Things You Should Never Say To Your Boss

11 Oct

1. ‘I Am Just Here for the Money’

In China, it is very common for a lot of employees to work just for the money. This means they will leave if you fail to give them a raise or if their peers start to make a lot more money than they do. Our interview process has filtered this as much as possible but if we hear through the “grapevine” that the person is just doing the job for the money we will let them go very quickly.

- Derek Capo, CEO and Founder, Next Step China

2. ‘You Never Told Me to Do It’

When something important doesn’t get done, the worst thing you can say is, “You never asked me to do it.” There are few better ways to neglect yourself of that promotion, a raise, or even job security.

- Ken Cauley, President, Advanced Media

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3. ‘There’s Something Wrong’

It’s easy to complain about what’s wrong. It’s hard to come up with solutions to fix the problem. My former manager at LivingSocial said, “Be a problem solver, not spotter,” and I’ve taken this advice to heart in my everyday life. If you see a problem, don’t address the situation with what’s wrong; address the situation with an answer. If you don’t have a real solution, wait until you do.

- Sarah Ware, Markerly

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4. ‘I Want to Do What’s Easiest’

We have a client who had an employee literally explain that he would rather do a particularly menial task than the task that the employer had assigned because it would be easier for him. We were shocked. This is the most explicit way to alert your boss that you don’t care about improving your skill set without directly telling him. Never do this if you care about your career!

- Patrick Conley, Founder / CEO, Automation Heroes

5. ‘That Takes Up Too Much Time’

Through the years, we have had many operational restructurings that have required large amounts of data to be filtered and edited or re-formatted in some manner. There’s nothing worse than an employee who complains about the amount of time required to move the company to the next level.

- Laura Land, CFO / COO, Accessory Export, LLC

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6. ‘I Could Be Doing Other Things’

Bratty much? Don’t complain about your job. If you hate it, quit. If there’s something wrong with it, find a way to fix it. If someone or something is really ticking you off, don’t project your anger onto others, especially not your boss. If it’s a good job, be grateful for it. If you want more out of your job, make it happen. Be diplomatic about it and make it your dream job, or leave.

- Danny Wong, Co-founder, Blank Label

7. ‘I Promise to Do That’

Don’t ever tell your boss you’re able to do something if you know you may not be able to deliver. It is better to be honest, ask for advice and have a proactive attitude. If you fail to deliver, then it has negative repercussions for the business, which is taken much more seriously.

- Christopher Pruijsen, Co-Founder / Partnerships, Afrostart.io

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8. ‘It’s Too Difficult’

I get fired up when someone is paralyzed and doesn’t complete a task because it’s difficult or because few others have done it. We’re a disruptive company that has to innovate, that has to do things few have done before us. One of my advisors here has a quote: “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.” We won’t win if we don’t think big.

- Marcos Cordero, Chief Gradsaver, GradSave, LLC

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9. ‘I Agree to Disagree’

Whether it is said explicitly or passive-aggressively, this mindset has no place in startup culture. Those who have this mindset should either found their own startups or go work in big corporate America where this goes unnoticed. At a startup, you’re either all the way in or all the way out.

- Danny Boice, Co-Founder & CTO, Speek

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10. ‘I Don’t Have an Opinion’

The people who just sit and nod their heads are the ones who are expendable. If you want to make an impression as a valuable member of the team, offer your insights. No one ever agrees with his boss 100 percent all the time, so make your opinion known if you have something worth saying.

- Nick Friedman, President, College Hunks Hauling Junk and College Hunks Moving

11. ‘I Can’t’

I don’t want to hear excuses ever! We focus on hiring can-do, positive, creative employees with passion, drive and determination.

- Kuba Jewgieniew, Founder and CEO, Realty ONE Group

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12. ‘I’m Not Optimistic’

The most important thing for any team member is to stay optimistic. Being a pessimist and doubting the future of the company is a real downer. There is nothing wrong with being realistic; however, people who are melancholy suck the life out of an early-stage company and cannot last long.

- Raoul Davis, CEO, Ascendant Group

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13. ‘I’m Clocked Out’

There is nothing more discouraging to an entrepreneur than when an employee says he is not willing to go the extra mile because he isn’t “clocked in.” We remind our employees that they work for a young company and they are in control of their own careers. Acting within the status quo never gets you to the top!

- Darren Solomon, President, Kid Ventures

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14. ‘That’s Not My Responsibility’

It’s critical that everyone feels invested in the success of all areas of the business. Everyone should be willing to pitch in, even if what’s required isn’t part of their normal day-to-day activities.

- Robert J. Moore, Co-Founder and CEO, RJMetrics

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15. ‘That’s Not My Job’

Your responsibilities aren’t limited to what was listed in your original job description — especially at a startup. Unless your boss is asking you to do something illegal or unethical, you should do it.

- Mary Ellen Slayter, Founder/Managing Director, Reputation Capital

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16. ‘I Don’t Like Working for Other People’

An employee actually told me that he didn’t like working for other people. That person doesn’t work for me anymore!

- Andrew Angus, CEO, Switch Video

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17. ‘I’m Not Working Hard’

I never want to know that someone who works for me isn’t working hard. People can disagree with me, and I’m fine to hear criticism. I’ll never lose respect for anyone because he disagrees with me or because they failed. I don’t want to know if someone is giving less than their best effort or that someone lied. I have high expectations of people when it comes to their work ethic.

- Dries Buytaert, Co-founder and CTO, Drupal

Source: NairaLand

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Secrets of a Muslim Woman

4 Oct

Written and narrated by Fatima Barkatulla.

When people see a Muslim woman on the local High Street, covered from head to toe, exposing nothing but her eyes or her face and hands, all sorts of thoughts and images enter their minds:

Burkah clad victims who hide their bodies away out of shame, forced marriages and honour killings, suppression and oppression of women –things that Islam totally condemns but some crazy Muslims are guilty of.

Feelings range from curiosity and pity, to complete horror at what looks like a religion that deems women inferior. What doesn’t really seem to add up is that even though Islam seems to be the least appealing way of life for women, more and more intelligent, educated, independent women in the West feel that Islam showed them what it was to be true to their womanhood and are actually choosing to live as Muslims. Now why would they want to do that?

To be honest, I would completely understand why someone might think Islam was an unattractive choice for women. When Islam is mentioned in the popular media, it is often mentioned alongside horrible stories and without much of an explanation from a Muslim perspective. On top of that, there are some Muslims out there who are doing terrible things that are either twisted interpretations or cultural practises and have nothing to do with the religion of Islam – in fact they are things that Islam is against.

But wouldn’t you agree that to judge a religion merely by looking at the actions of some of the people who claim to follow it is not really fair? I mean, surely to get a true understanding of Islam, we’ve got to look at what its teachings are, what its book says about it – not just at the behaviour of some people who call themselves Muslims. And to get an unbiased understanding, we’ve got to approach the topic with an open mind – not allowing the things we’ve read in the papers or seen on TV to colour our view.

Straight from the horse’s mouth.
Everybody seems to have an opinion on Muslim Women: from Presidents of European states to the local cab driver and you’ve probably heard everyone’s views -except the views of the women themselves!

Well, my name is Fatima and I am the busy mother of 4 children. I’m a journalist and a Londoner born and bred and this is a chance for you to hear from me; a Muslim woman, in my own words, how Islam affects my experience of womanhood.

You see the thing is, the way I see my role as a woman is completely linked to the conclusions I’ve come to about the meaning of life – and they are very rational, common sense conclusions. That the Universe has a cause – a Creator and that Creator sent us guidance and created us with a purpose that is not merely materialistic. That the Creator sent us a manual to guide us through life and an extraordinary individual –Muhammad – to teach us that way of life.

Hey! Where are the instructions?
It makes sense to me that the One who made us would tell us why we are here – what the purpose of our life is. He wouldn’t just create such an intricate and finely tuned creation such as us humans– who question what the meaning of life is- and leave us without any direction. He would tell us how to live a good life. He would give us an instruction manual.

I believe – with good reason – that that instruction manual is the Qur’an. The Qur’an is the only book that tells us about the Creator in reasonable, rational terms that satisfy our intellects. It is a fully comprehensive guidance, revealed through an extraordinary individual: Muhammad. And it is the only book from God that exists in its original form, word for word. Yes the Torah and the Bible in their original form were from that same source – but it is a historical fact that they have been changed and manipulated by human beings over the years. When I read the Qur’an on the other hand, I found no contradictions and I found that it described things accurately in a way that I would expect the creator to do.  In fact even though the Qur’an was revealed over a thousand years ago, a time when microscopes hadn’t been invented, it tells us things that Muhammad couldn’t have known about – like the development stages of the embryo in the womb of the mother. And other amazing things that convinced me that it had to have a divine source.

But for me as woman, what I found most uplifting was that the Qur’an was incredibly empowering. It empowered me by telling me not to be subservient to created things: to men, to the media, to fashion, to what other people think and dictate to me. It showed me that the way to be free from subservience to created things was to submit to my Creator. That’s exactly what Islam means: submission to our Creator.

I also found out through the Qur’an the answer to that question all of us must have asked ourselves at least once in our lives: What is the pupose of life? What’s it all for? The answer is in the Qur’an. That the purpose of our creation is to recognise that we have a Creator and Sustainer – to acknowledge that Creator and submit to Him.

A man championing the rights of women?
If you were to research into Muhammad’s life you would find a man of the most impeccable character. His morals and integrity were so outstanding that people would accept his message just by seeing the way he behaved.

He was attacked for the message he brought to people and suffered a lot and yet he forgave the very people who hurt him. For example when the people of Mecca were torturing and persecuting the first Muslims, Muhammad when to a small town called Taif where he invited the leaders of that town to embrace his message. They rejected him and had him chased out of the town with mobs of people throwing stones at him until he bled. Even though he suffered all of this, he forgave those people and prayed for them.

Even when he was offered treasures and power and  luxury in exchange for giving up his message – Muhammad chose to live a simple life with no luxuries – in fact he would often go hungry for days. His message was so important to him – because he cared about us. He cared about  giving us the truth.

He was the first man in history to stand up in front of a whole nation and speak about the rights of women. Really! He was the first world leader to tell men: Honour your womenfolk, treat them kindly, the best of you is the one who is the best to his wife and respect the wombs that bore you. He elevated the status of women as builders of society.

When a man came and asked him “Who has the most rights over me” who should I serve the most and take care of the most. He said “Your mother.” The man asked, “Then who?” And he said: “your mother” again! And a third time the man asked “and then who?” and he replied again “your mother” and then when the man asked him a fourth time said “And then your father”.

Now if we go back in time for a moment – one thousand four hundred years back to be precise, we realise that there’s so much we take for granted as women living in the 21st century…we have rights that women years ago never dreamed of.  In Arabia for example, before the coming of the Prophet Muhammad, women essentially belonged to men. If a man died, his wife was part of the wealth that his heirs would inherit. Female babies, used to be buried alive because families thought that girls were just a burden.

The message that the Prophet Muhammad came with changed all of that and upset the men who wanted to keep things the way they were. But what he said was a message from the Creator of women it wasn’t something that he invented himself. The Prophet Muhammad told women that they were equal to men: just as important as men spiritually, socially, as individuals and as members of society. The Qur’an gave women rights of inheritance and to keep their identity and family names after they got married. In European countries women would change their names when they got married signifying that they now belonged to their husbands.

He told men that women were to be respected and not used as sexual objects or abused and that they must take full financial responsibility to provide and nurture their marriage partners and any children they father, even if the marriage breaks up. He condemned the killing of baby girls and encouraged raising daughters with as much pride as sons. He said that women should never be forced to marry against their will and should be able to choose and refuse.

He encouraged women to study and learn and in fact his wife Aisha was one of the greatest and most knowledgeable jurists and teachers in Islamic history.  Less than 200 years after Muhammad’s death, in the 8th century, it was a Muslim woman Fatima Al-Fihri who set up the world’s first university, in fact, in the words of author Ruth Roded: “In reading the biographies of thousands of Muslim women scholars, one is amazed at the evidence that contradicts the view of Muslim women as marginal, secluded and restricted.” In her study she found that the proportion of female lecturers in many classical Islamic colleges was higher than in modern Western universities.” Here in Britain – women had to fight for their right to enter universities and only started getting degrees in 1920!  If there are men in the world who are stopping women from being educated, they are going against the teachings of Prophet Muhammad.

These were all revolutionary ideas that are relatively new even to Europe and the Western World. Yet Muhammad was saying these things 1400 years ago

Women would come from far and wide to learn from the Prophet Muhammad and they were always welcome to come and ask him questions. They never felt shy to come to him for justice. For example, one young lady was forced by her father to marry a man. She went to the Prophet Muhammad and told him what her father had done. The prophet Muhammad told her she could have the marriage annulled. She said that she came to him so that fathers would know that they are not allowed to force their daughters in to marriage. Just look at how confident the women were that if they came to Muhammad, they would get justice and he would stand up for them.

So who are you submitting to?
Each and every human being submits to someone or something. Sometimes it’s subconscious. We’re so used to conforming to subtle external expectations that we don’t even realise we are conforming. We submit to peer pressure – pressure from our friends or from the media. We submit to societal pressures or to the fashion or music industries or to our desires…that feeling of ‘I want this’ and ‘I want that’. It’s easy for a human being to allow their desires to lead them in life and it inevitably leads to destruction or a lack of fulfilment. What Islam did for me was to give me a chance to break away from those pressures. I realised that my Creator is the one I must submit to because He knows what is good for me and what is bad for me because He created me! Before that I had many masters – trying to control me, affecting my behaviour – sometimes really subtly. By submitting to God I became free. And I strive to continue to submit to him – it is an ongoing journey – but now I have a clear roadmap to follow.

God tells us in the Qur’an, that we have to submit, to surrender to the will of God – the one who created all of us men and women and who knows us best. That is the only way we will attain peace.

Men and Women –equal but not the same.
Any guidance that came from our creator would recognise that men and women are physiologically and psychologically different. To ignore the differences would be unjust. Men are on the whole physically stronger than women. That’s why you’ll never find Roger Federer playing tennis against Serena Williams! Nor will you find men racing against women at the Olympics. Our bodies are designed differently. That’s why it is still not acceptable on the streets of London for a woman to walk around topless but it would be for a man to – right? So we know that we are different and therefore Islam tells us that our roles in society are different too. We as women give birth to children and nurture them with the milk of humanity. Men cannot do that. God tells men that one of their roles is to take leadership and nurture their families, to provide for them and to take full financial responsibility for their wives and children. And women are the most powerful force in society, our role as mothers, as the first school of humanity is honoured and supported in Islam. We are not required to contribute one penny to the upkeep of the family. We may work and earn money and that money is ours to do as we wish with. But we don’t have to work because God deems us irreplaceable as the homemaker and nurturer of the next generation and had placed that responsibility upon the shoulders of men.

More Precious Than Jewels
So to go back to the question I started with: When I as a Muslim woman cover myself, I’m not doing it because a man told me to or my Imam told us to. No! I do it because our Creator knows the nature of men and women and gives us guidance about all sorts of things in the Qur’an to help us live the most upright lives we can. One of the things He tells us in the Qur’an is to cover ourselves when we go outside, with outer garments and head coverings so that we will be recognised and respected and not molested in any way. He commanded us to cover ourselves in a certain way when we are in the presence of men who are not closely related to us. (Men have also been given guidelines for dress in Islam – that’s not something you hear about usually – but here I’m focusing on us women as that is what is so often in the media). When I’m at home or in the company of women and children I dress as I please – yes, I even go to the hairdressers and wear the latest fashions and jewellery, but I just cover it up when I go outside – it’s a sort of uniform. There is nothing strange about this. In fact the Bible too instructs women to cover their
We would never walk around with our PIN number on display would we? How about our cash or our most precious jewels? Precious things are kept carefully – and that’s what women are in Islam – precious; not to be flaunted cheaply, but preserved under our robes for people whom we choose to share our beauty with. And we all know that when we are dressed in a more modest way, men show us more respect. Have you ever seen a man whistling at a nun or a Muslim woman who is dressed in Hijab? If Mary came down to earth today – who are the women she would be most like? When we dress as God tells us to, people appreciate what we have to say and what our talents are instead of judging us for the way we look.

One Big Family
Islam teaches us that we – all human beings – came from one father and one mother  – Adam and his wife Eve and that it was not due to Eve’s temptation that Adam and Eve were taken out of Paradise and put on earth. Both of them were led astray by Satan. So unlike in Christianity, childbirth and menstruation are not punishments from God. They are part of our experience of womanhood and have wisdoms behind them.

God teaches us that we as women are much more than just our bodies or our vital statistics. Our purpose in life is much more than just to be a play thing for men or a commodity for market forces to exploit. We are spiritual beings. Our actions and our intentions will be acknowledged by God when He judges us and we will be rewarded equally to men.

Islam teaches us that to use a woman’s body as a commodity is wrong. To exploit her and tell her to cavort in public for the pleasure of men – might please men – but it is degrades her and lowers her status in society. Unfortunately today, although we think that we are liberated – women are used more now as sex objects then they ever have been in history. Our sexuality is a beautiful and sacred gift from God that we should share with a man who has committed to us through marriage – who won’t use and abuse us or love and leave us. Islam raises our status as women and frees us from the pressures of society to conform to a particular image or body shape or to be a superwoman who works from 9-5 and then comes home and does the housework too – a double shift! I’ve found that it allows us to be true to our nature and at peace with it.

When you submit to God, you cease to be forced to go against your true nature. That is true liberation. I invite you to look into Islam further and take a fresh look at womanhood and I hope that you too one day can experience the sweetness that submitting to our Creator brings.

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The Real Truth About Prostitution

2 Oct

Many statements are made about prostitution: about its nature; about the individuals involved and about how governments should address it. This can often lead to people being misinformed about the reality of prostitution. This write up highlights ten statements commonly made about prostitution and provides additional information to help you distinguish between what is fact and what is fiction.
Myth: Women choose to get involved in prostitution
Fact: Most women become involved in prostitution because of lack of choice and many are groomed, pressured and/or coerced by pimps or traffickers
. It is well documented that a majority of women in prostitution are poor, homeless and have already suffered violence and abuse throughout their life. 70% of those involved in street prostitution have a history of local authority care and 45% report experiencing sexual abuse during their childhoods (Home Office 2006). Many enter prostitution before age 18. Once in prostitution, 9 out 10 surveyed women would like to exit but feel unable to do so (Farley et al, 2003). It is the men who buy sex who are exercising free choice, and it is this “choice” to purchase vulnerable women and girls that maintains prostitution and fuels trafficking for sexual exploitation.
Myth: Prostitution is just sex
Fact: Prostitution is not about sex. It is about exploitation, violence and abuse. More than half of UK women in prostitution have been raped and/or seriously assaulted at the hands of pimps and punters (Home Office 2004). Up to 95% of women in street prostitution are intravenous drug users (Home Office 2004); and 68% meet the criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Ramsay, Retal, 1993).
“I would numb my feelings. I wouldn’t even feel like I was in my body…
I don’t know how else to explain it……it was rape to me” (In Farley, 2003)

Myth: Only women sell sex
Fact: While the overwhelming majority of those who sell sex are female, it must be acknowledged that there is also a hidden population of men who sell sex and experience many of the same issues of exploitation and abuse. The problems of poverty, addiction, homelessness, grooming by a pimp continue to be the routes into prostitution for men who sell sex and similarly to women sellers of sex there is a clear lack of choice. It is the circumstances combined with the demand for sex which have forced the individual into prostitution. What is clear, however, is that those who buy sex, either from men or women, are predominantly male.

Myth: Criminalising the purchase of sex drives prostitution underground
Fact: The nature of the sex industry is that it is underground and it is very difficult to scope or quantify. However, prostitution can never truly exist “underground” – if punters can those selling sex, so can the Police and those offering services to help exit prostitution. Criminalising the purchase of sex and offering support services to people in prostitution is the only viable way to work towards an end to this exploitative industry. In Sweden, where they have criminalised the buying of sexual acts, there has been a significant reduction in trafficking and prostitution with a halt in recruitment of new women (Baklinski, 2007).
Sweden is no longer an attractive market for traffickers and pimps – the law clearly works as a deterrent.Sign-up to our campaign to criminalise the buyers of sex

Myth: Legalisation is better for those involved in prostitution
Fact: Prostitution is harmful in and of itself: legalisation doesn’t remove that harm – it simply makes the harm legal. Legalisation or decriminalisation of the industry does not deal with the long term psychological and physical effects of having unwanted and often violent and abusive sex numerous times a day and having to act like you enjoy it. To cope with this those involved in prostitution report having to dissociate and “split off” in their heads – hence why drug and alcohol abuse is so prevalent. Legalisation does not make individuals safer and it expands an industry in which violence against the women and sometimes men involved is at its most extreme.

Myth: Legalising prostitution stops illegal prostitution and trafficking
Fact: Legalisation and complete decriminalisation gives a green light to pimps and traffickers making it easier for them to operate. In New Zealand, complete decriminalisation has led to the illegal sector expanding to make up 80% of the industry (Instone and Margersion, 2007), and according to the Mayor of Amsterdam “it is impossible to create a safe and controllable zone for women that is not open to abuse by organised crime” (Bindel and Kelly, 2004).

Myth: Treating prostitution as ordinary work removes the stigma
Fact: Normalising prostitution makes the abuse, violence and exploitation invisible and turns pimps and punters into business people and legitimate consumers. Recognising prostitution as “just a job” ignores the violence, poverty and marginalisation which drives people into prostitution, and means an end to services to support people out of prostitution – why would you need exit strategies for a “normal” job?
“In Germany the service union ver.di offered union membership to Germany’s estimated 400,000 sex workers. They would be entitled to health care, legal aid, thirty paid holiday days a year, a five day work week, and Christmas and holiday bonuses. Out of 400,000 sex workers, only 100 joined the union.
That’s .00025% of German sex workers. Women don’t want to be prostitutes”.

Myth: Many involved in the sex industry find it sexually liberating and a glamorous career choice.
Fact: Mainstream media outlets glamorise the “porn star” life and focus on the media friendly story
of the “Belle du Jour” fantasy of a successful and glamorous call girl. Instead of showing the realities of lap dancing or prostitution, the media focuses on discussions of their choice to participate in the sex industry. More focus must be placed on the actual harm experienced by individual women as well as the broader cultural harm of normalising an industry which thrives on gender inequality and the objectification of women. Empowered sex “workers” represent the minority of women involved in the sex industry. Most of those involved in the industry are struggling with addiction issues, poverty, mental health issues, abuse from a partner or childhood abuse. It is survival behaviour. It is those who form the true invisible majority.

MYTH: Most of the public are in favour of legalisation of the sex industry
Fact: Whilst a minority of prominent voices are calling for legalisation, there is no evidence to support the claim that they speak either on behalf of society as a whole, or for the majority of the UK population. A survey (ICM 2008) commissioned by BBC1’s The Politics Show in January 2008 found that over half of the general public (52%) and three quarters of young people (73%) actually support the criminalisation of the purchase of sexual services. Before sanctions were introduced in Sweden, public support for the bill stood at only 49%, rocketing to 82% following enactment.

MYTH: The Swedish law approach of criminalising demand has not provided support services for those involved in prostitution or for those exiting:
Fact: This is simply untrue. 70 million kroner (£6million) was invested in support services when the
Swedish legislation criminalising the purchase of sex was introduced in 1999. Estimated numbers of
people in prostitution consequently fell from around 25,000 to a current estimate of 2500. In July 2008, the Swedish government announced new funding of 210 million kroner (£20 million) for prostitute services, including the expansion of direct support and public sector training.
It is not women’s free choice
It is not men’s right
IT IS NOT INEVITABLE

Source: http://www.caremedng.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/the-real-truth-about-prostitution.html?m=1

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16 Aug

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Mohammed Ibrahim Kola’s personal Community Development Service/Projects

15 Aug

These are projects and services executed by me during my NYSC year with funds mobilized from my allowance… NYSC 2009-2010, Ebonyi State.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Mohammed Ibrahim Kola’s personal Community Development Service/Projects

15 Aug

These are projects and services executed by me during my NYSC year with funds mobilized from my allowance… NYSC 2009-2010, Ebonyi State.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Igbo and the governance of Lagos

11 Aug

Three fashionable fallacies lie at the root of prevailing Igbo outlook to Lagos, the former federal capital. The first is that Lagos is a no-man’s land with no indigenous population.
The second is that Federal Government money was used to build Lagos into the huge metropolis that it has now become. This argument goes further to claim that since the “federal money” allegedly belonged to all Nigerians, the political control of Lagos should, willy-nilly, be open to just about anyone and everyone who claims to be a Nigerian.
The third fallacy is that Lagos is a hunting ground, a jungle city where all being “joiners”, the predatory instinct must rule. By this pernicious thesis, Lagos is a place in which regardless of one’s roots – or the lack of it – one can seize the trophy. It is an el-Dorado where anything goes and in which everything, including political authority, is up for grabs since the place does not belong to anyone anyway!

These are erroneous claims, now being given new life in the current debate on Igbo participation and representation in the politics and governance of Lagos. Granted, the continued perpetration of these fallacies is not restricted to Igbo elements. Others, including some Yoruba (especially those that Lagosians refer to as ara oke– upland people), are equally guilty of the first if not all of these fallacies.
But the current debate marks the first time that an institutional claim to the governance of Lagos would be made by a non-Yoruba group. The commentators, Joe Igbokwe and Uchenna Nwankwo, among others, have done well in marshalling the arguments from the Igbo perspective. Spokesmen of Eko Pioneers, a group of Lagosians, have answered back from the other side. It is a debate that should be encouraged rather than stifled.
The fallacies are, of course, easily dismissed. The Yoruba identity of Lagos is not in doubt, regardless of its ethnically mixed composition. If the “no-man’s-land” claim were to be true, then Lagos must be the only metropolis anywhere in the world without an indigenous population.
Concerning the use of “federal money” to develop Lagos, four points need to be made. First, Lagos was a thriving metropolis even before the British created Nigeria, its prosperity being due more to its strategic location rather than its administrative designation.
Second, it is doubtful that the people of Lagos were consulted before their city was made the Nigerian capital, or that they were forewarned that being conferred with such a status would mean that they would lose their city to stranger elements.
Third, rather than invoke the “federal money” argument to dilute a people’s right to control their land, the rest of Nigeria, and, in particular, the Igbo, should be grateful to the people of Lagos for availing them of a conducive environment in which lives and property are relatively safe and in which the throats of settlers are not routinely slashed by sponsored zealots as happens elsewhere in Nigeria.
Fourth, and perhaps most tellingly, only a fraction of what is now Lagos State was ever under the central government. Strictly speaking, only four of the present twenty local government areas in Lagos State – Lagos Island, Eti Osa, Lagos Mainland and Surulere – were in the then Colony of Lagos.
The rest belonged, first to the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria and subsequently to the Western Region, before the state creation exercise of 1967. Lagos was also not the only city on which federal money was spent. (Calabar was once the capital and so should also qualify as a recipient of “federal money”.)
As for Lagos being a hunting ground, the self-defeating logic of this argument is clearly brought home to all of us – aborigine and settler alike – by the frightening crime statistics in the state.
Perhaps before I go further it is appropriate that I state my qualifications for pronouncing on this matter, aside of course from my rights as a citizen of Nigeria. From my father’s side, I am a Yoruba of Awori descent with strong Egba links. My mother however happens to be Igbo from Owerri in Imo State.
Based on these affiliations, I can claim a fair measure of familiarity with the issues in the current debate on both sides. I understand the feelings of Lagosians on this matter. I am also fully apprised of the passions and pressures that drive Igbo into internal economic exile and which impel their push for a place in Lagos.
While I empathize with the Igbo condition, I share the interest of all trueborn Yoruba people in maintaining and possibly deepening the Yoruba character of Lagos. And no one should have to feel apologetic about that.
The Igbo, perhaps more than any other Nigerian group, are in a vantage position to appreciate a people’s attachment to their soil and the unbreakable linkage between a people and their land and language.
A critical aspect of that linkage is the exercise of cultural and political authority over a land space to which one has aboriginal claim. More than any other group in Nigeria, save perhaps the Fulani Bororo, the Igbo move around the country a lot for considerations of geography and economics.
Unlike the Fulani, however, the Igbo often become sedentary in large clusters in the lands they move into, including Lagos. This naturally raises an interest in participation in the public affairs of their places of domicile. Yet, a legitimate interest in participation cannot translate into a contest for control, which is the way the current claims are being canvassed and construed.
Pan Nigerianism
Advocates of the Igbo claim to Lagos often refer to the putatively halcyon era of pan-Nigerianism spanning the 1930s to the 1950s. It was a time, we are told, when all Nigerians lived as one and when it did appear that all ascriptive barriers had dissolved in the ferment of nationalist politics. This period has become a favourite reference point for people with all kinds of agenda. But was the reality not indeed less glamorous? There was, no doubt, a fortuitous convergence in those times. An emergent commercial and educated elite needed to come together in the nationalist struggle to send the British away and so the city of Lagos, which was the hub of that struggle, seemed to have become a melting pot overnight.
Yet, the hometown unions remained strong and affectations to unity were soon exposed as only skin-deep as the struggle to ensure the departure of the British transitioned into the struggle over who would succeed the departing oligarchy. This is the reality that we continue to live with to date. And it would be asking a lot to expect that Lagos should offer itself as the guinea-pig for experimenting with the possibility of a new pan-Nigerian vision. Especially since there is as yet nothing on ground to suggest or guarantee that such a gesture would be reciprocated.
As things now stand, the Igbo in Lagos must decide what they really want from the state: participation, or representation, or control. Currently, their spokespersons seem to be using the three terms interchangeably, raising the spectre of a hostile take-over. This approach is bound to be resisted by a people barely recovering from the debacle of the June 12 annulment and the devastations of the Abacha persecution in which they saw the Igbo – with some admirable exceptions – as having played a less than salutary role.
The attitude and outlook of a majority of Igbo political elite and indeed common people to the June 12 crisis was mercenary if not malevolent. Many Igbo seemed to have approached the crisis with a revanchist agenda borne of deep-seated animosity and ill-will. How so?
Civil war
It is a well-known fact that some Igbo still blame the Yoruba for having “pushed” the Eastern Region into the civil war only to back out at the last minute. This line of argument further raised and reinforced the unfounded stereotype of Yoruba people as unreliable. It has been peddled for so long that many have come to believe it. As Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda once famously said, tell a lie persistently over a long time and people start to believe it to be the truth. Anyway, hostile interests within and outside Nigeria that have reason to fear the rise of a southern solidarity of the type that was emerging with the UPGA party of the 1960s have also invested strenuously in promoting and perpetuating this lie.
Yet, without seeking to diminish the harrowing and often heroic sacrifice that the war entailed on the Biafran side, the truth is that the Nigerian Civil War was largely the consequence of a North and East alliance of brinkmanship whose cardinal objective and principle was the isolation of the West. It is said that the falling out of friends is often the most vicious. So, Igbo political elite are in no position to seek to build a cult of victimhood around themselves or to sermonize about the politics of bad faith that led to the war.
Beginning with the NCNC-NPC coalition, through the Action Group crisis, to the declaration of a state of emergency in Western Nigeria, the creation of the Mid-West Region, all through to the treasonable felony trial, many Igbo political leaders of the time seemed to have deliberately lent a hand or at least acquiesced in stoking the northern brazenness that eventually resulted in the pogroms and the war. Nor should it be forgotten the games that were played with the status of Lagos, with the establishment of a Federal Ministry of Lagos Affairs under northern headship but with copious NCNC concurrence.
Similar treatment
But not to digress. With the defeat of Biafra, many Igbo in secret (and sometimes not too secretly) wished that the Yoruba too should receive a similar treatment someday soon. That day seemed to have arrived with the June 12 annulment and the crisis it unleashed. For some, the June 12 crisis appeared to have presented the Igbo with a perfect opportunity to get back at the Yoruba and permanently cut them down to size.
In executing their now famous exodus from Lagos at the time, many Igbo had said that they feared (hoped?) that another war was afoot, this time with Yorubaland as the theatre. Igbo political elite seemed to have offered themselves all too eagerly to bringing about such a confrontation. The role played by the likes of Sam Ikoku, Uche Chukwumerije, Walter Ofonagoro and Clement Akpamgbo, to mention a few, in adding fuel to the fires of the crisis would for a long time be remembered in the annals of infamy.
No doubt, the annulment and the ensuing crisis sorely tested the political maturity of Yoruba people and their elite. Fortunately, the Yoruba refused to bite the bait and managed to come out of the annulment crisis without a shooting war. There were, of course, several battles and notable casualties along the way. But, in the end, there was no war of the scale that had been feared – or hoped! How this was accomplished remains a tribute to the leaders of the pro-democracy struggle, a struggle that is yet to come to an end and of which Lagos remains the epicenter.
Igbo in governance
Feelings still run deep and memories of what many saw as malevolent undercutting could remain for long. It is partly in this context that many Lagosians situate current calls for expanded Igbo presence in the governance of Lagos. Many will shudder to contemplate the fate of the June 12 struggle if during that struggle political power in any part of the South-West had been in the hands of people hostile to Yoruba interests. What extent of damage would Chukwumerije have wrought if he had just one kinsman as an ally sitting in a sensitive local government chairmanship or governor’s office in the South-West in those terrible days?
Still, the work of building a united Nigeria must continue as we cannot afford to dwell for too long on past injuries and grievances. The Igbo input into this great work can be both positive and progressive, but not necessarily involving their ruling Lagos. Indeed, I think they have their work cut out for them. My view is that the Igbo are barking up the wrong tree in this whole matter over who rules Lagos. What do I mean by this?
The Igbo are such a leading and (hopefully) enduring part of the commercial landscape of Lagos. At this point in time, what they should be doing is lending their voice and energy to advocating for a reversal of what appears like a deliberate federal abandonment of the former capital, which has made doing business in Lagos all the more difficult.
The movement of the seat of the Federal Government to Abuja was ostensibly meant to un-clutter the environment of governance and deepen our country’s unity by giving everyone a sense of belonging in the nation’s capital.
But the move soon fell victim to elements whose knack it is to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in every good policy. The movement has been implemented as a punishment for the Yoruba and possibly as a reprisal for the central role that Lagos played as the seat of the pro-democracy opposition. Against this background, the attitude of many Lagosians to the Igbo quest for control is that they should commence it in Abuja and its area councils. After all, they say, Abuja is the only Federal Capital Territory that we have.
Federal presence
But speaking seriously, Igbo claims to an expanded role in the governance of Lagos cannot be pursued in an atmosphere of intentional federal abandonment of Lagos. Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Lagos State has been making a case for renewed federal investment in Lagos, given the peculiar heavy demands on the state and its role as home to all. Rather than fantasizing about taking over the Alausa seat of government or occupying commissionership positions, the Igbo in Lagos should lend their weight to the push for special federal recognition for the needs of Lagos, to further enable the state continue to play its role as a safe, liberal and prosperous home for all.

Source: Vanguard

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South Africa Ripping Nigeria Off?

10 Aug

I had the misfortune of walking through a South. Africa owned shop in Lagos recently. Mr. Price to be precise. I had just returned from a trip to Johannesburg and was looking for cheap gifts I had forgotten to pick up for my hangers on when I returned. There was a piece of sweatshirt I had made a mental note to purchase at Mr. Price and decided to get it at the Nigerian store.

This was a piece of item placed at their “priced to go” racks at N1,800 (R114.74) per piece. I have a long, retentive memory and I could still recall that this same piece of sweatshirt sells for N784.24 (R49.99) in South Africa. And if you factored in my 14% tax rebates, that sweatshirt did in fact come to me at N669.34 (R42.99). That’s some 269% increase over and above the marked prices inside South Africa.

This huge price differential is typical across board on most south African-owned consumer products in Nigeria. From Shoprite to Chicken Republic to Massmart (Game), Mr. Price, Woolworth and Truworths. It is a tale of undue exploitation of Nigerians by South African Businesses.

Before I am crucified for being xenophobic, it is important to understand that the criticism of South African companies have persisted as a consequence of their approach to business in Nigeria, which has often been characterised as predatory and mercantilist. South Africa’s foreign policy towards Nigeria and, indeed, towards all of Africa is not based on any Pan-Africanism or anti-imperialism; it is rather based on promoting South Africa’s expanding business interests on the continent.

It is an expansionist agenda that South African corporations and parastatals have successfully implemented in a one-sided hegemonic relationship. As echoed by Foluso Phillips, the chairman of Lagos-based Phillips Consulting, a business consultancy of branding advisors, “There is much that South Africa can offer Nigeria, but there has been a problem of attitude and lack of trust as well as divergent objectives by both parties… However, there must be a strong spirit of win-win, as the track record and perception makes it all look one-sided in South Africa’s favour.”

Believe me, I am a fan of South African business in Nigeria. Rightly or wrongly, the economic boosts our country has experienced in various sectors of the economy, in particular, retail and telecommunication, through the interventions of South African businesses have helped to redefine the consumer experience here. They have brought healthy competitions and quality alternatives to other product offerings. They have been open about their desire to conquer the consumer market and have in turn created employment opportunities for thousands of Nigerians. They saw the potential of the middle income groups in Nigeria and positioned themselves to tap into it.

My grouse, however, is that this competitive positioning cannot and should not be exploitative in nature, which is exactly what is happening today. It shouldn’t happen in a market of 170 million people in which, 40% of the population describe themselves as middle income earners.

This target group alone represent a market that’s still larger than the entire population of South Africa! Worse still, this should not be happening in a country that allows businesses to repatriate 100% of entire profits back to home. And it definitely shouldn’t be happening in a country that has massive disparities in incomes with it. Some comparative economic data will suffice here:

How does it happen that the earning power of the average south african is more than 4 times that of his Nigerian counterpart and yet, Nigerians are made to pay almost 3 times for the same quality of goods. The reality is, South African companies are making a dangerous killing in Nigeria and we are helpless to do anything about it. There is evidence that South African companies have been involved in blatant profiteering and looting in Nigeria.

For a very long time, MTN charges in Nigeria were the highest rates in the world for cellular phone calls. And despite its massive profits, MTN has really only created about 500 permanent jobs. Most of its employees are casual or temporary workers, and just like other South African corporations, denies all of its workers the right to join a trade union. Something that would be most unheard of in their own country.

And do not be deceived by the trade surplus in Nigeria’s favour. Of the 750 million dollars worth of Nigerian exports to South Africa reported in the first three months of 2012 by The South African Revenue Service, 740 million dollars worth are made up of mineral products, mainly oil. That means, other than oil, Nigeria have absolutely no stake in South Africa’s economy.

Compare that with MTN owning 52% of Nigeria’s mobile telecommunications market; franchises like Nandos, Chicken Republic and St. Elmos, etc. owning 50% of the international fast food market worth US$2.5 million per annum; DSTV accounting for 90% of the viewers that watch satellite TV in Nigeria; SASOL playing major roles in Escravos with Chevron; and Entech and Broll managing prime estates and properties including the development of the Bar Beach (Eko Atlantic) and management of over 600 fuel stations and malls across Nigeria respectively. This can’t be healthy.

There is a reason why such unequal trade relations exist between Nigeria and South Africa. The bilateral agreements signed by both governments since 1999 allows this to happen without hinderance to operations. South African companies’ investments in Nigeria are heavily protected from any interference at any level by the Nigerian government. It is a license to grow as they please without consequence. Added to this, there are substantial tax rebates for companies operating here through agreements on eradicating double taxation.

South African companies that paid tax in Nigeria are protected from paying taxes back home and can repatriate the entire profits. Now, imagine the US$5.3 billion MTN had earned after tax in the 10 years of operation from 2001 – 2011 finding its way back to the South African economy tax free! Why wouldn’t the Rand be stronger than the Naira at any level?

When the foundations of this country was laid in the fight against imperialism, it was not envisioned to have it substituted with another form of neo-colonialism. The activities of South African businesses in Nigeria have been abrasive to Nigerians and the Nigerian economy.

There is a siege mentality they have on this country that needs to be addressed. They have created opportunities not to develop the Nigerian economy but to exploit its resources. We experienced that with the British, endured it with the Chinese and now, it’s the South Africans that are our new colonialists. This is not the sort of relationship we should be aspiring to at this time. The sooner our government addresses these imbalances, the better.

Source: MyNaij

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35 killed as Boko Haram, JTF clash

6 Aug

Clashes between Nigeria’s military and Islamist extremist group Boko Haram in two northeastern towns have left at least 35 people dead, most of them insurgents, the army said Monday.

The clashes broke out after attacks on soldiers and a police station, according to the military, and occurred as security forces wage an offensive in the region aimed at ending a four-year Islamist insurgency.

A clash in the town of Bama sparked by an attack on a police base “led to the death of one policeman and 17 Boko Haram terrorists,” a military statement said.

Fighting in the town of Malam Fatori after an attack on troops “led to the death of two soldiers and 15 Boko Haram terrorists,” it said. Both clashes occurred on Sunday.

According to the military, the insurgents were armed with “sophisticated weapons” and explosives during the attacks. Both Bama and Malam Fatori are located in Nigeria’s Borno state, Boko Haram’s home base.

The statement said soldiers had recovered weapons including 10 AK-47 rifles, bombs and three RPG tubes, among others, after the clash in Bama.

“The situations in both places have returned to normal,” the statement said.

Borno, badly hit by insurgent attacks as well as heavy-handed military raids, is one of three states currently under a state of emergency while security forces pursue the offensive.

The military has claimed major successes, saying troops have pushed out the insurgents. The number of attacks has appeared to have dropped since the offensive began, but violence has nevertheless continued.

The military’s version of events has been difficult to verify since the security forces cut phone networks in the northeast, and access to remote areas is increasingly limited.

The military says it has restored phone connections to a number of areas, but service remains spotty.

Violence in recent weeks in the northeast has included three deadly school attacks as well as a clash between insurgents and a vigilante group that recently formed with the encouragement of the military.

There have also been recent attacks outside the areas covered by the state of emergency.

Bomb blasts ripped through a mainly Christian area of Kano, the largest city in northern Nigeria, a week ago, killing at least 24 people and shattering a recent lull in insurgent attacks there.

The insurgency is estimated to have claimed more than 3,600 lives since 2009, including killings by the security forces.

Boko Haram has claimed to be fighting for the creation of an Islamic state in Africa’s most populous nation and largest oil producer, though the group is believed to have a number of factions with varying aims.

Nigeria’s 160 million population is roughly divided between a mainly Christian south and mostly Muslim north.

Source: AFP

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Can Oral Sex Cause Throat Cancer?

6 Aug

Michael Douglas was diagnosed with throat cancer (oropharyngeal cancer) three years ago. He initially said it was caused by years of heavy smoking, alcohol abuse and stress. However, he recently told The Guardian newspaper that it was caused by oral sex .

What is HPV, and what are the risks?
Human papillomavirus is an infection that causes genital warts. They are the second most common type of sexually transmitted infection after chlamydia.
Genital warts typically appears on the in the female and male urogenital tract.

In most cases, genital HPV infections cause no real symptoms and clear up by themselves without causing any problems.

HPV comes in more than 100 different strains and some can trigger cancers.
Most cases of genital warts are caused by ‘low-risk’ HPV types 6 and 11, meaning they do not pose a significant cancer risk.
High-risk types include HPV 16 and 18 which can cause cancer of the cervix in women.
High-risk HPV infections are also associated with cancer of the penis, vulva, vagina, anus, mouth and throat.
How is HPV spread?
Genital warts can be spread during vaginal or anal sex, and by sharing sex toys. However, you do not need to have penetrative sex to pass the infection on because HPV is spread by skin-to-skin contact.
HPV infection can also be spread through oral sex.
It can take up to one year for warts to develop after infection with HPV. Therefore, if you are in a relationship and you get genital warts, it does not necessarily mean your partner has been having sex with other people.
HPV is most likely to be transmitted to others when warts are present, but it is still possible to pass the virus on before the warts have developed and after they have disappeared.
Condoms do not provide complete protection because it is possible for the skin around the genital area (not covered by the condom) to become infected.

So, what is the risk of developing throat cancer from oral sex?
In 2011, Gillison and her colleagues conducted a study looking at the proportion of oropharynx cancers associated with HPV over time in the U.S. The proportion increased from 16% to 72% from the late 1980s to the early 2000s. A While there’s been a decrease in smoking-related head and neck cancers since the late 1980s, we’ve seen a steady increase in oropharyngeal cancers in the tonsil and base of tongue area that are caused by a strain of HPV, HPV Type 16, that can be transmitted through oral sex. But it doesn’t mean that everyone who engages in oral sex is going to get this type of cancer. It’s actually a small percentage of people who contract the virus and can’t fight it off

Oral sex with 6 or more partners raises risk of throat cancer, said one study
In a study published in NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine), Dr Maura Gillison of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and team suggested that people who have oral sex with at least 6 different partners have a significantly have a higher risk of developing throat cancer  
The team recruited 100 patients who had recently been diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer, as well as 200 “healthy” individuals (the control group).

They found that people who had at least 6 oral-sex partners during their lifetime were 3.4 times more likely to have throat cancer. Those with 26 or more vaginal-sex partners had a 3.1 times higher risk of developing throat cancer.
What are the risk factors for throat cancer?
Smoking – this is by far the most important risk factor for throat cancer. Regular, long-term, heavy smokers are 20 times more likely to develop some type of throat cancer compared to non-smokers.

Alcohol – heavy, chronic alcohol consumption, particularly spirits, also raises the risk of developing throat cancer.

People who do both – drink and smoke a lot – have the highest risk.

Source: Dr. Tango

“Great Nigerian Youth… How Far?” – Written by Charly Boy

4 Aug

Another piece from the Areafada. Enjoy…

One of the many things God blessed me with, would be the ability to go to sleep at will even if my house is on fire. I consider that as a gift because, this environment has murdered sleep for most Nigerians. How can we sleep when things are all falling apart around us? It saddens my heart to see the appalling state of our nation and the quick progressive decline in the quality of governance and the management of the polity. Naija as it were has gone to the dogs and really, it’s only a matter of time before shit finally hits the fan. Because, we must hit rock-bottom before we can start to think of a Nigeria that is workable.

I have noticed lately that I am fast losing my gift, being able to fall asleep at will. It’s no longer happening for me like it use to. Thank God, I haven’t gotten to the point of popping different kinds of pills to be able to get some sleep. These days, I seem so consumed with the thoughts of how all of these injustices, poor leadership, the frustration, hopelessness, and despair amongst young Nigerians will all be resolved. How much longer can we all go on as if all is well.  The situations as appalling as they are reminds me of Asa’s song, “There is Fire on the Mountain, and no one seems to be on the Run” How much longer will it take our leaders to realise that they are sitting on a time Bomb. How much longer will it take the few good men and exceptional Nigerian youth to stop hiding under the bed, while the vile, the fraud, the gangsters, the 419ers, the thieves take over the polity?

Yesooooooo, we are all guilty, guilty of inaction, guilty of procrastination, guilty of being scared by our own shadow. Yet, we complain, talking bla bla bla all over the place and doing nothing. That is why the youth of this country are taken for granted. Look at how our once strong and vibrant youths have grown powerless, and have even become willing instrument and tools in the hands of vile and wicked politicians. Our young people have been so battered physically that, they have lost the urgency to protest. How can they not know that the consequences of corruption, wasting of resources and stealing affect them, the youth more than anyone else? They have not realized yet that they are the ones who can’t go to school, and that most of their parents have been impoverished by this shit-system, and for the millions who graduate from the university, half baked; where are the jobs? Unreliable statistics say that about 28million young people are unemployed and about 5million join annually as the army of the unemployed youth grows, drugs, violence, despair and hopelessness have become a permanent fixtures in the lives of our dear youth. This is the Nigeria of today. A country so endowed, yet 60 percent of Nigerians are living below 1dollar/ 25cents a day. What a shame, what business has my country with poverty? How far, great Nigerian youths?

 The old foxes, old fraudsters, many of those who had been in leadership position in the past, wrote this tragic script, they are still very much around, jostling for position and power. Most annoying is when they pay lip services saying, “the future belongs to the youth”, which youth? The one they cloned, or the ones yet unborn. Because all these old foxes that should be put to pasture are still dragging it with the young people not ready to quit the stage, unless they die there. They have become deaf, dumb and blind to the pains and sufferings of ordinary Nigerians.  The criminal nature of most of our leaders is what has given impetus to criminal gangs, kidnappers, militants, terrorists, money doublers, gangsters who prey on innocent citizens as effectively as the yahoo yahoo leaders’ prey on Nigerians. Nigeria has become their slot machine. This is how they have weakened our youth, because even the leaders so far, lack creativity. All they have produced for the past 38yrs is mediocrity. The youth cannot make good decisions and hence can’t make good leadership, double wahala. These are the kind of leaders our youth emulate, being schooled in the arts of making it by all means even if they have to sell their mothers. Most of these yahoo leaders are getting rich at the expense of the masses and Naija youth. What can they produce, except buy houses, cars, posting their new acquired jet planes on Facebook and all over the social media, keeping billions in bank accounts, while the youths and the masses suffer and the environment remains in shambles? How far great Nigerian youth?

 I can feel the growing resentment the masses have towards the leadership, it is ‘us’ against them. The youth may seem not ready for a revolution, but the one thing they have in common that cuts across ethnic and religious differences is a genuine yearning for Change through a revolution. A revolution that will see the end of this rampart injustices and authority stealing that has left us poor and hopeless. They also want to see how the mighty and the once untouchables, those responsible for bringing Nigeria to its knees face the music if possible with their blood. The youth obviously don’t believe in Nigeria anymore, even the unbelievers know we can no longer carry on like this.  People argue that the youth are not capable of retrieving their stolen future ever again. Just like we never believed that a Nigerian for whatever reason could strap himself with bombs and blow himself up. When Boko Haram started, many including myself believed that all who were involved must have been fanatics from neighbouring countries. Loh and behold, they were many Nigerian youth involved. For them, it was better than dying like a chicken. What about the naija guy who failed to blow himself and the plane up, in far away America? The army of desperate youth is growing, not to talk of the kind of arms that have come into this country; God help us. For those who still think that the Nigerian youth are too disorganized and weak to confront these demons, I say, it’s possible. They have a common enemy, namely; hunger, poverty, hopelessness, frustration and a strong satanic hatred for our leaders and elites. You may be asking yourself who will lead this inevitable revolt. For many youth, the power is in their hands right now as you read this; the instrument of mobilization and you know what? It has started.

As humans, we communicate by expressing our feelings, our thoughts based on how we perceive certain situations. Most of the youth have become aware of the problem affecting them, most of them live on the social media highway to while away their time since millions of them are out of jobs or poses the faintest idea on what else to do. They are stranded, and most pitiful is that nobody cares. This is where young people fellowship now to escape from the brutality of a harsh environment caused by those “bigger “than Nigeria. Once people become aware of a common need or problem through interaction and discussion, it is easier for them to create a mobilizing strategy towards a common goal. From the bush, the house, in the car, or even from across the seas, the exceptional ones will control millions through the social highway networks. I can feel the rage, the anger and the strong satanic hatred for our kleptomaniac leaders. I pray for the seemly fragile, deflated Nigerian youth, the victims of bad and selfish leadership. Young Nigerians; no matter where they are from, all face the same sad and evil reality created and perfected by a common enemy. We all know the problem of Nigeria; they say a country deserves the kind of leadership it gets, hmmmmm… Nigerian youth… how far?

 Where are the exceptional youth who will remedy us from this hopeless situation? If it’s not road accidents because of bad roads, it is incessant strikes because government still has not lived up to its promise to inspire the teachers. However, their children are all abroad while ours study with candle light and kerosene lamps in a country capable of providing power for all. Inflation is tearing families apart and causing parents to abandon their duties. Haba, the iniquities are just too much to recount, it’s not fair in the eyes of God. As these yahoo yahoo people continue to rob us of our lives and future, ironically they are facilitating this revolution. When the chips are down, the youth will no longer think on religious lines or ethnic differences; they will be so filled with hatred, vengeance and anger. They will vent this on all those who have brought them sorrow, tears and a bleak future. There will be a spark as young people pour out on the streets hunting for their enemies and serving them a dose of mob justice. The time and how, I know not. But yes, it is boiling over; the handwriting is not only on the walls but on the faces of the angry youths I see on a daily basis. Nigerian youth… how far? na una hand Nigeria dey. Beat the drum for change and a better life. Let’s stop blaming our leaders and elders. If they have failed us, we can’t afford to fail ourselves. Let us use our strength to cut off corruption in this land. Make una no fall my hand…
Na Charlyboy D Areafada dey yarn

Source: Linda Ikeji

A $4 Million Apology To Student Abandoned In Cell For 4 Days Without Food, Water

31 Jul

San Diego, U.S. – A 25-year old college student reached a $4.1 million (N659,200,239) settlement with the U.S. federal government after he was abandoned in a windowless Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) cell for more than four days without food or water, according to his attorneys.

Chong said he drank his own urine to stay alive, hallucinated that agents were trying to poison him with gases through the vents, and tried to carve a farewell message to his mother in his arm.

It remained unclear how the situation occurred, and no one has been disciplined, said one of his attorneys.

“It sounded like it was an accident – a really, really bad, horrible accident,” Chong said.

Chong was taken into custody during a drug raid and placed in the cell in April 2012 by a San Diego police officer authorized to perform DEA work on a task force.

The officer told Chong he would not be charged and said, ‘Hang tight, we’ll come get you in a minute.’

The door to the 5-by-10-foot cell did not reopen for 4½ days.

Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed the settlement was reached for $4.1 million but declined to answer other questions.

Since attorney fees are capped at 20 percent of damages and the settlement payment is tax-free, Chong will collect at least $3.2 million (N514,497,747).

‘S’

Chong was a 23-year-old engineering student when he was at a friend’s house where the DEA found 18,000 ecstasy pills, other drugs and weapons. His attorneys acknowledged Chong was there to consume marijuana.

Chong and eight other people were taken into custody but authorities decided against pursuing charges against him after questioning.

Chong said he began to hallucinate on the third day.

In the cell, he urinated on a metal bench so he could have something to drink. He also stacked a blanket, his pants and shoes on a bench and tried to reach an overhead fire sprinkler, futilely swatting at it with his cuffed hands to set it off.

Chong said he accepted the possibility of death. He bit into his eyeglasses to break them and used a shard of glass to try to carve “Sorry Mom” onto his arm so he could leave something for her. He only managed to finish an “S”.

“I didn’t just sit there quietly. I was kicking the door yelling,” he was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency. “I even put some shoestrings, shoelaces through the crack of the door for visual signs. I didn’t stay still, no, I was screaming.”

Five or six people found him covered in his feces in the cell at the DEA’s San Diego headquarters.

“All I wanted was my sanity,” Chong said. “I wasn’t making any sense.”

Chong was hospitalized for five days for dehydration, kidney failure, cramps and a perforated esophagus. He lost 15 pounds.

The incident prompted the head of the DEA to issue a public apology last May, saying he was “deeply troubled” by the incident.

Mr Chong’s lawyer said that as a result of the incident the DEA had introduced new policies for detention, including checking cells daily and installing cameras inside them.

Mr Chong, now an economics student at the University of California, says he plans to buy his parents a house.

Source: Naij

Quote

Charles Okah Alleges Sexual Assault By Prison Officials

31 Jul

One of the suspects of October 1, 2010 Abuja twin bombing, Mr Charles Okah, has raised an alarm over an attempt by some prisonofficials to assault him sexually.

Charles, the younger brother to Henry Okah is currently standing trial before the Federal High Court, Abuja over alleged terrorist activities and has been in the custody of the Nigerian Prisons, Kuje, Abuja since 2010.

However, the suspect has claimed that he was no longer comfortable staying inkuje prisons following his recent experience with some prison officials, and consequently briefed his lawyer Festus Keyamo on his experience.

Keyamo in a letter of complaint to the The Comptroller-General of Prisons, dated Tuesday, July 30, 2013 and a copy emailed to LEADERSHIP stated that his client (Okah) briefed him on Wednesday, July 3, 2013, at about 6.30 am. The same prison wardens entered his client’s cell (No.1) and demanded to search his anus because they claimed they had information that he was hiding “incriminating” materials therein.

The letter titled “open complaint on the attempt to sodomize me Charles Okah by Mr Isah Musa (the chief clerk), Tanko Gokuje, (the assistant yard master) and three other wardens in kuje prisons,

Abuja”, reads in part:

“Our client has briefed us that on July 3, 2013, at about

6.30 am, some Prison Warders, specifically Mr. Isah Musa (the Chief Clerk), Mr. Tanko Gokuje, (the Assistant Yard Master) and three (3) other Prison Warders (hereinafter referred to as the culprits) entered our client’s cell (No.1) and demanded to search his anus because they and claimed they had information that he was hiding “incriminating” materials therein. Before entering his cell, they made sure all other inmates were locked up in their various cells”.

“Having heard from other inmates in the past that this is a known pattern used by wardens to sodomize inmates, our client initially resisted the attempt, but was forced to succumb after much pressure

and insistence by the culprits.

“However, having succumbed to the utter shock and dismay of our client, he saw that Mr Isah Musa pulled off his clothes and sustained erection and attempted to carry out the acts of sodomy on him. To achieve this, our client was then held to the ground by Mr Tanko

Gokuje and three other wardens. Our client had to intensify his struggle and resist to prevent the completion of the criminal act.

Our client screamed for help and this was heard by other inmates.

Source: LEADERSHIP

Boost Your Kid’s Intelligence With This

31 Jul

It’s holiday time — and kids — are in relaxed mood. Holiday period should not be allowed to pass idly, experts say, without doing something tangible to help the kids improve on their intellect.

Nutritionists say one of the ways parents could boost their children’s brain and, by implication, their intellectual development, is by giving them foods that nurture this all-important organ.

Scientists describe the brain as “the boss of the body.” They note that the brain runs the show and controls just about everything we do.

“The brain enables you to think, learn, create, and feel emotions; to controlling every blink, breath, and heartbeat,” they say.

For kids who are still growing, researchers note that the brains are as active, growing and changing, just as the young ones’ bodies.

Research suggests that food is one of the many factors that affect a child’s brain development, and that when a child eats good and nourishing foods, they help him to stay sharp all day long, and positively affect brain development well into the future.

Indeed, a study published in the journal, Social Science & Medicine, suggests that childhood malnutrition impairs brain function in old age, and that it also has negative impact on children’s mental development. The study authors conclude that the growing brain could be nourished and made intellectually sound with good diet.

This being the case, what foods should you give your growing child to boost his brain health? Here we go.

Eggs: Family doctor, Grace Oluwaseun, notes that eggs are exceptionally good for building healthy brains and memory. She says, “Not only do eggs contain abundant folate, choline and vitamin B12, the yolks are an important source of omega-3 fatty acids, which play a vital role in building the brain.”

She enthuses that the folate in eggs fights cognitive decline and memory loss as the child continues to grow.

A nutritionist, Dr. Remi Omotunde, adds that when a pregnant woman regularly eats boiled eggs, she is really preparing her unborn child for a healthy life. He notes, “The vitamin B12 content of eggs produces certain nutritional benefits that prevent neural tube defects, among other benefits.”

Physicians say neural tube defects are birth defects of the brain, spine, or spinal cord, which happen in the first month of pregnancy, often before a woman even knows that she is expecting a baby.

Yoghurt: We all love yoghurt; and when you consider its brain-nourishing property, you now have more reasons to pamper your child with it.

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, conclude that the probiotics, or “good” bacteria, found in yogurt might be good for the brain. They are of the view that full-fat yoghurt can help keep brain cell membranes flexible, helping them to send and receive information.

Beef: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that healthy iron levels aid performance of mental tasks. “Iron helps transport oxygen throughout the body and to the brain,” the researchers say; admonishing children to consume controlled quantity of lean beef.

Fish: Omotunde says the omega-3 fatty acid in a fish like sardine helps in maintaining mental focus among kids. He says, “Naturally fatty fish are a good source of vitamin D and omega-3, which protect the brain against cognitive decline and memory loss.”

Other omega-3-rich fish include salmon and tuna, he informs.

Fruits and vegetables: Physicians counsel that eating green and leafy vegetables creates a powerhouse for brain health. Oluwaseun notes that eating fruits and vegetables helps your body to fight diseases that otherwise would make life tough for your brain.

Source: Information Nigeria

Are you better off with PDP in power?

30 Jul

THE headline of this column is like the ringing question Ronald Reagan asked American voters in 1980 when he was seeking their mandate to succeed the then incumbent President, Jimmy Carter. Carter, of the Democratic Party was elected in 1976.It was a time despair seemed to have supplanted hope in America.

The country was reeling from the Watergate scandal that consumed Richard Nixon presidency. Carter knew the enormity of the challenge when he decided to run for the presidency.

He summed up the despondency among Americans as the “malaise of the spirit”. But once he took the mantle of leadership, he lost grip, or perhaps, he was overwhelmed by the problems. Reagan, a Republican (may God bless his soul), a master communicator looked the average voter in the eye and asked a provoking question: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? American voters agreed with him that indeed their country was drifting, dangerously.

He won by a landslide. Carter was gone. Similar question is asked in every democracy when the leadership has failed to provide solutions to the manifold problems facing the country and its citizens.

That’s because disillusionment has set in. It is apt to reframe the question that Reagan asked his compatriots 33 years ago: Nigerians, are better off now 14 years since the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) came to power at the centre? Certainly, many will answer in the affirmative, particularly those that have benefited from the policies of PDP. So also will millions of Nigerians answer in the negative, especially those who are at the receiving end of what they might call the “flip-flop policies” of the ruling party.

Expectations differ, so is perception of any government in power. But one thing is clear: politics in Nigeria can be a cruel and fun. It has a flavour of the good, the bad and the ugly. The politicians provide us with the drama that soothes our frayed and tired nerves.

PDP is the arena that provides the fun and the follies that characterize Nigerian politics. PDP without crisis is like a doughnut without a hole.

Party members are not ashamed of dancing naked at the market square. Washing dirty linens in public has become a regular occurrence .The rank -and- file of the party resembles a broken family whose members would prefer to destroy their inheritance rather than share it. Yet, the party deludes itself as “largest party in Africa” and some of its members have boasted several times that the party will remain in power for sixty years.

Does the voter matter to them?. May be, not. It is not as if opposition parties have proved to be a realistic better alternative, but often, assessment of performance is based on the party that has been given the mandate to turn things around. The truth is that PDP is fast losing grip of present realities in Nigeria. Anger is eating deep like acid among the people.

And in the face of that, the ruling party has come far short on leadership, competence and effectiveness in the handling of critical issues in the country today.

I believe, it is in that context that five northern governors, Aliyu Babangida (Niger), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) issued red-alert on the state of the nation, in particular, the ugly state of affairs within the PDP to which all of them belong. They are not ordinary members of the party.

They are strong voices that we should listen to, not ignored. In the past two weeks, the five governors, already labeled by the party as “renegades” have held consultations with three former heads of state, Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar. Nyako said something instructive after their visit to Minna, hometown of IBB and Abubakar: “we will continue to make efforts to save the party(PDP).

But if our efforts did not work out, we have no alternative than to fold our arms and see PDP dead and help in burying it”. The presidency has since dismissed such comments as “grandstanding”. Similar dismissive comments by the presidency followed their solidarity visit to Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State who is currently under siege by the party and members loyal to the President.

This is a party that has repeatedly shown contempt for the laws of the land and liberty of individuals. No doubt, the rot that PDP has made of itself is like a virus that has now infected many facets of the country, with the exception of a few, including members of the National Assembly. This is evident from their jumbo pay that become folders of groundbreaking wastage. It reflects how Nigeria has faired under PDP.

A recent report by The Economist magazine says it all. Quoting data from the International Monetary Fund(IMF),The Economist reports that with an annual basic salary of N30.6m,(equivalent of $189,500),a legislator at the National Assembly is the highest paid in the world, while President Jonathan could be earning much higher than the United States President. That officially makes our democracy the costliest in the world and our lawmakers perhaps the least productive, in comparison.

Some years ago, the same magazine had described our national parliament as the “filthiest arena of politics” in the world. That may be an exaggeration. But may not be far from the truth. This report could be inciting, but the fact is a bazaar of sort that we knew before The Economist hugged the headlines with it. Expectedly, spokesman for the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe has described the report as “misleading and incorrect”.

Nevertheless. we know that to be the case, that our lawmakers across the states and local governments are paid so much and work too little to justify the amount being lashed on them as salary and other pecks of office.

About two years ago, Governor of the Central Bank, Lamido Sanusi raised a genuine alarm over the amount spent on the federal lawmakers, which he said was taking a big chunk of the budget.

They called for his head. He was forced to adjust his comment, but not the gritty truth of what this obscene jumbo salary means to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP). For months ago, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)released an astonishing data showing that the Federal Government in the last 12 years spent N18trn to service national “lifestyles”. Contrastingly, within the same period,N6.6trn was spent on infrastructure.

That is one of the reasons why our roads have become death-traps. Recently, a report by French wire service, AFP quoted Euro Monitor, a financial market derivative, that the rich in Nigeria spent N9.4bn on champagne in 2012.

This amount is equivalent of 849,000 litres of champagne. Recall that the presidency allocated N2bn for “entertainment” in this year’s budget. Why is all of this happening in our country? Why are politics and politicians different in Nigeria? Is it in our genes or in our stars or both? Please, answer.

Perhaps it will do our politicians and our polity good to heed the advice of the Catholic pontiff, Pope Francis, during his visit to Brazil last week. He looked at the rich in the midst of poorest poor and said:’ Don’t let money and greed steal your soul.

Money and greed bring the illusion of being happy’. Our politics has become staid and out of touch. Something needs to be done. And urgently.

Source: Nigeriaonpoint

See Military Kindergarten School Where They Toughen Up Preschoolers With Marine Drills

30 Jul

At the Albert Kindergarten, in Taichung, Taiwan, children aged three to six don camouflage outfits and take part in a mandatory exercise program modeled after marine drills. Their parents hope the rough training will prepare them for the hardships of life, but there are those who criticize the preschool for pushing the kids too hard and exposing them to injury. For one to two hours a day, the children enrolled at Taichung’s Albert Kindergarten perform a series a series of physical exercises inspired by military drills. Principal Fong Yun believes Taiwanese kids lack confidence and courage compared to youngsters from other countries, so over 10 years ago she teamed up with pediatric professor Chen Yi-hsin to develop a special program that combined military drills and gymnastics to boost their physical and mental strength. Yun is convince her training will help the students deal with hardships like tough college admission exams, job hunting and even marriage. Many Taiwanese parents seem to share her beliefs, as all the classes at Albert Kindergarten are full and parents drive from over half an hour ever day just to drop their kids off here. The children climb ladders, do handstands, backflips and all kinds of other exercises that even hardened marines sometimes find difficult. In order to graduate, they must prove they’ve mastered the entire routine by passing a challenging test. Most of the kids who go at Taichung’s military kindergarten love practicing the drills and proudly show off their trophies – bruises, calluses, etc. – but some educational organizations have expressed their concern about the effect these tough methods may have on them. They fear the excessive training could affect their development or cause serious injuries. However, Fong Yun says the exercises actually help both physical and mental development and since the drills are conducted by professional instructors, the risk of injury is minimal.

Source: Information Nigeria

Lagos Prostitution Camp Where Underage Girls Are Recruited

27 Jul

I was in JSS3 at the time, and I was too young to understand anything. So, when I became pregnant, I told my boyfriend about it, but he denied it and ran away. That was how I stopped going to school. After about two years, I came to Lagos to hustle. One aunty then introduced me to this business

MARTHA is a 15-year-old girl endowed with beauty. But she faces a very bleak future as she is held captive in a brothel in Gbagada, a suburb of Lagos, where she has to sleep with men old enough to be her father and surrender her entire earnings to a woman designated as her aunty. In return, the aunty gives Martha a sum she deems sufficient to cater for her basic needs.

The more than two decades old brothel is located close to Sawmill Bus-stop in Gbagada. In it resides a cartel of mature prostitutes called aunties, to whom younger girls like Martha are responsible. The older prostitutes act as guardians to the younger ones aged between 14 and 19 years. Most of the girls are said to have been lured to Lagos from Edo and Delta states by their aunties. With a promise of the good life, the girls follow the aunties to Lagos only to be lured into prostitution.

The cartel’s mode of operation is similar to those that have been reported about innocent Nigerian girls lured into prostitution in Europe. The girls, who are mostly from poor parental backgrounds and broken homes, serve their aunties for as long as two years before they are deemed matured enough to stand on their own.

A source in the hotel told our correspondent that for a newly recruited girl to become a member of the prostitution ring, her aunty has to pay the sum of N50,0000 to the proprietor of the brothel as registration fee. After that, the aunty makes the young girl to sleep with older men. All the proceeds from her intimate activities go to the aunty who decides how much is returned to the young girl as “pocket money”.

Our correspondent visited the hotel on a sunny day last week and met one of the girls named Martha, an indigene of Delta State. She was decked in a gown that barely covered her backside. Like a famished tigress, she rushed towards the reporter, offering him sex. After a brief discussion, she led the reporter to the brothel’s bar and was quickly joined by three of her colleagues.

Martha was the first to order for a bottle of a popular herbal drink called Alomo Bitters. With promise of a long-term friendship from the reporter, she opened up on her past and her dreams, narrating how she became a sex worker in the hotel.

Surprisingly, she doubles as an apprentice hairdresser, hoping to settle down into hairdressing business someday. But for now, she is under contract to serve her aunty for 11 more months, during which she must hand over her entire earnings.

Martha said: “My aunty is very nice. She gives me money, depending on how much I make in a day. I am from Delta State, and I am learning to become a hairdresser. I will leave next year after my service. After that, I will open a shop and become a businesswoman.”

It took her no time to finish her drink and order for another bottle. At this stage, the discussion became livelier, as the four girls freely talked about their lives as prostitutes in the brothel.

“I am very brave,” said Martha, beating her chest as she spoke. “I can take on as many men as are available at a time.”

But going by her confessions, she is an endangered species. Besides the meager nature of her income, she is daily exposed to the danger of being defrauded or physically assaulted by the men that patronise her. Only a few days earlier, she lost her cell phone, which she said she bought for N32, 000, to a client from whom she had only reaped N2,000.

She said: “The man stole my phone after paying me N2,000. I called the number and he picked it, but claimed that the phone belonged to him.”

Asked if she was not afraid of contracting HIV/AIDS, she said she had received enough lessons on how to protect herself against sexually transmitted diseases and other dangers that come with her trade. She said apart from insisting that her clients must wear condom, she had been taught not to get carried away when entertaining them.

“The first thing they taught us was that men are cunning, and that we should be very careful with them. We also go for medical check-ups regularly. But one thing is that we don’t sleep with men without condoms,” she said.

Martha is not alone in this modern day slavery. She has a partner in soft-spoken Janet, an indigene of Edo State. At 17, the second child in a family of seven says she took to prostitution because she wanted to make a success of her life.

In her barely audible voice, she said she was forced to go into prostitution because her elder sister was not discharging her responsibilities towards their parents. She is expected to gain her freedom in November, when she would have served her aunty for more than one year.

She told a pathetic story of the events that led her into prostitution, saying that unlike Martha, she plans to go back to school.

“I want to go back to school. I came here because there was nothing else for me to do. But once I finish serving my aunty, I will leave this place completely and make sure that I go back to school,” she said.

Interestingly, Janet is in the business with her cousin, 15-year-old Pat. Evidently more daring and outspoken than her two other colleagues, Pat declared that she wanted the reporter to have a relationship with the three of them. “I like you. If you no mind, all of us fit be your friend,” she said, her colleagues nodding in affirmation while she continued to do justice to the bottles of Climax energy drink in front of her.

A quick tour of the brothel revealed that it contained 54 rooms, each allocated to an aunty. While a first-time visitor would only notice the front gate and the rear gates, a closer observation would reveal other entry and exit points.

The arrangement of the rooms makes it difficult for a non-regular visitor to master the terrain. The source at the hotel said the arrangement was meant to conceal the activities of the prostitutes.

According to the source, 14 of the rooms are allocated to teenage prostitutes while the rest are occupied by their older and more experienced aunties.

At Room 19, a busty lady, probably in her 30s, sat on a stool by the door. Asked why she was idle at that time of the day, she said she was waiting for prospective clients, adding that business had been dull because of the Ramadan period.

She jumped up at the reporter’s suggestion of a deal. After a quick negotiation, she agreed to take N750, down by N250 from the N1,0000 she demanded initially.

A visit to Room 32 revealed that the occupant was one of the aunties named Faith, from Edo State. She agreed to give a younger girl to the reporter for a fee to be agreed. But she argued that she was capable of anything the younger girls could offer.

Upon the reporter’s insistence, she dashed to Room 30, where some of her girls were sleeping at the time. The lot fell on 19-year-old Sarah, who quickly went to another room to prepare the bed.

The innocent-looking girl felt disappointed when she returned moments later and was told that the reporter had changed his mind, but with a promise to come back later in the evening. She ran back into the room, ostensibly to steal a few minutes of sleep before another client would come knocking.

Such has been the lot of the young girls in the brothel. They take care of the intimate needs of their clients at night and give the proceeds to the aunties. Yet the little time they have to rest or in the day time is repeatedly punctuated by clients who stroll in, in the day.

A funny incident had occurred at the brothel the previous night. Encouraged by the hotel source, the reporter had stormed the hotel at exactly 8:30 pm, hoping to take pictures of the girls’ activities. One needed no one to tell him that one had stepped into an ‘unholy’ ground. From one room to the other, both the young and the old prostitutes showcased their ‘wares’ with skimpy dresses.

One of them named Jessica said she had been expecting a customer for more than two hours without luck. The reporter’s arrival therefore gave her the hope of making some money, which she said had been scarce since the commencement of Ramaddan. Jessica, who claims to be a mother of one, lamented the lull that had occasioned the fasting period. She also said she had been unlucky with her love life.

According to her, she had her child, who is now 11 years old, after she was put in the family way by her boyfriend. The man later denied the pregnancy, leaving her and her poor family to cater for the boy.

She said: “I was in JSS3 at the time, and I was too young to understand anything. So, when I became pregnant, I told my boyfriend about it, but he denied it and ran away. That was how I stopped going to school. After about two years, I came to Lagos to hustle. One aunty then introduced me to this business.”

But in spite of all that she has been through, Jessica insists she has no regrets about her past. “What is there for me to regret now?” she asked rhetorically.

It is now more than a decade that Jessica took the unholy path of selling her body for money, but both joy and wealth, the twin reasons she opted for prostitution, have eluded her. Rather she has had an unsettled life, with no decent home or man to call her own.

While denied having any regret, it was obvious that Jessica was not the happiest of women. Her expectations from the trade were far from being met. Unfortunately, she has no other profession to turn to.

She said: “Let me confess, I thought I would have made it more than this. At a point, I even tried to travel to Italy, but the aunty who wanted to help me stole all the money that I saved. She asked me to bring N500, 000, promising to take me to Italy. I was able to raise about N400, 000, which I gave to her. But after that day, I never saw her again. If I didn’t lose that money, I might have stopped this business by now.”

For Jessica and the other young girls in the brothel, the future looks bleak. What with their meager daily earnings, most of which they spend on feeding, medicals and fairly used clothes. Whatever is left in the end cannot guarantee the flashy lifestyle that prompted them to go into the trade.

It is no longer a secret that more than one thousand Nigerian girls are trafficked to different countries by prostitution rings in Europe every month. The unholy trade has assumed a height never seen before in the last decade, with Italy as choice destination.

However, recent investigation has shown that the crime is gradually declining in Western Europe following strict laws on illegal migration and the efforts of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

But while the fight against the international prostitution rings may be gaining momentum, with relative success, locally-based prostitution rings are devising a model fashioned after the Europe-based rings to lure young and innocent girls into the world’s oldest profession.

Source: http://thenationonlineng.net

The 20 Things You Need To Accomplish In Your 20s

26 Jul

Our 20s are extremely important, formative years of our lives. It is primarily the time where we transition into adulthood. All of the habits and things we achieve in this time period are sure to be the foundation for the years to come. Many people use this time as an excuse to act reckless with the idea that they can turn things around when they get older.

Although there are such things as second opportunities, you must understand that with the growing level of global competition, your chances for a second opportunity greatly decrease. Instead of wasting your 20s being drunk and partying, it will be more beneficial for you to actually start getting your life together.

Being 20 and young is no longer a valid excuse to do what you want. Life doesn’t get any easier and it is crucial that you use this time to position yourself in order to give yourself a competitive advantage in the future.

Our 30s can be very successful, or a complete failure, all depending on what we learn and how much effort we put in during our 20s. Here is a list of 20 accomplishments and lessons that we ought to learn before we begin the fourth decade of our lives.

20.Let go of the past and look forward to the future.

By the age of 29, there will be many things that you will accomplish and there will be things that you failed at. You must learn to let go of your failures and learn from them. You must not think about what you could have or should have done, but rather what you will do next. The 30s are the new 20s, so get your poo together and make something of the next decade!

19.Accept that you are an adult.

By the time that you reach 27 years of age there should be no doubt in your mind that you have reached adulthood. This is the time to accept that you are an adult and that it is time to act like one. This does not necessarily mean to tone down your crazy escapades, but it may. In your 20s you need to come to terms with being your own master and taking responsibility for your decisions and your life.

18.Learn to maintain and keep your environment organized.

Your personal home environment very much reflects who you are as a person, who you are inside. If your surroundings are hectic, you are likely to feel inner tension. If your surroundings are neat and peaceful, your mind most likely experiences the same peace. If you want to find and maintain peace, then you must manifest your inner peace in your outer surroundings.

17.Learn to maintain your body.

Exercise is important. And so are all the grooming tasks that a person should learn to maintain throughout the years. Looking tidy, organized and well trimmed becomes more and more important the older you become. You may not feel the need to trim those nose hairs now, but you will when you are 50. This goes for both men and women.

16.Learn to dress well.

People judge you on how you look and how you dress. Wearing the right clothing for each occasion will make whatever you wish to accomplish a bit easier — in the very least it will only work to your benefit and not against you as would dressing poorly or inappropriately. Women need to learn how to wear dresses and walk in heels (walk, not waddle) and men should get comfortable in a suit. No matter who you are, there will be at the very least several times that you will need to dress to impress.

15.Start to accumulate a fortune.

I don’t know about all of you, but I plan on being a billionaire. If you are to become a billionaire, you will have to become a millionaire first. Hit that first million by 30 and your first billion by 40.

14.Learn to adapt.

We must all embrace change — the sooner the better. Change occurs constantly and unless we learn to change along with it, we will get left behind. Sticking to the ways of the past finds you living a life unfit for reality, but rather fit for a time that once was. The longer you wait to embrace change, the more difficult it will be to change your ways and habits.

13.Outline your perfect partner.

Some believe that it’s best to leave love to chance or fate. I, on the other hand, believe that loving is a decision and not some completely random, unexplainable concept. You may not be able to find a woman that matches your dream woman 100%, but you should have a good idea of what you do want in a partner and what you don’t want — as well as how important each characteristic or lack of is to you.

12.Reestablish your connection with your family.

Keeping on good terms with your family is important — if possible, of course. I understand that not everyone is allotted the luxury of good parents, but for those of us that were ought to try to keep in touch as much as possible. Even if you were never much of a family person, as I wasn’t, if you plan on having a family of your own one day, you’ll want to be adding onto an already solid family tree.

11.Surround yourself with people that you would like to keep around.

Having close friends are important. Building a trusting relationship with someone takes years, so it’s best to get crackin’. Do people make new friends in their 30s?

10.Find work that you love doing.

The key is to do what you love and love what you do. If your work doesn’t give meaning to your life, which honor may very well be reserved for your friends and family, then it must at the very least not make your life more unpleasant. The perfect job is out there for you. Figure out what that is while your age still starts with the number 2. Once you hit 30, it will be more difficult to get hired without any previous experience.

9.Get that body you always dreamed of.

Getting into shape gets harder the older you get. I know you planned on starting your diet tomorrow, but before you know it you’ll be turning 70 tomorrow. Have you ever tried to get into shape for the first time at 70? Me neither, but it must suck.

8.Learn to keep up to date with current events.

There is a world outside you that goes beyond that which you see and do. There are other people on this planet — people that you share a common bond with. Knowing what the human race is doing — all the good and all the awful — is an important part of understanding life. Knowing what is going on overseas may help you better understand why you are experiencing what you yourself are experiencing. If you haven’t learned to read a newspaper regularly — cough cough, Elitedaily.com — then you should get used to doing so before you hit 30.

7.Learn to read regularly.

Learning is not just something that you do while in school. Human beings should never stop learning. We were blessed with intellect superior to all other animals and we would be failing to live up to our abilities were we to allow our minds to become stale and slow. We need to keep our minds fit and perform mental exercises. One of the best ways is to read every day.

6.Clearly outline your life goals.

Your 20s are a time to figure out which direction you wish your life to go. What goals do you wish to accomplish and what steps will you take to get there? This the time to define what is most important to you and to promise yourself that you will do all you can to attain all that you wish for.

5.Get out of debt.

Before you can save money or create wealth, you first must get yourself out of debt. Debt not only grows as the years go by, it also gets heavier on your mind. The stress of having a debt hanging over your head will give you is too much distraction from what is important.

4.Begin to put money in the bank and learn to leave it there.

There are much more lucrative, albeit riskier ways of investing your money. Putting your money into the bank, however, is a good practice to learn. It is always good to have a bit of funds on hand for an emergency. You should be able to put some savings away in your 20s.

3.Date the wrong person(s).

I am a strong believer that in order to date the right person, you first have to date the wrong person. Otherwise you will always question whether or not you made the right decision by committing. Dating can be pricy, so you may just want to skip the dinner and just sleep around a bit.

2.Get your own place.

Living with mom and dad is free and living with roomies can be fun. But everyone ought to live on their own for at least part of their life in order to better get to know themselves. If you’re lucky, you will fall in love and get married one day. Then the possibility of being alone becomes a distant memory — or a costly divorce.

1.Support yourself.

Finally leaving the nest and flying on your own can be difficult at first — so I understand the reluctance. Nevertheless, there is no reason to be nearing your 30s and still living off mom and dad’s dime. If you can’t support yourself financially, then you have not learned how to survive. You must become a survivor.

http://elitedaily.com/life/motivation/the-20-

20 Things 20-year-olds Dont Get

26 Jul

Yea I am one of those people that hates lists, But atimes I’ve learnt they help convey large information in segments. Moreover I stumbled on this one on forbes which I think is worth sharing.

Tip: its Quite lengthy, I highlighted the headings to enable you scan through it and get the key points.

Enjoy.

20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get.

Time is Not a Limitless Commodity – I so rarely find young professionals that have a heightened sense of urgency to get to the next level. In our 20s we think we have all the time in the world to A) figure it out and B) get what we want. Time is the only treasure we start off with in abundance, and can never get back. Make the most of the opportunities you have today, because there will be a time when you have no more of it.

You’re Talented, But Talent is Overrated – Congratulations, you may be the most capable, creative, knowledgeable & multi-tasking generation yet. As my father says, “I’ll Give You a Sh-t Medal.” Unrefined raw materials (no matter how valuable) are simply wasted potential. There’s no prize for talent, just results. Even the most seemingly gifted folks methodically and painfully worked their way to success. (Tip: read “Talent is Overrated”)

We’re More Productive in the Morning – During my first 2 years at Docstoc (while I was still in my 20’s) I prided myself on staying at the office until 3am on a regular basis. I thought I got so much work done in those hours long after everyone else was gone. But in retrospect I got more menial, task-based items done, not the more complicated strategic planning, phone calls or meetings that needed to happen during business hours. Now I stress an office-wide early start time because I know, for the most part, we’re more productive as a team in those early hours of the day.

Social Media is Not a Career – These job titles won’t exist in 5 years. Social media is simply a function of marketing; it helps support branding, ROI or both. Social media is a means to get more awareness, more users or more revenue. It’s not an end in itself. I’d strongly caution against pegging your career trajectory solely to a social media job title.

Pick Up the Phone – Stop hiding behind your computer. Business gets done on the phone and in person. It should be your first instinct, not last, to talk to a real person and source business opportunities. And when the Internet goes down… stop looking so befuddled and don’t ask to go home. Don’t be a pansy, pick up the phone.

Be the First In & Last to Leave ­– I give this advice to everyone starting a new job or still in the formative stages of their professional career. You have more ground to make up than everyone else around you, and you do have something to prove. There’s only one sure-fire way to get ahead, and that’s to work harder than all of your peers.

Don’t Wait to Be Told What to Do – You can’t have a sense of entitlement without a sense of responsibility. You’ll never get ahead by waiting for someone to tell you what to do. Saying “nobody asked me to do this” is a guaranteed recipe for failure. Err on the side of doing too much, not too little. (Watch: Millennials in the Workplace Training Video)

Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes – You should be making lots of mistakes when you’re early on in your career. But you shouldn’t be defensive about errors in judgment or execution. Stop trying to justify your F-ups. You’re only going to grow by embracing the lessons learned from your mistakes, and committing to learn from those experiences.

You Should Be Getting Your Butt Kicked – Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” would be the most valuable boss you could possibly have. This is the most impressionable, malleable and formative stage of your professional career. Working for someone that demands excellence and pushes your limits every day will build the most solid foundation for your ongoing professional success.

A New Job a Year Isn’t a Good Thing ­­– 1-year stints don’t tell me that you’re so talented that you keep outgrowing your company. It tells me that you don’t have the discipline to see your own learning curve through to completion. It takes about 2-3 years to master any new critical skill, give yourself at least that much time before you jump ship. Otherwise your resume reads as a series of red flags on why not to be hired.

People Matter More Than Perks – It’s so trendy to pick the company that offers the most flex time, unlimited meals, company massages, game rooms and team outings. Those should all matter, but not as much as the character of your founders and managers. Great leaders will mentor you and will be a loyal source of employment long after you’ve left. Make a conscious bet on the folks you’re going to work for and your commitment to them will pay off much more than those fluffy perks.

Map Effort to Your Professional Gain – You’re going to be asked to do things you don’t like to do. Keep your eye on the prize. Connect what you’re doing today, with where you want to be tomorrow. That should be all the incentive you need. If you can’t map your future success to your current responsibilities, then it’s time to find a new opportunity.

Speak Up, Not Out – We’re raising a generation of sh-t talkers. In your workplace this is a cancer. If you have issues with management, culture or your role & responsibilities, SPEAK UP. Don’t take those complaints and trash-talk the company or co-workers on lunch breaks and anonymous chat boards. If you can effectively communicate what needs to be improved, you have the ability to shape your surroundings and professional destiny.

You HAVE to Build Your Technical Chops – Adding “Proficient in Microsoft Office” at the bottom of your resume under Skills, is not going to cut it anymore. I immediately give preference to candidates who are ninjas in: Photoshop, HTML/CSS, iOS, WordPress, Adwords, MySQL, Balsamiq, advanced Excel, Final Cut Pro – regardless of their job position. If you plan to stay gainfully employed, you better complement that humanities degree with some applicable technical chops.

Both the Size and Quality of Your Network Matter – It’s who you know more than what you know, that gets you ahead in business. Knowing a small group of folks very well, or a huge smattering of contacts superficially, just won’t cut it. Meet and stay connected to lots of folks, and invest your time developing as many of those relationships as possible. (TIP: Here is my Networking Advice)

You Need At Least 3 Professional Mentors – The most guaranteed path to success is to emulate those who’ve achieved what you seek. You should always have at least 3 people you call mentors who are where you want to be. Their free guidance and counsel will be the most priceless gift you can receive. (TIP: “The Secret to Finding and Keeping Mentors”)

Pick an Idol & Act “As If” – You may not know what to do, but your professional idol does. I often coach my employees to pick the businessperson they most admire, and act “as if.” If you were (fill in the blank) how would he or she carry themselves, make decisions, organize his/her day, accomplish goals? You’ve got to fake it until you make it, so it’s better to fake it as the most accomplished person you could imagine. (Shout out to Tony Robbins for the tip)

Read More Books, Less Tweets/Texts – Your generation consumes information in headlines and 140 characters: all breadth and no depth. Creativity, thoughtfulness and thinking skills are freed when you’re forced to read a full book cover to cover. All the keys to your future success, lay in the past experience of others. Make sure to read a book a month (fiction or non-fiction) and your career will blossom.

Spend 25% Less Than You Make – When your material needs meet or exceed your income, you’re sabotaging your ability to really make it big. Don’t shackle yourself with golden handcuffs (a fancy car or an expensive apartment). Be willing and able to take 20% less in the short term, if it could mean 200% more earning potential. You’re nothing more than penny wise and pound-foolish if you pass up an amazing new career opportunity to keep an extra little bit of income. No matter how much money you make, spend 25% less to support your life. It’s a guaranteed formula to be less stressed and to always have the flexibility to pursue your dreams.

Your Reputation is Priceless, Don’t Damage It – Over time, your reputation is the most valuable currency you have in business. It’s the invisible key that either opens or closes doors of professional opportunity. Especially in an age where everything is forever recorded and accessible, your reputation has to be guarded like the most sacred treasure. It’s the one item that, once lost, you can never get back.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonnazar/2013/07/23/20-things-20-year-olds-dont-get/

Open Letter From A Lasu Student To Dbanj (READ)

21 Jul

An Exclusive letter from a Fan to DBanj.
 
Dear Oyebanjo, Dapo Daniel AKA DBanj,I am seated at a local restaurant here at the Lagos State University, Lagos, Nigeria, drinking a bottle of Fayrouz and listening to the sound of the generator, which is the only source of electricity around here.I have watched your latest music video.
I went through the rigour lasvdt night. It is the video of the song entitled “Don’t Tell Me Nonsense” and it was awfully disgusting, the song, I mean. Kaffy and the rest of the dancers didn’t disappoint in the video.
This is bad, I know, using awful and disgusting, in same sentence. But that is what I feel about what I saw. Brother, DBanj, a lot has changed since you left your brother and hustle partner, Ajereh, Michael Collins AKA Don Jazzy. Truth. Your songs have been nothing but trash.
I wonder if anyone has said anything nice to you since you started making songs outside Don Jazzy. If they have, it must have been for that singular hit song entitled ‘Oliver Twist.’ Kai! That song swept through Nigeria and the rest of the world. You would not believe that the ordinary child on the streets of Nsukka knows the lyrics of that song and the dance steps too.
In Nigeria, there are plenty factors that weigh us down. One is our inability to manage our weaknesses. I see you have been buying yourself expensive jewelleries. The other day, I saw on a blog that you wear a wristwatch worth my entire family and maybe inheritance. I commend your taste. You are a lucky and hardworking man.You deserve it, besides; ‘Oliver Twist’ made marks. It took the Nigerian music to a height that had never been seen in recent times.
Its toping charts, downloads, Youtube views and itunes purchases are amongst the few things I can mention.
Dear, DBanj, Don Jazzy may not be an ideal partner, I bet you, no one is an ideal partner! Perfect couples quarrel and make up. It is the joy of having such union. I believe misunderstanding is part of us, as humans. I will run to the zoo the day I see a union that agrees on almost everything.Back to your music, I feel Don Jazzy was made to make good music with you. He may not only be your producer, but whatever input, from advice, to production, will go a long way. Besides, he has been miserable too, without you. I have seen his eyes in music videos. There is one he did with Tiwa Savage. Ah, Tiwa. She looked dazzling, while Don Jazzy looked wanting and dispirited. Tiwa may have a perfect voice but Don Jazzy has not been able to achieve what he did with you. The other boys, K-Switch, Wande Coal and the goody bag crooner, D’Prince are unfortunate learners.
They must be stark illiterates to have taken sides when you guys parted. I understand their ignorance. But my concern here is, if you wish to stay relevant in the sight of Nigerians, making good music, and not caressing a stripper on stage on your birthday, then you have to make amends with Don Jazzy and understand that people argue because they are beneficial to themselves. Only dummies agree on everything.
I think tribalism had a lot to play in your split. It is a sad reality, if I am right. Tribalism will eventually destroy Nigeria. Our young people think they belong to a superior tribe and so make silly comments which sometimes bring about misconception and then crisis. I once had a boss, who is Igbo, who felt my tribe’s men were lazy, just because she came to my state and saw a job and was privileged to be a high ranking staff. I have had people who think those from the north should be gatekeepers and cobblers. Someone called me a militant once in Abuja, at the Sheraton, when he discovered I was from the Niger-Delta. I forgave his gross stupidity. I think we should drink a cup of water when ignorant people say rubbish about our personalities or flaws and relate it to tribe.
You are a great young man, DBanj. Few people have attained the height you have. I am encouraged to pursue what I am currently pursuing because I know I will triumph. Your likes and that of 2Face Idibia, despite your weaknesses are heroes. And you must recall that Kanye West met you because he had heard good stuff from you. When nothing good manifests, he may be forced to give you a new job description at Good Music, which may be mopping of the floor of the studio. This evil will not befall you. If you believe it, type amen.
DBanj, pride is the worst enemy of any man who wishes to last longer anywhere. A drop of arrogance may work, but pride is detrimental. You were called the ‘entertainer’ because you offered entertainment. Today, Inyanya, Kcee, Flavour, Wizkid and Davido are doing better. Imagine Burna-Boy, chai, that boy has some senses oh. His music, even when he is talking nonsense makes you want to sit and listen or dance to it, as the case may be. The only person that is yet to outshine you is my dearest sister, Tontolet Dike. That girl needs Jesus.
I have to go back to my drink. I paid for it and it is almost missing me. I enjoy your struggle or hustle, as you may choose to call it. I wish to hear something profound from you. While awaiting that miracle that only you can perform, I wish you the very best of life.

Source: Millsmusicent

APC Will Chase PDP Out Of Delta State In 2015, Says Keyamo

21 Jul

Radical lawyer and governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Festus Keyamo, has declared that come 2015, the APC will take over the state from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Mr. Keyamo gave the assurance at his residence in Effurun near Warri, Ovwie Local Government Area of Delta State weekend when hundreds of his supporters paid him a solidarity visit.
The radical lawyer and rights activist, whose entry into the Requiem Mass held at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Warri, for late Senator Pius Ewherido on Friday caused a stir, stressed that all the opposition party leaders in the state have mapped out strategies on how to oust the PDP.
According to him, the PDP would be roundly defeated as its 14-years in power has politically ruined the state.
Keyamo said, “We must ensure that the PDP is out of governance in this state so that they will not steal our money and mandate again. All of us must fight tooth and nail to reposition the state and lead it to the Promised Land.”
The governorship aspirant, who is also the prosecuting counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) vowed that those who have been stealing the state’s public funds will surely “vomit it” at the appropriate time.

He enjoined the party faithful not to be deterred by the death of one of their leaders, Senator Ewherido, stating, “We should rather fortify our struggle to enthrone a truly democratically elected government.
“Nobody can give you freedom. It is a political war and be prepared to fight to the last. I tell you that world powers have fallen not to talk of powerless government presently leading us to doomsday,” the lawyer stressed.
The leader of the Delta Forces United maintained that the APC is fully on ground in the state adding that more effort will be made to further “spread out its tentacles to the nooks and crannies of the state.
“PDP government has literally brought the state to its knee and killed it. But I can assure you that PDP is already out of government,” Keyamo said.

Source: Information Nigeria

A Nation Of Paedophiles – By Femi Fani-Kayode

21 Jul

Senator and former Governor Ahmed Sani, the Yerima Bakura, has finally had his way. The Nigerian Senate has bowed to his will and agreed to be silent about the age that young girls can get married in Nigeria.

What this means once it is followed through and enshrined in our laws and Constitution is that girls that are as young as nine years old, provided they are deemed as having been ”physically developed enough” by their suitors, could be lawfully bedded and married in our country.

That is the sordid level that we have now, as a people and as a nation, degenerated to. I weep for Nigeria and, perhaps more appropiately, I weep for the Nigerian girl-child. Yet we have no choice but to live with this new reality and to accept it as it is. After all, our representatives in the sacred halls of the Senate were not sensitive enough or ”man enough” to shoot down the whole thing, to stand firmly against the unholy agenda and to say boldly and firmly that, ”come what may”, our children must be protected from sexual deviants and reprobates.

David Mark presiding over Senate plenary David Mark presiding over Senate plenary And since the Senate, in its infinite wisdom, has now endorsed the “Paedophile Charter”, which essentially seeks to make it lawful and constitutional for very young girls to get married and to have sex, it is my view that we have now become a nation of perverts and paedophiles.

Every Nigerian should bow his or her head in shame because what the Senate did and seeks to do in the future, by beginning the process to amend our Constitution in order for it to cater for the filthy appetite and godless fantasies of child molestors and sexual predators is sordid, ungodly and unforgiveable. Surely, we ought to be seeking to protect our children and not seeking to bed them. Yet it appears that not everyone shares our outrage and collective sense of shame.

One Uche Ezechukwu made the following contribution which went viral on the social media networks and which I think speaks volume. According to him, whatever was done in the time of old can as well be done in modern times – no matter how crude. I am appalled by these words. The truth is that I have never heard such a self-serving and specious argument in defence of the philosophies and beliefs of Senator Ahmed Sani, who married a 12-year- old Egyptian girl, as this one.

Ahmed Sani himself could not have argued it better. Yet I think that it is an utter shame. And this is more so because the individual that is putting the argument is supposedly a Christian. The Old Testament of the Holy Bible prescribes ”stoning” for adultery but that does not mean that Christian countries, or indeed secular states like Nigeria, should stone adulterers. Neither does it mean that we should preserve the institution of slavery or crucify petty thieves simply because the Holy Bible endorsed both practices in the Old Testament.

We must accept the fact that the interpretation of biblical and koranic provisions are evolutionary and are ever changing. Jesus Himself said ”laws are made for man and not man for laws”. The suggestion that paedophilia has any place in any modern and decent society simply because it was once practised in the distant past is not only a despicable argument but it also does not make any sense.

After all, cannibalism and child and human sacrifices were once widely practised and were held as being perfectly acceptable throughout the world as well but that does not mean that we should practice any of those terrible vices today. The young man, Uche Ezechukwu, who appears to be defending child rape in the name of islam, should either let someone lay with and ”marry” his own six or seven-year-old daughter or he should seal his lips forever and stop trying to defend the indefensible. His assertions, and I daresay those of Senator Sani and anyone that shares their primitive views, are not only utterly immoral and reprehensible but they are also intellectually dishonest.

I say this because the truth is that there is NO Muslim country in the world that has adopted the “paedophile charter” where six or seven year olds can marry and be bedded except for possibly Saudi Arabia and Iran. Every other Muslim country in the world, including Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Egypt, Jordan, Senegal, the Sudan, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Palestine, United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Qatar, Bahrain, Dagestan, Albania, Bosnia, Somalia, Algeria, Libya, Mali, Azerbijhan and Syria, have, specifically, banned child marriage, paedophilia and child rape in their various constitutions and laws and some have declared it ”repugnant”, ”unacceptable” and ”unislamic”.

Are these people not Muslims too? Like Christianity and Judaism, Islam is a noble, pure, honourable and ancient faith that seeks to protect the weakest and most vulnerable in society, including children. No one should use the misinterpretation of its provisions to try to justify or rationalise what is essentially depraved, shameful, disgusting and barbaric behaviour and the most sordid and filthy expression of sexual deviance and perversion. Even animals do not marry or bed their own infants.

The bitter truth is that paedophiles have no place in any civilised society. I am constrained to say that in the light of their “yes” vote to child marriage and their green light to paedophilia, every single member of the Nigerian Senate should bow his or her head in utter shame and should be compelled to offer their own infant and under age daughters for marriage. I repeat, they have turned us into a nation of perverts and paedophiles.

THROWBACK: Senate muzzles voices against Yerima’s marriage to 13-year-old Egyptian

21 Jul

Yerima seeking to constitutionalise under-age marriage.
The Senate has asked groups angered by the marriage of its minority leader, Ahmed Yerima, to a 13-year-old Egyptian girl to go to court rather than the Senate for a redress.
The Senate spokesman, Ayogu Eze, said this on Tuesday following protests at the Senate by female senators and a coalition of Nigerian women’s groups.
The Zamfara State politician was accused of marrying a minor – the 13-year-old daughter of his Egyptian driver. However, the senate spokesman said the accused senator had not broken any rules of the Senate with his marriage to the child.
Shortly before the Senate began plenary, members went into a closed-door session in anticipation of a petition that Ufot Ekaette (PDP, Cross River State), leader of the women senators, planned to present against Ahmed Yerima (PDP, Zamfara State). During the session, the Senate leadership stopped Ms. Ekeate’s petition.
While briefing the media outside the chambers, Mrs. Ekaette said she had the permission of the Senate President to present the petition that day.
Mrs. Ekaette’s coalition had planned a seven-day no-comment protest at the Senate, where they would stand in silent protest before the National Assembly to call on lawmakers to suspend Mr. Yerima for his action. They called on the people of Zamfara West senatorial zone, which Mr. Yerima represents, to recall the senator. Mrs. Ekaette added that the coalition will back civil society to prosecute the offending senator.
A petition – written by Roland Ewubare, the executive secretary of the National Human Rights Commission – and presented by the protesting women asked the Senate to investigate Mr. Yerima for his alleged marriage to a minor in violation of the provisions of section 21 of the Child Rights Act and other international and human rights instruments, to which Nigeria is a party.
Medically unsafe, legally wrong
The women argued that Mr. Yerima’s action is medically unsafe for the child-bride and legally wrong. They demanded that the senator returns the child to her Egyptian parents or face more protests and possible court action.
Chinelo Iriele, the president of Global Association of Female Attorneys, said the group is compiling evidence to charge the senator to court, where he faces “serious consequences” if found guilty.
“Nigerian women are sad because under the Child Right Act section 21 prohibit[s] child marriage. Nobody marries a child, whether boy or girl, under the age of 18,” said Ms. Iriele. “Today, one of our senators, Yerima, is sitting at the highest law-making body of this country committing the same offence that attracts the penalty of N500, 000 or five years imprisonment – or both of them.”
Mma Wokocha, a gynaecologist and the national president of Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria, argued that the marriage will expose the child to vagino-vesicular fistula (VVF).
VVF is a condition where, because the child’s pelvis is too narrow to give birth, pressure from the baby’s head blocks the circulation in the area between the bladder and the vagina, killing the tissue and creating a permanent hole in which urine constantly passes through the vagina, she explained.
The Senate’s leadership seemed unconcerned, saying they did not have any official notice of Mr. Yerima’s marriage to a minor, despite the presence of some principal officers of the Senate at the National Mosque where the marriage was allegedly conducted last month.
“The Senate cannot fish around for these things because we are not an investigating body to fish around for somebody who has broken the law,” said Mr. Eze. “If there are people who feel strongly that he has broken the law, the course of action is to take him to court to seek redress. It is not the responsibility of the Senate to go to court on behalf of those who feel he has broken the law,” he added.
Serial paedophile
According to the protesters’ petition, the 13-year-old is not the first underage girl Mr. Yerima has taken as a wife.
“The senator is in the habit of marrying minors and has gained notoriety in enticing girls to marry him, having contracted one in 2006 with a 15-year-old (Hauwa’u) whom Mr. Yerima allegedly caused to drop out of school at JSS 3, as his fourth wife,” the petition read.
Hauwa’u, who has one child with Mr. Yerima, will turn 17 today. However, the senator recently severed the marriage to make room for the 13-year-old Egyptian girl.
According to the women groups, Mr. Yerima’s request to marry the minor was turned down in Egypt because marriage to children is prohibited there. They accused the senator of luring the girl’s family with money, paying them a bride price of N15 million and sponsoring about 30 members of the child-bride’s family to attend the wedding ceremony.
Mr. Yerima, the former Zamfara State governor who was famous for his introduction of Sha’ria law to the state, was absent at the Senate while the protest lasted. He was also not reachable on phone for his comments.

Source: Premium Times

Aero Airline Offers Free Tickets To Corp Members

18 Jul

Aero Contractors Airline, one of Nigeria’s leading airline operators has offered return tickets en route Sokoto-Abuja-Lagos for three members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) 2013, Batch ‘B’ currently camping in Sokoto.

The lucky corps members, Solomon James Ali, a graduate of Business Management from the University of Maiduguri, and Oyeleke Omotayo Victoria from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho had emerged as Mr Macho and Miss Camp respectively during a beauty contest held at the NYSC orientation camp, Farfaru, Sokoto at the weekend.
The third lucky corp member who carted away a lone flight ticket to Abuja was a female contestant who emerged as the best Dancer during the show.

Speaking at the event, the Sokoto Station Manager, Alhaji AbdulMalik Musa Jibreel said the flight tickets were given to the lucky winners as a way of showing appreciation and generosity to their numerous customers among the corps members.
“It is a way of saying thank you to our valuable customers, especially the corps members who are taking the advantage of our friendly air fares and other services rendered to them. These winners will have the opportunity to fly aboard our economy class flights from Sokoto to either Abuja or Lagos, depending on their choice of destination,” he said.

Source: Information Nigeria

Trailer belonging to Dangote Plc set ablaze by Kwara State Polytechnic Students and residents of the area after it killed 3 persons at Oyun bridge, Ilorin.

18 Jul

Trailer belonging to Dangote Plc set ablaze by Kwara State Polytechnic Students and residents of the area after it killed 3 persons at Oyun bridge, Ilorin.

Source: Information Nigeria

School Prefect Stabbed To Death By 20-Year-Old Dropout

18 Jul

A 20-year-old man Godwin Odu, has been arrested by the police in Calabar for allegedly stabbing Boniface Odinaka, a student of Army Day Secondary School, 3 Amphibious Brigade, Eburutu Barracks, Calabar to death.
Odinaka, who was the Labour Prefect of the school, was attacked for confiscating the sandals of another student, Francis Etim.
Etim was said to have engaged the services of Odu who was his friend and an alleged cultist.
Odu who is from Akwa Ibom State, is currently detained at the state Criminal Investigation Department, CID, Diamond Hill, Calabar.
On why he killed Odinaka, he said his friend, Francis Etim, asked him to assist him recover a pair of sandals which Odinaka seized over alleged improper dressing.
Asked if he knew the name of the Labour Prefect, Odu said they laid ambush with Etim for Odinaka at the school gate waiting for closing hour when students were returning home.

In a statement at the Homicide Unit of the state CID, Odu confirmed that he attacked Odinaka from the rear and as the SSS II boy struggled to free himself, it resulted to a fight which caused his death.
Fielding questions from the Officer-in-Charge of Homicide, Mr. Joseph Inuyashe, DSP, Odu said: “The boy Odinaka is the cause of every thing that has brought me here. My friend, Francis Etim, came from school and told me that one senior student seized his sandals.”
Minutes after Odinaka was killed, Etim fled the area, but he was later arrested.
Odu who was identified as a dropout, said he attended Government Technical School, Ikot Ansa, Calabar and abandoned his studies as “some bad boys were after me.”
He pleaded that he was still a minor, claiming he was 14 years old, but when asked the year he was born, his years in primary and secondary school, he later said he was 20 years old.
Mr. Inuyashe, DSP, said the state Government frowned at cultism and other nefarious acts, saying Udo will be promptly charged to court, since he has admitted killing the boy.

Source: Information Nigeria

SAD: CoverGirl Talia Castellano Dies At 13 After Six Year Battle With Cancer

18 Jul

Talia Joy Castellano, the young girl who inspired thousands with her YouTube make-up tutorials and became an honorary face of CoverGirl, has died at the age of 13 following a 6 year battle with cancer.
Talia’s family announced her death on her Facebook page last night. They wrote:
‘It is with a heavy heart that we share with all of you that Talia has earned her wings at 11:22am. Please lift her beautiful soul, her beautiful light to heaven.’
Talia was diagnosed with with stage four neuroblastoma cancer in February 2007, and later diagnosed with leukemia. The young girl, who was so full of life, was told by her doctors mid last year that she had four to 1 year to live. May her soul rest in peace. See more photos of her after the cut…

Source: Information Nigeria

Man Throws Up, Dies After Engaging In Oral S*X

18 Jul

Ogwashi-Uku, Asaba, Delta State – A factory worker met his death after allegedly engaging in an act of oral s*x with a commercial s*x worker in the area.

It has been gathered that the man [name withheld] have ‘gone down’ on the commercial s*x worker after having s*x with her, and started throwing up after that. He was rushed to a nearby hospital only to die there.
Unconfirmed reports have it that the late factory worker had a preference for oral s*x.
The landlord of the deceased, speaking on the condition of anonymity, alleged that the commercial s*x worker may have poisoned the man as she fled the scene unnoticed immediately after the incident occurred.

It is worth mentioning that no fewer than six men have died in similar circumstance recently.
The police spokesman in the state, ASP Lucky Uyabeme, confirming the death said the body of the factory worker had been deposited at the General Hospital, Ogwashi-Uku, for autopsy. He added that the police is on the trail of the suspect.

Source: Information Nigeria

Man Dies Of Long-Term Eréction After Sleeping With Married Woman

18 Jul

A 34-year-old man died while receiving treatment from a local traditional healer after his manhood allegedly remained up after sleeping with a married woman.
The man has been identified as Shelton Dinganga of Zaranyika Road, Mambo.
According to neighbours, the matter which had been kept as a family secret by the man’s relatives occurred last week. The neighbours said they were shocked when they were only informed about Dinganga’s death and not his illness. They said Dinganga had s*x with a relative’s wife and his s*xual organ remained erect while his other private parts became swollen.
“Dinganga had suddenly disappeared from public life after coming back from Kwekwe where he had visited one of the family relatives whom he was said to be flirting with. We were shocked when his family members later informed us of his death and burial arrangements on Tuesday morning,” a neighbour told the local press.
The neighbour said it was during Dinganga’s burial at Mkoba Cemetery on Wednesday last week when mourners later got the shocking news that he died when his s*xual organ remained erect after having s*x with a female relative in Kwekwe.
When our news crew visited the house yesterday, Dinganga’s aunt, Ms Janet Gama confirmed the death.
She, however, refused to shed light on the causes of his death.
“Why do you want to know what caused the death of our relative? Yes he died at home and he had declined to be taken to the hospital but to then narrate the whole issue about Dinganga’s illness and subsequent passing away will not bring his life back,” said Ms Gama.

Source: Information Nigeria

Girl Drugged And Defiled By Man She Met On Facebook

18 Jul

She claims she met the man on Facebook and both arranged for a friendly date after one month of lovey dovey inbox messages.
 
The man picked her up in a Range rover car and drove to upmarket westlands for a drink. She decided to have red bull since that was their first time of meeting and didn’t want to leave a bad impression.
During their date, she excused herself and went to the loo, that was when the man drugged the red bull she was drinking.
The girl only remembers being drowsy and someone dragging her to the car. She was half awake but still weak when the man together with other assailants defiled her repeatedly. She lost count of the number of times she was defiled.
She only came back to her senses when good samaritans found her in Umoja 2, Kenya in a very bad state.
The girl said her v**ina was sore and couldn’t walk properly.
She warns females to be very careful about the male friends they meet on Facebook as not all of them have good intentions.

Source: Information Nigeria

Wizkid Pops World’s Most Expensive Champagne For His Birthday

17 Jul

Guess who showed up for Starboy Wizzy’s birthday – Liam of One Direction.
And here’s a picture of them enjoying a taste of diamonds  – the world’s most expensive champagne Goutdediamants at his birthday party.
Another pic from Wizkid’s birthday party after the cut

Meanwhile, you too can get a taste of the champagne real soon cos the champagne will be launched in Nigeria by the end of this month with this Swarovski Diamond bottle edition.

Source: Millsmusicent

Defence HQ Says Origin Of Boko Haram ‘Sophisticated’ Weapons Difficult To Trace

17 Jul

Nigeria’s Defence headquarters yesterday in Abuja said it was finding it increasingly difficult to trace the origin of what it called the ‘sophisticated’ weapons recovered from Boko Haram hideouts.

Information Nigeria reports that large number of weapons including assault rifles, anti-aircraft machine guns, pistols, rocket propelled and hand grenades as well as many forms of grenade launchers were removed from abandoned insurgent camps taken over by Special Forces in the North East region of the country where soldiers have been on a major offensive against insurgents since May.
Defence spokesman, Brigadier General Chris Olukolade, who made this known at a press conference by joint security media committee, said:

“Analysis of the weapons recovered from the insurgents is ongoing, not all of them are locally made; majority are foreign weapons. It will be difficult to determine where the weapons are coming from because there are free markets where anybody can buy guns. The weapons recovered are sophisticated,” he said.
According to the Defence spokesman, the security forces have struck at the heart of the insurgents operation with the destruction of their camps and seizing of their weapons.

Source: Information Nigeria

KUDOS LAGOS STATE COMMAND OF THE NIGERIAN POLICE.

17 Jul

- How police rounded up robbery gang that killed hotelier, 6 others in Lagos.

Five members of a deadly armed robbery gang that killed nine persons last Sunday at Ajah and Ebute-Metta areas of the State, were at the early hours of last Sunday, gunned down during an exchange of gunfire with the police at Eko Bridge, Lagos Island. The robbers, who also killed two policemen during their onslaught, met their waterloo when operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Ikeja, confronted them after they attacked Ebute-Ero and Ajao Estates respectively, recovering three automatic pump action guns, five pistols, ammunitions and assorted charms.

Crime Alert gathered that the gang started their operation last Sunday around 1:00am at Ebute-Ero end of Lagos Island, where they opened fire on two policemen leaving one of them dead, while the other sustained severe bullet wounds. The gang went further to rob a warehouse at Ajao Estate, Isolo, around 2:30am, where they carted away cartons of exotic mobile phones, I-pads and Samsung Galaxy tabs. They also opened fire on a team of policemen on a patrol vehicle from Ajao Estate Police Station, who rushed to the scene following a distress call, killing one of them while others sustained injuries.

Sources intimated Crime Alert that the Commissioner of police, Lagos State, Umar Manko, immediately ordered a clamp down on the gang when he received news of the attacks by the robbers and the officer in-charge of SARS, Abba Kyari, led four teams of SARS operatives in search of the robbers. It was further gathered that a team of policemen went to Ajao Estate where the gang was operating in two vehicles, a Toyota Odyssey and a black colour Honda SUV, in search of them, while others went to Surulere and other parts of the State.

About an hour later, the operatives at Surulere, spotted a Toyota Odyssey matching the description of the car being used by the robbers at the National Stadium and they went after it, but on approaching the vehicle, the occupants opened fire on the police vehicle in a bid to escape and the police responded. The robbers ran further to Eko Bridge, where the operatives succeeded in meeting up with them and a gun battle ensured.

Three of the dare-devils managed to jump off the bridge before the police could get to them, four were found dead while one other, later identified as Ganiu Menter, was found alive with fatal bullet wounds. A police source who craved anonymity told Crime Alert that Menter, who later died from the fatal bullet wounds he received had confessed to have taken part in the recent gruesome murder at 04 Hotel, Ajah, where they killed the owner, identified as Olanrewaju Subair, and six others, some of whom they raped and set ablaze. According to the source, the dying suspect also told the police that after the Ajah\ massacre, they went to a popular hotel along Apapa Road, Ebute-Meta, where they killed two security guards they alleged were police informants.

Source: Naijapings

SARAKI ESCAPE BEING LYNCHED BY ANGRY YOUTHS

16 Jul

Senator Bukola Saraki escape being lynched yesterday in ilorin, the kwara state capital.

The incident occurred around 5:00 pm at Pakata area,in Ilorin west Local Govt.

According to an eye witness, the former Governor was said to have organized meaningless empowerment in the area which angered the youths and caused the distributed materials ended up being destroyed.

It was stated that,The former governor, son of the late Waziri of Ilorin who is anxious of becoming an undisputed leader like his father narrowly escaped being lynched.

Who is after Senator Bukola Saraki?
Again, the peace of Omu-Aran; headquarters of Irepodun local government area of the state was at the weekend threatened when the former governor of the state, Dr. Bukola Saraki mobilized everything to the town at the instance of Hon. Akeem Aiyedun who was distributing some items for his constituents.

Some of the items were motorcycles, grinding machines and others. The event was billed to share largesse realized at the national assembly by the legal practitioner turned politician.

Barely few minutes into the programme at the present of the former governor, thugs disrupted the programme and carted away motorcycles and other items. It was difficult for anyone to resist as this was done by gun wielding thugs. They shot sporadically, while everyone became helpless.

Source: Anonymous

Presidency Warns Against Another Civil War

16 Jul

WORRIED about inflammatory utterances attributed to politicians in the country, the Presidency has warned that such actions could endanger the nation’s young democracy.
The Chief of Staff (COS) to the President, Chief Mike Ogiadomhe, in a chat with State House correspondents in Abuja, recalled the devastating effects of the Nigerian civil war on its victims, warning that no one should ever think of leading the country through the path of distress, dislocation and displacement.
“We should never at anytime believe or take anything for granted.We are Nigerians. We have no other home like Idiagbon and co said in those days and we cannot afford to push ourselves into the situation some misguided other countries have found themselves.”
The COS added: “When people chant war songs and all that, it is because, perhaps, they do not live in Borno, they do not live in Adamawa or Yobe or in some parts of Bauchi or Kano. Maybe some of them are too old or they now have dementia.
“For those who are old enough to remember what happened between 1967 and 1970. At times, it is good that you people play back your clips on humanitarian effects between 1967 and 1970 when people saw the face of hunger, the face of kwashiorkor to show that when you talk of HIV/AIDS today they are nowhere comparable when they see distress, dislocation, displacement.
He noted that Nigeria could not afford to push herself into the unfortunate situation some crisis-torn countries have found themselves.
Ogiadomhe added that politicians who had the tendency to politicise every action of the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration were ignorant as they were in no position to directly feel the impact of the numerous challenges confronting the administration.
While commending the media for its support for the president in his efforts to tackle the security challenges facing the nation, Ogiadomhe advised the media to properly guide politicians on national development.
According to him, “Let me say that while recognising the fact that you (the media) have been very supportive of this administration, you can see that for some strange reason people are deliberately heating up the polity in Nigeria today.
“When you overheat the polity it is not in the general interest of Nigerians. Some people may feel that politics is a competitive business and they are doing this against the ruling party or against an interest or whatever but politics must be played within a reasonable criteria and whatever we do we must avoid those things that would threaten the corporate existence of the country, those things that can derail democracy.
“So we should as much as possible because you (the media) are also the conscience of society refrain from joining the politicians in their fight. You must mitigate, the politicians must help to mitigate. When the politicians are going mad, don’t report them inthat madness because that inflames the society,” he stated.
Ogiadomhe further observed that some politicians only cared about their interests rather than the national interest and therefore urged the media to be more careful in publishing what they said, saying, “the consequence of that inflammation will not affect that politicians alone. He’s just driving his own personal interest. He doesn’t care how it will affect the corporate entity called Nigeria.”
“If you want to lie against somebody now you call a media person and do your manipulations and tell a lie because you want the society to learn something that is not true and not good about thatperson You must avoid being used because overall in all of this it will turn round to affect all of us,” he stated

Source: Tribune

France Returns Esie Statue To Nigeria

16 Jul

The Government of France has returned a valuable artefact, Esie statute, stolen from Nigeria in 2011 and seized by Customs officials at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.
The statue, which originated from Kwara State is said to be between 500 to 900 years old.
The Ambassador of France to Nigeria, Mr. Jacques Champagne de Labriolle, at a symbolic handover ceremony to mark FrenchNational Day in Abuja Sunday night, said the artefact was returned in line with France hardline stance against trafficking in art works and historical items.
He also handed over the restitution documents to the Director General of the National Museum and Monuments Commission, Dr. Abdalla Usman. Labriolle described the statue as one of great antropologic value, while he recalled that five items of Nok origin were returned to Nigeria in February this year by the French government.
Speaking on bilateral issues between Nigeria and France, the envoy disclosed that the trade volume between the two nations reached about $6 billion annually.
He added that Air France, which commenced direct flights between Abuja and Paris in 2012 had recorded so much success on the route that it had converted to the use larger aircraft.
“French businessmen would visit Nigeria in October this year to access the potentials for their business. I have no doubt they would be interested provided the appropriate environment is guaranteed,” he said.
He said French troops have assisted ECOWAS to restore peace and push out terrorists in Mali, adding that the French Mission in Mali was a success.
He disclosed that 18 Nigerian troops marched alongside AFISMA and French troops in Paris on Sunday to mark the national day.

Source: ThisdayNewspaper

Nigerian Navy To Build Another Warship

16 Jul

In a move to consolidate the gains of building the first indigenous warship in Africa, the Nigerian Navy is to commence the construction of a new 38 metre Seaward Defence Boat (SDB). The Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Dele Ezeoba has given his consent for the commencement of the warship. In the same vein, the design for the project has been approved by the Naval Headquarters.

Rear Admiral James Boer, who made the disclosure of this tremendous feat yesterday at the NNS BEECROFT parade ground, during the first anniversary of NNS ANDONI- the first indigenous warship built by the navy-said the international certifications by relevant agencies have begun. It would be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan had on June 1 2012 commissioned a 31metre Seaward Defence Boat at the Naval Dockyard in Lagos.

Admiral Boer, who is the Admiral Superintendent of Naval Dockyard Limited, added that NDL was in the fore front of technological breakthroughs and innovations in the Nigerian Navy. He further stressed that NDL is diversifying efforts into various aspects of activities that would include marine construction and fabrications in the maritime sector and the offshore operations of the oil and gas industry.

http://www.nigerianpilot.com/nigerian-navy-to-build-another-warship/

Thugs Disrupt Pro-Amaechi Governors’ Visit In Port-Harcourt

16 Jul

Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi and the governors of Jigawa, Kano, Niger and Adamawa that came to pay him a solidarity visit could not leave the Port Harcourt International airport this morning as protesters rented by forces loyal to President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience bombarded the airport.

Amaechi, who arrived on a different flight from Abuja around 9:00 AM had to wait in the VIP lounge of the airport until the other four governors arrived as he could not leave, worried that his convoy would come under attack from the protesters.

Sources at the airport told SaharaReporters that the protesters were bused to the airport a early as 7 AM this morning, by 8AM huge crowd bearing placards had virtually taken over the airport with the police giving them protection.

Aides to the governor said they are worried that a bloody confrontation could arise should the governors leave the airport as several of the protesters appear armed.

Opposition parties earlier revealed that Mr. Jonathan wants to foment a violent confrontation between supporters of the governor, and those opposed to him so as to give room to declare a state of emergency in the state,

Last week, five lawmakers led by an Evans Bipi, who is a close relative of Mr. Jonathan’s wife tried unsuccessfully to hijack the leadership of the Rivers State House of Assembly

Source: Sahara Reporters

Youths Protesting At Shell In Rumuobiakani, Port-Harcourt

16 Jul

Just heard it now on Nigeriainfo fm that some youths are blocking shell around that Rumuikishi axis where probably shell operates calling for youths to be employed that they can’t take such rubbish anymore..especially those who couldn’t scale through the recent shell online graduate recruitment… The youth are vexed … enough is enough.

Tambuwal tasks EFCC to account for monies, seized assets worth N2trn

16 Jul

The Speaker, House of Representatives, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal, on Monday, tasked the management of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the need to be accountable, concluding that information at his disposal showed that the anti-corruption agency since its inception had seized landed properties and monies worth N2 trillion.

This is coming just as the House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes expressed displeasure over the refusal of the two former chairmen of the commission, namely, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and Mrs Farida Waziri, to honour its invitation to answer questions over seized and confiscated assets and consequently threatened that if the duo failed to honour the committee’s invitation, warrant of arrest would be issued on them and others who failed to honour the invitation of the committee.

The speaker, who dropped the hint at an investigative public hearing to unravel the status of seized and sold assets by the EFCC from inception to date organised by the House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, said, “I have learnt that between 2003 and now, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) confiscated over 200 mansions and large sums of money through 46 forfeiture court orders. These landed property, monies, and business concerns which were estimated to be worth in excess of two trillion naira, included bank accounts, shares in blue chip companies, exotic vehicles, fuel stations, holdings, warehouses and shopping malls.”

He further said, “we have reports that some of these properties have fallen into disrepair and that some cannot even be accounted for. Indeed, the status of these assets and the lack of clarity about their use while in litigation are part of the reasons why we are holding this hearing.

“We cannot allow a situation whereby over 400 cars seized through the diligence of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for instance, continue to waste away. We have a vicarious responsibility to ensure that assets seized through forfeiture court orders are prudently and carefully managed to avoid waste and to ensure they are maximally disposed of for the benefit of the public.

“This is why the House has resolved to carry out this Investigative Hearing. It is not enough to just seize assets, we need to ensure that they are quickly utilised as part of restitution for the original crime,” he maintained.

This is coming just as the chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr Ahmadu Giade, disclosed that his agency had transferred liquid cash worth over N90 billion and 70 cases to the EFCC.

According to him, “In 2006, I transferred 12 cases to the EFCC, and from January to December 2007, I transferred 14 cases to the EFCC; from January to December 2008, I transferred a total of 21 cases to the EFCC; from January to December 2009, I transferred 12 cases to the EFCC, and in 2010, three cases were transferred to the EFCC, while four cases were transferred in 2011.

“From January to December last year (2012), three cases were transferred, while from January this year till date, only one case was transferred to the EFCC for further investigation.”

“From 2006 till date, the genuine naira was N27,822,210; dollars was $2,822,878. Then fake dollars were $7,124,166; pounds sterling £20,300 genuine currencies. Fake ones were £978,487. There is Korean Won, which is 33,000; then Euro is 11,266 genuine, while the fake one is 8,400 only.
CFA 93,750,517 only; and the Cedes was 5 cedes,” he explained.

On Mallam Ribadu and others who failed to honour the invitation of the committee, the visibly angry chairman House Committee, Honourable Jagaba Adams Jagaba had ruled, “I am sounding this warning to those we have summoned and refused to come, according to section 89 (c) of the constitution, we have the legislative power, in fact we can declare you wanted including other agencies that are not here. You cannot treat the National Assembly the way you want. They all have up to Wednesday this week to appear by 10am,”.

Earlier while making remark, Honourable Jagaba maintained that the committee would do a good job, saying, “we owe Nigerians a duty to make government and its agencies to render accounts of its deeds and misdeeds, the result of which will make the elected representatives form their opinion and make necessary recommendations”.

Source: TRIBUNE

Electricity Tariff Will Increase Despite Poor Supply -NERC

16 Jul

Despite the erratic power supply in the country and frequent system collapses, electricity tariff will continue to rise, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has said.

NERC, while defending the Federal Government’s position on the recent increase in fixed electricity charges, said the Multi Year Tariff Order had an approved tariff stipulated for 2012 to 2016.

The MYTO, which was prepared by NERC and obtained by our correspondents, showed that there would be increases in electricity tariff every year till 2016.

The tariff schedule showed that consumers would have to pay higher on two fronts. Every year, the fixed cost will go up. Similarly, the energy cost or cost per kilowatt hour of electricity will also go up.

NERC had consistently said that increase in electricity tariff would be for the short run and that the amount payable by consumers would begin to fall when the country had produced enough electricity.

The annual tariff increase, our correspondents gathered, would be automatic not minding whether there was appreciable improvement in power supply or not.

The Chairman, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, while briefing journalists on Monday following public outcry against the recent increase in the fixed charge from N500 to N700 or N800, depending on the location, said, “The truth is that the tariff must increase despite shortfalls in service delivery.”

He argued that the inability of power distribution companies to live up to expectation was not a tenable reason to slash tariff, adding that it was in the interest of Nigerians not to reduce the charges.

Amadi said most of the shortcomings in the sector were structural and insisted that the commission would not reverse itself on the approved tariff regardless of the underperformances of power distribution companies.

He said, “We regret that the distribution companies have not been very committed to meeting their obligations in the MYTO. NERC recognises that the quality of service has not seen significant improvement, especially in the area of metering and accurate billing of customers.

“Our expectation for significant and sustained improvement in electricity supply and quality service lies in the expected takeover by the privatisation preferred bidders, who have better incentives and commitment, and have made enforceable promises to invest continuously in providing better services to consumers.

“These investments and commensurate improvements will not all be made in one day but over the coming months, years and decades following the entry of new investors and managers of our distribution companies.”

The Nigeria Labour Congress on Sunday condemned the new tariff designed by NERC, with its President, Mr. Abdulwaheed Omar, saying the body rejected the latest figures because of the epileptic electricity supply and the low purchasing power of the working people.

But reacting to the NLC position, Amadi argued that two minor reviews conducted by the commission did not result in increase in tariff.

This, he said, was because the fundamentals of the MYTO and the financial model published on NERC’s website had not significantly changed.

“We must state that the commencement and results of both minor reviews were announced via various national print and electronic media, including some that carried various provocative statements that bear absolutely no connection with the truth,” Amadi said.

On what the penalty was for distribution companies that failed to provide stable electricity despite collecting high fixed charges, the NERC boss stated that the commission had responded with regulations to enforce correct billing of unmetered customers.

He said NERC had also introduced the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation policy to help protect electricity consumers.

“We will continue to enforce these regulations and interventions to improve quality supply before the preferred bidders take over the networks,” Amadi said.

Source: Punch Nigeria

Nigerian Jet For Malawian President

16 Jul

When Nigeria dispatched a jet from its Presidential Air Fleet late last month to fetch Malawi’s President, Joyce Banda, to Abuja, it unwittingly drew attention to our government’s fiscal recklessness. It was lost on President Goodluck Jonathan that while Banda had sold her cash-strapped country’s only presidential jet to save costs, he has, in three years in office, expanded Nigeria’s executive fleet to 10 aircraft.

Neither the reality of over 60 per cent of the population living in poverty, nor the recent alarming revelation by the Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that government’s revenue inflow had dwindled to a dangerous level, has persuaded Jonathan to pare down the size of the Presidential Air Fleet. Instead, it is projected to rise as provision has reportedly been made to purchase two additional helicopters to ensure the President, Vice-President, their families, and other top functionaries travel in luxury at public expense.

Banda was in Nigeria to deliver the keynote address at the Global Power Women Network Africa summit in Abuja at the invitation of Nigeria’s First Lady. To ease her trip to Nigeria’s capital, our generous government dispatched a jet to pick her from Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital, and return her home after the event. That is to be expected since Malawi lacks a presidential aircraft.

Shortly after assuming the presidency in 2012, Banda had taken a critical look at her country’s economy. Almost 40 per cent of the national budget came from aid donors, while revenues from its major exports – tobacco, tea, coffee and sugar – were falling due to lower global demand and prices. Moreover, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank had withdrawn most aid in response to the purchase in 2009 of a presidential jet by Banda’s predecessor, Bingu wa Mutharika, and his abandonment of an IMF-dictated adjustment programme. Other donors followed the World Bank/IMF lead.

Besides selling the presidential plane for $15 million, Banda also sold off a fleet of 35 Mercedes Benz limousines reserved for the president and the cabinet. She cut her own salary by 30 per cent, among other austerity measures. Her actions won praise around the world and convinced the IMF and other aid donors to return with credit and handouts to back the government’s ongoing painful structural adjustment programme.

But Nigerian leaders will not sacrifice their own comfort for anything. Even in a rich country like Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron and cabinet members took pay cuts in response to the global recession and the spending cuts that the government introduced. Here, our leaders are obsessed with living in luxury, regardless of the mass of people who are poor, the lack of infrastructure, mass unemployment and dwindling revenues. Okonjo-Iweala’s warning that the government may run out of money to pay salaries by October in the face of massive oil theft and vandalism of pipelines that have sharply reduced oil production and revenues has not jolted officials. Neither the wasteful Executive nor the overpaid legislators are ready to give up their luxurious lifestyles.

But British leaders often take commercial flights and, occasionally, trains when travelling for state functions. Japan, with its Gross Domestic Product of $4.52 trillion and per capita income of $36,200, (at Purchasing Power Parity), has only two aircraft – Boeing 747 – 400 – for use of the prime minister and the emperor; the Netherlands, with GDP of $770.2 billion and PCI of $42,300, has two; the British Queen, Elizabeth II, and Cameron travel on chartered British Airways flights, despite their country’s $2.32 trillion GDP and PCI of $38,700; South Africa has just one presidential aircraft with its GDP of $678.6 billion and PCI of $11,300, though it expects another soon, while Malaysia has one, but has also ordered a second; but with its GDP of $492 billion and PCI of $16,900, like others cited, Malaysia is ahead of Nigeria with a GDP of $450.5 billion and PCI of $2,700.

Given these scenarios, it is high time we ended this absurdity. Today, the aviation sector is in dire straits. How does one explain that only two domestic airlines – Arik, with 23 planes, and Aero Contractors with 14 – have larger fleets than this one kept for a few at public expense? Over N9 billion is believed to be spent on the maintenance of the presidential fleet each year, while the PAF required 47 Nigerian Air Force officers, 173 airmen/airwomen and 96 civilian employees on full time call in 2012.

Nigerians, however, desperately need a government that exists to serve the people, not a few. Successive governments have demonstrated incompetence and abused and misused public funds. There should be minimum ethical standards and decorum in public office. Other developing nations like Ghana where a former president, John Kufuor, once disposed of a spare presidential aircraft, retaining only one, should shame us into prudent conduct.

Jonathan has no excuse to continue keeping 10 aircraft and our under-performing legislators have no reason to keep approving new purchases or the billions of naira they appropriate for their maintenance each year. But, ultimately, it is only when the electorate shakes off its lethargy and demands accountability and responsibility from public officials that things will change for the better.

Source: Punch Nigeria

Why oil thieves bring in arms – Bayelsa Gov

16 Jul

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State Friday linked the proliferation of small and light weapons to perpetrators of illegal bunkering and refining in the Niger Delta.
Governor Dickson who stated this when he received the new Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Yenagoa, Rear Admiral Sidi-Ali Usman in Yenagoa lamented that the activities of the oil thieves not only pose a great threat to the nation’s economy but also to national security.
Expressing concern over the impunity with which perpetrators of illegal bunkering, sea piracy and pipeline vandalism  undermine constituted authority, the governor  linked the proliferation of small and light weapons to such activities in the littoral states.
According to him, the criminals have been able to sustain their operations over the years through the proceeds from illegal bunkering activities.
His words, “What is going on is more of a threat to national security than even the loss of revenue that everybody is shouting about. Let me tell you that all the violence, brigandage and criminality that we experience in the Niger Delta states particularly Bayelsa where I know more, have their roots in the activities in the creeks. It is from  there they have easy funds to recruit followers. It is from these activities of crude oil theft and illegal refining that people are able to sustain such large number of youths and put them into various cult groups.
”What is going on has a direct effect on the proliferation of small and light weapons because they need an army of youths to protect their territories  and to be able to withstand the onslaught of legitimate security personnel.”
The governor warned those  who have rebuffed the olive branch extended to cultists by the state government to have a change of heart, as his administration would not hesitate to bring them to justice.
”For those who have defied the Cultism Proscription law, in spite of the olive branch we have put forward, I am sounding a clear note of warning that this government will not succumb to blackmail or propaganda.
”This government will work with security agencies in this state to ensure that those who violate the laws of this state and country will be brought to book.”
Consequently, he called for maximum  cooperation from the security operatives especially the Nigerian Navy to achieve  the  present administration’s policy of zero tolerance to violence and crime.
Describing the establishment of the Central Naval Command in the state as significant, the governor said considering the maritime nature of the state, the Navy has a crucial role to play in policing its waterways.
While commending the out gone Flag Officer Commanding, Rear Admiral Olutoyin Johnson for serving the state creditably, he assured the new FOC of government’s continued support.

Source: Vanguard Nigeria

My life, struggles and triumphs – Shan George

16 Jul

Like every other Nollywood actress, Shan George has had her fair share of scandals. She has been accused of going into marriage and coming out of it over  three times, dating younger men and decorating her body with countless tattoos. What’s true and what’ s not? My life, struggles and triumphs. In this interview, the half caste actress shares her  painful story with Showtime Celebrity. This is Shan George beyond the scandals.
You have some reservations about the kind of questions journalists ask you during interviews?
Well, people always want to know more about my personal life, my relationships and  all those stuff that the soft-sell magazines like to exaggerate. I just think that serious publications should be interested in asking relevant questions.
So, if you were the one interviewing yourself, what would be your first question?
I would ask myself how long it actually took me to get to where I am today; the challenges along the way and how I’ve been able to overcome  them. It took me about 15 years to get to this point. However, one major challenge I have always faced as an actress has to do with not being at home all the time and playing roles in movies that are opposed to my character.

Let’s assume you were born in a Christian home and you imbibe what you were taught from when you were a kid. All of a sudden, because of your profession, you are called to be a Buddhist or a mermaid. You are talking about being something you have never experienced. I have never seen a mermaid or transformed into  a mermaid before, but I’ve acted as one.  You have to try and figure out how they talk, walk, smile and so on.
Another challenge is when you go to the extent of interpreting  whatever role you’re given to play in movies. People who watch the movie tend to associate you with that character.  I’ll never forget an experience I had at Alade market, in Lagos, a few years ago. I went there to buy some things like every other person, but  suddenly, some people started throwing rotten tomatoes at me.
Many others were calling me unprintable names; a loose woman, husband snatcher. All because  I  played such roles in movies. I’m not like that in real life.   I remember I acted a prostitute in the movie, Outcast. After the film was released into the market, I got a call from a guy based in Italy who told me that he just watched the movie, and he thought I was really hot. He said he would want to enjoy  such a gesture like the guys in the movies any time he storms Nigeria.
There are so many other challenges. You are seen playing roles where you are really rich with several big cars and houses at your disposal. People assume you’re like that in real life, but it’s not always true. Everywhere you go, people expect you to settle ‘agberos’ and drop something, but it doesn’t work like that. That is the reason some practitioners tend to spend money they don’t have just to meet the expectations of their fans.
Have you ever  lost a sense of identity because of the different roles you play in movies?
Acting is a job. As soon as I’m done with interpreting my role, I become myself again. I have never had the experience of being confused about my own identity. I  know that many of my colleagues actually get cut off from reality; they want to be like what people expect them to be or spend the kind of money people expect them to spend. And so, they have to do one or two things that they ordinarily wouldn’t have done.But you can’t really get to know someone by watching that person on the screen.
So, what’s the real Shan George like?
I think everyone should know that Shan George is an ordinary person who was born and brought up in the village, grew up like every other village girl and I was privileged to  be part of the movie industry at a time I found myself in it. I have been favoured by God in the industry. When you talk about a typical village life, I have experienced it and when you talk about living in a castle,  I have also enjoyed the privilege.
To be candid, the most interesting life is the village life. In the village, there are no fences, no gates, and no walls in between houses. We collectively go to the same farm, and fetch water from the same stream.  It was a communal existence. I still travel home once in a while to identify with my roots. I am from Ediba in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State.
What was growing up like?
It was quite enjoyable. It’s just that I wish I knew my father. I’m the only child of my mother, and my father was a  whiteman. My mum is a very wonderful person, but I guess there is always going to be that part of me that keeps wondering who my father is. I  tried several years to trace his whereabouts to no avail. While in search of him, I once  travelled to where he used to work then, Turner’s Asbestos in Enugu.
The company consulted their files and brought out his old address in Manchester. Consequently, I travelled  to Manchester in search of the man that fathered me.  But my mission was not accomplished.      I even had to cross-check phone books and called about 100  phone numbers, all in the bid to trace his whereabouts. One  question I asked each time I called any of the numbers was whether any member of his family ever visited Africa or Nigeria in particular. I gave up hope of meeting my father at the age of 35.
What is your take on Nollywood today?
I always tell people not to try to compare Hollywood toNollywood. It is like comparing an old man to a baby. Nigeria itself is a young country and Nollywood is much younger, and so the extent at which we have grown is quite far. Right now, we are growing rapidly and producing movies that are shown abroad. We are doing advanced movies but the only place we are lacking today is in the area of distribution. We have very good movies but we don’t have people to distribute  them. I know a lot of people who went to school to study Marketing and they are not practising their profession. The industry has grown  rapidly  but the marketing aspect of the business still needs a boost.
Don’t you think piracy is the reason for this shortcoming?
Let us be realistic, there are even American movies that are being pirated. Piracy is something I believe cannot function where you have a big community  in dire need of it. It’s just like when you want to release a movie for over 150 million people and you only printed about 20, 000 copies. Don’t you think  that people living in remote areas would want to watch the same movie?
It is natural that pirates will help them get  as many copies of the film as they require by any means. For example, I once travelled to Kano and saw a movie that was just released into the market,  I was tempted to buy it. The funny thing was that the movie was recorded in a plain CD and they used a marker  to write the name of the movie. I concluded that these sellers didn’t see the original CD for people to buy. I believe if the original products are readily available, the menace of  piracy will reduce drastically.
Which do you prefer, being behind the camera or in front of it?
I produced my first movie in 1998 while I was in my final year in the University of Lagos. I studied Mass Communication and I have been writing and producing since then till now. There are different feelings actually. Standing in front of the camera, you are something else; while working behind the camera, you are being yourself. And aside being yourself, working behind the camera involves a lot of work because you have to organise everybody, everything and you are like the head of the family. I love producing more than acting because producing gives me the opportunity to have a platform for new actors. It also gives me the opportunity to write my own story and get it across to the audience.
What’s your advice for those who want to get into the movie industry?
The first advice I will give you is to acquire good education. Education is the foundation upon which you are going to build your future. Secondly, be committed;   work hard and be ready to give it your best shot. You never can tell, one thing can just take you to the top. And as a person, you have to agree that you want to do this job and also agree to grow gradually so that you will not get frustrated along the line.
Would you like to  address some of the scandals that have trailed your acting career over the years?
It is really crazy.  A lot of these things are not true. For example, I have two grown up sons. Anytime people see me pose for shots with younger men, they conclude that as old as I am, I like young boys and that’s not true at all.  It is very depressing sometimes. You need the grace of God to hear things about yourself that are not true and still be strong and get going.
Have there been times when you nearly broke down because of what people were saying about you?
It happened many years ago when I was still a toddler in the industry. I remember driving some years back and I saw vendors selling a particular magazine with my photograph and a caption that read: “Even Pastors love my boobs.”  That day was so sad for me. I couldn’t even believe that I was the one they were writing about.
What about the multiple marriage scandals; is there any truth to them?
There was a time someone called to congratulate me on my new marriage. I was shocked. My first marriage was when I was 16, and I don’t count that because I was a child and I had no say in the matter. The ideal thing is that as an adult, you meet someone you like and you get married to him.  What happens most times is that I act a movie where I get married, the pictures go  viral online and everyone says I am married again.
And I am amazed because I wonder, people who read this, don’t they calculate the years? I married once and my two kids are for my first husband. I read on some blogs that I had a child out of wedlock and I have been hiding it. But  I wonder if I got married at the age of 16, at what age did I have that child?  I was so young when I walked out of my first marriage to pursue my education. Later on, as an adult, I got married again, but we aren’t really together anymore. Marriage can be complicated.
What was it like being married at such a young age?
Being married at the age of 16 was just like a child still living with her parents. It was more like an obligation. I don’t really want to talk about it because of my children.
What is your relationship status now?
I have someone who is very nice and important to me. So, I guess you can call that a romantic relationship. I have always known this guy and he has  been there for me.
Would you like to get married again?
Of course, I would.
How do you manage to look so good at 43?
Because the job is very stressful, I don’t really add much weight. But because I’m slim doesn’t mean that I’m fit. I can be very lazy about exercise. However, I am very careful about what I eat; that’s why am not very fat.
What are your sons like?
My first son is an Economist; he is still in the UK and has refused to come back home. My second son actually is into  music. He read Music Engineering and Production in London and now, he is in Nigeria trying to pursue a career in music.
What is it with you and tattoos?
Tattoos are a way for me to express myself. People wear clothes, fix their hair or nails; but for me, I love tattoos, that’s who I am. I have just two permanent tattoos, but sometimes I wear artificial tattoos depending on my mood.
Apart from movies what else are you interested in?
I used to own a boutique but am not fashionable. I don’t know how to sew, but I can draw and create designs. I have passion for putting smiles on the faces of  people around me. I would love to be in a place where everybody is cared for. Not one person having all that others will worship. I am working on the release of my new  movie, “Finding Good luck.”  I am hoping to release it on DVD. It is in the cinemas already and this is a movie that has got to do with the image of the Nigeria Police and how people generally relate with the average policeman and how it should be at the end of the day. I hope the movie will better the lives of some people.

Source: Vanguard Nigeria

UNILAG saga: My story – Wizkid

16 Jul

…Says he hasn’t dumped EME…

Becoming a celebrity comes with a lot of challenges and this is a fact, hip-hop star, Ayo Balogun, a.k.a Wizkid, has found out the hard way. Recently, an impostor, impersonating him defrauded his UNILAG fans, prompting the police to invite him(Wizkid) for questioning. The Pepsi ambassador has since shrugged off the experience, but he’s on a mission to ensure it does not repeat itself. In this interview with SHOWTIME CELEBRITY, the artiste talks about his UNILAG saga, fame, new record label and more. Enjoy!
-What really happened between you and the UNILAG students. You were accused of duping them?
By now, I think all is clear that there are some people parading themselves as either Wizkid or his managers. The unfortunate incident regarding the UNILAG students is a case of mistaken identity where people fell victim to some unscrupulous elements who impersonated me or my representatives. The same people, as we have come to know, went as far as creating fake accounts in my name to dupe people.

I just don’t really want to talk much  about it. There are processes involved in booking Wizkid for shows.  If you want to book Wizkid for a show or anything of the sort, you go to Empire Mates Entertainment, EME, which is my label or you talk to my manager, Godwin Tom. Those  are the main channels to reach me if you want to book me for a show. So,if you’ve been chatting with the Wizkid on the social media and he has  promised to do something or charges you money, I want you to know that Wizkid never charges anybody or does his business directly. I don’t discuss price, I don’t talk about anything like that. I allow my management and my label to handle my business. So, nobody talks directly to me concerning payments.

-How did you come about the UNILAG palaver?
Basically, the police just called us to inform us of the development. We can’t really give full details because we were invited to come to the police station and we went as law abiding citizens. When we got there, we gave our own statement as well as the students. But we really can’t say anything now until the police have done their proper investigations. But with the details on ground, what  we want you to know is that the so-called Wizkid the students have been contacting is fake and an impostor. It’s really not from me or from anybody around me.

-Do you have a procedure for booking you for shows?
Yes, we do. My manager is going to give the proper details, proper emails, the  right phone numbers and other things needed. We are going to definitely make that known. We are going to give full details, so, you will have it. It’s a  simple process. Either you contact me or you contact EME directly. But even when you contact me, the whole procedure is that I will direct you to the booking office as well.
It is simple. You send your request via email or you can call us and send us your email address. The booking office would contact you from the email address you have provided with a booking questionnaire. The booking questionnaire seeks information about your event, venue details as well as publicity activities, what you intend to do and other special requests. We don’t really want to give more details so that the impostors would not continue with their fraudulent activities.

-The email you are talking about that all bookings comes through, is it the same email every communication comes to?
No. If you have contacted anybody regarding a Wizkid show, paid and we do not show up for the event or you do not contact the right people; provide the bank account details, provide the email correspondence. If there was a contract, provide the contract – that is as simple as it gets. We are not fighting with anybody. We sympathise with the students who have been duped, but for you to do it properly, for you to get the best information that you need, it is important  to provide the necessary information.
In this case, what do you think really happened regarding the procedure?
We are letting the police do their job. We have nothing to say because we know very well that we were not the ones they contacted. So, we are not worried. What we are concerned  about is to stop others from being duped by these impostors.

-What was your first reaction when you heard the news?
I felt so bad. I just went to my Twitter account and tweeted the normal people to contact if you want to book a show with Wizkid. Let’s be realistic. Everybody saw my hustle and watched me grow. When I dropped   “Holla Your Boy”, I was much younger and wasn’t charging up to N5 million  for shows. This is just playing out and it is simple.

-So, how much do you charge now?
N5 million is okay for my show. But let’s just put things right. It is so bad to my company’s name and my name as well. That is why I  decided to open up on this issue.

-What is your relationship with EME at the moment?
We are doing great, we have been having meetings. Going back and forth, evolving new plans to make EME one of the best record labels, not just in Nigeria but also, in Africa . Everyone is in the studio. Banky W. shot a couple of videos recently. We were at the video shoot last week; we are still working.

-There is this rumour that you are no longer with EME?
I have just released an album in collaboration with Wizkid and EME. “Starboy” is my new company, EME is still there for me. “Starboy” is Wizkid’s new record label and I have a couple of producers that are working with me in the new company. Definitely, we are working with a lot of people. Banky W and I, started way back. Our dreams have always been to build an empire, to help more people and give them that platform to showcase their talents. And all these dreams cannot happen only with one person.
So, we have to branch out and reach out to more people. The industry is really big and there are more than 5 million kids out there roaming about the street and looking for a platform to showcase their talents. We want to give them the platform to do that. So, as you can see, everyone can contribute to that. Now that “Starboy” has started, we thank God, we are doing well. Anybody can start up something. That is just what we are trying to do with EME.

-Have you released the track list of your latest album?
Yes, I have done that. I featured Olamide, D’banj and Banky W. The album is ready right now. But we are just putting some finishing touches to it. We will be having a listening party of the album very soon and we are going to announce that as soon as it is ready. We are planning for that. The album is coming out very strong and I thank God that I have put all the necessary things in place. I have a very strong belief that the album is going to win awards.

-How long have you known Mallic?
I have known him for quit some time now, about a year and some couple of months. We just talk about business and nothing more. But we took out time and planned something good and we are working on actualising that. This is what I am saying about branching out, giving people platforms to perform. So, I have to give a lot of people that platform. What we are doing together is to set the standard and lead the way for people to follow.

-Would you say that his production input has redefined your music?
Of course, and everybody he has worked with. Even he produces Afrobeat  sometimes. Nobody knows it all. We also produced in the UK, so, it was like me working with him. We are still learning, it is a process. No one knows it all.

-There is this rumour making the rounds  that you have replaced your accidented Porsche car. Is it true?
Yes, that is absolutely true. We thank God for that. We thank Him for sparing my life. This is not the first time I’ve had such an encounter. That doesn’t mean I am a freak, but I needed to be mobile. I was moving around with a taxi all through the duration of the accident which is not proper.

-A whole lot of people have been blowing the accident out of proportion. But how bad was it?
Well, I don’t really like talking about the bad side of things. I believe that at some point in life, we all have to learn something good about life, something that would help our life in the future. When I had that accident I was like, I had to check myself and know the things I am not doing right. My mind told me that anything I am doing, I have to do it faster. I was like, if the world had ended that day, what would I have done. I thanked God for keeping me alive to testify his goodness. I made a promise to myself to never get down because of the accident. So, life must go on, no matter what it takes.

-How has your evolution in the musical world been?
It has been massive. I have learnt so much and I have worked with so many legends. It is really mind- blowing. For me, I feel so excited. I am still learning and striving to get to the top. When I look back to where I started, I see a lot of accomplishments.That’s what normally comes to my mind. I also feel blessed, but it goes with a lot of responsibilities. You know, everything is for a while. It is the legacy that you built while you were there that lasts. So, I try as much as possible to leave a legacy so that even when I am not here, people will not forget my name easily.

-What really prompted you to do a ‘collabo’ with Femi Kuti?
Yes, a lot of people never expected that. People think Wizkid talks only about girls, cars  and some flashy things in his music, but I don’t. All I talk about in my music is true life story. When I decided to do “Jayejaye” with Femi, I just really wanted to pass a message of  what Wizkid wants to be or  ways you can be like Wizkid. I still have not done anything, but people think I have done many things. I don’t think I have done a lot, I am still learning. The “Jayejaye” music was just to bridge the gap between the old and the young people. A big shout out to Femi Kuti for giving me the chance to do that track with him. I called him a day before we recorded the track and he allowed me. So, I am just saying a big thank you.

-So, what should fans expect from your forthcoming album?
They should expect everything magical. We have put in a lot of work and we are just hoping that everyone likes the album. I have been in the studio for weeks and even months now. I can’t wait for the album to be released. I hope everybody will like the album. I have just put in a lot of hard work.

-It’s like you have a passion for flashy cars?
No, I don’t think so. A lot of people drive more flashy  cars than I do, even in the entertainment industry. I really don’t think like that. After the accident , I had no other car to drive around. Believe it or not, I moving around with  a taxi and I didn’t like that.  I don’t think that amounts to having passion for flashy cars.  What about people in government that spend so much money on cars? I worked hard to make my money, so I need to use it well. If someone works hard for his money and decides to spend it for his pleasure, I don’t think it is a bad idea.

-How do you feel  reading stories of some artistes who cannot fend for themselves when they grow old?
I have to learn from them and know how to make savings. If I am not learning from people that came before, then what am I  doing? It’s not that anybody is wishing anybody bad, but we must learn and plan ahead.

Source: Vanguard Nigeria

Heritage Bank sustains verification of SGBN account holders

16 Jul

Heritage Bank Nigeria Limited has sustained the verification exercise to revalidate account holders of the former Societe Generale Bank, more than six months after the commencements of the exercise.
The Bank which commenced operations in March, acquired the banking license of the defunct SGBN, as well as its deposit liabilities. Among other things, the bank promised to settle depositors of the former bank and for this purpose conducted an exercise to revalidate its account holders. The exercise was initially designed for three months and to be completed before the bank commenced operations.
Managing Director/Chief Executive, Heritage Bank, Mr Ifie Sekibo said, “The exercise is on-going. The aim is to possibly pay all customers of SGBN who came to participate in exercise through issuance of cheques to them at the validation centres immediately their accounts were successfully validated.
“The exercise is in two parts, namely verification of accounts and instant issuance of payment cheques for those who prefer to collect the balances in their accounts. Owners of successfully validated accounts also have the option of retaining such with the new Heritage Bank. So far we have recorded significant success in the exercise, with most of the SGBN account holders verified, choosing to retain their accounts and bank with us rather than collecting their money”.
Prior to its commencement, Heritage Bank appointed four banks, using some of their branches as centers for the verification exercise.  But now, the exercise is done in the branches of Heritage Bank.

Source: Vanguard Nigeria

Manchester United want Cesc Fabregas & Marouane Fellaini

16 Jul

Manchester United want to pair up Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas and Everton star Marouane Fellaini

Manchester United are ready to move for Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas and Everton’s Marouane Fellaini to form a new midfield pairing.

According to the Guardian, Old Trafford manager David Moyes is convinced he needs to make two more central midfield signings and believes the former Arsenal captain would be able to link up well with the Belgian international.

Manchester United are willing to spend upwards of £50million to land both Fabregas and Fellaini, as Moyes believes they could help provide the goalscoring from midfield – an area he is keen to address.

Reports on Monday claimed Manchester United had made a £26million bid for Fabregas, but that the Camp Nou club were likely to reject such an offer.

Barcelona are reportedly reluctant to let the Spain international leave after being forced to sell Thiago Alcantara to Bayern Munich, who was also wanted by Manchester United.

A Barcelona source claimed “the player is not transferable”, says the report, and that Fabregas was surprised to hear about it, two years after leaving Arsenal to join his boyhood club.

However, he has not been an automatic starter under Tito Vilanova and there have been reports of him leaving for much of the summer.

Fellaini reportedly has a £23million release clause in his contract with the Goodison Park club, which can be activated by a Champions League club.

The report claims Moyes had looked at the possibility of purchasing Real Madrid’s Luka Modric to solve Manchester United’s midfield shortfall, but that this is no longer an option.

Source: GiveMeSport

Annoying Things About Being A Man

16 Jul

When you see a woman slap a man on the street, chances are you didn’t think to yourself how awful it is that she resorted to violence; instead, you probably wonder what he did to deserve it.

Being a man isn’t as easy as the world would have you believe. We have our own set of problems and vulnerabilities, some small, even funny, and others large and painful. We also live with the constant expectation to be strong and to keep our issues to ourselves.

So without further ado, here are 10 of the most annoying things about being a man.

10. Hair Everywhere
Hair. Hair everywhere. On your neck. Down your back. On your chest and stomach. It varies from man to man, and, hey, some of it can be attractive or serve a purpose. The hair under your arms wicks sweat effectively. But what purpose do the hairs on your feet or knuckles serve, and why do some men have small bushes of hair coming out of their ears? Even waking up early every morning to shave your beard in some desperate attempt not to look like a hobo or an alcoholic can rankle the most stoic of men. One word, my friend: manscaping.

9. Random Erections

One of life’s cruel ironies is that when you’re young and virile and pitching tents at every glimpse of bare skin — say, in high school math class — you’re less likely to be able to enjoy your virility. When you’re older and more established, more likely to have options, even something as routine as “getting it up” can be a problem.

8. Testicles Getting In The Way
Rare is the moment in the average man’s life when he can forget that he has a pair of balls dangling between his legs. If you own a laptop, you’ve probably wondered if having it on your lap will cook your sperm and lower your fertility. And you’ve definitely agonized over whether to go boxers or briefs.

7. Bad Sex Is Always The Man’s Fault
When it comes to sex, the pressure is disproportionately on the man to perform. To begin with, he has to get it up, which is something heavily dependent on his level of attraction to the woman, his comfort, his health and, not least of all, his sobriety. So when we do, and it’s happening, why is it only our fault if it’s bad? Shocker alert: Women can be bad at sex, too.

6. Mistaken For A craddle-robber
God forbid a father wants to walk hand-in-hand with his son or daughter, or take his child to the playground to play with other children. There is a culture of hysteria surrounding men and children that has made men afraid to be physical, to pick up, hug and cuddle their own kids. That’s just not fair.

5. Condoms
Condoms help prevent pregnancy and the spread of STDs. They also suck. A lot. They’re a hassle to buy in the appropriate size, they’re often difficult to put on and going through the process of opening the package tends to be a mood killer.

4. Getting Called A Creep By Women
The onus is on men to approach women. It’s our job to say hello to a total stranger who happens to catch our eye on the off chance that she’ll enjoy our company. And in that brief interaction, in a bar or club or coffee shop, things can go horribly, horribly wrong. The end result of your failed approach might mean the dreaded “creep” label (variants include “creeper” and “weirdo”), and nothing quite hurts a man’s pride, or his chances of approaching another woman, quite like being so negatively labeled.

3. The Fighting Double Standard
When it comes to fighting, there’s a terrible double standard at play. We are expected by society not to fight, to keep calm and find a nonviolent resolution to conflict. But when the local bar bully is insulting your honor, or, worse, that of your girlfriend, there’s an expectation that you take him out back and beat some politeness into him. When confronted with this situation, a man has two choices: fight and be considered a violent neanderthal, or don’t fight and be considered a wuss.

2. Getting Slapped In The Face
There’s one act of physical violence that gets used with alarming frequency: men getting slapped in the face. When you see a woman slap a man on the street, chances are you didn’t think to yourself how awful it is that she resorted to violence; instead, you probably wonder what he did to deserve it.

1. The Pain Of Getting Hit In the Groin
It happens in a split second and only lasts a few minutes at most, but those few minutes are filled with excruciating pain, cursing and the fleeting thought that maybe you’ve finally taken one too many shots to the groin to be able to have children.

Source: NairaLand

Nigerian Army confirms that Al-mustapha Is Still In The Nigerian Army

16 Jul

The Nigerian Army has confirmed claims made by Major Hamza al-Mustpha that he is still personnel of the Nigerian Army.

At a briefing by the joint security information committee, the Director of Army Public relations who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Colonel Joe Agim, said that Major Al-Mustapha, the Chief Security Officer to late General Sani Abacha, is still enlisted in the Nigerian Army.

“With regards to Mustapha’s release, well, I want to confirm that he is still in the army” he stated.

“The case is going to be handled by the army administratively in line with the harmonised terms and conditions of service.’’

He goes on to add that his case will be handled administratively by the Army in line with the harmonized terms of service.

Major Hamza al-Mustapha and Lateef Shofolahan were on Friday discharged and acquitted in the case of the assassination of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, which last 14 years.

The former CSO admitted to journalists that he was still in Army on Sunday during his reception by the Kano state government, a status he claimed the Appeal Court Judges also confirmed in their ruling.

The director for Defence Intelligence, Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade dismissed claims of renewed threats made by Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram.

Boko-Haram Leader, Shekau’s In-laws Arrested

15 Jul

As part of the ongoing crackdown on Boko Haram insurgents, the Defence Headquarters on Monday confirmed the arrest of the in-laws of the leader of the sect, Imam Abubakar Shekau.

But it was silent on where the in-laws were being kept as at press time.

The raid which led to the arrest of the in-laws resulted in the recovery of some recorded audio messages of the insurgents.

Also, the DHQ said a recent encounter with the terrorists led to the death of Amir of Bulabulin Nganaram, one of the kingpins on the Joint Task Force wanted list.

It, however, confirmed said 58 detainees linked with Boko Haram insurgents have been released in Borno and Yobe States.

The spokesman for the Defence Headquarters, Brig-Gen. Chris Olukolade, who made the disclosures at a briefing by Joint Security Committee in Abuja, said the Special Forces in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states are not on any revenge mission but purely on a mission to restore law and order.

Olukolade said: “Troops on cordon and search operations in Bulabulin area in Maiduguri last week discovered a vast network of underground tunnels connecting houses and many bunkers some which have the capacity to accommodate over 100 persons.

“More corpses were also discovered in soak-away. Various weapons were also discovered in the same area.

“Abubakar Shekau’s parents’ in-laws were picked up in the raid which also discovered various audio recordings of terrorists’ messages. Recoveries are made almost on daily basis as the operation progresses.”

Source: NairaLand

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Mohammed Ibrahim Kola’s personal Community Development Service/Projects -NYSC 2009-2010, Ebonyi State.

15 Aug

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