Thursday, March 31, 2011

Video - Goodluck Jonathan's presidential debate

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan takes part in the final presidential debate ahead of nationwide elections. VOA West Africa correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.


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Barack to Obama - You can't afford to fail

United States President Barack Obama has warned the Goodluck Jonathan-led administration to avoid rigging and violence during the forthcoming general election in Nigeria.

Speaking through Ambassador Johnnie Carson, the United States assistant secretary on African affairs, in Washington DC, President Obama urged Nigerians to demonstrate their ability to hold fair and democratic elections as the country prepares for legislative, presidential and state balloting scheduled for April 2, April 9 and April 16 respectively.

Saying it is "absolutely essential" that Nigeria holds better elections in 2011 than it held in 2007, the diplomat noted that the 2007 elections "were deeply flawed and, in fact, were poorly administered and poorly run".

"The 2007 elections in no way reflected the ability and the capacity of Nigeria to organise and run successful elections. In 2011, the Obama administration wants to see Nigeria reverse its 'trajectory of bad elections' and substantially improve its election management and processes," he said.

Carson warned that a flawed electoral process will lead to a loss of confidence by Nigerians in their leaders, their country's governing institutions and democracy itself, stressing that this an opportunity for Nigeria to demonstrate its capacity to both manage and hold democratic elections, which are the desire of the people.

Although the level of violence in the run-up to the elections is not as serious as it was in 2007, Carson said the violence already perpetrated has been "too much".

He called on Nigerian security authorities to do everything they can to ensure the safety of polling places and prevent violence, harassment and intimidation against Nigerian voters and candidates.

"Violence has no place in a democratic society or in a democratic electoral process, and all of the country's leaders ... must work to do everything they can to make these elections as free of violence and intimidation as possible," he said.

The assistant secretary praised Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, for doing "an outstanding job of managing this process and helping to reshape an election commission whose reputation had been deeply tarnished by the leadership."

The United States has supported Jega's efforts through technical assistance and funding.

Carson urged all election officials to respect Jega's leadership and direction, and added that Nigeria's state-level election officials will also be scrutinized for their conduct.

Carson said there are 17 presidential elections scheduled to occur in Africa during 2011 and the Obama administration would be watching all of them. He said that to strengthen democracy, the focus should be on the institutions rather than the individual candidates.

"The era of 'big man' politics in Africa should be history and behind us," he said. "It is good, strong institutions which are most important."

All Africans have a right to participate in the election of their local, regional and national leaders, and those elections "should be transparent, fair and credible," Carson said.

"Election commissions should be independent of executive control and authority and independent of political manipulation," he said. The electoral process, he added, should be "monitored by domestic groups as well as international groups and open to observation by the media."


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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nigeria's HIV Prevalence Rate Drops to 4.1 Percent

In line with predictions, Nigeria's national HIV prevalence rate has continued its downward trend first witnessed in 2001.

Result of the latest HIV Sero-Prevalence Sentinel Survey conducted among the antenatal clinic attendees in Nigeria puts the overall 2010 National HIV prevalence at 4.1 per cent - down by 0.1 percent from the 2008 figure.

An estimated three million persons are living with HIV - positioning Nigeria in the No. 2 spot of week, Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, attributed the decline to the effectiveness of HIV prevention/ intervention strategies adopted in the country.

Giving insight into the sentinel survey, Chukwu He said the epidemic has affected all parts of the country with varying degrees of severity.

"The overall National HIV prevalence for 2010 ANC Sentinel Survey is 4.1 per cent with prevalence ranging from 1.0 per cent in Kebbi to 12.7 per cent in Benue state. The prevalence was generally higher in urban than rural areas. However, eight states had a higher rural prevalence than urban and the highest survey site-specific prevalence of 21.3 per cent was observed in Wannune, a rural site in Benue State.

"The trend analysis of HIV prevalence among youths aged 15-24 years which is a crude index of new infection gave evidence of declining prevalence from 2001 to 2010 (6.0 per cent in 2001, 5.3 per cent in 2003, 4.3 percent in 2005, 4.2 per cent in 2008 and 4.1 per cent in 2010). This has given us some rays of hope that our prevention/interventions strategies are working."

Currently, about 1.5 million people including 212,720 children are still in need of AIDS treatment.

By the end of 2009, there were 1,074 health facilities where HIV counseling and testing services can be accessed, 670 health facilities providing services on Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV, and 393 health facilities providing Anti retroviral services.

The Minister said the National Sero-prevalence Sentinel Survey among the antenatal clinic attendees provides information on the HIV epidemic and its distribution in the country.

Information provided by the sero - prevalence is aimed at sensitising all stakeholders to take appropriate measures towards prevention, control and mitigating the impact of HIV.

The first ANC sero-prevalence survey conducted in 1991 put the National prevalence at 1.8 per cent and over the years, the prevalence rose to 4.5 per cent in 1995/96, and peaked at 5.8 per cent in 2001 before it started declining. Nine rounds of the surveys have been conducted since 1991 with the latest being the 2010.

Report of the 2010 HIV sero-prevalence sentinel survey conducted among the ANC attendees in Nigeria would be put to further use in planning for a better life for all PLWH in Nigeria and for the actualisation of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG).


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Life Imprisonment for Indians Shipping Fake Drugs to Nigeria

In a radical move to stamp out the menace of counterfeited pharmaceutical products, India has approved life imprisonment for any of her businessmen involved in the production and distribution of fake drugs in Nigeria.

The new action plan aimed at arresting the seemingly intractable incidence of fake and counterfeit drugs in Nigeria is contained in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by both countries on March 16, this year, in New Delhi, India.

The MoU also makes it mandatory for the Indian government to confiscate the equipment used by any convict in producing the products, while he would also stand the risk of forfeiting his property to the authorities.

THISDAY investigation in New Delhi revealed that the agreement was signed by India's Joint Secretary in the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Arun Jha, and Nigeria's Director-General (DG) of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii.

It was also gathered that the agreement was signed in the presence of India's Minister of External Affairs, Mr. Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna, and his Nigerian counterpart, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia (SAN), after both parties had discussed ways to strengthen economic and bilateral ties.

Speaking to THISDAY on phone Tuesday, one of the joint secretaries at the country's Ministry of External Affairs, Mr. Gurgit Singh, said: "We do not support corruption. We do not support bad business practices. Any Indian, who is caught in the business of counterfeiting any of our fast-moving pharmaceutical products in Nigeria, should be prosecuted."

Singh also said as a deliberate policy of the government to prove that the country was serious with the new initiative to stamp out the trend, added: "India is not only interested in actions that will eradicate the menace, she will also pay for the cost of prosecuting any suspect of the counterfeited product traced to India or to any Indian firm."

Expatiating on the policy thrust, he said the MoU also contained a N300,000 compensation payable to any informant that gives the agency any tip-off that would uncover the source and producers of counterfeited products.

According to him, the Indian government had equally agreed to collaborate with NAFDAC in capacity building training programme, provide funding for the training of medical engineers, as well as the Nigerian government in investigation of suspects.

Addressing African journalists, also Tuesday in his office, Krishna said his country had placed on the table, a $5.4 billion credit package for African countries to access over a five-year period, starting from 2009.

He said the package was designed to give an impetus to infrastructure development, including railways, information technology, power generation, physical connectivity, crop diversification and capacity building in agriculture.

He said the African continent "figures prominently on the foreign policy radar of India" and expressed happiness that the relationship between the continent and his country "has blossomed into multi-faceted association where each one of us contributes significantly".

The minister also said: "Indian partnership with Africa has been consultative and responsive. We have created a three-tier engagement with Africa: at pan-African, regional and bilateral levels. We have been guided by the wishes and priorities of our African friends in working together in institutional capacity building, human resource development, science and technological cooperation, enhancing agricultural productivity and food security, development of infrastructure, and in other areas."

Since democratic rule returned in Nigeria in 1999, the country's trade volume with India has increased substantially, surging from $293.71 million to $8 billion in the 2009/2010 fiscal year.

This Day

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Video - Nigeria's Sesame Street tackles HIV

Christian Purefoy reports on the celebrated children's show making its Nigerian debut.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Video - Genevieve Nnaji talks about Nigeria

Nigerian actress Genevieve Nnaji tells CNN's Pedro Pinto what she likes and dislikes about Nigeria.

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Bill Clinton and Arnold Schwarzenegger at THISDAY AWARDS 2011

 From the choice of the venue and its exquisite interior to the caliber of participants present, the 16th edition of the Annual THISDAYAwards depicted sheer brilliance that has surpassed any other award in Nigeria.

The Award was set to Recognise The Achievements of Notable bodies in Nigeria for their excellence and good governance for this year. 

The event, which started at exactly 9 pm, saw the arrival of guests, artistes and dignitaries like award winning Tuface, Ifeoma Williams, former Miss Nigeria, Helen Prest Ajayi, Jim Ovia, chairman of Zenith bank, Gov. Uduaghan of Delta state, Nkiru Anumudu a socialite on the ravishing red carpet of Eko Hotel and Suites, the event venue.

Prior to that there was a VVIP reception with the Special Guests of Honor President Bill Clinton and Governor Arnold Schwazenegger at Eko Hotel and Suites Penthouse.

The Publisher of THISDAY Newspapers as well as the host of the event, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena gave the opening remarks and welcomed the guests present. He also recognised the presence of other important personalities such as Mr. Atedo Peterside, Yemisi Ransome-Kuti etc.

President Bill Clinton took the stage and gave a remarkable speech that earned him a standing ovation. In his words, “Nigeria needs Good Governance” while Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “Don’t Always ask what can our country do for us, ask what can we do for our country”.

Awards presentations took place right after that and were presented by former beauty queen Helen Prest Ajayi and Mr. Jim Ovia, chairman of Zenith bank.


Order of Presentation of Awards.

1st Set of Awards

Lifetime Achievement Awards


Umaru Musa Yar’adua

Hassan Adamu

Adebayo Adedeji

Femi Adeniyi-williams

Bolaji Akinyemi

Jibril Aminu

George S. Coumantaros

Faysal Mohammed El-Khalil

Francesca Yetunde Emmanuel

Ismaila Isa Funtua

Alexander Uruemu Ibru

Shehu Malami

Ben Nwabueze

Abdulsamad Rabiu

Khalifa Isyaku


2nd set of Awards

Young Global Champions


J.K Olusegun Agbaje

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede

Oladele Akinyemi

Kolawole Aluko

Dr. Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi

Ladi Balogun

Mofe Boyo

Chief Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuman

Tonye Parker cole

Sola David-Borha

Uzoma Dozie

Cathy Echeozo

U.K Eke

Victor Ezenkwo

Akinola George- Taylor

Phillip Ihenacho

Ade Oluwole Odunsi

Jide Ogundare

Emeka Onwuka

ABC Orjiakor

Titilayo Osuntoki

Abdulsamad Rabiu

Yinka Sanni

Kashim Bukar Shettima

Tope Isiaka Shonubi

Jubril Adewale Tinubu

Hassan Usman

Herbert Wigwe


3rd Set of Awards

New Champions For An Enduring Culture


Chimamanda Adiche

Chiwetel Ejiofor

Innocent Ujah Idibiah

Alex Okosi

Deola Sagoe

Toyin Subair


4th Set of Awards

Change Makers in Social Entrepreneurship


Fola Adeola

Samuel Adesanya Adeyemi

Tony Rapu


5th Set of Awards

Change Makers in Governance


Rotimi Amaechi

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

This Day

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IBB Endorses Ribadu for President

Former military President, Ibrahim Babangida, on Sunday endorsed Nuhu Ribadu for President, saying Nigeria needs generational change.

But Ribadu, a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), was received at Babangida's Hilltop Mansion without ACN leader, Bola Tinubu.

Babangida told journalists that because of the generation Ribadu belongs to, it is fair to support him take over the reigns of power, a view he said other Nigerians will understand and respect.

He recalled that, "Somebody asked me recently who my candidate is and I said that we who belong to this generation will like to see young people, in whose hands the future of this country lies, to take over the affairs of Nigeria."

He explained that he supports generational change, "which Nuhu Ribadu and Fola Adeola stand for," and he has strong faith in them and believes they can deliver.

Asked if he has endorsed the candidature of Ribadu, Babangida who had wanted to run for President himself under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said: "For generational change, yes."

He referred to everyone on Ribadus' entourage as his friends, and said he gave them lunch as a sign of acceptance and friendship between him and the ACN family.

"I am close to them, it is only fair that since they are in Minna they decided to visit me personally. I have respect for him (Ribadu)."

Ribadu and his team also visited the Emir of Minna, Umar Bahago, after which they addressed a rally at the city's polo ground.

He told the rally that the ACN stands for the change Nigerians have yearned for in the 12 years of misrule by the PDP administration.

"The change has come and your party, our party, the ACN, is the party to vote for. We are set to provide this much needed change and take the country to higher grounds," he said.

In his own case, President Goodluck Jonathan is not leaving anything to chance despite assurances by his camp that he will win the election by a wide margin.

He has set up 15 committees to scan all parts of the country and firm up agreements that will give his opponents no room for manoeuvre.

Presidential Assistant on Documentation, Research and Strategy, Oronto Douglas, told reporters in Abuja on Sunday that Jonathan cannot afford to be complacent, because doing so will be costly.

He said the committees will dialogue with every stakeholder, to engage with everybody, and "part of this would be to hold town hall meetings. There are some zones where we have not done as much as we would want to do, and those zones will receive more attention.

We still have two solid weeks to do this. So, there is time, especially when we want to win this election in a free, fair, and transparent manner that will leave no one in doubt."

But on a sad political note, one person was killed and several others were injured on Sunday in a violence that broke out in Makurdi between supporters of the PDP and the ACN.

The Makurdi-Otukpo-Enugu Highway was blocked, forcing motorists travelling down South to make a detour through Naka to link Otukpo.

Some residents fled for safety, as police engaged the party thugs in combat to bring the situation under control.

The violence started with the alleged disappearance on Friday of a final year student of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Moses Orngu, who caricatures Governor Gabriel Suswam in cartoons.

ACN supporters believe that Orngu may have been kidnapped by PDP agents.

They blocked the highway, made burn fires, and demanded the release of Orngu, an action which degenerated into the clash with PDP supporters.

Some weeks ago, David Inornem, the Director General of Steve Ugbah Campaign Organisation, told a press conference, that a Tiv bard, Barnabas Aganyi, who composes scathing campaign songs for the ACN, was missing.

Inornem said the ACN also suspected that Aganyi was kidnapped by PDP agents.

Police Commissioner, Ibrahim Mohammed, could not be reached on the telephone for comment. His lines were switched off.

However, the South West zone of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) reiterated at the weekend that violence remains the only obstacle to the success of the polls next month.

It expressed fear that the huge funds sunk into the preparations by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and political parties may go down the drain, and urged those concerned to address the matter quickly.

A statement signed by CAN President Joseph Akinfenwa stressed that Nigeria cannot afford to mess up in the ballot because it represents a milestone in its history'.

"We join forces with well-meaning Nigerians to highlight the danger of electoral violence at this point in our national history and to call on all stakeholders, especially our politicians, to esteem national interest above narrow, parochial one, and join hands to ensure peaceful, free, and fair elections in April," he pleaded.

Akinfenwa asked all leaders of political parties to denounce violence and to mandate their followers to desist from it.

"In other words, we ask our politicians to make a covenant with the Nigerian people that they will not instigate or condone violence of any kind; but rather discourage it even in the face of provocation."

He also implored the security agencies to detect, contain, and control violent conduct and to be impartial in providing security for all.

Akinfenwa said the failure of state security leads to private security arrangements which in turn lead to abuse of force.

He stressed that the maintenance of peace and decorum throughout the election period will help ensure a free and fair vote.

He sought a credible and truly representative election, facilitated by the massive participation of citizens who will join hands with the government to leave no stone unturned.

Daily Independent

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Ronaldo, Eto'o Others for Nwankwo Kanu Testimonial

After 17 years of meritorious service to the nation, former Captain of the Super Eagles, Nwankwo Kanu declared that he was a fulfilled man as he looks forward to his testimonial match in Lagos to officially end his international soccer career.

The testimonial match between Kanu and Friends (a selected World XI) and the Nigerian national team has been slated for June 11, 2011 in Lagos.

Kanu 's friends, mostly his former teammates from Ajax, Inter Milan, Arsenal, West Brom and Portsmouth along with some selected star players will file out against a Nigerian All Star team dating from the Super Eagles teams of 1993/94, the Olympic Gold medal winning team of 1996, and some players of the current Eagles squad who played with Kanu.

Among the notable soccer stars that would grace the event are Patrick Vieira, the Cole brothers (Joe and Andy), Ronaldo, Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o Fils, Togolese Emmanuel Adebayor and many others.

This will be a special day for him and his charity organization, the Kanu Heart Foundation (KHF) as the proceeds of the event will be used to pursue the objectives of the Foundation which is largely to assist Africans particularly children in the treatment of heart related ailments.

"It is going to be a great day and event, everybody will be there and it's going to be a roll-call of World's best players, a roll-call of 'who is who in world football," he enthused.

Continuing Papilo, as he fondly called by fans said, " I'm a fulfilled man, my story has been a good story and I'm happy for that. When my DVD, the 'Story of Kanu Nwankwo' is out, it'll touch the hearts of the young ones.

Some of them believe that there's a short cut to success.

"Some of my friends are planning to have a testimonial for me in June, Kanu said, adding, "I think after 17 years in the national team, they appreciate what I have done and want to give me a befitting send off."


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Wole Soyinka Condemns Rising Violence

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Sunday condemned the spate of killing in the on-going political campaign rallies of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties in the country.

Soyinka spoke at the formal launch of in Festac, Lagos where he urged Nigerian electorate to reject a directive of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafis Ringim, that citizens should not use cell phones and cameras to record and monitor voting processes.

Also at the launch, the Nobel laureate urged the people of Nigeria to disregard politicians and political parties involved in killing, asking rhetorically that "what is the essence of killing ourselves in order to serve ourselves?"

At another fora, the Presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP), Professor Pat Utomi, also on Sunday condemned the rising wave of political violence in the country, saying the trend portends danger for the Aprill elections.

Utomi also called on President Goodluck Jonathan the presidential candidate of the ruliing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to as a matter of urgency convene a national security council meeting to be attended by the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and leaders of the political parties to find solutions to this dangerous political development in the country.

In a statement by the spokesman of the Pat Utomi Presidential Campaign Organisation, Reverend Austin Nnorom, Utomi said "This violence which became manifest with the killing of some aspirants in Borno State has now reached a deplorable peak in daily drawn battles all over the country.

"It is condemnable in states like Ebonyi, Oyo, Niger and others where the state governments have shown enormous insensitivity to democratic norms and in fact all over the country. This development have dangerous consequences for the elections and free and fair elections cannot be possible," Utomi said.

The rising political violence, according to Utomi, "is centered towards intimidating both candidates and voters become more worrisome with the evidence that law enforcement agencies seem impotent to this dastardly act and allow it strive with impunity in the face of such wide spread human rights abuses.

This Day

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Nigeria defeat Ethiopia 4-0

Ike Uche came off the bench to get a brace for Super Eagles in its 4-0 defeat of Ethiopia in the ongoing African Cup of Nations qualifier in Abuja on Sunday.

Before Uche's goals, Peter Utaka, set the goal spree with a brace in the second-minute and 53rd minute respectively.

Uche's goals came in the 77 and 90th minutes.

The victory brightened Eagles chances of qualifying for the Nations Cup, though still second on the table with six points from three matches, one point behind the group leader, Guinea that secured a valuable point with 1-1 game against Madagascar last night.

Nigeria must win its remaining matches to assure of qualification for the tournament.

It will play Madagascar and Ethiopia away before playing Guinea at home.

In other qualifying matches, Ghana was convincing in its 3-0 win over Congo away, while Cote d' Ivoire defeated Benin 2-1 with Didier Drogba scoring both goals for the Elephants.

Niger came from a goal down to secure a 3-1 victory over Sierra Leone also on Sunday, while Sudan beat Swaziland 3-0.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Nigeria to play Argentina in friendly

Reigning FIFA Player of the Year, Lionel Messi will be leading other Argentine super stars to play against the Super Eagles in a FIFA-accredited friendly match on June 1st at the Abuja National Stadium.

Disclosing this yesterday at a high profiled international gathering in Lagos, Guinness Nigeria PLC, said that they had struck a deal with the Argentina Football Association (AFA), Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) to organise this great match that would see current world footballer of the year, Lionel Messi, leading the Argentine attack against the Eagles.

Guinness Managing Director, Devlin Hainsworth said the match was a response to the growing calls for the Super Eagles to play a world class fixture against one of the top football nations in the world.

Argentina, apart from being two-time winners of the World Cup, have won the Copa America, more than any other South American country and are at present ranked fourth in the FIFA rankings.

He added that this was just the start of many great days ahead for Nigerian football.

Confirming their participation, NFF President, Aminu Maigari, said that they were happy that the Eagles would have the chance to play against a top-rated nation in Abuja, adding that the game would add value to the national team.

Speaking on behalf of the Argentine FA, Herman Tofoni, who is the head of international relations, said that his country had accepted to play the Eagles on June 1 and added that they hope to continue their dominance over the Nigerian national team on the said date.

Argentina have played Nigeria's Super Eagles three times and won on all occasions. With the likes of Messi and Carlos Tevez set to play against Nigeria, Tofoni said that the domination of Nigeria might just continue.

"We will be fielding a world class team and look forward to our first match against Nigeria on Nigeria's soil. It would be an extraordinary day for football fans and I have the pleasure in accepting the challenge on behalf of Argentina", added the Argentine.

Former Bolton Manager, Sam Allardyce, was one of the international coaches who graced the event and offered a technical overview of what to expect from Argentina and Nigeria when both teams confront each other on June 1.

His presence provided an air of international outlook to the event graced by many great Nigerian players, comprising Austin Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Segun Odegbami, Sylvanus Okpalla, Edema Fuludu, Tarila Okorowanta, Daniel Amokachi, Waidi Akanni, Ike Shorunmu, Ogbona Kanu and so many others.

Their presence, enlivened the event sponsored by Guinness Nigeria PLC, who delivered an exceptionally packaged event of high international standard.

Siasia cries over Abuja stadium

Super Eagles' Chief Coach, Samson Siasia is asking for a new training ground outside the Abuja National Stadium.

After the team's morning training session yesterday, Siasia, was full of hisses over the water-logged pitch and also complained on the crowd at his training session, which he said was causing distractions.

"The pitch is not properly managed and I can't train there until there is improvement. I'll meet the minister to discuss the issue with him. We can't kick the ball with the way the pitch is. Something urgent needs to be done", Samson Siasia said.

He also cited the huge crowd that thronged their training session, saying "We need concentration in this business, but the huge crowd won't let us be.I'm looking for a quiet place where no one will distract us", he said.


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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Video - Kelvin Etuhu, Ex-Man City star in drunken brawl

These moments show former Manchester City footballer Kelvin Etuhu taking part in a drunken street brawl which left a man with a broken jaw.

The Nigerian striker, 22 took off his shirt and began punching and kicking 24-year old Owen Fitzpatrick who had earlier been chatting up the soccer ace's girlfriend in a cocktail bar.

During the punch up jealous Etuhu bundled his own girlfriend to the floor as she tried to stop the mayhem. He then fled the scene as she lay "dazed or unconscious" on the pavement before going to hospital. Mr Fitzpatrick also had his watch stolen.

Dramatic CCTV footage captured the heart stopping moments as the 4.30am brawl erupted outside the 235 casino in Manchester city centre.

The footage was released by police after Etuhu, of Wigan, put his head in his hands and sobbed as he was sentenced to eight months in jail after he pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray.

The footballer's chauffeur Leonard Rico Richards, 27, of Longsight, Manchester was jailed for four years after he admitted ABH, affray and theft.

Etuhu's older brother Dickson, 28, who plays for Fulham looked on as Judge David Hale told the Premiership star: ''Courts have a public duty to spell out the consequences of public disorder and it is clear just how unnecessary this was.

''Whatever happened in the casino, it was trivial. It's half four in the morning, time to go anyway. The others involved in this incident had taken it on themselves to see if you turned up but you did.

''You could have been driven away but you didn't. You decided it wasn't over and if it hadn't been for that this would never had happened and you would have carried on with your lives.

"But you didn't. You got out and you got involved and you completely lost the plot. Why else would you push your girlfriend over so that she lay motionless on the ground.

He added: ''You had brought yourself up by your bootstraps, you and your family with nothing more than ambition and your talent when you came from Nigeria.

''You were with Manchester City Football Club and like many others it didn't seem to come to anything. You had a chance and you blew it."

Cavendish Press

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kidnappers Abduct Biz Mogul, Jimoh Ibrahim's Mum

The 65 year-old mother of business mogul, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, Madam Mafe Jimoh, was kidnapped by four gun wielding men, Sunday, even as the senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Delta Central Senatorial District, Chief Ighoyota Amori, whose 97-year-old mother, Mrs. Obireyibo Amori was kidnapped by gunmen, few days ago, refused to "play ball" to the chagrin of the kidnappers.

Kidnappers of Barrister Ibrahim's mother were yet to request for any ransom because a family source said the mother of the politician left her phone in the house when she was whisked away by the kidnappers.

Vanguard learnt that Madam Mafe was kidnapped by four armed men who invaded the billionaire's Igbotako country home, in Okitipupa Council Area of Ondo State.

The state Police Command's image maker, Mr. Adeniran Aremu, confirmed the kidnap of the mother of the politician yesterday, noting that the family of the politician reported the incident at the Igbotako Police Station around 11.30 p.m., weekend.

He said the Command has commenced full investigation into the matter to ensure that the woman was released unhurt.

Vanguard gathered that the four gunmen arrived the one-storey building around 8.00pm, and pretended that they wanted to buy some locally made mats which she sells.

One of the guards employed by the politician, Donatus Ekuma, told newsmen at Igbotako: "Mama was upstairs when the kidnappers arrived. Four of them came in a vehicle. Two came down from the car and demanded to see Mama. They claimed to be her customers and that they wanted to buy some mats. I told them that Mama was resting upstairs but they insisted on seeing her personally before making their purchase and I obliged them."

Ekuma said the story changed when the old woman came out to meet her 'customers' as she was held with force and dragged into their waiting vehicle.

He said: "I immediately raised the alarm but the gunmen pointed their guns at me and other domestic staff on duty, ordering us to lie face-down."

Vanguard learnt that the driver attached to Madam Mafe was said to have gone out when the kidnappers invaded the house but left the vehicle in front of the building.

Efforts to speak with the elder brother of the politician, Mr. Sola Jimoh, proved abortive as he failed to answer his calls.

Meanwhile, the senatorial candidate of the PDP in Delta Central, Chief Ighoyota Amori, has refused to pay N50 million ransom as requested by the kidnappers of his 97-year-old mother, Mrs. Obireyibo Amori.

Amori refuses to pay N50m ransom

Vanguard learnt that in line with the warning of the Anti-Kidnapping Task Force set up by the Delta Waterways Security Committee, DWSC, Chief Amori has refused pay ransom to the kidnappers, who initially asked for N100 million.

The kidnappers who shifted their base from Warri metropolis as a result of the manhunt for them by the DWSC Anti-Kidnapping Task Force, stormed the Obokpa, Mosogar residence of Mrs. Amori and seized the old woman.

They reportedly found their way to Mosogar en-route Jesse and fled to the creek via Ajagbodudu with their victim.

A source told Vanguard: "They thought Amori would genuflect and start negotiating ransom with them, but so far, they have failed. They first asked for N100 million and reduced it to N50 million when they found out the PDP senatorial candidate was not responding. Before then, they threatened that he should pay the ransom or drop his senatorial ambition."

It was gathered that the kidnappers who have not received favourable response from Chief Amori have been calling him frequently on his GSM line to act.

The source said: "They know that the DWSC Anti-Kidnapping Task Force is already on them and that if they keep the woman for too long, they would be tracked down, so they want Chief Amori to pay money quickly to them."

The PDP senatorial candidate for Delta Central, Chief Amori, who confirmed the kidnap of his mother pleaded with the kidnappers to release the aged woman, who is old enough to be a grandmother or great grandmother to her captors.


Related stories: 97 Year Old Politician's Mother Kidnapped

Video - 50 arrested for kidnapping

Kidnapping culture in Nigeria on the rise

Nuhu Ribadu Vows to Jail Rogue Politicians

Presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu yesterday threatened to jail those who have looted the treasury in the last 12 years if elected in 2011.

The former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) who made the statement in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital during his presidential rally, said the ACN is like a revolution that would sweep the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) out of Nigeria.

Ribadu and his running mate , Mr Fola Adeola and other party leaders, who brisk into the venue of the campaign rally along Iworoko road at about 3.55pm, said he would fix the country's economy if he becomes the president

"ACN is changing Nigeria and is going to kick the PDP out of the country. I represent the youth generation , a young man is taking over the country after 2011

"If we are elected, we are going to provide employment, build hospitals, create wealth, build industries to take care of the youths. PDP have destroyed Nigeria by its inability to impact on the lives of the people in the last 12 years.

"We are going to focus on peace and unity, provide security . This will not be a great task to achieve because of my experience in the public service and that of my running mate , Mr Fola Adeola in the private sector

"PDP have destroyed Nigeria. They have stolen our money and now, we should come together and rescue our nation", Ribadu said

Other party leader at the event include, the former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and now an ACN chieftain, Chief Audu Ogbeh; ACN national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande and ACN governorship candidate in Oyo state, Mr Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi.

Others are former Ekiti state governor and the incumbent, Otunba Niyi Adebayo and Dr Kayode Fayemi respectively; two PDP members in the House of Assembly, Hons Adebayo Morakinyo and Femi Adeleye representing Ikole 1 and Ido/Osi 2 respectively who decamped to ACN.

Tinubu who had harsh words for the PDP said youths' revolution has entered Nigeria even as he called on all and sundry to embrace the progressive revolution and chase away the PDP out of Nigeria

He regretted that PDP has not been able to proffer lasting solution to the lingering crisis of poor power supply in Nigeria in the last 12 years after spending $17 billion on that sector without commensurate electricity generation.

Describing the PDP as a "power disaster party", the ACN leader posited that the party and other progressives will rescue the country like the Biblical Babylon in the Holy Book.

"God will deliver Nigeria the way it delivered the Babylon. PDP has become a disaster to this country. When the former President Olusegun Obasanjo got to power in 1999, he promised to provide stable power in six months; but did nothing after eight years, this was a confirmation of my belief that the PDP is a power disaster party.

"Despite the disaster in Japan, about 100 per cent of the power supply was taken away and within a week, over per cent had been restored, but the PDP spent 70 billion dollars in eight years and nothing to show for it

Tinubu said the 2007 elections which he said were massively rigged as a lesson to Nigerians, charged members of his party to be vigilant in the next elections and prevent rigging.

Daily Champion

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Jessica Tata returns to U.S. to face charges

A Texas woman who allegedly fled to Nigeria after authorities say four children died in a fire at her day care facility is on her way back to the United States, a U.S. congresswoman said Sunday.

Jessica Tata was charged after she left a group of children alone inside a home with the stove on, officials have said. Four children died and three others were injured in the February blaze.

"I am glad she decided to make the right decision, which is to return to this country of which she is a citizen in order to face the charges against her," U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said in a statement.

Lee, D-Texas, said Tata left on a flight from Lagos, Nigeria, at about 5:30 p.m. ET and is expected to arrive in Houston within the next 24 hours.

"Hopefully, the return of Ms. Tata will begin to bring the right kind of closure, even as these families continue to mourn their loss, most likely throughout their lives," she said.

The U.S. Marshals Service declined to comment on Tata's status Sunday. Earlier this month, the agency added Tata to its "15 Most Wanted" fugitive list.

Tata allegedly left the seven children unsupervised in the home day-care facility and drove off in her car in February, authorities have said.

The blaze likely originated on an electric stove, which was on and had a pot on it containing oil, according to Houston Fire Department arson investigator Thomas Wood.

A definitive cause for the fire will be announced once the investigation is complete.


Related story: Video - Day care operator may have fled to Nigeria

Nigeria votes for No-Fly zone in Libya

The Nigerian Mission to the United Nations (UN) has explained that the actions of Libyan authorities to violate the terms of the resolution and fundamental principles of international law informed its vote for the no-fly zone over Libya.

The United Nations Security Council had onThursday evening approved a draft resolution calling for a no-fly zone over Libya to assist rebels.

The draft resolution passed with 10 votes in favor and none opposed.

Five countries, including China, Russia, Germany and Brazil, abstained from voting on the issue.

Addressing the Security Council's debate in New York on the situation in Libya, the Nigeria's Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Joy Ogwu said that the resolution being adopted was necessitated by the persistently grave and dire situation in Libya.

"Notwithstanding the clear expression of our common will and the comprehensive measures instituted under Resolution 1970, the Libyan authorities have continued to violate the terms of the resolution and fundamental principles of international law," She said.

Professor Joy Ogwu added that the current state of affairs leaves an indelible imprint on the conscience and moves the Nigerian government to act, adding that the magnitude of this humanitarian disaster is, indeed, what compelled Nigeria to vote in favour of this resolution.

She further noted that Nigeria's persistent calls for peace are rooted in the need to ensure the safety, dignity and availability of humanitarian assistance for a population in need, many of whom are Nigerian nationals.

She also noted that the emphasis of the resolution on the protection of civilians under threat of attack and the provisions for humanitarian assistance do much to address these concerns.

Saying that the League of Arab States and the African Union (AU) have spoken with one voice in condemnation of the situation in Libya, and rightly so as the crisis is one of regional import, the Nigerian top envoy stressed that Nigeria, as a member of the security council and a member of the AU maintains that foreign occupation is not an option to secure peace in Libya.


Related stories: Nigeria closes Embassy in Libya

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Nigerians killed in Libyan Protests 

97 Year Old Politician's Mother Kidnapped

Ninty-Seven year old mother of PDP senatorial candidate for Delta central senatorial in the April 2011 election, Mrs Ovireyibo Amori, has been kidnapped.

The Saturday Vanguard reliably gathered that she was abducted in her Ugbokpa-Mosogar community, Ethiope West Local Government Area residence at about 8 o'clock Thursday night. Mrs Ovireyibo Amori was said to be taking fresh air outside her apartment when the kidnappers struck. Her political son Chief Ighoyota Amori confirmed the incident on phone, explaining that he got a ditress call at about 8pm that she had been kidnapped by yet unknown persons.

Amori said the kidnappers were in touch with him, giving him two conditions for therelease of their victim.

He said: "The kidnappers have been calling me, asking me to either dump my senatorial ambition or part with N100 million as ransom."

He called the kidnap political. He said he had informed the police of the situation.

The State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr Charles Muka confirmed the incident, saying Madam Amori was taken through Jesse River in a waiting boat.

Muka said the Mercedes Benz car with number plate AZ 70 ADJ, in which the woman was driven from her compound, was submerged in the Jesse River, but was later recovered by the police.


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Kidnapping culture in Nigeria on the rise

FELA! comes to Afrika Shrine

The cast and crew of Fela! Musical that has been making waves at the Broadway and cinema houses across Europe and America will be in Afrika Shrine on April 14 for a live performance of the award winning show.

The Thursday April 14 show will kick off the series of shows lined up by the production crew of musical which is making its debut in Nigeria, the birth place of the legendary Olufela Anikulapo Kuti, the creator of afro beat musical genre and who is also Africa's greatest musical export.

Originally, the musical was billed for Nigeria this March but was moved to April due to logistics reasons and the demand by Femi, the internationally acclaimed musician son of Fela, who canvassed for the shift as he will not be available in the country throughout the month of March.

Insiders disclosed that the Afrika Shrine live performance of Fela! Musical will be a combination of a live concert and drama depicting the life and times of Fela who succumbed to the cold hands of death on Saturday August 2 1997 at hospital on Victoria Island Lagos.

According to our source, the crew for the show will move into the Ikeja Business District based New Afrika Shrine on Saturday April 9 for stage construction in preparation for the show which is expected to attract all lovers of afrobeat and Fela's fans.

It would be recalled that the British Council Nigeria and the National Theatre, London (NT Live) in association with British Deputy High Commission, Lagos had on Sunday February 6, organized the screening of Fela! Musical at the New Afrika Shrine. The production which was filmed live at the Oliver Theatre in London was seen by a large crowd and members of the diplomatic community.

The screening was part of the British Council's work in the arts and to showcase the best of UK's creativity overseas while working with the best of creative talents to develop innovative events and collaborations that link thousands of artistes and cultural institutions around the world and developing skills and leadership in the creative sector.

Winner of three Tony Awards including best choreography, the music al which is a baby of two Americans, Jay Z and Will Smith, celebrates the life of the afrobeat legend, his music and most importantly, his pioneering political and human rights activism in Nigeria during the military era that earned him imprisonment severally

Daily Independent

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Nigeria closes Embassy in Libya

As the fighting between the pro-Gaddafi and anti-Gaddafi troops in Libya intensifies, Nigeria has temporarily closed its embassy in Tripoli.

The nation's charge d'affaires in Libya, Mr. Harun Umar, confirmed this development yesterday in Abuja when the last batch of stranded Nigerians in Libya were received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said yesterday that it had evacuated a total of 4,000 Nigerians from Tripoli.

The agency said that it had concluded the evacuation of stranded Nigerians in the North African country.

This was made known by the director-general of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi. He said that additional four flights were made from Monday to Wednesday, bringing a total of 1,784 distressed Nigerians directly from Tripoli. So far, over 4000 Nigerians have been safely brought back to the country and transported to their respective states of origin.

While the last flight brought in only 194 passengers, including Nigeria's embassy officials and their families, the first flight in the last batch of the evacuation brought in 558 passengers, the second 496 and third, 536 persons.

The Nigerian charge d' affaires in Libya, Mr. Harun Umar, who accompanied the last batch said: "There are no more Nigerians at the Tripoli International Airport. The Nigerian mission in Libya has been temporarily closed as top officials of the mission including Sheik K. Lemu, Tijjani Otman and Mrs M. O. Abodunde have arrived."

Meanwhile, a special team comprising officials from NEMA, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Commission for Refugees, Nigeria Immigration Services, Civil Defence Corps and relevant security agencies have been set up to receive other passengers that would be brought to the country by the International Organisation for Migrations (IOM) and the United Nations Agency for Refugees who would continue to evacuate stranded citizens through Libya's neighbouring countries like Egypt and Tunisia.

So far, the international bodies have brought to the country about 300 Nigerians through Lagos, Kano and Abuja International Airports.


Related stories: 499 Nigerians evacuated from Libya

Nigerians killed in Libyan Protests 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

MEND Threatens to Bomb Abuja, Lagos

 A warning purportedly coming from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) indicates that it plans to commence simultaneous bomb attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta area as well as in Lagos and Abuja.

The warning, posted on the internet by Jomo Gbomo yesterday, added that Nigerians and foreigners who ignored the warning did so at their own peril. The militant group insisted that the planned attacks would be catastrophic.

The statement reads: "The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (M.E.N.D) will soon commence simultaneous bomb attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta and other strategic locations in Abuja and Lagos State of Nigeria.

"Due to our commitment to averting avoidable loss of lives, advance warnings for immediate evacuation as previously done will be issued and a final warning will be issued thirty (30) minutes prior to the blasts, after which will follow a statement of claim in line with our modus operandi.

"The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (M.E.N.D) advises the general public in the strongest of terms to stay clear from all political gatherings or meetings of any sort.

"It should be recalled in our last Independence Day bomb blast that it was due to the callousness of the Nigerian security services and ignorance of the general public that led to the fatality. Again, anyone who chooses to ignore this warning does so at their own peril as the aftermath of these blasts will be catastrophic.

"The government of Goodluck Jonathan has shown its unwillingness to address the key issues of the Niger Delta but chosen, instead, to continue doling out bribes to thugs and plunder the resources of the Niger Delta into his presidential campaign while deceiving the world and Nigerians that there is peace in the Niger Delta.

"Our revolution, like that of our fellow brothers in Northern Africa, will start with the crippling of the Nigerian oil industry to flush out all Western oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region with the simultaneous bomb blasts never anticipated in the history of this country.

"The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta salutes the courage and dedication of its fighters who have, against all odds, persisted in the fight for justice."


Related stories: Video - MEND attack on independence day

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Earthquake - Nigeria to Assist Japan

Nigeria has said, it would, "in its own little way", assist Japan which had its north-eastern part struck by a powerful earthquake and a tsunami on Friday.

Her commitment to assist came on the heels of similar pledges by some 50 other countries across the world yesterday, which offered to support Japan in its "recovery effort".

Reacting to the devastation of some parts of the Asian country by a combination of the earthquake, measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale, and the subsequent tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, said Nigeria stands in solidarity with the people and government of Japan.

"Our heart goes out to the families of those, who lost their loved ones in this tragedy and we stand in solidarity with the government and people of Japan.

"We hope that as the international community rallies round to offer support, we will, in our little way, do what we can to lend support to the efforts to bring some succour to those who have been affected by this natural disaster," Ajumogobia said.

He said the Nigerian mission in Tokyo had been contacted, confirming that the embassy itself was not affected but they had been directed to set up emergency communication lines for Nige-rians, who might be affected by the natural disaster.

The minister said the deadly incident was also a reminder of the challenges facing the world in the area of climate change.

Noting that the deadly incident had been described as the worst in Japan in over a hundred years, he said it was a call to the international community to stand together in tackling the challenges of climate change.

As part of relief efforts for the areas devastated by the earthquake and tsunami, the Canadian Red Cross Society Saturday launched a Japan Earthquake/Tsunami fund, which in the first nine hours, raked in about $176,000 from donations from Canadians.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yukio Edano, also confirmed yesterday that there was an explosion and radiation leakage at Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Radiation leaked from the crippled nuclear plant after a blast blew the roof off, and authorities prepared to distribute iodine to people in the vicinity to protect them from exposure.

The government insisted radiation levels were low because although the explosion severely damaged the main building of the plant, it had not affected the reactor core container.

Local media said three workers suffered radiation exposure at the plant in the wake of Friday's massive earthquake, which sent a 10-meter (33-foot) tsunami ripping through towns and cities across the northeast coast.

Meanwhile, Japan's foreign ministry confirmed that condolences and offers of aid poured in from around the world, including Canada.

Japan had requested search and rescue teams from several countries with early estimates put at billions of dollars.

On its part, the United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon said UN would do everything it can to help Japan. This also followed assurances from President Barack Obama that the US was sending another aircraft carrier to the region along with equipment that can lift huge loads.

Similarly, Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he spoke on Friday with Japan's ambassador to the country, during which he "offered any support and assistance that may be needed by that country."

The International Comm-ittee of the Red Cross has also set up a Family Links website to help people trying to re-establish contact with missing family members and friends. The ICRC said the worst hit areas are in the prefectures of Miyagi, Fukushima, Tochigi and Ibaraka.

The earthquake, which swept away cars, ships and buildings by a wall of water struck about 400km (250 miles) north-east of Tokyo, have reportedly left at least 20 aftershocks, with magnitudes ranging from five to 6.8.

The Economic Times reports that the aftershocks rocked Japan's east coast yesterday, a day after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake devastated the country and caused mass destruction.

The damage caused by the quake, reports said on Friday, was amplified by tsunami waves slamming Pacific coastal regions in northeastern Japan.

The official death toll stood at 413, while 784 people were missing and 1,128 injured.

Equally, about 725 people remain unaccounted for in six prefectures, while the number of victims of the catastrophe was expected to rise to well over 1,000 people, the defence ministry said yesterday.

The National Police Agency said about 1,800 houses in Fukushima prefecture were destroyed. It said more than 215,000 people were in emergency shelters in eastern and northern Japan yesterday.

Search and rescue efforts were being conducted with the help of the US military, with around 20,000 personnel, nearly 200 aircraft and 25 boats being dispatched to the hardest-hit northeastern region.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan yesterday inspected the quake-hit nuclear power plant in Fukushima, where damage from a radioactive leak occurred. He also toured other affected areas.

"I realised the huge extent of the tsunami damage," Kan told reporters after returning to Tokyo.

Almost six million households were left without power in quake-hit areas yesterday and four trains operating in the coastal regions of Miyagi and Iwate prefectures have yet to be found following the colossal tsunami.

This Day

Related story: Nigeria to assist Haiti

Truck Load of Explosives Seized in Jos

The Special Task Force (STF) maintaining security in Plateau State has intercepted a truck loaded with explosives on its way to Jos from Kaduna.

The truck with registration plate number XH 379 KMC was arrested early Thursday with a police escort. The policeman was in mufti.

Captain Charles Ekeocha, spokesman for STF said the interception was made at Mistali near Jos.

He said the discrepancies in the waybill of the consignment said to belong to Duwan Company Limited in Jos was purportedly signed in Lagos whereas the vehicle originated from Kaduna a situation that raised suspicion.

He said the movement of such large quantity of explosives without proper security cover was another issue adding, "the commander of the STF, Brigadier General Hassan Umaru has directed that the vehicle with its load be detained pending further investigation as to the end use and properly look into the papers which has discrepancies issue."

The explosives found in the truck according to the statement include, 15,000 kg of Ammonium Nitrate, 50,000 kg of cordex fuse (500Ã-100) 5,000 pieces of electric detonator [1000 pieces X 5 cases} 1,000 pieces of card relays 25ms ( one case) 80 pieces of electric detonator.

Others are 775 Kg of super power, 25 mm (25 Kg x 31cartons), 5pieces of 4 ft. drilling rod and pieces of 6 ft. drilling rod.


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Friday, March 11, 2011

Aliko Dangote is Africa's Richest Man

President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote (53), has emerged the richest man in Africa, for the first time, with a net worth of $13.8 billion, according to a report from the Forbes annual world's billionaires ranking, released on Wednesday.

The 14 Africans on the 2011 Forbes Rich list are two Nigerians, four South Africans and eight Egyptians.

The Aliko Dangote's fortune surged 557 per cent in the past year, from 436 position to 51 in 2011, making him the world's biggest gainer in percentage terms and Africa's richest individual for the first time.

Also, on the Forbes list for Nigeria is the Chairman of Globacom and Equatorial Trust Bank (ETB), Dr. Mike Adenuga jnr (54), who is valued at $2 billion.

Adenuga debuts on the billionaires' list after making waves with mobile technology.

His telecoms carrier, Globacom, recently launched a 4G network, and he has invested $1 billion on a submarine cable, connecting Nigeria to the rest of the world.

He owns a stake in the Equitorial Trust Bank and chairs Niger Delta oil exploration firm, Conoil.

With presence in 14 African countries, Dangote has emerged the continent's biggest cement maker, contributing significantly to other African countries' economy.

Dangote began his career as a commodities trader; built his Dangote Group into a conglomerate with interests in sugar, flour milling, salt processing, cement manufacturing, real estate, oil and gas, among others.

Meanwhile, Carlos Slim remain the world's richest person for a second year with estimated assets of $74 billion, according to Forbes Magazine's annual global ranking of billionaires.

Dangote is now richer than long-time white South African billionaires, Nicky Oppenheimer of Debeers and Johann Rupert of luxury goods group Richemont, who owns Cartier, Dunhill and other premium brands.

For now he is gearing up to introduce Dangote Cement to foreign investors.

Companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) are required to have a minimum free float of 25 per cent, Dangote initially listed five per cent shares.

According to analysts at Thaddeus Investment Advisors, the Nigerian market is too shallow for a stock of Dangote Cement's size to be listed on the exchange; this is why the balance of the free float will be listed outside of Nigeria.

Dangote, who recently bought himself a $45 million Bombardier aircraft for his birthday, has been shuttling back and forth London for months, in anticipation of a public offering in London later this year.

Nasir El-Rufai, former Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), described Dangote as a rare breed and the pride of Africa.

He said: "When the producer of the BBC documentary described Dangote as the wealthiest black man in the world, several people challenged him. Well, Forbes just released their wealth list today and you guessed it, Dangote is not only the richest black man. But he is also richer than Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook. The Nigerian spirit is an excellent spirit. Believe it today and always."

An astute world class business expert, with worldwide business interests, Adenuga, is a highly respected entrepreneur and one of the biggest employers of labour in the country.

In the last two decades, he has established a pedigree as a well-focussed and prudent manager of men and resources with the ability to successfully transform ideas and dormant businesses to highly viable enterprises.

He has founded and successfully run high-profile companies in the most lucrative sectors of the economy including telecommunications, banking, oil and gas.

His foray into banking commenced about 20 years ago when he established two banks, Devcom Merchant Band and Equitorial Trust Bank, both of which were merged to become the Equitorial Trust Bank during the consolidation exercise of 2005.

In the oil sector, he also achieved a historic feat in December 1991 by being the first Nigerian to find and produce crude .oil in commercial quantities at the Bella field.

In 2000, he bought majority shares in the downstream oil company, National Oil, and transformed the loss-making company into a profitable business.

Now renamed Conoil Plc, the company has been paying dividends to its shareholders since its acquisition.

Adenuga became a household name following his establishment of the Glo brand and his focus on Nigeria and Nigerians as the heartbeat and driving force of the company's competitive stance, as captured by its Glo with Pride and Rule your world slogans.

It is the opinion of many that Adenuga has infused pride in Nigerians through the achievements of Globacom and Glo Mobile, which are currently operating mobile telecoms services in three countries and gateway services in four.

Daily Independent

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Video - Reforming Nigeria's Power Sector

The electricity shortages in Nigeria can be a thing of the past as the private sector appears to be responding favourably to government plans to reform the power sector. The restructuring of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria will help the country diversify its energy mix while attracting new players in renewable energy to help ease the burden on fossil energy. ABN bureau in Lagos investigates.


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Super Eagles Move One Step On Fifa Rankings

Nigeria climbed one step to the 39th spot in the current FIFA world rankings. This movement was a reward for the Eagles' 2-1 win over Sierra Leone in an international friendly played last month at the Teslim Balogun stadium in Lagos.

In the February rankings, Nigeria plummeted from 32 position to 40. However, a convincing win against Ethiopia in a 2012 Nations Cup qualifier later this month, would see the Super Eagles rise in the next edition of the FIFA rankings, due in the early days of April.

Spain are still number one with Holland and Germany in tow. But Argentina pushed Brazil from fourth place, while England remained at number six.

Eagles in training

Ghana dropped one place down to 16th on the account of Japan's two steps movement to the 15th position. Ghana are still tops in the African ratings with Ivory Coast taking second spot with its 25th ranking, Egypt 35 on the world stage are third in African while Nigeria maintained its fourth placing on the continent.

Burkina Faso moved a step into the 40th position, to complete the African top five.


Related stories:  Eagles Drop As Black Stars Rise On FIFA Rankings

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Okonjo-Iweala On World's 'Women Deliver 100' List

FIVE Nigerian women have been recognised among the top 100 most inspiring men and women who have committed themselves to improving the lives of women around the world.

The landmark event is part of activities to mark the 100th anniversary of the International Women's Day (March by Women Deliver- an international global advocacy organisation that brings together voices from around the world to call for improved health and well being for girls and women.

Those being honored are Saudatu Sani, Advocacy Nigeria Chair and Chairperson of the House of Representatives Committee on MDGs; Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, Founder, African Women's Development Fund and African Women's Leadership Institute and Rolake Odetoyinbo, Director, Positive Action for Treatment Access (PATA).

Others are Prof. Olufunmilayo Olopade of the University of Chicago and MD World Bank, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Saudatu Sani, was recognized for ability to convince the Nigerian government that investing in women pays.

She led the fight to make women's health a priority, and inspired the government to create a budget line dedicated to "reducing the maternal mortality rate," a critical first step in increasing funding. As chair of Advocacy, Nigeria, she works to expand free emergency obstetric care and fund reproductive health services.

On her part, Bisi Adeleye - Fayemi, has trained over 1,000 women from across the continent to lead community-based organizations was recognized as a true leader who sees potential in other women, and will not rest until she sees that potential fulfilled.

Since learning that she is HIV-positive, Rolake Odetoyinbo has inspired countless other women to do the same. An advocate for HIV treatment, she trains HIV-positive volunteers as health educators, and works with doctors to reach out to those needing treatment.

Olufunmilayo Olopade, founding director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics at the University of Chicago, has spent the past two decades trying to find out why breast cancers in women of African heritage often originate in different cells, and require different treatments. Last but not least, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is an outspoken advocate for gender equality, she is a powerful example and a fierce advocate for women on the world stage.


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CNN's Walter Rogers writes women are the future of Nigeria