Saturday, September 6, 2014

Terrorism: Heavy fighting as troops engage Boko Haram in Gwoza - See more at:

ABUJA. — Heavy fighting between troops of the Nigerian Military and heavily armed terrorists of the Boko Haram sect fighting to retain control of Gwoza town in Borno  State, was on-going last night with Airforce attack helicopters providing air cover as the insurgents remained recalcitrant in the battle.
Soldiers in Yola, Adamawa State: Operational Commander, Brig-Gen. Fatai Alli addressing soldiers on arrival in Yola for the State of Emergency Operation yesterday. Photo: NAN.
File Photo: Soldiers in Yola, Adamawa State.
In fact, a top military source, who spoke to Vanguard last night, said the insurgents’ fire-power in being able to withstand the fire-power
of the military forces was a source of concern to the military command in the epicentre of the war on terror.
There were reports of casualties from both the military and the terrorists while the sheer number of the insurgents and the fact that
they  were heavily armed prompted the ground troops to request for reinforcements from the air force to provide air bombardments.
Units of the 213 battalion Task Force and 234 Special Operations battalion both based in Mubi which attempted to retake Gwoza Township from Islamist militant Boko Haram were said to have retreated and sent signals for air support as a result of unrelenting gun fire from the insurgents.
While a source said using the word defeat of Nigerian soldiers fighting to retake Gwoza town from the grip of Boko Haram insurgents
was childish, he noted that the commanders on ground were only making strategies for more effective offensive.
Reports from the battle-field had indicated that following three days of fighting over 100 civilians and several soldiers were killed
Vanguard gathered that some officers (names withheld) who led the attempt to recapture Gwoza and other towns from the terrorists were feared either dead or captured by the insurgents and their whereabouts was a source of concern to the military authorities.
Vanguard was told that due to the worrisome terrain of the battle area, the terrorists were able to ambush some of the soldiers and
demobilise some of their equipment.
There were conflicting figures on the casualty figures on the part of soldiers killed, but it was not possible to get confirmation.
Recall that the Nigerian military at the weekend recaptured Damboa town after Boko Haram overran the town and planted its flag.
As at the time of sending this report, Vanguard was expecting the Director of Defence Information, Maj General Chris Olukolade to reply a text questionnaire on the situation of the fighting in Gwoza.

Source: Vanguard 

Flicks: Strange things are happening

These are not the best of times!. For Nigerians who are still in the World Cup, very weird and strange things are beginning to happen out here. Perhaps, the kicking out of the Super Eagles could as well be said to be responsible for men and women to get other ideas.
: Fans Arlete (L) and Vana pose with a Brazilian flag prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup opening match Brazil vs Croatia in Heilbronn, Germany, on June 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DPA / SEBASTIAN KAHNERT +++ GERMANY OUT
: Fans Arlete (L) and Vana pose with a Brazilian flag prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup opening match Brazil vs Croatia in Heilbronn, Germany, on June 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO
Back home, most parents complain that moral standards have fallen with the open relationships of boys and girls, men and women. But, they are nothing to be compared with the brazen and weird things that happen in the open here.
Interestingly, these things happen right before the noses of enforcement agencies, Policia. Man and woman kissing for endless hours, woman and woman kissing and caressing, man and man kissing. It is strange to us, if not abominable. These are regular things especially in parks, trains, etc. It is irritating.
But it is their way of life here. The elderly are not left out. Anyway, a Nigerian who has been left in the cold since the beating of Super Eagles by France decided to explore the land and went downtown in search of the now famous ‘’body nobi wood”. At the beginning of the World Cup, prices of everything skyrocketed.
But with the defeats of many teams who have gone home, sanity is prevailing, even in the markets. It was based on this trend that made our man to go quench his appetite. He selected the most alluring, beautiful girl with the now famous Brazilian bum-bum with her Brazilian hair flowing down to her hips.
Language is not an inhibition to love. Seconds later, surprisingly, our guy ran back panting. He was totally washed out in shock, with his hand on his head while his heart-beat pounded like a faulty engine without oil. ‘’ Yepa! M’okuo” he exclaimed, still panting. ‘’Okunrin ni mogbe”, meaning ‘’it’s a man I carried”.
Glances exchanged. I burst into laughter. He did not take kindly to it. But it is a common thing to see pretty girls who you think are girls not knowing they have gone through the knife to become prettier women.
It could be embarrassing to go in with a woman and she begins to remove her plastic bum-bum and breasts for those who carry it or you end up realizing that the woman is a man(shemale) with her instrument of labour and production dangling. They have a name; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, LGBT. A strange world, indeed! No place like home.
South American Correspondent
With all the offensive information emanating from home, one is even afraid to come home. Same home they say there is no place like. Home where my heart is. Imagine coming home to abandon my car because of the endless traffic on Mile 2 – Apapa road, at the risk of  being chased like a common thief in the night, harassed in the day while other hapless people watch, grope in the night because of no electricity, no water; develop waist problem because of deep holes on the road; shout with the conductor to give me my change etc. I hear it is raining in Nigeria.
Oh rain! It brings pain to us. All these and many more hardships. What if I tell Eze Anaba and Mideno Bayagbon, Deputy Editor and Editor respectively of Vanguard  to allow me become the Brazilian Correspondent in-charge of South American countries? It won’t be a bad idea. Vanguard is an international Newspaper of repute. After all, a reporter once asked to be made Vanguard’s correspondent in Japan.
Dead or alive?
Thanks to all who have written, called to find out if all is well with me. Indeed, I am good and kicking in the land of 3S – Soccer, Sex and Samba. The (Whore) Cup is on while the fireworks at the different stadia are frightening at the real World Cup. The men are being separated from the weaklings, who go home with rehearsed excuses.
Many showed concern after a flyover collapsed on vehicles in the World Cup host city of Belo Horizonte, killing two people. The concrete and steel bridge, which was under construction, fell on the road on a busy highway. A commuter bus was crushed, killing the driver, along with two unoccupied trucks.
A body was also recovered from a car trapped beneath the rubble. The south-eastern Brazilian city is due to host a football World Cup semi-final match next week. Many called to find out if I was dead or alive! What if I told them I was dead? My parents, living and dead prayed that while it’s happening in front, I would be at the rear. And when it is happening from the rear, I would be at the front. That prayer is working. I Never knew many love and care for me. Thanks.
Anyway, some of those who showed concern were those I am owing. You must have heard of a man who was owed and on hearing of the death of his debtor wept uncontrollably saying ‘’he shouldn’t have died now”. When asked why he was saying that, he retorted ‘’don’t you know he is owing me N1,000 and promised to pay back next week. Oh, why did he die now”?


Scientist invents ‘robot’ that kills Ebola virus

RECENTLY, in effort to eliminate Ebola at the source, through use of innovative disinfection technology, two “germ-killing robots”  were deployed from the US to the JFK Hospital and ELWA Hospital both in Monrovia, Republic of Liberia, both hotspots of the Ebola disease outbreak.
The robots, technically known as TRU-D SmartUVC, were used to disinfect health care environments where Ebola patients are being treated. Good Health Weekly gathered that TRU-D is the only portable UV disinfection device on the market with Sensor360 technology, which calculates the time needed to react to room variables such as size, geometry, surface reflectivity and the amount and location of equipment in the room and effectively deliver a lethal dose of UV-C light during a single cycle from a single, central location in the room.
Ultraviolet light
“It works by generating ultraviolet light energy that modifies the DNA structure of viral pathogens, like Ebola, so that they cannot reproduce. Viruses that cannot reproduce cannot colonise and harm patients,” the inventor, a tropical disease expert and medical anthropologist Dr. Jeffery L. Deal noted in an interview.
Deal and his colleague, Chuck Dunn, President and CEO of TRU-D LLC, respectively, spoke about the importance of TRU-D to environmental disinfection in
“TRU-D has been validated by more than 10 studies to be 99.99 percent effective in eliminating the most common pathogens that can use health care-associated infections.
After deploying germ-killing robots to Liberia to aid in battle against the Ebola Virus Disease, TRU-D SmartUVC inventor traveled to the Ebola hotspots with UV disinfection devices
TRU-D guarantees a pathogen-free environment for patients and health care staff. Deal,  a Fellow in the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, has been training hospital staff to operate the devices in a number of hospital environments and monitor progress for successful disinfection.
• TRU-D SmartUVC  ultraviolet disinfection device on display
• TRU-D SmartUVC ultraviolet disinfection device on display
“We developed TRU-D SmartUVC technology to combat the devastating effects ofhospital acquired infections,” Deal said.
“Unlike many diseases, Ebola strikes hospital workers more than any other group, making it the ultimate hospital acquired infection.”
With TRU-D, health care leaders in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Saudi Arabia are eliminating pathogens like Ebola, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, MERS, influenza, norovirus, Clostridium difficile, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, etc., in all types of health care settings, including isolation wards, patient rooms, operating rooms, surgical suites, intensive care units, emergency rooms, public areas and ambulances.
“We know through extensive CDC-funded research specific to TRU-D conducted by thought leaders in epidemiology and infection prevention that TRU-D is effective at eliminating anypathogen by delivering a precisely measured UVC dose.
“As soon as we knew we could aid struggling hospitals in Liberia, our team came together and formulated a plan to get TRU-D on the ground. More than 200 TRU-Ds have been deployed to disinfect hospitals across the U.S. and internationally.
Between 10 and 15 percent of Ebola cases have been among health care workers. While most of this stems from contact with the patient, concerns exist that the physical environment can retain active microbes and be a risk. This device is used in the US to eliminate the organisms that may still reside on the walls, knobs, rails or any other exposed surface in health care settings. The robotic technology is capable of making the Liberian hospitals safer for the staff and for new patients.
It was developed by a team of engineers, physicians and industrial hygienists with the purpose of decontaminating entire rooms automatically and eliminating concerns that a contaminated surface was missed during routine cleaning.
We use an ultra-efficient narrow wavelength called UVC to flood the room with germicidal energy. UVC dosage is accurately measured and automatically adapts to kill organisms, even in shadowed areas.
UV disinfection technology and EVD control
This technology is designed to prevent the spread of the disease transmitted via contaminated surfaces in health care environments and is not a treatment or a cure. We believe that prevention is the best medicine.
The U.S. Army tested this particular wavelength against Ebola and found that the measured dose TRU-D delivers results in incredibly rapid destruction of the virus with its pathogen-specific dosing options.. We know it is perfect for use in this critical setting.
Multiple studies have already been published from U.S. and UK academic facilities of TRU-D’s ability to decontaminate rooms, almost always testing it against organisms that are much more difficult to kill in the environment than Ebola is.

Source: Vanguard 

England can’t afford slow start, says Rooney

LONDON (AFP) – Wayne Rooney admits England can’t afford a slow start to their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign against Switzerland on Monday.
Roy Hodgson’s team head to Basel desperately in need of a strong performance and result to erase the bitter taste of their miserable World Cup campaign.
The road to the Euros in France starts with a potentially tricky clash with the Swiss, who are likely to be England’s only serious rivals to win Group E.
Switzerland — who only lost to an Angel di Maria goal for Argentina in the dying minutes of extra-time of their last 16 World Cup clash — are ranked ninth in the world and are the bookmakers favourites to win Monday’s encounter at St Jakob-Park against an England team still suffering from a World Cup hangover.
After a lacklustre 1-0 friendly win over Norway in midweek was greeted with criticism, England boss Hodgson cut a tetchy figure as he swore at reporters who questioned his team’s lack of shots on target.
Against that depressing backdrop, England captain Rooney knows his side can’t afford to let the post-World Cup negativity linger any longer.
“It is important to start the qualifying campaign off with a good result,” Rooney said.
“It is important to try and win the game, but I think not to get beat and give Switzerland the upper hand from the first game is vital.”
The English public’s apathy in the wake of the World Cup was highlighted by the fact Wednesday’s friendly against Norway attracted Wembley’s lowest crowd for an international since the stadium’s opening in 2007.
To make matters worse, the 40,181 that did turn up were hardly wowed as England’s display lacked inspiration and quality.
However, Manchester United striker Rooney is confident that good times are around the corner, pointing to the spirit and excitement brought by the performance in the World Cup opener against Italy, even if the game in Manaus ended in defeat.
“It’s exciting times,” he said. “The Italy and Uruguay games were disappointing results, but I thought we did well in both games.
“It could have gone either way, but we lost and we’re out. We played some great attacking football.
“The lads who were at that tournament have gained vital experience from the tournament.”

Source: Vanguard 

Boko Haram: Jonathan declares full-scale war ,deploys warplanes - See more at:

By Kingsley Omonobi  (With agency reports)
Nigerian warplanes are carrying out air strikes against Boko Haram militant bases at Bama, Borno State, a senior official said yesterday, in a government counter-attack against Boko Haram’s drive to create an Islamist enclave.
The official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters Nigeria’s military was battling Boko Haram fighters at Bama, 70 km (45 miles) southeast of the Borno state capital Maiduguri.Army-Jonathan
Air strikes have been carried out “on all the Boko Haram bases”, the official said, adding this reflected President Goodluck Jonathan’s order for a “fully-fledged war” against the group which has waged a bloody insurgency since 2009.
“Bama today is the centre of the military battle with the terrorists … Boko Haram is being repelled by the Nigerian troops as we are talking now,” the government official said, without giving details of the operations or casualties.
The battle over Bama, and Boko Haram’s storming of towns and villages to the north, east and south of Maiduguri in recent weeks, has raised fears of an attack on the Borno state capital, prompting hundreds of civilians to flee.
“Even today, we can see so many people leaving … the buses are going out plenty now,” Musa Sumail, a human rights activist in Maiduguri who reports on the violence in the northeast, told Reuters. He said he had seen at least one or two Nigerian government fighter jets in the skies above Maiduguri.
We ‘ll do everything to defend our territorial integrity –Defence Hqtr
Indeed, the Defence Headquarters said the armed forces will do everything to defend the nation’s sovereignty.
In a statement by Major General Chris Olukolade, Director of Defence Information said,  the armed forces said: “DHQ wishes to reiterate the pledge and commitment it made while briefing the Joint Committee on Defence of the National Assembly to the effect that everything will be done to reverse the situation and defeat the rampaging terrorists.
“While welcoming all the concerns shown by Nigerians and a section of the international community following the increased menace and activities of terrorists, it is necessary to reassure all that the Nigerian Armed Forces is more than ever determined and committed to the defence of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nigeria, regardless of any odd.
“It is not only the pride and reputation of the military that is at stake but that of the entire nation.  We therefore urge our citizens not to lose hope or be disenchanted but to remain steadfast and supportive of the military as all steps are being taken to ensure the success of the counter-insurgency operations, especially at this crucial time when our sovereignty is being challenged.
“With this in mind, it is important to reiterate that the Nigerian military is fully conscious of its obligations to the Nigerian state and remains willing and ready to perform its duties with utmost diligence. Therefore, what the military requires at this critical period in the nation’s history is not pillories but continued support from all stakeholders and comity of nations.
“Indeed, this is not the time to despair or shift blames.   Rather it calls for concerted effort by all and sundry to stop the agents of darkness who seek to destroy our country and civilization. On its part, the Nigerian military as a fighting force, assures Nigerians once again that this battle will be won.”
Military ‘ve killed 1,200 insurgents –AVM Marizu
Sharing this view, former Air Officer Commanding Logistics Command of the Nigerian Airforce, Air Vice Marshall Chris Marizu (rtd), yesterday, cautioned politicians against utterances that were capable of pitching the armed forces against the citizens they were supposed to protect noting that the military forces have killed 1200 Boko Haram insurgents in the battle for Bama, Borno State.
He spoke in the light of the current challenges in the counter-terrorism efforts in the North east which has understandably elicited a sense of apprehension among citizens and even foreign allies, as
He made the disclosure just as the President of Course 18 participants of the Nigeria Defence Academy, Air Commodore Olufemi Agbetuyi warned that it was high time the nation stopped mixing politics with security issues.
Speaking at the 18th regular course re-union in Abuja yesterday, AVM Marizu said, “People should know that some persons who have done so much for this country and the military institution cannot just be rubbished on the altar of politics.
“Some unscrupulous citizens of this country are using the advantages that they enjoy under democracy to malign the military with innuendos and statements without facts. All the things that Mr. Davies said for instance, there was nothing in it and no facts to buttress anything. The angle of aircraft for instance, was Ihejirika the Chief of Air Staff?
“It shows there are undemocratic elements working in tandem with outsiders trying to destroy this country. For instance, the last few days, the media has been awash with reports that Boko Haram has over-run Bama and taken over the city whereas, the reverse is the case. We have troops there and we are in touch on a daily basis” “The truth is that as at Tuesday, our soldiers had killed over 700 Boko Haram insurgents during the battle. The following day, another 500 terrorists were killed.
What is happening is not what is being reported in the newspapers and sometimes I wonder if the media are Nigerian media or what they seek to gain by running our soldiers down” In his contribution, Air Commodore  Agbetuyi  cautioned politicians in the country against trying to bring the name of the military into disrepute warning that doing so will amount bringing down the military. On allegation against General Azubuike Ihejirika, he said, “Some political elites do not understand what the man went through as COAS, the sleepless nights, the sacrifices General Ihejirika made for the country.
I recall how he was tackling the security challenge in the country and some Nigerians who do not understand or pretending not to, or some enemies of Nigeria said the army was killing people indiscriminately. The same people today are saying he sponsors Boko Haram. Does it make sense?”

Source: Vanguard 

How Cameroun arrested, released Sheriff – Falana

By Olasunkanmi Akoni and Monsur Olowoopejo
Lagos based human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana, yesterday, revealed how Former Governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff was arrested in 2012 by the Cameroonian government for the crime committed by the deadly Boko Haram sect.
Meantime, ahead of the 2015 election, former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Professor Tam David-West, Professor Akin Oyebode and Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, have, unanimously, urged Nigerians to wake up from their slumber and use the next year’s election to bring relief to their unwholesome circumstances.
Ali Modu Sherrif at the conference
Ali Modu Sherrif at the conference
Falana and other eminent personalities spoke at the 5th Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Lecture, titled; ‘State of the Nation and 2015 general elections: Issues, posers and challenges before us, held in Lagos.
“In October 2012, Sheriff was arrested in Cameroun on crime committed by the Boko Haram he sponsored. The state government pleaded with the Camerounian government to release him because he is a well known man here and he cannot be arrested.” Falana stated.
The Lagos based lawyer said that the former governor was not sincere in his relationship with the Boko Haram sect in the country.
Sue me not Davis
He however, asked Sheriff to sue him rather than planning to seek redress in court by suing the Australian negotiator, Dr. Stephen Davies, even as he reaffirmed that Sheriff sponsored of the Boko Haram activities.
This came few days after Sheriff said he would seek redress in court by suing the Australian negotiator, Dr. Stephen Davies, who recently fingered him as one of the sponsors of the Boko Haram insurgency. According to Falana, “I am expecting Senator Ali Madu Sheriff to sue me. I heard that he wanted to sue an Australian (Dr. Steven Davies). He doesn’t need that. He should sue me. I am waiting for him to sue me. Not only did he fund that organization (Boko Haram), he also had a deal with them.” He noted that Sheriff cannot denial all the allegations made against him, saying. “In 2003, he had a deal with the Boko Haram leaders to help him win the election and that if he wins his re-election, he will compensate the organization.
\When he won the election, he appointed one of them as Commissioner for Religious Affairs to implement Sharia in that state.”
He however, accused the Federal Government of shielding certain facts from its citizens.
Falana said “The Federal Government is yet to react to the statement by Dr. Stephen Davies against Sheriff. I expect the central government to have made its position known on the issue.”
The lawyer therefore, called for concerted effort to tackle the menace of Boko Haram, saying, “People’s Democratic Party, PDP and All Progressives Congress, APC should stop politicizing the Boko Haram issue but what is important is unity to tackle the menace”
In his remarks, David-West lamented the nefarious activities of Boko Haram sect in the country, saying, “We do not have a nation. If we have a nation, the problem confronting the country will have been resolved earlier than now.”
He added, “In fact, we are not at crossroad but we have missed the road. There is no road at the moment for the country to attain greatness.”
Explaining the reason for the longevity of the challenges facing the country, David-West said, “What do you expect from a country ruled by a Ph.d holder who said that 16 is greater than 19. The country when the president budget N1 billion for food in a year and cannot pay N18, 000 minimum wage. Daily I have begun to lose faith in our election and leadership.
David -West dispelled the claim that the country will fail to exist after 2015 election, saying, “we will not break in 2015.”
But he said “The citizens need to wake up from their slumber. We are too complacent and this was the reason why the current public office holders take the citizens for granted.
He continued; “Election affords citizens the opportunity to change government which they do not like. I do not believe in revolution but the citizens must go on the street to stop bad government. If 2015 election will be selection rather than election, Nigerians must rise up to stop it. It has to be election and not selection.”
Oyebode while delivering his lecture said the power to change any government resides in the citizens. “And this they can do through their vote.”.
According to him, “The 2015 election constitute yet another opportunity for Nigerians to see themselves as master in the political game rather than servants of the governing class.”

Source: Vanguard