Militants have launched a bomb and gun attack on a mosque in Egypt's North Sinai province, killing 235 people, state media say.

The al-Rawda mosque in the town of Bir al-Abed was targeted during Friday prayers.

It is the deadliest attack of its kind since an Islamist insurgency in the peninsula was stepped up in 2013.

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi vowed to respond with "brute force" after talks with security officials.

No group has yet claimed the attack, but militants affiliated with so-called Islamic State (IS) have been responsible for scores of deadly attacks in the province.

They usually target security forces and Christian churches, and the bloody attack on a mosque associated with Sufi Muslims has shocked Egypt.

Witnesses said dozens of gunmen arrived in off-road vehicles and bombed the packed mosque before opening fire on worshippers as they tried to flee.

The assailants are reported to have set parked vehicles on fire in the vicinity to block off access to the mosque.

Pictures from the scene show rows of bloodied victims inside the mosque. At least 100 people were wounded, reports say, overwhelming hospitals.

"They were shooting at people as they left the mosque," a local resident who had relatives there told Reuters news agency. "They were shooting at the ambulances too."

 

The majority of Nigerian state governors from the ruling All Progressives Congress party say President Muhammadu Buhari should run for second term, the governor of Kaduna state said on Friday.

Nasir El-Rufai said Buhari seeking re-election would be the best way to preserve the party. His comments came hours after an ally of the president, former vice president Atiku Abubakar, quit the party. Abubakar’s spokesman said he might run in the presidential election due in February 2019.

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged religious movements to assist African countries rid themselves of the scourge of corruption.

Speaking at the State House on Friday while receiving the Grand Khalifa of Tijjaniyya Islamic Movement Worldwide, Sheikh Muhammadul-Kabir, the President also enjoined such movements to work for “the cementing of our continental relationships and peaceful coexistence.”

President Buhari commended the movement’s commitment to spiritual cleansing.

According to him, “while the evil of material corruption seeks to undermine the dignity and worldly existence of man, moral and spiritual corruption seek to destroy man and condemn him to perpetual punishment by his Creator”

President Buhari also lauded the peaceful conduct of the Tijjaniyyah Islamic movement in Nigeria.

“The Tijjaniyyah adherents are peaceful and never found to be in breach of peace nor associated with extreme religious views or terrorism,” he said, noting in particular, “the peaceful way you have conducted all your celebrations without disturbance to the public. This is commendable.”

The President, while expressing appreciation for the prayers from congregations such as the Tijjaniyyah, appealed to all religious groups to continue to preach peace particularly among the youth.

Sheikh Muhammadul-Kabir and other clerics accompanying him from several African countries, commended President Buhari for nurturing peaceful coexistence among all religious adherents in the country.

He said they had come to Nigeria to observe their Maulud celebration of the birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad which took place peacefully in Bauchi.

The Nigeria main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to consider returning into the party following his resignation from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The party however ruled an automatic ticket for any party member, saying whoever is interested in contesting an elective office, including the former Vice President, must be prepared to submit to constitutional provisions in the spirit of democracy.

Speaking at a press conference at the party’s secretariat, National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye noted that as a founding father of the PDP, the erstwhile number two citizen remains ” a true PDP man to the core. ” He said: “The PDP is democratic party.

If you come in, you are free to contest elections once you meet our constitutional requirements, but we can’t give our ticket to‎ anybody like that (automatic).” The party, apparently basking in the euphoria of Atiku’s exit of the APC, also extended the olive branch to the ex- Vice President, urging him to return home (PDP).

“The former Vice President, Atiku who was one of the founding fathers, contested and won elections as governor of Adamawa State on the platform of the PDP. “But before he was sworn in, he was nominated by Olusegun Obasanjo as his running mate and they were sworn in as President and Vice President. Again, they both ran in 2003. So, he is a true PDP man to the core. “However and unfortunately in 2013, they were deceived into believing that there was a platform that would correct all the ills in the PDP and that it could create an Eldorado in Nigeria.

“We believe Atiku Abubakar has come to know the truth like he said in the statement that he has now known the truth, that the APC is not what they call themselves…That platform ( APC) is the worst platform in the history of politics in Nigeria,” Adeyeye said.

Advancing reasons for the defection of Atiku into the ruling party, Adeyeye said the Turakin Adamawa like many others who left the PDP, were deceived into believing the utopian world promised by ‘enemies’ of the PDP was real. “I believe people like Atiku were deceived because we had challenges in our party at that point in time.

They went and join the new party called the APC which we have all now see, every Nigerian has seen, is a fallacy,” he stated, even as described the ruling party as the worst in the history of political parties in the land. “The day APC was born marked a tragedy for Nigeria. It has been a monumental disaster for Nigeria. There is nothing progressive in them .

Everything about them is unprogressive. Everything about them is complete disaster,” he added. Waxing spiritual, Adeyeye said though human beings are liable to make mistakes, the truth, he stressed would always liberate them . He continued: “It is human to make mistakes because we are not infallible. We have no knowledge of what will happen in the future.

Human beings can always be deceived. But in John 8: 32, the Bible says ‘And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.'”

“I believe that Atiku has seen the truth and the truth has now set him free and we thank God for that. He is free to come back like every other Nigerian and we want to appeal to those who have not seen the truth and we are praying that they will soon see the truth , so that the truth will set them free. And as soon as they are free, let them come back. 

Lawyer to the former Secretary to the government of the Federation, Mr Pius Anyim, Mr Mike Ozekhome has insisted that Anyim is still in custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and he is being kept in ‘inhuman and degrading condition.’

Ozekhome described earlier reports by the EFCC that Anyim has been released as misleading. He said in spite of fulfilling all administrative bail conditions, Anyim is still been kept in the custody of the anti-graft agency.

The EFCC had earlier obtained a court warrant to keep Anyim in its custody. He was arrested for allegedly collecting the sum of N520 million from a former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki. Less than two days after his arrest, reports indicated that the EFCC released Anyim and instructed that he should report to the commission every two weeks after meeting his bail conditions.

Ozekhome in the statement on Friday, however, insists that Anyim is still in custody despite depositing his international passport.

“The truth is that Anyim is still held in EFCC custody till minute, inspite of fulfilling all administrative bail conditions laid out for him, including deposit of his international passport and being compelled, under duress and undue influence, to sign all manners of self-incriminating and property-stripping documents against his will.”

He also accused the EFCC of keeping his client under inhuman and degrading conditions for what he described as an unconstitutional length of time.

“Inspite of these and the clear provisions of section 35 and 36 of the Nigerian constitution and the Administration of  Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), the EFCC has bluntly refused to release Anyim to go and attend to his very poor health over which he was receiving treatment before he was forcibly taken away from his home.”

Ozekhome, therefore, asked the Attorney General of the Federation to prevail on the EFCC to respect the rule of law and the constitution by releasing Mr Anyim.

Friday, 24 November 2017 15:25

I'm Not Leaving APGA - Obiano

The Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano has said that he will not leave his party the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the ruling All Progressives Congres (APC).

He made this known while addressing journalists when he paid a thank you visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja.

He also mentioned that he was not worried about the exit of Odumegu Ojukwu’s son from his party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

The FCT High Court in Jabi, Abuja, on Friday remanded in Suleja prison Maryam Sanda, who allegedly killed her husband, Bilyaminu Haliru.

The late Haliru was the son of Alhaji Bello Haliru, former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The presiding Judge, Justice Yusuf Halilu, adjourned the matter until Dec. 7 after the defendant’s arraignment.

The Prosecuting Counsel, Mr James Idachaba, had prayed the court to adjourn the matter to enable the filing of an amended charge, following the emergence of new facts.

The Police had earlier filed a two-count charge against the defendant bordering on culpable homicide, punishable with death.

However, the Defence Counsel, Mr Hussein Musa, did not oppose the adjournment but argued that his client be admitted to bail or be remanded in police custody, pending the determination of the substantive matter.

Musa hinged his argument on the fact that his client is a nursing mother with a six-month-old baby.

He argued that sending a nursing mother to prison when a prima facie had yet to be established against the defendant could be injustice.

Sanda allegedly killed Haliru on Nov. 19 with multiple stabbing at the back and genital area, which reportedly led to his death.

Friday, 24 November 2017 15:18

Atiku Opens Up More On Why He left APC

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar said on Friday that he resigned from the All Progressives Congress (APC) because the party had failed Nigerian youths.

Atiku announced on his website that the ruling APC was a dying party that never took youths into account.

He said the future belonged to young people and that he joined the APC to facilitate a bright future for the young and old.

“The party we put in place has failed and continues to fail our people, especially our young people; how can we have a federal cabinet without even one single youth.

“A party that does not take the youth into account is a dying party.  The future belongs to young people.

“I admit that I and others, who accepted the invitation to join the APC, were eager to make positive changes for our country that we fell for a mirage.

“Can you blame us for wanting to put a speedy end to the sufferings of the masses of our people?’’

Atiku also hinged his resignation on fractionalisation of the APC, resulting from “arbitrariness and unconstitutionality” over the years.

He said it was for the same reason that he defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2014.

“While other parties have purged themselves of the arbitrariness and unconstitutionality that led to fractionalisation, the APC has adopted the same practices.

“It has even gone beyond them to institute a regime of a draconian clampdown on all forms of democracy within the party and the government it produced,” he added.

Atiku said that after due consultations, he had resigned from the APC to take time to ponder his future.

The Independent National Electoral Commission has fixed Jan. 13, 2018 for the conduct of the rerun Anambra Central Senatorial District election.

The seat became vacant following the nullification of the 2015 election for the position by an election tribunal.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Monday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct re-run election within 90 days of the judgment.

Mr Haruna Mohammed, INEC National Commissioner and Member, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), made the development known in a statement on Friday.

Mohammed said the commission met on Thursday and discussed the case of the outstanding election to fill the seat for the Anambra Central Senatorial District among other issues.

“Following the determination of this case, lNEC has decided that all encumbrances to the conduct of the rerun election have now been removed.

“There is presently no court order restraining lNEC from conducting the election.

“The Commission has considered all the circumstances surrounding the election particularly the 90-day time-frame ordered by the Court of Appeal.

“It also considered the demands for preparing adequately for the election as well as the coming Yuletide and decided that the rerun election shall take place on Saturday Jan. 13, 2018,” Mohammed said.

The Commission commended all stakeholders, particularly the people of Anambra Central Senatorial District for their patience.

“We hope that the delay has served to clarify some grey areas in our electoral process to make it stronger, freer, fairer and more credible,” Mohammed said.

At least 54 people were killed and 75 more wounded after suspected militants targeted a mosque in Egypt’s north Sinai with a bomb and gunfire, MENA state news agency said on Friday, citing an official source.

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