Friday, July 31, 2009

The Iloba Family Lose Appeal to stay in Britain

After weeks of fighting to stay in Britain. The Iloba family have lost the appeal submitted to British Immigration authorities by Rochdale's MP, Paul Rowen, and now face deportation back to Nigeria.

The Home Office immigration minister Phil Woolas told MP Paul Rowen that "the circumstances for the case are not sufficiently compelling or compassionate as to warrant the exercise of my discretion in their favour"

The Iloba family now face persecution back in Nigeria where their father was murdered in a politically motivated killing.

MP Paul Rowen released this statement:

"This is a sad end to a case that we have fought so hard for."

"The Iloba Family have made a significant impact and touched many lives and I am saddened that their positive contribution to Greater Manchester has been ignored. This case is about the Government attempting to sound tough on immigration and any compassion has gone out of the window. Their friends, teachers and fellow church goers will be devastated."

Rochdale Online

Related stories: Iloba family deported

Aspiring Nigerian family in Britain fear deportation

Deportation case of Nigerian family in Britain currently being reviewed

Video report of Nigerians rioting in China, first ever protest by foreign Nationals in China

CNN's video report on the Illegal drug trade in Nigeria

CNN does an in depth video report on the escalating illegal drug trade in Nigeria. Christian Purefoy covers all sides of the table by engaging the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), a drug trafficker, and even the drug users in Nigeria.

Related stories: Two Nigerian drug drug traffickers excrete 160 wraps of Cocaine while in custody

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Two Nigerian drug traffickers excrete 160 wraps of Cocaine while in custody

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) arrested two suspected drug traffickers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Nigeria.

A drug test on the suspects carried out by NDLEA agents came out positive, but the suspects shocked the agents by insistently refuting the results of the test. One of the suspects, Emmanuel Nwada Izuchukwu, threatened to commit suicide at the departure hall of the aiport, claiming that NDLEA agents accused him wrongly.

Both suspects were held by NDLEA agents for several hours as part of the process used on suspected drug traffickers that usually results in suspects excreting the illegal drugs they harbor.  To the surprise of the Airport Commander of the agency, Alhaji Hamisu Lawal, the suspects did not expel the illegal substances as soon as expected but the Commander ordered a continuous test and observation on the suspects.

After 48 hours, the first suspect to crack was 48 year old Systems Engineer, Uche Manifesto, who was arrested during screening of passengers of a British Airways flight to London. The father of two who  insistently maintained he was wrongly accused and detained by NDLEA agents finally began excreting wraps of cocaine on the second day in detention. The total count of cocaine wraps he excreted came to 100 wraps weighing 1.6kg. He confessed that the ingestion was a special one and said he was promised 6,000 pound sterling if he succeeded.

The second suspect, a 26 year old trader, Emmanuel Nwada Izuchukwu was arrested on an Ethiopian Airways flight to Dubai. Shortly after Uche Manifesto's excretion, Emmanuel excreted 60 wraps of cocaine weighing 850grams. He was expected to make 3,000 pound sterling if he was successful in trafficking the illegal drugs.

When asked why he kept on refuting the accusations NDLEA agents made, this is what Emmanuel said: 

"I felt bad when I was arrested. I did not know what to do. It was like my world has ended."

Chairman of the NDLEA Ahmadu Giade commended his agents for a job well done and released this statement:

"We are not moved by academic qualification, composure and accent of drug suspects. They are diversionary tactics that we will not succumb to."


Related stories: Nigerian drug enforcement agency arrest 50 year old woman with 585g of cocaine

Video report on Nigerian criminals using Asian women as drug mules

CNN's video report on the Drug War in Nigeria

Training school belonging to Islamic radical group Boko Haram found in Taraba, Nigeria

The school known as Alfuqran Islamic School was revealed to be right behind the Motor Traffic Division of the Nigerian police force in Taraba, Nigeria. The owner, who's been identified as just Salihu, closed down the school on Saturday and relocated to Maiduguri with his immediate family.

Chairman of the state chapter of Muslim Council, Alhaji Inuwa Jauro Manu, said some of their children attended the school but were withdrawn after learning about their curriculum. Alhaji Manu said some of the children told them they were instructed not to eat Maggi and any other western product.

Alhaji Manu denounced the school because its teachings were against Islam. He advised the government to always investigate school proprietors before giving them license to operate and also called on Muslim parents to ensure that they know who is teaching their children.

Alhaji Manu blames security forces in the country for allowing radical groups like Boko Haram to grow unchecked.

The Commissioner of Education, Mr. Anthony Ada, disclosed that the school was operating illegally, as it was not registered by the ministry.

This Day

Related stories: Police on Red Alert in Nigeria's capital Abuja

Video report of Islamist attacks spreading across Nigeria

Nigeria ranked 15th in the 2009 index of failed states in the world

Video and transcript of Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf interrogated before his execution

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Video report on latest counter attack by Nigerian security forces on radical Islamist group Boko Haram

Watch Security forces counter attack Boko Haram in News  |  View More Free Videos Online at

The video report shows Nigerian security forces latest offensive on the radical Islamist group Boko Haram (Education is Sin). Viewer discretion advised.

Related stories: Police on Red Alert in Nigeria's capital Abuja

Video report of Islamist attacks spreading across Nigeria

Video and transcript of Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf interrogated before his execution

Police on Red Alert in Nigeria's capital Abuja

Over 50 police vehicles, including armoured cars, were on patrol on selected streets in the capital of Nigeria, Abuja as a counter measure to recent clashes between polices forces and the Islamic fundamentalist group called Boko Haram (Education is Sin) that has so far left over a hundred people dead in Northern Nigeria.

The Assistant Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Ojukwu released this statement about the patrol in Abuja:

"There is no problem in Abuja. Area is calm and peaceful, and as for the mobile policemen on patrol, they are just performing their statutory duty of protecting lives and properties. There is nothing abnormal about their patrol. No cause for alarm."

This Day

Related stories: Video report of Islamist attacks spreading across Nigeria

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sani Abacha's Son getting into Politics

Alhaji Muhammad Abacha, eldest son of deceased President of Nigeria, General Sani Abacha, announced he will be entering partisan politics.

He explained to journalists that he is going into politics to first understudy the situation, pointing out that his finding will determine the likely areas of improvement:

"We are going in first to understudy the situation and we must be proud of what we have. If in the end there are areas for improvement we will certainly lend a helping hand." Muhammad said.

When asked to comment on the situation in Nigeria, he said, "Nigeria is too big to be generalized."


Related story: Video of Obasanjo in the hot seat in Hardtalk interview

Monday, July 27, 2009

Video report of Islamist attacks spreading across Nigeria

It's been reported that about a hundred people have been killed in the Islamist attacks that started in Bauchi state and have so far spread across northern Nigeria. The video report has more details.

Related stories: Video - Residents worry about their future in Jos, Nigeria

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10 minute video recap of crisis in the Niger Delta, from Ken Saro Wiwa to Present

Marlon Jackson visits Nigeria

Marlon Jackson arrived Nigeria last Wednesday. The brother of the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson is in Nigeria to work on various creative projects to help bring peace to the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. A peace foundation is being set-up by the Jackson family to tackle the crisis in the Niger Delta according to Marlon Jackson:

"We are setting up Michael Jackson Peace Foundation to tackle the crisis in the Niger Delta. We are going to look at the various options available to achieve peace in the region. Michael loved people, he loved peace and we will try everything to achieve that."

"I want leaders and various groups to love one another. We all want a peaceful environment globally. We must spread love and give peace a chance and understand one another. I tell you this will bring solution to the world."

He is also in Nigeria to endorse and approve a Michael Jackson Memorial Concert coordinated by Mr. Bolaji Rosiji's Guranga Foundation and Alhaji Teju Kareem's Zmirage/ZMC.

This is Marlon Jackson's second visit to Nigeria. He visited Nigeria last May to work on the Motherland Beckons Project that's planned to make Africa a Mecca and haven for tourists. He said the Jacksons will be performing in a concert in Nigeria in the near future.

This Day

Related stories: Video of R Kelly talking about his fear of flying and his relationship with Michael Jackson during visit to Nigeria

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Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje talks G.I. Joe

Nigerian Briton Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje who’s been in major movies like Bourne Identity, The Mummy Returns, Ace Ventura, and also played an unforgettable role as Mr. Eko in the hit TV series Lost talks about his new role in the upcoming blockbuster release of G.I. Joe in the video interview up top. G.I. Joe is a movie based on a popular action figure line and cartoon series.

In the video interview Adewale corrects a particularly embarrassing gaffe the interviewer makes. I can imagine how that would have ended the interview with other Hollywood celebrities but Adewale seems to be a pretty cool dude!

Related stories:Nollywood will win international award

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Clash between security forces and radical Islamist group leave dozens dead in Nigeria

Earlier today an Islamist militant group attacked a police station in Bauchi, Nigeria. Nigerian national police spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu released this statement:

"A group of fundamentalists this morning attacked a police station in Bauchi state," 

"They were armed with guns, bows and arrows and explosives. There were some casualties but I cannot say how many for now."

According to a report by AFP news agency, as many as 42 people were killed in the clash and dozens of people injured.

The situation was brought under control and members of the radical Islamist group were arrested according to police spokesman, Mohammed Barau.

The radical Islamist group is known as Boko Haram, members of the group are seeking to impose sharia law across Nigeria. A group member said they want to "clean the (Nigerian) system which is polluted by Western education and uphold sharia all over the country".


Related stories: Video report of Islamist attacks spreading across Nigeria

Nigeria ranked 15th in the 2009 index of failed states in the world


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hillary Clinton visiting Nigeria next month

The U.S. Secretary of State and former First Lady, Hillary Clinton will be visiting Nigeria in August according to a letter of notification received by the Nigerian Foreign Affairs Ministry from the U.S. State Department.

Hillary Clinton is expected to meet with President Umaru Yar'Adua and discuss issues affecting both countries. Particularly the Niger Delta crisis in Nigeria.

U.S. import of crude oil from Nigeria is on the rise with Nigeria recording a 16.2 percent increase in its crude oil export to the U.S. last year.

A source from the foreign ministry made this statement: "The U.S. government is keen about a speedy resolution of the Niger Delta crisis because Nigeria is a key source of crude oil  for the U.S. This is why it is top of the agenda."

Other issues that Hillary Clinton will be discussing with Yar'Adua are corruption and electoral reforms in Nigeria.

This Day

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jay Jay Okocha appointed Football Ambassador

Nigerian football Legend Jay Jay Okocha has been appointed as an ambassador of football by Guinness. The managing Director of Guinness, Devlin Hainsworth, made the announcement in Lagos, Nigeria:

"Jay Jay Okocha is a huge icon in Nigeria and as a football star his name is known all around the world. He is a great figure to be associated with and truly reflects Greatness as well as inspiring it in others. There will be many opportunities for our loyal adorers to see the work we will be doing with Jay Jay in the coming months. In particular we look forward to working with him on Arthur Guinness Day later this year and with our Reach for Greatness Football activities as well as helping us to spread the responsible drinking message"

Jay Jay Okocha shared his appreciation of being made an ambassador  "This is an honour to me and I promise to uphold the values associated with the role of a soccer ambassador."

The former Bolton captain will be featured in a new advertising campaign as part of his new role as ambassador. The campaign will coincide with the start of the English Premier League (EPL) season and the sponsorship by Guinness of EPL broadcasts in Africa.


Related stories: Football Legend Pele predicts Africa has a great chance of making it to the World Cup Final

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512 kidnappings in Nigeria this year

Minister of Police Affairs Ibrahim Yakubu Lame disclosed that 512 people were kidnapped this year alone and 30 out of the 512 died in the hands of their kidnappers. In 2008, 353 people were kidnapped and only 2 captives lost their lives.

Kidnappings in Nigeria began rising in 2006 when militants in the Niger Delta started kidnapping expatriates for ransom.

This sharp increase in Kidnappings in Nigeria is said to have been brought by politicians using militants for their own political agendas according to the minister:

"The question of militants started as a political move. Politicians use them. Gradually it degenerated from mere agitation to militancy. It became very disheartening to government that money has now become the central point for criminal situation in the Niger Delta."

"We have realized that most of the cases of kidnapping are internally generated especially within the family. The action which started from kidnapping of oil expatriates, moved to men of God and children. The police is very concerned about the life of those kidnapped."

The minister added a bill providing stiffer punishment for kidnappers has been submitted to the National Assembly. N7.45 billion ($49.33 million) has also been budgeted this year to provide special security for Lagos, Port Harcourt, Onitsha, Kano, Abuja, Maidugri and Kaduna. Plans are on the way to build six forensic laboratories in each of the six geo-political zones and also provide mobile forensic labs.


Related stories: Kidnapping culture in Nigeria on the rise

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nigerian militants release kidnapped sailors

Six foreign crew members of an oil tanker kidnapped by Nigerian militants MEND (Movement for the emancipation of the Niger Delta) three weeks ago have been released.

MEND said the release of the hostages was part of the 60-day cease fire announced. They are hoping "the Nigerian government would reciprocate."

The militant group also wants the Nigerian military to withdraw its troops from the Gbaramatu community in Delta State, and allow displaced people to return home.


Related stories:MEND kidnap crew from oil tanker

10 minute video recap of the oil war in the Niger Delta of Nigeria from Ken Saro Wiwa to Present

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nigeria ranked 15th in the 2009 index of failed states in the world in collaboration with The Fund for Peace have released The Failed States Index for 2009. Nigeria is ranked 15th in the list of failed states in the world.

Somalia tops the list with Zimbabwe, Sudan, Chad, and Democratic Republic of Congo rounding up the top 5 failed states in the world. For the complete list that consists of 60 countries click here.

Related stories: Oil War

Nation in Darkness

Forensics show that Stella Obasanjo's death was avoidable

The death of former first lady, Stella Obasanjo was avoidable with suitable treatment administered during the liposuction operation that lead to her death as declared by a Spanish forensic scientist during the criminal prosecution case being deliberated in Spain.

The physician noted that Stella Obasanjo had perforations in her liver and abdomen and the quantity of liquids given to her after an intervention was "insufficient", she also had symptoms of shock.

According to the expert, the evidence of shock could have been detected "hours earlier" and with a blood test and an ultrasound scan it would have been possible for the doctor to detect the symptoms of a shock. The accused doctor could have detected the complications approximately 10 hours before her death.

The accused is a plastic surgeon from a Molding Clinic in Marbella, Spain. He is charged with the 2005 death of Mrs. Obasanjo and faces two years in prison and a five year ban from practicing if found guilty.


Related story: Criminal prosecution case against surgeon charged with Stella Obasanjo's death begins in Spain

Monday, July 20, 2009

Nigerian Philanthropist gives 5,000 students scholarships

Alhaji Lawan Umar Shakka gave scholarships to about 5,000 students in Kano State, Nigeria. The philanthropist explained that the scholarship will help the students cushion the cost of pursuing an education:

"It's part of my policy to ensure that students of Ungogo Local Government Area and it's environs benefited from the gesture."

Alhaji Shakka added that the President's 7-point agenda is in dire need of people to support the government's policy and that his scholarship program will help President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua's administration by assisting people to find employment, which will improve the country economically.

This Day

Related stories: Nigerian bank spends 5 million Naira on scholarships for 100 students

New American TV Show The Philanthropist starts in Nigeria

Deportation case of Nigerian family in Britain currently being reviewed

The immigration authorities in Britain previously dismissed a campaign started by Rochdale MP Paul Rowen and Manchester Blackley MP Graham Stringer to keep the Nigerian family in Britain. But have now agreed to review the case after mounted pressure from the public and media.

A bail hearing will decide whether the family can go back to Rochdale while the case is being reviewed. Usually a cash guarantee must be offered, so a fundraiser has been started by friends and supporters for the Iloba family currently in detention at Yarl's Wood detention centre pictured above. Teachers and pupils from North Manchester High School have so far donated hundreds of pounds to prevent the deportation of Saskia Iloba and her family.

It's been reported that crucial documents to support the claim that Mr. Iloba was murdered, including a copy of his death certificate and a DVD of his funeral had been sent to immigration authorities in Britain but were never acknowledged.

Rochdale MP Paul Rowen said he was urgently seeking confirmation that the items were received.

Rochdale Online News  managed to meet with the family currently at the Yarl's Wood detention centre. Saskia Iloba shared her harrowing experience with Rochdale Online News:

In an exclusive interview with Rochdale Online News yesterday (Saturday 19 July), the family spoke of the moment 13 officers in bullet proof vests burst into their Falinge home and arrested them on 6 July, before trying to force them on a plane to Nigeria.

Saskia, 17, was naked in her bedroom when officers came in and told her she had 20 minutes to gather all her belongings.

She said: “I froze in shock, sort of waiting for them to say sorry and leave the room.

“But they didn’t, they stood there and watched me get dressed. I was horrified and really scared.

“I felt like I had done something really terrible, like I’d murdered someone or something.”

The former Head Girl at North Manchester High School looked away as she fought tears, before adding: “We have never hurt anyone, and we are being kept here like animals.

“This place is hell on Earth; we are sleeping on thin mattresses and eating the worst food I have ever tasted."

She continued: “It’s like they’re trying to break us; trying to make us give in and go to Nigeria, but we are trying to keep each other strong.

"I have started to lose my hair with the stress. That hasn't happened since my dad died."

For more on the interview with Rochdale Online News please click here

manchestereveningnews      Rochdale Online

Related story: Aspiring Nigerian family in Britain fear deportation

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Nigerian militants to get N65,000 ($437.54) on a monthly basis from amnesty deal

In addition to the 60-day ceasefire that has so far suspended militant attacks on oil production installations. About 10,000 militants could be getting N65,000 ($437.54) on a monthly basis.

According to the chief coordinator of the Amnesty Implementation Committee, Air Vice Marshal Lucky Ararile, the federal government has budgeted N200 million ($1.346 million) to feed 10,000 militants that will turn up to lay down their weapons at 50 to 60 camps dispersed across the Niger Delta.

The chief made these statements:

"We are working on about 10,000 militants. Each militant will receive an allowance of N20,000 ($134.63) per month in addition to N1,500 ($10.10) per day for food while at a reintegration centre, translating to N65,000 ($437.54) a month.

"Disarmament and demobilisation part of the programme will last 60 days. Thereafter, the reintegration programme is indeterminate."

Ararile said some militants have already surrendered their arms but declined to give a specific figure.

For more details please click here

Related stories:Nigerian government prepared to do anything for peace in the Niger Delta

Video of MEND leader Henry Okah released after militant attacks in Lagos, Nigeria

Nigerian militants declare ceasefire

Aspiring Nigerian family in Britain fear deportation

After four years of living in Britain. Saskia Iloba (in the picture above) and her family face deportation back to Nigeria because British authorities claim the family did not provide a strong enough case to remain in Britain.

The family fled Nigeria four years ago after their father was murdered. They say the death of their father (who was a policeman) was a politically motivated killing and potential danger awaits them if they return  to Nigeria.

17 year old Saskia Iloba, was a head girl at North Manchester High School and was studying for her A-levels. She's planning to become a doctor. Her 18 year old brother, Toby, had just completed his A-Levels at Loreto College in Manchester and was looking into studying economics at university, he's also into football and had a trial with Stockport County. The youngest sibling, 14 year old Emanuel, is a great footballer, he was scouted by several English Premier League clubs and began  training with Bolton Wanderers. He also signed a sponsorship deal with major German sportswear company Puma.

A request for a review into the Iloba family's right to stay in Britain was recently denied. The entire family,including their mother Betty, were taken from their home in Falinge, Rochdale, and are now awaiting deportation in Yarl's Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire.

Saskia Iloba made a farewell speech at school that brought tears to pupils and staff of North Manchester High according to head Marian Catterall:

"In all my years of teaching, I have never come across a better ambassador for young people."

"After leaving on the prom, she made a speech and told all the girls that they were some of the luckiest people and they had received a wonderful education and should go out and lead good lives."

"Everyone had tears in their eyes. She made the best speech I had ever heard."

It is astonishing that someone like this, who has so much to offer, is being forced out of the country."

Their mother, Mrs Iloba, says she now fears for her children's safety:

"The People who murdered my husband had threatened us before. I thought we could get safety here."

"I am so worried for my children. They are going to give me serious problems when I go back to Nigeria."

A family friend, Diane Newton added: "There are people with criminal convictions who get permission to stay but a nice family like this are being sent back."

"These are the sort of people we want in Britain. Whatever the Home Office say, I believe every word they told me. They wouldn't take any charity and are genuinely terrified about going back."

A spokesman for the Home Office released this statement: "It is our responsibility to enforce the decisions of the courts and send them home."


Related story: Iloba family deported

Video report of Nigerians rioting in China. First protest by foreign nationals in China

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ogogoro banned in Nigeria

After a lengthy deliberation process. A bill of law prohibiting the processing,possession, transportation and consumption of ogogoro (locally made dry gin) has been passed into law by the Benue House of Assembly in Nigeria.

The bill states those who sell ogogoro will be liable to a fine of N50,000 or a year in prison. People caught drinking ogogoro will be fined N20,000 or six months in prison for the first offence and a year in prison without fine for repeat offenders.


Related stories: Nigerian drug enforcement agency arrest 50 year old woman with 585g of cocaine

Friday, July 17, 2009

Video report of Nigerians rioting in China

This past Wednesday, a riot consisting of about 200 Africans (mostly Nigerians) broke out in front of a police station in Guangzhou, China. It is reported to be the first ever protest by foreign nationals in China.  The riot started after the death of a Nigerian during an immigration raid.

Emmanuel Egisimba, a textile trader, is reported to have died from injuries he sustained after jumping from the second floor of a shop window during the immigration raid. More details in the video report up top.

Related stories: Nigerian executed in China

Nigerian criminals using Asian women as drug mules

Thursday, July 16, 2009

How to seal the deal with a Nigerian girl

This classic video gives us an insightful look on what it takes to seal the deal with a pretty Nigerian girl. As in any other part of the world, a ride will always help the cause in picking up. But the special case here is the lingo used in catching more of her interest, which I think we can all learn from...sans toothpick.

Nigerian lottery winner gives entire cash prize to beggar

46 year old Rosemary Obiakor from Lagos,Nigeria, won more than 3 million naira ($20,110) in the National lottery. During the television broadcast of the cheque presentation, Rosemary revealed what she planned to do with all the money.

"I have heard a lot of stories about how people win the lottery, and they get broke in the short run and come across a lot of misfortune. I am scared, and so I'll give it to a lucky beggar on the street," she said.

Rosemary kept to her word and did exactly what she said. After collecting her cheque, she cashed the entire thing and gave it to a female beggar that was on the street with her two-year old baby.

The beggar thanked Rosemary for the once in a lifetime offering and instantly turned into a business woman by promising her benefactor that she will open a food retail business with the money as soon she can. As the beggar entrepreneur was leaving with her fortune, she shared some of her new found wealth with other beggars on the street.

The Financial

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Plans to build first Hooters in Africa, just in time for the 2010 World Cup

American restaurant franchise called Hooters has signed an agreement to open Hooters Restaurants in South Africa in preparation for the 2010 World Cup.

Hooters is a popular and well established franchise that has high approval amongst the male demographic mostly due to the restaurants particular choice of having voluptuous and scantily-clad waitresses.

The President and CEO of Hooters of America, Coby Brooks, made this statement:

"We are excited about the opportunities South Africa offers for the Hooters Brand. This will be our first location on the continent of Africa and with locations already in North and South America as well as Europe,Asia and Australia, this truly makes Hooters global. In terms of continents we are now on 6 of the 7, although it might be awhile before we get down to Antarctica."


Nigerian militants declare ceasefire

In response to the release of militant leader Henry Okah. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has declared a 60-day ceasefire.

In the interview with the BBC below. Henry Okah says how he is proud of those who fought for his freedom, denies being a militant, and answers serious questions pertaining to the conflict in Nigeria.


Related story: 10 minute video recap of the oil war from Ken Saro Wiwa to present day

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Video of MEND leader Henry Okah released after militant attacks in Lagos,Nigeria

After the unprecedented attack by militants in the commercial capital Lagos on Sunday. Henry Okah was released on Monday as part of the amnesty deal accepted by the militant leader.


Related stories:Nigerian militants blow up Chevron owned pipeline after amnesty deal

A ten minute video recap of the oil war in Nigeria from Ken Saro Wiwa to present day


Monday, July 13, 2009

Chinese Nationals threaten to flee Nigeria if their safety can not be guaranteed

Due to the rampant kidnappings in the country, Chinese nationals living in Nigeria have threatened to leave the country if justice can not be brought to kidnappers and their safety can not be guaranteed. 

The threat comes after the body of one of two kidnapped Chinese nationals was found buried in a bush in Ebonyi,Nigeria. The apprehended kidnapper, Innocent Orji confessed the location of the body to Inspector General of Police Mike Okiro.


related stories: Nigerian priest kidnaps woman and demands N4m in ransom

Canadian kidnapped in Kaduna,Nigeria

Nigerian militant leader Henry Okah is a free man

The leader of main militant group The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has been released from jail as part of the conditions set in the amnesty deal made by the Nigerian government.

Judge Mohammed Liman said during the hearing in Jos "Having reviewed what the attorney general said, you have become a free man at this moment"

Upon release, Henry Okah denied he was the leader of MEND and said he would hold consultations with the rest of the group.


Related stories:Nigerian militants blow up Shell and Agip pipelines

10 minute video recap of the oil war from Ken Sara Wiwa to present

Piracy stunting Nollywood growth

It's estimated that up to 50 percent of the Nigerian movie industry's profits are being lost to piracy according to Nollywood insiders.

Emmanuel Isikaku, the president of the Film and Video Producers and Marketers Association (FVPMA) said "Piracy has dealt a big blow to the industry," He has also been producing Nigerian movies for 13 years. In his 2007 movie "Plane Crash" which was very popular with Nigerian audiences, he failed to recover his costs and lost a lot of money because of piracy.

In an interview with CNN, Isikaku said "I couldn't make anything from it, because of piracy, I didn't even break even. A lot of people watched the film. But unfortunately, they watched pirated copies.

According to a survey conducted by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), Nollywood is the second biggest movie producing sector in the world. 


Related stories: CNN covers the Nollywood industry

Globacom appoints Nollywood Ambassadors

Criminal prosecution case against surgeon charged with Stella Obasanjo's death begins in Spain

In 2005, the wife of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo travelled to Spain for a liposuction operation. Two days after the operation, Stella Obasanjo went into septic shock and passed away.

The case against the surgeon who carried out the operation began on July 10,2009. He is charged with the death of the former first lady in which he denies.

During the trial, the surgeon claimed that there was absolutely no evidence of any complication during the procedure nor during the post-op, and described how everything went normally until the early hours of the day after the operation.

The case is scheduled to resume on July 20. The surgeon faces two years in prison and a possible five year ban from practicing if found guilty.

Check the nation online for more details.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bootleg discs of Michael Jackson's memorial go on sale in Nigeria

Pirated discs of Michael Jackson's memorial are being sold in Nigeria for 250 naira ($1.7), which is double the price of other bootleg discs in Nigeria according to a buyer.

"I can pay any price for the disc. It is my way of saying farewell to my beloved MJ," said the buyer.

A bootleg seller named Emeka Ayadike mentioned that the pirated discs of Michael Jackson's memorial are selling quite well.

"We want to make as much money as we can before interest in the music idol begins to fade."

When asked about his source, this was his response "it is the secret of the trade."

IC Publications

Related story:Video of R Kelly talking about his fear of flying and his relationship with Michael Jackson during his visit to Nigeria

Saturday, July 11, 2009

President Barack Obama's speech in Ghana

Here's the excellent speech that President Barack Obama gave today in Ghana as prepared and delivered by the White House:

Good morning. It is an honor for me to be in Accra, and to speak to the representatives of the people of Ghana. I am deeply grateful for the welcome that I've received, as are Michelle, Malia and Sasha Obama. Ghana's history is rich, the ties between our two countries are strong, and I am proud that this is my first visit to sub-Saharan Africa as President of the United States.

I am speaking to you at the end of a long trip. I began in Russia, for a Summit between two great powers. I traveled to Italy, for a meeting of the world's leading economies. And I have come here, to Ghana, for a simple reason: the 21st century will be shaped by what happens not just in Rome or Moscow or Washington, but by what happens in Accra as well.


This is the simple truth of a time when the boundaries between people are overwhelmed by our connections. Your prosperity can expand America's. Your health and security can contribute to the world's. And the strength of your democracy can help advance human rights for people everywhere.

So I do not see the countries and peoples of Africa as a world apart; I see Africa as a fundamental part of our interconnected world - as partners with America on behalf of the future that we want for all our children. That partnership must be grounded in mutual responsibility, and that is what I want to speak with you about today.

We must start from the simple premise that Africa's future is up to Africans.

I say this knowing full well the tragic past that has sometimes haunted this part of the world. I have the blood of Africa within me, and my family's own story encompasses both the tragedies and triumphs of the larger African story.

My grandfather was a cook for the British in Kenya, and though he was a respected elder in his village, his employers called him "boy" for much of his life. He was on the periphery of Kenya's liberation struggles, but he was still imprisoned briefly during repressive times. In his life, colonialism wasn't simply the creation of unnatural borders or unfair terms of trade - it was something experienced personally, day after day, year after year.

My father grew up herding goats in a tiny village, an impossible distance away from the American universities where he would come to get an education. He came of age at an extraordinary moment of promise for Africa. The struggles of his own father's generation were giving birth to new nations, beginning right here in Ghana. Africans were educating and asserting themselves in new ways. History was on the move.

But despite the progress that has been made - and there has been considerable progress in parts of Africa - we also know that much of that promise has yet to be fulfilled. Countries like Kenya, which had a per capita economy larger than South Korea's when I was born, have been badly outpaced. Disease and conflict have ravaged parts of the African continent. In many places, the hope of my father's generation gave way to cynicism, even despair.

It is easy to point fingers, and to pin the blame for these problems on others. Yes, a colonial map that made little sense bred conflict, and the West has often approached Africa as a patron, rather than a partner. But the West is not responsible for the destruction of the Zimbabwean economy over the last decade, or wars in which children are enlisted as combatants. In my father's life, it was partly tribalism and patronage in an independent Kenya that for a long stretch derailed his career, and we know that this kind of corruption is a daily fact of life for far too many.

Of course, we also know that is not the whole story. Here in Ghana, you show us a face of Africa that is too often overlooked by a world that sees only tragedy or the need for charity. The people of Ghana have worked hard to put democracy on a firmer footing, with peaceful transfers of power even in the wake of closely contested elections. And with improved governance and an emerging civil society, Ghana's economy has shown impressive rates of growth.

This progress may lack the drama of the 20th century's liberation struggles, but make no mistake: it will ultimately be more significant. For just as it is important to emerge from the control of another nation, it is even more important to build one's own.

So I believe that this moment is just as promising for Ghana - and for Africa - as the moment when my father came of age and new nations were being born. This is a new moment of promise. Only this time, we have learned that it will not be giants like Nkrumah and Kenyatta who will determine Africa's future. Instead, it will be you - the men and women in Ghana's Parliament, and the people you represent. Above all, it will be the young people - brimming with talent and energy and hope - who can claim the future that so many in my father's generation never found.

To realize that promise, we must first recognize a fundamental truth that you have given life to in Ghana: development depends upon good governance. That is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long. That is the change that can unlock Africa's potential. And that is a responsibility that can only be met by Africans.

As for America and the West, our commitment must be measured by more than just the dollars we spend. I have pledged substantial increases in our foreign assistance, which is in Africa's interest and America's. But the true sign of success is not whether we are a source of aid that helps people scrape by - it is whether we are partners in building the capacity for transformational change.

This mutual responsibility must be the foundation of our partnership. And today, I will focus on four areas that are critical to the future of Africa and the entire developing world: democracy; opportunity; health; and the peaceful resolution of conflict.

First, we must support strong and sustainable democratic governments.

As I said in Cairo, each nation gives life to democracy in its own way, and in line with its own traditions. But history offers a clear verdict: governments that respect the will of their own people are more prosperous, more stable and more successful than governments that do not.

This is about more than holding elections - it's also about what happens between them. Repression takes many forms, and too many nations are plagued by problems that condemn their people to poverty. No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves, or police can be bought off by drug traffickers. No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top, or the head of the port authority is corrupt. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy, that is tyranny, and now is the time for it to end.

In the 21st century, capable, reliable and transparent institutions are the key to success - strong parliaments and honest police forces; independent judges and journalists; a vibrant private sector and civil society. Those are the things that give life to democracy, because that is what matters in peoples' lives.

Time and again, Ghanaians have chosen Constitutional rule over autocracy, and shown a democratic spirit that allows the energy of your people to break through. We see that in leaders who accept defeat graciously, and victors who resist calls to wield power against the opposition. We see that spirit in courageous journalists like Anas Aremeyaw Anas, who risked his life to report the truth. We see it in police like Patience Quaye, who helped prosecute the first human trafficker in Ghana. We see it in the young people who are speaking up against patronage and participating in the political process.

Across Africa, we have seen countless examples of people taking control of their destiny and making change from the bottom up. We saw it in Kenya, where civil society and business came together to help stop postelection violence. We saw it in South Africa, where over three quarters of the country voted in the recent election - the fourth since the end of apartheid. We saw it in Zimbabwe, where the Election Support Network braved brutal repression to stand up for the principle that a person's vote is their sacred right.

Make no mistake: history is on the side of these brave Africans and not with those who use coups or change Constitutions to stay in power. Africa doesn't need strongmen, it needs strong institutions.

America will not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation - the essential truth of democracy is that each nation determines its own destiny. What we will do is increase assistance for responsible individuals and institutions, with a focus on supporting good governance - on parliaments, which check abuses of power and ensure that opposition voices are heard; on the rule of law, which ensures the equal administration of justice; on civic participation, so that young people get involved; and on concrete solutions to corruption like forensic accounting, automating services, strengthening hot lines and protecting whistle-blowers to advance transparency and accountability.

As we provide this support, I have directed my administration to give greater attention to corruption in our human rights report. People everywhere should have the right to start a business or get an education without paying a bribe. We have a responsibility to support those who act responsibly and to isolate those who don't, and that is exactly what America will do.


This leads directly to our second area of partnership - supporting development that provides opportunity for more people.

With better governance, I have no doubt that Africa holds the promise of a broader base for prosperity. The continent is rich in natural resources. And from cell phone entrepreneurs to small farmers, Africans have shown the capacity and commitment to create their own opportunities. But old habits must also be broken. Dependence on commodities - or on a single export - concentrates wealth in the hands of the few and leaves people too vulnerable to downturns.

In Ghana, for instance, oil brings great opportunities, and you have been responsible in preparing for new revenue. But as so many Ghanaians know, oil cannot simply become the new cocoa. From South Korea to Singapore, history shows that countries thrive when they invest in their people and infrastructure; when they promote multiple export industries, develop a skilled work force and create space for small and medium-sized businesses that create jobs.

As Africans reach for this promise, America will be more responsible in extending our hand. By cutting costs that go to Western consultants and administration, we will put more resources in the hands of those who need it, while training people to do more for themselves. That is why our $3.5 billion food security initiative is focused on new methods and technologies for farmers - not simply sending American producers or goods to Africa. Aid is not an end in itself. The purpose of foreign assistance must be creating the conditions where it is no longer needed.

America can also do more to promote trade and investment. Wealthy nations must open our doors to goods and services from Africa in a meaningful way. And where there is good governance, we can broaden prosperity through public-private partnerships that invest in better roads and electricity; capacity-building that trains people to grow a business; and financial services that reach poor and rural areas. This is also in our own interest - for if people are lifted out of poverty and wealth is created in Africa, new markets will open for our own goods.

One area that holds out both undeniable peril and extraordinary promise is energy. Africa gives off less greenhouse gas than any other part of the world, but it is the most threatened by climate change. A warming planet will spread disease, shrink water resources and deplete crops, creating conditions that produce more famine and conflict. All of us - particularly the developed world - have a responsibility to slow these trends - through mitigation, and by changing the way that we use energy. But we can also work with Africans to turn this crisis into opportunity.

Together, we can partner on behalf of our planet and prosperity and help countries increase access to power while skipping the dirtier phase of development. Across Africa, there is bountiful wind and solar power; geothermal energy and bio-fuels. From the Rift Valley to the North African deserts; from the Western coast to South Africa's crops - Africa's boundless natural gifts can generate its own power, while exporting profitable, clean energy abroad.

These steps are about more than growth numbers on a balance sheet. They're about whether a young person with an education can get a job that supports a family; a farmer can transfer their goods to the market; or an entrepreneur with a good idea can start a business. It's about the dignity of work. Its about the opportunity that must exist for Africans in the 21st century.

Just as governance is vital to opportunity, it is also critical to the third area that I will talk about - strengthening public health.

In recent years, enormous progress has been made in parts of Africa. Far more people are living productively with HIV/AIDS, and getting the drugs they need. But too many still die from diseases that shouldn't kill them. When children are being killed because of a mosquito bite, and mothers are dying in childbirth, then we know that more progress must be made.

Yet because of incentives - often provided by donor nations - many African doctors and nurses understandably go overseas, or work for programs that focus on a single disease. This creates gaps in primary care and basic prevention. Meanwhile, individual Africans also have to make responsible choices that prevent the spread of disease, while promoting public health in their communities and countries.

Across Africa, we see examples of people tackling these problems. In Nigeria, an interfaith effort of Christians and Muslims has set an example of cooperation to confront malaria. Here in Ghana and across Africa, we see innovative ideas for filling gaps in care - for instance, through E-Health initiatives that allow doctors in big cities to support those in small towns.

America will support these efforts through a comprehensive, global health strategy. Because in the 21st century, we are called to act by our conscience and our common interest. When a child dies of a preventable illness in Accra, that diminishes us everywhere. And when disease goes unchecked in any corner of the world, we know that it can spread across oceans and continents.

That is why my administration has committed $63 billion to meet these challenges. Building on the strong efforts of President Bush, we will carry forward the fight against HIV/AIDS. We will pursue the goal of ending deaths from malaria and tuberculosis, and eradicating polio. We will fight neglected tropical disease. And we won't confront illnesses in isolation - we will invest in public health systems that promote wellness and focus on the health of mothers and children.

As we partner on behalf of a healthier future, we must also stop the destruction that comes not from illness, but from human beings - and so the final area that I will address is conflict.

Now let me be clear: Africa is not the crude caricature of a continent at war. But for far too many Africans, conflict is a part of life, as constant as the sun. There are wars over land and wars over resources. And it is still far too easy for those without conscience to manipulate whole communities into fighting among faiths and tribes.

These conflicts are a millstone around Africa's neck. We all have many identities - of tribe and ethnicity; of religion and nationality. But defining oneself in opposition to someone who belongs to a different tribe, or who worships a different prophet, has no place in the 21st century. Africa's diversity should be a source of strength, not a cause for division. We are all God's children. We all share common aspirations - to live in peace and security; to access education and opportunity; to love our families, our communities, and our faith. That is our common humanity.

That is why we must stand up to inhumanity in our midst. It is never justifiable to target innocents in the name of ideology. It is the death sentence of a society to force children to kill in wars. It is the ultimate mark of criminality and cowardice to condemn women to relentless and systematic rape. We must bear witness to the value of every child in Darfur and the dignity of every woman in Congo. No faith or culture should condone the outrages against them. All of us must strive for the peace and security necessary for progress.

Africans are standing up for this future. Here, too, Ghana is helping to point the way forward. Ghanaians should take pride in your contributions to peacekeeping from Congo to Liberia to Lebanon, and in your efforts to resist the scourge of the drug trade. We welcome the steps that are being taken by organizations like the African Union and ECOWAS to better resolve conflicts, keep the peace, and support those in need. And we encourage the vision of a strong, regional security architecture that can bring effective, transnational force to bear when needed.

America has a responsibility to advance this vision, not just with words, but with support that strengthens African capacity. When there is genocide in Darfur or terrorists in Somalia, these are not simply African problems - they are global security challenges, and they demand a global response. That is why we stand ready to partner through diplomacy, technical assistance, and logistical support, and will stand behind efforts to hold war criminals accountable. And let me be clear: our Africa Command is focused not on establishing a foothold in the continent, but on confronting these common challenges to advance the security of America, Africa and the world.

In Moscow, I spoke of the need for an international system where the universal rights of human beings are respected, and violations of those rights are opposed. That must include a commitment to support those who resolve conflicts peacefully, to sanction and stop those who don't, and to help those who have suffered. But ultimately, it will be vibrant democracies like Botswana and Ghana which roll back the causes of conflict, and advance the frontiers of peace and prosperity.

As I said earlier, Africa's future is up to Africans.

The people of Africa are ready to claim that future. In my country, African-Americans - including so many recent immigrants - have thrived in every sector of society. We have done so despite a difficult past, and we have drawn strength from our African heritage. With strong institutions and a strong will, I know that Africans can live their dreams in Nairobi and Lagos; in Kigali and Kinshasa; in Harare and right here in Accra.

Fifty-two years ago, the eyes of the world were on Ghana. And a young preacher named Martin Luther King traveled here, to Accra, to watch the Union Jack come down and the Ghanaian flag go up. This was before the march on Washington or the success of the civil rights movement in my country. Dr. King was asked how he felt while watching the birth of a nation. And he said: "It renews my conviction in the ultimate triumph of justice."

Now, that triumph must be won once more, and it must be won by you. And I am particularly speaking to the young people. In places like Ghana, you make up over half of the population. Here is what you must know: the world will be what you make of it.

You have the power to hold your leaders accountable and to build institutions that serve the people. You can serve in your communities and harness your energy and education to create new wealth and build new connections to the world. You can conquer disease, end conflicts and make change from the bottom up. You can do that. Yes you can. Because in this moment, history is on the move.

But these things can only be done if you take responsibility for your future. It won't be easy. It will take time and effort. There will be suffering and setbacks. But I can promise you this: America will be with you. As a partner. As a friend. Opportunity won't come from any other place, though - it must come from the decisions that you make, the things that you do, and the hope that you hold in your hearts.

Freedom is your inheritance. Now, it is your responsibility to build upon freedom's foundation. And if you do, we will look back years from now to places like Accra and say that this was the time when the promise was realized - this was the moment when prosperity was forged; pain was overcome; and a new era of progress began. This can be the time when we witness the triumph of justice once more. Thank you.


Related story: Obama Hotel in Ghana

Friday, July 10, 2009

Nigerian militants blow up Chevron owned pipeline after amnesty deal

Despite the leader of the major Nigerian militant group Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) recently accepting the government offer of amnesty. MEND today announced blowing up a pipeline that was repaired after previous attacks by the militant group.

"Our fighters revisited the recently repaired Chevron pipeline...and destroyed it again,"

"If the government can show the same speed...which it exhibited in repairing the lines as returning the displaced communities, the region will be a better place."


Related stories: Nigerian militant leader Henry Okah accepts amnesty offer

Video report on refugees of the Niger Delta Crisis

Oil War

Obama hotel in Ghana

The historic visit of the first black American president to an African nation has caused an Obama naming epidemic in the West African country Ghana where the president is scheduled to arrive soon.

I reckon the hotel in the video takes the cake for anything named after the American president in Ghana.

Related story: President Obama's speech in Ghana in its entirety