ADD1

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

FACTS: The APC Manifesto

Now that more politicians are dumping the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and joining the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, Nigerians are eager to see their manifesto.
In recent weeks, governors, federal lawmakers and prominent politicians have pitched their tent with the APC and abandoned the PDP.
As the PDP weakens or continues to fall apart, the APC is getting bigger and stronger. The expectations of Nigerians are also getting higher.
To millions of Nigerians, what is important is not the size of a political party or its composition, but the programmes and benefits that will be delivered to the common man.
Nigerians are eager to see a political party that will be committed to the fight against corruption, eradication of mismanagement and strengthening of education and health sectors.
Nigerians are also looking at a party that will engage in massive infrastructure development and the eradication of poverty as well as the creation of jobs.
The strengthening of the country’s institution such as the media and the judiciary are also of importance to millions of Nigerians.
Winning politicians is good but winning ordinary men and women who vote politicians into office is better.
Nigeria is a country in crisis and only honest politicians who want to move the country forward deserve the respect and the attention of the masses.
The manifesto Nigerians are expecting should be straightforward. Nigerians expect politicians to explain in details how they intend to implement what they claim they will do as talking is cheap.
They must explain to us what, when and why they want to do what they intend to do and how they intend to fund their programmes.
It is only when they do this that the APC will win not only political big wig but ordinary people who eventually will vote them into office.
Source: PM News

KWARA STATE: Stray Bullets Kill Two Women?

Stray bullets allegedly fired by men of Kwara State police command killed two women around Oja-Oba area of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, yesterday.
Vanguard reliably gathered that the victims were at their duty point at Oja Oba central mosque, clearing refuse when they were suddenly hit by police stray bullets. They reportedly died on the spot.
Vanguard, however, learnt that a team of Police officers in a patrol van belonging to Kwara State command on patrol around Ilorin central was chasing some car dealers at Oja-Oba, around Emir of Ilorin’s palace .police
In a desperate attempt to nab the fleeing cars dealer, the police patrol team reportedly fired gun shots which unfortunately killed the two cleaners.
Contacted, the Command Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Femi Fabode said though he was aware of the shooting around Oja-Oba area, he did not have the details at press time.
He promised to give details of the shooting incident as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, following last week’s bank robbery in Offa, fear of insecurity has gripped the commercial banks in Offa and Ilorin as they now close at noon.
Banks around Taiwo Road, Unity Road and Challenge area which are commercial nerve centres of the state capital were already closed for businesses when Vanguard checked yesterday afternoon.
Though notices found at their gates cite the coming Christmas celebration as reasons, but inside sources claimed fear of possible attack by armed robbers.
Addressing a press conference in Ilorin, yesterday, the Commissioner of Police in the state Mr Agboola Oshodi Glover confirmed that seven police officers and three civilians(bank officials) were killed by the rampaging robbers in Offa, last Thursday.
He sympathised with the families of the deceased and assured the people of Offa and Kwara State in general that ”the police in Kwara State will not rest on their oars until this gang of robbers is brought to book.”
The police commissioner also said the command had beefed up security around Offa and Omu-Aran and indeed the entire state to ensure adequate security.
He therefore appealed to residents in the state that the security of lives and property is highly guaranteed and the people should go about their lawful businesses and have confidence in the police in Kwara state.
Source: Vanguard

INTERESTING: 45 Women Claim Virgin Pregnancy?

Nearly one percent of young women in a U.S. study who have become pregnant claim to have done so as virgins, according to a report in the Christmas edition of Britain’s BMJ medical journal.
The authors of “Like a virgin (mother)” – whose prose is devoid of irony – say such scientifically impossible claims show researchers must use care in interpreting self-reported behavior. Fallible memory, beliefs and wishes can cause people to err in what they tell scientists.
Based on interviews with 7,870 women and girls ages 15 to 28, 45 of the 5,340 pregnancies in this group through the years – 0.8 percent – occurred in women who reported that they conceived independent of men. The figure does not include pregnancies that result from in vitro fertilization or other assisted reproductive technology.
File Photo: An altar boy walks through the door of Nativity in Bethlehem, said to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, conceived by Virgin Mary
File Photo: An altar boy walks through the door of Nativity in Bethlehem, said to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, conceived by Virgin Mary
Each year, the BMJ Christmas edition publishes untraditional science papers. In addition to the report on virgin pregnancies, the latest BMJ includes papers on whether there is a local baby boom nine months after home sports teams triumph (only a small one, but statistically significant) and whether an apple a day would keep the British doctor away (yes, saving about 8,500 lives in the United Kingdom each year, about as many as would expanding the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs to everyone over 50).
For the study of putative virgin pregnancies, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill analyzed data from the thousands of teenage girls and young women who took part in the long-running National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.
The girls were 12 to 18 years old when they entered the study in the 1994-95 school year and were interviewed periodically about their health and behavior over 14 years, including via computer as a way to encourage them to be candid when answering questions about their sexual history.
The 45 women and girls who became pregnant despite, according to what they told interviewers, being virgins at the time of conception differed in several ways from peers who acknowledged that men had had a role in their procreation.
Of those who said they became pregnant as virgins, 31 percent also said they had signed chastity pledges; 15 percent of nonvirgins who became pregnant said they had signed such pledges, in which a girl vows not to have sex until she marries.
The 45 self-described virgins who reported having become pregnant and the 36 who gave birth were also more likely than nonvirgins to say their parents never or rarely talked to them about sex and birth control. About 28 percent of the “virgin” mothers’ parents (who were also interviewed) indicated they didn’t have enough knowledge to discuss sex and contraception with their daughters, compared to 5 percent of the parents of girls who became pregnant and said they had had intercourse.
The ostensibly chaste mothers were also less likely to know how to use condoms, according to the report. UNC biostatistician Amy Herring and public health expert Carolyn Halpern led the group.
The researchers found that although the mothers in question were more likely to have boys than girls, and to be pregnant during the weeks leading up to Christmas, neither similarity to the Virgin Mary was statistically significant.
Source: PM News

REVEALED: Boko Haram Buried Weapons In Abuja?

‘Boko Haram buried weapons in Apo cemetery’
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Azubuike Ihejirika, has said the Army has information that some arms and ammunition were buried in the Apo Cemetery, Abuja, by some Boko Haram members.
He said the Army had been unable to locate where they were hidden because the person who hid the weapons was on the run.
Gen Ihejirika said the weapons were to be used in an attack on Abuja by the sect earlier this year.
The Army Chief spoke yesterday at a public hearing by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the September 20 killing of eight residents at an uncompleted building in Apo.
Security personnel had invaded the house, said to be inhabited by about 100 people, on the claim that the inhabitants were Boko Haram members.
Gen Ihejirika, who was represented by the Commander, Brigade of Guards, Maj Gen Emmanuel Atewe, justified the invasion of the house.
He said the operation in Apo was informed by a report from the Department of State Security (DSS), alleging an attack by members of the Boko Haram.
“Between September 18 and 19, two persons were arrested in Abuja and they made useful confessions that there was a cache of arms hidden at Apo Cemetery to be used in a planned attack,” he said.
The Army chief said upon the confession of the suspects, his men went to the cemetery in search of the weapons.
“It was in the night, the area was bushy and we could not navigate the cemetery and the suspects could not identify the actual spot where the weapons were buried.
“It was at that point the suspects said their leader, one Suleiman, if arrested would show us the spot where the ammunition were hidden,” he said.
Gen Atewe, who failed to name the “two suspects,” said they told security agents that Suleiman was living in the Apo uncompleted building. He said they (the suspects) also disclosed that their intention was to launch attacks within Abuja.
“It was on that premise that the team moved to the uncompleted building to arrest Suleiman. But unfortunately, as troops were to cordon the building, the fire came, first it was a single shot before rapid followed. Under self defence, the troops returned fire,” he said.
“The military operating in FCT are well trained in handling arms and have exercised restraint in the discharge of their duties. We have no reason to kill anybody dastardly or act under provocation.
“The adversaries did firearm movement, they were firing as they escaped, a loaded magazine was found and from our records, it does not belong to the military,” he said.
Gen Atewe stated that the Apo incident was an isolated case and an unfortunate one.
He insisted that the security agents acted proactively to prevent collateral damage that may have resulted from an attack in Abuja.
He said despite their efforts, Suleiman was still at large and the cache of arms at the Apo cemetery still undiscovered.
“We have carried out 153 operations successfully, made arrests and did not shoot anybody.
The NHRC yesterday granted an application by the DSS to have its officials testify in its headquarters to protect their identities.
DSS’s lawyer Clifford Osagie and other officials of the service cited security reasons for the application to have the panel move its sitting venue from the NHRC’s Abuja office to DSS’ headquarters.
The panel will resume sitting next month.
Source: The Nation

Arsenal and Chelsea fail to spark

Mesut Ozil and Fernando Torres battle for possession.
Arsene Wenger remains without a victory over Jose Mourinho's Chelsea after Arsenal were shackled in a goalless London derby at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners boss was bidding for a first victory over his Portuguese adversary at the 10th attempt, knowing that was what his side required to return to the top of the Premier League at Christmas.
But a defensive-minded Chelsea claimed a draw which took them fourth in the standings and Arsenal moved second, behind leaders Liverpool on goal difference.
Wenger has had plenty of shots at masterminding victory over Blues sides managed by Mourinho, who now holds a record of five wins and five draws against the Frenchman.
There were numerous classics in Mourinho's first Stamford Bridge spell, but the latest bout was not in their class.
Chelsea beat Arsenal on enemy territory in the Capital One Cup in October but their approach in the Premier League was less adventurous.
After 30 minutes of sizing each other up, the contest ignited when Frank Lampard hit the bar and the tackles began to fly in.
John Obi Mikel was fortunate to avoid a red card for a studs-up tackle on Mikel Arteta and, in the same move, referee Mike Dean also opted not to award a penalty when Willian tripped Theo Walcott.
Willian passed up a good opportunity on the counter-attack for a Chelsea side which had set up defensively, putting men behind the ball in an effort to limit the space Arsenal's creative players, such as Mesut Ozil, could work in.
Arteta's right ankle took another hefty blow from Ramires, who was booked, as the second half continued in much the same vein as the first.
Olivier Giroud sliced wide with 11 minutes remaining and was denied by Petr Cech at point-blank range with five minutes to go as the honours ended even, with Mourinho the happier of the managers.
Both sides entered the contest on the back of a defeat.
Wenger made four changes following the 6-3 loss at Manchester City, drafting in Kieran Gibbs, Tomas Rosicky, Thomas Vermaelen and Arteta.
Mourinho made six changes following the Capital One Cup loss at Sunderland, with Cech, Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Ramires, Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres recalled.
The Blues' former Arsenal left-back Ashley Cole, who attended his former club's Christmas party last week, was named among the substitutes.
With Ramires, Mikel and Lampard deployed in midfield, Mourinho adapted his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation in an effort to nullify Arsenal's Mesut Ozil, Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey.
Despite their defensive approach, it was Chelsea who threatened first when Torres' attempt to burst through was brought to an end by a cynical challenge by Per Mertesacker, who was fortunate not only to avoid conceding a free-kick, but also a yellow card.
In a tight contest, few chances were created and Gary Cahill cut out a Bacary Sagna cross with Giroud lurking, while Ramires headed over after Willian delayed making a cross on the counter attack.
A delightful return pass from Hazard to Lampard nearly broke the deadlock, but the midfielder could not keep his shot low and hit the bar.
Mourinho questioned fourth official Jon Moss to see if the ball had crossed the line, but the officials' watches did not buzz and replays showed the ball bounced well clear.
Wojciech Szczesny made his first save to stop a Torres shot on the turn before an Arsenal response in a move which might have seen Chelsea reduced to 10 men.
Arteta and Mikel both lunged for a ball in midfield and the Nigerian's studs caught the Spaniard on the ankle.
Play continued and Willian fell for Walcott's trickery, hooking the winger's ankle, but Dean deigned no foul had been made.
Willian should have done better at the other end than shoot weakly at Szczesny after Ramsey conceded possession to allow Hazard to counter.
Arteta was again fouled in midfield combat, this time by Ramires, who was booked, before Ivanovic enraged Ozil with a high-foot challenge, resulting in a coming together.
There was another in a competitive contest when Rosicky slid in on the Serbian right-back, who went down easily, with the Czech booked for persistent fouling.
Hazard was replaced by Andre Schurrle and Oscar came on for Willian as Mourinho recognised the need for fresh legs on the flanks to undertake defensive duties.
Cahill snuffed out an opening for Giroud as Arsenal continued to find chances limited.
Ramsey's pass then presented Giroud with a fine opportunity, but the France striker sliced wide of the near post from a position to the left of goal, with the angle becoming more difficult.
Gibbs then combined with Rosicky on the left and centred towards Giroud, whose close-range effort hit the spread-eagled Cech.
David Luiz came on for Torres with three minutes to go as Mourinho shut up shop and made it clear a point was more than acceptable.
Arsenal had a final chance to claim three points, but Azpilicueta cleared a Vermaelen header from a corner off the line.
Arsenal fans finished by labelling Chelsea "boring" as they were left frustrated.

espnfc.com

WICKED: Woman Deliver, Thow Baby Into Soak-Away Pit?

Quadri's wife and baby after the rescue
A housewife who cheated on her husband and got pregnant has been arrested by the police at Ajegunle Divisional Headquarters, Mile 12, Lagos, western Nigeria, after she delivered a baby and attempted to throw it into a soak-away pit.
The housewife, Fatimoh Adekoya, 29, was caught by her husband on Saturday, 21 December, after placing the baby together with the placenta beside a soak-away in front of their house at 27, Ifelodun Street, Weighbridge, Owode-Onirin, Mile 12, Lagos.
Fatimoh, a mother of three, delivered the baby herself around 4 a.m. on Saturday and wrapped it with a cloth along with the placenta and placed it beside the soak-away.
Her husband, Quadri Mayowa Adekoya, who claimed he did not know that his wife was pregnant, said he saw blood all over her and also on the floor in the house.
Apart from the blood, he also heard a baby crying outside. He later traced the blood from his room to a Bagco sack placed beside the soak-away. The baby and placenta were wrapped with a cloth.
“I saw my wife dripping with blood and while still wondering what was wrong, I heard cries of a baby outside. I traced the blood and discovered that the cries were coming from a baby inside a Bagco sack placed beside the soak-away. I knew instantly it was my wife who dumped the baby there,” he narrated.
He said that he was surprised by the findings, adding that his wife never told him she was pregnant. ”Moreover, we’ve not had sex in the last one year because we were living like a cat and mouse in the house,” he said.
According to him, he leaves home 5 a.m. and return 9 p.m. everyday and this made it difficult for him to notice that she was pregnant.
“We are just living under the same roof without any intimacy. We did not have sex. We have been fighting because she failed to perform her responsibilities as a wife. She does not take care of my children and does not cook or wash my clothes. So, I let her be,” he said.
After much persuasion at the police station, Fatimoh Adekoya was forced to confess her sins. She confessed that she had an affair with one Moshood Agbaje, a bricklayer, living around the area. According to her, he slept with her only once and did not know that it would lead to pregnancy. She described her action as a mistake and begged for forgiveness. She believed that Moshood must have used a charm on her.
“I only did it once with Moshood. He was a bricklayer close to our house, I never knew it would turned out like this. I know he must have charmed me,” she said.
When asked her reasons for engaging in illicit affairs, she blamed it all on her husband, Quadri. She described him as irresponsible, adding that he doesn’t give her the necessary attention.
Asked to respond to his wife’s claim of neglect, Quadri denied vehemently that he does not take care of his wife.
The wife’s mother, Mrs. Taiwo Abass, who was also present at the station, admitted that her daughter made a mistake, adding that by her action, she has brought shame and disgrace to her family.
“I don’t want to discuss this matter any further. My daughter made a big mistake and she has brought shame and disgrace to the family,” she said.
A neighbour, Mrs. Bola Bamidele, who was also present at the scene, said she was touched by the development. She described Fatimoh as heartless. She commended her husband for calling a nurse to stop Fatimoh’s bleeding and rescue the baby.
“I am deeply touched by this situation. How can a mother be this heartless. Her husband is a good man to have called the nurse to rescue both mother and child, knowing the situation surrounding the birth of the child.
“The baby needs to be properly taken care of. I will advise that the government should be involved in this matter. The baby should be taken into custody, if not, a woman that can do this, can definitely kill the child later and this will be bad,” she said.
A friend to the husband who did not want his name in print, also condemned Fatimoh’s action, describing her as greedy and self centred. “She does not have any reason to be involved in illicit affairs. She can make do with the little amount given her by the man. The man is a labourer. She also collects salary from her workplace. She can add them together to make a living and not engage in extra-marital affairs.
After her confessions, the Divisional Crime Officer at the station, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Emmauel Ugwujja, released her, considering her condition.
Quadri Adekoya
Quadri Adekoya
Sources gathered that efforts are being made to contact the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), to wade into the matter.
The police officer said government should wade into the matter to save the baby from the callous mother.
ur source also went the extra mile of identifying Moshood Agbaje, the bricklayer who impregnated Fatimoh. He was found at a building site working. He admitted sleeping with the woman but said he did not know that sleeping with her once could have led to pregnancy. He said he was not informed that she was pregnant until this moment.
“I slept with her once. She is always coming to beg for money from me. One day, I told her she should let us play, so, we did and that was the last time I saw her. She did not tell me that she was pregnant, so why should I accept the baby nine months after?” he asked.
Source: PM News

Monday, December 23, 2013

BOKO HARAM: Jonathan, Come And Live In Borno - Victims


Following the last Friday attack on the 202 tank Mohammed Kur Barrack Bama, located at Bama Local Government Area of Borno State, where many soldiers were killed and armories carted away, Borno residents have called on President Goodluck Jonathan to relocate to Maiduguri until the insurgents are crushed.
A public commentator Mallam Abduraham said that President Goodluck Jonathan was busy thinking about 2015, instead of taking the fight against Boko Haram with all seriousness.
According to him, “the President takes the war as Borno, Yobe and Adamawa affairs while the insurgency poised a great danger on the existence of the country”.
He said if the insurgents could sack a whole Barack and cart away armories, “there is great danger ahead of us as a nation, the way things are going, the insurgents would capture Borno, Yobe and Adamawa and will advance to other states.
“President Jonathan has to fight the insurgents with all seriousness, if not, the way things are moving, the insurgents will take over the whole country”.
He added that instead of the military taking the battle to the Boko Haram terrorists camps, they allow themselves to be on the defensive side.
“The military should change their strategy, otherwise, the insurgents will take over the country, Abdulrrahaman said.
He said there was need for President Jonathan and the service chiefs to relocate to Maiduguri until they see to the end of the insurgency.
A Bama resident who does not want his name in print told DailyPost that considering the attack on the barracks, he was considering the option of running to Cameroon.
He said the insurgents had already weakened the military and by the time they get more weapons, they would take over the state and advance to others states of the Federation.
Another Bama resident Mr. Peter Nwonsu said President Goodluck and the army chiefs have sit up and fight insurgents by considering the option of relocating to Maidguri and stop thinking about 2015, if not the country is at risks of being taking over by the insurgents going by their growing strength.
For Mr. Daniel Audu, the state of emergency declared on the three states was of no effect, stressing that “if the insurgents could take over a barracks, hoist their flag and later leave the premises unchallenged, there is great danger ahead of us as a nation”.
He urged President Jonathan to forget about 2015 and face the war against insurgency.
It could be recalled that the insurgents attacked the 33 Artillery regiment Barrack and Air Force base in Maiduguri three weeks ago.
Also, on Friday, they attacked a barracks in Bama, carted away armories, and abducted military officers’ wives and children.
Source: Daily Post

GOMBE STATE: Deadly Accident, 9 Perish?

Scene of the accident
Scene of the accident
The Federal Road Safety Commission on Monday confirmed that nine persons died while four sustained injuries in two separate car accidents in Gombe State.
The Sector Commander in Gombe state, Mr Kuteb Galadima, told newsmen in Gombe that the accidents occurred on Dec. 22 and early hours of Monday.
He said the first accident on Dec. 22 involved a Toyota Starlet and Water tanker at 7.00 p.m. on Gombe bye-pass.
He said the starlet stopped at a police check point when a water tanker lost control and crushed it, killing all the four passengers in the car and a police man checking the vehicle.
Galadima said the second accident occurred in Shongo Idrissa area of Gombe on Gombe-Bauchi road on Monday and involved a Toyota corolla and Peugeot cars.
He said the other accident was caused by wrong over taking which led to the death of four of nine passengers on board the two cars.
Galadima called on motorists to be cautious while driving, to avert possible occurrence of accident this yuletide season.
Source: Punch

REVEALED: FG Cornered N4.17 Trillion?

The Federal Government incurred “illegal” expenditure totaling N4.17tn between 2004 and 2012, a report by the House of Representatives has shown.
The document was prepared as an interim report by the House Committee on Public Accounts as part of ongoing investigations into the operations of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

NMA STRIKE: We Will Continue - Doctors

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) says it will continue with its on-going warning strike action until more concrete efforts are made to meet the minimum demands of the association.
The NMA said this in a communique late Friday signed by its President, Dr Osahon Enabulele.
The communique was issued at the end of an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held on Thursday, 19 December.
NAN reports that the association’s members embarked on a five-day warning strike in public health institutions on Wednesday, Dec. 18.
LUTH OUTPATIENT WARD: empty
LUTH OUTPATIENT WARD: empty
The association had listed issues bordering on some health sector challenges, workplace conditions and the conditions of service of doctors.
The communique said Thursday’s NEC meeting was called to appraise the on-going warning strike declared by the NMA.
It had said this was in fulfilment of the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the NMA and the government team.
”With respect to the promises offered by officers of government in a meeting held with the leadership of the NMA on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, the NEC expressed dissatisfaction with the MoU reached with the leadership of the NMA.
”NEC particularly observed that similar MoUs reached with the association in the past were not adhered to by the government side.”
The communique said NEC therefore called for concrete implementation of the contents of the MoU to enable her conduct an appropriate assessment of the commitment of government.
The NEC reaffirmed the association’s decision to limit the duration of the warning strike action ”in deference to the yuletide season and as a mark of its appreciation of the appeals of well-meaning Nigerians”.
The association however warned that a total strike would commence if the raised issues were not satisfactorily resolved by Jan. 6, 2014.
The NMA NEC thanked all well-meaning Nigerians and the media for their understanding, prayers and support.
Source: PM News

NMA STRIKE: We Will Continue - Doctors

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) says it will continue with its on-going warning strike action until more concrete efforts are made to meet the minimum demands of the association.
The NMA said this in a communique late Friday signed by its President, Dr Osahon Enabulele.
The communique was issued at the end of an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held on Thursday, 19 December.
NAN reports that the association’s members embarked on a five-day warning strike in public health institutions on Wednesday, Dec. 18.
LUTH OUTPATIENT WARD: empty
LUTH OUTPATIENT WARD: empty
The association had listed issues bordering on some health sector challenges, workplace conditions and the conditions of service of doctors.
The communique said Thursday’s NEC meeting was called to appraise the on-going warning strike declared by the NMA.
It had said this was in fulfilment of the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the NMA and the government team.
”With respect to the promises offered by officers of government in a meeting held with the leadership of the NMA on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, the NEC expressed dissatisfaction with the MoU reached with the leadership of the NMA.
”NEC particularly observed that similar MoUs reached with the association in the past were not adhered to by the government side.”
The communique said NEC therefore called for concrete implementation of the contents of the MoU to enable her conduct an appropriate assessment of the commitment of government.
The NEC reaffirmed the association’s decision to limit the duration of the warning strike action ”in deference to the yuletide season and as a mark of its appreciation of the appeals of well-meaning Nigerians”.
The association however warned that a total strike would commence if the raised issues were not satisfactorily resolved by Jan. 6, 2014.
The NMA NEC thanked all well-meaning Nigerians and the media for their understanding, prayers and support.
Source: PM News

INTERVIEW: I Was Forced To Pay A Godfather - Chinwoke Mbadinuju

Chinwoke Mbadinuju
In this interview with Punch, a former governor of Anambra State, Chinwoke Mbadinuju, speaks about the controversies which dodged his administration, godfathers and the inability of the Peoples Democratic Party to form government in the state since he left office

It was speculated that you were going to be among the governorship aspirants in the last election in Anambra; what happened?

The main reason why I didn’t pick any form and why I didn’t go into the contest is because already, most of the PDP members in Anambra were my boys, I brought them up. Some of them were my Special Advisers. Others were Special Assistants and Secretary to the State Government or one thing or the other. If I had gone into the contest with such people, the so-called godfathers will back them to try to disgrace me and win the election at all costs. Then, you would see money bags throwing their weight and money around and I might find myself alone. If I lost, it won’t augur well for me and my supporters. I consulted with my people although I had made up my mind under the circumstances at that time. It was a personal decision; nobody forced me to or not to. After four years in Awka and all the things that followed, I felt I did enough in four years and the circumstances in which I was stopped from going for a second term are now seen to be a mistake by whoever did that, especially the leaders. In fact, it was one leader, the former President Olusegun Obasanjo, he was the person who singlehandedly stopped me. I made up my mind it was not worth it, I have done my best for Anambra and I did not want to contest for governor again. I felt it was better I stay out to offer advice to those who were in the race. I never showed interest. If I did, it would be a different thing. My people in Anambra and the PDP here in Abuja know that I never made a bid for the job in 2013, I never picked the form.

But you sought for a second term after your first term in office…

(cuts in) It was unjust for former President Obasanjo to disqualify me even after I won the party primaries. Two times, Obasanjo disqualified me, the third time I was winning, Obasanjo sent Senator (Ibrahim) Mantu, he is still alive, to make sure I didn’t enter the hall. This is after he scored me “A” on security and infrastructure. When I delivered a paper on security, Obasanjo and General (Mohammed) Gusau (rtrd) commended me after the entire hall gave me a standing ovation. After Jerry Gana’s national media tour of all the 36 states he went, I received the gold cup for security and welfare; that is the first position. When someone comes first in the most important subject: welfare and security and infrastructure which the former President inspected and scored me “A”, is that a candidate that will fail in an election? If after all these things the then President stopped me from going for a second term, you will know that there is a problem. I didn’t even enter the race for a second term.

If I remember, you moved over to the Alliance for Democracy

… (cuts in) That was after I was stopped by Obasanjo from contesting on the platform of the PDP. Left for me alone, I would have simply left but my supporters were all over me for obvious reasons. I decided to accept their plea and we joined into AD. It was a mistake because I was thinking that AD had some governors I could just join. When I told former President Obasanjo that I was considering joining AD, he told me good luck. I didn’t know he had already perfected his arrangement to make sure that nobody gets re-elected under AD and that was exactly what happened. If I knew that was his plan, I didn’t need to go into AD. And as soon as elections were over, I quickly went back to PDP because that is the party we founded. I remain in PDP and I will be here till tomorrow.

What was your greatest challenge as governor?

Controversies. They all called me controversial. If things were going one way, there would be no need for controversy. Like the issue of security, it was the most challenging aspect of my administration because women were running into the churches to sleep because armed robbers had written that they would come to their houses on such and such a day and time. Most of the women chose to go to the church to take shelter every night. As a governor, I lived in Onitsha during this period, it was hell. This Umuleri/Aguleri and Umoba Anam have fought themselves for over 50 years. I said I was not going to preside over that kind of thing and decided to do something. Even when I said I was going to Umuleri to try and stop the fighting, the Police and SSS advised against it. I said okay deputy governor sit by my left hand side, you are from that area. I am going there, all of us are going but they said people don’t go there but I said we would go and if the governor and his deputy perish, then it will be news. We went and came back.

When they say that you are controversial, you can’t just be controversial for nothing because you are trying to do good. I was there to do good for Anambra State, I started prayers every Monday morning in all government establishments, I used to go to the Onitsha Market and town halls to conduct prayers and God kept answering the prayers and performing miracles. Those who didn’t like my style said it was controversy. I wrote on the entrance to my office “It shall be well with Anambra State.” it shows that this man is with God, he respects God. When my successor came, he removed it and since then, it has never been well with the state. God is watching everybody, if I am controversial because of God, wasn’t Christ controversial? But now he is the Lord of All, the Bible says he made us. If you read John Chapter 1, it says he is the word and nothing was made without him. But when he was here nobody believed him, they called him all sorts of names. I was happy, I said let them call me all sorts of names but go on and do what God has assigned you to do. I believed I was on an assignment in Anambra and I accomplished it.

With your experience as governor, what would you say about godfatherism?

Well, a godfather has many connotations. You could have positive godfathers and negative ones. The good ones work towards making things work and succeed but if you have a godfather that is always challenging, he wants to make appointments, if you have 10 commissioners, he would want to have three or four. After you have given him two commissioners, he will say he wants Special Advisers, Special Assistants and he will even want to choose their portfolios but I said these things are not done like that and they said it is done like that, that is controversy. You are the governor and you run your administration the way you want it. I know some people helped us. There is nobody who campaigned for elections or any position who was not assisted. I have not seen one person who will come out and say I didn’t have any help and it was the same type of help I got and I was in trouble. Some of them wrote a petition to the President and the petition was carried by the then Vice-President Atiku Abubakar to the President. They said I had N3.5bn abroad and I told the President- we were in his office that I never saw such money in Awka. After attending the federal allocation meeting, sometimes Anambra State will get N200m, sometimes N600m; it was never straight. I couldn’t pay salaries in some of the months so where could I get such money to send N3.5bn abroad? I told him it was not possible, he said, if he didn’t approve it for investigations, some people would think that he was colluding with me. I said okay. Atiku brought the petition and Obasanjo looked at the petition and said but there is no covering letter, Atiku put his hands into his pocket and brought out a covering letter. These people were ready, everything that they could do to get me jailed or killed, what did I do? I was doing well. Christ was doing good, healing all types of diseases. It is my experience to be doing good while people that run me down go through all sorts of problems, it was terrible I must tell you. In any case, they went to Europe, London where I studied, they went to Russia where we visited when I played football, I played in Spain, everywhere, they saw my CV and thought that all the places I went, I put money there, they went to America where I also studied and saw nothing and at the end, President Obasanjo called me on phone and said “Governor Anambra,” I said sir, he said you can walk with your head high and I said I told you sir. The only thing I had was three pounds in London at the University of Southampton where I studied Law and I had left in Lloyds Bank three pounds, I couldn’t have finished it. I kept it there. Godfather or no godfather, in my own case, they were negative even in the case of those who came after me, they had it rough with godfathers. The person who started godfatherism in Anambra State was former President Obasanjo because he wanted his boys to be governor. In my own case, he wanted his boy Andy Uba to rule Anambra and indeed his nominee became governor for a few weeks. Anambra State is not an easy state where you can go and do two terms, it’s tough. You can ask Peter Obi what he went through to get a second term; he succeeded because he had godfathers who were positive. In the case of the PDP, we had godfathers who were negative. I was sent to prison pending bail but 5,000 hoodlums were hired to start a riot and attack the prison with the aim of killing me. They came to the prison where I was. They trampled upon the prison gate and came to my cell but I was gone. One judge told me their aim was to arrest me, tie my hands and feet and drive me through the streets of Onitsha main market in an open van, the same market I go to for prayers, before killing me.

Is it correct then to say that godfatherism hindered your performance?

If you performed 90 per cent with all these distractions, there is no way you can tell anyone that you performed 100 per cent but the important thing is if you go to Anambra State today, they will tell you that my four-year administration was the only time politicians could come to Akwa and go back home with money to take care of their families. No governor from then till date has done it. I did the best anybody in my circumstance could do, I am happy with what I was able to achieve. When you read my book which I entitled: “How I governed Anambra State,” after reading it you can read: “Legacies and Challenges” and you will know what I went through to achieve whatever we achieved in Anambra State.

What do you feel when you are described as the least performing governor since the creation of the state?

That’s politics. What are they calling President Jonathan today? They say he is not performing. Opponents will want to say anything and if you continue to listen to the opposition, you won’t go anywhere, you won’t do anything. They will tell you oh, Mbadinuju did nothing! Nothing? But Obasanjo came and inspected my infrastructure and gave me “A” yet I am nothing, Jerry Gana and his team came and toured the whole country and Anambra State under my watch took the gold cup, yet Mbadinuju did nothing. If you don’t ignore some of these people, you will run mad.

How do you feel about the murder of Mr. Barnabas Igwe and his pregnant wife who were murdered during your tenure in office?

Anybody who listens to the rubbish being peddled about allegations that I was involved in the dastardly act has nothing to do. The person does not fear God. How can a governor who was leading a whole state in prayers every Monday morning and God’s blessing was visiting the state and I was going to markets and town halls preaching goodness and after I have done that, then I will relax and go home and pick up my gun and begin to shoot the people I prayed for? It’s not possible. I was in Huston, Texas attending a meeting when I was called and told this couple who were lawyers had been assassinated. This man and his wife were among those who supported me and planned for me to become chairman of Onitsha Bar Association, that is the highest you could go in law practice in the state. I was told they had been murdered. I knew that the man who was killed was the chairman of the Onitsha bar at the time I was governor, he was from Imo State, we were together, and he and his wife were my supporters. How could I go back and begin to kill those people who supported me to rise? These things are not possible. The chairman was very concerned about the welfare of the people; he was always urging that we pay salaries. I used to explain to them that the money they were giving us was not enough and it was deliberate on the part of the Federal Government. They seized most of our money in the allocation waiting for my replacement. Once my replacement came, he was receiving N3bn to N4bn within the first month. I never received more than N600m; you can see the whole thing. When I came back I surrendered my immunity and told the police because the Onitsha Bar Association said they won’t appear before the committee I was going to set up to find out who killed the couple because they already suspected that I did it. To cut a long story short, when I came back, I surrendered my immunity as governor and asked the police to investigate. I gave them a 20-page report and the police went through. After this, they arrested 14 people to be charged. The police let me go because they saw my passport and visa and they knew that on the night that the couple was killed in Onitsha, I was in Huston. There was no way I could have left Huston to kill them and then go back to Huston; it’s not possible. Two, was there any conspiracy? Since I didn’t kill, was there conspiracy? The police said for the 15 weeks they did their investigations, nobody mentioned my name. That was a no case submission. I went on leave in London, before I came back, the same problem of the Presidency here in Abuja developed. They called upon Sunday Ehindero, the then IG and asked him to arrest me. They dismissed the earlier report which acquitted me; the Presidency said it didn’t accept the earlier report. There was nothing I didn’t suffer. I am not a person that can turn round and kill his friends. He was from Imo State, I was not contesting against him, and he was not contesting against me, least anybody will say he was blocking my way. They killed him; the police report was that those who kidnapped (Chris) Ngige who was the governor after me, those who kidnapped him were the same people who killed Igwe and the wife. Why did they kill Igwe and the wife? To make it impossible for me to do a second term, how could I have killed Igwe and his wife? I did not. That is what some people based their arguments on, not to allow me run for a second term. Since then, who in the PDP has been able to go for a second term in Anambra State? The issue is that if you cannot be fair to other people, God will not be fair to you.

Even though legally, nothing linked you with their murder, do you think people would stop linking you with the murder?

Most of them are already mental; some of them one way or another are facing judgment. Those in government will always be criticised.

How were you so comfortable when so many unions went on strike for as long as one year as governor of the state?

It was not peculiar to Anambra State. Schools were closed nationwide that year. Even under President Obasanjo, the Police went on strike for the first time in history. It was a general problem; Obasanjo caused it by inflating workers’ monthly emoluments and hyped it. We didn’t have enough money to pay teachers. The governor of a state today who was the leader of workers was always coming to Anambra State riding a rickety Volkswagen beetle to camouflage and go to one of the godfathers, receive money from them and insist that no teacher would go to the classroom. Even the women who were willing were chased out of the classrooms. As long as the labour leaders were fed by the godfathers, the schools remained closed. There was little one could do.

Was there an agreement you had with these godfathers that you reneged on?

How can anybody say I was paying godfathers while at the same time they said I reneged on an agreement? There is a godfather who had an arrangement with the military that he would be paid N10m every month, I wasn’t there when the agreement was made. When I tried to stop it, I was dragged to President Obasanjo’s office and I told Obasanjo this is the situation I found on ground and Obasanjo said I had to go back and continue paying it; that it was legal. At what stage did I renege? They will always try to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. Obasanjo gave them contracts worth billions of naira, they were super rich, there was nothing I could give to them.

You mean Obasanjo asked you to pay this godfather; who is he?

Yes, Obasanjo asked me to pay. The godfather is one of the Uba family.

Have you met Obasanjo after you left office as governor?

Yes, I have met him and we are friends. When I first visited him, he received me well and even took me to his chapel where I preached because I am now an evangelist. He has received me very well after then. But I don’t know whether all those things enter his heart. I like to see him as my friend because he was once my leader being a former president. Again, you should know that being a former military officer, you can not blame him if he still exhibits traits of a former military man. I consider him as a friend anyway.

Why do you think governors in Anambra usually have it rough?

I think it has to do with the nature of the people. I can only talk about my time, the situation was chaotic. There is no governor who has ever governed the state that did not have it rough. When Ezeife was there, they practically chased him out, my first term was largely peaceful. The turbulence started when I wanted to go for a second term. It was not a problem caused by my people in Anambra, our problem came from Abuja, and you know what Ngige went through. Then Peter Obi, you know what he too went through; it was President Jonathan that helped him. In my own case, it was my President then that was finding a way to do away with me. President Jonathan has helped Peter Obi a lot. I started the oil exploration activity in my state. When I went to President Obasanjo and asked him to support the activity, he said no. Now, with the support of Jonathan, Anambra State is (an) oil producing state but today nobody remembers I started it all.

How did you conceive the idea of vying for governor in the first place?

I served Jim Nwobodo, then transferred to Lagos under President Shehu Shagari and he wrote my letter of appointment and attached me to the office of the Vice President. While we were doing it, there was the military coup that toppled Shagari and I returned to Onitsha to set up my law practice. I was doing well as a lawyer. Suddenly, Abacha died and they threw open the issue of politicking and I became interested because that was what I studied in the university. I studied Political Science, International Law and Foreign Affairs. It was a miracle, I received support. At first, somebody approached me and said I should give him N5m to be deputy governor but my brother who was an entrepreneur said if I had N5m, why won’t I run for governor myself? He assisted me and I campaigned in every ward and I succeeded and became governor.

Do you have any regrets becoming governor?

No. When you read these books, you will know I have no regrets. Nobody can regret being a governor of a state, whether good or bad. I contributed my part to the development of my state. Only opponents will see nothing good in everything you do. I can go anywhere in Anambra with my head held high.

President Obasanjo recently wrote an open letter to President Jonathan. What do you make of it?

It is very doubtful that OBJ wrote the letter, it is very likely that Femi Fani-Kayode, the former Aviation Minister who has been taking up issues against PDP and ministers of the PDP did. I know how he coins his words. This 18-page letter was not written by Obasanjo, he signed it. Just like you read the Presidency, it could be Reuben Abati who wrote a statement. In the 18-page material, one can see clearly what he (Obasanjo) and the APC are trying to do. They want to bring this government down, they are saying impeachment; if that does not work, they are saying let military take over. The libellous and defamatory letter from Obasanjo, indications are rife that the real author of the said letter was Hon. Femi Fani Kayode, a restive youth and a political trouble maker. However, since Obasanjo signed another person’s letter, the former President must prove all his allegations, and not Jonathan to prove them, or even reply to the spurious letter, after smuggling the former military heads-of state into Obasanjo’s personal troubles. In fact, indications have it that the G7 contributed ideas to the troubler’s letter.
Source: Punch

RAPE: We Are Scarred For Life - Victims

Rape victims
It is no ordinary crime. Incest, a distant word to many, claims its victims body and soul and shatters every sense of normalcy a child who grows up to experience such act is supposed to have. Such is the life of Bola and Tolu, who endured a sexual abuse by their father for two years. But for Susan, who had two children for her father, it is a different kettle of fish as a result of the identity problem her children will have to contend with. KUNLE FALAYI reports
Sexual abuse is one of the greatest crimes that could be committed against a child. The United Nations Convention on Rights of Child and Nigeria’s Child Rights Act give prominence to the protection of a child in the society as a result of this and specifically make case for the importance of the “primary care giver” which is the child’s immediate family.
But for many children, they are captives in their own family as they are constantly sexually assaulted by their own fathers. For such children, the scar the act leaves in their lives will not likely be erased anytime soon.
‘My children’s father is their grandfather’
The Lagos State Children’s Home at Ipaja Ayobo, like the one at Idi Araba, houses children whose complicated fates had brought them together to live as family.
It was their end-of-year social event; a period of merry-making and lots of singing and dancing.
In the crowd of hyperactive former victims of different forms of abuses in this home, was Susan (not real name). Smiles smoothed away the creases on the face of the fair, good-looking young lady as she was busy dishing out food, washing plates and helping her younger friends and co-residents of the home.
But few will wish upon themselves the unfortunate fate that brought this young lady to the home. She was no longer a child. But leaving the home was not that simple.
Susan was 17 years old in 2011. By that time, she already had two children for her father, Egbuna, a pastor of a church in Igando, Lagos, who is in his 50s. The Enugu State born father is currently awaiting judgment before the Family Court, Ikeja.
Susan, now 19, is one whose story many would hear and cry out the word, ‘abomination!’
She was rescued by the Esther Child Rights Foundation in 2011 after a group of women in the neighbourhood made a report.
Egbuna had nine children from his wife, who died in 2009. But he allegedly started sleeping with her eldest daughter shortly after, and she gave birth to two children.
A cunning rescue
Director of the ECRF, Mrs. Esther Ogwu, with a contingent visited Egbuna’s home under the guise that they wanted spiritual intercession.
“You have come to the right place. Before 24 days, you will come here and give testimony,” Egbuna told the group, and called Susan out to round off the prayer.
Ogwu said, “It was obvious the girl was living under serious subjection. She was almost trembling as she scurried to obey her father.
“We did not make any attempt to confront him the first day. We studied the place and noticed that there was no single sound from any other child within the house. It was as if there was a warning that none of them should make any sound. Neighbours said only one of the children was allowed to venture out to hawk sachet water.
“We came back days later with the police and state government officials to arrest him and he denied fathering the children. He said they were fathered by her daughter’s boyfriend. He was sweating all over as he spoke.”
All the children were transferred to the state government children’s home.
Egbuna is still in custody.
But fast-forward two years. Susan looked radiant at the home. She has changed but the scar is far from being healed. Her current dilemma is what to tell her children when they grow up.
Her two young children were kept inside, out of sight, during the visit to the home. There was no chance to see them.
“The children are really growing up fast. But what do I tell them when they grow up? How can I tell them that my father is their father. I am very confused about that.
“I will like to leave this home later but this place is just too good to us. But I am getting older; I will like to go back to my family. I have forgiven my father for what he did.
“But though I have forgiven him, I am scarred for life. How do I tell people that I have two children for my father?”
What family to go back to is another major quandary for this young lady, whose journey in life seemed to have been a transcendental punishment.
“None of my father’s or mother’s families has visited us since we were brought here. I don’t know how tomorrow will be but I know God will show the way,” she said.
She had yet to be admitted in school as officials are still considering which class best suits her.
Her children are also still being kept at the home, yet to start school. She is not alone.
Scary future for children raped for two years
Thirteen-year-old Bola (not real name) danced and clapped with her friends; children of the Lagos State Children’s Centre, Idi Araba. It was an end-of-year event in which the children exhibited their talents in various crafts like bead-making and tailoring.
Some of them were younger than Bola, some older. The laughter of the children was a far cry from the journey that had brought most of them to the centre, which houses rescued homeless children, victims of rape and physical abuses.
At that single moment, the sad stories etched in the memories of the young children seemed to vanish. In the crowd was Bola, with her sister Tolu (10) both laughing excitedly.
But the situation that brought these young sisters to the children’s home was far from being a laughing matter.
Bola looked towards the back of the crowd and instantly shot out of the crowd like a lightning bolt; her sister at her heels. She threw her arms around Ogwu, who had just entered the premises. Both Bola and Tolu locked the woman – their rescuer – in a tight embrace. Tears streamed down the face of Bola.
“I did not know you were coming,” the young girl said with a big teary smile.
Bola and Tolu have both spent six months at the home. The woman who rescued them has become someone they love like their own mother.
One evil night in June
Bola and Tolu’s journey to the children’s home was one with a lot of pains. For three years, both children had endured an excruciating sexual abuse from their father, Adetayo Adeleke, a 35-year-old commercial bus driver in Egbeda area of Lagos. But they suffered in silence. They dared not tell anyone; their father would kill them. So they said after their rescue, which Saturday PUNCH reported in July 2013.
One cannot really say what the exact psychological state of these two children are at present because their evaluation in the home could not be revealed by the officials.
But Consultant Child Psychiatrist, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Lagos, Dr. Mashidat Mojeeb-Bello, had an opinion on what victims of the horrible act like the one Bola and Tolu had gone through may face.
She said, “Such victims could develop anxiety and undue fear. In the long term, they could develop major psychiatric problems like depression and other major psychosis later in life.
“The self esteem may be affected in such a way that they may not see themselves worthy of anything good. At some point, some may develop somatisation disorders; they start having some unusual bodily symptoms whose origin becomes untraceable through tests. There is a myriad of psychological impact on such children.”
The magistrate weeps
Adeleke is now facing charges of incest and child defilement at the Family Court, Ikeja and the two sisters were transported to the children’s home.
With tears in her eyes, their mother, Kemi, came to the court with a toddler she had for her new husband.
She had told this correspondent a life of hell she was subjected to in Adeleke’s house.
“He beat me regularly, calling me prostitute just to disgrace me. I suffered with my children. We rarely had food to eat. When I could not take it anymore, I had to leave. It was not like I was starving him of sex. I did not know he was raping my children. May God punish that man,” Kemi said.
In November 2013, during one of the hearings of the case in court, the children were asked to come forward to testify. When they took up the narration of their ordeal, the misty-eyed magistrate could not take it anymore. She had to excuse herself for a moment to wipe her tears in her chambers.
However, months after their rescue, a lot has changed. Bola looked chubby; no longer the haggard looking girl she was when she was rescued. This correspondent spoke with her during the visit of her rescuer to the children’s home.
Asked how she felt about her father at the time, the young girl’s excited face fell like a pack of cards. She looked down at the ground.
“I know we cannot forget what our father did. This is something we have to live with for the rest of our lives. Here, they tell us to forget the past but how can we forget that our father slept with us?”
“But I want them to release him. I don’t ever want to live with him again. But I have forgiven him. I like it here very much. They should just let him go,” she said.
Bola spoke with a surprising intelligence that was totally in contrast with the beaten and abused child who spoke little when she was rescued.
It was clear a lot had changed.
Will you like to live with your mother as well, she was asked.
She said, “No o. I don’t want to live with her again. I want to continue to live here because I have a lot of friends here. The other children and our teachers here are very nice.
“When we went to the court last time, my mother did not even come. None of my mother’s family came too. Only our landlord and a woman who is a friend to my mother came.
“My mother has not visited us here since we got here. I don’t even know where she is. In the night, children like me, whose parents have not visited gather to pray that wherever our parents are, God should bring them.”
The younger girl, whose sad eyes still seemed to carry the heavy load of her past ordeal, gave the same answer. She too said she would not want to live with her parents any more.
The home has enrolled Bola and Tolu in schools; the older girl in Junior Secondary School Year One and the younger in Primary Four.
For these two bruised children, nothing could hold them back. Not even the absence of family.
The older girl said she would like to become a lawyer while Tolu said she would like to become a banker.
They only spoke with excitement anytime conversation switched away from their parents.
But when Ogwu spoke of an attempt to contact her mother, Bola rose to her defence immediately.
“Nobody should touch my mother. Don’t do anything to her, please,” she said plaintively.
But she was assured that her mother had not done anything wrong to be arrested.
Father gave them siphilis
After Bola and Tolu were rescued in July, they were taken to the hospital for medical checks. Saturday PUNCH has learnt that their father gave both of them syphilis, a case which had been muted at the time of their rescue. But they were promptly given treatment which got rid of the disease.
A phone number the girls’ mother provided seemed to be out of use, as it had not been going through. Neither does anybody know her address in Oyo State.
It is not an easy road for these children but consistent counselling has been helping them in the home.
“Someone comes to counsel us regularly,” Bola said. “They tell us not to think of what has happened to us in the past. They said we can become something big in life.”
A young female official of the home said Bola has grown to be very intelligent.
“The counselling is really helping her. On top of that, they are both doing well in school. I am confident they will go ahead to live normal life,” she said.
A neighbour’s intervention
If not for a neighbour who promptly raised the alarm on the children’s plight, one can only imagine the kind of situation they would be in by now.
It will be recalled that the landlord of the house in which they live with their father, Mr. Amos Omooye, had said he had no idea that such thing was happening in his house.
The landlord said, “I noticed the children were always crying and I tried as much as possible to provide for them whenever they said they were hungry and their father went to work without leaving them any money for food.
“The children were born in my house and I christened them. But I could not imagine that their father was doing something as terrible as that to them.”
Source: Punch

INTERVIEW: I Was Bullied - Beverly Naya

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-C7GqbTlqW4I/UVhbfCrB90I/AAAAAAAAnyM/hz7Ba1s9FAA/s400/Beverly-Naya.jpg
Armed with an undeniable sex appeal and sheer brilliance on screen, Beverly Naya is one gorgeous actress who has had a blossoming acting career. She clinched the 'Most Promising Talent' award at the Best of Nollywood Awards in 2010, and' Fast Rising Actress' award at City People's Awards in 2011 . In this interview, she talks about how she landed her role in M-net produced TV series, Tinsel, her favourite qualities in a man, and few things she thinks people hardly know about her.
How did acting begin for you?
I started acting while I was 17 years. Then, I was still in London with my parents. I studied Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology. But a part of me didn't feel fulfilled .So, I decided to embrace the arts which involves dance and drama . I felt like I was doing something I really wanted to do. By the time I was 19 years, I have already started making waves as an actress.
Was it all that easy breaking into Nollywood?
I shot my first film in 2008, while I was still in the university in London. I got a lot of praise for it. Each time, I was on holiday, I would return home to be part of one or two movie productions before going back to London. That was my original plan. I really didn't have plans to relocate to Nigeria permanently. But after the production of my first film, I resolved that I was going to relocate to Nigeria to pursue a career in acting upon my graduation from the university.
What do you look out for in a script?
A script that will challenge me is the first thing I look out for. If I don't feel like it challenges me in any way, I am most likely not going to accept the script. There is no point in doing something that you don't derive fulfillment. It's always good to do things you haven't done before . That's how you can grow as a human being.
What if the pay is encouraging?
If I am in love with the script, it's not about the pay for me. If the producer has a low budget, and I am totally in love with the script, my passion will detect the pace. Passion motivates me because on my own, I am comfortable. If I were to rely on the wealth of my parents, I would lack nothing today. But I am willing to create my own wealth. With this, at the back of my mind, passion leads me. I hope to make money from what I am doing, so, I don't have to rely on my parents.
How do you handle stardom?
I don't know, I just stay humble. I never get used to compliments. This is because when you get used to compliments, you start to become arrogant and pompous. I try to be friendly with everybody that I meet, because you never know who the person is.
What influences your sense of style?
For me, my style is sexy but classy .If you spot me on the red-carpet, do know that the intention is to look sexy and at the same time, extremely classy. I don't like to identify myself with any particular style. I am influenced by my mood in terms of style. Style is influenced by the individual and not necessarily by the style of other people. That's fashion.
Have you ever been heartbroken?
I don't think I have ever been heartbroken, but I have been hurt. Being hurt is when you meet a guy that you really love, and things don't just work out. I won't say that is heart break, instead it's something that hurts. When a woman is heartbroken, it means you have been completely betrayed and deceived by a certain situation and that has led you to feel heartbroken. I don't think I have experienced that, but I have experienced being hurt in love.
What role did your mom play in your first movie production?
She actually produced my first film as an incentive for me to relocate to Nigeria. At that time, I didn't have plans to relocate to Nigeria, so she convinced me that the movie industry in Nigeria is thriving. She said: "Just come and check it out." .After that experience, I knew I wanted to relocated to Nigeria.
What are your favorite qualities in a man?
I will be lying to myself if I say I don't want him to be handsome. I want my man to be handsome. Any woman that says otherwise is lying to herself. You have to find him attractive because that is important .He has to be ambitious, he has to be self-driven, God-fearing , a gentleman, just someone who knows how to treat a woman and make her feel she is a queen.
A lot of people have the perception that you are dating Uti?
That's old news. I am not going to revisit that rumour. It's been cleared on its own .I am not going to discuss it into 2014.
What is the one thing people hardly know about?
One thing people hardly know about me is that I was bullied for most part of my formative years. A lot of people don't know that. As a result of the ugly experience, it inspired me to want to help young children who might be experiencing any form of bullying; to encourage children to stay strong no matter what situation they find themselves. They need to understand the impact bullying can have on their future.
How did you land the tinsel role?
I was working in Atlanta and then I was contacted for the role of Yaya, but at that time I wasn't able to audition because I was working on a TV series. The producers were willing to wait. As soon as I got back, I rushed to the studio for the audition. Fortunately, few days after, I was called to come and pick up the role. That's how I got it. They are such fantastic people and very professional.
What's your selling point?
My confidence, my zeal for life my ambitious nature. The fact that I don't give up, which is what I love about Nigerians in general. They are very resilient people. I think I am inspired by that and that pushes me forward. These are the things I would consider as my selling points. I don't go anywhere without thinking I am going to win. I think that is my selling point.
How do you handle negative social media comments?
I just ignore it. It's none of my business. How you feel about me is really none of my business. If I am bored one day , I will address it. I have to be bored though. I don't read comments on blog about me either .I don't see how that helps or enhances my life in anyway .So that's how I handle it.
What is your definition of a sexy woman?
A sexy woman is a woman who is confident in in her achievements, one who would love to be in love; who has that aura and doesn't easily give up.
What has been your most challenging role in movies and why?
There was a character I played last year called Solidad, it's a Spanish word for solitude. It was in a movie called "Stripped." It stars myself, Joseph Benjamin, and Ramsey Noauh and it's about a young girl who is an orphan and she has to take care of her older brother who lives in a wheelchair. They struggled with their finances and everything she made has to be used for the upkeep of her older brother. He depends on her physically, emotionally and financially. It's filled with all the emotions that she goes through to take care of her brother.
What were the challenges you encountered as an emerging face in Nollywood?
It was probably having to adapt to the new culture, new territory, new environment, new style of acting. It was difficult for me. There was a lot of high expectations placed upon myself, I think that was definitely a challenge on its own.
What are the things you do to stay relevant?
For me, it's just work. Working hard and letting my work speak for itself instead of just tooting my horn. That' s not really how I want my brand to be perceived. For me, it's just working hard and allowing my work to speak for itself.It's about getting opportunities and utilising it well.
You recently took to twitter to address some issues affecting the entertainment industry? What inspired you to do so?
I am human and if I feel like expressing myself I will do just that. I know fair enough I am a celebrity as they say in this country. Whenever I choose to vent my anger is not necessarily about something that has happened at that moment in time. I can just decide to pick on an issue and tweet about it. That's one of the reasons I don't tweet as I used to. I am very blunt and outspoken by nature and for that reason, I choose not to tweet as much as I would have wanted to, simply because I don't want my tweets going viral. It's nothing personal. It's just me allowing myself to express my mind.
Source: Vanguard

Friday, December 20, 2013

FACTS: INEC Can’t Get It Right

THE Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has severally failed to tell Nigerians what its challenges are. It is doubtful whether INEC is interested in its challenges, and tackling them to free itself from bungled elections and the threats they present to democracy.
INEC Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega thinks INEC’s challenge is funding. He budgets billions of Naira, he gets it, and INEC organises a worse election than the preceding ones. Those who defend INEC list the size of the country and difficulty in accessing certain terrains as INEC’s headaches during elections.
They seemed to have a point until INEC started conducting one-off state elections. Since the 2011 elections, INEC has held governorship elections in Adamawa, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Edo, Imo, Ondo, Kogi, Sokoto – they all had the same complaints as the general elections. Materials arrived late, or were inadequate, even in the state capitals, from which they were distributed to other locations.
INEC personnel were ill-prepared.
Losers claim distribution of materials is manipulated to deny them victory in their strongholds. Election results, most times, cannot
stand basic scrutiny for fairness. The elected get into office bearing the burden of INEC’s lassitude. INEC has no tenable defence for these lapses.
Why would voting material arrive late for every election? Why is this problem entrenched to the extent that when INEC conducts elections for senate or seats, in constituencies that are one-third of a State, it has the same challenge as in elections spread throughout Nigeria?
Nobody understands how elections work in Nigeria. Elections are mysteries. Politicians only criticise if they lose. INEC is a law to itself, though it should account to the National Assembly.
Its periodic promises of improved performances are indications that INEC knows the public has long faith in its ability to organise free and fair elections. It reclines to the most ridiculous excuses for its failing. From the registration of voters to voting, the processes are flawed. Election riggers take advantage because INEC ignores sanctions the Electoral Act prescribes.
Perpetrators of electoral fraud, Jega once said, had been punished quietly. Who are they? How would the public know they were punished?
Prof. Jega is optimistic over the 2015 elections. What are the bases of the optimism? He has promised to use governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti States in 2014 to conclude his experiments.
Voters’ education, which INEC relegates to the background, is critical to improvements in conduct of elections. INEC has funding from international donors for voters’ education. How is it used? INEC can move from its sordid past by educating its officials, enlightening voters and prosecuting electoral offenders, as a foundation on which to build transparency for the 2015 election.
Source: Vanguard

ANAMBRA STATE: Catholic Church On Fire, 12 Nabbed?

The Parish Priest of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, Nkpor in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, near Onitsha, Rev. Fr. Martin Onukwuba and another priest-in-residence, Rev. Fr. Ben Oguejieofor, yesterday, escaped death by whiskers when some suspected arsonists invaded the church premises and set the priests’ house ablaze.
The incident, according to sources, occurred while Fr. Onukwuba was celebrating a morning mass inside the main church building, while Fr. Oguejiofor was in the fathers’ house.
It was not yet clear, at press time, who the arsonists were but the police at Ogidi Division have arrested no fewer than 12 suspects, including some workers at Our Lady’s Bread Bakery and Industrial Centre within the compound.
The two priests below and : The burnt building
The two priests below and : The burnt building
Frs. Onukwuba and Oguejiofor confirmed to newsmen at the scene that when they noticed unusual movements within the church compound, they scaled the fence and jumped into neighbouring compound in order not to be burnt alive.
They also confirmed that the attackers who they suspected to be security operatives guarding the compound, started their operation in the early hours, shooting sporadically in the air and into the two-storey building where the Reverend Fathers reside.
According to them, when the attack became too hot for them, they escaped by jumping through the fence into an adjacent compound.
They further confirmed that although there were some gun shorts,Tuesday night, around the area, the main attack came in the early hours of yesterday.
Specifically, Fr. Onukwuba disclosed that the Ogidi High Court had earlier issued an order that the blockages mounted by the security officers inside the Our Lady’s Industrial Centre to block vehicular movements to the priests’ residence be dismantled, an order which he said did not go down well with the security men.
Onukwuba further disclosed that when the attackers could not get him or the residenct priest, they set the two-storey building ablaze and also burnt the boy’s quarters.
The Parish priest, however, said those arrested by the police were just members of staff of Our Lady’s Industrial Centre and bakery as the security guards who attacked them were on the run.
It would be recalled that the proprietor of Our Lady’s Industrial Centre, Mrs. Onuora, built the church single handedly and donated it to the church many years ago. It was commissioned by Cardinal Francis Arinze, the then Archbishop of Onitsha.
But recently, one of her daughters who was said to have left the Catholic church and joined a pentecostal church has been itching to throw out the Catholic faithful from the premises, to hand it over to her new denomination.
The counsel to the church, C. J. Asiegbu also told newsmen that he was seriously suspecting the security operatives in the compound who are in the employ of the land lady who he said was in court with the church, prior to the incident.
The Divisional Police Officer at Ogidi, Mr. Yusuf Abdul who confirmed the incident, said he had deployed some policemen to the church premises to effect more arrests.
Source: Vanguard

CONFESSION: Why I Gave Up On My Dad - Iyabo Obasanjo

Obasanjo-Iyabo
*Obasanjo to VANGUARD: “You’re bloody idiots”
*Iyabo confirms letter; flays denials on social media
 With echoes of the open letter to former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo from his daughter, Iyabo, reverberating nationwide, the daughter yesterday gave reasons she gave up on her father ever changing.
Senator Iyabo Obasanjo spoke against the background of mixed reactions from Yoruba elders and politicians on the import of the letter which she said was the last communication with her father.
The former president himself was furious when approached by Vanguard, yesterday, as he hurled invectives at the newspaper. The exchange between Vanguard and the former president ran thus:
Vanguard: Sir, we tried reaching you all through yesterday, to no avail, over the letter written by your daughter, Iyabo, to you.
Chief Obasanjo: You are a bloody idiot, you have published the paper and you are now looking for me, you are an idiot, don’t call me again. When Iyabo finishes you in court…. (hangs up).
Senator Obasanjo nevertheless flayed the orchestrated attempt in the social media by a network of associates of her father to separate her from the letter.
Aremo Olusegun Osoba, former governor of Ogun State, who was cited in the letter, confirmed the meeting between him and Iyabo in Massachusetts, United States but distanced himself from the plot allegedly cited by her father to empower her with the ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC for the next round of elections.
Besides, Aremo Osoba, several prominent Yoruba elders spoke on the development among whom were Afenifere leader, Chief Rueben Fasoranti, Afenifere bigwig, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, Chief Ebenezer Babatope and Hon. Femi Kehinde, a former member of the House of Representatives.
Senator Iyabo Obasanjo had written an open letter to her father accusing him of being a liar, manipulator, wife-basher and hypocrite who was desperate for a third term despite his denials to the contrary.
Following the hoopla over her letter,Iyabo spoke severally to Vanguard, yesterday. Asked to respond to claims that she had denied the authorship of the letter written to her father, Iyabo, who holds a doctorate in epidemology and now resident in the United States, said:
“No, no, no, that is not true. How can you live by social media? That is part of the problem with Nigeria, people want to be flying rumours. I have not told anybody o! It is early morning here and I just woke up and if I were you I would just ignore them,” Senator Obasanjo said.
“People are calling me and telling me that they called Baba but if I say I am not talking to someone (her father), how can you say you called the person and the person will tell you what is on my mind?” she asked.
Giving reasons on why she broke off, she said that after a break from relating with Obasanjo, she found out days ago that her father would not change from the manipulative person she had known all along.
“The whole of last year I didn’t speak to him and I just started speaking to him recently, and the last time he was trying to manipulate me to say, this, say that. I can’t be saying no when you say no.
“The last time I spoke to him was three days ago and I decided that I was not going to speak to him again after that. That was the communication through which I realized that this man would never change from manipulations for himself.”
Dismissing her unsolicited canvassers on social media, she said:
“I was surprised that they would say that they called Baba, and I said to myself, are these people mad? How can you call the person that I said I am not talking to, to ask him whether I wrote a letter or not and he is going to speak for me?
“Nobody can say that I told him that I didn’t write it. I am not a liar. I will not back away from what I wrote and there is nothing that is there that is a lie. In the last four years how many of them have spoken to me? They are all mad people,” she said.
More details soon.
UPDATE: Iyabo did the right thing – Fasoranti, Afenifere leader
Aremo Olusegun Osoba, former governor of Ogun State, who was cited in the letter, confirmed the meeting between him and Iyabo in Massachusetts, United States but distanced himself from the plot allegedly cited by her father to empower her with the ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC for the next round of elections.
Besides, Aremo Osoba, several prominent Yoruba elders spoke on the development among whom were Afenifere leader, Chief Rueben Fasoranti, Afenifere bigwig, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, Chief Ebenezer Babatope and Hon. Femi Kehinde, a former member of the House of Representatives.
Senator Iyabo Obasanjo had written an open letter to her father accusing him of being a liar, manipulator, wife-basher and hypocrite who was desperate for a third term despite his denials to the contrary.
Olusegun Obasanjo and Iyabo Obasanjo
Olusegun Obasanjo and Iyabo Obasanjo
Following the hoopla over her letter,Iyabo spoke severally to Vanguard, yesterday. Asked to respond to claims that she had denied the authorship of the letter written to her father, Iyabo, who holds a doctorate in epidemology and now resident in the United States, said:
“No, no, no, that is not true. How can you live by social media? That is part of the problem with Nigeria, people want to be flying rumours. I have not told anybody o! It is early morning here and I just woke up and if I were you I would just ignore them,” Senator Obasanjo said.
“People are calling me and telling me that they called Baba but if I say I am not talking to someone (her father), how can you say you called the person and the person will tell you what is on my mind?” she asked
Giving reasons on why she broke off, she said that after a break from relating with Obasanjo, she found out days ago that her father would not change from the manipulative person she had known all along.
“The whole of last year I didn’t speak to him and I just started speaking to him recently, and the last time he was trying to manipulate me to say, this, say that. I can’t be saying no when you say no.
“The last time I spoke to him was three days ago and I decided that I was not going to speak to him again after that. That was the communication through which I realized that this man would never change from manipulations for himself.”
Dismissing her unsolicited canvassers on social media, she said:
“I was surprised that they would say that they called Baba, and I said to myself, are these people mad? How can you call the person that I said I am not talking to, to ask him whether I wrote a letter or not and he is going to speak for me?
“Nobody can say that I told him that I didn’t write it. I am not a liar. I will not back away from what I wrote and there is nothing that is there that is a lie. In the last four years how many of them have spoken to me? They are all mad people,” she said.
At press time last night, close associates of the former president who spoke under conditions of strict anonymity told Vanguard that Iyabo had not called her father to deny that she wrote the letter.
Iyabo did the right thing — Fasoranti, Afenifere leader
Leader of Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti commended Iyabo, saying she has done the right thing.
In a telephone chat with Vanguard, Chief Fasoranti said: “I think she has spoken the truth, she is his daughter and I think what Obasanjo said in his letter about Jonathan is highly provocative. He is creating the impression that he is a holier-than-thou person.
He is not right. Other elder statesmen in other countries keep things like this to themselves, they do not make any comment. He should stop haunting those who are in office because he is creating the impression that he is the best person. It is wrong. What Iyabo has done is perfectly right.”
Iyabo spoke her mind — Adebanjo
Also, Afenifere bigwig, Chief Ayo Adebanjo said what Senator Iyabo Obasanjo did should not surprise anyone.
In a telephone chat, Chief Adebanjo said: “What people like us have been saying about the man (Obasanjo) is being confirmed by the daughter. There is nothing she has said in that letter that is not true or that will be a surprise. The daughter has also confirmed it that he (Obasanjo) likes hypocrites to surround him and he (Obasanjo) does not like to hear the truth. There is nothing strange in what she has said. She has only spoken her mind in a clear and logical manner. She has said that it was their mother that struggled for the education they got; that they have never benefited from his (Obasanjo’s) position.”
It’s a fabrication — Fasehun
On his part, founder of Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, Dr. Fredrick Fasheun said the letter was fabricated.
Fasehun, who spoke with Vanguard on the telephone, said “I do not believe Iyabo would write that kind of letter to her father. I do not believe it, it is a fabrication.”
Iyabo’s letter, a vital document — Babatope
In his reaction, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, who was reluctant to comment on the Iyabo’s letter affirming that it was a family affair between a daughter and her father, however said: “What I am concerned with is the fact that he also wrote a letter to the President which was based on dissemination of falsehood and rumour mongering. So, I don’t want to comment about Iyabo Obasanjo’s letter being a family affair of the Obasanjos. But I can tell you that Iyabo’s letter is a vital document, which can be a reference source for anyone who is interested in the politics of Nigeria at the moment,” he said.
It’s food for thought — Kehinde
Hon. Femi Kehinde, a former member of the House of Representatives said:
“Iyabo’s letter is food for thought. It teaches fathers a lesson that they must take care of their children. The letter is a product of long, bottled-up anger, agony and anguish over a father that could have done much better. It is very sad that the first child of a president would be living in the boys quarters of the State House. That is an agony and it is nothing but a reflection of a family that is not united.”
It’s a plot to rubbish Obasanjo, says Tsav
In his reaction to Iyabo Obasanjo’s letter to her father, former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubabar Tsav dismissed it as the “handiwork of some faceless sycophants in the corridors of power.”
Tsav who spoke, yesterday, to Vanguard in a telephone interview in Makurdi, the Benue State capital said: “It’s all a desperate plot to rubbish Obasanjo. Nigerians can actually attest to the fact that the letter that was written by Obasanjo to the President was nothing but the truth of what we are witnessing in the country today.
The truth of the matter is that some persons who are desperate to protect their interests and stronghold on the presidency can also go to any length to protect their interest in the looting spree that has become the order of the day in the country, so I’m not surprised.
All I can tell you for now is that former president Obasanjo remains a statesman who spoke the minds of all Nigerians and any attempt to rubbish him by some chicken-hearted persons will certainly be discountenanced by all Nigerians.”
Iyabo’s letter a gimmick — CNPP
Similarly, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, in Benue State described Iyabo’s letter as “another gimmick by the ruling People’s Democratic Party.”
Benue State Chairman of the CNPP, Mr. Baba Agan who spoke, yesterday, to Vanguard in Makurdi, said: “I see this unfolding drama as the biblical hand of Esau but voice of Jacob.”
According to Agan, “this is nothing but a clear indication that some persons at the corridors of power are getting desperate all in a bid to rubbish Chief Obasanjo.
“The purported letter is nothing but a gimmick that will serve no useful purpose because it was intended to distract Nigerians from the salient issues raised by the former president in the letter he wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan.”
While noting that former president Obasanjo may not be a saint, Agan observed that “this may not be far from being the product of a hatchet man and may not have originated from the daughter of the former president.”
The opposition leader urged Nigerians to discountenance the content of the purported letter, adding that, “we will also like to see a confirmation that the piece actually originated from the alleged writer.
“As you know, some desperate people can do some desperate things just to curry the attention and favour of the President for their personal gains; I believe strongly that Chief Obasanjo’s daughter will not write that type of piece to her father, considering the much he did for her as a daughter in recent past; Nigerians cannot be fooled,” Agan added.
Source: Vanguard