FCTA imposes six to six indefinite curfew on Bwari township

ABUJA- FOLLOWING the crisis that erupted between two cult groups on Sunday Christmas Eve, the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA yesterday imposed a six to six indefinite curfew on Bwari township.

Declaring the curfew yesterday, FCTA Minister Malam Musa Bello said that three people lost their lives to the incidence that claimed the entire ancient market of Bwari. As at the time of filing this report, emergency workers were trying to put out the fire that razed down the Bwari market. It was also gathered that the fire escalated due to attitude of irate arsonists who chased away the emergency workers that wanted to put out the fire. It was however gathered that the crises was as a result of disagreement over membership of the group. Though the identity of the cultists who started the fire was still sketchy as the time of filling this report, but eye witness account said that a member of the cult group who attempted renouncing his membership was stabbed and later rushed to the hospital, but eventually died on Monday morning. His death, however sparked counter reaction and reprisal attacks that led to the arson of critical business in the town. Though the FCT Administration has denied tribal and religious colouration to the story, but many believe that the traditional leadership tussle in the town must have led to the crisis.

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Christmas: Boko Haram burn 3 persons to death, abduct woman in Borno

At least three persons were burnt alive while a woman was abducted as Boko Haram militants attempted to overrun Maiduguri, the Borno State capital on Monday, Christmas day.

Those killed were drivers who were bringing food items to Maiduguri from Biu but were caught up in cross fire at Molai.

This is as the dreaded Boko Haram fighters attacked a security post in Molai, in their attempt to make an inroad to the city on Christmas evening.

Security operatives, who repelled the insurgents told DAILY POST that they were still looking for more corpses.

“It was a serious attack; we are still on patrol at Molai and environs. We have seen three people who were killed. We also learnt that they have abducted a woman in Molai, while they were fleeing.

“The situation is now calm, but the people who fled for safety are yet to return. We are trying to ensure that innocent people are safe,” a security source at the scene of the incident said.

It was earlier reported that the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram had attacked ED Security Post in Molai, along Maiduguri/Biu road and overran it.

Earlier, a security source, who spoke to our correspondent said, “We are currently being mobilised to advance and the militants were said to be advancing towards the city. Our men are holding them.”

Also a resident of Molai told DAILY POST that the militants are advancing to the city, as many people were seen fleeing towards Maiduguri on foot, including women and children.

“I am currently at Bakassi IDP camp. I spoke with my family who locked themselves in our home at Molai.

“They said I should not attempt coming home as the insurgents have killed many people, including members of the civilian joint task force and order security personnel around Molai,” a resident reported earlier.

The military and the Borno State police command is yet to make statements with regards to the attack in Molai.

EFCC speaks on removal of Magu as acting chairman

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reacted to speculation that Ibrahim Magu would be removed as the acting chairman of the anti-graft agency.

In a tweet sent out from its official handle on Tuesday morning, the commission insisted “there is no change of guards”.

The update read: “#Alert: For the avoidance of any doubt, there is no “change of guards” at the EFCC. Ibrahim Magu remains the acting EFCC Chairman.

“Purveyors of #fakenews concerning the EFCC are hereby warned to desist from such mischief as the anti-graft agency remains committed to its mission.”

Yesterday, the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, PACAC, Prof. Itse Sagay, also dismissed speculations that Magu has been ​sacked.

His ‘removal​’ has been a subject of debate in the last few days, following the declaration by the Nigerian Senate that it he is not regarded as EFCC chairman.

Christmas: Boko Haram burn 3 persons to death, abduct woman in Borno

At least three persons were burnt alive while a woman was abducted as Boko Haram militants attempted to overrun Maiduguri, the Borno State capital on Monday, Christmas day.

Those killed were drivers who were bringing food items to Maiduguri from Biu but were caught up in cross fire at Molai.

This is as the dreaded Boko Haram fighters attacked a security post in Molai, in their attempt to make an inroad to the city on Christmas evening.

Security operatives, who repelled the insurgents told DAILY POST that they were still looking for more corpses.

“It was a serious attack; we are still on patrol at Molai and environs. We have seen three people who were killed. We also learnt that they have abducted a woman in Molai, while they were fleeing.

“The situation is now calm, but the people who fled for safety are yet to return. We are trying to ensure that innocent people are safe,” a security source at the scene of the incident said.

It was earlier reported that the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram had attacked ED Security Post in Molai, along Maiduguri/Biu road and overran it.

Earlier, a security source, who spoke to our correspondent said, “We are currently being mobilised to advance and the militants were said to be advancing towards the city. Our men are holding them.”

Also a resident of Molai told DAILY POST that the militants are advancing to the city, as many people were seen fleeing towards Maiduguri on foot, including women and children.

“I am currently at Bakassi IDP camp. I spoke with my family who locked themselves in our home at Molai.

“They said I should not attempt coming home as the insurgents have killed many people, including members of the civilian joint task force and order security personnel around Molai,” a resident reported earlier.

The military and the Borno State police command is yet to make statements with regards to the attack in Molai.

Invasive ‘Devil Fish’ Plague Mexico’s Waters. Can’t Beat ‘Em? Eat ‘Em

October 19, 2017

In trying to get people to eat the Pez Diablo, or suckermouth catfish, sustainable fisheries specialist Mike Mitchell says it isn’t “a problem of biology or science, but marketing.”

Pez diablo: “devil fish.” That’s what locals in the Mexican state of Tabasco call the armored catfish that has invaded their waters.

Also known as suckermouths, the species is popular with aquarium owners because the fish eats the algae that pollute tanks. But in the wild, that same behavior erodes shorelines and devastates underwater plant life.

A Mexican social enterprise called Acari is trying to do something about it — by creating a taste for these aquatic terrors.

Francisco Mendoza, a 38-year-old fisherman from the village of Simón Sarlat in Tabasco, has fished in the region’s lagoons and streams since he was 15.

“We didn’t even know the fish before,” Mendoza says. Róbalo, or snook, used to be abundant. Those are nearly gone, their marshy habitat taken over by the invasive pez diablo.

A fish that’s a survivor

No one knows for sure how suckermouths became such a problem, but they now plague Texas, Florida and southern Mexico. It may be the “Nemo effect” — that fish prized for cleaning aquariums grew too big for their tanks and were set free in the wild. Others believe that aquaculture facilities inadvertently released them. It’s likely a combination. But once in the waterways, their population exploded. The pez diablo matures rapidly, lays 500 eggs at a time and lives seven to 15 years. It is encased in hard scales, and can breathe outside water for up to four hours. In other words, it is a survivor.

Sustainable fisheries specialist Mike Mitchell also grew up fishing, and when he took an environmental science class in high school, something clicked. Learning about the efficiency of producing fish compared to other animal sources of protein, “I saw the viability of fish to feed the world’s population,” he says.

So, in 2014, with a degree from the University of Pennsylvania and several years of working in Latin America under his belt, Mitchell applied for a Fulbright research grant with a proposal to analyze freshwater fishing in Mexico. When he started his research in Tabasco, he talked with countless fishermen, who kept asking: “What the heck am I going to do with the pez diablo?”

Mitchell checked out what was already known about the fish, particularly the research of Salomón Páramo-Delgadillo of the University Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco (UJAT). Mitchell’s first plan of attack was to turn the pez diablo into fish meal. He says that effort turned out to be “incredibly tedious, low yield, and not sustainable.”

Plan B was to eat the fish. “I thought about Chilean sea bass,” Mitchell says. “It used to be called the Patagonian toothfish, and it’s a slimy creature.” But, rebranded, Chilean sea bass became a delicacy, found on the menus of upscale restaurants around the globe.

Locals believed the pez diablo to be poisonous, but Páramo-Delgadillo’s research verified that is not the case. “Salomón showed me how to fillet the fish, so I did a couple of taste tests with other junior researchers in the lab,” Mitchell said.

The flavor is similar to other mild freshwater fish. “It wasn’t a problem of biology or science, but marketing,” Mitchell eventually concluded. “Let’s not reinvent the wheel. Let’s just fillet it, change the name and call it a day.”

Easier said than done

“It has been incredibly difficult,” Mitchell admits. He refers to the fish as acari, the name used in its native Brazil, but others keep calling it pez diablo. Getting people to cook it was as difficult as convincing them to call it acari. It would take more than a couple of university researchers to sway public opinion.

It wasn’t until Mitchell sat down with chef Lupita Vidal that he found a taker.

Vidal and her husband, photographer Jesus David, own La Cevichería Tabasco, a restaurant in the state’s capital of Villahermosa. The eatery is more than just a business for them.

“We believe that through gastronomy and art, great social changes can be generated,” Vidal says. On the menu are ceviches, tacos, tostadas and seafood plates, all of them sourced locally. “More than just filling bellies and hearts, my dishes have a cause and a conscience.”

Vidal developed a fish burger of pez diablo and in May 2016 added it to her menu. “There were people who wrote us on social media saying that they would never return to our restaurant because we served that species. But together with Mike, we believe that it is just a matter of time, patience and perseverance for this fish to be accepted.”

With his first buyer lined up, Mitchell officially established Acari, which he describes as a small business that applies a market-driven approach to improving both the environment and the well-being of fishermen and others in the region.

At the start, Vidal sold one fish burger per week. Now customers order 15 or 20 in the same amount of time. The fish is as nutritious as it is delicious, packed with protein and omega 3 fatty acids.

Victor Hernandez was one of the initial non-believers. Now a third-year biology student at UJAT, he attended one of Mitchell’s workshops on the pez diablo. He says, “My family fished in the rivers, and were always talking about the pez diablo. I thought, ‘I have to get involved!'” He joined forces with Mitchell, but still hesitated when tasting time arrived.

“I hadn’t eaten the fish before. I was the last one — I didn’t want to try it,” Hernandez says. “Then I tasted the fish burger and … wow! It was súper rico.” Totally delicious.

However, it will take a lot more than 20 burgers a week to make a dent in the pez diablo problem. Since founding Acari, they’ve sold around 450 kilos of fish fillets. The yield of fillet is only about 20 percent per fish, meaning that Acari has removed roughly 2,500 kilos of fish from local waters. Although the local government is supporting Acari’s efforts, the stigma of the fish remains high, and Vidal remains the only chef in Tabasco offering pez diablo on the menu. Acari has had more success outside of the state: It currently supplies two more restaurants, and as of this month has begun deliveries to Google in Mexico City.

In addition to finding corporate customers, Acari hopes to help some of the most marginalized in the community through donations of the fish. An estimated 450,000 migrants and refugees enter Mexico from Central America every year, fleeing violence in their home countries. Acari developed fish croquettes to donate to the migrants, but soon realized that a shelf-stable product would be more useful. They are now perfecting a fish jerky.

And rather than outsourcing production, fishermen like Mendoza have been taught to fillet and package the fish, earning around double what they used to take in for fishing alone. According to Mendoza, the pez diablo “might be a plague, but for us it is an economic benefit.”

The fish is a devil of a problem. But Acari looks poised to outwit it.
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Messi emulates Ronaldo with 100th European goal

Lionel Messi’s effort against Olympiacos on Wednesday makes him the second player after Cristiano Ronaldo to reach a century of goals in UEFA club competition.
©Getty Images

Lionel Messi has become the second player to reach 100 goals in UEFA club competition, taking 21 fewer matches than Cristiano Ronaldo, who achieved the feat in April.

His tally comprises 97 strikes in the UEFA Champions League and three in the UEFA Super Cup, and came in just 122 games. Messi opened his account against Panathinaikos on 2 November 2005 and got to 50 when he scored five against Bayer Leverkusen in the round of 16 on 7 March 2012. The next-highest non-European player is Didier Drogba on 50.

Most goals in UEFA club competition (*still active)
113 – Cristiano Ronaldo* (151 games)
100 – Lionel Messi* (122)
76 – Raúl González (158)
70 – Filippo Inzaghi (114)
67 – Andriy Shevchenko (142)
62 – Ruud van Nistelrooy (92)
61 – Gerd Müller (69)
59 – Thierry Henry (140)
59 – Henrik Larsson (108)
56 – Zlatan Ibrahimović* (139)
54 – Eusébio (70)
53 – Alessandro Del Piero (129)
51 – Karim Benzema* (99)
50 – Sergio Agüero* (86)
50 – Didier Drogba (102)
50 – Klaas-Jan Huntelaar* (87)

Statistics include qualifying and competition proper for the European Cup (including the UEFA Champions League), UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and UEFA Intertoto Cup.

Buhari and the stigma of sectionalism

The reformist inclination of President Muhammadu Buhari has never been helped by what has become an historical perception of sectionalism in the direction of his leadership. The damage was done during his leadership debut between December 1983 and August 1985 when key southern politicians and opinion moulders assumed he favoured the North at the expense of the South. Prof. Wole Soyinka indicted Buhari’s approach to governance as being “triple standard”, while it is on record that Gen. Alani Akinrinade and Brig. Benjamin Adekunle, two veterans of the civil war, equally voiced their disapproval. Both Adekunle and Akinrinade would later advocate the rather retrogressive confederal system of government as their preferred option, something this writer referred to as a serious indictment of the then Buhari regime considering the fact that confederation was what was advocated by those on the other side of the Nigerian conflict.

But President Buhari has integrity in many other respects, which was why most of those who had opposed his leadership style between 1983 and 1985, Soyinka and Akinrinade inclusive, came out rooting for him in 2015. This writer was once one critic who would later become an admirer of Buhari upon observing his simplicity while at Oxford to give a talk. It was an impressive display of patriotism on that occasion. When doctored opinion polls projected erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan as the likely candidate to win the 2015 presidential extension, I wrote to say it would be Buhari based on research.

Relatively, President Buhari has not been disappointing. He would seem to have handled the Boko Haram insurgency much better than his predecessor. Many Nigerians would not have known the extent of the looting of the Nigerian treasury by the treasurers but for his inquisitiveness with our patrimony. Not many would have known that a minister was in a position to buy 56 exotic houses in less than four years, and not many would have known that millions of dollars could be concealed in uncompleted buildings. The wife, Aisha, has been an epitome of decency, not prone to the type of crudity observed in the past.

But this spectre of favouritism continues to taint Buhari. There have been issues of lopsidedness in his appointments and the sidetracking of those who supported his election. Such has been the perception of sectionalism on the part of President Buhari that his critics would assume he was shielding those herdsmen whose barbarism has led to many deaths in various states of the federation. He would not even be given the benefit of the doubt in the current allegation that he had requested the President of the World Bank to focus on the “northern regions” in its developmental activities in Nigeria. However, appreciating the gravity of the allegation, the Presidency has tried to explain that the request was made for the North-Eastern zone severely ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency. Even if all he did was make a denial, it is important if the objection of Nigerians to sectionalism has been acknowledged.

Ordinarily, a request for development to be focused on the North would have been considered patriotic on the part of any leader that seeks a balanced and evenly developed Nigerian federation. The North is behind the South and the genesis is the dual approach to education during the colonial era. The South would equally have been backward, were it not for those missionaries – Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, etc-who established numerous schools. The interventions of the regional governments were at the level of policy formulation. For instance, in the defunct Western Region, the compulsory and free education policy of the Obafemi Awolowo-led Action Group worked well for all. State governments in the North must learn to focus on the education of the citizenry and de-emphasise distractions such as the sponsorship of mass marriages for those who should still be at school. The Danjumas and the Dangotes can also do for the North what the likes of Ford Foundation did for posterity.

All said, many would still vote for Buhari if he were physically strong enough to seek re-election in 2019. However, he would urgently need to re-appraise his leadership style and douse those negative perceptions, and this should not be for the short term opportunism of winning an election but for the sake of his place in the history of our great nation.

–Dr. Anthony Akinola, Oxford, United Kingdom