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The 2018 diary: March

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March 1: Court outlaws post-UTME tests in tertiary institutions: A Federal High Court, Abuja, declared the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (Post-UTME) conducted by universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria as illegal, saying there was no extant law authorizing the exercise. The court held that only the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) could conduct matriculation examinations and give admissions into tertiary institutions by virtue of Section 5(1) (2) of the JAMB Act.

March 2: UN, EU condemn killing of Aid workers, civilians in Borno: The Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, condemned the killing of four aid workers in Rann, a border community with Cameroun in Kala Balge Council of Borno state.

**Dapchi School girls abduction, a national disgrace

March 3. 25 million Nigerians have kidney failure, says Nephrologists: This year’s (2018) World Kidney Day revealed that a staggering 25 million Nigerians 13.9 percent of the 180 million people) had kidney failure, a condition where kidney could no longer work without dialysis or transplant.
March 4. Buhari attends Ghana’s 61st independence celebration: President Muhammadu Buhari attended Ghana’s 61st Independence anniversary celebrations holding on March 6. President Buhari was the only foreign leader invited to the historic event as the special guest of honour.

March 5. FG seeks review of ECOWAS law on grazing: Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said there was need to review the ECOWAS protocol that allowed unrestricted movement of animals for grazing across all countries in the sub-region, stating that Nigeria’s interest to protect lives and property of her citizens “must come first”.

March 6: Italy elects Nigerian, Iwobi as first Black Senator: Toni Iwobi, a Nigerian I.T entrepreneur who spent 38 yeras in Italy, was elected as the first Black Senator in the European country. Iwobi, aged 62, was elected in the industrial city of Brescia, in Northern Italy. Born in Nigeria, he came to Italy on a student visa some 40 years earlier, before marrying an Italian lady to start his own IT Company.

March 7. Senate warns of military coup over political violence: The Senate warned that allegations of state-sponsored violence in Kaduna, Kano and Kogi states, could create conditions that would undermine democracy in the country.

** Okah, Nwabueze, bag life imprisonment for Independence Day bombing: The rial of alleged masterminds of October 1, 2010 bombing in Abuja, Charles Okoh and Obi Nwabueze, came to a sad end as the Federal High Court, Abuja, found them guilty of the offence and sentenced them to life imprisonment.March 8. At 61, Oshinbajo prays for peace in Nigeria: Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo marked his 61st birthday anniversary in a low key when he expressed gratitude to God for preserving his life.

March 9. New minimum wage expected in July 2018, says NLC President: The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) insisted that the new minimum wage must come into effect in July, 2018. President of Congres, Ayuba Wabba, added that Congress would reject any date that was beyond July, 2018.

March 10. Lassa fever: Prohibitive cost of treatment engendering high mortality: Higher cost of managing Lassa fever (#180, 000 for uncomplicated cases and much more for complicated ones that need dialysis), as well as, late presentation, slow identification and poor management of cases, range top among reasons for the high mortality rate being recorded in 2018.

March 11. Nigerian Judge, Eboe-Osuji elected new president of ICC: The judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC), sitting in a plenary session, elected Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji of Nigeria as President of the Court for a three-year term with immediate effect.

**Scientist develops keyboards in Nigerian languages: A scientist developed lingua script keyboards that could text and type in Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba languages to ensure Nigerian languages didn’t go into extinction. The author of the project, was Nnenna Nwosu, a senior lecturer at the Federal University of Ndufu-Alieke Ikuwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State.

March 12. In Benue, Buhari finds IGP Idris defied relocation order: Two months after he directed Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris (IGP) to relocate to Benue state and stop killings by herdsmen, President Muhammadu Buhari discovered only that his order was not carried out. **Madman storms schools, pack two hack two pupils to death in Ogun State.

March 13. President Buhari dares Senate, vetoes electoral Bill: President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed the withholding of assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2018, heightening tension in the political drama that could determine the outcome of 2019 general election.

March 14. Obaseki’s convoy in road accident: The convoy of Edo State Government, Godwin Obaseki was involved in an accident along the Benin-Lagos Express Road. No life was lost, except for three persons who sustained injuries.

**Public debt hits #21.7 trillion rise, rise by #4.365 trillion: The Nigerian government borrowed #4.365 trillion 2017, bringing the country’s total debt stock to #21.725 trillion.March 15. At 81, Obasanjo regrets parents’ early death: Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said one of the major regrets in life was that his parents did not live long enough to reap the fruits of their labour. Obasanjo expressed the regret during his 81st birthday ceremony in Abeokuta.

March 16. Buhari, Gates, 15 Governors witness Dangote’s daughter’s wedding: Eminent personalities stormed the ancient city of Kano for the wedding, Fathia of the daughter of Africa’s richest man and business mogul, Alhaji Aliko, and son of former Inspector General of Police, Mohammad Dahiru Abubakar.

March 19. How PDP looted billions weeks to 2015 elections, by Osinbajo: Vice –President Yemi Osinbajo alleged that large sums of money in local and foreign currencies were stollen by some people in the former Presidnet Goodluck Jonathan-led PDP administration a few weeks before the 2015 general elections.

**NAF student-pilot force-lands trainer aircraft, sustains injury: The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said that one of its student-pilots at 401 Flying Training School force-landed a Diamond 40 trainer-aircraft on the outskirt of Kaduna, while on a solomission.

** Zimbabwe publishes list of nation looters, chasing $827 million: The Zimbabwe government published a list of state funds stashed in foreign accounts. According to President Emmerson Mnangagwan, there was an estimated amount of $827 million to be recovered.
** IGP Ibrahim Idris orders immediate withdrawal of police officers from VIPs, others.
** Baba Vanga, blind mystic says Vladimir Putin of Russia will one day rule the world.

March 21. How 104 abducted Dapchi girls regained freedom, by FG: The Federal Government explained that the release of 104 out of the 110 Dapchi school girls abducted in February by the Boko Haram sect was secured through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country. But five died, whilst one was being held, because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.

** A police sergeant, Jilla Lamubo was sentenced to death by hanging in Yenagoa, Beyelsa State, for the extra-judicial killing of Oruyegba Grand at Agudama.

March 22. Angry youths set police station, church ablaze in Kaduna State: Hundreds of angry youths set a police station ablaze in Narayi area of the state. State police intervention save the situation. Prior to that, the youths burnt down a Narayi parish of the Celestial Church of Christ, Bayan Dutse, in Chikun Local Council of Kaduna.

March 23. We’ll deal with politicians making fortunes from abductions, says Buhari: President Muhammadu Buhari warned that security agencies would deal severely with those that he described as “unscrupulous characters” who made political fortunes out of school girls’ abduction in the country.

March 25. Camerounian refugees beg not to be deported from Nigeria: Camerounian refugees in Bashua, Danare, Biajua, Okwa, Abo, Wula and Bashu communities in Cross River State numbering over 20, 000 pleaded with the Nigerian Government not to send them back to their country. They feared that their repatriation might result in their being “murdered like chickens”.They argued: “We prefer to die hungry in Nigeria than die with bullets in Cameroun”.

March 26. Forgive our mistakes, PDP begs Nigerians: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) apologized to Nigerians and sought forgiveness for mistakes made while in power. PDP’s national chairman, Uche Secondus, apologized to Nigerians on behalf of his party, saying: “We are sorry. We have made several mistakes”.

March 27. Your apology not enough, return looted funds, FG tells PDP: The Federal Government asked the PDP to go the whole hog with its apology to Nigerians by returning all the funds looted from the public treasury under its watch during its 16 years in power.

March 28. Buhari visits Lagos, kicks off $1.5 billion deep seaport: President Muhammadu Buhari set to lay a foundation stone for the $1.5 billion Lekki Deep Seaport, the first in the country.

March 30. FG responds to PDP, names treasury looters: The Federal Government named the National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus; former national publicity secretary of the party, Olisah Metuh, Chairman of DAAR Communication Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, among treasury looters under the immediate past administration.

March 31. Kukah warns Buhari over leadership style: Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah, warned President Muhammadu Buhari to review his leadership style, lest the nation plunged into deeper crisis.


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