Connect with us

Featured

Somali Jihadists Kill Three Americans in Attack on Kenya Military Base

Published

on

Jihadists from Somalia’s Al-Shabaab group on Sunday stormed a military base used by US forces in Kenya’s coastal Lamu region, killing three American citizens and destroying several aircraft and military vehicles, officials said.

Attackers breached heavy security at Camp Simba at dawn but were pushed back and four jihadists killed, said army spokesman Colonel Paul Njuguna.

The American military, however, said three US citizens died in the attack including a service member and two civilian defence contractors.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of our teammates who lost their lives today,” General Stephen Townsend, the head of US Africa Command (Africom), said in a statement.

Two other US Department of Defence personnel were wounded, the statement added, without giving further details.

Al-Shabaab has launched regular cross-border raids since Kenya sent troops into Somalia in 2011 as part of an African Union force protecting the internationally backed government — which the jihadists have been trying to overthrow for more than a decade.

The Lamu region, which includes popular tourist beach destination Lamu Island, lies close to the Somali frontier and has suffered frequent attacks, often carried out with roadside bombs.

Njuguna said “an attempt was made to breach security at Manda Air Strip” at 5:30 am but it was repulsed.

“Four terrorists’ bodies have so far been found. The airstrip is safe,” he said, adding that a fire had broken out but had since been dealt with.

Kenya’s Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai said officers were “on high alert” after the attack.

Al-Shabaab ‘lying’
An internal police report seen by AFP said two Cessna aircraft, two American helicopters and “multiple American vehicles” were destroyed at the airstrip.

Local government official Irungu Macharia said five people had been arrested near the camp and were being interrogated.

Shabaab claimed to have killed 17 Americans and nine Kenyan soldiers after the attack.

The nearby civilian airport at Manda Bay, which brings tourists visiting Lamu Island — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — was closed for several hours after the incident, according to the civil aviation authority.

Al-Shabaab said in a statement it had “successfully stormed the heavily fortified military base and have now taken effective control of part of the base”.

AFRICOM accused Al-Shabaab of lying in order to create false headlines.

Shabaab countered with a second statement, saying it had been a 10-hour firefight and mocking the US “inability to fend off an attack by just a handful of steadfast Muslim men”.

The group referred to an uptick in US military airstrikes under President Donald Trump, accusing the US of “strafing villages from above and indiscriminately bombarding innocent women and children.”

AFRICOM said in April it had killed more than 800 people in 110 strikes in Somalia since April 2017.

US military network
The Somali jihadists have staged several large-scale attacks inside Kenya in retaliation for Nairobi sending troops into Somalia as well as to target foreign interests.

The group has been fighting to overthrow an internationally-backed government in Mogadishu since 2006, staging regular attacks on government buildings, hotels, security checkpoints and military bases in the country

Despite years of costly efforts to fight Al-Shabaab, the group on December 28 managed to detonate a vehicle packed with explosives in Mogadishu, killing 81 people.

The spate of attacks highlights the group’s resilience and capacity to inflict mass casualties at home and in the region, despite losing control of major urban areas in Somalia.

In a November report, a UN panel of experts on Somalia noted an “unprecedented number” of homemade bombs and other attacks across the Kenya-Somalia border in June and July last year.

On Thursday, at least three people were killed when suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen ambushed a bus travelling in the area.

According to the Institute for Security Studies, the United States has 34 known military bases in Africa, from where it conducts “drone operations, training, military exercises, direct action and humanitarian activities”.

The Guardian

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured

Olofin of Ado-Odo Lays Foundation for Ultra-Modern Private Residence

Published

on

The Olofin Adimula of Ado-Odo, Awori Kingdom, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Abdul-Lateef Adeniran Akanni, is set to officially embark on the construction of his ultra-modern private residence with a foundation ceremony.

The ceremony, which is expected to adhere to strict COVID-19 guidelines, will also feature an address from the Olofin to dignitaries and people of Ado-Odo Awori Kingdom.

The unveiling ceremony of the Ultra-Modern home is scheduled to hold on Saturday, February 20, 2020, at Ogun State Housing Cooperation Oke-Oyinbo, Ado-Odo, Ogun State

Dignitaries expected at the occasion include top government officials, South-west monarchs and heads of corporate organizations.

The structure is expected to incorporate all aspects and features of a traditional home, and be one of the best residences for a monarch in the country.

Continue Reading

Featured

The Messy Side of Dangote, Autumn Spikes’ Romantic Affair

Published

on

By Premium Times

Autumn Spikes, an ex-girlfriend of billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote, said she was “insultingly” offered $15,000 and another $2,500 monthly by the African richest man to keep quiet over their affair.

Ms Spikes, who disclosed this in a post via her Instagram handle, @allounda1, on Monday, is instead, demanding $5 million in exchange for the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) requested by Mr Dangote.

“I was insultingly offered 15k and 2,500 a month to sign an NDA but I declined,” Ms Spikes stated in the post.

She did not disclose how long Mr Dangote allegedly offered to pay her the monthly $2,500, but went further to state, “I gained legal counsel in which we countered his offer. Mind you his first initial offer wasn’t disclosed in the terms of his proposed NDA.”

“Therefore I was pressured and influenced to sign which was already a violation of his own NDA,” she added in the post which PREMIUM TIMES saw on Thursday.

The affair between the former lovers came to limelight on January 1 when Ms Spikes shared a viral video clip showing her seated beside Mr Dangote who was lying down on the same couch, with part of his buttocks exposed.

Mr Dangote recently ended the affair that lasted about 10 years and asked for an NDA in return, one of Ms Spikes’ lawyers, Paul Petruzzi, said in a January 13 email to the billionaire’s lawyer, Bruce Fleisher.

PREMIUM TIMES exclusively reported on Wednesday how Mr Dangote sued Ms Spikes in a U.S. court in Florida, accusing her of trying to extort $5 million, (about N1.9 billion at official exchange rate), from him.

Mr Dangote, who instituted the legal action using a pseudonym, John Doe, to escape public attention, alleged in the suit filed on January 22 that Ms Spikes had threatened to embarrass him by taking the details of their affairs to the social media and media talk shows in violation of an existing NDA between them.

He is demanding “excess of $30,000” (about N11.4 million) in damages against Ms Spikes.

Ms Spikes shared a part of a page of Mr Dangote’s court documents filed at a Miami-Dade County Court in Florida, through her Monday’s Instagram post.

She denied threatening Mr Dangote with blackmails on the social media or through media talk shows as claimed by the billionaire businessman in his suit.

The lady maintained that she had kept her affair with Mr Dangote private. She expressed surprise that she could be sued for extortion by the wealthy businessman.

“He denied knowing me and our relationship to his lawyers and we’re asked for proof of our affair…now I’m being sued for extortion?

“This is such a manly egotistical move. I’ve kept it private but you made it public with the lawsuit.

“All these claims of interviews and talk show threats will have to be proved in court so… & I haven’t spoke (sic) to anyone regarding our relationship.”

‘I’ve not been served Mr Dangote’s suit’

She also stated in her Instagram post that she had not been served Mr Dangote’s suit.

In the post asking her followers to express their thoughts about the billionaire’s suit, Ms Spikes said she brought it up for discussion because the matter had become a public record.

“I have not been served. Since this is a public record, let’s discuss it. What are your thoughts?”

‘Dangote’s suit will be dismissed’

Responding to a comment by an Instagram user, @buy2day_wear, Ms Spikes expressed confidence that Mr Dangote’s suit against her would be dismissed by the court “because of lack of evidence”.

In the comment posted to boost Ms Spikes morale to stand up to Mr Dangote, the Instagram user, stated, “Dont let anyone bully you into submission”.

The commentator added that “Nigerian wealthy elites are used to getting away with treating women like they are disposable toys”.

The Instagram user also stated, “Set a precedent with Aliko in the U.S. so they are all aware that the justice system cannot be twisted for their selfish interest. Ignore Nigerian losers typing rubbish here, they are ignorant at best. Nine is a long time to be with someone. The least he can do is settle privately and move on. I wish you luck.”

Replying the comment, Ms Spikes posted: “actually this is going to get dismissed immediately there is a thing called discovery where you have to provide proof.”

But one of her Instagram followers warned, “Dayummmm 😭 Gurlllll you are in for this! A billionaire? You are innnnn for this ! All the best to you.”

Premium Times

Continue Reading

Featured

Akinwunmi Adesina and Another Tenure Well Deserved

Published

on

By Eric Elezuo

“I will stay calm and resolute. I will not be distracted. No amount of lies can ever cover up the truth. Soon the truth will come out” – Akinwunmi Adesina

The re-election of the President of African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, for another five years tenure, has proved that challenges are created to build the man of honour. Much as detractors meant it for his downfall, posterity elevated the man of candour to a fame of indescribable height.

It is not every day that spotlessly honest Nigerians walk the space of leadership within the country’s administrative sphere. Akinwunmi Adesina is one Nigerian who has left the footprint of achievements, nostalgia, accomplishment and determination in the sands of time, culminating in his unequivocal acceptance by well meaning peoples of the earth, the distraction created by the United States of America notwithstanding.

Born to a Nigerian farmer in Ibadan, Oyo State, on February 6, 1960, Adesina attended a village school and graduated with a Bachelors in Agricultural Economics with First Class Honors from the University of Ife, Nigeria in 1981. He was basically the first student to be awarded this distinction by the university. He followed up his studies at Purdue University in Indiana, briefly returning to Nigeria in 1984 to get married.

Afterwards, he returned to school, obtaining his PhD (Agricultural Economics) in 1988 from Purdue, winning the Outstanding Ph.D Thesis for his research work in the bargain.

Adesina’s professional career kicked off proper in 1990, when he served as a Senior Economist at West African Rice Development Association (WARDA) in Bouaké, Ivory Coast. He served till 1995.

He worked at the Rockefeller Foundation since winning a fellowship from the Foundation as a senior scientist in 1988. From 1999 to 2003 he was the representative of the Foundation for the southern African area. And from 2003 until 2008, he was an Associate Director for food security.

In 2010, he was appointed Nigerian Agriculture Minister, a post he held till 2015 when the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan ended.

Adesina was named as Forbes African Man of the Year for his reform of Nigerian agriculture. He introduced more transparency into the fertiliser supply chain. He also said that he would give away mobile phones to farmers but this proved too difficult as a result of lack of mobile network in rural areas.

In 2010, United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon appointed him as one of 17 global leaders to spearhead the Millennium Development Goals.

On May 28, 2015, just before he completed his tenure as the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture, a position he had held for four years, Adesina was elected the presumptive President of the African Development Bank. He began his tenure of the office on September 1 2015. He is the eighth president in the organization’s history, and the first Nigerian to hold the post.

On resumption at the AfDB, He launched a strategy based on energy, agriculture, industrialization, regional integration and bettering Africans’ lives. The Board of Executive Directors approved the reorganization of the structure around these five priorities.

In September 2016, Adesina was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to serve as member of the Lead Group of the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement.[10]

In 2017, he was awarded 2017 World Food Prize. Upon receiving the prize on October 21, 2017. Adesina donated the $250,000 he received to the development of African youth in agriculture. That is how generous and benevolent he is.

Adesina is not all work; he is reportedly very close to his God. While at Purdue University, he, his wife, along with another couple, started a Christian group called the African Student Fellowship. He and his wife Grace have two children, Rotimi and Segun.

As an Agricultural Economist, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has been a leader in agricultural innovation for over 30 years. He has contributed greatly to food security in Africa, aimed at improving the lives of millions currently living in poverty, throughout the African continent. The Sunhak Committee acknowledges Dr. Akinwumi Adesina’s achievements in promoting Good Governance of Africa, which boosts Africa’s capacity to feed itself and transform its total economies for generating wealth for millions of rural and poor African farmers.

At the Cape Town International Convention Center, the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee announced him as a co-winner of the 2019 Laureates for the Sunhak Peace Prize, the other person is Waris Dirie, 53 year-old world-class supermodel and anti-FGM activist.

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has been a leader in agricultural innovation in Africa for over 30 years, bringing great improvement to Africa’s food security. contributing to Africa’s dynamic growth. His leadership is building stepping-stones for Africa’s dynamic growth.

Chairman of the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee, Dr. Il Sik Hong, stated that “the Sunhak Peace Prize was established based upon the vision of “One Family Under God.” The 2019 Sunhak Peace Prize gives special attention to peace and human development in Africa.”

Dr. Hong added “in order for us to build an era of peace and coexistence in the 21st century, we want to encourage continuous development in Africa. Africa is a rising star and its growth will contribute global progress and development throughout the 21st century.”

The Sunhak Peace Prize honors individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the peace and the welfare of the future generations. The Sunhak Peace Prize includes a cash prize totaling one million dollars. The 2019 Sunhak Peace Prize Award Ceremony will take place in February, 2019 in Seoul, Korea.

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina pioneered major transformations in the agricultural field, including expanding rice production by introducing high yielding technologies, designing and implementing policies to support farmers’ access to technologies at scale, increasing the availability of credit for millions of smallholder farmers, attracting private investments for the agricultural sector, rooting out the corrupt elements in the fertilizer industry, and assisting in establishment of major agricultural policies for Africa’s green revolution.

The “Africa Fertilizer Summit,” which he organized in 2006, was one of the largest high-level meetings in Africa’s history that had a focus on solving Africa’s food issues. During this Summit, Dr. Adesina was instrumental in developing the “Abuja Declaration on Fertilizer for the African Green Revolution,” whereby the participants stated their commitment to the “eradication of hunger in Africa, by 2030.”

Dr. Adesina worked with various banks and international NGOs in order to create an innovative financing system, providing loans to small farmers, providing a way for them to rise out of poverty. This move leveraged $100 million in loans and provided opportunities for small farmers to increase their agricultural productivity, and their income.

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina currently serves as the president of the African Development Bank Group which plays a central role in Africa’s development. As an “economic commander” of Africa, he promotes the “High 5 Strategy” that include: light up and power Africa, feed Africa, industrialize Africa, integrate Africa and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. As a result of his work, the lives of millions of people throughout Africa have been improved.

He was instrumental in gathering no fewer than 200 leading African political, business, and diplomatic leaders in Johannesburg for the 8th African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Award dinner. He was the cynosure of all eyes. Adesina’s achievements shone like a million stars as he was named and honored as the African of the Year 2019, the most popular vote-based third-party endorsement in Africa.

The event which was themed ‘Africa for Africans – Exploring the Gains of a Connected Continent’, brought together dignitaries including South African Deputy President, David D Mabuza, South AfricanMinisters Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Lindiwe Zulu, and Dr. Ken Giami, Publisher of African Leadership Magazine.

In the keynote speech he delivered on the night, Adesina’s passion for the continent was seen as palpable, connecting with the attentive audience. Much as he deserved the honour by every standard, he nonetheless expressed deep humility in being recognised, clasifying his giant strides as ‘modest achievements and contributions to Africa’.

“Humbled to be nominated by what I gather to be 60% of the votes cast by some 1 million people, humbled to be at the helm of an organisation that is making a tremendous difference across Africa – the African Development Bank. An organisation that is daily making prosperity a reality,” he said.

He dedicated the award to his wife, Grace, the Board, staff, and colleagues at the bank, his mother, and “to the young mothers, struggling to bring up a child, to the farmer in search of a better tomorrow, to the youth of Africa longing for a better future, and to Africa’s journalists who risk their lives in helping to tell Africa’s true story.”

Seen as the visionary behind the African Development Bank’s High 5 strategy, he noted that the primary focus of the African Development Bank is “to light up and power Africa, to feed Africa, to industrialise Africa, to integrate Africa, and to improve the quality of life of the people of Africa. Five simple, strategic, and highly focused objectives.” The truth is he has never reneged in achieving the feats.

The African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Awards is now the most popular vote-based third-party endorsement in Africa.

Under his leadership, the bank has helped 18 million people get electricity, 141 million people get agricultural technologies, 13 million people get finance through private sector investee companies, 101 million people get improved transport services, and 60 million people get better water and sanitation.

“Africa does not need anyone to believe in her or to affirm her place and position in history. Africa will and must develop with pride. For right on the inside of us, as Africans, lies our greatest instrument of successes: confidence!” Here is a man who loves Africa with an undying passion.

On January 16, 2020, Adesina came face to face with can arguably be termed the greatest challenge of his career if not his life when allegations of ethical breaches were leveled against him by whistleblowers with the backing of the United States of America. The complaint was conveniently leaked paving the way for assault and a smear campaign.

Consequently, a high powered Ethics Committee, comprising Executive Directors representing shareholder nations, deliberated over every single dot and cross of the allegations, and in May 2020 gave Adesina a clean bill of health. In their words, the allegations were frivolous, baseless, and without merit or evidence. The report and conclusive deliberations of the Ethics Committee was subsequently sent to all Finance Ministers, better referred to as Governors of the Bank’s 81 shareholder counties, including the United States for ratification.

Not even one of the allegations stuck, making the originators bow their faces in shame. A cross section of respondents told the Boss that Adesina would have to be removed as President of the Bank and made ineligible for re-election originally scheduled for May 2020 if one allegation has scaled through.

Adesina’s watertight innocent was upheld by almost everyone that has a voice from across his country of birth, Nigeria, and across Africa.

The Nigerian government protested that the governance procedures of the Bank during the investigation were followed to the letter including painstaking analysis of facts, evidence and documents. It noted that the whistleblowers were even prevailed upon to produce any more evidence at their disposal, but they failed they do so. It therefore, wondered at the sudden turnaround of the United States to call for another ‘independent investigation’.

“The Ethics Committee, following three months of work to examine the whistleblowers’ allegations made against the President, dismissed each and every one of the allegations of the whistleblowers against the President as unsubstantiated and baseless.

“The Nigerian Government welcomes this conclusion of the Ethics Committee and the decision of the Chair of the Board of Governors”, the statement read. The probe committee was headed by Takuji Yano, the institution’s Japanese Executive Director.

Towing the line of the Nigeria government, a former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, mobilised former African leaders to the rescue of the embattled president. In a letter, the former leader personally signed and copied about 13 former heads of state, cutting across all regions of Africa, Obasanjo proposed that the leaders jointly issue a press statement to support the laid down procedures embarked upon to evaluate the allegations against the President of the Bank.

Just as the Nigerian government, Obasanjo went further to highlight Adesina’s achievements, noting that under his leadership AfDB “has been actively positioned as an effective global institution ranked fourth globally in terms of transparency among 45 multilateral and bilateral institutions.”

Other achievements include taking bold measures to ensure the bank can respond proactively to support African countries and got its board of directors to approve a $10 billion crisis response facility to support African countries during the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as successfully launching a $53 billion ‘Fight COVID-19’ social impact bond on the international capital market at 0.75 per cent interest rate.”

Africa Leaders, on their part, under the aegis of Concerned African Leaders, released a statement titled Leadership of the African Development Bank: A Need for Caution, announcing their solidarity with Adesina, stating inter alia:

“The African Development Bank is a pride for all of Africa, and its President, Dr. Adesina, has taken the Bank to enviable heights. At this critical time that Africa is battling with COVID-19, the Bank and its President should not be distracted.”

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, personally assured him that he would stand by him, and was so elated at the announcement of his reelection, saying ‘you deserve it’. He also thanked the African Union for its endorsement of Adesina, and to the shareholders of the bank.

Also on the trail of congratulatory messages were former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila among others.

Adesina has been fearless in the discharge of his duties, creating many firsts and stepping on supposedly powerful toes.

“In 2019, he successfully led the Bank’s shareholder General Capital Increase from $93 billion to $208 billion. In the process, he became the first Bank President to take the risk of championing a case for increasing capital for Africa’s development during a first term in office. It was a gambit that paid off in spite of initial strong American opposition.

“In 2018, Adesina championed and helped create the Bank-sponsored Africa Investment Forum which in 2018 and 2019 attracted more than $80 billion in infrastructure investment interests into the continent. This was an unprecedented initiative. The U.S. representative was said to have considered the Forum a departure from the Bank’s original mandate. Some also saw this as an attempt by Adesina to help wean African nations off a dependency on foreign aid. Some critics also suggested that Adesina was attempting to burnish his credentials among African Heads of State via the investment forum.

In the next five years, when his tenure will climax, the accomplished technocrat and reputable entrepreneur is sure to quadruple his achievements of the last five years.

Courtesy: TheBoss

Continue Reading