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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Salman Abedi’s Father Says His Son Is Innocent Of Manchester Arena Bombing


Salman Abedi’s Father Says His Son Is Innocent Of Manchester Arena Bombing
 
 

‘We don’t believe in killing innocents.’

The father of Manchester bomber Salman Abedi has said his son is innocent, and has confirmed UK police have arrested another son.
Abedi’s father, Ramadan, told the Associated Press from Tripoli: “We don’t believe in killing innocents. This is not us.”
The attacker’s father said that he spoke to his son last week to discuss meeting in Tripoli during Ramadan and said he was “really shocked” when he heard what had happened on Monday night.
SKY NEWS
Salman Abedi’s father has claimed his son is not responsible for the Manchester Arena bombing
It emerged on Wednesday that the 22-year-old was known “up to a point” to the intelligence services and had recently returned from Libya. 
Abedi, who was born in Manchester, has been described by an imam at his local mosque as the “face of hate”
“I was really shocked when I saw the news, I still don’t believe it,” Ramadan Abedi told Bloomberg.
“My son was as religious as any child who opens his eyes in a religious family,” he said.
“As we were discussing news of similar attacks earlier, he was always against those attacks, saying there’s no religious justification for them.
“I don’t understand how he’d have become involved in an attack that led to the killing of children.”
At least 22 people were killed after a bomb exploded at Manchester Arena on Monday night as fans, many of whom were children, left an Ariana Grande concert. 
The terror threat level in Britain was raised from severe to critical on Tuesday evening and armed police have began patrolling UK streets and protecting tourist attractions.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd told Sky News that the intelligence services had been aware of Abedi, who is reported to have recently returned to the UK from Libya. 
Abedi’s father said he made frequent trips to visit his family in Libya and he continued to protest his son’s innocence.
“Every father knows his son and his thoughts, my son does not have extremist thoughts,” he added.
Abedi’s Libyan parents had fled to the UK after becoming opponents of Gaddafi. 
The family initially lived in London before moving to Manchester where they resided in the Whalley Range area, which became famous after schoolgirls Zahra and Salma Halane left home and fled to Syria in 2015.
PA WIRE/PA IMAGES
People leave tributes in Albert Square, Manchester, after a 23-year-old man was arrested in connection with the Manchester concert bomb attack.
A group of Gaddafi dissidents, who were members of the outlawed Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), lived within close proximity to Abedi, the Telegraph reported. 
Abedi’s father reportedly used to call the prayer at the Manchester Islamic Centre, also known as Didsbury Mosque, and his older brother, Ismail, had been a tutor at the mosque’s Koran school. Ismail, 23, was arrested near a Morrisons in Chorlton on Tuesday. 
A trustee at the mosque told the Press Association it was likely Abedi had also attended there.
Fawaz Haffar described the mosque as moderate, modern and liberal, but Mohammed Saeed El-Saeiti, the local imam, told the The Telegraph he remembers Abedi as a dangerous extremist.
“Salman showed me the face of hate after my speech on Isis,” the imam said. 
“He used to show me the face of hate and I could tell this person does not like me. It’s not a surprise to me.”
Abedi, who had a sister and two brothers, went to school in Manchester before studying business at Salford University - a degree he did not complete.
Abedi, who then became a baker, has since been remembered by his friends as a good footballer and supporter of Manchester United and a user of cannabis. 
Armed officers raided an address linked to Abedi on Tuesday and carried out a controlled explosion at the property on Elsmore Road, Fallowfield where, according to the Manchester Evening News, a ‘Know Your Chemicals’ booklet was found. The family were believed to have lived at more than one address in the city.
PA WIRE/PA IMAGES
A member of the army joins police officers on Whitehall, London, after Scotland Yard announced armed troops will be deployed to guard “key locations” such as Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, the Palace of Westminster and embassies
Police on Wednesday arrested three men in south Manchester and said it was “likely” Abedi was not acting alone. 
A family friend, who asked not to be named, described Abedi as “normal” and said they were known to the Libyan community in the city.
He told the Press Association: “He was always friendly, nothing to suggest (he was violent). He was normal, to be honest.”
A family friend, who described the Abedis as “very religious”, said most of the family had returned to Libya, leaving only Salman and Ismail behind. 
“They have not been there for quite a while. Different people come and go,” Alan Kinsey told the newspaper.
Kinsey’s wife, Frances, said she believed that the parents had left before Christmas and just one or two young men had been living in the property.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said the priority for detectives was to establish whether Abedi had acted alone or had worked as part of a wider network.

SKY NEWS
Salman Abedi’s father has claimed his son is not responsible for the Manchester Arena bombing

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Akwa Ibom highest recipient as Nigerian govt, states, LGs share N1.41 trillion in first quarter 2017

The Federal Government, the 36 states and their local government areas have so far shared N1.4 trillion from the federation account, being revenue generated in the first quarter of 2017.
The breakdown is contained in the monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) report obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja.
The key agencies that remit funds into the federation account are the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigerian Customs Service.
The total revenue shared in January between the federal, states and local government was N430.16 billion, meaning that federal took N168 billion, states, N114.28 billion and local government, N85.4 billion.
The federation grossed in N514 billion in February and federal government’s share was N200.6 billion, states, N128.4 billion and local government, N96.52 billion.
However, in March, revenue generation dipped lower, grossing N466.9 billion, and from it, the federal government got N180.5 billion, state governments, N116.5 billion and local government, N87.5 billion.
The allocation was made using the revenue sharing formula of federal government, 52.68 per cent; states, 26.72 per cent and local governments 20.60 per cent.
The report showed that before distribution, state liabilities were deducted.Akwa Ibom on the Nigerian map

The liabilities paid by the states in the first quarter, included an external debt of N8.73 billion, contractual obligations of N30.15 billion and other deductions amounting to N50.23 billion.
The other deductions, covers National Water Rehabilitation Projects, National Agricultural Technology Support, Payment for Fertiliser, State Water Supply Project, State Agriculture Project and National Fadama Project.
However, here is what each of the 36 states got in the first quarter after all deductions were made.
Abia N8.42 billion, Adamawa N7.8 billion, Akwa Ibom N34.88 billion, Anambra, N8.7 billion, Bauchi, N7.9 billion, Bayelsa, N22.97 billion, Benue, N8.16 billion, Borno, N9.74 billion and Cross River, N4.28 billion.
Also, Delta got N21.54 billion, Ebonyi, N7.56 billion, Edo, N6.5 billion, Ekiti, N4.97 billion, Enugu, N7.86 billion, Gombe, N6.35 billion, Imo, N7.92 billion, Jigawa, N9.66 billion, Kaduna, N10.56 billion and Kano, N14.02 billion.
Similarly, Katsina’s share from the federation account in 3 months was N10.05 billion, Kebbi, N8.37 billion, Kogi, N8.28 billion, Kwara, N6.9 billion, Lagos, 19.03 billion, Nasarawa, N7.41 billion and Niger, N9 billion.
Finally, Ogun state got N4.98 as allocation for first quarter, 2017, Ondo, N10.22 billion, Osun, N1.76 billion, Oyo, N8.9 billion, Plateau, N5.7 billion, Rivers, N26.8 billion, Sokoto, N9.07 billion, Taraba, N6.9 billion, Yobe, N8.33 billion, and Zamfara, N5.91 billion.
The FAAC committee is made up of commissioners for Finance and Accountant-Generals from the 36 states of the federation.
The Minister of Finance, is the chairman of the committee, while the Accountant-General of the Federation, is next with representatives from the NNPC.
Other members are representatives from the Federal Inland Revenue Service; the Nigerian Customs Service; Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The federation account is currently being managed on a legal framework that allows funds to be shared to the three tiers of government under three major components.
These components are the statutory allocation, Value Added Tax distribution; and allocation made under the derivation principle.
(NAN)

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Meet Imafidon:The Nigerian young lady listed for MBE (Member of The British Empire)



The 27 year-old Nigerian lady listed for MBE (Member of The British Empire)  By Ahaoma Kanu

Meet Miss Anne-Marie Imafidon, the eldest daughter of Prof. Chris O Imafidon and Mrs Ann Imafidon from Edo State, Nigeria whose family has been dubbed the Brainiest Family in Europe. Anne-Marie holds the record of being the youngest girl to ever pass two GCSE examinations — for Mathematics and Information Technology and A-level computing at the age of 11 in Britain. The 27 year old Nigerian lady is being listed to receive national honour from Queen Elizabeth II on Friday, 19th May 2017. Ahaoma KANU, the CNN African Journalist Award winner, writes:

 Nigeria’s Miss Anne-Marie Osawemwemze Imafidon, 27, will today Friday be decorated by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, with the prestigious honour of Member of the Most Excellent British Empire (MBE) for her services to young women with specialty in Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
An MBE is an award given by the Queen to an individual for outstanding service to the community or local hands on service.
Due to her high exceptional brilliance, she received a British Scholarship to study Mathematics at the John Hopkins University at the age of 13 in 2003. Two years later, she commenced a degree at Oxford University after which she enrolled for her Masters degree setting another record of the youngest Masters degree holder from the Ivy league university.
Imafidon, who is a multi-linguist, speak six languages and has worked with Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard, Deutsche Bank, and Lehman Brothers. In 2013, she founded Stemettes, a social enterprise which inspires the next generation of women into pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with an objective to break barriers women who pursue a career in the field face.
Stemettes, which grants awards to young women, have programs workshops and events designed to introduce young women to STEM careers, concepts, and role models, have attracted over 7000 young women from across the UK, Ireland and Europe.
Imafidon’s rather unique achievements at a young age has stood her out as a person to watch out for by the British press; she was named on Evening Standard’s recent list of ’25 under 25s’ and a Guardian ‘Top 10 women in tech you need to know’ as well as being the UK IT Industry & British Computer Society’s Young IT Professional of the Year in 2013.
Her father, Professor Chris Imafidon, a renowned government adviser to presidents, the royals and the Queen who is known also as the patriarch of Britain's brainiest family, said he received the news last year of her inclusion in the 2017 honours list with shock.
“Like every parent would feel, we are still in shock. This is simply God-orchestrated. I, personally never believed that her young career would accelerate to this historic height. This is beyond belief,” he said in a chat.
The Imafidon family definitely have the achievers blood running in their DNA as not only Anne-Marie dominates their achievements wall of fame. Her sister, Christina, 24, is the youngest student to ever get accepted and study at an undergraduate institution at any British university at 11; another sister, Samantha, 17, passed two rigorous high school-level mathematics and statistics exams at the age of six, while the twins, Peter and Paul, made British history as the youngest students to ever enter high school when they became the youngest to ever pass the University of Cambridge’s advanced mathematics exam, setting world records by passing the A/AS-level math papers at eight years.
With the Imafidon family has been setting across the world, he advised parents to change their methods of education in an obvious changing world in order to explore every child’s gifts and talents.
“The same God has given every child gifts and talents. We parents must join the www.ExcellenceinEducatio­n.org.uk in developing such massive potential. As stated in my forthcoming book entitled "The Genius in You", we can't use the old methodology of learning. Schools and society must wake to the re-engineered system of education that understands that there is a genius in every child and greatness in every adult. This genius is irrespective of ethnicity, gender, nationality, postcode, class or creed. So every family can equal or exceed our achievements.”
Prof Chris Imafidon who invented this accelerated academic and career development path, has tested it on people of diverse race and it produced the same or improved result and achievement as attain by his children. He stated that some of this exceptional educative methods are including in his book, "The Genuis in you. How To Win The Oscar".

He revealed that he will be visiting Nigeria very soon to launch the learning methodology to enable Nigerian parents learning of their winning ways while Anne-Marie will be expand Stemettes to also offer Nigeria young girls interested in pursuing a career in STEM an opportunity to realize their dreams.

“Our grandparents taught us that charity begins at home. We are very enthusiastic about Africa and must contribute our quota to the training and education of young minds. We want to launch a bigger program in Africa, particularly Nigeria and work with the corporate community, industry leaders so that we can deploy the re-engineered learning methodology of www.ExcellenceinEduc­ation.org.uk program. We know that with these programs young Nigerians can equal or exceed our record-breaking achievement. The next generation of Africans have no choice but excel because there is a genius in everyone.”
Others Nigerians who will also be honoured this year include Prof. Elizabeth Nneka Anionwu, a Professor of Nursing, who gets an OBE for her services to nursing and the Mary Seacole statue appeal, Chris Ofili, an artist who gets a CBE for his services to arts and Jeremiah Oluwatosin Ayotunde, a Cadet Colour Sergeant who gets an OBE for his services to young people and the community of London. Top ranking tennis star, Andy Murray, is among the hundreds of achievers to be honoured.

By Ahaoma Kanu, the Chief Executive of Stage 4 Media and winner of CNN African Journalist Award.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Attack on journalists, activists, protesters in West, Central Africa reaches breaking point - Amnesty calls for protection rights the 'Brave'

Human rights defenders, journalists and protesters in West and Central Africa are facing ever-higher levels of persecution, intimidation and violence, warned Amnesty International on Tuesday as it launched a new global campaign demanding an end to the onslaught of attacks against brave individuals standing up to injustice.

The ‘Brave’ campaign calls on states in the region to recognize the legitimacy of human rights defenders by respecting their work, giving space for it and protecting them from threats. States should take concrete measures to achieve these aims including by adopting strong protection laws and revising or repealing laws used to target human rights defenders.

“States across the region have deployed a broad and increasingly inventive range of tactics to stop people standing up against injustice and to coerce them into self-censorship,” said Alioune Tine, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa

“By removing the right to protest, placing activists under surveillance, and intimidating them with threats and physical attacks, many governments are carrying out a full-frontal assault on human rights defenders.”

In a briefing ‘”Shut down for speaking out: Human Rights Defenders under attack in West and Central Africa” published today, Amnesty International documents the mounting danger faced by those defending human rights in the region.

Growing arsenal of tools used to crack down on defenders

The combination of mass surveillance, new technology, the misuse of laws and crackdowns on peaceful protests is exposing human rights defenders to dangerously high levels of risk, the briefing warns.

In almost every country in West and Central Africa, people participating in peaceful protests have been repressed through the banning of demonstrations or by the use of the unnecessary or excessive force against protesters.

Since January 2014, Amnesty International has documented 271 protesters killed – one every five days – and thousands more injured during protests across the region, although the true number is likely to be higher. The overwhelming majority of these killings and injuries were committed by the security forces who used teargas, batons and live ammunition to disperse protesters or armored vehicles to ram their way through the crowds, even when protests were peaceful. There is rarely, if ever, accountability for such heavy-handed repression.

Arbitrary arrests and detentions and administrative measures

Since January 2014, Amnesty International has documented the arbitrary arrest of at least 87 human rights defenders in West and Central Africa. In 2016 alone, 13 anti-slavery activists in Mauritania were brought before court on trumped up charges and sentenced to between three and 15 years in prison. In November last year, an Appeal Court acquitted and released three of them and reduced the sentence of the 10 others.

In Chad, four pro-democracy activists were arrested in N’Djamena between March and April 2016 for planning to organise peaceful public demonstrations against the current president’s bid for re-election for a fifth term. They were found guilty of ‘incitement to an unarmed gathering’, and received suspended prison sentences after more than two weeks in detention.

Several states including Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo introduced legislation which could be used to target human rights defenders, journalists and whistle-blowers in reprisal for their work, often in the name of countering terrorism and cybercrime.

In Cameroon, anti-terror legislation originally introduced to respond to the security threat from Boko Haram, was used to silence civil society leaders in the English-speaking regions who called for protests against discrimination.

Administrative measures – such as delaying or denying the registration of NGOs to operate or restricting their funding – have also been used to prevent the work of human rights defenders. In Togo, for example, officials refused to deliver registration certificates to a group of LGBTI activists because they “challenged cultural and social norms”.

“Human rights defenders are not enemies of the state; they are individuals who stand against injustice and take peaceful action to improve the human rights situation. Without their courage, our world is less fair, less just and less equal,” said Alioune Tine.

Internet and social media restrictions

Among the emerging trends is the use of new technologies and targeted surveillance, including online, to threaten and silence activists.

Restrictions on the use of the internet are increasingly being used across the region. In Gabon, Gambia and the Republic of Congo, access to the internet was cut off for between two and five days before and after Presidential elections in 2016, while social media was restricted around elections in Chad. In the most severe restrictions to date, the Internet was shut down in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon from January to April 2017 following protests about the use of French in courts and schools and demands for greater autonomy.

Many states have passed legislation which restricts internet access and subjects human rights defenders to online surveillance. For instance, in Senegal, amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure empower the authorities to restrict access to “illicit content” online and to hack into computers without judicial oversight.

In Nigeria, the Cyber Crime Act, requires internet service providers to keep all traffic and other data of subscribers for two years and make that data available to law enforcement agencies upon request.

 

The demonization of human rights defenders

Amnesty International urges the authorities in West and Central Africa to refrain from using language that disparages human rights defenders including by labelling them “criminals”, “foreign agents”, “terrorists”, or “undesirables”.

“When they are not threatening or harassing them, governments are attempting to cultivate open hostility towards human rights defenders by peddling demonizing rhetoric that portrays activists as threats to national security,” said Alioune Tine.

“It is a tribute to the brave men and women across the region that in spite of this continuing repression, they continue to fight for justice. We call on states to recognize and protect the legitimate work of those standing up for the inherent dignity and equal rights of all people.”

 

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