Saturday, 29 September 2012

‘It Wasn’t Me!’–Omojuwa Washes Hands Off Arik Air Cyber Attack

September 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm

What a week 28 year old Japheth Omojuwa has had!
On Tuesday, he found his name among a roll call of Nigerians barred from flying on Arik Air ever again. The airline’s grouse with the self-styled Social Media advocacy champion was that he had helped sully its fledgling reputation for demanding that he be treated fairly following his missing Ipad on one of its flights.
As the rain gave way to clearer skies in Lagos on Thursday afternoon, Arik Air’s website had come crashing down. Most pointed their fingers Omojuwa’s way, after all, he has emerged as Arik Air’s Achilles’s heel in the last couple of weeks.
Omojuwa has however washed his hands off the Airline’s latest troubles. “Arik Air’s site got hacked”, he tweeted, ” I didn’t do that.”
He had continued; “There is a chance people got aggrieved and fought for folks they believe in, but I fight my battles with words and nothing more”.
One thing has become clearer: Japheth Omojuwa has helped spotlight what has become Nigeria’s atrocious and rapacious customer service terrain, whatever becomes of this saga hereafter.

Yes, I am Boko Haram – Immigration officer confesses, names other security personnel in Islamic sect

by Stanley Azuakola
JTF spokesman, Sagir Musa
JTF spokesman, Sagir Musa
Nigerians have consistently maintained that the dreaded sect Boko Haram must surely have sympathisers in government and security agencies, considering how effective their attacks have been. Finally, there is proof.
A high profile Boko Haram member, who is an officer of Nigeria’s Immigration Services, Ahmed Grema Mohammed, has named some security personnel among those carrying out terrorist attacks in the country. His confession came after he was arrested by the men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Mohammed, who is an officer of the Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS) attached to the Nangere office of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Yobe State, was apprehended at a checkpoint on the Maiduguri-Damaturu road while on his way to kill a former special adviser to the immediate past governor of the state.
Most of the personnel named by Mohammed have been arrested, while security agencies are on the trail of others.
The news of Mohammed’s arrest was contained in a JTF statement signed by the task force spokesman, Lt. Col Sagir Musa.
According to the statement, Mohammed had been on the wanted lists in the country and was arrested on August 17, this year for impersonating a lieutenant in the Nigerian Army.
“Mohammed confessed to be actively involved in the killings of some senior civil servants, security agents, and politicians in Damaturu who spoke against the activities of Boko Haram, particularly the former chairman of Damboa Council, Alhaji Lawal Kawu.
“He also took part in the attack on the old Police Headquarters in Damaturu, where some policemen were killed and large quantity of arms and ammunition carted away.
“In addition, he was among the terrorists that attacked Damaturu Prison, burnt some primary schools, the State CID office and the Police Safety Vehicle, among others.
“The suspect revealed to JTF that he and 15 other members of the organization were intensively trained for three months on G3 and AK 47 rifles, as well as in assassinations and special operations in Niger Republic.
“He also revealed names of some security personnel that participated in terrorists’ attacks in Borno and Yobe states.”
Recently, the Joint Task Force has recorded a string of successes against Boko Haram, including the killing of the sect’s spokesman, Abu Qaqa.

My Expectations From Nigeria’s Next President – By Ademola Adeeko

by Ademola Adeeko

Just when I thought aloud saying, “I would love to write a list comprising of my expectations from Nigeria’s next president”, I was stopped in my tracks by a friend who asked me, “What happened to the incumbent?” Only then did it dawn on me that this is still 2012. Wow! 2015 seems so far away. In as much as we still have three more years to ‘enjoy’ President Jonathan’s breathe of fresh air, I can nevertheless go ahead with my list. At least, I can send it to the next aspiring-presidential candidate now so he/she can ruminate on it before then.
I am particularly not scared of 2015 because I know for sure that the present government will still saturate us with good reasons to oust them in a right and peaceful manner. Reacting to the shameful words uttered by the president during the week which alleged the January Occupy Nigeria protests were stage-managed, I refuse to haul more insults on the person of Mr President because I have come to realize that we demand too much from a man that has got nothing to offer. From him that little is given, little should be expected. The day you begin to realize that nothing should be expected from the present regime is when you have woken up to the reality of Nigeria.
What I ask of him/her isn’t much, just a little of what I’d actually expect from him and it goes thus:
Immediately you are sworn in as president, the first thing I will request of you is to get hold of the Nigerian constitution and embark on a massive amendment and restructuring like never before.
Scrap the office of the first lady. You may appoint her minister for women and children affairs (aged, widows and orphans inclusive) if she so qualifies to handle that position and if not, she may please remain in your kitchen or be a professional/business woman as the case may be.
Please merge the ministry of youths’ development and ministry of sports into just one ministry. (abi no be youths de do sport?). Also merge the ministry of telecommunications, the ministry of information technology and ministry of information into one.
Please exclude your upkeep allowance (feeding, children’s school fees, haircut, cutleries, gardens, toiletries, transportation etc) from our national budget and include it in your basic salary.
Reduce the difference between government-owned schools and private schools by investing massively in education. All public office holders too must patronize government-owned schools. On resumption of office, withdraw your children from those private schools, home or abroad, to attend our government-owned schools. At least, president Obama did the same.
Publicly declare your assets and make sure all governors, ministers, commissioners, director generals, auditor generals, accountant generals, etc do same periodically.
Rehabilitate our refineries so that we can use what we produce. We don’t have to export crude to refine and import petrol to use. The existence of refineries has automatically erased the existence of subsidy.
Combine the work of the presidential speech-writer, special adviser on media, special adviser on new media, special adviser on protocol, public relations officer, attack-dog (if need be) into one person.
Reduce drastically the number of your entourage when traveling outside the country and your convoy while moving within the country (helps draw attention from you).
Probe all government parastatals and public offices, any rudiment of fraud found should be cleansed.
There should be massive reforms in the electoral process of the nation. INEC should be indeed independent from government interference; likewise the EFCC.
Mega and multiple rehabilitation of roads throughout the federation should be embarked on. This should go hand in hand with other social amenities like Water, Electricity, Security, Medicare etc.
The Nigerian Police Force is a terrible rot in the midst of a rotten nation like Nigeria. I expect you to embark on a massive overhaul of that agency. Make the work of policing more attractive, also adequate training and equipment should not be lacking.
The immunity clause should be removed for governors.
I also advise that the only way to silence opposition and critics is to perform.
Invest heavily in agriculture as food is the first on the human’s hierarchy of needs, according to Abraham Maslow. When there is food in abundance, naturally crime will take a plunge. One thing other governments have not realized is that you cannot preside over and control hungry men.
Make the issue of security a high priority, rewarding insurgency with cash isn’t the way forward, it’s an eye-opener for other groups and individuals to cash in on the opportunity. Do not for once engage the enemy of the state in any part of your government let alone security of lives and properties as a leopard never changes its spots.
Job creation and employment is the mass murderer of crime in a country. It is heartache to see the masses willing to work but nothing comes their way in terms of employment. Since university graduates cannot get work, what hope do the illiterates have?
Finally, be a listening leader, a leader who sees the voice of the people as the voice of God; a leader who is ready to listen to the grievances of people no matter how small they might be in number. Selective implementation of the people’s needs portrays you as a partial leader.
Should you know that your agenda for the nation is void of all that is written above, you can as well forget about your candidacy because the Nigerian people are awake, thanks to previous governments. That I am very sure of because I will personally lead a standing protest against you.
I Nigeria will be great again if only those that are right are in the right places.
The Baby PHOENIX has spoken.

Nani Punches Teammate In Training; Leaves Alex Ferguson Fuming

September 29, 2012 at 7:49 am

Nani has moved a step closer to the Old Trafford exit after an incident which ended with him landing a blow on a young Manchester United team-mate.
Words were exchanged between Nani and reserve team midfielder Davide Petrucci after a training ground challenge at Carrington.
Nani later called the 20-year-old Italian over in the gym and the rest of the squad thought the pair would talk through their differences, but they were said to be stunned when Nani appeared to land a punch on Petrucci.
Other players quickly stepped in to prevent further trouble.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is still said to be considering what disciplinary action to take against the frustrated Portugal winger, who was hauled off at half-time against Liverpool last week following an abject first-half performance.
Ferguson is believed to be fuming over the incident, which took place earlier this week and will only harden his resolve to offload Nani at the first opportunity.
A £25million deal to sell him to Zenit St Petersburg in the summer fell through because his ‘unreal’ wage demands put off the Russian club.
It is believed that Nani wants to run down his contract, which has almost two years left, after United refused his request for a new deal worth £130,000 a week.
The 25-year-old has cut an increasingly frustrated figure, having failed to make any impression this season.
He was booked less than two minutes into United’s first game of the season at Everton and then upset Ferguson by missing a penalty against Galatasaray last week.
He is expected to be in the squad to face Tottenham today but only because first-choice right winger Antonio Valencia has been ruled out with an ankle injury.
The Valencia blow adds to United’s problems after captain Nemanja Vidic was ruled out for eight weeks following more surgery on his injured right knee.
‘I don’t think Nemanja was ever 100 per cent,’ said Ferguson. ‘I noticed a couple of times in training that he was limping and then he started feeling tightness in his knee.
The main operation was to correct the cruciate ligament but there is always the danger that the cartilage is also damaged and that was the case.’
United were contacted United on Friday night but they declined to comment.
SOURCE: Sportsmail

How To Live And Enjoy Being Alive–By MaryAnn Enaholo-Omonze

by MaryAnn Enaholo

I have learned a lot from life and I think there are some things which, if you give up, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Beginning today, we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:
There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?”, what difference will that make? Is your ego really that big? Just let it go!
Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that will make you feel.
Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.
How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.
About what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you should no longer allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!
Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, many things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.
Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different from you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.
Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.
Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open.
Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.
I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself, be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.


This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at it with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another, attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying – A state beyond words.
Live life and have fun!.

Opinion: Could Rihanna the next Whitney Houston? The curious case of her declining image

by Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses
She still seemed to be stuck in that weird place where intellectually, she knows that she should not re-enter a romantic relationship with Chris Brown but is going through an emotional process that is pulling her in the opposite direction of her logic.
Rihanna is back in the headlines and this time it is not pretty! The Bajan starlet is reported to have been seen out partying, which no one can fault her for. The problem is that she seems to have been overdoing it. Rihanna is reported to have drank too much, threw up and also gotten into a verbal altercation in a night club.
Far be it for us to expect that a 24 year old pop singer is going to be the poster child for model behavior, especially considering everything we have heard about her lately.
I remember watching Rihanna have a heart to heart with Oprah just a few weeks ago and I honestly felt sorry for her. She still seemed to be stuck in that weird place where intellectually, she knows that she should not re-enter a romantic relationship with Chris Brown but is going through an emotional process that is pulling her in the opposite direction of her logic.
What I can say I admire about Rihanna is that when she spoke to Oprah, she was open and honest; no double talk. That being said, the interview left me really concerned that she would ultimately end up right back in the arms of her former boyfriend, Chris brown, before both of them had taken enough time to heal the damage from their last attempt at being in a relationship. Whether she should or shouldn’t is obviously between her and Chris Brown, but based on what I see publicized about him and what I know about the cycle of abuse, I say it is not a good idea.
Just a few weeks ago, Rihanna was in the headlines because she had allegedly gotten into a scuffle in London. Now, let’s bear in mind that Rihanna is a 24 year old who has spent the last seven years in the lime light, instead of doing whatever normal 16 to 24 year olds do nowadays. The idea here is not to start wagging fingers in her face and telling her what a bad “role model” she is. The truth is most of these celebrities that we so loosely call role models never asked for that title.
Ultimately, unfortunately, Rihanna’s behavior is not that shocking. She is still at the age where most people would either be in college or would have recently left college. What I know about a lot of college age young men and women is that they party and go to clubs…a lot! They drink a lot of alcohol and it tends to make them throw up. At the end of the day, Rihanna’s problem isn’t really that she has problems picking the right guy-who among us, in out twenties, didn’t drag a cat home and expect it to bark? I also don’t think Rihanna’s problem is drinking. Again, many people her age are out partying and getting overly drunk. From where I stand, it looks like Rihanna mainly has a publicity problem. Everything that she does is done in the public eye and is then subject to scrutiny.
If Rihanna values her career, then I reckon it would be a good idea to clean up her act and stop behaving badly, especially in public. If she wants to preserve herself, I reckon she needs to stay away from Chris Brown. Maybe one day they will make a great couple but there is nothing, right now, that indicates that either one of them has gone though the personal development process that would even allow that to be a possibility. As for the rest of us, it might be a good idea for us to just ignore her for a while.
Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana.

Rejoinder to Sanusi piece: “Reading Dele Momodu is like watching a poor quality film

by Godwin Opene
Editors Note: In response to Dele Momodu’s piece last week on ‘The bully called Sanusi’, the writer penned this rejoinder
Usually for me, the surest way to avoid reading a sad piece of writing or watch a poor quality film is to not start because then, I carry on reading or watching, hoping to find something at some point to justify the initial investment in time and mental resources. Most times, I am unlucky, but a few times, I chance upon pay dirt, and these rarities produce the incentives to try my luck the next time. It turns out that my latest experience belonged to the first category of totally worthless efforts, and my tormentor this time was Dele Momodu’s very depressing piece of fiction on Sanusi Lamido Sanusi on the back page of the September 22nd edition of ThisDay newspapers. But, in this case, the sense of worthlessness went even more depressingly beyond the value of my time and efforts in reading a piece, to the pain that I felt from the gratuitous insults Momodu heaped on hapless Nigerians like me, whose only sin at the time of Sanusi’s reforms was that we were honestly praising God for intervening in the banking sector to secure the assets of those who toil day and night to have enough to put something away for when we would really need the inevitable shield against the rain.
For feeling the way I did, Mr Momodu practically diagnosed people like me of suffering from a disease called dementia. But he also had more degrading characterisation: He called us “frogs”, that we are “confused” about our choices, and that Nigerians are all products of “acute psychological impairment”. Except Dele Momodu. I will surely come back to this, but I must first finish what I was saying about the quality of Momodu’s article.
It wasn’t just that it was so glaringly beneath the quality he is known for, so transparently shambolic – almost like a piece rushed to press for no other reason than to achieve a deadline imposed by the usual pressure for dialogical currency. It was more than the glaring and totally avoidable literary errors. It was entirely lacking in essence and meaningful content. The article was one half a history of presidential succession in Nigeria, and another half from Wikipedia. By the end of the article, it was a surprise that there was a nonfictional reference to current issues and the Central Bank governor. Even where he managed to extricate the topic from its multiple tangents, his account of the most recent history was way, way off the mark: That Sanusi took advantage of a purported “weakness of the Jonathan administration”? I was confused because he had also mentioned in the article that he “warned many Nigerians jumping up like frogs” about Sanusi in August 2009. Is he talking about the same president before August 2009? And, was the insult to Nigerians necessary?
Now, I do not have to speak for Sanusi, as I believe that the CBN governor can find enough reason, if he has the time, to respond to the writer. But the logical inconsistencies, such as the one I pointed out above, ran all through so much of the ‘analysis’ that it would be totally uncharitable to not let him see how much work he still needs to do. Besides, if you need to hang a man, should you rather not hang him fairly?
As it is, Dele Momodu did not seem to be able to make up his mind about the character of the man he claimed that he knew so well to have warned all of us about back in 2009. Was (is) Mr Sanusi a man who “lacked the tolerance to persuade others” and “bullied everybody into submission” or is he a “charming man” who “attracts attention effortlessly”? Which one is it, Mr Momodu? According to the columnist, Sanusi “could almost raise the dead” but then, according to Momodu again, that “was his major weakness”. He left me even more confused about the character of Mr Sanusi’s ‘enemies’. To be sure, are they the same people he referred to as “rogue bankers” and “a few rats” or are they his beloved “brilliant bankers” and “innocent people”? I am also wondering how Dele Momodu determined the ideal character profile of a profession he probably never tried to sign up to; where he borrowed the line that the banking profession “was traditionally reserved for taciturn and conservative characters”. The result of whose research? Wikipedia’s, again? So what character trait might Dele Momodu prescribe for bankers in Nigeria and everywhere else? That of reckless individuals who think nothing of the potential disaster their risky behaviour was preparing for all of us? Those who gave practical expression to Schuermann’s point about the privatisation of bankers’ profits but the socialisation of their losses? That we should all be sitting ducks, watching these people engage in practices that would inevitably bring the roof down on all of us?
I know I started out complaining about the quality of Mr Momodu’s article, but then I must stick to the issues and their underlying logic, even if the columnist would not do the same. He would have done more to explain Sanusi’s “vengeful mission” against his “enemies”. Yes, because the implication here is that these are people who had caused him grave personal injury before he became governor. If not this, then what was Mr Sanusi’s “real intentions”?
He also made reference to Sanusi’s “unbridled radicalism” side by side with “his academic brilliance”. While, again, I believe that Sanusi’s has the intellectual capacity (as admitted by Momodu himself) to constructively address such charge, and while I believe that the man has his faults (who doesn’t?) I think I would pitch for a radical with a mind to challenge the old order than a wimp who people like Momodu would not hesitate to turn into an object of eternal ridicule.
I am temped however, to excuse Dele Momodu’s ‘treatise’ as little more than a hasty piece of literature which, inevitably, cannot stand the test of literary scrutiny. For instance (and this is purely a matter between Momodu and Wikipedia), he observed that “bullies always have their terminal dates because, according to Wikipedia, a bully is” a bully. (i.e., “constant harasser of the weak”). Since I failed to see the logic in the inference, I decided to consult the source, from where the columnist lifted his assertions. I traced the definition (in parenthesis) to the only paragraph of the article, which simply established the etymology of the term. There was no such inference, “according to Wikipedia”, in the online article. So, it turns out, Mr Momodu’s inference is neither consistent with the structure of commonsensical validity nor of attributional regularity. It is obvious therefore that this was just a model in the literature desperately seeking personification in Momodu’s real world.
And, alas, such desperation shone even brighter, when Momodu attempted fruitlessly to make capital out of what I considered at the time, no more than a light-hearted reference by Sanusi to former President Obansanjo’s position on the CBN’s currency restructuring proposal. Pray, when did Dele Momodu develop any kind of respect for Baba? And when he unnecessarily brought up a certain presidential ambition of Sanusi (I hear this for the first time, but believe nevertheless that a banker has as much right to such aspirations as a columnist), I was left to wonder what was the point of this in the bully story? To entertain? To further “mesmerise” the same Nigerians he described as “hypnotised”?
Frankly, for all my frustration with having to endure the article, it would have been reasonably rewarding for me to isolate a single topical issue to reflect on, and maybe use as an object of my humble contribution – like the subject of central bank autonomy. Yes, it was mentioned, but again, the author chose to personalise the issues rather than elevate the discourse. It would have been interesting, for instance to hear what the writer thinks about the fact that, over the last two decades, more and more countries in the developed and developing world have created more autonomous central bank; I would have loved to read his perspective on research results which have shown that foreign investment has tended towards jurisdictions with institutionally guaranteed price stability; that autonomous central banks serve as a veritable insurance against the negative incentives of ‘the political business cycle’. But, no, the former presidential aspirant would rather reproduce what Wikipedia says about bullies than address economic policy.
If he reflects more seriously on it, even Mr Momodu himself would agree that he would have made his point more constructively by sticking to the issues and avoiding the insults. Describing us as “a neurotic society and vindictive population”? For me, it was demeaning, and a brazen show of ingratitude to the same Nigerians who religiously ‘file into the gallery’ every week to ‘listen’ to him abuse, harass and terrorise people who cannot afford the time, forum or are too scared to abuse him back.
If the columnist has any regard for the millions of Nigerians in his article, if he is not the bully he so self-righteously see in others, he would use his next column to apologise to everybody, including the 26,000 or so that lined up in the sun (rain) to vote for him last year

Edo lawmaker shot by suspected assassins in Benin

by Stanley Azuakola

An Edo State House of Assembly lawmaker, Rasaq Momoh, was shot on Friday, by gunmen suspected to be assassins.
Momoh is an Action Congress of Nigeria lawmaker, who chairs the House Committee on Finance. He was shot along Akenzua road in Benin where he had gone for a visit.
He was immediately rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital where he is currently on admission.
The shooting of the lawmaker has been confirmed by both the Speaker of the House, Hon. Uyi Igbe and the State Commissioner of Police, Olayinka Balogun.
Igbe informed reporters that the lawmaker is in stable condition

King of Drama! Emeka Ike disrupts Actors Guild of Nigeria election, Guild official arrested

Reuben Daba

The drama which has been going on in the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) for almost a year, continued on Thursday, as Nollywood actor, Emeka Ike, who has vowed to sanitise the collapsed Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) again disrupted the Guild’s election held in Lagos.
Five months ago at the guild elections in Edo, the actor was again at the centre of the controversy as that election was disrupted. Emeka Ike is demanding that the guild holds off on elections until after his case in court has been settled.
The actor took some policemen who arrested the vice chairman of the BOT of the Guild, Emma Ogugua during the elections. “Emma was whisked away to Zone 2 headquarters of the police force where he met with the AIG in charge of the zone. He was accompanied by Steve Eboh, who is contesting in the election as president.”
According to Emeka Ike, ‘I stormed the venue to arrest Emma Agugua because he was conducting an illegal election. I have a case in court against the leadership of the Guild, until the matter is determined, nobody has the right to conduct any election under the law.”
Emma, according to a Vanguard source, later came back to the secretariat some minutes past 5pm. It was not clear whether the election continued or not.
Emeka Rollas, Steve Eboh, and Feberisima Ibinabo are contesting for the position of president

Come guys, I’m still single – BBA winner Karen Igho invites suitors

by Reuben Daba
Karen Igho
As everyone knows, winner of Big Brother Africa 2011, Nigeria’s Karen Igho is single. Now, thanks to an interview she granted recently to WG, we also know that she is searching as well.
In the said interview, the entertainment personality was quoted as saying that she is “a woman who desires to be loved and wooed by the opposite sex.”
The big problem unfortunately is that guys are slacking. For some reason, they are not bracing up to the challenge of wooing Miss Igho.
She expressed disappointment at this, and just to make the road smoother for any would-be attempter, she claimed that she is not as difficult as people think.
What else do you want to hear, guys?
“ Men are supposed to woo me. I’m a woman and I’m very soft. They shouldn’t be scared of asking me out. I want a decent man, and not any kind of man.” Karen said.
“I am still single and ready to mingle,” the OAP with Lagos indigenous radio station, Naija FM 102.7 said.
Interested guys should just take note of the following. According to Karen, you must be ‘God-fearing’, ‘comfortable’, ‘down-to-earth.’ And yeah, one more thing, applicants do not necessarily need to be bachelors.

Patience Jonathan declared fit, scheduled to return to Nigeria soon

by Isi Esene
There are indications that doctors attending to the first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, who is generally believed to be receiving treatment in a German hospital might soon be on her way back home.
Reports say her doctors in Wiesbaden, Germany have given her a clean bill of health to return back to Nigeria.
She was speculated to have expressed her wish to accompany the president to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly but was advised against it by her physicians.
The source said, “She wanted to follow her husband to the 67th United Nations General Assembly in New York but she was advised against that by the doctors that, as they they told her that she needed some more time to rest.
“I can tell you that she is now in a good state after a successful surgery. She was only treated of appendicitis through surgical operation at the German hospital. The First Lady is in a stable state. The doctors at the hospitals have confirmed her fitness, but she needs more time to rest.”
The source did not give a definite date for her arrival.
Special assistant to the first lady on media, Ayo Osinlu, continues to maintain that Patience Jonathan is in the European country for a “moment’s rest” after hosting the first ladies’ conference in Abuja.
Mrs. Jonathan has been out of the country for 34 days.

Police Helicopter Crash: Families of victims get N34.43 million, landlords also compensated

by Stanley Azuakola

In March 2012, a police surveillance helicopter crashed in Jos, killing the erstwhile Police deputy inspector general in charge of Operations at Force Headquarters, John Haruna and three others. Yesterday, six months after that ill-fated crash, the families of the dead were paid death benefits amounting to N36,633,500 by the Nigeria Police Force.
Apart from the late officers, the owners of the houses which were destroyed when the helicopter crashed into them were also compensated.
The family of DIG Haruna John was given N9. 9million; the family of ACP Garba Yelwa was given N3.3 million; while the families of CSP Pwol Hananiah and SGT Sanathan Shirunam were given N3.2 million and N9. 9 million respectively.
Those whose buildings were damaged include Mr. Adams Ngar – N1. 1million, Dauda Sunday – N419. 300. 00, Victor Adeh – N292. 400. 00, and Mr. Mali Waziri – N1.5million.
According to reports from the presentation ceremony,
The Inspector General of police, Mohammed Abubakar lamented the demise of the ‘gallant’ officers saying “moments like this are very sad for me as IG and the entire Nigerian Police Force because these are officers who have dedicated their lives to the service of the nation and humanity”.
Describing the presentation ceremony as an indication of his administration’s belief that ‘we must be there for our own’, the IG said, “it is to show our appreciation for the commitment of the officers while alive. The other thing we can do is that we will continue to pray for them”.
To the families of the late officers he said, “What is given is not a price for the souls of the officers lost but a meager token to help cushion the hardship being faced by them”.
He added that the promises made by the Nigeria Police to the families to train some children of the deceased officers through education and others will be fulfilled

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Japheth Omojuwa: On Arik Air, I admit my madness

Japheth Omojuwa: On Arik Air, I admit my madness

by Japheth Omojuwa
In the Land of many victims, the man who dares the oppressor is seen to be mad. For that, I admit my madness.
I left my iPad in an Arik Air flight and that was my fault. I will not excuse that negligence on the fact that flying just days after the Dana crash I was still gripped by its horror. What is not my fault though is the fact that when I returned for the iPad, the Arik Air staff in charge of “Lost & Found” left to check the aircraft and came back saying “they said they found it and put it in your bag.” My response was sharp and simple. How did they match an untagged iPad that was not checked in with a bag that was checked in and tagged? Who gave them the permission to open my bag for them to put the iPad? I asked to make a written complaint but the Arik Air staff, Lanre, said that by speaking to him my complaint process had been completed, that there was no need to write anything. That did not go down well with me. Some have focused on the first part of the issue about why I’d forget my iPad in a plane, they conveniently ignore the part about the Arik Air staff saying they found the iPad and put it in my bag. Someone have even questioned why I’d even forget my iPad in the first place. These are angels and aliens who have never forgotten a thing in their lives. I am human and I forget, not to mention the fact that in about 35 flights this year, that was a first.
I hate to admit it but I live in a country where people have lived with being victims for decades, victimization has become the culture. Rather than take on their oppressors, many Nigerians are still counting on the day God would come down and personally take on that challenge. Here, people never see the principle behind anything, as most things are weighed in naira. For people of principle, my issue with Arik Air had stopped being about an iPad long ago, but for those whose only valuation of life and the decisions they make come from naira and kobo perception, this remains about an iPad and I needed to shut up because “it is only an iPad.” In the end, these are victims of years of oppression, people who have never stood for themselves, people who’d rather adjust to bullies but are now experts on how to treat oppressors. That in itself is normal because I come from a society of many paradoxes.
I do not have a problem with bloggers who would create any fiction out of this to get hits. Many have become the anomaly they report. I once saw a story about Nigeria’s First Lady concerning the Black Sunday plane crash. I knew from the word go it’d be a hit story but I refused to publish it because I could not see the possibility of its content being the truth even though it’d put the First Lady in bad light. Some others did publish and got their hits. For these ones, it is not about the society, it is about their blogs. The hits first, other things second.
Arik Air is yet to say a thing about this officially apart from their desperate Black List, but they have indeed been talking. They are speaking by proxy. A lot of those acting like they are giving personal opinion are indeed doing their job. You know personal opinion when you see one but when you see someone seemingly speaking his or her opinion, yet repeatedly attacks my person and repeatedly seeks amplification for same, it is hard to see that as opinion. Social Media is on the front burner and I am absolutely certain I helped a few people earn some money just by creating a need to defend a company. I only hope the pay is worth it because standing for my own rights has been worth it.
At the end of the day, I have done something few people have ever dared. Given the chance, I’d do it again! When the story is told, no one will remember the multi-coloured friends or the analysis, they will remember the ordinary man who stood against an organisation that even the government of the day had to let go. Rosa Parks was called names by fellow black men who felt her stand to sit when she could have stood up, walked away and avoid trouble was avoidable. There are iconoclasts and the strength of their reality is that they get to do what others never had the capacity to think about, let alone think possible.
I muted in a blog I’d seek a N50 million damage. It is my iPad and my content. It is my right and my prerogative. I never sought the damage but it has become the major line of the long abused victim who wonders how a man could first dare to go against the same people they in their normal state of being victims have learnt to bow to and then go a step further to even contemplate asking for that much. I never asked for that but yes, if I did, it’d be in order.
In the Land of many victims, the man who dares the oppressor is seen to be mad. I am mad.
When Arik Air was called out on their over N84 billion debt by the authorities, they never argued about the content and essence of the issues, instead, they chose to blackmail the minister of aviation Stella Oduah and diverted many from the issue. In a country where many have learnt to chase shadows, diversionary tactics have always been the tools of people who are accused of one crime or the other. It is a tactic perfected by huge debtors and serial tax defaulters. Who best fits the description than one of the subjects of this issue?
Isn’t it also ironic that the same people who heard about the issue being with Consumer Protection Council for over two months without anything to show for it would now advise me to go to court. In a country where justice resides in the court of law, that’d be a natural channel to have justice now but in a country where court judgements are for sale, I’d rather not bother. I will find justice elsewhere because I don’t have N84 billion to bribe judges from and even if I did have, I’d rather justice comes to the fore without bribe incentives. This is would be the anomaly in an average court and I am not about to pretend about it.
I stood for myself and my rights, not just as a citizen but as a consumer, most of those have been beaten into the victim mentality they will always see that as an affront on the norm they have come to accept as the preferable reality.
I have been put on a Black List by Arik Air along with some 25 others including a managing director with one of the industry regulators. That illegality was not communicated even though Arik Air conveniently collected my money last week for a flight and have since not refunded. In trying to board them last week, I had my agent book me on another flight. My attempt to board their flight was my own way of fueling the issue all over again. I knew I was never going to be allowed to fly. The Black List has only just changed the hue of the issue all over again and we will indeed be on this for a while. I am not a victim, I am a fighter and no man alive would cheat me and have an easy ride doing so. Never! That they can abuse and manipulate the system does not mean they will successfully do that with me. I am but one small, ordinary citizen but I will show that sometimes, being seemingly small is not being definitely weak.
“In our quest for justice, we will not tire, we will not falter, we will not fail

There was a country: Chinua Achebe breaks long silence, publishes Biafran memoir

by Isi Esene
Chinua Achebe, one of Africa’s most legendary writer, has published his long-awaited memoir about his experience during the Nigerian Civil War which broke out in 1967.
The world renowned writer has been silent about the war for over 40 years during which he acted as a roving cultural ambassador for Biafra when the south-eastern area of the country decided to secede.
Achebe, whose new work is titled ‘There was a country’, has written a lot about the failure of leadership in the country following the war but has never addressed the atrocities of the Biafran war, in which he was caught up with his young family.
Allen Lane, Achebe’s UK publisher reportedly described the memoir as “a distillation of vivid observation and considered research and reflection. It relates Nigeria’s birth pangs in the context of Achebe’s own development as a man and a writer, and examines the role of the artist in times of war.”
Achebe’s debut 1958 novel ‘Things Fall Apart’ has sold more than 10 million copies. The memoir is published in the UK on Thursday and is due to be released in Nigeria shortly.

Elnathan John: How to show Nigerian love

But lovers need to learn: A thousand words cannot work the magic of one pot of egusi soup, complete with meat, ‘assorted’ and okporoko. Present it steaming with semovita or if you can, pounded yam. You will not need to say anything.
To quote D’Banj, “love is a beautiful thing”.
I have not met the man, but I know he meant Nigerian love, which is a species totally different from the heresy practised by oyibo people in the name of love. Our love is not of short-lived flowers and long meaningless walks in the park. As a person dedicated to your hustle, I have undertaken to provide wisdom that will protect you from falling into such heresies.
This is how to show Nigerian love.
Nigerian love is pragmatic. Words are a waste of time. Every true Nigerian knows how little the words ‘I love you’ mean. Except of course you are in Europe and need to quickly marry someone to get residency. Nigerian love is a very material concept. When you hear rich couples attend events and say those nebulous words, ‘I love you’ to each other, what they do not tell you is how they really say it. God will judge them for trying to mislead new couples.
Cook for your man. Nigerian wives know this already. But lovers need to learn: A thousand words cannot work the magic of one pot of egusi soup, complete with meat, ‘assorted’ and okporoko. Present it steaming with semovita or if you can, pounded yam. You will not need to say anything. He will wear a smile that says ‘I know you love me’. His friends, on learning that the wondrous dish was made by you, will proclaim, ‘O boy! Dis girl like you well well o’. In Nigerian pidgin, to like ‘well well’ is to love practically and ‘o’ as an intensifier for ‘well-well’ has no real English equivalent. The closest I can say is that it means love to a superlative degree.
Cooking for him entitles you to show your love in another very important way: checking his phone. So, you have cooked for him and he has shown his gratitude by sweating profusely and promptly falling asleep on your couch. This is the time to dive for his phone and read all his text messages. You will find something. If you don’t, go through his call records- you are likely to find calls to or from an Amaka after he said he needed to rest last night. Whether you choose to further show your love by harassing him about it immediately, or choose to hold on it as part of your arsenal during your next big quarrel is up to you. You know what works best for your man.
Loving Nigerian men always pay. There is no exception to this rule. Not even if she has watched plenty DSTV and pretends that she wants to split the bill. If a Nigerian girl offers to pay reject it like Jesus rejected Satan’s evil temptation with bread. Don’t even act like it is a discussion. Ignore her attempts at checking her purse and quickly settle the bill. This is true love. This also applies if she is out with one, two or three friends. Whether you choose to show your love quietly, by excusing yourself and going to settle the enormous bill, or with panache, by screaming, ‘How much is MY bill?’ is up to you. You know what works best for your woman.
As a loving Nigerian woman, never ask who his female friends are. Even if you find him in a compromising situation with a woman who refuses to greet you. Nigerian love ignores such things. It makes excuses on his behalf- she may be his colleague, business partner or member of his prayer group. Nigerian love is good like that. This doesn’t however mean that you can do the same. Nigerian love has very gender specific rules. They do not apply both ways. The only exception to this rule is if the Nigerian man does not ‘pay’.
Deny her the company of any male who is not her relative. This is important. In Nigeria, a jealous man is a loving man. If she is on the phone, watch her demeanour. If she is excited, ask her who it is. By ‘who?’ you mean all the details- name, gender, nature of relationship, process and length of acquaintance, subject of conversation, the whole works. She knows this. You own the franchise of her happiness and no other man is allowed to make her laugh on the phone. If you fail to do this, even she will begin to doubt your love. You cannot afford to let this to happen.
Never ever, as a Nigerian man do stupid things like go into the kitchen to cook. This is forbidden territory. Not even if you are starving and she is on the bed complaining of cramps. There is no better way to truncate your romantic hustle than doing the dishes after she has spent hours making your favourite dish. This is like jumping into a river with concrete slab tied to your neck. There is no recovery from it. God will judge all the foreign film makers who have introduced the dangerous illusion of this being a romantic thing. In fact when you answer the door and it is your neighbour asking if you have a baking tin or big pot, vehemently deny knowledge of anything that goes on in the kitchen and ask her to hold on for your woman. It will be a tragedy for you to introduce doubts about your masculinity in your woman’s mind. May God protect us from tragedies.
It is my hope that as you enjoy foreign romance movies or romance novels, you do not get carried away by them. Stick to my advice and God will bless your romantic hustle.

This president is a trainee president’ – Again, the ACN hits Jonathan

by Stanley Azuakola

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has once again come out to strongly criticise Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, calling him a “leader in training.”
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, listed the president’s offence this time as his alleged poor response to the multiple challenges that the country’s currently facing.
The party’s criticism was contained in a statement which Mohammed issued in Ilorin on Thursday.
“How else can one describe the administration’s lack of capacity to be proactive or respond in a timely and robust manner to the recent catalogue of woes and national calamities?”
ACN argued that the Jonathan administration has shown itself to be nothing but a ‘government in internship,’ due to the persistence of the Boko Haram insurgency, resulting in more deaths almost every day, the carnage on the nation’s roads, policy somersault, and the slow and uncertain responses to national issues.
On the deadly flooding which has affected various states, the ACN wondered why the President had neither deemed it fit to comment on the incident, nor had there been any visit by a minister or any coordinated response to the disaster from the Federal Government.
However, that claim by the ACN is faulty. Both Nigeria’s ministers of wworks and environment visited Lokoja on Monday over the flooding incident, where they expressed the concern of President Jonathan over the incident and directed three construction companies to begin work on clearing the flooded Lokoja-Abuja expressway.
The ACN claimed that on a weekend of multiple disasters such as the Lokoja flooding, the Bauchi bomb blast, and the two weeks of non-stop flooding in the country, all the news that came from the president’s end was his trip to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
Mohammed said that was enough proof that the welfare of Nigerians was certainly not a priority
to this government.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Part the waters: FG orders three construction companies to deal with flooding on Lokoja-Abuja road in three days

by Stanley Azuakola

As the nation continues to grapple with the disastrous floods that have disrupted lives in various parts of the nation, two federal cabinet ministers paid a courtesy call on the Gov. Of Kogi State, Idris Wada on Monday. Kogi is one of the states which has been worst hit by the floods.
The two ministers who visited are those of works, Mike Onolememen and environment, Hadiza Mailafa.
At that meeting, Onolememen disclosed that the FG has directed three construction companies to free the submerged Lokoja-Abuja Road from flooding within three days.
The minister said the president was deeply touched by the flooding in Kogi because it affected key national structures and threatened the link between the northern and southern parts of the country.
“We are here on the behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan; he has been deeply touched by the sufferings of Nigerians affected by the flood; it is a national emergency. It has touched on key national infrastructure because the Abuja-Lokoja highway accounts for 70% of traffic between the north and south,’’ Onolememen said.
He further disclosed that he brought the managing directors of three construction companies namely Julius Berger, RCC and Dantata and Sawoe and their teams to assess the impact and address the situation.
He described the flooding as unprecedented. “We have additional two-metre rise in water level; we have conducted air reconnaissance and we are sure to redress the logjam within the next few days.’’
On her part, Hajia Hadiza Mailafia, the Minister of Environment, urged the people to always obey simple environmental laws.

Sanusi’s currency misadventure


Sanusi’s currency misadventure

Scoops: the frantic digging for hot, steamy, exclusive stories, is the journalistic equivalent of a military coup de tat. Both scenarios involve discreet, meticulous, strategies and manoeuvres, and then, springing the ultimate surprise when you strike. Confounding your friends and dazing the opponent.
Coups and scoops sound alike. Not surprising, as both entail almost the same consequences of failure: death. Physical death for the plotters in the case of the former, and material death in the latter. A warehouse of unsold copies. A newspaper consigned to mediocrity. Unremarked. Unheralded. A vanishing act as time goes on. And the total eclipse from the newsstands eventually. Little wonder, scoops are called the artery of a newspaper.
At the formal launch of The Blueprint newspaper to mark its one year in the market last Thursday in Abuja, my colleague, Femi Adesina, drew the audiences’ attention to the similarity between scoops and coups. Reviewing the newspaper (which I had the privilege of doing on his behalf), Femi drew wide applause from the distinguished gathering when he dug deep into what happens when a newspaper successfully executes the coup of scoops.
Former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (Special Guest Lecturer), himself a veteran of many successful coups, during the rampaging days of the military, suppressed a guffaw when allusions were made to the similarities between the two, especially when the reviewer deliberately emphasised the statement: “like coups, scoops are planned…scoops, like coups, are planned.” Not only the gap-toothed General, the whole audience went into a fit of laughter.
The message, whatever it was, am sure was not lost. Everyone must have drawn whatever interpretation it wanted from the statement of the reviewer. Talking about coups, I hereby submit in today’s column that if Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, were not a banker, he surely could have been a soldier. Not just a soldier, a ‘coup plotter.’ I am speaking figuratively now. Here is what I mean: like a soldier, Sanusi is bold and courageous.
He talks tough, almost brashly. He does not give a damn whose ox is gored as long as he believes he is on the right track or convinced on the correctness of his cause. And like a soldier, Sanusi loves to plan discreetly. He loves to spring surprises. He loves to do the seemingly unthinkable and ‘undo-able’. If he were in the military, Sanusi’s make-up is the stuff that institution would have been proud of.
That individualistic pursuit of your convictions or decisions. The strong man taking on strong actions. However, for the Kano blueblood, what we have is a civilian dispensation. A democracy or, as the critics would say, a rough version of it. Under this era, no one man, no matter how brilliant or knowledgeable he believes he and his team are, can unilaterally take a decision that has profound impact on the lives of the collective. That’s what Sanusi has often attempted to do since he took office as the nation’s No.1 banker. He’s talked and done tough things.
Some we have applauded, but many we have felt shocked and disturbed over. For me, I have found it difficult to understand why a man should always prefer to swim in troubled waters. Does it give him the kick whenever he wallows in controversy? May be. Some people, I believe, are just like that. They relish the limelight of controversies. If there are none, they become sick; and hurriedly create one. So, be it with Sanusi. Back to what I was saying.
Sanusi has done a few positive things, in my non-economist’s view, that truly made some of us glad. The sanitisation of the so-called Soludo consolidation was a Sanusi ‘coup’ that freaked me. With the zeal of an angry Mullah, the swashbuckling man had taken a horsewhip through the back of some bank’s CEOs who couldn’t differentiate between depositors’ funds and free money, which they deployed to the lavish lifestyle of a monarch in Asia or the Arab world.
Many, I am told, owned private jets and exotic yachts. Under Charles Soludo, a Professor of Economics, the banks and their CEOs simply consolidated our collective funds and lived life to the hilt. While some of the banks were either collapsing or in fact, nearer their graves, Soludo gave them a clean bill of health as they maintained a facade of buoyancy and robustness. However, Sanusi entered with a flaming sword and cleaned the place inside out. He opened the Pandora box, revealing a cesspit of stench. Mind-bogging skeletons of fraud crept out of sealed vaults.
Even though Sanusi was said to be ethnically motivated in the clean up exercise, I didn’t think so. I thought some of his accusers were just talking crap, as no one could prove in absolute terms that those accused of fleecing the banks did not have their hands soiled one way or the other. Even as the cases appeared stalled in the courts, it is to Sanusi’s credit that the hitherto untouchable bank czars are having their day with justice on account of their alleged misdemeanours.
Something that was unheard of in times past. Today, those entrusted with people’s money would think twice before helping themselves to a generous dose of the filthy lucre. I also was quite enthused by Sanusi’s altercation with the law makers over the bogus budget allocation to the National Assembly. At the 8th convocation of the Igbinedion University, Okada, the CBN helmsman had, in a lecture, declared that 25 percent of the federal budget was appropriated for the law makers, and expended on all kinds of items, including, of course, the frivolous.
The legislators screamed blue murder, and promptly summoned him. They wanted a retraction. But, not Sanusi. He stood by what was credited to him in the media. When it was being suggested that his statement was anti-democratic, Sanusi would take none of that. He said: “I am here( at the CBN job) at your pleasure. I am not thinking of quitting, but if you want me to quit, I will gladly do so. I was one of those who fought for democracy. That I did not contest an election does not mean that I do not believe in democracy.” End of session.
End of the drama of summoning the CBN governor to ‘eat his words.’ I wrote in this column then when the issue raged: “At the end of the whole event, Sanusi ended up, in my view, a hero. He portrayed himself as a man with strong balls. For standing up to his views, he earned my respect and I guess, that of millions of Nigerians. He didn’t say he was misquoted. He didn’t try to modify his views or make his statement more pleasant to the ears of the enraged Senators. He simply restated his position despite the bullying tactics employed by Senator Iyiola Omisore and his committee members.” But, ever since , he has, in my opinion, suffered a somersault.
He has continued to plot the wrong kind of ‘coups.’ From the controversy over religious banking, to the ill-advised donation in Kano and Madalla, to the thoughtless proposed introduction of the new N5,000 currency, Sanusi has been putting the wrong foot forward. And this is quite sad for a man I really liked and spoke with on telephone on two or three occasions commending him for his forthrightness and proactive disposition. Please, permit me not to comment on the first two subjects as the disquiet over them appear to have died down and so doing would be akin to reopening old wounds.
Instead, it is the N5,000 currency controversy(which happily has been killed and hopefully, buried forever) that demands a critical evaluation. I straightaway pitch my tent with the many commentators who kicked against the move. Like the preponderance of views expressed, I honestly thought it was a patently confused and confusing idea. Sanusi was approbating and reprobating at the same time, as the lawyers would say. A man who screamed himself hoarse on the cashless policy was, also, at the same time, sounding the drum beats for a higher currency denomination.
Don’t carry cash, then carry a lot of cash in higher denomination. That sounded incoherent. And when the same man began to hurl verbal missiles at opponents of his organisation’s proposed programme, I thought he had gone beyond the limits. How could he call a whole former head of state and president an illiterate in economic matters. It doesn’t matter whether you like or dislike Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. As a Nigerian, like other Nigerians, he had the inalienable right to express his opinion on a public issue. And that was what he was doing. Sanusi, a man paid by all of us tax payers, didn’t have the right to blow such whiff of hot air over a public issue.
He is, after all, supposed to be a public servant, serving all of us. Sanusi’s irritation with criticisms over the controversial new note clearly displayed a negative attitude that has become common place in government arena. And it should stop forthwith, if our country must make progress. Elected, appointed or otherwise, those who serve in government are not necessarily more knowledgeable than other Nigerians who are not in government. They are only privileged. No more.
It is indeed, a welcome relief that this issue of a higher denomination of Nigerian currency has died a well-deserved death. Sanusi’s ‘coup’ of a new currency was, in my view, a coup against the poor people of Nigeria. A coup against the artisans, the unemployed, the market woman, the civil servant, and those who would have been further impoverished by it, because it wouldn’t have uplifted their standard of living in any appreciable manner.
If, anything, Sanusi’s aborted N5,000 note would only have created an illusion of grandeur. Let’s toast to the failed ‘coup,’ fellow Nigerians. A piece of advice to my friend, Comrade Sanusi: let the sleeping dog lie forever!

Maltina Dance All Season 6 ends in grand style, as Green family is crowned champion

Nicolaas Vervelde; Managing Director Nigerian Breweries and Mrs. Adejoke Orelope Adefulire; Deputy Governor Lagos state present cheque to Green family, MDA 6 winners.
by Isi Esene
The Expo Centre of the Eko Hotel and Suites hosted the grand-finale of Maltina Dance All family reality show sponsored by Maltina, a premium malt brand from the stable of Nigerian Breweries Plc. The reality show saw five families jostling for the N6 million grand prize of the foremost family reality show in the country.
After a stiff and grueling competition, the Green family won the grand prize and a brand new Toyota Avensis car. In their dance to fortune, the Greens held the large crowd who witnessed the show spellbound earning a loud ovation after they were announced winners of the competition.
They were presented with a cheque and the key to their car by the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, who was the special guest of honour at the grand finale.
The Green family alongside the Efiokwu, Boyle, Zibe and Eghove families gave their last performance to thrill the audience and boost their votes. The Green family however emerged winners after garnering the largest votes, while Efiokwu and Eghove families emerged first and second runners taking home N1million and N500,000 respectively.
Ibiba Green, the family representative, could not hide her tears of joy as she gave thanks to God for making it possible for her family to be crowned winners. Also, Mrs. Telema Green, the mother, expressed her joy and gratitude for being winners. She sang praises to God for making her family champions. She disclosed that the money would be used to further the education of all her children.
Speaking at the event, Nicolaas Verlvede, Managing Director, Nigeria Breweries Plc said, “It was a fantastic event. All five families really did an outstanding job. They gave great performances and great entertainment”.
He promised that the Season 7 of the family reality show would be even more captivating.
The evening started with the Zibe family performing to the song of eight time Grammy award winning artiste Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain”. Next on stage was the Green family who exhibited sublime dancing skills when they danced to the music of Ice-Prince.
The Eghove family thrilled the audience with a performance of popular Ghanaian dance style ‘Azonto’. The Boyle family certainly had every reason to be grateful to God for bringing their family this far in the competition; thus, they gave a wonderful dance performance of Lara George’s ‘Ijoba Orun’ song.
The Efiokwu family was the last on stage, they danced to P-Square’s club banger ‘Chop My Money’ to a wide applause from the audience.
After a scintillating and highly explosive performance from the five families, the audience waited in anticipation to know which of them would emerge winner of the N6m cash prize and brand new car.
The Green family was later pronounced winner of MDA 6 with the Zibe and Boyle families taking fourth and fifth respectively after the Efiokwu and Eghove families who took second and third.
Janell Burgess, one of the judges in the elimination stage, said “I am so proud of all the families that performed tonight. They embodied what we really cherish here in Maltina which is family unity. One thing so special about Nigeria is that its peoples really value and appreciate family. Here in Maltina, we promote family unity and dance as an art. I’m so pleased with the progression of Maltina with the MDA, it has shown that dance is a living and breathing profession that can serve as a unifying factor in society and can also be adopted as a profession by the families.”
She stated that over the years, there has always been a tremendous improvement each year in the dance performances of the families because, according to her: “Dancing is an ongoing process, Maltina created the MDA Academy to teach families more about the art of dancing, the way to move and adjust their bodies to different types of music. We basically educate them on dance styles and patterns, so every year; it is only going to get better as the education also gets stronger”.
See photos of the grand finale below:
Omotayo Idris.
Adetoun Agboluaje.
Joe Agbator.
Deola Alawaye.
Bukola Daranijo.
Kenneth Onyemaka.
Desola Ojebiyi.
Muyiwa Osinaike.
Mary Ochugbua.
Mary Ukohea.
Nero Oterai.
Taofeek Oropo.
Racheal Ogunjumo.
Princess Edoho.
Onyeka Okoli (Export Manager, Nigeria Breweries).
Teju Falade Kimora.
Kemi Adetiba (Host, Maltina Dance All).
Malta Dance All judges - Janell Burgess, Muyiwa Osinaike and Michael Adegoke.
Nicolaas Vervelde (MD, Nigeria Breweries Plc.), Adejoke Orelope Adefulire (Deputy Governor, Lagos State) & Mrs. Vervelde.

The families go on stage for the grand finale:
The Green family on stage.
The Eghovie family on stage.
The Zibe family on stage.
The Efiokwu family on stage.
The Boyle family on stage.
Judges and trainers performing on stage.
Adejoke Orelope Adefulire (Deputy Governor, Lagos State) presenting the Green Family with the N6m Prize Money.