Kebbi businessman, 5,000 APC members defect to PDP

Alhaji Mustapha Asaija and five thousand other members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the weekend left the party to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP gubernatorial candidate, Senator Isa Galaudu, his running mate, Alhaji Abubakar Malan, PDP state executives and hundreds of PDP members received the businessman with his supporters at Ambursa in Birnin Kebbi local government area of the state.
Asaija said he left the ruling APC with his supporters to join the PDP because the party has failed in making the lives of Nigerians better in spite of its numerous promises.
He said “I did not decamp with my supporters to get money I swear, I left the APC simply because things are not just right”.
He said he would mobilise more people in the area for the success of PDP gubernatorial candidate Isa Galaudu in the 2019 election.
In his remark the PDP gubernatorial candidate, Galaudu said he was happy to receive the ‘decampees’ while calling for peaceful electioneering campaign devoid of hate speech and violence.
He said “If elected, I promise to address issues of youth unemployment, improve civil service, maintain regular payment of pension and gratuity and come up with genuine agricultural program in Kebbi with adequate loan subsidy to farmers”.
At another development, the PDP has inaugurated its Campaign Committee and Alhaji Isah Mungadi was appointed Director General of the party campaign in Kebbi State.
Also, the deputy speaker, Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abdulmumini Bala Fanti and some other state lawmakers have dumped the All Progressives Congress ( APC) and joined the opposition Peoples Redemption Party ( PRP).
Two APC senatorial aspirants have also left and joined the PRP.
The other state lawmakers that defected to the PRP are; Ibrahim Bello Katagum, Auwal Hassan Shira and Yusuf C. Nuhu.
Nuhu is the member representing Toro in the state House of Assembly who recently won the by-election for Toro federal constituency on the platform of the APC.
Two ex-lawmakers, Abdulmumini Ningi and Dayyabu Chiroma have also defected.
Their defection follows the fallout of the party’s primaries which saw over 20 members losing their tickets to re-contest.
Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi, the member representing Bauchi constituency in the state House of Assembly who lost his bid in the APC to contest also left the party and joined the PRP to contest for Bauchi federal constituency seat.
Two senatorial aspirants who contested for Bauchi South and Bauchi Central senate tickets under the APC, Barrister Lawan Ibrahim and Bappah Aliyu Misau respectively have also joined the PRP to contest for the ticket.
Bauchi State PRP chairman, Alhaji Shehu Barau Ningi confirmed that the APC defectors have joined the party after they were denied tickets in their former party.

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UNN sets record with highest number of Ph.D graduates

Four hundred and eighty (480) graduands on Saturday received Postgraduate degrees and diplomas of the University of Nigeria in what the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Benjamin Ozumba, described as “the highest by any Nigerian university in one year.”
The university also conferred honorary doctorate degrees on three distinguished Nigerians. The Group Managing Director of Access Bank Herbert Wigwe, former executive secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) Mr. Reginald Chika Stanley, and then the Managing Director of the Dozzy Group, Sir Daniel Chukwudozie, who bagged the degrees, said they felt ‘greatly honoured’ to be associated with the University of Nigeria in such capacity.
Ozumba said the honour conferred on the three Nigerians was “not a knee-jerk decision” but a product of careful appraisal of their contribution to the nation and mankind. He specifically pointed out Wigwe’s successful efforts in moving Access Bank to its “present status as one of the top banks from 16th position to number six in just 10 years.”
He said the banker’s idea of establishing a chair for the university was worthy of emulation.
The vice chancellor also described Reginald Stanley as a successful Nigerian who served the country as a technocrat and has, since his retirement, continued to make a positive impact in the private sector. Ozumba said the third awardee, Chukwudozie, was a philanthropist who had made an immense contribution to the growth and welfare of many Nigerians.
At least, 480 of the 2,113 graduands, who were conferred with postgraduate degrees of the university by the Chancellor and Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Akande, were Ph.D candidates.
Eleven retired professors of UNN, one of who were Professor Uche Azikiwe, the wife of the founder and wife of Nigeria’s first president, the late Nnamdi Azikiwe, were elevated to the university’s club of “Emeritus Professors of the University of Nigeria.”
Vice-chancellor Ozumba said the 480 doctorate degree awardees represent 22.7 percent of the 2,113 postgraduates who, like their 9,702 first degree and diploma counterparts, had fulfilled the standard requirements of character and learning as stipulated in the school’s regulations.
Describing the figure as ‘unprecedented’ and ‘remarkable,’ the vice chancellor explained that the significant increase in the number of postgraduate degrees awarded at last weekend’s graduation “reflects a deliberate response to the mandate given to first-generation universities to increase the enrolment of postgraduate students.
“I’m quite pleased that my staff have been able to adapt to the additional challenge placed upon them by the increased enrolment without necessarily compromising on the standard for which the university was known,” Ozumba said on Sunday.
The (grand finale) second day of the 48th convocation ceremony was set aside for the purpose of conferring the postgraduate degrees and diplomas. It followed the previous day’s event at which 9,702 were awarded first degrees, diplomas and certificates of the university. – Guardian.

GTBank maintains leading position as Best Bank in Nigeria, wins Bank of the Year, Sierra Leone

Foremost African financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc has won the award for “Bank of the Year Nigeria” for the second year in a row at The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards, regarded as the industry standard for excellence within the global banking sector.
Guaranty Trust Bank Sierra Leone Ltd, a subsidiary of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, was also recognized as the “Bank of the Year Sierra Leone” at the event, which held on November 29, 2018 at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane, London, United Kingdom.
The Banker, a publication of the Financial Times, is the world’s leading monthly journal of records for the banking Industry, with over 90 years expertise in publishing developments in the banking industry in Africa and on the global scale.
The Magazine’s Bank of the Year Awards celebrates leading financial institutions within the global banking sector who are setting new industry standards and driving innovation in financial services and customer experience.
Receiving the award on behalf of the Bank, Segun Agbaje, Managing Director/CEO of GTBank said; “We are honoured to be recognized as the 2018 Bank of the Year in Nigeria and Sierra Leone. These awards serve as further motivation for us as we continue to go beyond traditional banking services by creating innovative digital services that are less about us as bank and more about our customers and how we empower them with everything that they need to better their lives.”
He further stated that “Our vision has always been to create an oasis in the financial services industry that leads, not only in earnings and returns on equity, but also in maintaining world class corporate governance standards and pushing the bounds in service delivery and customer experience.
These awards reflect our sustained commitment towards this vision, which we will continue to pursue, driven by our passion for excellence and guided by our founding values of hard work, discipline and integrity.”
Alongside its record for consistent year-on-year growth, GTBank is widely regarded by industry watchers as a trailblazer in the banking industry due to its many innovations in digital and financial services.
Recently, the Bank launched Habari, Nigeria’s largest platform for music, shopping and lifestyle content and the first mobile platform created by a financial institution in the country that focuses on enabling people’s needs and lifestyle rather than providing regular banking products.

Israeli police have said their investigation has found sufficient evidence for bribery and fraud charges to be brought against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

The Israeli police have said their investigation has found sufficient evidence for bribery and fraud charges to be brought against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, in a third corruption case against the leader.
Authorities on Sunday alleged Netanyahu awarded regulatory favours to Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecommunications group, in return for more positive coverage of him and his wife on Bezeq’s subsidiary news website, Walla.
Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing.
“These recommendations were determined and leaked even before the investigations began,” Netanyahu said in a statement on Sunday.
“I’m sure that in this case the relevant authorities, after examining the issue, will reach the same conclusion: that there was nothing because there is nothing.”
The attorney general will now decide whether to bring indictments in the case.
If charged, the four-term prime minister would be facing one of the greatest challenges to his political survival.
Despite his dominance of Israeli politics, the newest police recommendation comes just after his right-wing coalition’s majority was reduced to a precarious one seat in parliament.
The Bezeq case, known as Case 4000, is the most serious of all those of which Netanyahu has been accused.
Two of his top confidants have turned state witnesses and are believed to have provided police with incriminating evidence.
Netanyahu held the government’s communications portfolio until last year and oversaw regulation in the field.
Former journalists at the Walla news site have attested to being pressured to refrain from negative reporting of Netanyahu.
Police say the investigation, which included the testimony of 60 witnesses, revealed that Netanyahu and Bezeq boss Shaul Elovitch engaged in a “bribe-based relationship”.
Police are also recommending charges be brought against Elovitch and members of his family.
Police have already recommended indicting Netanyahu on corruption charges in two other cases, one involving accepting gifts from billionaire friends and the other over trading positive media coverage for advantageous legislation for a newspaper.
Netanyahu has dismissed the accusations as a witch-hunt. – Al-Jazeera.