Friday, January 31, 2014

LETTERGATE: I Didn't Write Any Letter - IBB

Kassim Afegbua expressed bitterness with a media organization for concocting the statement
Kassim Afegbua, the media aide to the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has disowned a statement he purportedly issued on behalf of former military president, Ibrahim Babangida on Wednesday.
Mr. Afebgua, who was Mr. Babangida’s publicist before he joined the Edo State government, said the former president did not authorize any statement expressing worry over some recent happenings in the polity, including the arrest and detention of the Deputy National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Nasir El-Rufai.
The former president was also quoted in the purported statement as warning Mr. Jonathan to be careful with his advisers and sycophants, in and out of government, so that his focus, resilience, and perseverance would not be derailed.
“The happenings in the country in recent times call for worry if we must be sincere with ourselves,” Mr. Babangida, who ruled Nigeria between 1985 and 1993, was quoted as saying.
“Every day, the nation is treated with one form of political issue or the other. From security challenges to economic challenges, Nigerians are asking several questions that deserve responses from government at the various levels. Democracy is when it is a people-driven government with its fundamental principles of freedom of expression, freedom of association, rule of law, accountability, probity and equal representation amongst others.”
But Mr. Afegbua, in a statement on Wednesday evening, denied issuing any statement authorized by Mr. Babangida warning the president not to allow his aides mislead him.
The apparently furious aide to Mr. Oshiomhole described the attribution of the statement to him “as outright blackmail journalism and a sad commentary on journalism practice; a profession that I hold dear to my heart.”
“I wish to state unequivocally that I am currently working in Edo State as a Special Adviser to the Comrade Governor on Media and Public Affairs, a position which was expressly endorsed by my boss-for-life General IBB (Babangida).
“Let me also state without mincing words that I did not issue the said statement that is flying around the social media on behalf of IBB. Let me also declare with all the emphasis at my disposal that General IBB did not authorize anyone to issue any statement on his behalf let alone crediting same odious statement to me; Prince Kassim Afegbua,” he added.
Mr. Afegbua narrated that when his attention was drawn to the report, he called the local telephone number of the online publication that first published it, but did not get any response.
He said thereafter, he called its international line and a receiver on the other end, who refused to disclose his name, expressed shock at his complaint and assured that he would give instructions for the removal of the concocted lies from the site of the publication.
“When I called the local mobile telephone number of the online publication:08165076156, no one answered my several calls. In fact, the receiver from the other end was cutting my calls, Mr. Afegbua said.
“When I called the international number 00912407041545, a receiver from the other end who refused to disclose his name, expressed shock at my declaration. He did promise to instruct his co-conspirators to remove the tissue of concocted lies from their site. As at the time of writing this rebuttal, he has not done so,” Mr. Afegbua said
Read Mr. Babangida’s purported letter and Mr. Afegbua’s rebuttal below.
“The happenings in the country in recent times call for worry if we must be sincere with ourselves.
“Every day, the nation is treated with one form of political issue or the other. From security challenges to economic challenges, Nigerians are asking several questions that deserve responses from government at the various levels. Democracy is when it is a people-driven government with its fundamental principles of freedom of expression, freedom of association, rule of law, accountability, probity and equal representation amongst others.
“I will like to advise President Goodluck Jonathan to tread cautiously so that those sycophants in, and out of government will not derail his focus, resilience and perseverance. He needs all the comportment, resilience, perseverance, introspection and determination to be able to take the right decisions for the good of the country. The arrest and release of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai is a deliberate distraction which the President must run away from.
“He must avoid gambling with decisions and he must be willing to seek a third opinion on issues before he takes his decision. President Goodluck Jonathan must understand that there is a whole body of people out there who are not happy with happenings in the country. It is his responsibility as President of the country to reach out to them and make his mission understandable to the common man on the street so that they can buy into his government.
“If his body of advisers do not understand the temperament in the country and decide to embark on arresting and releasing people on very questionable allegations, they will be making enemies for the President instead of friends. The prerogative is that of the President and no one else.
“President Jonathan should as a matter of responsibility listens to voices of the opposition and or dissent, as he stands to gain experience and knowledge from their well-informed criticisms rather than build hostilities around them. He has to ensure that he minimizes and maximizes his discretionary powers in a manner that will not be subject of abuse.
“President Goodluck Jonathan must sit back, collect himself and carry out a critical self-appraisal before he takes his decisions. He is aware without mention, that the country is presently faced with several developmental challenges.
“Also, security agencies must avoid getting involved in political issues. Modern day security has evolved to a point where you do not require seeing gun-wielding Policemen on the streets. The ability to collate information and analyse same in a proactive manner will help improve the security situation in the country. We must carry out moral healing as well as political healing in the land.
“The President must make it a point of duty to reach out to people, groups and individuals with the sole purpose of selling his presidency. It is becoming instructive that the concept of winner-takes-all which has pervaded the system for so long may not flourish as such again.”
My attention has just been drawn to a news story and statement purportedly credited to me with a blaring headline “Your Aides are misleading you; IBB warns Jonathan” published in one Global Village Extra, an online publication.
To state the least, this is outright blackmail journalism and a sad commentary on journalism practice; a profession that I hold dear to my heart.
I wish to state unequivocally that I am currently working in Edo State as a Special Adviser to the Comrade Governor on Media and Public Affairs, a position which was expressly endorsed by my boss-for-life General IBB. Let me also state without mincing words that I did not issue the said statement that is flying around the social media on behalf of IBB.
Let me also declare with all the emphasis at my disposal that General IBB did not authorize anyone to issue any statement on his behalf let alone crediting same odious statement to me; Prince Kassim Afegbua.
Even though General IBB has not officially appointed a Media Spokesman since I left, my acceptance of the offer of Special Adviser by my Governor automatically removes me from being General IBB’s Spokesman, a position I so cherished and a personality I so admire.
It is therefore bad journalism for one obscure, good-for-nothing, unprofessional platform such as the Global Villa Extra, to fabricate a statement and credit same to me, not only to mislead the public but cause disaffection amongst the personalities involved.
General IBB is a leader of leaders that I admire so much and one whose understanding of the delicate politics of the country is, in my honest view, unequalled.
I have been a very good student of his political school of thought since I met him till date and I will remain so till the end of time. It is not in his character to join issues with leaders in such pedestrian manner as reflected in the so-called statement credited to me.
This rebuttal becomes instructive to put the records straight and disabuse the minds of our numerous followers, friends and associates who may come across this statement in one way or the other.
It is also to remind the publisher[s] of Global Village Extra that journalism is a very serious profession that requires all the ethics, decorum and standard from all practitioners, but certainly not this category of naysayers, hirelings and journalistic-jobbers that are trying to mislead the public. When I called the local mobile telephone number of the online publication:08165076156, no one answered my several calls.
In fact, the receiver from the other end was cutting my calls.
When I called the international number 00912407041545, a receiver from the other end who refused to disclose his name, expressed shock at my declaration. He did promise to instruct his co-conspirators to remove the tissue of concocted lies from their site.
As at the time of writing this rebuttal, he has not done so.
I therefore wish to formally disown the said statement in part, whole and its entirety. It was neither authorized by me nor General IBB and should be so discountenanced. I wish to thank my reputable colleagues in the media who quickly saw through this statement as a piece of abhorrence and alerted me almost immediately.
May God continue to replenish your wisdom and deep sense of judgment.
Source: Premium Times

BAUCHI STATE: Homosexuals Escape Lynching?

An angry mob almost lynched seven suspected homosexuals who were brought for trial before Sharia Court 4 in Anguwan Jaki, Bauchi State.
The presence of the seven suspected homosexuals at the court premises sparked off an uproar from the crowd who came to witness the trial.
The suspects are facing trial for allegedly engaging in gay activities, an action that contravenes the Islamic laws, which the Bauchi State operates.
Security personnel had a hectic time trying to rescue the endangered seven. They fired tear gas canisters and several gunshots into the air in a bid to disperse the mob.
Tension started brewing around the court premises when the suspects who were brought in a Hilux van, alighted from the court room.
The suspects - Ibrahim Marafa, Shehu Adamu, Yusuf Adamu, Aliyu Dalhatu, Abdulmalik Tanko, Usman Sabo and Hazif Sabo Abubakar were hurriedly taken back to prision by the security personnel as the angry crowd hurled stones at the van. A few people sustained various degrees of injury in the process.
The crowd which gathered on hearing about the trial, rained abuses on the suspects and pelted them with stones. The charged atmosphere compelled the trial Sharia Judge, Yakubu Aliyu, lawyers and the horde of journalists to run for their lives.
Earlier, inside the rowdy court, the Counsel to the Sharia Commission, Danlami Ayuba, told the court that one of the suspects identified as Ibrahim Marafa, is the Principal of a Government Secondary School.
But Counsel to the suspects, Abdul Musa told the judge that he was not ready and sought for bail for his clients to enable them study the charges. The bail application was however opposed by the Counsel to the Sharia Commission.
The trial judge, El-Yaqub Aliyu refused to grant the bail application and adjourned the case to a later date to enable the prosecutors present their witnesses.
Source: Vanguard

SURPRISING: Banker Corner N28 Million ATM Cash?

Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Oshodi-Makanju, of an Ikeja Magistrate Court has heard how two former staff of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc (now Access Bank Plc) allegedly stole N28.81 million belonging to the bank.
The prosecutor, Police Supretendent J. Onilegbale told the court that the money, which was meant for the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), was stolen in bits by the two defendants over a period of seven months (February to September 2009 ) until it accumulated to N28 million.
The defendants, Olanrewaju Shittu, 26, and Babatunde Salami, 25, are standing trial before the court and had since pleaded not guilty to the charges preffered against them. They are facing a seven-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraud and stealing.
The court had earlier granted them bail in the sum of N1 million each and two sureties in the like sum, one of which the magistrate said must be a director of a bank or in the civil service.
The prosecutor told the court that Shittu and Salami, on September 8, 2009 conspired to defraud the bank of the said sum contrary to the law. He submitted that Salami received N700,000 from Shittu, knowing same to have been stolen from the money meant for ATMs and thereby committed an offence.
He claimed that one of the defendants, Shittu, opened different accounts with FirstBank of Nigeria Plc with the intent to defraud the defunct Intercontinental Bank.
The prosecutor alleged that part of the stolen N28.7 million was lodged into the accounts and gave details as follow: Account no: 4852010020068—N1,016,136.25; current account no: 4854010003780—N3,000,000.00; fixed deposit account no: 48554010003629—N5,000,000.00 and fixed deposit account no: 4852920730396—$7,282.89
He alleged that Salami did received the various sums of money from Shittu knowing fully well that the money was meant for the ATM Machine.
The prosecutor further argued that Shittu also stole N110,000 that was meant for the ATMs from the Lawanson Branch of the defunct Intercontinental Bank on September 4, 2009 at about 09. 07 a.m., adding that the money was, however, recovered by one Mr Akinshola Akinshina, who was the Acting Operations Officer of the branch of the bank at that time.
Source: Vanguard

BIG PROJECT: We Will Spend N1.5 Trillion On Police Reforms - Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan said that the Federal Government would spend N1.5 trillion in the next five years to reform the Nigeria Police Force.
Jonathan made this known at a two-day retreat on “Sustaining Nigeria Police Reforms’’, in Makurdi on Thursday.
The event was organised by the Police Service Commission (PSC) in conjunction with the Benue Government.
Represented by Sen. Bala Mohammed, the Minister of the FCT, Jonathan said government was committed to build the capacity of the police force in the country through ongoing reforms.
Jonathan said that 60 per cent of the money would be provided by government, while the remaining 40 per cent would come from the private sector, including non-governmental organisation.
He assured that the Federal Government was committed to equipping the police for enhanced performance.
The president urged the commission to build a police force that was impeccable and committed to ensuring the security of all Nigerians.
He said the Federal Government had accepted the recommendations of Gov. Peter Obi’s committee on the police and would soon issue a white paper on it.
He advised participants at the retreat to contribute meaningfully to the topics, noting that such recommendations might help the government to tackle rising cases of insurgency in the country.
Gov. Gabriel Suswam, in his remark, said that the police had to imbibe the discipline of being accountable to the elected representatives of the people.
Suswam said that by being accountable, the police would consult widely with the people through their representatives to reflect their views on police reforms.
The governor said reforms that never reflected the views of the people would be disregarded.
He called on the police to redouble their efforts in providing security to the people, especially as the country was drawing closer to elections.
Suswam condemned agitations for state police, pointing out that the country was not ripe enough to have state police.
In an address, the Chairman, PSC, Mr Mike Okiro, called for a national policy on policing to ensure continuity of policies in the force.
Okiro, a former Inspector General of Police, decried the non-implementation of various police reform committees in the country.
He said that most of the committees echoed the need for police restructuring, training and retraining.
The PSC chairman also spoke on the need to review the training curricula, upgrading of training institutions and increased funding.
He said the cumulative effect of the identified lapses was declining morale of the officers which adversely affected them in discharging their duties.
Okiro said for reforms to be effective, “they must bring about a change or improvement in the status quo by correcting perceived faults, removing inconsistencies and abuses’’.
He expressed regrets that even the Parry Osayinde’s recommendations, which the government accepted, had not been implemented.
The Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, said the police management, had aligned its policies with the recommendations of previous reform committees.
Abubakar said the essence of the alignment was to strengthen the police for effective service delivery in line with international best practices.
He also appealed to the PSC to approve the decentralisation of the powers to promote and sanction officers.
Source: NAN

CONFESSION: We Killed The NNPC Staff - Suspects

Victims decomposed body was identified through DNA testing
The Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, FSARS, has arrested nine persons, including a native doctor, in connection with the killing of a staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police FSARS, Chris Ezike, confirmed the arrest while speaking with a correspondent in Lagos on Thursday.
Mr. Ezike, who is of the Adeniji-Adele Police Station, said the suspects committed the crime on September 23, 2012.
He gave the name of the NNPC staff as Sylvester Emefiele, who worked with NNPC’s Transformation Office in Abuja.
The commissioner said that the wife of the victim, Ngozi, had petitioned the Inspector-General of police in September, 2012 over the disappearance of her husband after leaving Lagos for Abuja.
Mr. Ezike said that the woman revealed that her husband left Lagos for Abuja on the invitation of his boss to process his visa for a training programme in Hungary.
“She claimed her husband sent her SMS on September 23, 2012 at about 8.37 p.m.that he was at Gwagwalada and that was the last she heard from him.
“She also stated that surprisingly, she noticed that withdrawals were being made from her husband’s accounts through ATM,” he said.
Mr. Ezike said that the arrest was made possible through scientific tracking of the mobile phone line of the victims, stressing that a school drop-out was first arrested in Ilesa, Osun with the victim’s blackberry handset.
“The suspect confessed that he bought the phone from one of the suspects, a cab driver in Modakeke in Osun State for N22, 000,” he said.
He added that after the arrest of the cab driver in Abuja, they were able to arrest others in connection with the crime.
“Two of the suspects confessed that they picked up the victim in their taxi cab with registration No. AG 956 KEF at Giri in the Gwagwalada Area Council to be dropped at Finance Quarters, Wuye, Abuja. The driver of the cab was the one that picked the victim and picked the second suspect some metres away even as the victim protested, the driver pleaded with the victim that the man was his brother. The second suspect claimed he brought out hammer as a decoy for pistol as soon as he entered the front of the cab. They subdued the victim and took him to a nearby bush,” Mr. Ejike narrated.
He said the suspects searched and dispossessed the victim of his laptop, N3,000 cash, three ATM cards and other items.
“They claimed they forced the victim to disclose his ATM pin numbers. One of the suspects went to the banks to withdraw N180, 000 immediately and the second suspect watch over the victim. They claimed that after they discovered the victim had more money in his accounts, they used charm prepared by the native doctor on him and he became weak. They claimed they discovered that the man died the following day and they abandoned the corpse in the bus and escaped,” Mr. Ejike said.
He said that on June 10, 2013, the two suspects led the DCP and crime scene forensic experts led by the police doctor, Emenike Chinenyenwa, to the scene located at Idu along Airport Road, eight kilometres from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport junction, Abuja.
“At the scene, we met a completely decomposed skeleton suspected to be the remains of the victim. The bones of the legs were still stuck in the jeans trousers while his ribs were scattered around. His wrist watch, one leg of his sandals and the twine rope used in tying him and other belongings were recovered there,” he said.
He added that the remains were packaged by forensic experts for autopsy by the police pathologist and the victim’s family invited to identify the items recovered. The wife and younger brother of the deceased identified them, Mr. Ejike said.
“The two suspects also led detectives to arrest the native doctor that prepared the charm in Ipetumodu, Osun State. Our investigation has been able to establish offences of criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, armed robbery and culpable homicide,” he said.
The DCP said that after the DNA test on the bones and tooth of the victim, the report by the Force Chief Consultant Pathologist, Akhiwu Wilson, showed that they were similar to that of the victim’s son and his brother.
“The suspects were first arraigned on November 19, 2013 at High Court, FCT, Abuja. The suspects are coming to court again on Jan. 31, 2014 now that the lab result is out,” Mr. Ezike added.
Source: NAN

BAD NEWS: Telecoms Industry, Another Mass Sack?

A telecoms base station.
Some engineers and other employees of telecoms companies in the country may be thrown into the labour market as a result of the decision of the firms to sell off their base stations and towers.
The sale of the assets is part of the outsourcing model implemented by the telecoms firms to cut costs following dwindling revenues.
Although the outsourcing of tower services is a global phenomenon as far as the telecoms business is concerned, operators in Nigeria are, however, leveraging on the business model now to cut down on their cost of operation.
Experts are of the view that this may be the second time that the sector will experience huge job losses, following the outsourcing exercise for the customer service section of the major operators four years ago, which saw a lot of employees in the industry losing their jobs.
With the outsourcing model, telecoms firms are expected to hands-off their involvement in the provision and maintenance of towers and instead allow companies with core competence in the area to manage such services.
This is intended to make telecoms companies to concentrate on their core business processes.
Tower companies like ATC, IHS, Eaton and Helios have been identified as possible beneficiaries of the deals, which are currently being adopted in most African countries.
The tower firms have all been competing for assets across the continent, with operators such as MTN, Vodacom, Millicom, Etisalat, Airtel and Orange disposing their towers across Africa.
Technically, this arrangement is termed Business Process Outsourcing.
The deals are struck in partnership with strong financial institutions, and banking sources said the tower companies would continue to get finance on a transaction-dependent basis, as there were several more deals in the pipeline.
According to the Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, the BPO involves the contracting of the operations and responsibilities of specific business functions or processes to a third-party service provider.
He said the main advantage of the BPO was the way in which it helped to increase a company’s flexibility.
Adebayo said, “Most services provided by the BPO vendors are offered on a fee-for-service basis. This can help a company to become more flexible by transforming fixed into variable costs.
“A variable cost structure helps a company to respond to changes in required capacity and does not require a company to invest in assets, thereby making the company more flexible. Outsourcing may provide a firm with increased flexibility in its resource management and may reduce response times to major environmental changes.
“Another way in which BPO contributes to a company’s flexibility is that the latter is able to focus on its core competencies without being burdened by the demands of bureaucratic restraints.”
The Chief Marketing Officer, Helios Towers Nigeria, Mr. Azuka Ndulewe, said the companies had the expertise to manage day-to-day tower management issues as this was their core strength.
“We actually add value to our customers by our business model. We also expect that since the operators have tried and tested the excellent and professional service delivery of co-location service providers, they can now move to the next level by selling and transferring their tower sites to professional infrastructure co-location providers and devote their time to running their networks and acquiring customers,” he said.
Source: Punch

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Sets up three-member panel to compile 100 sins of the CP
The Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Wednesday constituted a three-member committee to compile a comprehensive list of atrocities committed by the State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu since he assumed office in February, 2013, and send to the United Nations.
The Committee is headed by Andy Nweye, with Chukwuemeka Eze as Secretary and Emeka Bekee as the third member. It has two weeks to submit its report.
Mr. Mbu had come under heavy criticism from the party because of the manner the state police command had handled the lingering political crisis in the state.
The police chief was alleged to have taken sides with a group of politicians opposed to the state governor. He is also accused of taking orders from the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, an indigene of the state against the governor, Chibuike Amaechi, and his supporters.
Mr. Amaechi had not only repeatedly demanded his redeployment, but also dragged him to the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC.
Inaugurating the panel in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, the state APC interim Chairman, Davies Ikanya, said its members were chosen based on merit and expressed confidence that they would do a good job.
Mr. Ikanya tasked the committee to come up with at least 100 sins of Mr. Mbu against the people of the state for transmission to the United Nations; claiming the relevant institutions in Nigeria lacked the capacity to call him to order.
“This committee is made up of well-informed political experts and meticulous researchers; so I expect you to come up with a list of not less than 100 sins of CP Mbu against Rivers State and its people for formal submission to the UN as it seems that the Nigerian institutions in charge of the Police Force in Nigeria are toying with the security and lives of the people of Rivers State,” Mr. Ikanya said.
“True, the assignment is difficult but CP Mbu has made your work easy by his brazen partisanship in favour of the opposition Peoples Democratic party (PDP) in the state.
“As a result of his overzealousness to impress his masters as an undeclared member of the PDP, the police commissioner commits a fresh sin against the good people of Rivers State almost on a daily basis.”
The APC chairman said he regretted that Rivers State has not known peace since the CP assumed duties last year and that the state now perched at the edge of the precipice security-wise.
He said the party’s position is that Mr. Mbu be immediately redeployed outside Rivers State saying he is a curse to the State and her people. He said he regretted that calls by some well-meaning Nigerians, including the National Assembly, for Mr. Mbu’s redeployment has fallen on the deaf ears of the police authorities in Abuja and the Federal Government.
He, however, expressed strong belief that “there will surely be a day of reckoning, and when that day comes, CP Mbu will be called to account for his stewardship in Rivers State. When that day of
reckoning comes, the work of your committee will play a big role in getting Mbu to pay for his sins against Rivers State and its people.”
Responding on behalf of the other members of the panel, Mr. Nweye thanked the chairman for the confidence reposed in them and promised that they would live up to expectation.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ikanya has expressed dismay at the stand of the Labour Party, PDP, a factional National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Vincent Umeh, as well other groups that condemned the position of the national leadership of APC that its members in the National Assembly should shoot down any Executive Bills until the anomalies happening in Rivers State were corrected.
He said, “It is sad that what some of these organisations are saying is that they prefer that Rivers State should be subjected to the type of impunity acts associated with CP Mbu and his cohorts instead of calling the Presidency to order as regards its wicked roles in this macabre dance in Rivers State.
“With this development, we are gradually knowing our foes and friends. Very sad that not minding all that Rivers State has sacrificed and contributed to build this nation, our plight no longer counts; but God is watching.”
Source: Premium Times

SHAME: Ghana Beat Nigeria With 10 Men?

Stephen Adams saved two penalties to send Ghana through to the final of the African Nations Championship following a goalless draw after extra time.
Ghana's Seidu Bansey was inches away from opening the scoring in just the second minute when his long-range effort drifted just wide of the target.
Despite plenty of attacking intent from both sides in the first half, chances proved to be difficult to create in the opening 45 minutes.
Abubakar Ibrahim came closest for Nigeria with a powerful strike from 35 yards but he was denied by the post.
Ghana were dealt a blow in the second half when Kwabena Adusei was shown a red card for a second bookable offence in the 64th minute of the match.
Despite being forced to play with 10 men for the remainder of the 90 minutes, Ghana managed to hold on to force extra time.
Imenger Barnabus had a great opportunity to put Nigeria ahead early in the first extra period but the forward somehow managed to scoop his shot over the crossbar from six yards out.
The same player missed another chance in the closing stages of extra time when Stephen Adams displayed impressive reactions to tip a header over the crossbar.
Penalties were needed to split the two teams and Adams proved to be the hero for Ghana as he denied both Solomon Kwambe and Izunna Uzochukwu help his side to a 4-1 win in the shootout and set up a final with Libya.
Source: Sports Mole

FACTS: Fashola, Redeem LASU’s Glory

The Lagos State University, the only university that belongs to the state described as the Centre of Excellence, requires a desperate attention from the state government.
The same institution, which had churned out graduates that have become some of the best in their chosen disciplines, is today reeking of different controversies and scandal, which, we believe, are the result of human errors and are not beyond the state government to handle.
In the last quarter of 2011, the institution was in the news after its students took to the streets in protest for days against an unusual hike in their tuition. From N25,000 as school fees, the management, acting on instruction from the government, announced an increment of between N193,750 and N348,750 depending on the faculty.
Last year, the institution was in the news again for the wrong reason. Cultists held sway carrying out attacks and reprisals resulting in serious fear, suspicion and lack of concentration among the students and teachers. Damino Damoche, a promising musician and student of the institution was killed by members of a rival cult group.
Just weeks ago, the institution which the government says it is passionate about, was embroiled in a delayed certificate scandal. Graduates of the part time programme from its various campuses in the state recently protested to the state House of Assembly over the institution’s inability to issue them results many years after their graduation.
As the state lawmakers battled to resolve this crisis, students of the institution carried out a protest that later turned violent because the management prevented them from writing the second semester examination with their colleagues.
While some of the students paid their tuition, but were unable to carry out the electronic registration of courses, others were yet to complete payment of their fees when it was time for the examination.
It was, however, disturbing that the management of the institution continued to receive fees from the students after it had shut the portal for registration of courses and appeals for its re-opening fell on deaf ears.
The Babatunde Fashola government must immediately sanitise the institution, apportion blames where necessary, ensure the release of results to affected students and return the school’s lost glory.
Source: PM News

HOT PHOTO: IGP's Son Living Large

Jamil Abubakar is the first son of the current Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar. He is a Kingston University-trained Computing Information Systems and Multimedia graduate and is currently a pilot with Elite Airwings. See his fast cars, wristwatch collection and more below.
Jamil with his dad

2015 ELECTION: We Didn’t Influence The Timetable – Presidency

The presidency has refuted media speculations that it influenced the 2015 election timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, last week.
Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, had earlier accused the Presidency of influencing the electoral powerhouse to schedule the presidential election first so as to create a ‘bandwagon effect’ in subsequent elections in favour of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
“I don’t know how they influenced the Independent National Electoral Commission to put this election and National Assembly election first and then two weeks after, they’ll do House of Assembly and governorship elections. I think the presidential election should come last,” he said.
Responding to the allegation, Special Adviser to President Jonathan on Inter-Party Affairs, Senator Ben Obi, told Vanguard that the Presidency had no hands in the issuance of the election timetable, which he said came as a surprise.
Obi said, “They (INEC) have a constitutional responsibility to take care of elections. It is that responsibility they have adhered to. For me, it is part of the transformation agenda that those who are given responsibilities to perform are allowed to do so without any hindrance.
“That is what the (Professor Attahiru) Jega-led INEC has done. Nobody was expecting it. If anybody was saying that they were under some influence, that person is wrong in his presumption.
“It is the independent nature of the various organisations under this administration that is coming to play. We must thank the President for making sure that these organisations have a free atmosphere to function.”
When asked if the timetable was not released too early, given that the 2015 elections are 13 months away, Senator Obi said, “It is their (INEC) responsibility to put out dates for elections, declare dates for campaigns, among others, that is what they have done. Don’t forget they did that under a retreat. All of them cannot be making a mistake at the same time. ”
On whether putting the presidential election first would not create a bandwagon effect in favour of the PDP as alleged, Obi said the argument was neither here nor there because past elections had not followed any strict order.
Source: Daily Post

INTERESTING: Taiwo Awoniyi Join Swedish Club?

Golden Eaglets striker, Taiwo Awoniyi, is discussing a transfer to Kalmar FF after he arrived the Swedish club along with his representatives, reports.
The 16-year-old striker, who scored four goals as Nigeria won a record fourth FIFA U-17 World Cup in November, is to discuss the possibility of teaming up with the Swedish club.
Should talks progress as hoped, Awoniyi will undergo a medical and get a pro contract when he turns 18 next year.
According to, Awoniyi is already impressed with the facilities and warmth of the people he met at Kalmar.
The promising striker has other offers from Mexico, Sampdoria and Brescia, among others.
Former international Seyi Olofinjana, who is in Sweden with the Eaglets star, said his plan is for Awoniyi to go to a place where he will become a better player.
Olofinjana is the director of the youngster’s academy in Nigeria.
“The key is for him to go to a place, where he can take the next step,” said Olofinjana, who incidentally started his professional career in next-door Norway.
Source: The Nation

TOO BAD: Pastor Rape 13 Year-Old Girl?

The Police in Imo State have arrested the General Overseer and head of a popular church in Ikeduru council area of the state, for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl.
This followed a petition written to the Owerri Police Area Command by the lawyer to the father of the alleged rape victim, Mr Emperor Iwuala.
The father of the victim, a widower and does not want his name in print, had alleged that the pastor severally raped his daughter between 2010 and 2013.
According to him, “Between 2010 and 2013, I was sick and a friend of mine introduced me to the prophet. Because of my sickness, I lost my job as a luxury bus driver and also my accommodation in Naze Owerri.
“Consequently, the prophet offered me accommodation in his house which he also uses as church. I moved in with my two little daughters. Because of my condition then, I did not know that the prophet was taking advantage of my predicament to defile one of my daughters.
“One of the days, his wife caught him trying to abuse my daughter and she raised the alarm, which made the husband to send her packing.
“Because of that, I sent my children away but the prophet threatened me, saying that I must bring my children back to the church. It was when my daughters went out of the prophet’s custody that they could narrate their ordeal to me.
“Ironically, the prophet went to the police recently to report that I arranged to kidnap my daughters from his house.”
Confirming the petition, Iwuala also disclosed that the said prophet was currently under investigation by the police for buying an alleged stolen vehicle. He applauded the security operatives for the impressive manner they are handling the matter.
When the suspect’s prayer house was visited, a worshipper who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that the pastor was arrested by the police and was still in their custody.
Source: Vanguard

Monday, January 27, 2014

FACTS: The 2014 Ekiti And Osun Governorship Elections?

INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega
The Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday announced June 21 and August 9 respectively for the 2014 governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states.
The INEC Secretary, Mrs. Augusta Ogakwu, in the breakdown of activities for the Ekiti poll said, “April 14 is the “last date for the conduct of party primaries, including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries.”
While campaigns for the elections in Ekiti State will commence on March 23 and ends on June 19, the collection of forms for the election by political parties is scheduled to begin on April 1.
The commission fixed April 21 as the last date for the submission of Forms CF001 and CF002 while April 28 was fixed for the publication of particulars of the candidates.
According to INEC, the last day for the withdrawal by candidate(s)/replacement of withdrawn candidates will be on May 7, while the last day for the submission of nomination forms by political parties has been slated for May 13.
The publication of official register of voters for the election and publication of the list of nominated candidates have both been scheduled for May 20.
Also, the publication of the notice of the election will be on June 4 while the submission of the names of party agents for the election to the Ekiti Electoral Officer of the local government or Area Council is fixed for June 5.
For Osun State, June 2 is the “last date for the conduct of party primaries including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries.”
Campaigns for the election are also scheduled to start on May 11, while collection of forms by political parties will be done on May 19 at the INEC headquarters.
According to INEC, June 9 will mark the last day for submission of Forms CF001 and CF002 at the INEC headquarters while publication of personal particulars will take place on June 16.
The commission also slated June 25 as the last day for the withdrawal of candidate(s) and or replacement of withdrawn candidates by political parties.
While July 1 serves as the last day for the submission of nomination forms by political parties, publication of official register of voters for the election and publication of list of nominated candidates will come up on July 8.
Source: Punch

REVEALED: PC Market Shrinks?

In line with global trends, the Nigeria Personal Computers market is expected to drop further in 2014 following the proliferation of smartphones and tablets in the country.
Our correspondent learnt that device manufacturers were already re-strategising in this regard.
Strong global and indigenous brands, our correspondent also learnt, were already adjusting budgets to give more attention to their smartphone and tablet divisions as against the PC.
Device manufacturers, which hitherto, had plans to produce or assemble only PCs, it was learnt, were already factoring in smartphones and tablets production or assemblage in their processes.
The Regional Director, Africa, Turkey and Israel, Asus (a global devices manufacturer), Mr. Shawn Chang, told our correspondent that from the firm’s statistics, PC sales dropped by 15 per cent in 2013, and was likely to drop again by another six per cent in 2014.
Contrary to this, he added that the global tablet market rose by 14 per cent in 2013, and is expected to rise further by 21 per cent this year.
He said, “The movement into smartphone/tablet devices as against PCs is a strategy that is aimed at averting impending crisis for companies involved in the business. We all have to go the way the world is going if we must continue to remain in business.”
Strong PC companies like HP, for instance, are currently driving investments in tablet devices to retain the patronage of some of their customers that would want to have the tablet experience.
Local PC brands like Zinox, for instance, recently unveiled its Z-Pad, which is a tablet built for the peculiarities of the Nigerian market.
The country had also seen the proliferation of other indigenous tablets like Bamboo, B-Pad, among others. These tablets, no doubt, will further eat into the struggling PC market in Nigeria.
On a broader scale, growth in mobility trend in the Middle East and Africa has continued to cause a decline in the patronage of personal computers as well as in the penetration of broadband Internet.
The PC market continued to experience a steep decline during the third quarter of 2013, decreasing 15 per cent in volume year-on-year, while the use of mobile phones and other mobile devices is on the increase, according to a research firm, International Data Corporation.
The results showed that PC shipments into the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey regions reached a total of 4.2 million units.
Portable PCs declined at a faster rate than the overall market, with shipments down 17.8 per cent year-on-year to total 2.5 million units, while desktops declined 10.4 per cent year-on-year with a total of 1.7 million units shipped.
This development further spells doom for the broadband Internet market in Nigeria and other African countries, where the broadband Internet penetration is strongly tied to PC patronage.
Internet Service Providers in Nigeria had attributed the success of their businesses to increased penetration. They had also called for a reduction in the prices of PCs in the country owing to the ‘still high’ cost of acquisition.
In contrast, according to the IDC, the tablet market in the Middle East and Africa grew 181.8 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2013, reaching a total of 3.2 million units.
Although Apple’s proprietary operating system, iOS, and Windows’ OS were contributors to this growth, the major contribution came without a doubt from the Android operating system, with a total of 2.39 million Android units shipped in during the quarter.
“We have witnessed a steady decline in the PC market as more and more people shift toward mobile devices, ranging from portable PCs to tablets and smartphones,” research director for systems and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Adriana Rangel, recently said.
“That shift has had a tremendous impact on PC shipments in the region, particularly across the consumer segment. The largest declines in PC shipments across the region have been in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey. While the UAE has seen a steady decline, the decrease in shipments has not impacted the market to any great extent,” she added.
The IDC’s research shows that the shift in demand from PCs to other mobile devices is expected to continue acting as the primary inhibitor of PC demand throughout the forecast period.
IDC is forecasting a further year-on-year decline of 14.4 per cent during the final quarter of 2013. The same period is likely to see PC vendors placing a growing emphasis on their lighter and sleeker portable PC offerings, including ultra-slim notebooks and convertibles.
HP maintained leadership of the overall regional PC market in the third quarter of 2013.
After suffering year-on-year declines for two consecutive quarters, the vendor finally managed to post a positive growth of 7.4 per cent during the third quarter of the year.
Source: Punch

Saturday, January 25, 2014

TERRIBLE: 14 Year Old Girl Abused, Raped, Impregnated?

There were about 10 other mothers with their newborns placed in baby cots beside their beds in the post-natal ward of the Igando General Hospital, Lagos.
But here, Blessing Victor (not real name) stood out.
In fact, rather than focus attention on their own relations, many of the visitors directed their gaze at Victor’s corner. The reason was obvious.
She was just a kid, a 14-year-old girl. What she was doing as this correspondent walked in was indeed something that would attract attention from wandering eyes around the ward.
She stretched out her baby on the bed. Armed with a wad of cotton wool and a bottle of a dressing solution, the young mother was cleaning the baby’s umbilical opening that was cut less than 24 hours earlier.
Blessing’s mother, who walked in with our correspondent, was alarmed somewhat and asked why she was doing that without asking for permission.
“The nurses have taught me how to do it,” the girl said.
It was clear the girl had resigned herself to the fate life has dealt her. She clearly did not want to shy away from the responsibility of taking care of her newborn.
Last week, Saturday PUNCH published a story on the plight of Blessing at the Igando General Hospital, where she had been excluded from maternal health care due to the fact that her parents had no money.
The Executive Director of the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, had written an open letter to the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, on the issue.
“The victim is denied access to antenatal facilities due to the high user fees and cost related to child delivery in all Lagos state-owned hospitals. Doctors say her life is in serious danger unless she receives urgent necessary medical attention,” Akiyode-Afolabi had said at the time.
Perhaps, in response to the publication, the Lagos State Government swung into action and ordered the hospital to give Blessing all the treatment she required free of charge and return the money that had been paid by the WARDC and the parents.
On Monday morning, Blessing was delivered of a healthy baby girl through a Caesarean Section.
“I had named her while I was still pregnant. I told my mother she would be a girl and I would name her Mercy,” the young mother said.
Tobi, the boy (said to be 21 years old) who sexually abused Blessing and impregnated her has vanished.
Blessing was living with her grandfather, a 64-year-old retiree, who depends on his daughter (Blessing’s mother) for subsistence.
“I am a retiree. I retired from the Nigerian Port Authority and government does not pay our pension. My daughter does not live here. She is the one who works very hard to feed me. She kept her daughter with me so that the girl could help me around the house,” he said.
Tobi, a tenant in a one-room apartment in the compound where Blessing lived with her retiree grandfather in Isheri area of Lagos, took advantage of the child under the guise that he was assisting her in preparation for her November/December School Certificate Examination conducted by the West African Examination Council.
Blessing had told her mother of her intention to sit for the examination ahead of her eligibility in her own school. But her mother barely had enough for their upkeep. Blessing had just been promoted to Senior Secondary School Class Three.
But the young girl was deceived, lured and abused by her young neighbour, Tobi.
Blessing, her mother’s only child, said, “I don’t know his surname, I only know him as Tobi. He told me he finished university long time ago.
“He said he studied Computer Engineering. I cannot remember very well but I think he mentioned that he schooled in Ekpoma. He did not force me or beat me before doing it.
“He told me he would give me money to obtain GCE form if I allowed him to sleep with me. It was only once. I did not think about pregnancy and did not know I was pregnant until my mother took me to the hospital.”
Blessing’s mother, who visited her father and daughter regularly, had noticed the change in her daughter’s body, but she initially dismissed it as nothing.
She went for a visit again sometime later and was convinced that her daughter must be pregnant.
“Her skin was so different. I know the symptoms of pregnancy and I could notice them on her. I had asked her many times and she denied it. But I could not tell my dad. I had to take her to a hospital for a test,” she said.
At the hospital, it was confirmed that Blessing was 16 months pregnant.
Both mother and daughter broke down when the news hit them. “I wanted to die. I was so sad,” Blessing said.
“I could not stop crying,” her mother told our correspondent.
The problem shifted to how Blessing’s mother would tell her father. It would certainly kill the old man, she thought.
But first, in anger, she stomped out of the hospital to the police station and reported the case. A policeman followed her and Tobi was arrested. The news about the pregnancy was broken to Blessing’s grandfather by the policeman. The old man too broke down.
“I was stunned. I cried for three days. She has just been promoted to SS 3. How can this happen? I don’t allow her to move around neighbour’s apartments. It was really painful for me that this has to happen under my care,” he said.
Tobi was said to have been released the following day after a police woman in charge of rape cases at the Isheri Osun Police Division reportedly told them, “This is a family problem now because pregnancy is involved.”
That was in August 2013. Tobi has not been seen since then. His mother, who lives in another part of Lagos, told our correspondent on the phone that her son travelled to their hometown in Edo State to take care of his ailing father.
The woman who spoke on the phone said her name was Florence Albert.
She said, “I am not hiding Tobi. The parents of the girl said they did not want to see him around. That was why I told him to give them space. They are always angry anytime they see him.
“I told them that I could help out anytime they needed anything. The deed is already done. I try to do as much as I can afford. I can hardly feed myself too. Tobi did not finish secondary school. His father abandoned us and he could not proceed in his education. He is currently working as a barber.”
All Blessing knows about her child’s father is the fact that he is from Edo State and had no job.
Perhaps, she has not fully understood the ramification of her new life, Blessing did not show any sign of depression as she spoke.
When asked what she would do if her child’s father suddenly came to claim paternity, the young mother’s expression changed.
“He won’t do that. He would be insane to do that. Is it that easy for me to carry a pregnancy for nine months and I would hand over my child to him just like that?” she said.
Blessing looked at her child. She smiled. It was clear everything had changed for this young girl. Our correspondent wanted to know how she felt about her child.
“How can I hate this child? I carried her inside me for nine months. Even if her father is a bastard, she is still my child,” she said.
A cacophony of baby cries circulated the post-natal ward at Igando General Hospital. But Mercy was quiet. It was like the baby was aware of the troubled circumstance of her birth and decided to be of less trouble to her young mother.
Blessing’s mother has said she would undertake the nursing of the child to allow the young mother to complete her secondary education.
The girl’s grandfather said she was doing very well in school. It was obvious as the girl conversed in good spoken English with her mother throughout the time our correspondent was there.
“I will like to go back to school. I plan to study Theatre Arts in the university. But I will be too ashamed to go back to my previous school. I will complete my secondary school in another school,” she said.
It was a wonder that none of the girl’s teachers noticed she was four months pregnant.
“I slept a lot in school. My teachers always jokingly asked if I was pregnant. But I did not know it was true. They did not know also. They were only joking,” she told our correspondent.
Blessing’s case puts in perspective Sector 31 of Nigeria’s Child Rights Act 2003, which states, “No person shall have sexual intercourse with a child. When a person is charged with an offence under this section, it is immaterial that the sexual intercourse was with the consent of the child.”
The law prescribes a sentence of 14 years imprisonment for an offender charged under this section upon conviction.
It is not clear whether the police woman who released Tobi on bail is familiar with the provisions of this law.
Her story is one of thousands of such cases reported and unreported in Nigeria every year.
Teenage pregnancy resulting from domestic sexual abuse is all but common. But more worrisome is the attendant risk to the teenage mothers.
According to the United Nations, 53,000 females in Nigeria die annually of pregnancy-related illnesses. Teenage mothers are said to be more at risk as a result of lack of access to health care and poverty.
Wikipedia in a statistics sourced from the UN, states that Nigeria has an average of 143 teenage births per 1,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19.
This statistics clearly excludes mothers who are as young as Blessing. According to the UN, one in seven babies born to the teenagers used in its past statistics died before the age of one.
Specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr. Stephen Ayosanmi, of the Department of Family Medicine, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, explained that teenage pregnancy is one that comes with a very high risk.
He named some of the risks associated with teenage births as haemorrhage, obstructed labour, sepsis, eclampsia and anaemia.
Ayosanmi said, “Teenage mothers have the tendency of bleeding excessively during birth and this may lead to death. Generally, teenage pregnancy is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality.
“She could rupture her uterus and bleed excessively. Also, because the pelvis is too small and does not have enough power to push during labour, the issue of obstructed labour comes in.
“In fact, in some teenage pregnancies, the baby can die inside the mother. Some may also develop jaundice, and in some cases, cerebral palsy. In many teenage pregnancies, the mothers do not go for ante-natal care and this brings a wide range of problems.”
He said the CS through which Blessing was delivered was as a result of the fact that her pelvis would have been too small for a natural birth.
Blessing has escaped much of the problems enumerated by Ayosanmi here. But there is a downside.
“Her reproductive chances have been reduced because you can only undertake CS three times,” the doctor said.
The National Population Commission is concerned about incidences of teenage pregnancy in Nigeria. But it cannot be determined how aggressive its promised public enlightenment programmes on the issue have been.
Former chairman of the NPC, Mr. Festus Odimegwu, identified poverty and sexual abuse as some of the reasons behind teenage pregnancy.
“The increasing incidence of teenage pregnancy in Nigeria can be appreciated against the backdrop of the fact that about 44.5 million Nigerians are young people,” he said.
However, experts have said parents have a lot to do in preventing teenage pregnancies.
Source: Punch

INTERVIEW: Men Started Eyeing Me As A Teenager - Munachi Abii

Munachi Abii
Munachi Abii
Munachi Abii is a former Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria who later became a rapper. She tells Ademola Olonilua about her career and early days.
What have you been up to lately? You haven’t been in the news recently. Is it a deliberate decision?
Yes it is a deliberate decision. I’d rather be in the news for a good reason. A good reason would be something positive. My video for No Tomorrow just got released, so I’m promoting that.
Speaking of your new song, it seems different from what Muna does. Why is that?
I’m not one to put myself in a box. I started off being a conscious rapper, which I still am, but then I went through a process and  everyone was telling me what they felt was the key to survive in this industry. At first, I let that get to me but then I realised that one only lives once. Why not explore it all but be true to what you love? That is what I am doing; everything that I love. I haven’t changed my style per se, I just expanded. I see myself as a musician not a ‘celebrity’ or a ‘hit of the moment.’ I fuse sounds from all over the world so that other people can feel it too.
You recently changed your hair colour to blonde. What influences your style?
Before now, I had not found the right shade of blonde for me. But we decided to try something new for my video and this shade worked, so I decided to work with it. I would say my true style is still evolving.
Some people think you have a dual personality; Muna the rap artiste and Munachi Abii the beauty queen. Would you agree with them?
I’m more than a dual personality. I’m yet to discover all of them. I believe we’ve got a lot of time to figure all that out. But trust that you will see them as they unfold.
Seems you have not fully discovered yourself? How do you intend going about that?
Who truly has? At least I’m honest about it. First, I do know now that I am. My existence; and that gives me confidence to explore all of me without fear. We all still do to an extent, but for me, right now I’m not ashamed or afraid to say, I’m getting to know me and I like me.
For you, who is that one guy you would never forget in a hurry?
Well, as much as I would like to remember some, I’ve got what you may call selective amnesia; so it’s all forgotten. I’m actually telling you the truth. The reason why it is in the past is because it didn’t work out and it must have hurt me. If it did, I’d forget it. I have forced myself to forget things to the point where I don’t remember things anymore.
You were once an OAP, why did you opt out of the job?
I used to work at a radio station. Well I was in school at the time. And I must say it was a wonderful time. I made new friends and we had a hit show. I actually don’t mind returning to radio then I will play my music on repeat. I was in the university when I decided to try radio. I didn’t opt out, I graduated and I had to move back to Lagos, so we all went our separate ways. I miss the boys though. They are all doing very well now.
Who was your first crush?
I think Michael Jackson or Bruce Lee. Michael was my love. He could do no wrong in my eyes. He was perfect, black or white. I’m attracted to super humans.
At what age did the love letters and advancements from men start in your life?
I never really got love letters. Advancements from men began in my teens.
So how was it coping with their advances at such a tender age?
That’s easy. We always had lines for the boys and the young men; the ‘I will think about it’ to the ‘I’m sorry I have a boyfriend line’ was always there.
Tell me about your early years. What kind of kid were you while growing?
Growing up was cool. I’m sure every teenager had issues of misunderstanding. So I’m not any different. I was a loner though. I was picked on a lot, so I kept to myself.
Tell me more about your being grown and being picked on? Can you share some stories?
I was bullied. No stories there.
Is that part of the reason you went into rap?
Well, sort of because I wanted to be heard.
So that’s why you went into rap?
I loved rap as well. Tupac had a big influence on me while growing up.
Do you think you have a good singing voice?
Yes, I do have a good singing voice.
So why didn’t you go for singing instead of rap; has anyone told you that you don’t look like a rapper?
How does a rapper look? If we were to go by looks, there would be no Eminem, no white rappers and certainly no female rappers. Secondly, I’m not one to do what people expect of me. I make my own rules and what seems natural to me, I do. Singing is also natural to me and I never ruled it out. Rap was the form of expression that came natural to me first.
You said there had been challenges when you started your music. What were they?
Being a female, funding my career independently, having to deal with people who claim to have the solution to music, having to deal with people who think your sound is way ‘too deep’ for Nigerians and feel you should tone it down; trying not to compromise even when people don’t believe in you yet. Having to ‘sort’ people out so that they can play your music; it is tough. But these are the things one has to deal with. You have to pay your dues somehow.
Did you face criticism for switching to rap shortly after your reign as a beauty queen?
Well, not necessarily criticism, just shock and disbelief. I kept getting asked why I was rapping instead of singing. My parents supported me all the way. I made it clear that I was a recording artist before my reign and I had worked with a few known artistes just before my reign. So I didn’t just wake up and decide.
How do you keep in shape?
I love food but these days, I have to work out. I’m a good cook. I do 30 cardio, 15 minutes of sit ups, 15 lower and upper body.
Are you in a relationship?
Yes, I’m super emotional. I love love, but I’ve always been afraid of love. But this time, I decided to let go. I haven’t looked back since.
Now, you were variously linked with Peter Okoye and later an 18-year-old boy. How true is this?
All those stories are not true.
So where did those stories emanate from, how does your boyfriend handle such issues?
You tell me? You are in the media. You know how people make up stories to sell or become famous. There are no issues for him to even consider handling.
Source: Punch

FACTS: The Political Whirlwind, Nigerians React?

Nigerians speak against recycling old politicians, read their reactions below.
It is highly ridiculous and very laughable that at this present age, appointments into key positions, which impact directly on the lives of citizens are still done based on political affinity.
It is a pity that the masses are worst hit by these reckless decisions which we all know have been going on for a while in Nigeria. Bamanga Tukur as head of the NRC is another joke. It is quite evident that it is a compensation for his disgraceful exit as the PDP Chairman.
—Opeyemi Ajayi, Pension Fund Administrator Officer
I think the practice of always appointing old politicians into political offices is appalling and disheartening. I know if you ask why such a thing has become normal practice by every successive administration in the country, the answer from those in power would be that they are more experienced.
But we all know that selfishness and greed are the reasons behind this practice.
Why do we keep recycling old men for appointments when the young, vibrant, energetic and sound people are trampled upon politically? This is why we keep getting it wrong in Nigeria. Words fail me. God help us in this country.
— Godday Ighoteguono, Journalist
The idea of using old politicians for key appointments is disappointing, worrisome and sad. But that is now the order of the day in Nigeria. But I think we should be forward thinking rather than recycling old politicians. The only thing we can do is to keep talking. Let the youths and those passionate about Nigeria continue to make our voice heard. That I believe is the way to go for things to change.
— Abe Temitope, Estate Surveyor
The drama of Nigerian politics and administration has always retarded development in the country. A once-upon-a-time khaki man turned civilian is given an office he does not have the wherewithal and administrative know-how to run. We are not even talking about Nigeria’s retiring age. It has become clear that this country would never cease being a banana republic with the future of the youths in jeopardy.
All we need in this country is a change in system of government. Whether Nigeria will be better or not, everyone has his future in his hands. If recycling old politicians has done nothing to change this country, then attention should be turned to younger people. We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.
— Ayo Alonge, Student
It is very unfortunate that the same families have been recycled in governance since Independence. It is even much more ridiculous that the heads of some of these families have refused to leave the corridors of power after entrenching themselves for decades.
These people must really love Nigeria for them to want to serve till they drop dead. And the slogan on their lips is that ‘the youths are the future leaders.’ When will the youths lead?
—Abayomi Odegbami-Taiwo
I think the tomorrow people always talk about means when the whole world finally comes to an end. Tomorrow will only come when the youth of this nation come to understand that the present crop of leaders do not have their interests at heart. How can youths be the leaders of tomorrow when these same old men with same set of old ideas are still in the driver’s seat of our country. In a nutshell only God can help the youth of this country.
– Abayomi Ogunremi, Estate agent
Youths are more receptive to new ideas unlike older people, who have formed a thought pattern and who will always see things from a conservative perspective. Nigeria will profit from quality ideas, innovation and development if the youths are allowed to lead the nation.
— Lanre Ogunyimika, Politician
It is a shame on the nation and such appointees. The appointments of septuagenarians and older people into offices depict lack of confidence in our youths. Such type of anomaly could only happen in a country, where greed, avarice and corruption hold sway.
— Chief Soji Longe, Businessman
Source: Punch

TRAGIC: Electricity Wire Burns Father And Friend?

•Victim loses two legs after surgical operations •Friend’s fate hangs in the balance
“Iam in pains, please help me. Don’t let me die, please save me.” This was the agonizing cry of Afeez Kareem, one of the victims of a live electricity wire incident that occurred along Igando/ Ikotun road in Alimosho Local
Government Area of Lagos State recently.
Afeez, a mechanic, was driving in the company of his friend, Prince Onyekachi, when a live electricity wire fell on their vehicle. In the course of trying to escape from the impending danger, they stepped on the live wire and were severely burnt. Afeez was burnt from the navel down to his two legs, while Prince’s right leg and his manhood were affected in the accident.
34-year old Prince is also a mechanic. He went to visit Afeez in his workshop when the incident occurred.
The two friends were immediately rushed to Igando General Hospital, from where they were referred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Ikeja. Seeing their condition, the doctors quickly moved them to Gbagada General Hospital for intensive care.
Afeez has had the affected two legs cut off after undergoing two successive operations.
Unfortunately, despite the amputation, his plight has not abated. He is billed to undergo another round of surgical operations. On the other hand, Prince’s fate is still hanging in the balance. The affected leg and the manhood
are presently wrapped in bandage and plasters, waiting for final decisions by the doctors.
Lying on his hospital bed, Afeez gave details of how the incident occurred. “I was driving out with my friend who came to visit me when the incident happened. It occurred in the afternoon along Church bus stop on Igando/Ikotun road, not far from our workshop.
Rain was falling seriously on that day. “As we were going, I wanted to make a Uturn when the live wire fell and dropped on our vehicle. We quickly tried to escape from the car, but unfortunately, I stepped on the
live wire and it began to burn my body from the leg up to my navel. It was a man opposite the scene of the incident that called PHCN office to switch off power supply in the area. It was after that was done that people were able to come to our rescue. We were immediately rushed to Igando General Hospital. They referred us to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Ikeja almost immediately. When we got to LASUTH, arrangement was made to bring us down to this place.
“As I am talking to you now, I am in deep pains, my lap and buttock is full of wounds. I cannot sleep nor turn my body. I have been lying in one position. I am fed while lying down. I have gone through two operations already. But they said I would still have to go through another set of operations. My pain is aggravated by the fact that my family members have nowhere to raise money to foot the bills anymore. They have sold everything we have and have borrowed money everywhere to pay part of the existing bills. I don’t even know how my children are faring right now.
“I want to appeal to Nigerians to come to my aid. The operation ought to have been done, but there is no money anywhere to pay for it. My fears are that the situation may be getting worse every day if the operation is not done on time. Already, I have incurred a bill of about N300,000 since I was admitted here. I need urgent help to come out of these excruciating pains. Nigerians, please save me. Help me to come out of these pains.”
The sister, Mrs. Odunayo Adelaja said the family has so far spent over a million naira on his treatment and it appears they have just started.
“We have spent N1million so far on his treatment. We have sold some valuables that we have and have borrowed money from everywhere possible, yet it appears as if we have not done anything. One of the medical personnel cleaning him up told me that the bones around his buttock were coming to the open. She advised that we have to do all we can to get money as soon as possible for the operations to be carried out so that the problem does not assume a worse dimension.
“I agree with her, but where would I get the money? Our parents are old and have nowhere to raise money. The onus of taking care of him has been on us (the siblings). We have spent all we have and have seriously become indebted to many people. Before I left home this morning, some of the people that lent us money came to ask for their money. I have almost become a fugitive because the embarrassment is too much,” she said.
Prince, a chronic stammerer was unable to speak. His father, Mr. Innocent Onyekachi, looked extremely ruffled when our reporters met him. The 66-year old father said Prince’s plight has brought untold sorrow to his life.
“My son’s condition has brought a lot of sorrow to my life. His fate is still hanging in the balance. Some of the doctors said there is no need to cut the leg, while others said it should be cut. The last statement was that the leg would be cut. We have paid for it and waiting for them to cut it. He was making use of pipe to urinate before now because the incident affected his manhood. They have removed the pipe and he could use wheel chair to go and urinate now.
“We have spent close to a million naira on his treatment so far. We have a bill of over N200, 000 in the hospital that we have not paid. I have borrowed money everywhere and do not even know the next place to go and borrow money. Many people are even reluctant to borrow me money because they believe I don’t have the capability of repaying it. I am a just a local dry cleaner. I go from house to house to wash cloth for people, so you can imagine what could be my income. I don’t have any money. Apart from borrowing, friends and church members have also been assisting me. I want to appeal to kind-hearted Nigerians and government in particular to come and help us,” he pleaded.
One of Afeez’s colleagues in the workshop, Mr. Sunday Afolabi, said the landlord association in the area has also gone around to beg for money to assist him.
He said: “ What happened to Afeez and his friend was pathetic. It is by the grace of God that he is still alive today. We were together on that fateful day when the incident occurred. I was where I went to eat when some of our colleagues came to inform me that Afeez was being electrocuted. When I got to the place, I saw him and his friend held on a spot beside the car and helplessly being burnt by the live wire. Nobody could go close
to them that very moment. We all stood afar and watched the whole thing happen. It was like a dream to me. We were able to rescue them when PHCN cut power supply.
“We, his colleagues have been contributing money among ourselves from time to time to assist him. Even the landlord association in the area has gone around seeking financial help for him and his friend.
In spite of all these efforts, solution is not yet in sight. The bills are not what the family can foot alone. The family urgently needs assistance from both the government and kind hearted Nigerians to deliver these guys from this problem.” Mr. John Oga, a resident of the area, blamed PHCN for the victims’ plight. He said: “The PHCN is largely responsible for this calamity that befell Afeez and his friend.
This disaster would not have occurred if they have been maintaining the facilities very well. It is every unfortunatethat they never bothered to support the family financially after the incident that was caused by their facility. The only thing they did was to come and fix the wire. The Federal Government should come in here and assist the family because it was their agency that caused this problem for the victims.
“The incident has dashed their promising future because there is no possibility that they can engage in any meaning venture to make both ends meet even after they would have been discharged from the hospital.
They should be adequately taken care of and compensated. All the money that the families have spent should be refunded by the government.
The company that bought PHCN should also do something because they bought the liability of the company along with the assets. If possible, they should be flown abroad for better medical attention. Efforts should be made by the new companies that bought the PHCN to put all the facilities and wires in good shape to avert a reoccurrence of this kind of distasteful incident. ”
Efforts to speak with the hospital management was unsuccessful, as health workers were said to be observing the three –day warning strike by the workers nationwide.
An official of the new power management who did not want his name in print said the incident occurred before they took over and could not be held responsible for it.
Source: The Nation

AT LAST: Deadly Robbery Gang Nabbed?

A Three man teenage robbery gang that has been terrorizing residents of Ikot Omin, 8 Miles and Basin Development Authority in Calabar, the Cross River State capital has been nabbed.
The trio, Edem Basey Effiong, 18, Emmanuel Nkalu 19 and Aliyu Umaru 21, who usually adorn themselves in army camouflage terrorised the residents of these areas for several months before they were arrested through sustained intelligence and undercover efforts during the Christmas Period last year.
Parading them alongside other suspects, the Cross River State Police Commissioner Mr Kola Sodipo said the sum of 350,000.00 and 250,000 naira worth of recharge after the robbed one Ime Stephen who sell recharges at Basin Development Authority, Calabar at gun point.
”They robbed Imeh Stephen of Basin Authority at gun ;point of recharge card Valued at 250,000.00, and cash of 350,000.00m naira ; in their possession during the arrest were a pistol 7 live ammunition, Army Uniform, recharge cards and handsets”.
Mr Kola Sodipo also paraded the duo of Daniel Sunday, 25, and Prophet Friday, 19 , who were arrested on the 24th of December 2013, at Ikang, Bakassi with 800 live AK 47 ammunition, 7.62mm and 634v rounds of general purpose machine gun , GPMG, ammunition, 56 mm and 632 live assault rifle ammunition at Ikang while planning to cause havoc in Calabar during the Carnival period. “Their arrest aborted their plans to unleash havoc in the city during the annual Calabar Festival”.
Mr Kola Sodipo said explosive devices mounted by another set of militants, Eyo Okokon Nsa and-Peter Ibe during the period at Atan , at Odukpani in the outskirts of Calabar would have caused severe havoc and disruption to the festivities had the police not uncovered the nefarious plans and carry out immediate detonation of the devices. “110 pieces of dynamite fuses, nine bags of ammonium nitrate used to prepare the explosive devices were recovered and the suspects arrested and they confessed to the crime” . Sodipo said
During the period, according to the Police Commissioner, a total of eleven armed robbery suspects were arrested by the police in various parts of the state. The suspects include David Nse Abasi, Colins Okoh and Aka Jerome who blocked Mkpani / Ekori road in the Central Senatorial, District and robbed several persons including one David Onovo of 79,000,00 naira.
Other suspects arrested include Simon Michael Agba, Samson Kalu, Abosi whop robbed Iheme Tochukwu, the manager of Tolik Filling Station in Ikom of 57,000. 00 . Commissioner Sodipo said the sum of 278,000 00 was recovered from one robbery suspect, Godwin Samuel who robbed Chijoke Samuel of 2 Oti Ansa . Mr Sodipo said a total of 48 locally made pistols were recovered from criminals while 3,893 arrests were made with 955 prosecutions made in 2013. ‘
With increased visibility, intensive foot and vehicular patrols, sustained raiding of black spots, and collaboration with residents of the state the police would not relent in bringing crime to its barest minimum”.. He reiterated that trani9ng and retraining is being intensified by the Command to sharpen the ability of his men adopting proactive community measures in carrying out surveillance and community initiatives inoder to comply with directives from the ‘Police High Command to win the war against crime and terrorism”.



There are indications that the crisis brewing within the All Progressives Congress Congress may lead to the suspension or expulsion of several prominent members of the party who are currently perceived as working against its interestIt was learnt that some of the prominent members including former governors may be shown the way out of the party if they continue to resist the take-over of the opposition party’s structures by the G-5 governors who recently defected from the People’s Democratic Party.
A reliable source within the National Secretariat of the party who spoke to Saturday Vanguard on condition of anonymity said the thinking within the leadership of the party is that the G-5 governors must be allowed to take over structures of the party in the affected states to enable them provide the funds to strengthen the APC for the 2015 elections.
The G-5 governors who defected from the PDP were Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers; Murtala Nyako of Adamawa; Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano; Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara and Aliyu Wammako of Sokoto..
The source asked: “ Do you think former Governors Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano, Bafarawa of Sokoto or rtd. Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa of Adamawa have the capacity to win elections in those states now? “
He continued: “We know that some of these people are PDP agents who want to sabotage APC from inside by causing all types of crisis”.
When reminded that most of the defected governors would complete their second tenure by 2015 and may therefore not have much at stake during the forth-coming polls, he said : “ If APC doesn’t win the states where the G-5 governors are currently in power, it means they would be politically finished. So they would surely throw in their resources to ensure that APC wins in their states to enable them be in a vantage position to pursue their future political career”.
”Who told you that some of them don’t have presidential ambition?” he asked.
The source however expressed confidence that the crisis would be resolved just like the various opposition parties were able to overcome all their differences and merge.
Said he: “ When political battles are fought, it is either you win, lose and leave or reconcile”.
It would be recalled that the G-5 governors defected after reportedly reaching an agreement with the leadership of APC that the party’s structures in the five states would be handed over to them.
However, since they defected they have faced stiff resistance from prominent members of the party especially former governors in their attempt to take over APC structures in the affected states.
When contacted by phone yesterday, the National Publicity Secretary of the party Alhaji Lai Mohammed dismissed certain media reports about the crisis as the handiwork of the PDP.
He admitted that the party was aware of the disagreement within some state chapters of the party but said a National Reconciliation Committee had been set up to handle the situation.
Source: Vanguard

ENUGU STATE: Armed Robbers Invade Nsukka Catholic Cathedral?

Nsukka: The arrow of God is no longer at ease and thing has fallen apart in the house of God.
This aptly described how four armed robbers invaded the house of God at St. Theresa’s Catholic Cathedral, Nsukka Enugu State for gold and millions of Naira.
Crime guard gathered that the hoodlums allegedly armed with a long gun and three shot pistols sneaked into the cathedral in the wee hours and made straight to the Bishop’s residence, chop off window burglaries after tying up three security men hands and legs and locked them up at the Bishop’s Kitchen, ransacked the Bishop’s residence in search of over N100million and gold Ornaments together with other valuables.
What could armed robbers be looking for in God’s house? The robbers after cutting the windows and doors in the Bishop’s residence met Rev.Fr. Eugene Odo secretary to the Bishop of Nsukka diocese and requested him to bring out all the cash in the diocese that have not been lodged in the Bank. The priest gently brought out the weeks collection and gave to them and the shameless robbers and dullards said it was not the kind of money they are looking for, The Priest allegedly swore to the heaven that the paltry sum was the only available cash at that moment. The unsatisfied bandits ransacked all the rooms at the Bishops court but could not find any other cash outside what was given to them.
Angered by the poor cash, the robbers resort to property, took the diocesan laptop where all activities programmers and history of the dioceses were stored, also collected Rev. Fr. Eugene Odo’s private laptop, one Ipad, palm top and his two hand sets and ordered the priest to take them to the residence of the principal St. Theresa’s College (STC) Nsukka Rv. Fr. Igwebueze.
Narrating his ordeal with robbers Rev. Fr. Eugene Odo said that the experience was his most horrifying one ever as a priest, explaining that he was fast asleep when the robbers entered the house as he worked late into the night.
When the four armed robbers met me and requested me to give them money, I only pointed to the Paltry amount available at the moment but they were not satisfied and ransacked the entire place without any other cash found, they took the diocesan laptop, my two handsets, I pad palm top, wrist watches, digital camera and video camera. What pained me most was my computer solar bag which serves as a generator. I bought the solar bag in Italy at the cost 200 euros.
I pleaded with the robbers not to take the diocesan laptop but they questioned whether I was aware that they are armed robbers? I said yes I know but at least for the sake of God they should drop the diocesan laptop, a plea the robbers never obliged me. After much harassment, the robbers ordered me to lead them to the residence of the Principal of STC, an order I equally turned down as they would lead me out and kill me. It was at this juncture they asked me to say my last prayer while of them pulled his trigger to fire me but the alleged leader the four men gang asked him not to shoot.
They questioned whether I made any phone call across to the police? I replied I did not know when they entered the compound, talkless of reaching out to the police as I was alone in the Bishop’s residence. Bishop emeritus Rt. Rv. DR. Francis Okobo has moved to his retirement home and the new Bishop Rt. Rev. Prof. Godfrey Onah has not packed in to the Bishop’s court due some renovation works on going at the residence.
It could be recalled that the Cathedral administrator on Sunday preceding Tuesday the robbers invaded the Cathedral had presented a balance sheet of the total income and expenditure of the Cathedral for 2013 fiscal year ending December 31,2013 to the Cathedral congregation and announced the balance. The robbers may have allegedly acting on information or may be at the church when the statement of account for 2013 was announced, invaded the house of God to cart away the amount announced in the church.
The Bishop’s secretary Rv. Fr. Odoh explained that he would not say whether the robbers were actually looking for the Money announced in the church Sunday before they struck on Tuesday but said that the highest collection contained in the statement of account for 2013 was during the Episcopal Ordination of the new Bishop of the diocese, others were from the laity councils, CYON, CMO, CWO MOD among other groups.
After several hours when the robbers found out that there were no other cash, they called me idiot and took me to the Bishop’s kitchen, unlocked the kitchen and brought the three security man attached to St. Theresa’s College (STC) Nsukka and forced them to lead them to the principal’s residence and left me alone to my own mercy.
Crime guard gathered that the dare devils and agents of darkness allegedly collected the principal’s laptop and an undisclosed amount of money with other valuables despites the ill health condition of the Rev.Fr. Igwebueze principal of the college. According to the earlier statement of Fr. Odoh the robbers had asked him to bring out the women they heard their voices at the point of entry into the residence.
But he swiftly replied, “What could a woman be doing in a priests residence at the wee hours of their entry”, explaining that he was all alone in the Bishop’s Court. He then asked them to go round again to see if any woman was kept in any of the rooms. “I do not know what you want again”, he asked.
Fr. Odoh noted that both he and Fr Igwebueze next morning then lodged the incident at both Nsukka police Area Command and the urban police division, Nsukka, adding that both the Area Commander, Ros-Armson Haladu (ACD) and the team stormed the scene of the incident and took inventory of damages and items stolen.
The catholic bishop of Nsukka diocese, Rt Rev. Prof Godfrey Onah had in a homily at the cathedral asked the bandits that invaded the bishop’s court to quietly return all the items they collected or face the option of the wrath of God within few days. The bishop noted that the robbers should come to him if they want him and should leave his priests alone, he warned.
Meanwhile, the Area Commander, Ros-Armson Haladu (ACP) has assured to track down the robbers that invaded the Bishop’s residence, adding he moved into action by drafting fierce detectives to unveil the circumstances surrounding the incident at the Bishop’s residence and track down the alleged fleeing robbers to face the wrath of law. Meanwhile no arrest has been made as at the time of filling this report.
Source: Vanguard