Orji said reasons why Northern elite endorse Him for Presidency 2023.

Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu.

Orji Kalu the ex – governor of Abia state who was Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) party’s presidential candidate in the April 2007 general election has revealed that some northern group is drumming support for him to contest for the position of Nigeria president.

He made this known to the public when he was encouraging the Igbos to work with President Buhari to find a way to make amends and remove sentiments so that in the remaining two years the current administration can do more federal projects that will bring more development in the eastern region.

However, there are 2 points Orji Kalu made in his statement on why some Northerners are showing support for him to run for president.

He said northern groups are drumming support for him to vie for the presidential seat because they found him worthy to deliver good governance to the nation.

Orji Kalu also made it known to Nigerians that northerners find me worthy and as a man of sincerity because they know whatever he say, he will do, and whatever he says he will not do, he will not do it.

As the 2023 presidential election is getting closer, the northern elders forum has also said the north would back any credible candidate from the region who understands the problem, possesses the capacity to solve them (challenges) and can build bridges across the country.

2023 general election will be the time for Nigerians to choose who will be taking over from President Buhari to rule the country for another 4 years. Nigerians should look beyond political party, they should vote without religious or ethnic sentiment for any presidential candidate. Nigerians should listen to what each aspirants have to offer to the nation and vote wisely during the election.

US, UN demand proof of missing Chinese tennis star’s ware about.

Peng Shuai.
Peng Shuai

The UN and the United States on Friday demanded proof of Peng Shuai’s whereabouts, amid rising concern for the Chinese tennis star’s wellbeing.

The player has not been seen in public since alleging on November 2 that she was sexually assaulted by China’s former vice-premier.

stars, sports bodies, governments and human rights defenders have all spoken up in support of the 35 year old who said in a now-deleted Weibo post that Zhang Gaoli had forced her to have sex.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden’s administration wanted China to “provide independent, verifiable proof” of Peng’s whereabouts and expressed “deep concern” about the former world top-ranked doubles player.

The United Nations has insisted on a fully transparent investigation into Peng’s claims.

It would be important to have proof of her whereabouts and wellbeing,” Liz Throssell, a spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights Office, told reporters in Geneva. “We are calling for an investigation with full transparency into her allegation of sexual assault.”

Tennis players including Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic, the world’s top men’s player, have also voiced their support for the Chinese athlete.

This is horrifying. I mean, a person is missing,” Djokovic said at the ATP Finals in the Italian city of Turin. “The whole tennis community needs to back her up and her family and make sure that she is safe and sound.

Djokovic also backed the Women’s Tennis Association’s (WTA) statement that it was prepared to cut lucrative business ties with China over Peng.

If you have tournaments on Chinese soil without resolving this situation it would be a little bit strange, so I understand why the WTA has taken a stance like that,” Djokovic said.

The former Wimbledon and French Open doubles champion alleged that Zhang, who retired in 2018, had “forced” her to have sex during a long-term on-off relationship.

China has remained largely silent over the tennis star and on Friday the Foreign Ministry stuck to its line that it was not aware of the controversy surrounding the player.

Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters that the matter was “not a diplomatic question and I’m not aware of the situation.

Pengs post was quickly deleted from her verified account on Weibo, China’s popular social media platform, although screenshots of the accusation were shared widely. Discussion of the case has since been suppressed, with state broadcaster CGTN this week sharing an email purportedly from Peng to WTA chief Steve Simon saying that she was “resting” at home and the assault allegation was “not true”.

Simon has questioned the authenticity of the email, and on Friday said the WTA was at a “crossroads” with China and continuing all efforts to reach out and speak to Peng directly.

Peng, who represented China in the Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro Olympics, is not the first high profile Chinese citizen to suddenly disappear from public view in unclear circumstances.

Jack Ma, the founder of the world’s biggest e-commerce company Alibaba, went missing in October 2020 after criticising government regulators in a speech. Shortly afterwards, a significant share sale by Ant Group, the group’s online payments unit, was pulled by the authorities at the last minute. Ma re-emerged in a video in January this year, but did not mention his disappearance.

Fan Bingbing, a Hollywood actress who was a prolific social media user, disappeared for three months in 2018. It later emerged that she was kept under house arrest while she was investigated for tax evasion.

Peng’s claims brought the #MeToo movement into the highest echelons of China’s ruling Communist Party for the first time.

The Chinese government has systematically silenced the country’s #MeToo movement,” said Amnesty International’s China researcher Doriane Lau.

Given that it also has a zero-tolerance approach to criticism, it is deeply concerning that Peng Shuai appears to be missing,” she said.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man United manager under pressure after lost against Watford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under intense pressure after Watford’s stunning 4-1 win pushed the beleaguered Norwegian to the brink of being sacked on Saturday.

United crashed to a fourth defeat in their last five Premier League games, and a fifth loss in seven games, leaving them languishing 12 points behind leaders Chelsea.

Josh King put Watford ahead at Vicarage Road and Ismaila Sarr doubled their lead.

introduced Donny van de Beek at the break, and the former Ajax midfielder immediately responded by heading home within five minutes of his introduction.

Foster then did brilliantly to deny Cristiano Ronaldo as the visitors turned up the pressure.

They continued to threaten after Maguire received a second yellow card for a rash challenge on Tom Cleverley in the 70th minute.

But their hopes were dashed as Watford struck twice in stoppage time, Pedro and Dennis drilling low shots past De Gea from tight angles.

As the result sealed United’s fifth loss in seven games, fans, including the world’s fastest man, could not hide their disappointment.

Thousands march in France, protesting violenc against Women.

Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across France to demand more government action to prevent violence against women.

Saturday’s demonstrations, in Paris and other French cities, came amid growing outrage in the country over women killed by their partners and as French women are increasingly speaking out about sexual harassment and abuse.

Protesters marched in the capital behind a large banner saying, “Stop sexist and sexual violence.

We are always putting the blame on women,” Parisian demonstrator Ghislaine Gireire-Revalier said, expressing sympathy for women who are trapped in violent domestic situations.

What we forget is the phenomenon of being in one’s grip little by little it’s like a spider that surrounds you in its web.”

fighting violence against women said at least 101 women have been killed by their partners or former partners in France this year – about one woman every three days.

More than 220,000 women are suffering physical or sexual abuse by their partners each year, according to a 2017 nationwide study.

Activists are urging President Emmanuel Macron’s government to dedicate 1 billion euros ($1.1bn) annually to fight violence against women, instead of 360 million euros ($406m) spent now, in part to create more shelters.

Demonstrator Meryll Le Goff said “there are measures that have been put into effect like the telephone for those in serious danger”, a special phone with a button to push to alert police.

More than 2,500 such phones were being deployed in the country in September, the Justice Ministry said.

But there aren’t enough for everyone,” Le Goff said. Measures half done, men who are detained temporarily or even imprisoned but are eventually released without any measures that follow … that’s the problem.

The protests are part of a week of global actions marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Nigeria: Bandit abducted Igbo Business Man In Min na Niger State.

Armed bandits invaded Maikunkele community, a suburb of Minna metropolis in Bosso Local Government Area of the state and abducted an Igbo businessman.

The armed men in their numbers were said to have invaded the area from the nearby forests and rocky terrains around the Minna International airport facility, shooting sporadically into the air to scare away possible resistance after which they headed for their target.

The abduction of the Igbo man comes barely one year after another Nigerian of Igbo extraction lost his life in a similar circumstance. 

While the shootings lasted unchallenged, residents scampered for safety. Many ran into nearby bushes while others took cover inside the nearby weekly local market.

While the former later died in the hands of his abductors, the assailants, it was gathered had allegedly written a threat letter to the latest victim intimating him that they would be coming for him after. 

The threat was not heeded to or acted upon by the embattled  Igbo man.

Already, there is tension in Minna, the state capital and environs as the news about the abduction of the Igbo man who is said to be from Enugu State spread with residents expressing concern that the armed bandits have infiltrated into the capital city despite assurances of protection of lives and properties by security operatives in conjunction with the state government.

The latest abduction occured barely two days after armed bandits attacked a community in Munya Local Government Area of the state, killing one person and abducted no fewer than 65 people in the early hours of the morning on Thursday.

Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), Niger State Command, DSP Wasiu A. Abiodun could not be reached to confirm the attacks of Munya Local Government Area and that of Maikunkele as he did not pick calls.

However, the President Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Niger State branch, Chief Emmanuel Ezeugo, confirmed the abduction of the Igbo man whose names could not be ascertained as of the time of filing this report.    

I can confirm to you that an Igbo man, operating a provisions store at Maikunkele was abducted by armed men. This is similar to what happened last year when another Igbo man was killed in similar circumstances,” he stated. 

The Ohanaeze leader further disclosed that, We were told that the armed men after last year’s attack on the other Igbo man had written to their latest victim, telling him that they were coming after him.

Efforts are being made to rescue the victim. According to Ezeugo, the relevant state government agency has been contacted over the latest abduction. 

Green hydrogen the new scramble for North Africa.

The potential of the Sahara desert in North Africa to generate large amounts of renewable energy thanks to its dry climate and vast expanses of land has long been touted. For years, the Europeans, in particular, have considered it a potential source of solar energy that could satisfy a sizable chunk of European energy demands.

Green hydrogen.
Green hydrogen

In 2009, the Desertec project, an ambitious initiative to power Europe from Saharan solar plants was launched by a coalition of European industrial firms and financial institutions with the idea that a tiny surface of the desert can provide 15 percent of Europe’s electricity via special high voltage direct current transmission cables.

 The Desertec venture eventually stalled amid criticisms of its astronomical costs and its neo-colonial connotations. After an attempt to revive it as Desertec 2.0 with a focus on the local market for renewable energy, the project was eventually reborn into Desertec 3.0, which aims to satisfy Europe’s demand for hydrogen, a “clean” energy alternative to fossil fuels.

In early 2020, Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII) launched the MENA Hydrogen Alliance to help set up energy projects in the Middle East and North Africa region that produce hydrogen for export.

While in Europe such projects may sound like a good idea – helping the continent fulfil its targets of greenhouse emission cuts – the view from North Africa is radically different. There are growing concerns that instead of helping the region with its green transition, these schemes will result in the plunder of local resources, dispossession of communities, environmental damage and entrenchment of corrupt elites.

As the world seeks to switch to renewable energy amid a growing climate crisis, hydrogen has been presented as a “clean” alternative fuel. Most current hydrogen production is the result of extraction from fossil fuels, leading to large carbon emissions (grey hydrogen). The cleanest form of hydrogen “green” hydrogen – comes from electrolysis of water, a process that can be powered by electricity from renewable energy sources.

In recent years, under heavy lobbying from various interest groups, the EU has embraced the idea of a hydrogen transition as a centrepiece of its climate response, introducing in 2020 its hydrogen strategy within the framework of the European Green Deal (EGD). The plan proposes shifting to “green” hydrogen by 2050, through local production and establishing a steady supply from Africa.

It was inspired by ideas put forward by trade body and lobby group Hydrogen Europe, which has set out the “2 x 40 GW green hydrogen initiative”. Under this concept, by 2030 the EU would have in place 40 gigawatts of domestic renewable hydrogen electrolyser capacity and import a further 40 gigawatts from electrolysers in neighbouring areas, among them the deserts of North Africa, using existing natural-gas pipelines that already connect Algeria to Europe.

Germany, where Desertec was launched, has been on the forefront of the EU’s hydrogen strategy. Its government has already approached the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Morocco to develop “decarbonised fuel” generated from renewable energy, for export to Europe and is exploring other potential areas/countries particularly suited to green hydrogen production. In 2020, the Moroccan government entered into a partnership with Germany to develop the first green hydrogen plant on the continent.

Initiative like Desertec have been quick to jump on the hydrogen bandwagon, which is likely to bring billions of euros of EU funding. Its manifesto reflects the general narrative used to promote the hydrogen and renewable energy projects. It tries to present them as beneficial for local communities. It claims it could bring “economic development, future-oriented jobs and social stability in North-African countries.

But it also makes clear the extractive nature of this scheme: “for a fully renewable energy system in Europe, we need North Africa to produce cost-competitive solar and wind electricity, converted to hydrogen, for export by pipeline to Europe. And it makes sure to indicate its commitment to “Fortress Europe”, by claiming that the projects could “[reduce] the number of economic migrants from the region to Europe”.

In other words, the vision behind Desertec and many of these European “green” projects in North Africa seeks to preserve the current exploitative, neo-colonial relations Europe has with the region.

During the colonial era, European powers set up a vast economic system to extract wealth, raw materials and (slave) labour from the African continent. Although the 20th century brought independence to African colonies, this system was never dismantled; it was only transformed, often with the help of local post-colonial authoritarian leaders and elites.

Now the fear is that the EU’s green transition will continue to feed this exploitative economic system to the benefit of European big business and to the detriment of local communities in African countries they partner with. The push for new hydrogen supply chains proposed in projects like Desertec does little to alleviate these concerns.

This is because one of the biggest lobbies behind the EU’s turn to hydrogen represents fossil fuel companies, whose origins are tightly linked to the colonial exploits of European powers. Two of DII’s partners, for example, are the French energy giant Total and the Dutch oil major Shell.

In Africa and elsewhere, fossil fuel companies continue to use the same exploitative economic structures set up during colonialism to extract local resources and transfer wealth out of the continent.

They are also keen on preserving the political status quo in African countries so they can continue to benefit from lucrative relations with corrupt elites and authoritarian leaders. This basically allows them to engage in labour exploitation, environmental degradation, violence against local communities, etc with impunity.

In this sense, it is not surprising that the fossil fuel industry and its lobbies are pushing for embracing hydrogen as the “clean” fuel of the future in order to stay relevant and in business. The industry wants to preserve the existing natural gas infrastructure and pipelines, along with the exploitative economic relations behind them.

Given the industry’s long track record of environmental damage and abuse, it is also not surprising that the hydrogen drive hides major pollution risks. Desertec’s manifesto, for example, points out that “in an initial phase (between 2030-2035), a substantial hydrogen volume can be produced by converting natural gas to hydrogen, whereby the CO2 is stored in empty gas/oil fields”. This alongside the use of scarce water resources to produce hydrogen are yet another example of dumping waste in the global South and displacing environmental costs from the North to the South.

The economic benefits for the local population are also under question. A huge upfront investment would be needed in order to establish the infrastructure required to produce and transport green hydrogen to Europe. Given previous experiences carrying out such high-cost and capital-intensive projects, the investment ends up creating more debt for the receiving country, deepening the dependence upon multilateral lending and Western financial assistance.

North African energy projects established with European support in the past decade already show how energy colonialism is reproduced even in transitions to renewable energy in the form of green colonialism or green grabbing.

In Tunisia, a solar energy project called TuNur, endorsed by Desertec, has been scrutinised for its export-oriented plans. Given the country’s massive energy deficiency and dependence on imports of Algerian natural gas for power generation, exporting electricity while the local population suffers from repeated blackouts makes little sense.

In Morocco, the untransparent land acquisition process and water exploitation plans of the Ouarzazate Solar Plant – also supported by DII members have raised questions about possible harms local communities may suffer. The high cost of the project paid for with loans from international financial institutions – has also raised concern about its debt burden on the national budget.

Amid the growing climate crisis, North African countries cannot afford to continue engaging in such exploitative projects. They cannot continue being exporters of cheap natural resources to Europe and the site of displaced socio-environmental costs of its green transition.

They need a just transition that involves a shift to an economy that is ecologically sustainable, equitable and just for all. In this context, existing neo-colonial relations and practices must be challenged and halted.

As for European countries and corporations, they need to break away from the imperial and racialised logic of externalising costs. Otherwise, they would continue to feed green colonialism and further pursuit of extractivism and exploitation of nature and labour for a supposedly green agenda, which would undermine collective efforts for an effective and just global response to climate change.

Nigerians are really proud of you, PDP told Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

The party says Jonathan’s achievements and personal sacrifices towards the unity and stability of the nation remained indelible in the history of Nigeria.

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan (Thisday)
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday celebrated former President Goodluck Jonathan as he marks his 64th birthday, saying Nigerians across the divides are proud of him.

The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja on Saturday described Dr. Jonathan as an exceptionally patriotic leader and national icon.

It added that GEJ achievements and personal sacrifices towards the unity and stability of the nation remained indelible in the history of Nigeria.

The party said that over the years, Jonathan had continued to distinguish himself as a humble, forthright, selfless and excellent administrator, who puts the interest of the people above every other consideration.

It stated that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan demonstrated this as a deputy governor, governor, vice president, president, African Union (AU) Envoy and Chairman, International Summit Council for Peace in Africa (ISCP-Africa).

It said,  Dr Goodluck Jonathan’s efforts in entrenching democratic tenets of good governance, equity, fairness, justice, rule of law, credible elections, tolerance, mutual respect as well as accountability in governance, stabilised and strengthened the bond of unity among Nigerians during his tenure in office.

It added that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s landmark achievements including legacy projects and programmes brought unprecedented massive development and empowerment of citizens in all critical sectors, in line with the manifesto of the PDP.

These, according to the party led Nigeria’s economy being ranked as one of the fastest growing in the world under the PDP’s watch.

It added that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s personal sacrifices in ensuring the unity and stability of our nation, particularly after the 2015 generation election, stand him out at a statesman who put the wellbeing of the nation above personal ambitions.

The party said that even outside of office, it was proud of the role the former president was playing in ensuring peace, unity, stability, credible elections and good governance in other parts of the world.

The PDP joins family members, friends and associates in celebrating this global citizen and we pray God will continue to bless him with many more years in good health and service to our dear nation, Amen.

Republic of Cape Verse open it’s first Embassy in Nigeria West Africa.

Cape Verde flag.

Prime Minister of Cape Verde, Mr. Jose Silva has pledged better cooperation and an increase in trade volumes between Nigeria and his country in the coming years.

Mr. Silva spoke in Abuja on Saturday at the official opening of the first ever Cape Verdean Embassy in Nigeria.

Cape Verde is the only Island country in West Africa.

The Prime Minister, who spoke through an interpreter, said that both countries stood to gain from each other with the cooperation that was being established

He said, The opening of this embassy means to strengthen the relationship between Cape Verde and Nigeria both politically and culturally.

Also, we will strengthen our relationship with Cape Verde as well as its integration within the ECOWAS region.

We are going to lure more private investments to Cape Verde; we want to bring more tourists from Nigeria. We already have many travellers from Nigeria to Cape Verde.

We already have some investments there from other African countries like the Floating Hub which is an investment by a Malian.

We believe that politically and culturally we have a lot to offer, even as a tourist destination, he said.

He noted that the current trade volume between both countries was low, but expressed optimism that going forward, the volume will be on the increase.

The trade volume between Nigeria and Cape Verde is pretty much weak for now, but, when it comes to trade, it is important to increase or improve the maritime and airline connections to increase the figures.

Also, when it comes to free trade zones, it would play an important role if you invest in the connection between the region and Cape Verde in order to raise the figure,” he added.

Earlier in his remarks at the event, Mr. Silva said that his country, being the only Island country in West Africa, sought to be well known within the sub region.

We seek greater integration of markets, trade, connectivity, private investments and tourism. Cape Verde wishes to position itself as an air and digital hub in Africa and integrate regional value chains in trade and industry, he said.

The Prime Minister had on Friday visited the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Headquarters as part of his country’s push for better collaboration in the region.

Mr. Silva, who said his coming to Nigeria was purely for the commissioning of the embassy and also to interact with (ECOWAS), said he would be pushing for more synergy with the regional body so as to improve trade and bilateral relations.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cape Verde, Rui Soares.

The Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu met with the All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu met with the All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Saturday afternoon in his Abuja residence.

Both leaders met to discuss about the problems, unity and future of Nigeria. Speaking on the meeting, Kalu disclosed;

My brother, long time friend and fellow Political associate, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu early this afternoon paid us a cordial visit at my Abuja residence. We spent more than four hours discussing the security, unity and progress of the country. We also used the opportunity to reflect on other issues of national importance. God bless Nigeria, Kalu wrote on his verified Facebook page.

Though Tinubu has yet to declare his intention to contest any office in 2023, there have been reports and veiled indications that he might be interested in the exalted seat.

Recall that SouthWest Agenda 2023, a political movement mobilising support for Tinubu to contest the 2023 presidential election, was inaugurated in Lagos in October by State Governor, Babajide Sanwo Olu, and other party chieftains.

Mr. Tinubu, who celebrated his 69th birthday in March 2021, commands an arguably large following of political loyalists. He has been rumoured to nurse a presidential ambition in 2023, even as political debates get intense for a Southern President after the eight-year administration of the incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari who is from Katsina State, North West Nigeria.

Some groups and persons have also said aside from Mr. Tinubu, Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, and Fashola are equally capable to be Nigeria’s President.

Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu sitting left, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu sitting right.