Tuesday, April 30, 2013

REVEALED: Boko Haram Got N500 Million Over French Family?

Shekau: war chest boosted

Shekau: war chest boosted
The BBC said the confidential report was seen by Reuters news agency.
The document did not say who paid the money.
Both France and Cameroon deny paying a ransom while Nigeria has not commented on the issue.
French news network i-tele reported Friday that a ransom of $7 million had been paid, suggesting either Cameroon President Paul Biya or GDF-Suez had paid it.
The French family, including four children, were captured in Cameroon in February and freed last week.
They were handed over to the Cameroon authorities last Thursday.
The Nigerian report also says that Cameroon freed some Boko Haram detainees as part of the deal, according to Reuters.
If confirmed, transfer of such a significant amount of money given to Boko Haram could serve to strengthen the firepower of the group.
Over the past week, violence in northern Nigeria has escalated as suspected members of Boko Haram have targeted the army and police. Reports say more than 200 civilians have died in the violence, that broke out in Gashua, Bama and Baga, where civilian casualties were estimated by the Red Cross at 187.
While the army is unable to prevent such attacks, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has appointed a committee to prepare the ground for offering an amnesty to the militants, our correspondent says.
The French family, who live in Yaounde, where Tanguy Moulin-Fournier worked for the French gas group Suez, had been returning from a holiday in the Waza National Park in northern Cameroon when they were kidnapped by gunmen on motorbikes on 19 February.
Mr Moulin-Fournier, his wife Albane and four children, aged between five and 12, had been joined on their holiday by his brother Cyril.
Source: PM News

PATHETIC: Armed Robbers Plucked Out My Eyes - Victim

Pathetic: How robbers plucked out my eyes for frustrating their operation
Ever imagine the trauma a blind man goes through daily? Also, ever imagined the pain of the blind man if other people caused his predicament? This is the case of Mr. Isaac Nwabude, of Urunnebo Village, Enugwu-Ukwu, in Njikoka Local Government Area in Anambra State, whose eyes were plucked by robbers.
Narrating his ordeal to Saturday Sun, Nwabude, a former lorry driver, said robbers plucked his eyes, as punishment for daring to run over their barricade and thereby frustrating their operations. According to him, the day the incident happened, in 1992, he was travelling from Jos, in Plateau State, to Onitsha, in Anambra State, with goods and passengers in his Mercedes Benz lorry when they ran into a roadblock mounted by armed robbers, in the night, at Opi Junction, in Nsukka area of Enugu State.
That encounter rendered him blind and has incapacitated his life.  On what happened, he said: “At Opi Junction, we ran into a gang of armed robbers, who mounted road block on the way and I had no alternative but to stop because the road block was high and I could not run over it. They opened fire on us and killed four of my passengers, who were owners of the tomatoes I was carrying in the vehicle and inflicted injury on some others.
“The rest of us who were alive and conscious, jumped down from the vehicle and were ordered to lie face down on the road and we did.”  Nwabude said that when the robbers discovered that he was the driver of the vehicle, they told him that they would deal with him because he had earlier run over their road block in one of their operations at Ankpa, in Benue State and thereby frustrating their operations.
“When they said that, I concluded that they would either kill me outright or shoot me on the leg or somewhere else to give me permanent disability,” he stated.  According to the driver, the robbers tied his hands and legs with the rope they got from his vehicle, and used their sharp knife to pluck his two eyes and left him to his fate.  Nwabude said that other drivers came to his rescue when the robbers had gone and took him to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu.
Since he was discharged from the hospital, he has been going to UNTH on monthly basis for check-up, where doctors wash the artificial eyes they fixed in his eye socket as well as give him drugs to reduce pain and forestall infection. Nwabude’s tale continues after the robbery, when his wife, who got traumatised by what happened, developed hypertension and died. He said: “My wife developed hypertension and was taken to the hospital. The next information I received was that my wife was dead.
Her death compounded my problems, as I was left with our four children to cater for, when I am blind and did not have any means of livelihood.”  Nwabude said that a priest later assisted him by getting families who took in two of his four children. Unfortunately, one of the two kids died in Lagos, while the other one is still living with the family. The blind man said he was once given a paper to the Ministry of Women Affairs to seek employment, but regretted that after several visits, nothing positive came out of it.
“Although I appreciate so much the assistance being given to me and my children by good spirited people, I want the government to help me in any way, so that I will be able to feed my children and give them good education,” he declared.
Source: Sun News

INTERESTING: Jonathan Punish Governor Amaechi?

The political disagreement between Nigeria's president Goodluck Jonathan and Rivers State governor Rotimi Amaechi took a new dimension today as aviation agencies prevented the aircraft of the governor from leaving Akure Airport in Ondo State shortly after the governor and his aides returned from the burial of late deputy governor of Ekiti State, Olufunmilayo Olayinka.
SaharaReporters learnt that National Airspace management Authority operatives refused to give clearance to the governor's jet to take off leaving the governor and his aides stranded.
Source: Sahara Reporters
UPDATE: Why we stopped Amaechi’s plane - FAAN

Rivers State Plane
Nigerian Aviation Authorities on Friday temporarily prevented the private plane of the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, from leaving the Akure Airport.
Mr. Amaechi has been having a running battle with the presidency over his stance on major national issues, making observers believe the stoppage of his plane was influenced by the presidency to slight him. He has in the past regularly used the airport without any hitches.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, however, said it stopped Mr. Amaechi’s plane because the governor failed to declare the flight manifest.
The spokesperson of FAAN, Yakubu Datti, told PREMIUM TIMES that it was a laid down rule for any plane taking off from the airport to provide its manifest.
“The governor went to Akure and when he was ready to leave, he refused to declare his manifest and those at the control tower did not permit him and his team to take off,” Mr. Datti said
The spokesperson said there was no politics behind the agency’s actions saying “these are rules that have been stated down long time ago; even the president, before he takes off declares his manifest.”
He said Mr. Amaechi, the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, was eventually allowed to take off immediately he declared the flight manifest.
Source: Premium Times

BOKO HARAM: Another Commander Killed?

The notorious Boko Haram operative, Mohammed Chad, was yesterday evening killed in a gun battle with JTF. The fight occurred at Ruwan-Zafi area of Maiduguri metropolis when the officers of the JTF’s Operation Restore Order and operatives of the State Security Service confronted Boko Haram fighters.
Mohammed has been on the top list of the most wanted Boko Haram leaders. Intelligence sources told Saharareporters  that Mohammed was involved in the planning and execution of various terrorists attacks in and outside Borno state. He was allegedly the mastermind of the March 18th Boko Haram’s attack on Sanda Karami Secondary School at Ruwan-Zafi in which a teacher and three female students were killed.
Mr. Mohammed is believed to be the successor to Ba'ana Assalafi , a Boko Haram commander who was killed in a gun battle with security agencies in Sokoto.
Source: Sahara Reporters

FACTS: The Life Of An Abuja Child Hawker

Bala Kadiri is a 12-year-old orphan, who was brought down by his aunty from a village in Kaduna State and made to hawk plantain chips on the streets of Abuja, near Jabi garage.
Kadiri like other of his mates in the street hawking business, start work every day from 7 am till 6 pm. While on the street they face the constant harassment officials of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), FCT Social Works secretariat as well as armed policemen swoop on them. To avoid such arrests, the underage hawkers are always over their shoulders, and raise alarms to alert themselves to run in different directions any time the AEPB officials go after them.
During one of such escapes Tuesday afternoon, two hawkers escaped being knocked down by a motorist close to the Arab Contractors bus stop at Utako.
Those who were unlucky had their wares seized and were forced inside a bus. Fear appeared written on the faces of those kept in the buses as they wept uncontrollably and were driven to the AEPB's office at Area 3, Abuja. Such under aged hawkers are arraigned before mobile courts as was the case with one Abdullahi Muhammed a few years ago, who after his capture, was sentenced to seven strokes of the cane.
The minor was arraigned with 32 other adults for violating the AEPB's law on street hawking.
The board's Prosecutor, Barrister Eze O Eze, said those arraigned were caught hawking at various junctions and unauthorized places in the city by an AEPB task force.
He said the committed offences were punishable under Section 35 (1) of the AEPB Act number 10 of 1997.
After the accused persons pleaded guilty, Magistrate Aminu Abdullahi sentenced the minor to be flogged, while the adults got one month imprisonment each or pay fines of between N3,000 and N4,000, depending on the offence committed.
The same magistrate during that period ordered that another nine under aged hawkers be flogged seven strokes of the cane and their wares seized until they bring their parents to court.
Those flogged were I.K Ochine, Salisu Ibrahim, Madu Mpam, Tunde Famakinde, Ibrahim Muhammed, Sa'adu Adamu, Francis Isha, Suleiman Usman and Aminu Yakubu. To some convicted hawkers spoken to, it is difficult for them to disobey their guardians or masters whenever they are sent on the streets to hawk. "It is what we sell that we get money in the house to feed from," an underage hawker said. Weekly Trust also gathered that some of the child hawkers are homeless and sleep on the corridors of locked shops in shopping centers.
The flogging of the minors has caused uproar in the media , and in the social media which criticized the sentencing. ThisDay in one of its editorial condemned the flogging, stating thus: "To begin with, child street hawking is clearly a symptom of a deep-seated social malaise. Our violent world is claiming new victims who are mostly children. Everywhere, children are victims of rape, torture, infanticide, forced child labour, child prostitution, cyber café pornography, modern day slavery, street hawking and all sorts of preventable abuses. It is not unlikely that the Abuja minors were victims of child labour. It is not also unlikely that they were forced into street hawking by their poor parents or guardians who are trying to eke a living. It is even possible that the kids resorted to street hawking owing to lack of access to basic primary education".
Sola Adeniyi in the social media, said flogging will not stop under age hawking on streets as most of them who engage in it have no parents or guardians and survive on their own. He said such children are so poor and uneducated, adding that it is shocking for government to prosecute them instead of awarding scholarship to them to go to schools.
Barrister Nnaemeka Ejiofor, said according to Section 68 of the Penal Code, caning is part of punishment but minors less than eight years old shouldn't be prosecuted in the first place. He said if those arrested are up to 14 years, they can only face trial in a Juvenal Court.
Another lawyer, Barrister Yinka Lawal, a female activist, also condemned the manner at which child hawkers are arrested. "The process of arrest should be in a more civilized way by having social welfare officers and psychologists to talk to the arrested minors. Furthermore, care should be taken not to endanger their lives during such raids," she said.
She said such minors are already abused by their parents or guardians, who send them on the streets and it, will be double punishment for them if the FCT authorities come down heavily on them with their laws. According to her, some of them get knocked down by hit and run drivers due to the risk of their business.
The activist also said while hawking, such minors, especially the female among them, risk being harassed sexually or raped. She gave an example of a 12-year-old banana seller who was allegedly raped by one Usman Danjuma as she walked along Africa International School in Asokoro. She said the accused lured the seller into an uncompleted building, closed her mouth and threatened to kill her with a knife in order to forcefully have sex.
Lawal informed that in 1988, the Nigerian chapter of the African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect organized three conferences with the Justice Ministry, Health and Social Welfare in conjunction with UNICEF to produce a new draft law on protecting children in Nigeria.
She said the draft later stimulated government to develop the current Child Rights Act 2003 and lamented that since the effort, there is no provision of national force that truly protects children against abuse. Also commenting on the issue of child hawkers, Spokesman of National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons, Orakwue Arinze, said though the agency is concerned about the plights of children who roam the streets hawking, it is not really its mandate to go after such hawkers. He said the agency's mandate bothers on how these children are trafficked and eventually used to do menial jobs.
"There are other relevant agencies saddled with the responsibility of going after the under aged hawkers. Ours is mainly to trace the trafficking aspect as well as the exploitative tendencies surrounding these kinds of children.
We are bothered about minors who are trafficked and taken advantage of. For example, if we find any brothel that operates with minors, we will surely clamp down on that place and the owner will be made to face the full wrath of the law."
He said they are doing their best as an agency but are still facing a few challenges while on the job, which they are working to surmount.
He said poverty is a huge factor that is causing most of these problems associated with trafficking. However, he said most illiterate parents are not even aware that exploiting even their own children has been criminalized.
"Some of such parents still think since they gave birth to these children they can do whatever they wish with them but it is against the law.
"Some of them get surprise when they are charge to court of law and eventually face the reality of their crime," he added.
He said in a bid to surmount some of these challenges, the agency just concluded a sensitization and awareness campaign which took a theatrical form as well as media platforms.
"We are still working with the Civil Society Organizations, Non Governmental Organizations, the Media as well as the Ministry of Women Affairs and other stakeholders to create more awareness so as to reduce to the bares minimum or stop it," he concluded.
Source: Daily Trust

SURPRISING: Bamanga Tukur Fire Okiro And Co?

PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, on Friday fired 15 of his aides.
A former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro, who was Tukur’s Special Adviser on Security Matters, was one of the affected aides.
It was gathered that Tukur’s decision was part of a deal agreed upon by the party and aggrieved governors of the party.
The governors were miffed by the brazen display of arrogance and disrespect for some of them by the chairman’s aides.
Matters came to a head when some of the aides were fingered as orchestrating the animosity between the offices of the National Chairman and the former National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
In a statement made public in Abuja on Friday, Tukur cited the need to reorganise his office for better service delivery as the reason for his action.
He said, “After one year in office, the political journey was interesting, challenging and I am better equipped in the general understanding and approaches of the operating system viz-a-viz the relationship among the party, the executive and the legislature, which are important components of political governance.
“There is no doubt that the multiplier effect of Nigerian democracy has been quite impressive particularly in the general overview of the scenarios and encounters, thus prevailing on the fact that my leadership as National Chairman shall be more strengthened and determined to move the party forward.
“Informed by this necessity to re-organise my office for service delivery, I therefore relieve all my political and personal aides of their appointments.”
The aides that were fired included, the Principal Secretary, Senator Ibrahim Ida; Political Adviser, Alhaji Ahmed Gusau; Special Adviser on Electoral Matters, Senator Saidu Kumo; Special Adviser on Media, Mohammed Sheriff; and Special Adviser on Economic Matters, Chief O. Akindele.
Others are: Special Adviser on Inter Party Affairs, Alhaji Shittu Mohammed; Special Adviser on Security Matters, Mr. Mike Okiro; Special Adviser on Mobilisation, Chief Ishola Filani; Special Adviser on Monitoring, Bennard Miko; Special Adviser on Governance, Osaro Onaiwo; Special Adviser on General Duties, Igwe Uche; Special Adviser on National Assembly, Abdullahi Gumel; and Special Adviser on Special Duties/Protocol Officer, Saidu Suleiman.
He, however, expressed gratitude to all of them for their “kind devotion, patience, cooperation and endurance” in the course of serving the party.
Source: Punch

INTERESTING: Jonathan Block Installation Of Lagos Security Cameras?

Governor Babatunde Fashola
The cold war between the Federal Government and Lagos State Government may be the reason why the latter has stopped the Lagos Safe City Project, a scheme aimed at providing 10,000 solar-powered closed circuit cameras all over the metropolis, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.
This emerged against the backdrop of the increasing cases of kidnapping in Lagos, a menace that has defied efforts by the police and other in the state.
While making enquiries about police effort in tracking kidnappers through the security cameras in the state, a police source at the State Criminal Investigation Department told our correspondent that security cameras had never been used in their investigations.
“The only time we make use of CCTV cameras is when our investigation takes us to a hotel or mall with security cameras. But if it is a crime committed on a Lagos road, forget it,” the source said.
Governor Babatunde Fashola had stated in January 2009 that the 10,000 cameras the state planned to install were to help to reduce crime in the state.
At a demonstration event, Fashola said the number of policemen in the state was inadequate considering the number of people in the state.
He said at the time, “Eighteen million people cannot be protected and policed by 33,000 people. This is impossible. No matter how much we try to increase the number of policemen, we cannot continue to do the same thing and expect a different result.
“In an information technology-driven world, we have to be counted as one of those states and communities which will adopt best practices. Cameras, sensors, tracking devices are the nerve centre of these facilities that would assist men and officers of the police force, fire service among others to do their duty much more effectively.”
The project was to be funded by the Lagos Security Trust Fund while the cameras were supposed to be managed remotely through a central security command unit. Four years after this announcement was made, the state has not had a taste of those promises.
Our correspondent contacted the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, on why the cameras have yet to be installed as the governor promised.
Ibirogba simply said the matter was out of the hands of the state government.
He said, “The problem with the issue of security cameras has nothing to do with the state government.
“When we were about to embark on their installation, the Federal Government contacted us and said we needed to stop. The reason we were given was that the FG had a scheme in the pipeline, which involved the installation of security cameras all over major cities in the country.
“According to the Federal Government, Lagos was going to be in the first phase of the project. That was why we stopped our own project.
“But we have since written a letter to the Federal Government, asking it to tell us those locations where the cameras will be installed so that when we begin to install ours, we would not duplicate locations. That is where we currently stand.”
A state government official, who is also familiar with the issue, said the Federal Government’s negative attitude to it might be political.
“We all know the security cameras issue may remain buried as far as the Federal Government is concerned. If you think the Federal Government is overly concerned about Lagos, a state that is not controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party, then you are naïve,” the government source said.
Efforts to get the Presidency’s reaction did not yield positive result on Thursday as the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, could not be reached on his not pick the calls made to his telephone line.
Source: Punch

FACTS: Multinational Force Vs Boko Haram, Destroying Baga To Save It?

“It became neccessary to destroy the village in order to save it” – An American major after the destruction of a Vietnamese Village
Before the ‘Baga killings’, of penultimate week, there was My Lai, some 45 years ago.
The My Lai event happened on March 16, 1968, when a company of U.S. soldiers went into the village of My Lai 4, in Vietnam, and committed atrocities never before seen in combat. According to the testimony of one of the soldiers who later testified, “The order we were given was to kill and destroy everything that was in the village. It was clearly explained that there were to be no prisoners.”
Indeed, in 2004, a newspaper in Ohio, the Toledo Blade, won the Pulitzer Prize for its extensive reporting on the atrocities “”committed more than (45) years earlier by the U.S. Tiger Force Unit in the Vietnam War”.
Part of the report reads that “Women and children were intentionally blown up in underground bunkers. Elderly farmers were shot as they toiled in the fields; prisoners were tortured and executed – their ears and scalps severed for souvenirs. One soldier kicked out the teeth of executed civilians for their gold fillings”, the paper reported.
“We met no resistance and I only saw three captured weapons. We had no casualties. It was just like any other Vietnamese village – old papas, sons, women and kids,” a soldier said describing what they found on entering My Lai.
“As a matter of fact, I don’t remember seeing one military-age male in the entire place, dead or alive.” The paper’s report continues, ”The U.S. soldiers started killing everyone in sight.
“There was an old lady in a bed and I believe there was a priest in white praying over her… [U.S. Lt.] Calley pulled the old man outside. He said a few more words to the monk. It looked like the monk was pleading for his life. Lt. Calley then took his rifle and pushed the monk into a rice paddy and shot him point-blank”.
Another testimony disclosed that “An order was given to push all the Vietnamese who had been forced into the area into a ditch.  I began shooting them all. I guess I shot maybe 25 or 20 people in the ditch…men, women, and children. And babies!
“A baby crawling away from the ditch was grabbed and thrown back into the ditch and shot.  All over the village, platoons of U.S. soldiers were committing similar atrocities. The huts that the villagers lived in and their crops were burned, their livestock killed. Some of the dead were mutilated by having ‘C Company’ carved into their chests; some were disemboweled. Women were raped”.
One GI would later say; “You didn’t have to look for people to kill, they were just there. I cut their throats, cut off their hands, cut out their tongues, and scalped them. I did it. A lot of people were doing it and I just followed.”” The story only came out because “of the persistent efforts of GIs who refused to let the story die”.
 Residents walk past burnt houses in the remote northeast town of Baga on April 21, 2013 after two days of clashes between officers of the Joint Task Force and members of the Islamist sect Boko Haram on April 19 in the town near Lake Chad, 200 kms north of Maiduguri, in Borno State. Photo:AFP.
Residents walk past burnt houses in the remote northeast town of Baga on April 21, 2013 after two days of clashes between officers of the Joint Task Force and members of the Islamist sect Boko Haram on April 19 in the town near Lake Chad, 200 kms north of Maiduguri, in Borno State.
According to reports, “Lt. Calley was the only soldier convicted of any of the atrocities that took place at My Lai. Despite being convicted of killing over 100 unarmed Vietnamese, Calley served only two days in jail! (Then American President Richard) Nixon then ordered him put under house arrest at Fort Benning, where he could live in a nice apartment, cook his own food, receive guests, watch TV and go to town for supplies (accompanied by MPs). Calley was released from house arrest in just over three years and was able to make large amounts of money speaking to right-wing groups”.  Over 400 people were killed in that event.  That was 45years ago in Vietnam.
April, 2013, Borno State, Nigeria!  The fishing community of Baga suffered its own fate.  The operation was carried out by a multinational force.  Details are still sketchy and confusing as there is yet no authentic confirmation of the number of dead.  Aid agency and Red Cross reports put the figure at no fewer than 180 dead.  But Nigeria’s military and defence authorities are disputing that.  When you hear about a multinational force, your mind quickly goes to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, NATO; or, were it the days of the bitter/hot cold war, you may think of the forces of the Warsaw Pact.  Between NATO and countries of the Pact in those days, tensions were always very high.
But this multinational force, which has made and is still making bad news, is made up of soldiers from Chad, Niger and Nigeria.  Mind you, Cameroun, a country to the east of Nigeria and which was supposed to contribute a contingent to this multinational force, does not appear to be willing to do so – at least according to information from intelligence sources made available to Sunday Vanguard.
But that tag, multinational force, dresses this team of military men in a toga of respectability.
However, what happened penultimate week (either Tuesday April 16 or Friday April 19) came with neither respect nor humour: unconfirmed and disputed reports put the figure of fatalities at over 180.  The Joint Task Force, JTF, in Borno insists only some 30 insurgents and a soldier died.  Defence information claims that 25 insurgents and one soldier died.  But Senator Lawan Maina, speaking on the floor of the Senate insisted that over 180 people were killed and his community devastated and in ruins. Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, said, on Monday, that “more than” 100 people died.
 satellite dish sits outside a burnt house in the remote northeast town of Baga on April 21, 2013 after two days of clashes between officers of the Joint Task Force and members of the Islamist sect Boko Haram on April 19 in the town near Lake Chad, 200 kms north of Maiduguri, in Borno State. Photo: AFP.
Satellite dish sits outside a burnt house in the remote northeast town of Baga on April 21, 2013 after two days of clashes between officers of the Joint Task Force and members of the Islamist sect Boko Haram on April 19 in the town near Lake Chad, 200 kms north of Maiduguri, in Borno State.
Now, between 25, 30, 100 and 180 dead, the sad thing is that many lives have been lost.
This bestial act throws up some challenges as well as poses some questions viz:
Firstly, how did the soldiers commence their engagement?
Though reports claim that some informants disclosed to the men of the multinational force that insurgents were hiding in the community and the soldiers made a run for it, the question is who were those harbouring the militants up to that point?
How did the militants smuggle in the weapons of mass destruction alleged to have been stored in the community – the type that were discovered immediately after President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to Borno State?
Some people in Baga who collaborated with the insurgents to use their abode as hiding place, were they expecting garlands from the military?  Or did they expect that there would be  no consequences?
Early reports claimed the insurgents opened fire on the soldiers first.  Did that grant the military men the magna charter to fire back and, in the process, kill civilians?
And whereas the very ready excuse by the military is that the insurgents used civilians as human shields, does that justify any form of killings when it becomes established that there was a very high civilian fatality?
What was the multinational force trying to achieve by employing what may turn out to be a disproportionate fire-power in tackling the insurgents?
How are the people of Baga coping in the aftermath?
Or, were the military men in the multinational force trying to destroy Baga village in order to save it?  Into this mix, let’s throw in the proposal for amnesty for the insurgents: Would this affect the on-going amnesty efforts?
Whichever way the Baga tragedy turns out, one thing is certain: The story of insurgency in Nigeria is set for another turn.
Whether that turn would be in the direction of sobriety on the part of the members of the Ahlan Sunnah Lid Da’waati wal Jihad Yaanaa (brothers), popularly known as the Boko Haram sect, or whether it would harden the minds of its leaders, Nigerians would soon discover.
Source: Vanguard

DEADLY: The Family Tragedy?

Family tragedy
Experts say four children, Tochukwu, 14, Ifeanyichukwu, 11, Vivian and Marvelous, born to same parents, Mr. and Mrs. Zebulun Onyia-Eburuo, may not live long because of a genetic condition inherited from their parents, known as muscular dystrophy.
Diagnosis reveal that the type, afflicting the children, is Duchane muscular dystrophy. Muscular dystrophy has several types, depending on the part of the body under siege.
The condition has no cure while research shows that sufferers die before they attain the age of 19 or 20 years.The very lucky ones may live up to 30 years.
Due to wrong diagnosis, few cases have officially been reported in Nigeria. However, the condition is a rare disease.
In the United States of America (USA), three primary federally-funded organisations that focus on muscular dystrophy research include the National Institude of Neurological Disorders and stroke (NINDS), National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), yet no cure has been found.
In 1966, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) began its annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, which has arguably done more to raise awareness of muscular dystrophy than any other event or initiative. Disability rights advocates, however, have criticised the Jerry Lewis Telethon for portraying victims of the disease as deserving pity rather than respect.
Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon, National Orthupaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, Dr. Babalola Olatunji, speaking on the prevalence rate of the disease,said,”We have to appreciate the fact that one out of 3,500 live births usually has it. But, remember it is more commom in male. We’re talking about one out of 3,500 male birth. For female-births, you multiply that by two, that’s about one in 7,000 live births.
These are the characteristics: by five years, it starts manifesting, ten years later they’re found on wheelchairs. By 30 years, most of them are gone,that’s Duchane muscular dystrophy. It is more severe.
Muscular dystrophy is a group of muscle diseases that weaken the musculoskeletal system and hamper locomotion. Muscular dystrophies are characterized by progressive skeletal muscle weakness, defects in muscle proteins, and the death of muscle cells and tissues.
In the 1860s, descriptions of boys who grew progressively weaker, lost the ability to walk, and died at an early age became more prominent in medical journals. In the following decade, French neurologist Guillaume Duchane gave a comprehensive account of thirteen boys with the most common and severe form of the disease, which now carries his name – Duchane muscular dystrophy
It soon became evident that the disease had more than one form. The other major forms are Becker, limb-girdle, congenital, facioscapulohumeral, myotonic, oculopharyngeal, distal, and Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy. These diseases predominately affect males, although females may be carriers of the disease gene.
Most types of muscular dystrophy are multi-system disorders with manifestations in body systems including the heart, gastrointestinal system, nervous system, endocrine glands, eyes and brain.
Apart from the nine major types of muscular dystrophy listed above, several muscular dystrophy-like conditions have also been identified. Normal intellectual, behavioral, bowel and sexual function is noticed in individuals with other forms of muscular dystrophy and muscular dystrophy-like conditions. Muscular dystrophy-affected individuals with susceptible intellectual impairment are diagnosed through molecular characteristics but not through problems associated with disability. However, a third of patients who are severely affected with Duchane muscular dystrophy may have cognitive impairment, behavioral, vision and speech problems.
The signs and symptoms are progressive muscular wasting, poor balance, drooping eyelids, atrophy, scoliosis(curvature of the spine and the back), inability to walk, frequent falls, waddling gait, calf deformation, limited range of movement, respiratory difficulty, joint contractures.
On the cause, experts say these conditions are generally inherited, and the different muscular dystrophies follow various inheritance patterns. However, mutations of the dystrophin gene and nutritional defects (with no genetics history) at the prenatal stage are also possible in about 33 percent of people affected by Duchane muscular dystrophy . The main cause of the Duchane and Becker types of muscular dystrophy is the muscle tissue’s cytoskeletal impairment to properly create the functional protein dystrophin and dystrophin-associated protein complex
The diagnosis of muscular dystrophy is based on the results of muscle biopsy, increased creatine phosphokinase, electromyography, electrocardiography and DNA analysis. A physical examination and the patient’s medical history will help the doctor determine the type of muscular dystrophy. Specific muscle groups are affected by different types of muscular dystrophy.
Often, there is a loss of muscle mass (wasting), which may be hard to see because some types of muscular dystrophy cause a build up of fat and connective tissue that makes the muscle appear larger. This is called pseudohypertrophy.
According to experts,there is no known cure for muscular dystrophy, although significant headway is being made with antisense oligonucleotides. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, orthotic intervention (e.g., ankle-foot orthosis), speech therapy and orthopedic instruments (e.g., wheelchairs and standing frames) may be helpful. Inactivity (such as bed rest, sitting for long periods) and bodybuilding efforts to increase myofibrillar hypertrophy can worsen the disease.
There is no specific treatment for any of the forms of muscular dystrophy. Physiotherapy, aerobic exercise, low intensity anabolic steroids, prednisone supplements may help to prevent contractures and maintain muscle tone. Orthoses (orthopedic appliances used for support) and corrective orthopedic surgery may be needed to improve the quality of life in some cases. The cardiac problems that occur with Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy and myotonic muscular dystrophy may require a pacemaker. The myotonia (delayed relaxation of a muscle after a strong contraction) occurring in myotonic muscular dystrophy may be treated with medications such as quinine, phenytoin, or mexiletine, but no actual long term treatment has been found.
Occupational therapy assists the individual with muscular dystrophy in engaging in his/her activities of daily living (self-feeding, self-care activities, etc.) and leisure activities at the most independent level possible. This may be achieved with use of adaptive equipment or the use of energy conservation techniques. Occupational therapy may implement changes to a person’s environment, both at home or work, to increase the individual’s function and accessibility. Occupational therapists also address psychosocial changes and cognitive decline which may accompany muscular dystrophy, as well as provide support and education about the disease to the family and individual.
High dietary intake of lean meat, sea food, pulses, olive oil, antioxidants; such as leafy vegetables and bell peppers, and fruits like blueberry, cherry etc. is advised. Decreased intake of refined food, trans-fats, and caffeinated and alcoholic beverages is also advised; as is a check for any food allergies.
Diagnosis, neurology, GI-nutrition, respiratory care, cardiac care, orthopedics, psychosocial, rehabilitation, and oral care form the integral part of disease management, all through the patient’s life span.
The prognosis or outcome of treatment for people with muscular dystrophy varies according to the type and progression of the disorder. Some cases may be mild and progress very slowly over a normal lifespan, while others produce severe muscle weakness, functional disability, and loss of the ability to walk.
Some children with muscular dystrophy die in infancy while others live into adulthood with only moderate disability. The muscles affected vary, but can be around the pelvis, shoulder, face or elsewhere.
Muscular dystrophy can affect adults, but the more severe forms tend to occur in early childhood.
The husband and wife who hail from Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State and Isiala Ngwa Local Government Area of Abia State respectively, said they have gone into penury as a result of their children’s disease that first manifested in 2006
Narrating the story of his life, Onyia-Eburuo who is a painter by profession, told Daily Sun how his marriage produced five children, four males and a female. Of these, only the eldest, Prince enjoys good health. “We got married in 1992. In 1993, we had our first child, a boy, who is now 19. The youngest among them is eight years. With the exception of the oldest, all my four children are suffering from muscular dystrophy.
Recalling how the children’s ill-health started, he said they were born perfectly normal and were attending schools when all of a sudden, the condition began to manifest in his second son, Tochukwu in 2006. “So we started treating him, carrying him up and down; here and there, from one hospital to another without getting any result. After sometime, we started noticing the problem in the other children. And began taking them to hospitals. We went to Isolo General Hospital,Lagos, then, to National Orthopaedic Hospital,Igbobi,Lagos and Lagos University Teaching Hospital(LUTH) without getting any solution because the disease has no cure.
“We consulted some religious and spiritual homes for help. We also tried alternative therapy. At some point, we started going to churches and so on. Till date, there was no solution. Instead, their conditions just got worse, deteriorating by the minute.
Continuing, he said; “we have also tried the native way. When tribulations like this come, no parent would just sit, fold his hands and watch his child die just like that. Not even where it affects just a child, let alone my case, it is not just one, not even two, nor three, but, four of my children being diagnosed of this same ailment. Somebody was treating them with herbs.Initially, he thought it was stroke. So he was giving them herbal treatment meant for stroke. But he later told us it was not stroke and stopped the treatment.”
The traumatised father said, “Initially, I did not understand what they said it is. According to the doctors and surgeons, they called it Duchane muscular dystrophy and said the thing is destroying their muscles. If you see them now, they cannot lift their hands and legs. So, it has become practically impossible for any four of them to lift himself or herself up. So they just sit or lie at a spot.”
Onyia-Eburuo said his children’s failing health has at the moment, stalled their education.
“As their muscles get eaten up by this disorder, within a short time, they are not able to do anything by themselves because they can’t even lift an arm let alone their bodies. So, they have all stopped going to school. The four of them are at home, always sitting or just lying down at a place.
“Initially, we were forcing them to go to school. But as their conditions got worse that they could not get up by themselves, we had to let them be. This is because we have to carry them to the toilet to urinate or defaecate whenever any of them wants to. And the terrible thing about it all is that you have to be there to hold them so they won’t fall off the water closet. We brush their teeth, bathe and feed them, put on their clothes, even fetch water and help them drink the water.
He explained that despite all hospital visitations, the children have not received any form of treatment. Reason is that there is no known cure for Duchene muscular dystrophy.
“Infact, there has never been any good treatment since 2006 we first noticed this problem in Tochukwu. What we have been asked to do is run one test or the other. No form of drug whatsoever has been prescribed for them. I just can’t understand. It’s been test, test and tests. We go for one, they suggest another and nothing is done. When the doctors find out they cannot be of any help to us, they refer us to another hospital. The hospital will again, recommend other tests which we also went for. Yet, the story remains the same.
“It was in our search for a hospital, where perhaps, they can even give us something to straighten their bodies that we then went to private hospital which was our last point of call. This was after we’d gone to Isolo General Hospital, then Igbobi and LUTH and nothing came out of these visits. At Igbobi, sometimes, they asked them to do exercise which was absolutely difficult for them to do. That was the only therapy they were giving to them. No drug has ever been administered to them.
Asked if any form of corrective surgery has been recommended, he said none has been suggested, adding that, “if any hospital exists anywhere in Nigeria or overseas, that is capable of providing cure for my children, I have no idea.”
The affected children, according to their father, eat normally. “Their feeding is quite okay. They eat very well but even as much as they eat, they just keep depreciating and becoming thinner each minute you look at them. The other problem is that, the condition has started affecting their speech. Now, their word pronunciation has been altered, especially, Tochukwu the one that first came down with the problem.
Speaking on family history, Onyia-Eburue dismissed any trace of the disease in both families joined by marriage. His words: “There’s no history of such in my family. And none in my wife’s family, the sickness does not run in the two families.” Meanwhile,doctors say a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test will confirm Onyia-Eburue’s claims on his family history and that of his wife.
Available research indicates that affected victims die by their 19th or 20th birthday or before they turn 30.
Naturally, this couple presently are overwhelmed by the thought of losing four of their children. Eburuo’s worries are not all about his children’s health challenges. He narrated that the suggestions proffered by people around him left him more worried. “The terrible state my children are in now has scared away all our friends and relatives. Even as science has identified what their problem is, many people find it difficult to accept why or how the four of them could be affected. And because of the plight my wife and I have been going through and the untold difficulty we have been through, a lot of them have suggested that we feed then with poison and let them go.
According to him, his father and mother died at age 90 and 133 years respectively. “The same also applies to my uncles. They all died in good old ages. As for my wife, her mother is still living but her father is late. He also died at a very ripe age of 90 or 90 plus. We never experienced something like this. It is completely strange.
Since it is established that children affected by this condition usually die before age 20, you then begin to wonder aloud and feel the pulse of Mr. and Mrs. Onyia-Eburuo, if a time comes, and death begins to pick, one after another, these four precious lives.
The helpless father said, “When that happens,” even though he shivers at the mere thought of it, “I will only take solace in the fact that God’s Will reigns supreme. “I don’t have any choice but to accept it as my fate. I don’t have any option. I can’t fight God. This is why we have come to call on the medical world, physicians and researchers to rally to our aid and see what could be done to avert this imminent terror. Because it’s going to be terrifying and heart-rending for any couple to watch helplessly and their four children die just like that.”
According to Olatunji,” Muscular dystrophy is a group of genetic disorder. When we say genetic disorder that means they are passed from parents to children through gene. That means the disease or disorder is either present in a parent or is hidden in a parent and they transmitted it to their children. That is what we mean by genetic disorder.
“So muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder that shows as weakness and reduction in muscles. They’re transmitted from parent or parents to offspring and they present with weakness and reduce the mass of the body. So, the individual now develops weakness of the body and the muscles and generalised reduction in the size of the muscle.
“Duchane muscular dystrophy usually affects males. This is however, not to say that it doesn’t affect females. But, it’s more common in males. But, for a female to have it, she must have inherited it from the parents because it not easy to manifest in females. A female has two X-chromosomes, the male has one and it’s carried on the X chromosome.
“Usually, when these children are born, they look relatively normal. But by the time they start growing, you see the muscles of the body getting smaller and the patient getting weaker. And the characteristic sign elicit in them. We call it Gower sign. This sign, just drop something on the floor, ask the child to pick it up. If you and I will bend down and pick something, we simply bend and pick it. But in these patients, because of the weakness if the muscles, they use their hand to climb on their leg. That is, if it hasn’t gone too bad.
“And after they pick it, they will use their hand to climb on their legs (hind) again. So, they use their hand to climb on their thigh because their muscles are weak; they’re not able to support them. That is the Duchane muscular dystrophy. It’s usually severe.
“Now, muscle is everywhere. The heart has muscle, that’s cardiac muscles. There are skeletal muscles. So, the disorder affects every muscle in the body –the skeletal and the cardiac muscles. You know you need muscle for breathing. Its muscle that makes you to breathe. So, about 30 years or there about, most of them must have developed difficulty with breathing because the muscles needed for them to breathe are also affected.
“Usually, this disorder manifests early in patients, usually, before five years. By five years, they begin showing the manifestation much more severely. By 10 years, most of them must have needed wheelchair because the muscles must have been so weak. By this time, they can’t walk about doing much. And usually, by 30, the muscle for respiration must have gone bad. So, usually, life expectancy is not more than 30 years in them.
“First, patients like these need to do a pre-marital and pre-conceptual counseling. If there’s the history of it in the family, there must be a pre-marital counseling. So that the individual knows that it run in their family and doesn’t get married to someone who’s a carrier of the gene for it to manifest. So, in pre-marital counseling, you know the history, the family trait of the person you’re about marrying from. And you know who’s affected, who’s not affected.
“Then, after conception, there is some test that could be done to detect whether it’s in the foetus or not. That is, an unborn baby. Whether they have this condition or not. Those are not common in this part of the globe. People don’t do premarital counseling here. You just marry whoever you want to marry. People don’t even do pre-conception screening to know how the baby is doing.
“So, most of our patients come and just give birth to babies with such conditions. They should be diagnosed early. They’re some things we use to diagnose them, such as the Gowa sign. That is, ask the person to pick something from the floor. We can actually do some blood tests; we can do a muscle biopsy. A muscle biopsy will actually help us with the genetic analysis.
“After diagnosing these patients, the main bulk of their therapy is physiotherapy and splintage. The muscles are getting weak and the joints are getting deformed. So, you put the splint to prevent deformity. You know its muscle that moves the joints. If the muscle is weak, the joint starts getting abnormal. So, you splint the joint to prevent it from getting abnormal to prevent contracture. For instance, if the muscle is supposed to move forward, you use something to splint it.
“Splint is just to immobilize. To make that place not bend or get deformed. In order words, to straighten those joints. For instance, as its bending, you’re putting something like a serial POP manipulation, opuses or whatever. By so doing, you’re making it not to get deformed, not to get abnormal.
“Something like a cast, for example, like a POP cast or opuses and other materials that you can apply to make sure the joint doesn’t get deformed. Then, physiotherapy, the muscle is weak and it’s reducing in bulk; if you start strengthening the muscle, it can actually get a little better. An analogy is this, if a weight lifter keeps exercising every morning, his muscle will get bigger. Someone who doesn’t do exercise, the muscle will be small.
So, if the muscle is abnormal, whatever is left, you will start doing exercise –physiotherapy to strengthen whatever is left.
On when physiotherapy should start,Olatunji said,”at the early stage. Remember I told you that by age five, the sign has become visible and by 10, they stop walking. So, immediately they’re born or as soon as they’re diagnosed. If it is started before or by five years, they can still move. What is left, let’s start exercising them like weight lifter doing exercise to make his muscle big or like a wrestler doing exercise to make his muscle strong.
“In essence, the weak muscles, before they get to that stage, let’s start doing exercise to strengthen them. That is what we call physiotherapy, to prevent them from getting bent.
“Some of them can benefit from some surgery, such as tendon transfer. But this is not usually common. So, the mainstay of treatment is to splint it to prevent deformity. You do physiotherapy and, some of them can actually benefit from tendon transfer. Tendon transfer is a special type of surgery the orthopedic surgeon does to actually correct some deformity. Those are the mainstay of treatment.
And drug? Usually, there’s no room for much drug. Those are the main pillar of their treatment the splint, physiotherapy and surgery,”he said.
Source: Sun News

INTERESTING: Governor Aregbesola’s Phone Missing, Man Jailed 45 Years?

For stealing a N50,000 Sony Ericsson phone belonging to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, a 31-year-old Kelvin Ighodalo has been sentenced to 45-year imprisonment by an Osogbo High Court.
Ighodalo stole the phone from the pocket of Aregbesola on November 27, 2010, when the governor was being inaugurated at Government Technical College, Osogbo.
Justice Oyejide Falola, who heard the case, found Ighodalo guilty on six counts, which included conspiracy, stealing and fraud.
He was sentenced to 10-year imprisonment for the first three counts and five years for each of the last three which included impersonation, obtaining property by falsehood and collusion.
Falola, who ruled that Ighodalo deserved the jail term, held that the convict used the phone to obtain N500, 000 from the Owa of Ilesa, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran, while he obtained N200, 000 from Mr Shengen Rahman, an associate of the governor.
The jail term, which Falola pronounced will run concurrently, means that Ighodalo will spend the next 10 years behind bars.
Assistant principal state counsel, Mr Biodun Badiora, told the court that the convict had served six-year imprisonment in Ikoyi prison custody in connection with a murder case in 2005.
Counsel to Ighodalo, Mr. Ameachi Ngwu, prayed the court to commit him to community service, stressing that the convict should not be incarcerated but rather be placed where people could see him as a convict.
Source: Sahara Reporters

SHAME: Terry G, Beat Ay Dot Com?

Although the both parties mentioned do not enjoy the best of relationship for some years now, no one knew it would degenerate in to a rofo rofo fight years after, until they finally engaged each other in a severe boxing match recently that finally earned AY a serious head but from ‘Terry the Ginja’ .
For the purpose of those who may not have understood the whole story, let us revert to the beginning of the matter.
In 2009, AY Dot come launched an attack on Terry G and warned him to stop performing his song, “Pass Me Your Love” in shows. The song which featured Terry and was also produced by him turned out to be a monster hit single later became the subject of a misunderstanding between the two parties over the years.
While Terry on his part claims he has the right of performing the song since it was a duet that featured him, AY Dot Come maintained it was never going to happen while he lives.
Meanwhile, AY on several occasions lamented of how Terry G went about collecting money on his behalf to perform the song without his consent.
Now from the story, you can see it was an age long animosity which finally turned out into a free for all fight, where blows were exchanged; several bottles broken, people injured, trying to separate the fight. Fast forward to what happened at Terry G’s Iju home on his birthday.
An eyewitness said, ‘AY came in the company of some friends as a sign of solidarity to celebrate with the ‘Intellectual Mad Man’ on his birthday and upon sighting him, Terry G Immediately threw caution to the wind and all the madness in him was let lose, as he punched AY severally and landed him an headbutt. AY upon being rescued reached out for the next available weapon but was immediately intercepted by friends and colleagues. At this point the party was already thrown into a halt, while Terry G insisted that Ay disappears from his house before something worse happens. AY was immediately seen to the gate of the compound with bruises all over his body.
Neither Terry G nor AY was available to give their reaction on the story, as their both numbers were switched off as at the time of filing in this report.
Source: Nigeria Films

DEADLY LOVE: Homosexual Stab Partner To Death Over Marriage?

The Lagos State Police Command has started investigation into the murder of a banker, Adindu Ohamara, who was stabbed to death by his suspected homosexual lover in Akoka, Bariga Local Council Development Area of Lagos State.
It was gathered that Ohamara lived in a three-bedroom flat with his elder sister, Flora and one Collins, an undergraduate of the University of Lagos.According to residents, the banker was stabbed repeatedly at his residence located at 26 Obayan Street.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Ohamara, who was believed to be a homosexual, was fond of bringing different men, who were also believed to be into same sex relationship, to his home.
It was learnt that trouble started when he (Ohamara) decided to get married due to pressure from his family.
A resident, who craved anonymity, said after the banker had his wedding introduction, a man, believed to be also a gay came to fight him.
He said, “A few weeks ago, Ohamara did his wedding introduction and shortly after that, one man came to the compound to fight him.There was a lot of noise over the issue and even neighbours had to come to settle the matter.
“The unidentified man complained that he had been jilted and threatened to deal with Ohamara before he left in anger.”
Our correspondent learnt that on April 9, 2013, the banker returned home with a man, who allegedly stabbed him at midnight and left.
According to police sources, hours before the incident, Collins went to Oharama’s room where he met the stranger sitting on Oharama’s bed, discussing with him.
A domestic worker in the house, who craved anonymity, said he saw the suspect fleeing with a laptop at midnight.
He said, “It was a Friday evening. Ohamara came home with the man and they went inside. I went to sleep but at midnight, I saw the man carrying a laptop and then he opened the gate and left. He did not run so I was not suspicious.
“Around 4am, Collins and Flora started shouting for help. A neighbour came to help them and they took him into his Toyota Camry and drove to a hospital.”
It was learnt that Ohamara was taken to Jonken Hospital from where he was referred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital Idi Araba where he was confirmed dead.
The matter, it was learnt, was reported at the Sabo Police Division but was later referred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba.
Our correspondent, who visited the house on Monday, learnt that the police later arrested all the adult occupants of the building, including the security guard identified only as Kazeem.
The policemen allegedly demanded N350,000 from each of the detained persons before they could be released.
The landlord of the property, Yemi Oketola, said the deceased had issued him two post-dated cheques as payment for his rent.
Oketola on hearing of the arrest of his other tenants, visited the SCID and appealed to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Damilola Adegbuyi, for their release.
He said, “I do not live in the house but immediately I got wind of the incident, I went to the SCID and I met with the DCP in charge. I complained that a neighbour, who took Ohamara to the hospital ,was arrested. The DCP promised that my tenants would be released.
“When I went to see the Investigating Police Officer, he informed me that the cost of bailing each person was N350, 000. I called the DCP and he was very angry when he heard about the demand. He said he would make sure that the tenants were released.”
When contacted on the telephone, the spokesperson for the state police command, Ngozi Braide, confirmed the murder.Braide however said she could not confirm if the deceased was a homosexual or not.
She said, “According to information I got at the SCID Homicide unit, there are only two suspects in custody, the deceased’s sister (Flora) and the UNILAG student (Collins). I am not aware of any other arrests.
“Also, I am not aware of any N350, 000 bail because bail is free. Investigations are ongoing and we will get to the bottom of it.”
Source: Punch

N57 BILLION LOOT: Dino Melaye Sues Ex-Kogi Governor Ibrahim Idris?

Former Nigerian lawmaker, Dino Melaye, has sued ex-Governor Ibrahim Idris of Kogi State over alleged corruption, looting and massive misappropriation of state funds. The former lawmaker accuses Mr. Idris of squandering N57 billion of the state’s fund during an eight-month period that the Supreme Court decided that the governor overstayed in office.
Mr. Melaye, who heads an anti-corruption network, wants Mr. Ibrahim Idris declared guilty of looting the funds spent by his administration within a period that the Supreme Court declared the administration illegal. The court ruling was handed down last year.
Mr. Melaye’s lawsuit commenced yesterday in a Lokoja High Court, with I. Akubo appearing as the former governor’s defense lawyer.
Mr. Idris was removed from office alongside four other governors last year after a ruling by the Supreme Court held that they were enjoying an illegally extended tenure. The other governors affected by the ruling were Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto and Liyel Imoke of Cross River State. All five governors removed by the Supreme Court judgment belonged to the the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
Mr. Melaye’s suit was adjourned to May 15, 2013.
Meanwhile, several sources in Kogi State told Saharareporters that Mr. Melaye, a former member of the House of Representatives, is planning to run for the governorship of the state. An associate of former Governor Idris told our correspondent that Mr. Melaye’s lawsuit was an effort by the ex-lawmaker to prop up his political credentials. “He’s just trying to use this lawsuit to announce that he has arrived,” said the critic.
Source: Sahara Reporters

FACTS: Using Young Girls In Baby Making Factory Must Stop!

The discovery of a baby-making factory in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, by officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, early this month, draws attention to the nagging problem of the chilling child trafficking rings in the country.
The existence of illegal baby markets, where infants are auctioned off to the highest bidder, is an evil that must be stopped.
It is estimated that about 27 million people are trafficked worldwide annually, generating $32 billion in illegal profits, which makes it the fastest-growing black market in the world. According to a 2011 UNESCO report, human trafficking is ranked the third most common crime in Nigeria – after financial fraud and drug trafficking. The United Nations says at least 10 children are illegally sold every day across the country and the traffickers are seldom caught.
The loss of societal values and the quest for materialism, which breed such depravity, should be a matter of concern to all men and women of good conscience. According to media reports, an orphanage located at Umuozuo, Osisioma Local Government Area, has metamorphosed into a camp where young girls are assembled and impregnated. It now houses 32 pregnant ladies, whose babies are sold upon delivery. The widely published photograph of the scene also showed two male accomplices.
A female teenage worker at the cruel fortress gave a crispy narrative of the baby trafficking ring thus: “Our madam is detained in Umuahia by men of the civil defence. She is innocent as she is only assisting childless couples from Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt by selling male and female babies at an agreed fee. Thus, she settles the mother of the baby and takes the balance of the money. Here, a male child is sold for N450, 000, while a female attracts N400, 000. A teenage mother is paid N100, 000 if she is delivered of a baby boy, while N80, 000 is the reward for a mother whose child is a female.” This is a clear indictment of our security agencies and other organs of state with powers of oversight on such institutions.
The proprietress of the camp, one Nnenna, is said to have a policeman as husband. If this is so, could it be him that had been providing her with security? According to the young lady familiar with the centre’s operations, visitors are not allowed in except clients who come for business or teenage girls who desire to sell their babies. But can such an illegal commune exist at Osisioma, a stronghold of the police, without their knowledge? The Divisional Police Officer in charge of Osisioma owes the state some explanations.
There is a possibility that not all the babies procured from the centre are adopted by childless couples; some may have ended up as victims of ritual murder. Otherwise, why would purported childless couples prefer an orphanage that sells babies to patronising many others brimming with children waiting for legitimate adoption? A media report indicated that one Onyekachi Ekelum, a father aged 26, sold his six-month-old boy for N350, 000 just to get the cash to procure a visa to Greece. Fortunately, he was not lucky as his wife aborted the beastly act by reporting the matter to the police and the innocent baby was rescued.
It seems the Aba-Umuahia area houses an established cartel for selling babies, which even involves medical doctors and nurses. In the same Aba, the police once raided an alleged “baby farm” where teenage mothers were forced to give up their newborns for sale to human traffickers in 2011. At least 32 pregnant girls were rescued and security agents arrested the proprietor. The Abia State Commissioner of Police, Usman Abubakar, has confirmed the boom in the illicit trade within the zone. He named a doctor at Amoji in Isiala Ngwa North and a nurse at Isiala Ngwa South as kingpins of the trade. Not a few times, medical personnel have entangled themselves in this dehumanising deal, which is clearly an abuse of trust by those whose duty it is to save life.
What the baby-making factory in Aba suggests is the inadequacy of existing legislative and policy frameworks to deal with the scourge. Section 4 of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons Act 2003, empowers it, “To coordinate all laws on trafficking in persons and related offences.” Part of NAPTIP’s modest success was the rescue of 4,810 females trafficked between 2004 and 2012 and another 1,750 males. Much needs to be done as about 45,000 Nigerian girls are still trafficked to Europe annually as sex workers.
One of the ways to stop the supply and hold traffickers accountable is to educate law enforcement agents and the public on how to identify trafficking victims and their captors. Another is to reduce the demand by making it difficult for people to adopt from the black market. The full weight of the law should come down hard on the baby-selling syndicates. Tougher laws targeting those who buy our children are necessary. The National Assembly must act now by strengthening the law to provide severe punishment for any culprit, as envisaged in a draft bill sent by the Federal Government to the parliament.
Source: Punch

PUZZLE: N4.5 Billion Yacht Lagos Hotel Disappear?

The controversial N4.5 billion Sunborn Yacht Hotel, brought from England and moored on the Lagos waters for over four years, has finally disappeared from the state after the controversies surrounding its ownership.
It will be recalled that the custom built yacht, with 102 elegant suites, arrived the Lagos waters in November 2008  and instantly became a cynosure of all eyes.
The yacht, expected to serve as a four_star hotel, was, however , bedeviled by controversies since its arrival which led to it abandonment and subsequent rusting away on the water-ways.
When Vanguard visited the quay, by the Army Officers’ Mess at Marina, Lagos Island Local Government Area, there was no sign that such expensive and eye catching structure ever berthed there.
Enquiries from the state government and even residents of the state yielded no result as no one could  say specifically what happened to the multi_purpose built yacht that moored on the state water for over four years.Commissioner for Tourism, Mr. Oladisun Holloway, when asked to comment on the development denied the state government’s knowledge of the where about of the supposed ‘first African luxury hotel on water’.
According to Holloway; “As citizens of the state can’t find it, so is the state government also. The government can’t say precisely where the Yacht is berthed at present.”
The commissioner reiterated that “the state government doesn’t have any commitment in the yacht. And I don’t know why the residents of the state should be interested in whereabouts of the Sunborn yacht.
The four-star hotel, originally owned by the City of London, was conceptualised as a leisure and  business centre to service the higher echelon of Lagos society. Mr. John Smart, a boat operator, said he could not say accurately the whereabouts of the four_storey multi_purpose built yacht, since removal last month.
According to Smart; “I cannot say the date when it was removed but all we saw on one fateful day was a large number of people who crowded the Sunborn Yacht and towed it away with another ship.  They didn’t inform anyone where they will be taking the yacht to and since then we were yet to see it.”
So, the question on the lips of residents and concerned citizens which has remained unresolved is; “where is the Sunborn Yacht Hotel and who is behind the deal”. Time will tell.
Source: Vanguard

STATISTICS: Nigeria World’s 64th Worst Violator Of Press Freedom!

As the world looks forward to the 20th World Press Freedom Day, which comes up on May 3, 2013, it still remains a known fact that the press is still gagged in many countries.
In its report published earlier in the year, the Reporters Without Borders which publishes an annual Press Freedom Index, Nigeria is ranked in the 115th position, based on a press freedom chart report that featured 179 countries. With a composite score of 34.11, Nigeria was ranked ahead of 64 other countries. Among African countries however, Nigeria occupies the 30th position.
On the chart, the higher the composite score of a country, the worse for its press freedom.
Some of the African countries rated above Nigeria include Namibia (19th on the global ranking with a score of 12.50), Cape Verde (25th with a score of 14.33), Ghana (30th with 17.27), Botswana (40th with 22.91) and Niger (43rd with 23.08).
Despite the passage of the Freedom of Information Law, Nigeria is still not among the best performers in terms of press freedom in Africa. Analysts have expressed concern that though Nigeria now has a Freedom of Information law, it does not mean the press is still not gagged in some areas. One of such was the recent detention of some journalists after the publication of a report on the country’s presidency. The journalists, who are editors of Leadership newspapers, are currently facing charges in a law court over the matter.
Incidentally, it is not the first time Leadership will have issues with the Nigerian Presidency. On November 8, 2008, Leadership had a lead report which stated (without fact though) that the then president, Umar Yar’Adua had fallen ill again. The paper reported then that the president was compelled to stay indoors for two days.
Though the president’s media aides debunked the allegation that the president was indoors and also made it known that he attended public functions during the time stated by the publication, the President went a step further by announcing his intention to seek redress in a court of law. Leadership Newspapers also tendered an unreserved apology to the president thereby sparking off another debate on the infallibility of the press as well as the fact that journalists too are susceptible to errors.
In the Press Freedom report, the best performers were listed as Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg and Andorra. “The Nordic countries have again demonstrated their ability to maintain an optimal environment for news providers. Finland (1st, 0), Netherlands (2nd, +1) and Norway (3rd, -2) have held on to the first three places. Canada (20th, -10) only just avoided dropping out of the top 20. Andorra (5th) and Liechtenstein (7th) have entered the index for the first time just behind the three leaders.
At the other end of the index, the same three countries as ever – Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea – occupy the last three places in the index. Kim Jong-un’s arrival at the head of the Hermit Kingdom has not in any way changed the regime’s absolute control of news and information. Eritrea (179th, 0), which was recently shaken by a brief mutiny by soldiers at the information ministry, continues to be a vast open prison for its people and lets journalists die in detention. Despite its reformist discourse, the Turkmen regime has not yielded an inch of its totalitarian control of the media”, the report stated.
A part of the report also pointed out that “for the second year running, the bottom three countries are immediately preceded by Syria (176th, 0), where a deadly information war is being waged, and Somalia (175th, -11), which has had a deadly year for journalists. Iran (174th, +1), China (173rd, +1), Vietnam (172nd, 0), Cuba (171st, -4), Sudan (170th, 0) and Yemen (169th, +2) complete the list of the ten countries that respect media freedom least. Not content with imprisoning journalists and netizens, Iran also harasses the relatives of journalists, including the relatives of those who are abroad”
On the press freedom index ranking, the 10 best performers are
Country                                                    Score
  1. Finland                                               6.38
  2. Netherlands                                        6.48
  3. Norway                                              6.52
  4. Luxembourg                                      6.68
  5. Andorra                                              6.82
  6. Denmark                                            7.08
  7. Liechtenstein                                    7.35
  8. New Zealand                                    8.38
  9. Iceland                                              8.49
  10. Sweden                                             9.23

The 10 worst violators are

170.  Sudan                                                 70.06
171.  Cuba                                                   71.64
172.  Vietnam                                             71.78
173.  China                                                 73.07
174.  Iran                                                    73.40
175.  Somalia                                             73.59
176.  Syria                                                  78.53
177.  Turkmenistan                                    79.14
178.  North Korea                                      83.90
179.  Eritrea                                               84.83
Source: Street Journal

2015 ELECTION: Amaechi In Hot Soup?

The crisis rocking the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a new twist as the party on Monday, suspended 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
The party’s leadership also announced that it has given the state Governor; Rotimi Amaechi, 48 hours to “explain to Rivers people why the jet bought with the state government money is bearing a bank’s name on the documents.”
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Sunday grounded the plane of River State governor for the expiration of its operating license while the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) claimed that the plane belongs to the Bank of Salt Lake City USA and was brought into the country on chatter by Carverton Helicopters.
The new chairman of the party in the state, Felix Obuah told journalists in Port Harcourt, the state capital, that the suspension of the lawmakers was over their refusal to obey an order by the party to reinstate the suspended Chairman of Obio Akpor Local Government Area.
He noted that the suspension of the lawmakers, who are members of the party, is part of resolutions reached at the end of an emergency meeting of the party on Monday.
Not tolerating corruption
Felix Obuah also announced that the party has given Governor Amaechi 48 hours to explain to Rivers people why the jet bought with the state government money is bearing a bank’s name on the documents.
He warned that the party would not tolerate corruption in the state.
The leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Chidi Lloyd in his reaction to the suspension of 27 House members by the state PDP, stated in an interview with our correspondent, that the lawmakers had acquired a restraining order to stop the suspension.
He expressed his surprised that the party still went on to suspend the lawmakers.
The leader of the House also said the suspension is a plot to distract the party in the state.
He called on stakeholders to remain calm.
Source: Channels


PIB: FG to scrap NNPC, PTDF, PPPRA, DPR, others
Fresh indications emerged yesterday that the Federal Government would scrap 10 federal agencies, including the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) upon the approval of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the National Assembly.

CHURCH ROBBERS: Fear of God Meant Nothing To Us! - Suspects

*The suspects: Theophilus (l) and Folorunso
*The suspects: Theophilus (l) and Folorunso
To Akinbode Theophilus (30), Waidi Folorunso (27) and Wasiu Olusola (31), the answer to the question above is possibly, yes.  They are in police net accused of robbing a church, among others. The robbed church is located at Ijegun-Ikotun, Lagos.  And it wasn’t only once that the church was robbed.
Robbers attacked the church on three separate occasions during which they carted away items, the most valuable of which were musical instruments valued at hundreds of thousands of Naira. The musical instruments were believed to be the target of the robbers and the other items, secondary.
The trio of Theophilus, Folorunso and Olusola were said to have confessed to police interrogators that they were behind the serial robbery attacks on the church. Sources close to  the interrogators also quoted the suspects as admitting to carrying out  attacks on some other churches in Lagos and Ibadan.
God, in Malachi 3:8, puts those robbing him,  this time of tithes and offerings, under a curse.  If it  is proven that Theophilus, Folorunso and Olusola carried out the church robberies, then they may never escape the curse of God; unless they seek genuine repentance.  The suspects arrest is as dramatic as it is mysterious. Many attributed it to nemesis and God at work.
They had allegedly broken into the headquarters of the Kingdom Zone of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Ifelodun Street, Ijegun – Ikotun in the early hours of April 5, 2013. They entered the church auditorium, broke the iron cage inside which the musical instruments were secured and removed them. Not done yet, they broke into the church offices and ransacked them, apparently looking for cash and valuables.
Two of them – Theophilus and Folorunso- allegedly chartered a tricycle to convey their  loot and had successfully escaped from the area.  The suspects were said to be transferring the musical instruments from the tricycle into another one at Ikotun roundabout, some five kilometers from scene of robbery – around 5 a.m. – when a police patrol team noted their suspicious movements and accosted them.
A police source said they told the patrol team they were musicians coming from a night engagement. Not convinced, the police team, led by one Inspector Ahmed, reportedly, asked the suspects to take them to the venue of the engagement to confirm their story.  Then, on close scrutiny of the musical instruments, the policemen found the name of the church engraved on them.
The game was up. Folorunso allegedly tried to bolt away. He knocked down one of the policemen in the process.  But as he dashed across the road, an oncoming tricycle knocked him down, instantly demobilising him. Both suspects – Theophilus and Folorunso – were arrested and taken to the scene of robbery. They allegedly confessed to the crime and told the police that they had another colleague working with them.
The suspects also allegedly named a marketer at Oshodi who had been helping them to sell their loot.  The two suspects were held at Ikotun Divisional Police Station. Some officers at the station gave  the credit for the arrest  to the DPO,  CSP Austines  Akika, who, according to them, insists on ridding the area of criminal elements..
Items allegedly recovered from the suspects  were the church musical instruments, a saw, two iron bars, a master key and a padlock. Theophilus an Folorunso were later taken to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ikeja where further investigations yielded the arrest of the third suspect, Olusola. Olusola is said to be an ‘insider’ in the Ijegun church who facilitated the robbery.
The alleged marketer to the suspects was said to be on the run. Theophilus told Sunday Vanguard that he was not resident in Lagos, and that he came in from Abeokuta where he claimed to be a teacher.  He claimed to be a university graduate.
According to the suspect, he is married with a child. Indeed, the police took him to a high profile hotel where he claimed to be lodging in Ikotun area to corroborate his statement, and he was found to be paying N6,000 per night there.  Asked if he did not fear God as to go to a church to rob, Theophilus, a Christian, said he feared God, but that, that fear paled into insignificance when the survival of his family was at stake.
The salary he earned from his teaching job in a school in Abeokuta, according to him, was too meagre to sustain the family. Folorunso was not forthcoming on his means of livelihood. Sources close to Lagos SARS told Sunday Vanguard  that all the three suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigations into the case were completed.
Detectives were also on the trail of the fourth suspect on the run.  The Ijegun church sources spoke on the two previous occasions robbers broke  into the place of worship. The first time, according to them, the robbers made away with musical instruments, among other items, which were never recovered.
The second time, the robbers carted away gift items earmarked for the Bible College graduands whose graduation was scheduled to hold in  the church.  “There is the hand of God in the arrest of the suspects who are now alleged to have carried out serial robbery attacks on the church.
Don’t forget that they had successfully escaped from the scene of crime before they were apprehended at Ikotun, some five kilometers away. The arrest also shows that no matter the misgiving about the police on their effectiveness, they sometimes work”, a member of the church said.
Source: Vanguard


Great presidents are made great by horrible circumstances combined with character, temperament and intelligence. Like firemen, cops, doctors or soldiers, presidents need a crisis
to shine
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan took the oath of office on 29 May, 2011 amidst thunderous expectations of a new dawn, given the mountain of problems that characterized the nation.
Jonathan is one of the most intelligent presidents to ever step forward in Nigeria’s history the second fully fit university graduate. The likes of his intellectual capabilities have not been surpassed in public life since the Founding Fathers put pen to paper. His personal character is also solid gold. Take heart, Nigeria: we have the leader for our times.
I say this as a Pan Africanist who believes totally in One Nigeria, former life-long siddon look Nigerian. I say this as a proud Nigerian . I speak as someone who knows it’s time to forget tribal loyalty, party loyalty, ideology and pride and put the country first.
Jonathan is our last best chance. He’s worth laying it all on the line for.
Where many leaders are two-faced; publicly kindly but privately feared and/or hated by people closest to them, Jonathan is consistent in the way he treats people, consistently kind and personally humble. He lives by the code that those who lead must serve. He believes that. He lives it. He lived it long before he was in the public eye.
Jonathan puts service ahead of ideology. He also knows that to succeed politically you need to be tough. He can be. He has been (Okerenkoko and Gbaramatu). This is a man who does what works, rather than scoring ideological points. In other words he is the quintessential non-ideological pragmatic Nigerian. He will (thank God!) disappoint ideologues and purists of the left and the right.
Jonathan has a reservoir of personal physical courage that is unmatched in our presidential history. Why unmatched? Because as the first monority contender for the presidency who has won, Jonathan, and all the rest of us, know that he is in great physical danger from the seemingly unlimited reserve of unhinged tribal hatred, and just plain unhinged ignorant hatred, that swirls in the bowels of our wounded and sinful country. By stepping forward to lead, Jonathan has literally put his life on the line for all of us in a way no other Nigerian ever has had to do. (And we all know how dangerous the presidency has been)
The greater point about Jonathan is that the midst of our worldwide financial meltdown, an expanding Boko Haram ,Niger Delta Militancy,Piracy,Kidnappings,Armed Robberies,Bribery and corruption etc, watching our educational levels decline to unbelievable levels of incompetence, facing a general loss of confidence in the government that has been exacerbated by the opposition doing all they can to undermine our government’s capabilities and programs… President Jonathan has taken on the leadership of our country at a make or break time of historic proportions. He faces not one but dozens of crisis, each big enough to define any presidency in better times.
As luck, fate or divine grace would have it (depending on one’s personal theology) Jonathan is blessedly, dare I say uniquely, well-suited to our dire circumstances. Jonathan is a person with hands-on experience, deep connections to top advisers from the renowned Universites in Nigeria being a former university lecturer , and a middle-class background that gives him an abiding knowledgeable empathy with the rest of us. As the son of poor parents, who has worked his way up with merit and brains, in three giant political steps to state office, national office and now the presidency, Jonathan clearly has the wit and drive to lead.
Jonathan is the sober voice of reason at a time of unreason. He is the fellow keeping his head while all around him are panicking. He is the healing presence at a time of national division and strife. He is also new enough to the political process so that he doesn’t suffer from the terminally jaded cynicism, the seen-it-all-before syndrome afflicting most politicians in Nigeria. In that regard we Nigerians lucked out. It’s as if having despaired of our political process we picked a name from the phone book to lead us and that person turned out to be a very man we needed.
Jonathan brings a healing and uplifting spiritual quality to our politics at the very time when our worst enemy is fear. Fearless Jonathan is the cure. He speaks a litany of hope rather than a litany of terror.
As we have watched Jonathan respond in a quiet reasoned manner to crisis after crisis, in both the way he has responded after being attacked and lied about , to his reasoned response to our multiplying national crises, what we see is the spirit of a trusted family doctor with a great bedside manner. Jonathan is perfectly suited to hold our hand and lead us through some very tough times. The word panic is not in the Jonathan dictionary.
Jonathan brings a moral clarity to his leadership reserved for those who have had to work for everything they’ve gotten and had to do twice as well as the person standing next to them because of the region they come from . His experience of succeeding in spite of his social background could have been embittering or one that fostered a spiritual rebirth of forgiveness and enlightenment. Jonathan radiates the calm inner peace of the spirit of forgiveness.
Speaking as a believing Nigerian I see the hand of a merciful God in Jonathans Presidency. The biblical metaphors abound. The stone the builder rejected is become the cornerstone… the last shall be first… he that would gain his life must first lose it… the meek shall inherit the earth…
For my secular friends I’ll allow that we may have just been extraordinarily lucky! Either way Nigeria wins.
Only a brilliant man, with the spirit of a preacher and the humble heart of a kindly family doctor can lead us now. We are afraid, out of ideas, and worst of all out of hope. Jonathan is the cure. And we Nigerian’s have it in us to rise to the occasion. We will. We’re in one of the most frightening periods of Nigerian history. Our country has rarely faced more uncertainty. This is the time for greatness. We have a great leader. We must be a great people backing him, fighting for him, sacrificing for a cause greater than ourselves.
A hundred years from now Jonathan’s portrait will be placed next to that of Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe,King Jaja Of Opobo,Ahmadu Bello and Nana Of Itsekiri etc. Long before that we’ll be telling our children and grandchildren that we stepped out in faith and supported a man who stood up and led our country back from the brink of an abyss. We’ll tell them about the power of love, faith and hope. We’ll tell them about the power of creativity combined with humility and intellectual brilliance. We’ll tell them that President Jonathan gave us the gift of regaining our faith in our country. We’ll tell them that we all stood up and pitched in and won the day. We’ll tell them that President Jonathan restored our standing in the world. We’ll tell them that by the time he left office our schools were on the mend, our economy booming. We’ll tell them that because of President Jonathan’s example and leadership the integrity of the family was restored, divorce
rates went down, more fathers took responsibility for their children, and abortion rates fell dramatically as women, families and children were cared for through compassionate social programs that worked. We’ll tell them about how the gap closed between the middle class and the super rich, how we won health care for all, how crime rates fell, how kidnappings, militancy and terrorism were brought to an honourable conclusion.
We’ll tell them that we were part of the inexplicably blessed miracle that happened to our country those many years ago in 2011 when an Ijaw man was sent by God, fate or luck to save our country. We’ll tell them that it’s good to live in Nigeria where anything is possible.
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has been recording unique achievements.
1. President Goodluck Jonathan became the first Nigerian President to be WARNED PUBLICLY not to contest for elections on account of ethno-regional selfish interest, AND PROMISED MAYHEM and GRIDLOCK if he does.
3. First President/Head of State from the ENTIRE SOUTHERN NIGERIA, who is neither a NORTHERNER nor an EX-MILITARY man
4. First SOCIAL MEDIA ERA President/ Head of State
5. First President/ Head of State to experience the malicious death of INNOCENT, HARMLESS, UNARMED Youth Corpers serving their fatherland.
6. First President/ Head of State to evacuate Nigerians from trouble spots overseas by airlifting thousands of stranded citizens back home.
7. First President/ Head of State under whose tenure, MULTI PARTY DEMOCRACY blossomed most: 6 different political parties have governors in Nigeria: LP, ACN, PDP, APGA, ANPP, CPC (Please note: all court orders overturned in favour of opposition parties were all obeyed: Osun, Ekiti, etc)
8. First President/ Head of State to sign into law the FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
9. First President/ Head of State to EFFECTIVELY outlaw toll-collecting illegal police checkpoints in Nigeria
10. First President/ Head of State to introduce a national tax policy to create a self-sufficient economy that could bring development to the people.
11. First president to pay attention to our International and local Airports – Kano airport upgraded after 57 years, other airports upgrades in progress.
12. Kaduna Refinery rehabilitated after 15 years
13. The first President to summon the courage to unbundle Electricity distribution after 52 years, power supply more than doubled after almost 100 years after amalgamation (met power supply at about 2,200 mw, now 4,237 mw) States Begin Electricity Distribution
14. First President to address the bad state of the Benin-Ore road which was rehabilitated after 20 years.
15. First president to rejuvenate our comatose Railways back to life after 20 years of lull in the sector, Colonial laws under review, States and Private investors welcome in the railways sector.
16. First to introduce 35% female appointments in government positions.
17. First in decades to reduce salaries of public servants and examine the proliferation of different salary structures in the public service in the federation
18. First to deliver on Nine New Varsities, to accommodate, the growing number of admission candidates/population
19. First to promise Almajiri school, promise kept
20. First to follow due process/rule of law in government conduct
21. First president to be thought of, by the average Nigerian, as his/her COUNCILLOR, LGA CHAIRMAN, ASSEMBLYMAN, GOVERNOR, REP OR SENATOR and CHIEF JUSTICE in one fell swoop, not minding the fact that everyone has his/her job cut out in a democracy as this is not a MILITARY DICTATORSHIP- that the buck does not stop at his desk in matters involving states, LGAs and the Judiciary or Legislature; that their jobs are complementary and they are allocated funds every month from FAAC, not to ‘chop’, but to work!

Source: Vanguard