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Revealed: The 6 Essential Ingredients Of The Perfect Facebook Video Ad

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Revealed: The 6 Essential Ingredients Of The Perfect Facebook Video Ad

One thing we can all agree on: the amount of video consumed online has grown at an incredible pace in the last two years, and is set to grow even further.

Here’s the projection: 75% of all mobile data will be video by 2020. And driving this is the huge growth in Facebook users and Facebook’s move to become video-centric.

The world is fast embracing video primarily on mobile devices. This presents an enormous opportunity for savvy marketers. But the old rules don’t apply. What do you need to consider when looking at your Facebook video ads and videos on other platforms?

We’ve put together 6 tips to ensure you produce the best Facebook video ad you can.

  1. The right length

The correct length for your video ad is going to depend on your campaign objectives and your audience. But in general, more and more video ads are moving towards shorter durations including the much talked about 6-second trend.

It’s not hard to see why.

Your consumers have an enormous amount of content to get through. It has been estimated that people can scroll up to 300 feet of content every day on Facebook. That’s the height of the statue of liberty!

It’s important to think about audience behavior when considering optimum length. On Facebook, for example, you should be aware that around 70% of your target market is ‘on-the-go’ and are looking for short videos, ads in Instagram Stories, snaps, and immediate messages.

This means that 70% of your video ads need to be around 6-seconds in duration.

Around 20% can be classified as having ‘lean-in’ behavior. This audience has more time and is prepared to allocate time to more immersive forms of content, such as 360-degree videos or Facebook live video.

The rest have a ‘lean-back’ mindset, with more time for long-form video content such as behind the scenes video.

Follow the 70:20:10 rule on duration.

Salomon

Salomon reminded their audience about the concept of ‘Play’ in a visually interesting and mobile-optimized way. Their short video proved to be an ideal length for target consumers who were recognised as being ‘on-the-go’. Its vertical nature utilized the whole screen for optimal viewing, making it the perfect format for deploying within Instagram story ads.

To cater to those with a little more time to spare, Salomon crafted a minute long video ad too. The use of rich imagery and dramatic music formed a much more immersive experience for the viewer.
Salomon then took this campaign one step further, by inviting their target audience to reflect on their own inner child and submit photos of themselves in ‘play’. The brand utilized the power of this authentic user-generated-content by creating a remixed version of their minute-long advert. The end result is a piece of video content tailored to those with a ‘lean-back’ mindset.

  1. Scalability

You need a lot of video content to address different targets and to avoid ad fatigue. The traditional approach to video adverts was the 30-second TV commercial. Brands would (and still do) seek to target you within linear television channels. One of the key metrics traditionally used is frequency. In other words how many times can I make a person watch my ad? The theory being that the more watches the better.

That system simply does not work in online channels like Facebook. Users want to see fresh content; it is called the ‘newsfeed’ after all! Users now have a significantly greater choice on what they consume. This means brands need to do more to avoid fatigue, as showing the same ad often (like traditional methods) can have a detrimental impact on social media channels.

Brad Jakeman from Pepsi points out that 20 years ago brands created four pieces of content a year, each taking about four months to make, with a budget of $2 million – in other words, big-budget TV spots – was normal. Nowadays, brands are pushing out more like 400 to 4,000 pieces of content a year on a $20,000 budget.

Brands now need to create more content than ever to address these issues. This is a challenge with video because it has traditionally been expensive and time-consuming. Thankfully, there are a number of tech plays that are going to help address this issue covered below.

Ideally, you need a lot of video content to target different audiences and avoid fatigue.

Travel Leaders

America’s largest travel agency company, Travel Leaders, utilized a stream of fresh video content within their ads to help fight creative fatigue.

  1. Quality

One thing that will never change is the ability of creative content to tell a compelling story. It is still possible to tell a story and communicate a message in the new world of the mobile newsfeed, but a different approach is required.

With the move to short video ads it requires more creativity, but as the (now defunct) app Vine showed the world, it is still possible to get the job done in 6 seconds.

The good news is that 6 seconds is indeed a reasonable canvas in which to communicate a story. And if done well it can be very effective.

Brands will need to continue to focus on quality though. This is a challenge given the amount of content required but it’s vital that all video advertising is high quality otherwise it will reflect poorly on the brand.

Vodafone

The folks at Vodafone have done this well, using simple animation to capture the attention of their audience. What’s great about these videos is that they manage to retain utmost quality all within a short viewing time – intensifying the audience’s viewing experience.

Vodafone’s blinking monkey is sure to catch your eye.

KMK

KMK Online, who focuses on driving growth for the Emtek Group in the online industry, is another great example. Their use of text overlay and image shots was an easy way to create a high-quality video without the hassle or expense of transitional video production. Their ‘card-flying’ video below is another unique way to capture attention in a quick six ticks.

Never sacrifice on quality.

  1. Video structure

There are a few things to take into account when it comes to the structure of your Facebook video ads.

Always design for mobile, so vertical or square is better than horizontal video. It costs the same to run a vertical video ad as it does a horizontal one so why not capture the entire screen for better impact?

Sound off. Facebook is currently trialling sound on by default. So you may get sound in some of your campaigns however the user is easily able to turn off the sound. Therefore you need to include subtitles in most of your video ads.

Short video ads need to be thumb stopping, so the first second needs movement that will capture attention.

Brands also need to consider having their brand and messaging up front, rather than the traditional punchline, which is common in the ads of yesteryear.

A final consideration is to look at your target audience’s ability to access wifi or fast data service. This is especially important for video advertising in developing countries.

YOOX

Leading online lifestyle/fashion brand, Yoox, ran a vertical video Instagram campaign to raise awareness for its brand in Italy. The video ticks many boxes by revealing their logo within the first 2-seconds and maximizing the vertical screen with a unique split-screen technique.

Always design for mobile first; new rules apply.

  1. Calls to action

Facebook allows for an easy and immediate action to be taken. A call to action can be placed below the video ad (eg. learn more) or be placed as a headline into the video itself (like click below for more information).

The first thing to remember is that all great video ads contain a call to action. This is easily done with facebook. The next thing is to consider a compelling reason to take the action.

Brands also need to embed the Facebook pixel on their website to ensure that all spending is tracked back to the objectives set at the start of the campaign. This is relevant for tracking click-throughs and CTAs’.

Have a compelling CTA (unless you are running campaigns for awareness only).

Cartier

In this example, Cartier seamlessly integrated their CTA within the ad format to inspire lovers with its Valentine’s Day line of fine jewelry. The creative utilized Facebook’s ‘Collection format’ by combining their engaging video with four product-related images below it. Viewers are compelled to ‘View the Selection’ and are presented with an easy means to purchase the collection pieces in a few clicks.

  1. Test and Update

There is no perfect recipe for creative treatment. If you get the above ‘ingredients’ in play you are a long way ahead of the market, so it’s a good start. But even with the basic ingredients in place, it’s still possible to cook up something that does not taste good.

That’s why you will need to keep testing, refining, changing, updating, tracking… rinse and repeat. You get the idea.

A lot of creativity is subjective and many brands have made huge mistakes when it comes to creative advertising. The beauty with facebook is that it’s easily remedied and changed.

Jaanuu

Medical apparel retailer, Jaanuu, transformed their static imagery into short-form video animation. After testing the two creatives against each other (static and video), the video creative emerged as a clear winner – delivering a 32% increase in Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) for the brand.

There is no perfect recipe so keep testing and refining.

How do you adopt these six tips?

So what are some of the approaches that brands are taking to ensure their video ads address the above trends and requirements?

Here are some options to consider:

In-house production

Clearly, it’s going to come down to a number of resources being available, but one option is to take the production of video advertising in-house. This could take a number of routes depending on the size of the organization.

Many organizations lack the in-house expertise and budget to build up a video production team. But with the massive advances in smartphone cameras and easy apps to edit, add music and produce, this has become a more reasonable option for many companies.

Lightweight tools like Ripl (which is a do it yourself editing tool) can allow in-house marketing teams to produce reasonably good video content. Effectively it’s taking the design in-house. This could be relevant for small business.

You can also consider the facebook tools themselves. Canvas from Facebook, allows you to design and build quality video adverts in-house.

Canvas examples where viewers are encouraged to engage with the photos and videos.

Outsource

The traditional approach is to use an agency (or freelancer). This advantage is that you will normally have an existing relationship and the agency will have access to your branded assets, guidelines and communications systems.

The major downside is cost, especially given the amount of content required going forward. In addition, some agencies have been slow to adapt and change their approach to video ads with systems and approaches built on traditional video ads.

Facebook’s Creative Shop has been working on changing this approach. They have been working with brands and agencies to create ‘PockeTVCs’ from their existing assets. Essentially this means taking existing 30 or 60-second TVCs and ‘slicing and dicing’ them into snackable content.

In the above example, Bose transforms their minute-long commercial into a 10-second snippet, perfect for mobile optimization.
Crowdsource

A number of platforms have sprung up in recent years to enable brands to talk directly to a large network of video ad creators. Companies like 90 seconds and Genero allow you to upload a brief which can then be viewed by thousands of freelancers.

Depending on the platform you are then able to select your preferred option. This is more appropriate for longer form content, but in theory, it would be possible to create shorter video ads using this system.

Smart tech approach

One very innovative way to deal with video ad challenges is to create Instant Videos from your photos. Shuttlerock takes jpeg photos and turns them into short 6 second MP4 videos for your Facebook ads.

This approach answers the important issues of being high quality, a snack-able length, and structured to perfectly fit into mobile screens.

And most importantly this system is scalable at reasonable costs.

The system also helps source relevant content from a range of sources including customers (user-generated content) and employees/advocates using a native app.

Wrapping up

One thing is for sure, brands need to adjust their marketing plans to take into account their customers’ behavior. Video advertising represents a unique opportunity for brands to get ahead of their competitors by doing it right the first time.

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Exposed! Real Reasons Aisha Buhari is against Garba Shehu

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Exposed! Real Reasons Aisha Buhari is against Garba Shehu

Aisha Buhari, the wife of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has maintained that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, now takes orders from Buhari’s powerful nephew, Mamman Daura.

 

In a statement she personally signed on Wednesday, Mrs Buhari said it was Daura that ordered Shehu to issue a statement to say that the office of the first lady had been scrapped. Mrs Buhari said this as we gathered that her latest statement against Shehu and others was caused by an order by the cabal to presidential aides.

The cabal, it was learnt, directed the aides to stop the Nigerian Television Authority from airing an interview she granted journalists on her return to the country in October.

Aisha, in the statement she issued very early on Wednesday, said, “I recall, sadly, that it was the same Garba Shehu, who claimed that the government would not allow office of the first lady to run. He was later to confirm to one of my aides that he was instructed to say so by Mamman Daura and not the President. This antic attracted the anger of Nigerian women. He didn’t realise the fact that the first lady’s office is a tradition which has become an institution.”

Mrs Buhari said when she returned from her long visit to Europe, she granted an interview to the NTA at the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport, where she revealed that it was Daura’s daughter, Fatima, that leaked a video showing her protesting the excesses of the Daura family.

She alleged that rather than do his job and clear the air, Shehu ensured that her media aides and some members of staff of the NTA were suspended because of the interview. Aisha added, “To make matters worse, Mr Shehu has presented himself to these people as a willing tool and executioner of their antics, from the corridors of power even to the level of interfering with the family affairs of the President. This should not be so.

“The blatant meddling in the affairs of a first lady of a country is a continuation of the prodigal actions of those that he serves. We all remember that the chief proponent appropriated to himself and his family a part of the Presidential Villa, where he stayed for almost four years and when the time came for him to leave, he orchestrated and invaded my family’s privacy through a video circulated by Mamman’s daughter, Fatima. The public was given the impression that on arrival into the country I was locked out of the villa by Mr President. Garba Shehu as the Villa spokesperson, knew the truth and had the responsibility to set the records straight, but because his allegiance is somewhere else and his loyalty misplaced, he deliberately refused to clear the air and speak for the President who appointed him in the first place. Consequently, his action has shown a complete breakdown of trust between the first family and him.

“Mr Shehu was privy and part of the plan and its execution and he was shocked when he realised that I had publicised my return to Nigeria and cleared the air on the many rumours that took over social media. A job he was supposed to do but kept mute to cause more confusion and instability for his principal and his family.

“Garba then, vented his anger on the NTA management insisting that the media crew to my office must be sacked. He succeeded in getting them suspended for doing their job. I had to intervene to save the innocent staff from losing their means of livelihood by involving the Department of State Services in order to ascertain roles played by key actors in the saga.”

Mrs Buhari, therefore, asked Shehu to resign as his loyalty was not to the President but to an unelected nephew of her husband. She said there was a ploy by Shehu and his ilk to start a smear campaign against her and her children.

She said, “Based on Garba Shehu’s misguided sense of loyalty and inability to stay true and loyal to one person or group, it has become apparent that all trust has broken down between him and my family due to the many embarrassments he has caused the Presidency and the first family.

Cabal directed Buhari’s aides to stop from NTA airing ’s Aisha’s interview

On Wednesday, an interview Mrs Buhari granted some journalists on her return from the United Kingdom in October caused the latest crisis.

Our correspondent learnt that as part of the arrangement, some aides of the President’s wife, based on her directive, told the journalists the questions they should ask her.

A source in the Presidency, said, “You know that while she was away, a lot of things were happening . There was the news that her husband was about taking a new wife and there was also the video that went viral, with people claiming that she was locked up inside the Presidential Villa.

“So the woman was not comfortable with the fact that presidential spokesmen did not address the issues, so she wanted to clear the air on the issues herself.”

It was further learnt that as part of the arrangement, a reporter with the Nigerian Television Authority was assigned the task of asking a question relating to the viral video while another journalist was told to ask a question relating to the rumour of her husband’s planned wedding.

The source added, “Everything went according to the plan, the questions were asked and the President’s wife answered them without holding back anything.

“Shortly after the interview however, news got to those you like to call the cabal that the woman granted press interview on her arrival at the airport. The thrusts of the interview were also divulged to them.”

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EFCC arrests Lagos Ex-Speaker, Ikuforiji over N338.8m money laundering

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EFCC arrests Lagos Ex-Speaker, Ikuforiji over N338.8m money laundering

On Wednesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, arraigned a former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji over alleged conspiracy and N338.8 million money laundering.

Based on TOPNAIJA.NG’s findings, Ikuforiji was arraigned alongside his former aide, Oyebode Alade. The duo were brought before Justice Mohammad Liman of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.

EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren said this in a statement in Abuja. Uwujaren explained, “The defendants were first arraigned on March 1, 2012 before Justice Okechukwu Okeke on a 20-count charge bordering on funds misappropriation and money laundering, to which they pleaded not guilty.

“The defendants were subsequently re-arraigned before Justice Ibrahim Buba, following a re-assignment of the case. Justice Buba, on September 26, 2014, discharged the defendants of the charges, after upholding their no-case submission. Dissatisfied with the ruling, the EFCC filed a notice of appeal at the Appeal Court, Lagos Division, on September 30, 2014, challenging the decision of the trial court.

“In its appeal, the Commission submitted that the trial Judge erred in law when he held that the counts were incompetent because they were filed under Section 1(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004, which was repealed by an Act of 2011.

“The Commission also argued that the lower court erred in law when it held that the provisions of Section 1 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and 2011, only applied to natural persons and corporate bodies other than the government.

“The Commission further submitted that the trial judge erred in law by holding that the testimonies of prosecution witnesses supported the innocence of the defendants. The Appellate Court, in its judgement sometime in November 2016, upheld the appeal and ordered a re-trial of the case before another judge.In view of this, the defendants approached the Supreme Court, seeking to overturn the ruling of the Court of Appeal.

“The apex court, in its verdict, upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal and ordered that the case be sent back to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for assignment”.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Rt. Honourable Adeyemi Sabit Ikuforiji and Oyebode Alade Atoyebi, sometime between April 2010 and July 2011 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, conspired among yourselves to do an illegal act to wit: accepting various cash payments amounting in the aggregate to the sum of N338, 801, 442 (Three Hundred and Thirty-Eight Million, Eight Hundred and One Thousand, Four Hundred and Forty Two Naira only) from the Lagos State House of Assembly without going through a financial institution and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 and punishable under Section 16 (2) (b) of same Act.”

But the defendants reportedly pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them by the EFCC.

It was on this premise that the prosecution counsel, Ekene Iheanacho, asked the court for a trial date and prayed the court to remand the defendants in the Correctional Centre, pending the outcome of the case.

But Counsel to the defendants, Dele Adesina, SAN, prayed the court to allow the defendants to continue to enjoy the bail granted them by the former trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba.

However, in his response, the prosecution counsel, Iheanacho told the court that the defence should have filed a fresh application for bail rather than relying on Justice Buba’s ruling. Justice Liman, after listening to the ensued legal fireworks held, “ the court will allow the defendants to continue to enjoy the bail granted to them by Justice Buba ”.

Justice Liman also gave 14 days to the sureties to the defendants to appear before the court before a pronouncement could be made regarding the defendants’ prayers for bail. Presiding Justice Liman also adjourned the case till February 9 and March 5, 2020 for commencement of trial.

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Punch Newspaper to refer to President Buhari as General Buhari [FULL REPORT]

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Punch Newspaper to refer to President Buhari as General Buhari

A Nigerian Newspaper, Punch has shared its opinion on the alleged lawlessness witnessed in President Buhari’s administration, giving notice of their stand.

In a notice titled “Buhari’s lawlessness: Our Stand”, Punch stated that it will “henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s ‘Major General’ and refer to his administration as a regime until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law.”

 

Punch Newspaper reiterated that it will not adopt the self-defeating attitude of many Nigerians looking the other way after each violation of rights and attacks on the citizens, the courts, the press and civic society, including self-determination groups lawfully exercising their inalienable rights to peaceful dissent.

 

It alleged that this administration’s actions and assaults on the courts, disobedience of court orders and arbitrary detention of citizens reflect its true character of the martial culture. The SSS and Police were called out by Punch who also accused the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed of vigorously pressing for anti-hate speech laws to restrict social media even after being harassed by the SSS and accused of “loitering” in 2014.

 

The notice from Punch Newspaper reads in full;

“As a symbolic demonstration of our protest against autocracy and military-style repression, PUNCH (all our print newspapers, The PUNCH, Saturday PUNCH, Sunday PUNCH, PUNCH Sports Extra, and digital platforms, most especially Punchng.com) will henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s, Major General, and refer to his administration as a regime, until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law.”

The entire country and a global audience are rightly scandalised by the unfolding saga over Omoyele Sowore and the unruliness of the SSS and the government; but it is only a pattern, a reflection of the serial disregard of the Buhari regime for human rights and its battering of other arms of government and our democratic institutions. PUNCH views this tendency and its recent escalation with serious concern, knowing as the great thinker, Edmund Burke, said that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Nigeria had trod a path, a veritable obstacle course, where repression, especially under military jackboots, was a malignant presence and this attracted heroic resistance by ordinary people, civil society groups and the press. But Nigerians have lately become lethargic, divided by ethnic and sectarian sentiments and weakened by widespread poverty brought on by a rapacious political class and bad governance.

PUNCH will not adopt the self-defeating attitude of many Nigerians looking the other way after each violation of rights and attacks on the citizens, the courts, the press and civic society, including self-determination groups lawfully exercising their inalienable rights to peaceful dissent. This regime’s actions and assaults on the courts, disobedience of court orders and arbitrary detention of citizens reflect its true character of the martial culture. Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) ran a ham-fisted military junta in 1984/85 and old habits obviously run deep.  Until he and his repressive regime purge themselves of their martial tendency therefore, PUNCH will not be a party to falsely adorning it with a democratic robe, hence our decision to label it for what it is – an autocratic military-style regime run by Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd).

Sowore’s travails are symptomatic: having ignored court orders granting him bail, the SSS, after much pressure following 125 days in captivity, released him only to stage a GESTAPO-style raid on the court where the journalist was standing trial. The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim el-Zakzakky and his wife have spent over three years in detention in violation of court orders granting them bail and ordering their release. A former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, has been held in detention since 2015 in defiance of several court orders, including one by the ECOWAS appellate court that declared his continued incarceration illegal. Under Buhari, the SSS has become a monstrous and repressive secret police, acting often with impunity. Buhari bears responsibility for the state of repression because, as president, he can stop it today.

But the SSS is not alone. The Nigeria Police, whose notoriety predates Buhari’s second coming, has continued its serial abuse of human rights and is ever available to officials who routinely deploy police officers from the mundane abuse of sirens in traffic to arbitrary arrest and torture of victims. The police and military fail to understand that peaceful agitation and the right to associate are fundamental rights.

This situation is eerily familiar: as military head of state, Buhari’s appointee who headed the National Security Organisation, as the SSS was then known, Lawal Rafindadi, unleashed a reign of terror on Nigerians, featuring arbitrary arrests and torture in cells described by inmates as chambers of horror. Under the infamous Decree 2, agents had pre-signed detention papers, court orders were ignored and ouster clauses were inserted in decrees, while the press was specifically targeted with the infamous Decree 4 under which Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor were jailed.

Returning as an elected president, Buhari has followed the same template, appointing Lawal Daura as Director-General of the SSS, who re-enacted the Rafindadi playbook by his treatment of Dasuki and el-Zakzakky, among others, raided the homes of judges and twice deployed armed SSS heavies to foil the arrest of two former security chiefs by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Nigerian Navy authorities similarly ignored court orders to release Navy Captain Dada Labinjo, who they detained for over a year until his recent release on bail; Nigerian Army too detains suspects interminably on the grounds of being terrorism suspects.

Some governors have borrowed from this nefarious model, deploying security agents and perverting the law to punish critics and journalists. Critics, Dadiyata Idris and Stephen Kefas, have been arrested and arraigned. Agba Jalingo is facing a treason charge for offending the Cross River State Government. Jones Abiri, a local publisher in Bayelsa State, has been charged with terrorism while, in Delta State, two journalists are facing criminal defamation charges.

The regime’s Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, forgetting how, as opposition spokesman in 2014, he was harassed by the SSS and accused of “loitering,” has been vigorously pressing for anti-hate speech laws to restrict the social media. Abdullahi Sabi, a senator, along with others, has re-presented a hate-speech bill: their sole purpose is to insulate officials from criticism and compel unquestioned acceptance of Buhari’s draconian misrule.

Under the law, suspects cannot be held beyond 48 hours except by a court order. But the regime observes this in the breach. Yet, Nigeria is a signatory to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and other treaties guaranteeing fundamental rights. The 1999 Constitution also spells out basic rights. But the regime chooses which rights or court orders to respect or obey. This is unacceptable. Critical segments of the society have been assaulted, silenced or compromised. It is time, as a Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, has strongly advocated, for civil society to rejuvenate itself and send the message to Buhari to “rein in his wild dogs of disobedience.” From the United States has come a message from the Department of State, two senators and Congress telling the Buhari regime to stop its shocking affront to the rule of law, reminding the General that “respect for the rule of law, judicial independence, political and media freedom, and due process are key tenets of democracy.”

Nigeria has had more than its fair share of draconian rulers, whether in military or civil garb, but none has succeeded in breaking our resilience and irrepressible spirit. This regime will not prove to be an exception. Nigeria, and Nigerians, will overcome. The strong desire of our people to enjoy the unfettered freedoms guaranteed by the constitution and the rule of law, including the freedom to speak freely and assemble peacefully, will again outlive, outlast and crush the spirit of despotism.

Buhari can still redeem himself and his out-of-control security agents and reclaim his past facade of tolerance. When Daura brazenly inserted himself in politics by recklessly sending armed masked SSS enforcers to besiege the National Assembly, as acting President, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo promptly sacked him and had him arrested. Buhari should similarly distance himself and his regime from the lawlessness and impunity of the current SSS DG, Yusuf Bichi, by dismissing him, ordering the release of all victims of illegal detention and compelling obedience to court orders. The SSS has not been efficient in the war against terror; it should perform its primary duty to safeguard the country. As a product of statute, its loyalty should be to the country, not to temporary occupiers of public office.

The regime’s repression cannot succeed but will further polarise the society and weaken national cohesion.  The Nigerian Bar Association has vowed to defend the sanctity of judicial authority, while Soyinka has warned that disregard for court orders could beget desperation and civil disobedience. Nigerians need to stop their supine acquiescence to oppression and learn to stand up for their rights as many are doing around the world, using all peaceful and legal means, including the right to protest and of peaceful assembly. It is Dasuki, el-Zakzakky, Sowore and others today, who knows who is next if repression is not resisted?

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Final year law student raped and stabbed to death

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Final year law student raped and stabbed to death

A final year student in the Rivers State University has been stabbed to death in her apartment in Port Harcourt.

The victim,  Matilda Itonyo Mark was a student of the Law Department. She was said to have been raped and subsequently stabbed by her assailants inside her apartment close to Eagle Island.

24-year old Matilda’s body was found in her pool of blood.

An ambulance accompanied by security personnel was sighted at the scene of the incident, taking the corpse away from the scene.

The Rivers state Police Command and the Management of the Rivers State University were yet to react to the incident at the time of this report.

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Sacked Rufus Giwa Poly staff reject reinstatement

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Sacked Rufus Giwa Poly staff reject reinstatement

The sacked workers of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, who were recently reinstated by the state government rejected the government’s gesture.

The 59 workers, who were teachers at the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Staff Primary and Secondary School, were sacked on the grounds that the management had no financial capacity to run the schools any longer and planned to privatise them.

The Chairman of the Governing Council of the institution had last week, during a meeting with the representatives of the institution’s chapter of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics, disclosed that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had ordered that the disengaged workers be reabsorbed into the civil service.

But the affected workers, in a letter to the governor, rejected the government’s plan.

The letter sent to the governor, through their lawyer, Mr Banjo Ayenakin, read,

“While our clients appreciate the gesture and interest of the Ondo State governor, the planned redeployment or transfer of service is clearly unacceptable to our clients.

“To put the record straight, our clients were employed by RUGIPOLY at different times; they had their appointments regularised and confirmed by the governing council of the institution. Our clients were subsequently promoted by virtue of their commitment, industry and hard work to the institution.

“It was a rude shock when our clients were given mass retrenchment or disengagement under the guise that the schools were not yielding enough revenue and that the management intended to privatise the institution.”

 

It added, “The offer to redeploy or transfer our clients to the Ondo State Teaching Service Commission is contrary to the conditions of appointment of our client and the said redeployment is a ploy to demote our clients and subject them to psychological trauma.

“It must be noted that the conditions of employment of our clients; among which are grade level and year of retirement in the two services are different. While the non-teaching staff of RUGIPOLY retires at age 65; those of the teaching service commission retire at 60.”

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Boko Haram posts video showing execution of soldiers and policeman

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Boko Haram posts video showing execution of soldiers and policeman

Boko Haram has released a video showing the execution of two soldiers and a policeman, posted online late Monday by the Islamic State group (IS) propaganda agency Amaq.

The video, dated Sunday, was made by a branch of Boko Haram that has sworn allegiance to IS known as the Islamic State Group in West Africa (ISWAP). The Boko Haram video release came days after the militants announced the kidnapping of 14 people including two aid workers and, according to the jihadists, six members of the security forces.

It shows three men in plainclothes kneeling in a field, introducing themselves as members of the Nigerian security forces before masked men in fatigues open fire on them shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest). “We tell the Nigerian army that we will never spare those fighting against the people who follow Allah’s religion,” one of the executioners said in Hausa, a language widely spoken in the north of the country.

“We will attack your bases and confront you on your routes,” the militant added, shortly before the execution. One of the three victims introduced himself as a police sergeant, saying the jihadists had “captured” him when he was on his way to Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state. Those abducted last Wednesday included two Red Cross workers. ISWAP claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, saying six members of the Nigerian security forces were among the hostages.

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Islamic Police arrest 26 cross-dressers in Kano

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Islamic Police arrest 26 cross-dressers in Kano

The Deputy Commander of the Islamic Police in Kano State, Tasiu Ishaq on Sunday announced the arrest of 26 young men who were dressed as women.

He said “It is a shame that men and good citizens can put up such behaviour and act like women,” he said. Ishaq said the men had been “preached to” about the spiritual consequences of their actions and would be released to their parents. One of the men said a friend had invited him to the party.

“They have preached to us and we have prayed since they arrested us. I regret what happened and I will stop this behaviour by God’s grace,” he said. Kano is one of the states in northern Nigeria that enforces Sharia, Islamic religious law, which has been in place since 2001. The Islamic police officers are mandated to arrest people “for actions that are contrary to Islamic laws.”

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Sowore’s Rearrest: House of Reps directs committees to investigate court invasion

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Sowore's Rearrest: House of Reps directs committees to investigate

The House of Representatives is now set to investigate the events surrounding the rearrest of the founder of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore in the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The House of Reps has directed the relevant house committees to investigate the incidence after a motion was moved by Minority Leader, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta).

The motion was moved under Matters of Urgent Public Importance at the plenary presided over by the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila on Tuesday.

The committees are National Security and Intelligence, Judiciary, and Human Rights.

Elumelu said the investigation was on the “invasion of the Federal High Court premises Abuja by yet to be identified persons”.

He described the invasion of the court by unidentified persons as “disregard for the rule of law”.

 

He expressed concern that “men of the civil society” claimed that the unidentified masked men were agents of the Department of the State Services (DSS).

“The DSS has denied through their spokesman Peter Afunanya that its personnel were never involved in the incident.

“Sections 4, 5 and 6 of the 1999 Constitution as amended guarantees the separation of powers and the independence of every arm of government.

The lawmaker also expressed worry that the “act of the persons disrupted judicial proceedings and made the presiding judge to abandon her duty post because of safety concerns.

“This is a complete desecration of the temple of justice and such an action should be completely discouraged”.

He said that if the action was not properly checked, the National Assembly “may one day be invaded and the relevant security agencies will claim not knowing who the offenders are.”

He also said that the physical assault on Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare by the yet-to-be-identified persons inside the courtroom was the “highest act of sacrilege” in the judiciary.

The House of Reps, however, directed the committees investigating to report back within two weeks, NAN reports.

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“Forgive me”, Fayose cries out to aggrieved PDP members in Ekiti

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"Forgive me", Fayose crries out to aggrieved PDP members

Former governor of Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose, on Tuesday, sought forgiveness from aggrieved members of the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

According to NAN, Fayose pleaded with members who may be aggrieved by any of his actions in the past to forgive him in his Afao-Ekiti home during a peace meeting he convened with party members in the state.

The former governor apologised to all aggrieved members who he said he might have wronged while in government.

He said the PDP must be repositioned ahead of future elections in the state, adding that nothing should be too much a sacrifice for anyone to make.

“We are on a mission to reposition the party because truly we need a new attitude as members of this party, “he said.

“We must tell ourselves the truth that there is nothing to share in failure and we must join hands to achieve something tangible.

“I know some persons are aggrieved and I know we are humans. I apologise to all those that I have offended.

“Let us come together in unity for this our party not to die in this state. That is my priority as the leader.

“I am doing this after one year of leaving office just to allow the present All Progressives Congress (APC) to display what they have for the people and you can all see for yourselves.

“I am not here for my selfish interest but just to ensure this party does not fail.”

The former governor, who used the meeting to officially congratulate Biodun Olujimi on her victory as the lawmaker representing Ekiti-south senatorial district, noted that she remained a leader of the party in the state.

“Everybody should come back to the party. I am open to reconciliation,” he said.

“If Senator Biodun Olujimi calls you for meeting tomorrow, go there and listen to her. All of us are leaders, don’t let us factionalise this party.

“I am congratulating her and I don’t have any issue with her and I am sorry for what happened in the past.”

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Bayelsa Government House burgled, N3.5M carted away

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Bayelsa Government House burgled, N3.5M carted away

Burglars who attacked the Bayelsa State Government House in Yenagoa made away with the sum of N3.5million on Tuesday, December 10th.

The money was carted away by the burglars who broke into the office of Mrs Ebizi Ndiomu-Brown, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the governor.

Ndiomu-Brown in a phone conversation said that her office was indeed burgled and the sum of N3.5million was carted away not the sum of N40 million as reported by some media.

 

Responding to the question on if she suspects anyone, says she has no ready suspect in mind, as it could be anyone and she waits the outcome of the Police investigation.

Ndiomu-Brown is currently on an official assignment outside Bayelsa State.

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Asinim Butswat, said the office was indeed burgled and the sum of N3.5million stolen.

He said the main entrance door to her office was broken and the safe inside the office, destroyed.

The police spokesman said three policemen and four personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and one maintenance staff on duty at the Governor’s Office, were initially arrested and interrogated at the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation department in connection to the attack.

He added that they have all been released based on their statements and the four NSCDC officials have resumed duty at the Government House.

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