity to manage violent conflicts.
He said everywhere they went in Nigeria, Youth Unemployment was identified as the key source of violence in Nigeria. He added that that was why the research was undertaken.
He said the research looked at all the employment programmes of past governments. He said most of the programmes are conflict management institutions and they looked at how they are fairing and how diligent they had been in carrying out their assignments.
He said early findings confirmed that even though most of the programmes had significant budgets, there was a problem of consultations with the youth who often felt alienated.
He said NSRP thought it necessary to now bequeath these programmes with requisite date to help aid their work.
He said NSRP will work with Civil Society and legislature to try to make impact in producing model employment programme that other employment programmes can use to implement their programmes.
He urged those present to partner with the NSRP to achieve that objective.

10.26

Mr. Kenny also said the report being launched today is timely and hope the recommendations contained therein will be taken forward.

10.23

DFID representative Simon Kenny also said when he saw the topic"Winners or Loser" he thought session will discuss Nigeria's match last night.
He said NSRP is one of the broad programmes DFID supports in Nigeria and it is about helping Nigeria use its resources to achieve its economic objectives.
The solution to create growth is simple to articulate but difficult to execute. The country relies too much on Oil and Gas and that some of the problems facing Nigeria would be reduced through NSRP, he explained.

10.21

The launch is chaired by Kole Shettima, a member of the board of NSRP.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Shettima said what will be discussed is very important for Nigeria because of the prevailing circumstances. He said recent Data shows that Youth between 0-24 constitute 63% of population, which can be positive or negative depending on number of choices made by Nigerians.
He said it can be Positives if right investments are made and negative if wrong investments are made.

10.17

NSRP project manager, Ukoha Ukiwo, delivering the opening remarks. caption id="attachment_163833" align="aligncenter" width="465"]Nsrp project manager, Ukoha Ukiwo Nsrp project manager, Ukoha Ukiwo[/caption]

UPDATE: Nigeria to deploy satellites to track cattle movement

FULANI HERDSMEN

Mr. Jonathan mentioned that terrorists take advantage of pastoralism to cause mayhem among communities in the country.

Federal officials at the Ministry of Agriculture in Abuja are working on a comprehensive livestock information system that will require all cattle in the country to carry electronic chips, while satellite imagery and remote sensing technology are deployed to track their movements as a way to ease the perennial conflicts between herdsmen and farmers across the country.

The Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina, disclosed this, Monday, in Kaduna, at the international conference on security and development challenges of pastoralists in West Africa, where he also said governments must establish modern ranches and grazing buffer zones across border areas of countries, to support cross-border pastoralism.

Said Mr. Akinwumi: “Just like buffer dams help to prevent flooding downstream, grazing buffers zones will help alleviate the need for massive movement of live stock further south in to Nigeria,” emphasizing that because of their immense importance, the role of pastoralist in preventing insurgency and conflict to enhance national security, is a reality that cannot be taken for granted.

The technology-based solutions advanced by the minister will also be complimented by the establishment of “pastoralist transhumance certificates,” which he said if implemented “will go a long way in addressing several of the national security and development challenges arising from pastoralism.”

Participants at the Conference
Participants at the Conference

Earlier at the opening ceremony of the two days conference, President Goodluck Jonathan, represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, said the government was doing all it can to making sure that pastoralism is controlled and effectively supported by government.

Mr. Jonathan mentioned that terrorists take advantage of pastoralism to cause mayhem among communities in the country.

“This conference will mark a turning point for the better in Agricultural sector of the country. The federal government is considering the ranching of animals and making the sector a robust one for the growth of the Nigerian economy,” Mr. Jonathan said.

The convener of the conference and National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, welcoming guests, said, Nigeria’s current challenges, made the conference timely and cogent.

The ECOWAS representative, Vivian Iwar, speaking on the ECOWAS Strategic Action Plan for the Development of Livestock in West Africa, said ECOWAS is currently planning to create one uniform certificate that will allow all cattle herdsmen hold when using the regional borders.

“ECOWAS is working on one single certificate that will allow all herdsmen move along the ECOWAS borders freely. The certificate will indicate where you come from and the region you intend to reach,” she said.

BREAKING: Jonathan appoints Bode George’s wife, Roli, as new NDLEA boss

Roli Bode George and wife Roli

The appointee is the wife of a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bode George.

President Goodluck Jonathan has appointed Roli Bode-George as the new Director General of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.

The appointee is the wife of a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bode George.

Mr. George, a leader of the PDP in Lagos, is currently a delegate, appointed by the president, at the National Conference.

His conviction for fraud, when he served as head of the Nigeria Ports Authority, by a High Court was upturned by the Supreme Court.

Mr. Jonathan’s spokesperson, Reuben Abati, announced the appointment on his twitter handle on Thursday evening.

He said the appointment is with immediate effect.

Mrs. Bode-George takes over from Olufemi Ajayi, who was on Wednesday appointed the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF.

President Jonathan had in 2011 also appointed Mrs. Bode-George as a federal commissioner in the National Population Commission, NPC.