Archive for the ‘Top stories’ Category

2014-15

Yes, yes……2014 has just 6hrs 50mins and some secs for it to go (as at the time of filing this post). Yes, I know the journey has not been totally easy, we have had hurdles to jump during the journey and despite that, we made it to the end of it. It has not been by our individual or collective strength but by the grace of God. I am grateful to God for everything.

I will definitely be an ingrate if i refuse to appreciate you, yes you, you reading this post at this moment. I am so grateful to you all. I can assure you that you will never meet disappointment on this channel. Thanks a million.

I know by the grace of God, I will definitely catch you all again in 2015. I wish you all a prosperous, blessed and testimony filled 2015.

Stay blessed.

The gods are not to blame

Posted: December 29, 2014 in Education, Politics, Top stories

Written by DELE MOMODU

“So in the Libyan fable it is told
That once an eagle, stricken with a dart, Said, when he saw the fashion of the shaft, ‘With our own feathers, not by others’ hands,
Are we now smitten.’ ”-Aeschylus

Fellow Nigerians, let me start by sending you compliments of this special Season. As writers, our readers don’t expect us to go on break. And so the ardent followers of my column have indicated that I must script Pendulum even as we celebrate Christmas. As your humble servant, I have obeyed your instructions without any hesitation and here we go again, as I do not ascribe my obeisance to divine calling as our political leaders are wont to want us to believe.

I decided to start this piece with one of my favourite quotes from that Greek Poet, Aeschylus, a man of monumental achievement. We read a lot of Greek Tragedies in those days at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) as students of Literature-in-English. I don’t know what is being taught these days but I remember with nostalgia the great works of Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles.

I also recollect a few adaptations of Greek plays by Wole Soyinka and Ola Rotimi, who wrote The Bacchae of Euripides and The Gods Are Not To Blame respectively. The latter title is probably one of the most popular plays ever written by a Nigerian author.

My mind flashed back to Ola Rotimi’s spectacular work as I began this weekly epistle to you. We are only days to the beginning of a
New Year. And the year 2015 promises to be a watershed in our dear country. The reason is obvious. We are likely to have one of our hottest elections ever. It is the first time that a strong opposition party will attempt to unseat a very entrenched political party as well as an incumbent President who appears to have been popularly elected in 2011.

It is not common for the people to get an opportunity or indeed have the ability to sack a sit-in President in Africa. It is even more difficult in Nigeria where the President wields the power of life and death. It would have been impossible for the ruling PDP to remain in power these past 15 years if not for the fact that politics in Nigeria is a game of sharing the booty or what is usually referred to as the ‘national cake’.

The bulk of this cake, the knife needed to slice it and the portions to be distributed are all controlled by the President. And different interest groups really don’t give a damn if majority of the people
live below poverty level as long as the President is persuaded to give them a pitiable slice of the cake.

The amount of money already budgeted and squandered on frivolous, white elephant and sometimes phantom projects since our return to Democracy should have fixed most of our terrible problems but the reverse has been the case. The more we spent the less we achieved. And the ruling party in its supposed wisdom assumed that Nigerians were foolish and too docile to think and kick against their servitude. They studiously ignored the lessons of history as well as the popular adage that whatever has a beginning must have an end. Nigerians are patient and resilient. They may also be lethargic but they are neither foolish nor docile. A t t h e appropriate time, they are forced to react decisively.

Nothing has been more frustrating than the miraculous ascension of a man from the Niger Delta as the President of Nigeria who seems to
have mismanaged the great opportunity. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan achieved what the gifted Ken Saro-Wiwas couldn’t. Many had paid the
supreme price for what he got on a platter of gold. It is so ironic that a man who was expected to understand the plight of the poor
soon became even more elitist in disposition.

I won’t join those who said our President has done nothing as that would be too uncharitable but I would like to submit that there was much more he could have done to make the countrybetter. But the biggest undoing is the unbridled profligacy attached to this government.

A country that bears our kind of heavy challenges needed a sober and frugal leader who was ready to downgrade his personal comfort in
order to rescue his people from want and deprivation. Unfortunately, our President was quickly and cleverly hijacked by those who know how to stage bloodless coups along corridors of
power.

I think the end of the beginning started on January 1, 2012, when our President on God-knows-whose advice removed the full subsidy on
petrol and all hell broke loose.Nigerians trooped out in large numbers all over the country o stage demonstrations against such a bizarrely insensitive gift on the first day of the year. The protests almost became our own Arab spring but the biggest of them was forcefully crushed in Lagos as soldiers rolled out the tanks.

The government, and its IMF/World Bank sponsored economists were so rattled that it had to eat humble pie and make promises it never
intended to keep when the people graciously agreed to some increase in the price of petrol.

All manner of committees were hurriedly packaged to assuage the feeling of the people. For example, buses were supposed to have been bought nationwide to convey commuters to different destinations at next to nothing. Till this day, I don’t know how many buses were ever bought and who boarded them.

We read about SURE-P and its activities but I don’t know how
widespread its impact was felt simply because I cannot see what it has done. The committees wrote tons upon tons of reports that are
gathering dust wherever they are right now.

The price of oil has collapsed and the real Nemesis has arrived. While government is trying to paint a picture that all is well, it is becoming increasingly clear that we have landed in big trouble. It is disheartening that the dividend of crashing international oil prices, which should have been the lot of Nigerians through reduced petroleum product prices, will not even be allowed to them.

As the Chief Economist to the Government has said, Nigerians must wait until oil prices stabilise before the benefit of these prices can be spared to them. When government will subjectively decide that such time has arrived is left for the imagination given that prices have been crashing for almost 2 months now.

Not even the normal Christmas spirit and traditional New year’s benevolence can bend the unrelenting spirit of our ‘dream’ Economic Team as this Government continues to pile economic woes on its citizenry.

The President promised to reduce his world tours to most essential trips but it actually increased in intensity as if with a vengeance. We became a laughing stock as our Presidential entourage invaded different countries on shopping sprees. In the past year alone, our President and his Pastors have been to Israel more than once. One would have expected that more attention would be devoted to nation-building than all the flights of fancy. But we continued to live like a rich nation when indeed our economy had taken a nose-dive. We were continuously lied to about the state of things. Even now that it has become certain that we are broke, we are still pretending that there is no problem.

The spate of terror attacks under this government has become rather atrocious and endless. All hope of containing it also seems to have evaporated. The standing joke is that Boko Haram has now carved out a different map of Nigeria with huge chunks of Northern Nigeria
now excised from the control of our government.

The citizens don’t believe much is being done to contain the menace especially when over 200 girls remain missing and the bombings and killings continue unabated.

Unemployment has reached an all-time high with Nigeria recording the largest army of angry youths on the African c o n t i n e n t. The government and its cronies continue to publish fictitious figures informing Nigerians that the level of unemployment is falling when more school leavers and graduates are being churned out from our broken higher and tertiary institutions and left to fend for themselves. It is little wonder that our thieves, fraudsters and armed robbers have suddenly achieved sophistication second to none.

It is also believed that President Jonathan has not encouraged the anti-corruption agencies to do a good job by the manner he protects his Ministers and other associates.

These agencies point to the fact that there have been more prosecutions of high profile politicians under these administration but whatever may be the outcome of that debate is that the Presidential pardons have severely undermined any successes
in that respect.

In the middle of these social and economic issues, the unexpected also happened on the political front. I had warned in several articles that the President was being deceived and misled into making too many political miscalculations and mistakes. One of such monumental mistakes was the attempt by the President to force his candidate on the Nigeria Governors’ Forum. It was a complete misadventure as Governor Rotimi Amaechi defeated Governor Jonah David Jang who was favoured by the President’s camp by 19 to 16 votes.

One would have expected the President to accept the verdict but he went ahead to recognise a smaller illegitimate faction of 16
Governors instead of embracing Amaechi warts and all. That was the day I believe the PDP dug its own grave by piling up corpses of political liabilities.

The non-recognition of Amaechi as the Chairman of the authentic Nigeria Governor’s Forum led eventually to the fractionalisation of their party into PDP1 and PDP2. Had the President acted like the father of all, those five Governors who eventually defected to what later metamorphosed into APC would probably have remained. When
tomorrow comes, PDP will regret the day APC came into existence.Despite the initial braggadocio that APC would fall apart as a result of clashing egos, the party seems to have held tighter than even PDP.

In 2011, it would have been unthinkable that a General Muhammadu Buhari would bounce back so powerfully. Let no one deceive Mr President that there is no cause for alarm, there is plenty ahead. The mood of the nation does not favour PDP or the President. Mood is always a key factor in politics. The mood was right for Barack Obama when he became the first Black American President. I foresee the same favourable mood playing out in 2015 for Buhari and Osinbajo.

For the first time since PDP came into power, the opposition is now so formidable that it would be able to fight for substantial votes in
every zone. The choice of Osinbajo, as his Vice Presidential candidate, by Buhari is a political masterstroke which even most of us did not see coming. It has all the hallmarks of divine intervention and the advent of the answering of the prayers of the multitude of Nigerians. The amiable Professor Osinbajo provides devoutness, erudition, compassion, simplicity and above all integrity to the ticket. Both candidates share fairness, simplicity and an anti-corruption stance in common.

All manner of smart guys are warming up to eat out of the billions of naira made available for the Presidential campaign by friends of the President and some of our supposedly broke State Governments but PDP should pray for a miracle this time. Too many costly mistakes have been made. I don’t know how easy it would be to correct those fatal errors in less than two months.

Writers are like prophets but no one listens when we say the things we know. We warned regularly about those around the President but we were called names by those who turned the Federal Government into their personal property. Those who never lifted a finger when others fought on the streets of
Abuja for Jonathan to be President suddenly became Janitors at Aso Rock blocking those who may wish to tell the truth. I hope the President knows that the die is now cast and anything can happen in the next election.

My advice is that he should work hard on leaving a legacy no matter what happens. Mr President should organise a world class election even if he won’t be the beneficiary at the end of the day. And if he wins, at least no one would accuse him of rigging. There is nothing more to gain from politics. God has been too kind to him.

He should ignore all those throwing tantrums and threatening to set Nigeria ablaze if their man is not elected for the second term. They are mostly pretenders. As we’ve seen in the past, they are always the first to jump ship.

Let no one blame the gods for our personal failings in life. We must bear our cross with courage.

It is no new news that Nigerian Political atmosphere is now getting heavily clouded as the 2015 election which is stated for February is fast approaching.
As we all know, Jonathan has been declared as the official flag bearer of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the position of Presidency and prior to the declaration, he chose Sambo as his running mate for his re-election in to office. In the same accord, the All Progressives Congress (APC) chose Rtd. General Muhammodu Buhari as their flag bearer for the same position and he made the pronouncement of his running mate, in person of Prof. Osinbajo yesterday.
Though there seemed to be some sort of delay in Buhari’s pronouncement but alas, he finally announced him yesterday. Below is a short biography of his running mate:

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is a profile of the former Lagos State Attorney General and a Snr. and Resident Pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God(RCCG), Olive Tree House of Prayer for All Nations, Banana Island. The 55 years old man is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Senior Partner in the Law firm of Simmons Cooper Partners.

He lives in Lagos with his wife,Dolapo Osinbajo, who is a grandchild of Obafemi Awolowo with three children. His tertiary education was at the University of Lagos and the London School of Economics where he obtained the LLB and LLM degrees respectively.

Yemi Osibanjo was appointed the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in 1999 and reappointed for a second term in 2003. During the period of his public service, he commenced the Lagos State justice reform project. A prominent feature of that project was the establishment of the Directorate for Citizens’ Rights (DCR) which provides free legal services and legal representation to indigent citizens of the state. This initiative gave a voice to many who would otherwise not have a way to access their rights.

Prior to that appointment, Osinbajo, a Professor of Law, was the Head of Public Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos.

Between 1988 and 1992, he was the Special Adviser to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He also served as a staff member of the United Nations and Member of the United Nation’s Secretary General’s Committee of Experts on Conduct and Discipline of UN Peacekeeping personnel around the globe.

He is currently an Ethics Advisor to the Ethics Committee of the African Development Bank and is a non-executive Director of Citibank. He is Co-founder & Board Member Convention on Business Integrity and the Justice Research Institute Ltd. He has also authored several law books.

In 2007, Prof. and his wife Oludolapo founded “The Orderly Society Trust”, a non- governmental organization that is dedicated to the promotion of Christian ethics and orderliness.

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Commissioner for Special Duties; Dr. Jide Idris,
Commissioner for Health, and Mr. Remi Ibirogba,
Commissioner for Information and Strategy , during
the press briefing on the Ebola Virus Disease in Lagos,
yesterday.

As Nigerians continued to mourn Dr. Stella Adadevoh on Wednesday, another sad news broke on Wednesday that five fresh suspected cases of Ebola Virus Disease had been reported in Lagos State.
The state Commsioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who announced this shortly after the Federal Government gave an indication that it might immortalise Adadevoh, said another Liberian was among the new suspected cases.
Adadevoh, the first confirmed Nigerian to be diagnosed with the EVD , died on Tuesday evening.
She contracted the disease while treating the index
case, Mr, Patrick Sawyer, at the First Consultants Medical Centre, Lagos where she served as the Lead Consultant.
Before her death, Adadevoh was one of the three patients that were left at the Lagos isolation centre as of Monday.
Idris, who addressed journalists in Alausa, Ikeja, said before the five fresh cases were brought in, the Lagos isolation centre had two suspected Ebola patients.
He was however quick to explain that the Liberian, who was one of the five new cases, was allowed to go after getting a clean bill.
He said, “The fresh suspected cases have increased the number of those in isolation wards from two to six.
“Till date, we have recorded eight suspected cases, five of which were brought in yesterday(Tuesday).
We have 12 confirmed cases on the whole out of which five have died and five have been discharged.
“We are currently following up on 213 contacts. Sixty two have completed the 21-day follow-up.”
The commissioner described Adadevoh and other health workers at the FCMC as heroes.
He said, “Yesterday (Tuesday), we recorded the death of the Senior Consultant/Endocrinologist of First Consultant, Dr. Adadevoh.
“She, it was, who took the initiative to intimate the ministry concerning the index case and subsequently to her credit, the moderate containment achieved.”
Idris said the state Ministry of Health was continuing with contact tracing which has now shifted from primary to secondary.
He added, “This is call for vigilance as human transmission is only achieved by physical contact with a person who is acutely and gravely ill from Ebola virus through body fluids such as blood, urine, stool, saliva, breast milk, semen and vomitus.
“Burial ceremonies where mourners, including family members, have direct contact with the corpse have also played a role in the spread. Direct contact with dead bodies should be minimised at this period.”
He insisted that the state was still not convinced that, a controversial trial drug, Nano Silver, could cure the virus.

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A 19 year-old apprentice welder (names withheld) was caught
today making love to a hen. The fowl
reportedly died during the act.
The taboo was said to have been
committed by the apprentice
at about 11.20 p.m. at Continental area of Akure metropolis.
The suspect, Vanguard learnt, had
committed same taboo with a goat in his home town, Afo in Ose council area of the state.
He was said to have been ex-
communicated from his home town
because of the offence which made him to move in with his brother in Akure.
Speaking with newsmen, the owner of
fowl, Mrs Stella Akintola, who resides in the same building confirmed that the man actually made love to her chicken.
According to her, she went to bed early but was woken up by the noise coming from the chickens at the back of her room, an indication that someone was disturbing their peace.
The discovery
Akintola said she went outside only to
find that the back door was still opened.
According to her, she became curious
and “I shouted to know who was still at the backyard only for him to appear from the corner of the house, saying he went to the toilet because he had a running stomach.”
Akintola said she was not convinced
especially as she noticed that the noise from the chickens’ pen stopped abruptly.
She said she went to where the chickens were but nothing was found. “It was when I visited the toilet that I found one of the them stone dead with its feathers littering the floor,” she said.
Still unaware that the suspect was the cause of the death of the bird, Akintola said she raised an alarm only for him to confess that he was responsible for the death of the fowl.
Akintola said the suspect confessed and begged her for forgiveness, saying he would pay any amount for the dead fowl.
She said she decided not to report the
matter to the police because she could
not stand the rigour she would be
subjected to by the police over a “minor offence.”
Report had it that there were evidence that the man actually had sex with the hen when it was examined by the owner and others living in the building.
A spirit directed me to do it —Suspect
In an interview with newsmen, the
suspect, who declined to speak initially, however, said a spirit directed him to do what he did.
He said: “I was already sleeping when
a spirit just came upon me and directed me to go to the back of the building. I did not know what I was doing again until when I discovered that I had slept with the hen.”
Contacted, the police image maker,
Wole Ogodo, said since the matter was not reported to the police, he could not comment on it.
Ogodo noted that “it is what members of the public bring to our notice that we investigate. This is a strange occurrence if what you are telling me is the truth.”

MATTERS ARISING (1)

Posted: August 19, 2014 in Education, Politics, Top stories

Written by Oyeniyi Oluwaseun O.

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Flag of Nigeria

I noticed an information, which is in the form of an audio is now being passed around, especially amongst Christians and its dissemination rate seems to be increasing daily. People (Christians mainly) seem to have joined the distribution train; they also share it either orally or through electronic means (social media or Bluetooth). It is also being sold around.
When I first listened to the audio, I jettisoned the information in it (I practically didn’t believe it). I went back to the audio lately because I realized the audio seems to be fast spreading like virus amongst people (Christians mainly). It has now gotten to the level that I get notified about it almost every day, even by people who are many kilometers away from me.
Well, the only message I decrypted from the audio is that the main goal/vision of some political parties in Nigeria is to transform Nigeria to an absolute Islamic country. The speaker made the point on the basis that some parties have more Muslims in power than Christians, coupled with history.
When I analyzed the information critically, I realized it might affect the coming 2015 general elections in Nigeria. Some Christians might not vote because of the info, while at the same time, it would affect some people’s decisions during the election.
Well, I happen to be a strong believer of Jesus Christ and I’ll never desist from HIM. My conclusion about the audio (though the speaker called himself a Christian) is that it bears elements of confusion and its main aim is to bamboozle   people (Christians being the main target) to the side of a political party during the coming 2015 general elections in Nigeria. I strongly believe that the audio is a political propaganda and it is orchestrated by a political party.
As we all know, politics in Nigeria is like a script which is written by some people and it is usually being acted well by the actors/casts. I decided to write this piece because I know sooner or later, some parties (and it could one) will come to us on that stance. They will tell us to give them our votes in 2015 because they are not religion biased. They might even offer a Christian as their main candidate.
I believe it is highly illogical to say a party (or some parties) wants to convert Nigeria into an absolute Islamic country because they have more Muslims in office at the moment than Christians. Even those who tried it during the Military regime didn’t succeed; I wonder how they will do that now that democracy is what we practice.
Maybe I should draw our attention to something, I believe we all know a party in Nigeria that offers us people who pose themselves as Christians every time   and yet when they get to office, they let go of the traits of a good Christian as mandated by the Holy Bible.
When these so called Christians they offer us get to office, they engage themselves in transparent corrupt practices, they enrich themselves with the wealth of our nation, we (the masses) experience lot of work force strikes that are avoidable and the masses can be equalized to survivors of democracy terror. Even at the end of the tenure of some them in office, they get paraded by EFCC, though they usually go scot free. I should say they are practically above the law.
Like I said earlier, I am equally a Christian and I am not trying to hype the Muslims in office neither am I mobilizing for any of them here. They also have their own flaws but I don’t think I want to touch them today. I am just being factual and I am more concerned about the Christians now.
I believe Christians like the afore-mentioned ones don’t worth our votes anymore; I believe they don’t deserve a chance in our public offices. Let’s be wise in our decisions when election time comes. It wouldn’t do us any good if we become victims of people who have no good thing in plan for Nigeria other than to enrich their purses with our reservoir of wealth.
I believe we shouldn’t choose leaders based on religion fact anymore. The ones we have done in the past, how well did they pay us back? People are dying of poverty, unemployment rate is alarming, insecurity, work force strike, lack of infrastructure, corruption, to mention but a few, have all become a norm in our nation. Let’s be wise in our decisions, let’s take into office only the competent ones. Don’t sell your vote instead, guide your vote. Make RSVP your guide word.
R – Register with INEC

S – Select the right and competent candidates only

V – Vote

P – Protect your vote.

God bless Nigeria.

                                                                                         

Thousands of Nigerians admitted into United Kingdom universities appear sure to face tough health screening
as their campuses have been placed on the alert for the danger posed by the Ebola Virus Disease.
According to The Independent on Sunday , the alert by Universities UK, the umbrella body that represents
vice-chancellors, was issued because the universities are expecting new students to arrive from West
Africa.
While the three countries which have seen the largest number of Ebola cases – Liberia, Guinea and Sierra
Leone – have hardly any students enrolling at UK universities, Nigeria – which has also had confirmed cases – is the fourth largest supplier of international students to UK universities.
In 2012-13, the latest year for which figures are available, a total of 9,630 were enrolled. A spokesman for the body said, “The issue is very much on universities’ radars. We circulated to
universities the publicly available guidance on the topic.”
The guidance makes it clear that any student suspected of having Ebola should immediately be isolated in a side room away from any member of
staff or student contact.
“The side room should have dedicated en-suite facilities or at least a dedicated commode,” it says.
“The level of staff protection is dependent on the patient’s condition,” the London-based newspaper  said.
It added that “those having any dealings with the patient must take careful hand hygiene precautions,
wearing double gloves and a disposable visor.
The guidance told university workers that, “evidence from outbreaks strongly indicates that the main
routes of transmission of infection are direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membrane) and indirect contact with environments contaminated with splashes or droplets of blood or body fluids.”
It said that experts “agree that there is no circumstantial or epidemiological evidence of an aerosol transmission risk from patients.”