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Monday, 31 March 2014

Happy New Month to You My Dear Readers

We all heralded 2014 with shouts of joy and rejoicing. The year kicked off with worthy goals, plans and desires. So how far have you gone towards achieving those things you set out to do? Remember we are all co-travellers on this journey called life, on the same road but never the same destination. 3 months have quickly passed and you still have 9 months to do that which you've always wanted to do.

Here is another quarter to make things happen, hit that target and keep walking towards your dreams. You may feel down and out sometimes, you may feel like you have hit a brick-wall or you may just not feel that fire within you. Find someone that inspires you, surround yourself with great minds and rekindle those dreams and aspirations. Happy New Month to you my dear readers. April will be Awesome.

New Michael Jackson Album 'Xscape' Drops in May

Epic records and Michael Jackson's estate have announced that a new album "Xscape" from Michael Jackson is set to be released on May 13th. The album is  an 8-song collection of previously unreleased tracks from the late King of  Pop.

Label ceo, and the project's executive producer, L.A. Reid, took the lead in cultivating recordings from Jackson in which his vocals were completed, and went about "contemporizing" each. The album's lead producer was Timbaland, with additional work courtesy of Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, Jerome "Jroc" Harmon and John McClain.

"Xscape" continues the tradition of naming Jackson's albums after one of its songs. The title track was written and produced by Jackson and Jerkins, who recorded the original with the singer."Michael left behind some musical performances that we take great pride in presenting through the vision of music producers that he either worked directly with or expressed strong desire to work with," Reid said in a statement on Monday. "We are extremely proud and honored to present this music to the world."

Court Asks 37 Defecting Lawmakers To Resign

A Federal High Court order in Abuja has asked the 37 lawmakers who defected from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP to the All Progressives Congress, APC, to resign their positions as members of the National Assembly.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola has said that the lawmakers were no longer competent to vote or contribute to any proceedings in the House of Representatives. In other words, the lawmakers, according to the judgment of Justice Ademola no longer have any business, morally and legally to remain in the House.

He said, “Having perused the arguments of counsel and the constitutional provisions, it is clear and unambiguous that the defendants were sponsored by the PDP and won the election on its platform. It is also the court’s opinion that their tenure has not expired and there is no division in the PDP.”

"Multiple Sclerosis Did Not Kill Zara, Ignorance Did" - Yemisi Ilo

Nigerian/American Singer Zara Gretti passed away on Friday, March 28th, after battling with Multiple Sclerosis for about a year. A creative consultant and project manager, Yemisi Ilo has said that the disease MS did not kill Zara, but Ignorance did and she puts the blame on Zara's family. Read below:

I also have MS and I am currently in Singapore where by His grace I will finally halt the progression and hopefully and prayerfully reverse some if not all disability. I spoke to Zara on Tuesday. She said she was being given ‘Agbo’ to drink by her family and that it was killing her. Those were her exact words. I told her to not drink it. 

With an already compromised immune system, Agbo is bullshit. It is poison. MS is not malaria. I gave Zara clear details of exactly what she needed to do to try to get well. It isn't easy at all,  I should know but unfortunately for her, she was surrounded by very ignorant people at the end who felt that they knew best. I first heard of Zara when I read about her on Linda Ikeji‘s blog a year ago. I got in touch with her immediately and started a Skype friendship. I was in London and she was in the States (US). We spoke regularly.

Happy Anniversary to Timi Dakolo and Wife Busola

It's been 2 years since they said 'I do' to each other. Singer Timi Dakolo and his wife Busola are celebrating their wedding anniversary today. Happy Anniversary to you guys and I wish you many more fulfilling years together.

The lovely couple are blessed with 3 kids. See their beautiful messages to each other below:

Hundreds of Terrorists Killed in Sambisa Forest Borno State

In a combined military operation  that took place on friday and saturday by Special Forces and men of the Nigerian Air Force, over 1500 insurgents were killed in Sambisa Forest, Borno State. The forest is known to be a prominent hideout of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram.

But what would have been a great victory for the Special Forces was, however, marred by an operational misunderstanding between the ground troops and the officers in the Air Force Alpha Jet. 20 soldiers are still missing as a result of the operational misunderstanding.

It was learnt that mid-way into the operation, the Air Force Alpha Jet radioed the ground forces who had advanced in 3 companies, that they should withdraw because it was running out of bombs, but while the second and the third battalions withdrew, the first company of soldiers did not get the critical operational order. The situation was said to have put them at a numerical disadvantage in the encounter with the insurgents. 

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mother's Day- Nigerian Celebrities Appreciate Their Mothers (Photos)

Mothers are special people and deserve all the praises we can give. Some Nigerian celebrities took out time to appreciate their mothers on this special day. See Don Jazzy's message:

So my wonderful dad sent me a throwback pic of my super mum and I that we took on a Mother's Day. I remember this day like it was yesterday. The love I have for my mum is more than anyone can possibly imagine. But trust me we can never love our mothers enough for all they have done for us. I pray God grants her more years to live with us. And I am also begging for God to expand the bandwidth of love I can possibly have so I can still pour it all on my sweet mother. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY.

See more photos and tributes below:

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Prince William, Kate and Prince George (Photo)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate released an official family photograph to mark the beginning of their 3-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, which kicks off on April 2.

In the photo, the family is leaning out the window of their home in Apartment 1A in Kensington Palace.
Prince George is all grown up. Lovely picture.

Ibadan Kidnappers' Den - Victims Recount Their Ordeal

With the discovery of the kidnappers' den in Ibadan, our eyes have been opened to the thick evil hovering over our society. If someone can subject another human being to such inhumane treatment without his conscience being pricked, then we have a serious problem at hand. What of those who died there? What of those that were rescued? How can their lives ever be the same?

Nafiu Shittu was one of those rescued from the den. He is from Isale-Osun, Osogbo, but lived in the Foko area of Ibadan city. Read excerpts from his interview with The Punch:

When and how were you kidnapped?
I was kidnapped 7 months ago in Ibadan. Some men dragged me into a vehicle. I only remember that I later saw myself chained to the wall in a room. I was held there all alone.

Heavy Gunfire Around Presidential Villa, SSS Headquarters This Morning

According to Premium times, there was heavy gunfire exchanges around the Presidential Villa and the SSS headquarters this morning. Residents of the nearby Aso Drive Area said the gunshots were either coming out of the SSS headquarters or the Presidential villa. Femi Fani- Kayode also tweeted about what was happening. See his tweet below:

But the spokesperson of the SSS, Marilyn Ogar, said the gunshots were triggered by attempted jailbreak at the Service’s headquarters by suspected members of the extremist Boko Haram sect. She said,"What happened was that the suspects handlers went to feed the detainees here but suddenly they attacked him with their handcuffs, disarmed him and started shooting. The military was quickly called in before they could do any harm and that is responsible for the shootings you heard." It is however not clear how detainees, held in the highly fortified complex, got guns with which they shot at soldiers and SSS operatives for over an hour.

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all our dear mothers around the world. Without you we will not be here, you carried us inside you, you brought us forth, nurtured us, cared for us, protected us, prayed for us and loved us unconditionally. You are highly appreciated and your labour of love will never be in vain.

For my dear readers, share with us what makes your mother so special? Write your own personal tribute to your mother in the comments sections. The most outstanding tribute will be published on the blog tommorrow.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Femi Segun Laid to Rest

The remains of  Femi Segun,  a polyglot, former diplomat, compere and television presenter was buried on Friday at the Vaults and Gardens, Ikoyi, Lagos State amidst uncontrollable tears among family members and friends. 

Yeni Kuti, his ex-wife and other eminent Nigerians were part of the funeral service. Segun died week Friday after sustaining spinal cord injuries from a power motor bike accident around the Lekki/Ajah axis of Lagos State. He is survived by his wife,Bisi, an aged mother and 2 daughters.

Retired Magistrate Beheaded by Domestic Help

David - The alleged killer
While a lot of people are still in shock over the kidnappers' den that was discovered in Ibadan, another horrific incident took place yesterday, the beheading of a 65- year old retired magistrate, Mrs Olufunmilayo Timeyin by her domestic aide, simply identified as David.

The tragic incident happened at the Laderin Housing Estate, Kobape Road, barely 48 hours after a police corporal killed 7 people and subsequently committed suicide in the same Abeokuta. According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Timeyin, who retired as a senior magistrate in the Ogun state judiciary, employed the domestic aide about 2 months ago.

David who hails from Benue, was said to have been sacked and arrested by the police after he allegedly stole jewellery, mobile phones and some electronic gadgets, from his boss. He however, returned to the house Friday afternoon shortly after regaining freedom from police custody and jumped the fence. He was alleged to have deactivated the security alarm system in the house and lurked in one corner, while an unsuspecting Timeyin returned from an outing.

Governor Oshiomhole On Inspection Tour with 'Go and Die Widow' (Photo)

Many will not easily forget the widow, Mrs. Joy Ifijeh who Governor Adams Oshiomhole told to"Go and Die". Well that incident happened to turn her life around as the Governor later apologised, gave her 2 million Naira and made her a Special Assistant on Environmental matters.

Both of them went on an inspection of projects around the state recently on their first official outing together. A happy ending indeed for her.

Ibadan Kidnappers' Den - Victims Mother Says Her Son Cannot Recognise Her

The scenario at the Adeoyo State Hospital in Ibadan was tense and emotion laden as many people were trying to catch a glimpse of survivors who were rescued from the kidnappers' den in Ibadan last weekend. Several parents especially women could only use photographs to identify their wards. Years of separation have erased some of the signs they could use to identify their wards. Heartbreaking!!!

Mrs. Sufianat Ola was one of those mothers, she was not sure if the skeletal figure in front of her was her son. She sobbed uncontrollably, trying to hold her son and embrace him but the mosquito net and the burglary proof blocked her. Surprisingly, her son, Adewale Ola could still remember his sister. With his thin and barely audible voice, he said, “my sister”. Tears freely flowed. It wasn’t long before the weeping became contagious as all women at the hospital put their own sorrow behind them and wept with the woman. A woman can joke with any other thing but not the child she carried in her womb for 9 months.

According to the Vanguard, women clung to the window of the ward where the survivors were kept. Some of the victims could no longer talk or recognize anybody. Apart from 45-year old Mrs. Titilayo Dokpesi who could still mutter some intelligible words, others were only grunting like a pig. It would take a lot to make them behave as normal human beings again. When Mrs. Sufianat Ola was asked why she was crying, she responded tearfully, “My son can no longer recognize me. Is that not enough reason to cry. Ah! This world is wicked. For the past 13 years, I have been looking for my son not knowing he was in a dungeon.” 

Meet Fehinti Adebowale - From Housewife to International Cake Maker

Mrs Fehinti Adebowale is a well sought after cake maker whose designs on cakes like the 'Ankara effect' have separated her from others. For a house wife who had only learnt the basics of baking as a young girl, she says she was challenged to do something with her skill after listening to a message in church. This led to her confectionery business called Sugar Magic Limited.

After her compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), she got married and started having children. Her husband did not give his express approval for her to get engage in a job so that she could have time for her young family, but with sheer determination and the urge to support her home and husband financially, she started making cakes and other pastries. Interestingly, her husband never knew that she hawked cakes, the baking of which she learnt many years ago from her neighbour, who lectured Home Economics at Ahmadu Bello University.

Out of curiosity, she was asked what prompted her to go into cake making since she had no formal training on confectionery and her husband never wanted her to work. She answered, “I went for a church programme where the pastor challenged us to look at our homes because we could generate money from what we had at home. That word really struck me and I started by identifying my oven as an instrument which could help me generate money.”

Food for Thought for Young Nigerians

I saw this somewhere and I thought I should share it. In the past we had true leaders who were young, dynamic and had a defined purpose. The likes of Chief Obafemi Awolowo may never be found again in our generation. People who lived out integrity and purpose.What is currently  happening to this present generation of young people? Are we refusing to use our minds to create a great future? Have we become lost in the sea of mediocrity? Or have we simply given up on a country that has had nothing good to offer us?

Obafemi Awolowo (37), S.L. Akintola (36), Ahmadu Bello (36), Tafawa Balewa (34), Remi Fani-Kayode (25), Okotie-Eboh (27), Enahoro (27) led the struggle for independence after the death of Herbert Macaulay on May 7th 1946. Only Zik was 42 at that time. In 1966, the first coup was led by: Kaduna Nzeogwu (29) and countered by Murtala Mohammed (28), Theophilus Danjuma (28), Babangida (25), Nanven Garba (23), Sani Abacha(23), Shehu Musa Yaradua (23), and brought into power Gowon (32).

Most of the military administrators who governed the states under the successive military regimes, most of whom are governors now, were under 30 years. The brief democratic dispensation which interjected the military interregnums also saw the House of Representatives in particular populated by majority of members under 30 years as well as some senators. Under 30's were also not in short supply with appointments, we have examples of M.T. Mbu who became foreign affairs minister at 23 and Pat Utomi who became a presidential adviser at 27 and so on and so forth.

Ibadan Kidnappers' Den - Residents Say People May Still be Trapped Underground

According to the Punch, some residents of Arowona Adegbeye Estate, Idi-Mangoro, Soka area, the adjoining community to the forest where some people were rescued, still believe that some persons are still trapped in a cellar beneath. They claimed that the commercial motorcyclist, whose disappearance led to the discovery of the den, was still missing. They said that some of the missing okada rider’s colleagues who were at the den, said he told them on the phone that about 8 of them were in a cellar.

The community’s public relations officer, Hon. Segun Adepoju, said, “The okada riders said the missing okada rider contacted them on the phone and told them that he and some other people were still underground. They said the last time he reached them was about 3 days ago, so they suspected that his phone battery had gone flat now. They said he called and told them that they could feel people walking above them at the time people trooped to the place, but that no one heard them.”

The missing okada rider,who took 2 passengers to the den from the city centre before his disappearance was able to call his colleagues at the park to tell them that he had been kidnapped and was being held at Soka area. Some okada riders reportedly stormed the area in search of their friend, found his motorcycle around the area and stumbled on the den with body parts and some kidnapped persons in chains. “So when they saw his motorcycle, they probed further and found the victims, human bones and body parts. Maybe the abductors of the okada rider didn’t know he was with a mobile phone,” Adepoju said.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Comedian Seyi Law and Wife Celebrate 3rd Wedding Anniversary

Nigerian Comedian Seyi Law and wife Ebere are celebrating 3 years together as a couple. Wishing them many more fulfilling years ahead. See another picture below.....

Nigerian/American Singer Zara Gretti Dies at 28

Nigerian-American singer Margaret Mary Oluwatoyin Ejiro Joseph aka Zara Gretti, died this morning in Nigeria, aged 28. May her soul rest in peace.

She passed away today after a long battle with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. She is known for her hit songs  “The Flyest” and “Teno”. See her last tweet posted yesterday below......

National Conference 'Sleeping Delegate' is Dead

The delegate whose photograph sleeping at the ongoing national conference went viral a few days ago is dead. The delegate Retired Police AIG, Hamma Misau, who is representing Bauchi State at Conference in Abuja, died yesterday night, as a result of an undisclosed illness according to Sahara Reporters.

His cousin, Barrister Mohammed Hamma, confirmed the death and says a Muslim funeral is currently being planned, and will take place shortly in Bauchi State. May his soul rest in peace.

Omotola Gives Shout Out to Her Hubby, Calls Him Her Best Friend

Nollywood actress, Omotola Jalade -Ekeinde and hubby, Matthew Ekeinde recently celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary. She shared a lovely message on  her instagram page. I wish them many more happy and fulfilling years of marriage.

"18 years , still like we dating babe... Nice and easy... My best friend ... Funny, annoying, caring, workaholic... We still here babe, you're still the one! #happymarriageanniversary"

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Woman Gets to Hear for the 1st Time After 40 Years

That we are able to hear our own voices, the laughter of our children, good music and listen to the world around us is indeed a blessing and should never be taken for granted. 

This 40 year old woman, Joanne Milne was overwhelmed with emotion, fighting back tears and gasping to catch her breath, when she heard her doctor recite the days of the week to her. Until that very emotional moment, her world had been silent. Born with the rare condition Usher Syndrome, Ms Milne has been deaf since birth and in her mid-20s, the same condition claimed her sight.

But last month Ms Milne underwent a life-changing operation to fit cochlear implants. Following the procedure, she faced a 4-week wait for medics to switch on the implants to see if the operation had been a success. Hearing for first time, Ms Milne breaks down as she tells her doctor her own voice sounds 'very, very strange', before adding: 'Wow, it is absolutely amazing.'

President Obama Meets Pope Francis (Photos)

The President of the United States, Barack Obama met with Pope Francis at the Vatican today. The 2 men greeted each other with a smile and a handshake and posed for pictures before sitting down across a table from each other. They spoke privately for nearly an hour.

President Obama gave the Pope a box of seeds which contained a pouch was made from timber from the 1st cathedral to open in the United States, in Baltimore. While the Pope gave the President 2 medallions, one symbolizing the need for peace and solidarity between the2 hemispheres and a copy of "Evangelii Gaudium," or "The Joy of the Gospel." The book was penned by the Pope and calls for a new era of evangelization and a renewed focus on the poor. See more pictures below:

Police Officer Kills Himself, Wife and 5 Others in Ogun State

A Nigerian police officer, Corporal Sunkanmi Ogunbiyi, today, shot and killed his wife and 5 others, then went ahead to shoot himself. He was attached to the State Criminal Investigation Department of the Ogun State Police Command. The policeman turned killer was said to be having matrimonial problems with Oluwatosin, his wife, who is also a police corporal attached to Obantoko police station in Abeokuta.

According to neighbours, following a quarrel between the couple, Oluwatosin moved out with their 2 children, to the house of a neighbour, their landlady. Witnesses said Mr. Ogunbiyi arrived the landlady’s residence at about 7:02 a.m. and immediately opened fire on his wife. He also shot and killed the landlady, a 2-year-old toddler, and 3others. He did not shoot at his children, who were also in the house.

3 other tenants also sustained gunshot injuries during the incident which occurred at 67, Ifelodun Street, Akingbala area of Obantoko, Abeokuta. The injured were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, where they are now receiving treatment. Some neighbours said that the police corporal had in the past warned the landlady not to harbour his wife and children whenever the couple had any misunderstanding.

A Delegate Caught Sleeping at Ongoing National Conference (Photo)

A delegate was caught on camera taking a nap during the ongoing national conference. For a conference this serious, we should not be seeing sleeping delegates. So how does he get to know what was being discussed as at the time he slept off?

Ibadan House of Horror Rescued Victim Gets Lost Again

Her face was one of the most featured in the media when the news of the discovered kidnappers' den broke this week. But for the family of this woman, the search continues as she is nowhere to be found.

According to the Tribune, the family of Mrs Cecilia Obaikhena who was one of the inmates of the kidnappers’ den released last Saturday, have said that their matriarch is missing and has not been located. When they got the news of the discovery of a kidnappers’ den in Ibadan and saw the picture of their long-lost mother and grandmother adorning the cover of the Sunday Tribune, they were elated. Her son and granddaughter Vivian, rushed down to Ibadan from their Lagos base to take their matriarch back home.

They got to Ibadan on Tuesday and headed for Soka area where the den was discovered. They searched everywhere for their matriarch but she was no where to be found. They were advised to go to the State Hospital at Yemetu, where some of the inmates were taken. So, they headed for the place but it was futile because Mrs Cecilia Obaikhena was not among the patients in the hospital.

Court Declares FRSC's New Plate Numbers Illegal

A Federal High Court in Lagos has declared that the new number plates introduced by the Federal Road Safety Commission are illegal and unconstitutional. In a judgment delivered by Justice James Tsoho on Wednesday, the court held that the redesigning of the old number plates was not backed by any law. Read more here.

Tsoho, who was delivering the judgment in a suit by a lawyer, Emmanuel Ofoegbu, against the FRSC, therefore, held that the FRSC had no power to impose the redesigned number plates on vehicle owners, who had not acquired them. The judge said, “The issue of redesigning new number plates by the respondent, is not covered under the provisions of any law in Nigeria. "

"The respondent cannot force Nigerians to acquire new plate numbers by impounding cars without the backing of any legislation to that effect. I therefore hold that the act of the respondent amounts to an arbitrary use of power, and is therefore illegal and unconstitutional. Judgment is therefore entered in favour of the plaintiff, and all the reliefs sought is hereby granted, I so hold.”

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Wazobia FM OAP Akas Baba Recounts Ordeal in Kidnappers' Den

Wazobia FM OAP Anthony Akatakpo, popularly known as Akas Baba who was kidnapped 2 weeks ago and recently released by his abductors has recounted his ordeal in the hands of those who kidnapped him. “My ordeal in the kidnappers’ den is not what I wish anybody to experience. It was not a good experience,” Akatakpo said.

The popular radio presenter said the kidnappers kept him blindfolded in an uncompleted building located inside a forest and fed him only fufu, bread and water. He recalled that as soon as they brought him to their hide-out, they asked a doctor to treat the gunshot wound they had inflicted on him. “They have a doctor. The first day they took me there, they gave me first aid. I was relieved to discover that no bullet lodged in my leg. They did something to reduce the pain I felt and to avoid decay,” Akatakpo added.

He said, “The two men that kept watch on me were friendly. Each time I wanted to visit the toilet, they allowed me to go without much fuss. But I had to obtain permission from them first. I was scared that if I did not do that, they might do something bad to me. Even if I wanted to sneeze or cough, I had to take permission from them or they would misinterpret my action as an attempt to send signals to rescuers lurking around the hide-out.”

Senate Approves Godwin Emefiele as New CBN Governor

The Senate today confirmed the appointment of  Zenith Bank , Godwin Emefiele as the new CBN Governor. He is to replace Lamido Sanusi, who was suspended by the President for charges of “financial recklessness and misconduct”.

The Senate unanimously approved the appointment of Emefiele after his appearance before lawmakers that was broadcast live on television. Senate president David Mark said it was a key appointment, adding: “Emefiele will ensure the prerequisite responsibilities of the central bank governor without fear or favour.”

Meet The 17 Year Old Who Turned Her Passion to a Multi-million Dollar Business

Meet Bella Weems, a 17 year old teenager whose jewelry making passion has turned into a multi-million dollar business. She was only 14 when she thought up the idea for her business, Origami Owl, a direct sales jewelry company that connects independent associates, referred to as 'designers' with buyers.

Bella says she came up with the idea for Origami Owl after she asked her parents for a car for her 16th birthday. They told her that she should earn the car herself, perhaps by starting a business, so she started brainstorming ways to earn money and decided to make and sell jewelry. Her parents matched the $350 she had earned from babysitting, enlisted her friends as buyers, then she began selling her signature jewelry items at every opportunity, including house parties, boutiques and local jewelry shows.

'I have always believed that you can do anything you set your mind to,' Bella says. 'With a focus in sight, I spent hours hosting jewelry parties instead of hanging out with friends,' and ultimately, 'the product started selling itself,' Bella told Forbes. The company logged a remarkable $20 million in sales the first year. 4 years later, the company has a professional CEO, employs hundreds of workers and markets its products through 60,000 independent sales representatives nationwide. Retail sales last year surpassed $330 million. Weems, now 17, still oversees the designs of the lockets and charms her company sells and stops by the Chandler, Arizona office almost every day after school.

Professor Dora Akunyili at Ongoing National Conference (Photo)

Former DG of NAFDAC, Prof. Dora Akunyili who is recovering from a major illness is also a delegate at the ongoing National Conference.

The illness which kept her out of public view for a while, has drastically altered her physical appearance. Professor Jubril Aminu could obviously not conceal his shock. I wish her a very quick recovery.

4 Nigerian Poets Make World Poetry Anthology

The works of 4 Nigerian poets have been chosen amongst others to be included in a forthcoming publication entitled, The Second Genesis: An Anthology of Contemporary World Poetry. The poets are Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, Obari Gomba and Ikeogu Oke.

Wole Soyinka and Obari Gomba will contribute a poem each entitled “A Vision of Peace” and “The Ghost of a Country” respectively, to the anthology; while Uzor Maxim Uzoatu will contribute 3 poems entitled “Bonding,” “Tropical Lore” and “Regenerating Lines”. Ikeogu Oke has 4 poems slated for inclusion in the anthology entitled “Being Black,” “A “Savage’ Writes Back,” “The Tree” and “A Gandhian Prayer”.

The anthology is a project of the Academy of raite(s)* And World Literati (A.R.A.W.LII) based in Ajmer, India, and will feature works of poets from 58 countries and all the 7 continents. Poets from other countries include the South African poet laureate, Keorapetse Kgositsile; Aerdinfu Yiren and Zhu Likum from China; Elizabeth Adams and Katherine Gallagher from the UK, and Charles Fishman and Elizabeth Johnson from the USA.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Japanese Architect Shigeru Ban Wins 2014 Pritzker Prize

Japanese Architect, Shigeru Ban, is the winner of this year's Pritzker Prize which is arguably the world's most prestigious architecture award. In the last 20 years, he has taken simple materials, like paper and cardboard, and created life-changing structures for people impacted by natural disasters. Read more here.

Last year he erected a cathedral made out of cardboard paper tubes for the people of Christchurch, New Zealand. From Haiti to Rwanda to China, his low-cost structures have become symbols of hope for people rebuilding their lives. Ban is the 2nd Japanese artist to win the prestigious award, following on from last year's winner Toyo Ito.

Tom Pritzker, Chairman and President of The Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the Pritzker Prize, said: "He is an outstanding architect who, for twenty years, has been responding with creativity and high quality design to extreme situations caused by devastating natural disasters. His buildings provide shelter, community centres, and spiritual places for those who have suffered tremendous loss and destruction."

Usain Bolt Naughty on Stage- Caught 'Daggering' (Photo)

World's Fastest Man, Usain Bolt was recently photographed in a Jamaican night club in a naughty dance pose with an unknown lady.

The controversial dance, 'daggering', which originated in Jamaica, is designed to imitate sexual intercourse. There have been efforts in recent years to crack down on daggering in Jamaica, with the nation’s Broadcast Commission banning songs and music videos which show or promote the dance.

The popularity of daggering has also raised some health concerns- the dance has reportedly resulted in a rise in the number of men fracturing and damaging their penises!!

Prof. Dora Akunyili Makes Public Appearance After Major Illness (Photo)

Former DG of NAFDAC, Professor Dora Akunyili made a rare public appearance yesterday at the ongoing National Conference in Abuja. She told the press that she just came out of a major illness, but she was well now and just needed time to put on some weight. I wish her speedy recovery.

"I am Not Returning my Confab Allowance" - Mike Ozekhome

Human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) has said that his own N4 million monthly allowance will go to charity and other destitute homes.“Whilst , Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, and Pastor Tunde Bakare for rejecting their own monthly take home of the alleged N12m allowance at the national conference, my own approach will be quite different. I will collect the money and distribute it to the less privileged and needy members of the society, the holoi- poloi, the vast majority of the “Frantz Fanon’s of the wretched of the earth” that populate the nooks and crannies of Nigeria”, Ozekhome stated in a release yesterday.

Ozekhome said "I will not agree to further enrich the federal government of Nigeria by returning my conference allowance. For one thing, the money has already been appropriated and released from government coffers.” He added that if the money was returned, the skewed Nigerian system where corruption is very rife suggests that the money can develop “wings” and fall into wrong hands within government bureaucracy by simply “flying away,” stressing that he would not have the means to know if it got into the federation account.

In another controversial dimension, the constitution lawyer submitted that contrary to the much touted 4 million allowance, the actual amount paid to delegates as monthly allowance was approximately N3m.
It has so far been touted in the media that a “whooping” N4 million per amounting to N12m for the 3 months duration of the national conference, will be paid to each delegate across board. From the alert from my bank, this is entirely untrue. The sum of N1,460,000 was paid in representing two weeks allowance. Calculated prorarata, this amounts to N2,920,000 per month.
Source: Vanguard

Monday, 24 March 2014

World Tuberculosis Day 2014 - "Reach the 3 Million"

Today is World Tuberculosis Day and it is another opportunity to raise awareness about the burden of tuberculosis worldwide and the status of TB prevention and control efforts. TB remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of nearly one and a half million people each year, mostly in developing countries.

This year, the slogan for World Tuberculosis Day is "Reach the 3 million". TB is curable, but current efforts to find, treat and cure everyone who gets ill with the disease are not sufficient. Of the 9 million people a year who get sick with TB, a third of them are "missed" by health systems. Many of these 3 million people live in the world’s poorest, most vulnerable communities or are among marginalized populations such as migrant workers, refugees and internally displaced persons, prisoners, indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities and drug users.

WTB Day commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. At the time of Koch's announcement in Berlin, TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, causing the death of one out of every seven people. Koch's discovery opened the way towards diagnosing and curing TB.

Unbelievable- Only 7 Dentists Practicing in Liberia With a Population of Over 4 Million

Obviously a large percentage of Liberia's population lack access to good oral health care. Dr. Taylor Neal and  Dr. Ayele Ajavon Cox are the only 2 Liberian dentists in their country and they are fast approaching retirement because they are old and cannot go on forever. "We are fading out, so we need more dentists and many of the Liberian dentists are in the US, so the government will have to offer salaries that will attract them home to come and work." 

"In Liberia, there are only 7 dentists, one to 700,000 and we have 15 counties and 12 out of those counties, do not have dentists. Dr. Cox, said that 99 percent of typical Liberians have never seen or heard of a dentist; “much less been treated by one. During the recent World Oral Health Day programme some recommendations were made, which included calls for the Ministries of Health and Education to infuse oral health into the school's curriculum. 

Celebrating the first World Oral Health Day last Thursday in the country, Dr. Ayele Ajavon Cox, DMD Hygienist Dental Therapist/practitioner, in collaboration with Smile for Liberia, observed the day through the creation of awareness. Children's teeth were cleaned and toothbrushes/toothpastes were distributed.

Murder Trial Update - Pistorius Weeps As Phone messages Between Him and Reeva is Read In Court Today

Oscar Pistorius was in tears as the messages were read aloud in court today. One of them from Reeva to the athlete read: 'I'm scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me,' while a later text read 'I can't be attacked by an outsider for dating you and be attacked by you the person I deserve protection from.'

The couple argued about what she alleged was the athlete's short temper and jealousy, police Capt. Francois Moller testified, citing text messages he extracted from cell phones. Pistorius is on trial for the murder of 29-year-old model and law graduate Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013. 

He has pleaded not guilty to murder, saying he was deeply in love with Steenkamp, whom he had been dating for a few months, and that he mistook for an intruder.

Missing Malaysian Airline Crashed into Indian Ocean - Malaysian Prime Minister

The answer to the sudden disappearance of the Malaysian aircraft more than 2 weeks ago may have been found. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went down in the southern Indian Ocean, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has announced today and there are no survivors. This follows a new analysis of satellite data by a British satellite company and accident investigators. May their souls rest in peace.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished from civilian radar screens less than an hour after take-off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with 239 people on board on March 8. No confirmed sighting of the plane has been made since, but much debris has been found in remote waters off Australia which might be part of the missing plane.

Relatives of passengers in Beijing had been called to a hotel near the airport to hear the news, and some 50 of them gathered there. Afterward, they filed out of a conference room in heart-wrenching grief. One woman collapsed and fell on her knees, crying 'My son! My son!'

"My Children Are Getting None of My Fortune" - Co-Founder John Roberts

John Roberts, a self made millionaire who made £500 million when he sold the electronics business he co-founded has said that his fortune will go to charity and his children will get nothing. Nicknamed ‘the kitchen king’, he started the company after a pal bet him £1 he wouldn’t while they were in the pub. The former kitchen salesman who left school without qualifications was raised in Bolton, where he still lives with his wife and 5 children.

Roberts, setup, 14 years ago and has seen it grow to take a 24 per cent share of the online market for major domestic appliances in the UK. He pocketed £86m when he sold some of his shares and his firm, which sells fridges, freezers, tumble dryers and other household appliances online, was valued at a staggering £1.6 billion.

But the 40-year-old is determined to follow his own father's example and ensure his children make their own way in the world. My dad's philosophy was: "I'll give you the best start in life I can afford and what you do with it is up to you", and mine's the same. He is determined his children won’t become ‘trust babies’ and so he’s vowed they won't be inheriting his fortune when he’s gone. He said: “One of the things I've been able to have is a fantastic sense of achievement. George Best’s son is forever George Best’s son rather than being who he is with his own identity.”

Ogun Baby Factory Merchant, Says She Was Only Helping The Pregnant Victims

The woman behind the baby factory that was uncovered in Ogun State recently, Angela Chidozie has said she was only helping the young girls. The 39-year-old woman and mother of 5 was known by other residents as a trader in women’s wears and shoes, a trade she only used as a cover up for her baby sales business. This woman only preyed on vulnerable girls who had nowhere or anyone to run to for selfish reasons.

Her strategy was to get teenage girls from poor homes who were pregnant, desperate and had no idea what to do with their lives. And in exchange for taking them in, feeding and housing them, Chidozie would sell their babies to childless couples. She said, “These girls came to me on their own to help sell their babies and I sell each baby for N300,000 to childless couples. I then pay the girls between N70,000 to N80, 000. I have sold 5 babies so far.”

Chidozie was arrested at her home last Thursday by the Ajuwon Police Division, Ogun State after the police received a tip-off about her activities. 9 victims, all in varying stages of pregnancy and aged between 16-22 years, were rescued. Her home, a five bedroom bungalow at 9, Sebanjo Crescent, off Fabolude Bus Stop, Akute, from all outward appearances, had all the trappings of a private residence when PUNCH Metro visited the place.