My new tall, dark and handsome boyfriend was standing across the room looking so fine in his shirt; I couldn't take my eyes off him.
It was my pal's birthday party and the first time I had ever dragged my latest man-friend out with my buddies.
I wasn't sure how it would go, yet there he was, charming the pants off them all by himself, busting out his A-material small talk with some friends in a corner. He was doing his best to impress. It was very sweet. He was going all out for me.
Meanwhile, I was at the snack table and before I could curse myself for leaving him to go in for another cheesy cracker, I was accosted by a buddy's wife I barely knew, a nasty woman named Sue. "How old is he?" she pried.
After politely playing 20 questions with Sue about my new boyfriend, I knew this was the one she was getting at. I wanted to say something like, "He's not as old as those frown lines make you look!" Anything that would shut her up and let me enjoy my prized romance.
Instead I shoved a cracker in my mouth and mulled over her question as I pretended it was hard to chew. It was more like her question was hard to swallow.
Yes, my new man was older than me, much older than me. But I wasn't some gold digger trying to claw at his cash account, or even a woman with daddy issues. I just thought he was the hottest, funniest man I'd ever met.
He was more exciting to be with than any of the 20-something guys I knew. I was smitten with his wit and the way he filled out a pair of pants. Really, are there better reasons to date someone?
Should I seriously have let 15 years come between me and happiness, just so I could avoid judgment from girls like Sue? I really should have answered her question with the long list of truly great things about dating an older man.
The Frisky: 9 inexcusable excuses for breaking up
He knows cool stuff you never heard of: Generation gaps can be a good thing culture-wise. He can introduce you to music and movies that are totally awesome classics.
The Frisky: 5 ways women try to impress men (and why they don't work)
He's super supportive: He's got a career and is secure in his work life, so he's totally supportive of your ambitions. And probs full of good advice! Not to mention the quarter-life crisis is kinda like the mid-life one.
The Frisky: Maybe its time to rethink your dating strategy?
Someone has already "fixed him up": That relationship didn't work out. And now you can reap the benefits of nice shoes and hand towels in the bathroom.
The Frisky: Factors in making love last (or not)
He doesn't stay out late: He might be a ladies' man, but after a certain age, he's not out on the prowl every night in da club lookin' for a fresh piece. He just wants to hang with you.
The Frisky: 6 heartwarming stories of old love
He knows himself: Nobody's perfect, and by now, he understands his main foibles. So, he can even communicate them to you to prevent friction.
The Frisky: The 10 best short hair moments of the decade
You're the pretty one: It's shallow, but it's always nice to feel extra sexy.
He doesn't want to be alone: He's already hit that point when men realize they don't want to be all by themselves. Even if they intend to stay confirmed bachelors, they still want company.
Salt n' pepper hair: So hot. Sure, not every middle-aged guy has got it, but it certainly ups your chances.
No more going Dutch: There won't be that awkward pause when the check comes; he'll always take it because a man of his years makes more money. You won't even feel the slightest bit guilty.
He is going to be this rad forever: Some peeps just lose their lust for life at a certain age, but your dude has still got it! He can not only keep up with your young butt, but he piques your interest. You know for sure that time doesn't slow him down. He's always willing to try new things. He's not going to turn into some couch potato all of a sudden. In another 20 years, he'll still be l-i-v-i-n'.
Complete body scans to begin in Nigerian airports
By Okechukwu Nnodim
The federal government, through its civil aviation authority, on Wednesday declared the commencement of a "100 per cent" body and baggage examination of passengers before they board any aircraft in the country. This is coming after the recent foiled attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight to Detroit, USA, from Amsterdam by a 23-year-old Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, on December 25, after security checks were unable to detect the powdery explosives he had attached to his body. A press release from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority said: "Secondary screening of passengers and the carry-on baggage should be total and performed for all departing flights at the boarding gates including body search."
"No person including crew members should be allowed to board an aircraft without passing through all aviation security screening procedures and formalities and 100 per cent examination is mandatory for all passengers," said Harold Demuren, director general, NCAA, at the authority's headquarters in Lagos.
Mr. Demuren disclosed that this declarative and enhanced security screening system to be effected at the airports is to ensure that the country does not witness another attempt of terrorism, excessive drug smuggling, and misdemeanours from travellers.
"To effectively combat the new threat of terrorism as unfolded recently, Nigeria is upgrading its security screening system to 3D total body imaging scanner," he said. "By the new year, we will have the latest security screening technology in place to efficiently fight every form of terrorism trying to creep into Nigeria."
Earlier, Sam Adurogboye, media head for the authority, said that the recent attempt by Mr. Abdulmutallab should be seen as a "revolution" that beats technology in the world's aviation industry, stressing that no airport on earth has the facility to detect an explosive in fine particles.
"The explosive he (Mr. Abdulmutallab) smuggled into the aircraft is in powdered form, and I don't know of any airport in the world that has a machine which can detect an explosive substance concealed in such form," he said.
Meanwhile, since the recent attempted bombing incident, the airports, especially the international wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA), have witnessed an increased presence of security operatives, both police officers and aviation security personnel.
"Genuine passengers are the ones suffering this mess, because it is so embarrassing how these stern officers here treat us all in the name of ensuring our safety," Greg Anozie, at the international airport.
Mr. Demuren disclosed that all airlines operating in the country have been directed to ensure that any passenger who refuses to comply with hundred per cent screening should be denied boarding. He, however, said that some of these measures were already in place before now, stressing that the repetition is mainly for emphasis and total compliance.
Were explosives from Nigeria?
Asked if the explosive smuggled by Mr. Abdulmutallab was made in Nigeria, the NCAA boss disclosed that the ongoing investigations on the case have not revealed where the explosive was acquired, adding that he doubts if the terror suspect could have gotten the substance in the country.
"We don't produce such kind of substance in this country, and when he passed our metal scanner and other screening machines after taking off his shoes and belts, we did not detect any explosive with him," he said.
"I cannot say categorically whether he got it from here or not, but I will say that it is most likely uncertain that he got the substance from Nigeria."
Yemen Bombed 3weeks Ago by the Sauidis/ US ,2 former naija Justices sons accomplices of Mutallab
Bombshell Eyewitness Revelations: Confirmed FBI Cover-Up Of Flight 253 Attack
Detroit attorney Kurt Haskell dropped bombshell revelations concerning his eyewitness experience of the Flight 253 attack and how the FBI detained a second man after dogs detected a bomb in his luggage on The Alex Jones Show today. The FBI has not only ignored Haskell’s story, but they have launched a cover-up by refusing to even acknowledge the existence of another man who filmed the entire flight, including the aborted attack, as well as the well-dressed man who aided the bomber to board the plane even though he had no passport and was on a terror watch list.
Watch this space for more stories on this astounding news that the corporate media has completely failed to cover.
Detroit attorney Kurt Haskell appeared on the Alex Jones Show today and detailed his experience at the Amsterdam airport and on flight 253. Mr. Haskell provided information not covered by the corporate media.
In addition to a detailed retelling of the story he gave the corporate media, Mr. Haskell addressed the unprofessional and lackadaisical behavior of the FBI and airport security after the plane landed at the Detroit Metro airport in Romulus, Michigan. He characterized their behavior as a “complete embarrassment.
They actually put us in more jeopardy than we were already in.”
Passengers were told to remain seated in the aircraft for 20 minutes after landing despite the fact security did not know at that point if there was an explosive on the plane or if the fire started by the suspect Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab while on descent to the airport had spread under the floor in the cabin or to the fuel tanks in the wings.
After being allowed to disembark from the plane by officials, passengers were detained in customs with their carry-on luggage for six hours while they waited to be interrogated by the FBI, according to Haskell.
At this point a bomb-sniffing dog pointed at carry-on luggage in the possession of a man Haskell described as Indian around 30 years old. Officials led the man away to an interrogation room. Haskell said he was concerned because the bomb-sniffing dog had flagged the man, indicating he may have had explosives in his carry-on luggage.
The Indian man was subsequently led away in handcuffs.
Following this incident the FBI moved the passengers to another location. “You’re being moved,” the FBI told them, “it is not safe here. I’m sure you all saw what happened and can read between the lines and why you’re being moved.”
Haskell said the corporate media refuses to cover this aspect of his story. He has repeated it to “countless” news agencies and they uniformly have not included it to his knowledge.
Mr. Haskell questioned why officials have not released the Amsterdam airport security video that will undoubtedly reveal crucial information about the “sharp-dressed man” who escorted a disheveled Mutallab to the boarding area. Haskell described the suspected terrorist as appearing to be a “poor black teenager.”
The well-dressed Indian man did all the talking. He insisted Mutallab be boarded on the plane without a passport and when an airport employee refused to do so Mutallab and the Indian man went to talk with a supervisor. The Indian man tried to pass off Mutallab as a Sudanese refugee and have him boarded despite the fact doing so would be in violation of regulations concerning refugees. In general, documentation must be provided by an embassy in order for refugees to board international flights.
Mr. Haskell did not see Mutallab again until the botched terror bombing inside the plane on the approach to Detroit. He did not know how Mutallab finally boarded the aircraft.
The FBI was not pleased with Kurt Haskell when they conducted a follow-up interview earlier today in Michigan. They showed him close-up photographs of various people, including Mutallab. “They kind of tried to trick me,” Haskell explained. The agents tried to pass off two photos of Mutallab as different people. Kurt asked the agents if they were attempting to impeach his story and smear him.
The Indian man was not included in the photographs.
Haskell asked them why he was not shown a full body shot of the suspect. Haskell was eight rows back from the suspect. The FBI agents did not answer and were displeased with the question. He also asked the FBI agents if it would be more appropriate to bring the surveillance video from the Amsterdam airport instead of still photos. “I don’t think they liked that comment from me,” Haskell added. The FBI said they did not have the videotape.
The agents showed Haskell a photograph of the man flagged by the bomb-sniffing dog and taken into custody in customs. “Isn’t this the man who had the bomb in his carry-on bag that you arrested in customs who you refuse to admit exists?” Haskell asked the agents. “They really didn’t like that comment from me and had no comment back to me but I said it sure looks like the man you refuse to admit exists.”
Kurt Haskell was circumspect and careful not to speculate during the interview with Alex Jones. He indicated he is only interested in the facts and does not want to endanger his version of events by speculating on motives.
In a full unedited interview with Alex Jones, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, Mr. Haskell recalled that just before being questioned about the sharp dressed man incident a man was pulled into a room, handcuffed, and detained by authorities. Who was he? Why was he detained? Is there any relevance to the story?
Haskell described the man as being a much younger Indian man. After the incident authorities asked the passengers to move to another location. Obviously it was a big deal. Surely the larger media outlets could find out who this man was and what he was detained for. According to Haskell the authorities then told the passengers that obviously they had a problem. The passengers were then told they could figure out what was going on but nothing more.Something doesn’t smell right and it’s not the underwear bomb.
The reason given for the terrorist attempt was the bombing of Yemen by Saudi’s with help from American CIA. Ron Paul called that one right away before Mutallab said it to authorities. Why didn’t any news agencies cover the bombing of Yemen before yesterday afternoon? It was almost like they had to cover it after the alternative media had already let the cat out of the bag so to speak. That also brings up the question why didn't they cover the man who was detained prior to questioning?
Security Adviser queries DG, NIA over Mutallab
Inquest reveals involvement of sons of two former justices
NIGERIA's intelligence/ Security machinery has kicked into overdrive in its bid to find what went wrong on its part, who knew what and when about the deeds or moves of Farouk Abdul muttallab, now facing charges of attempted terror attack in the United States of America (U.S.A).
advertisement here call 07058888394 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Piqued by the negative impact of the global discussion of the involvement of the Nigerian in the Christmas day's botched attempt to blow up a U.S.-bound plane that took off from Amsterdam, Holland and with the looming spectre of being tagged a haven of terrorists, Nigeria's presidency has launched a comprehensive probe of the tragic incident. The claims and counter- claims on who knew what, when and where, about Farouk Mutallab's suspected attempt are of course of special interest.
The probe, which promises to be far-reaching, began in earnest on Monday morning when the National Security Adviser Abdul Sarki Mukhtar, a retired Major-General, personally issued and signed a strongly-worded query to the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Ambassador E.O. Oladeji.
In the query entitled: "Alleged Involvement of Umar Farouk Mutallab in an Attempt to Bomb a U.S. Airliner" and dated December 28, the National Security Adviser indicated that the National Intelligence Agency had prior knowledge of a report said to have been deposited with it on the suspect. The words of the query:
"From all indications, it seemed that your Agency had prior knowledge of a report, said to have been made by Alhaji Umar Mutallab about the tendencies of his son, Umar Farouk, towards radicalisation, which was manifested in the incident leading to his arrest in the U.S."
The query goes further, "It is really unfortunate and sad that knowledge of such an important intelligence issue could not be brought to the attention of this office, or the weekly Intelligence Community Committee Meeting (ICCM). It was this failure that led to the unfortunate incident we are grappling with now".
"The report if circulated within the ICC would have alerted the Security Agencies at our Travel Control Points (TCPs) to take appropriate required action, that would have led to his arrest, before boarding the KLM flight from Nigeria, thereby pre-empting the sad incident", it added.
The NSA notes that "Failure to do so has not only led to this rather unfortunate international embarrassment to the Nigerian nation, but also depicted our country as a haven for terrorists. You are therefore to explain what led to this failure of intelligence, and the persons therein involved. Your explanation, should reach me on or before Tuesday December 29, 2009..."
According to sources close to the NIA, the National Security Adviser's letter has caused some "consternation" within the Agency coming on the heels of a recent crisis that led to the dramatic removal of the former DG NIA, Ambassador Imohe.
The Guardian gathered last night that even as the NIA chief executive faces the challenge of answering the query from the NSA, the presidency has been told that contrary to earlier reports that the lead and indeed activities of Umar Farouk (Jnr) were reported to Nigeria's security agencies, "the father only reported it to a former National Security official who served under President Obasanjo, who in turn reportedly informed one of the directors at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). The director obviously did nothing about the lead until the current incident happened."
The report of how Mutallab (snr) reported his son is said to have also raised curiosity of the Intelligence and Security Community. One puzzle operatives are hoping to unravel is "what the former Managing Director of UBA knew and what compelled him to head for the American Embassy instead of, for instance, the British High Commission which had in May this year rejected his son's re-entry visa shortly after he completed his degree programme in a London university".
Besides, the Intelligence and Joint Security Services are said to be interested in questioning the eminent Mutallab, a former federal commissioner (minister) under General Obasanjo as military head of state (1976-1979) on "why he did not report the suspicious deeds of his son to the offices of current National Security Adviser or even the Directors-General of the State Services Department or the National Intelligence Agency".
In the same vein, the presidency, still smarting from the embarrassment occasioned by the absence of the president for more than a month now, is now running with bursting adrenaline to get to the root of this crisis. As a result, so many questions are being asked: What are some of the relationships the older Mutallab has in the world of business, government and even religion? Being married to an Arab Yemeni himself, what could the older Mutallab know or say of his son's Yemeni connections? Yemen is now widely known as the base of radical islamic fundamentalists where attacks had previously been planned on American targets.
Could the attempted attack by Mutallab have been a culmination of an intricate web of local and transnational intrigues that may have implications for domestic and foreign policy direction of the current administration?"
Just as answers were being sought to these and other questions, last night, it was revealed by diplomatic sources that Umar Farouk may not have been alone in his suspected enterprise. Indeed, two sons of two former justices of Nigeria have also been fingered and are already under the scrutiny of security men.
British investigators are said to have also revealed that a Pakistani citizen who collaborated with a Yemeni citizen actually trained the three Nigerian suspects inside the United Kingdom.
In the meantime, The Guardian also confirmed yesterday from diplomatic sources that some U.S. security and intelligence chiefs visited the State Security Service Headquarters on Monday where they met with a Director of Operations of the Service.
It was understood that they actually discussed and harmonised positions on how to deal with what is now known as "the Mutallab Challenge".
Meanwhile, the Department of State Security Services (SSS) which called off a planned briefing two days ago is said to have clarified its own stance to the presidency especially on how the suspect pased through the airport. The SSS was said to have clarified its role this way: "The role of the Service at the airports is to maintain Watch-list Action and not to search intending travellers. Watch-list Action is a request from various agencies for the Service to take specific actions on suspected persons who contravened one law or another affecting the requesting agency".
"In this case, (Umar Farouk's), no Watch-list Action was demanded on Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from any agency within or outside the country. Watch-list Action can be mounted to check those travelling with stolen passports. Accordingly, the Service may conduct Service may conduct searches on air travellers if such persons are on Watch-list".
It clarified further, "Meanwhile, it is on record that airlines employ private security companies, which carry out all forms of checks and searches even at the final point of boarding".
It concluded on a plea note: "In the light of the current development, the Service wishes to reiterate that security is a collective responsibility. Therefore, all citizens are urged to be more sensitive to their environment and collaborate with relevant agencies to timely identify such tendencies and other issues that impact on our collective security".
It has been disclosed, by a law enforcement official that part of an explosive device that failed to take down a plane last week was sewn into AbdulMutallab's underwear.
According to foreign media, Abdulmutallab, 23, the privately-educated son of one of Nigeria's most prominent bankers, managed to smuggle his bomb aboard the aircraft by strapping a condom filled with the high explosive PETN to the inside of his leg and then attempting to detonate it using a syringe filled with a liquid chemical. The PETN powder caught fire but did not explode.
Investigators are worried that AQAP has developed what is effectively an "undetectable bomb" involving PETN that can only be found by using expensive and intrusive full body scanners at airports, with huge implications for airport security.
A preliminary FBI analysis found that the device AbdulMutallab was said to have carried aboard the flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Detroit, Michigan, contained pentaerythritol tetranitrate, an explosive also known as PETN. The amount of explosive was sufficient to blow a hole in the aircraft, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Sunday.
U.S. investigators have not determined whether the al Qaeda claim of responsibility was true, but one U.S. counterterrorism official told CNN on Monday that the group might have some involvement.
CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen said that if al Qaeda operatives in Yemen were behind the Christmas plot, that would represent a significant advance for the group.
"Most of the attacks we have seen in the past have been in Yemen or Saudi Arabia, and the (al Qaeda) affiliate there has not been able to do out-of-the-area operation," Bergen said.
A federal security bulletin obtained by CNN said AbdulMutallab claimed the explosive device used Friday "was acquired in Yemen along with instructions as to when it should be used."
Meanwhile, a very influential U.S. Congressman representing New York is advocating that Mutallab be tried under martial law over his attempt on Christmas day to blow up a U.S. airliner.
Congressman, Peter King, a Republican legislator who is also the ranking Republican on the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee said yesterday that Umar Farouk should face a military court instead of civil courts.
King spoke as Nigerian diplomats completed a "consular visit" to the Nigerian terror suspect on Monday in Milan, Michigan, where he is being held in a federal detention centre.
Nigeria's Acting Ambassador to the U.S., Mr. Baba Gana Wakili, confirmed that Nigerian Embassy officials completed their first meeting with Umar Farouk.
However, the Acting Ambassador declined to talk about the legal options of the suspect, except to say the embassy and the Nigerian government "are cooperating with the U.S. investigating authorities at a government to government level, we are in constant touch with the State Department."
Under the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush, the chances of a military trial would have been more likely, but the Obama White House has clearly shifted towards open civil trials, where defendants are allowed the basic rights, unlike a military court where the proceedings are secret and the defendant is deemed a combatant.
According to diplomats, the consular visit is to ensure that the Nigerian suspect is being held under the right conditions and that his rights under the Geneva Convention are not violated.
"There was no suggestion he was about to carry out a terrorist act," the official said.
The official said the father, Umaru AbdulMutallab, came to the embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, on November 19 over the safety of his son.
"He was concerned about his son's safety and whereabouts and wondered if the U.S. government could help," the official said.
The next day, November 20, the U.S. embassy in Abuja sent what is called a "Visas Viper cable" to the State Department detailing the father's concerns, according to an official account by State Department spokesman Ian Kelley.
The information was passed on to the National Counter-Terrorism Center in Washington, which ruled that the information in the cable was "insufficient for this interagency review process to make a determination that this individual's visa should be revoked."
The secretary of state can unilaterally revoke a visa but usually does that for foreign policy and diplomatic, not national security reasons, Kelley said. "This has to be done in consultation with other agencies," Kelley said.
The Christmas Day airline terror alert has brought focus on PETN, a substance till now largely unknown to the public.
The white powder is said to be central to the alleged plot by Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab to bring down a passenger aircraft, carrying 300 passengers, as it prepared to land in Detroit. But just what is PETN?
What does PETN look like?
Pentaerythritol tetranitrate, PETN is a fine white powder that resembles sugar or salt. It does not compress down very well.
Although it is an explosive, it needs to be hammered it or ignited to it go off. And since it is not volatile, it is perfect for a terrorist on a long haul flight.
UK explosives expert, Sidney Alford, explained to CNN's senior international correspondent Nic Robertson: "It wouldn't go off accidentally. If I was carrying a pocketful of just neat powder in my pocket, it blowing up would be the last of my worries."
Sources familiar with the investigation tell CNN that the working assumption is that AbdulMutallab may have had some 80 grammes of PETN. Alford said that this would be enough to blow a hole in an aircraft.
Alford conducted a controlled explosion of a sample of PETN for CNN. Video
Six grams of PETN - less than a tenth of what AbdulMutallab is alleged to have had in his possession - punched a large circular dent into a metal plate twice the thickness of an aircraft fuselage.
Canada is immediately limiting carry-on items for flights to the United States in the aftermath of a failed terror attack on a Northwest Airlines flight.
"Effective immediately, U.S.-bound passengers are not allowed to bring carry-on bags into the cabin of the aircraft, with some exceptions," said a statement from Transport Canada.
According to the agency, carry-ons will be limited to medication or medical devices, small purses, cameras, coats, infant-care items, laptop computers, containers carrying life-sustaining or special-needs items, musical instruments, or diplomatic or consular bags. Crutches, canes and walkers also are permitted.
"These measures are expected to be in place at least for several days," Transport Canada said.
Babangida weeps as wife is buried
Even "acolytes" of the Prince & the Art of War by niccolo machiavelli have emotions .
FORMER Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd) bowed to emotions last night as his wife for nearly 40 years, Mayram was interred, in their Hill Top Home, Minna, Niger State
Former military President, Ibrahim Babangida (middle), on arrival at the Minna Airport .. on Tues.
PHOTO: Daily Independent Newspaper
Maryam whose body arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at about 11 pm yesterday was brought to Minna, Niger state capital in an Air Ambulance, arriving the mansion of the Babangidas in a long motor cade.
The corpse arrived the home at about 11.45 pm accompanied by Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, Sani Ndanusa (Sports Minister) and Adamu Aliero, (FCT Minister) on behalf of the Federal Government.
Prayers for the reposed of the soul of Maryam began at 12.45am led by the Chief Imam of Minna, Alhaji Isah Fari.
The crowd surged as the prayers moved in order to catch last glimpse of the former glamorous first lady.
A close confidant of the Babangidas, Alhaji Abdulkarim Kure piloted affairs, assisted by former Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI), DG, Brig. Halilu Akilu Dignitaries present at the ceremony included former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, Governors Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Namadi Sambo, (Kaduna), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta) Magatakarda Wamakko (Sokoto) among others.
There were also former military colleagues to Babangida, Gen. John Shagaya, (rtd) former Security operative, Umaru Shinkafi, Captain Nogie Megason, Tayo Amusun, wife of Kwara State Governor, Mrs Toyin Saraki, PDP Chieftain, Tony Anenih, former CBN Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, and a very large number of National Assembly members, and past and present members of the political class.
Her interment came a day earlier than scheduled because of what a family member explained "in order to curtail an uncontrollable crowd since security operatives might not be able to control the surging crowd if she was buried in the day."
Earlier, it was a heart-rending spectacle yesterday as Gen. Ibrahim Babangida wept profusely on arrival at Minna Airport at 5.45 p.m. in a private aircraft to await the return of the remains of his wife, Maryam, who died in the United States (U.S.) at the weekend.
She passed on last Sunday at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Centre (UCLA), Los Angeles after a battle with ovarian cancer.
Gen. Babangida returned to receive the body, which will be buried at 11:00 a.m. today beside the family mosque at his Hilltop Mansion in Minna.
The uncontrollable weeping of Nigeria's former military President for eight years forced many people at the airport to burst into tears.
Babangida was received by his son-in-law and Zamfara State Governor Aliyi Shinkafi as well as the General's first son, Mohammed and others.
Also, at the airport were Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Anambra governorship candidate, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo and former governor of Yobe State, Bukar Abba Ibrahim among others.
Babangida, dressed in black caftan, arrived at his residence at 6.10 pm in company of Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu and others in a 38-seater coaster bus bearing the official seal of the state government.
Meanwhile, the three-day fidau prayers for the repose of the soul of the late former First Lady have been held in Minna.
The two and half hours prayer was performed by the chief iman of Minna Central Mosque, Alhaji Abu Fari who prayed for forgiveness.
The prayer was attended by immediate family members, sympathisers and other dignitaries including former head of state, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, Aliyu and Shinkafi, and the Minister for Interior, Alhaji Shettima Mustapha. Erstwhile governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abdulkadir Kure and Alhaji Dettijo Aliyu, a former commissioner for heath in the state and cousin to Gen. Babangida, were also there.
Thousands of Nigerians have continued to troop to the hill-top mansion to register their condolence. They included former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon and his wife, Victoria, former Lagos State military governor, Brig. Gen. Raji Rasaki, former governor of Cross River State, Col. Anthony Ukpo, former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Mohammed Inuwa Wushishi.
Others included the Governor of Osun State Olagunsoye Oyinlola and former Minister for Works and Housing Tony Anenih.
Gowon noted that the late Maryam was an exceptionally good first lady who dedicated her life especially to the rural women and Nigeria in general.
Gowon said: "It is a very sad occasion for all of us and she will be sorely missed by her husband, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida as well as the children who were left behind.
"We hope that they (children) follow her footsteps and ensure that they maintain the legacy she left behind through life."
Gen. Abubakar remarked: "She has really played her role as the first lady of Nigeria. She brought the Better Life Programme for the rural woman and I believe that through her office the rural woman has been brought to the fore and a lot of things have been done for the rural areas. She has played her role as the First Lady and as set the tone of how first ladies should contribute their own quota in the affairs of the nation."
Oyinlola said: "It is my own person that I have lost; I have been with the family since I was 20 years of age and I pray that the good lord continues to uphold the family."Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau yesterday condoled with Babangida.
In the letter dated December 28, 2009 and addressed to Gen. Babangida, he said: "It is with deep sense of grief that, I, on behalf of the entire Army, commiserate with you and your entire family...
"Her Excellency was a loving mother to all, especially the less privileged in the society throughout her life time. Her passion for the welfare of wives of officers and soldiers when she was the National President of Nigerian Army Officers' Wives Association was remarkable and a source of encouragement to all those who attained that post after her. She will surely be missed and remembered by all in the Nigerian Army and the country at large.
"It is my fervent prayer that the Almighty God will grant you and those she left behind the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. Once again, please accept our heartfelt condolences."
Also, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) yesterday, commiserated with the Babangidas, lauding Maryam's "pioneering efforts on the upliftment of women's welfare".
NBA, in a statement by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Gbolahan Gbadamosi, on behalf of the NBA President, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), noted that she was " a pride to African women."
According to the Association: "The sad news of the death of a friend of rural women after succumbing to the terminal ailment came to us as an unkind piece at this period.
"It is on record that her pet project- Better Life for the Rural Woman brought succour to underprivileged women. Her legacy on this score is worthy of emulation.
"We are consoled by the effort she put in the service of humanity and pray that God will give the Babangidas the courage to bear the irreparable loss".
A business mogul and Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Abdul-Azeez Arisekola-Alao, has also condoled Babangida.
In a statement yesterday, Arisekola-Alao said: "Every soul shall have a taste of death and Allah will, by his mercy compensate us of our deeds on the day of judgment and those that the Almighty Allah admitted into the garden would have succeeded and Hajia Maryam Babangida will insha Allah be one of them.
" I hereby express my heartfelt condolence to my brother, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria over the death of his wife, Hajia Maryam Babangida. "Please, take consolation from God that our departed wife and mother played her part very well... History will never forget her. May the merciful Allah accept her. Amen."Read more…
America, al-Qaeda and home-made bombs From shoes to soft drinks to underpants was culled and rewriteen from the Economist Magazine .
The attempted bombing of an airliner highlights gaps in intelligence-sharing and airport security
THE charred underpants of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tell the story of a terrorist attack averted only by luck. The 23-year-old son of a prominent Nigerian banker had hidden a fistful of high explosive in a package sewed into the crotch of his underwear. As Northwest Airlines flight 253 from Amsterdam prepared to land in Detroit on Christmas Day, with 290 people on board, he covered himself with a blanket and injected a chemical to detonate the explosive. Mr Abdulmutallab succeeded only in starting a fire, which was put out by passengers and the cabin crew as they wrestled him down.
Al-Qaeda’s latest attempt to blow up an America-bound airliner—after Richard Reid’s failed shoe-bomb in 2001, and the arrest in 2006 of Britons planning to destroy several aircraft with liquid explosives in soft-drink bottles—will bring yet more misery for travellers. Security queues immediately lengthened. Despite worries about privacy, there were calls for the introduction of full-body scanners to identify items under clothing that cannot be found with metal-detectors. Some passengers were even being told to stay in their seats, without blankets or even books on their laps, for the last hour of their flight.
Click here to find out more!
Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen quickly took the credit, hailing Mr Abdulmutallab as a “brother hero” for evading security screening and intelligence monitoring. More attacks were in the works: “With Allah’s permission, we will come to you from where you do not expect.”
Yet the attack should not have been unexpected. Al-Qaeda’s Yemeni branch has been resurgent since it merged a year ago with the remnants of the decimated Saudi franchise to relaunch “al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula”, boosted by the influx of several veterans of Guantánamo Bay. It has moved from attacks against targets in Yemen to a regional agenda, and now to global jihad. A Yemeni preacher, Anwar al-Awlaki, exchanged e-mails with Major Nidal Hasan, the American army psychiatrist who killed 13 people in November at a base in Fort Hood, Texas.
The Yemeni branch seems to have pioneered the underpants-bomb in August, when it nearly killed Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, Saudi Arabia’s deputy interior minister. Mr Abdulmutallab is said to have obtained the same explosive, known as PETN, in Yemen and carried it undetected as he travelled through Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria to Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, where he boarded flight 253.
Other chances to foil the attack were missed. Nigerian authorities, and the American embassy in Abuja, were told in November by Mr Abdulmutallab’s father that his son had become an extremist and had disappeared, maybe to Yemen. The younger Mr Abdulmutallab was placed on the least important of America’s four terrorism watch-lists, and he kept his multiple-entry visa to the United States.
In Britain, though, officials said Mr Abdulmutallab had “crossed the radar screen” of MI5, the domestic intelligence service, for radical links during his time as a mechanical-engineering student (and at one point president of the Islamic Society) at University College London between 2005 and 2008. He was placed on an immigration watch-list in May 2009, after he was denied another student visa for applying to a bogus college.
Why nobody linked all these danger signals is the subject of urgent investigation, and the cause of growing embarrassment for the Obama administration. Janet Napolitano, the homeland-security secretary, declared initially on December 27th that “the system has worked really very, very smoothly”, only to accept the next day that the system had in fact “failed miserably”. Then Barack Obama twice broke away from his holiday in Hawaii to speak in increasingly blunt terms about the “mix of human and systemic failures that contributed to this potential catastrophic breach of security”. Mr Abdulmutallab was a “known extremist”. The warning from his father had not been effectively distributed in the intelligence system; even without it there were other “bits of information” that should have raised red flags and kept him off planes flying to America. Officials say these “bits” included reports that an unnamed Nigerian was being prepared for an attack, and that al-Qaeda wanted to strike over Christmas. Mr Obama promised “accountability at every level”, and ordered that a preliminary review be completed by December 31st.
The blame game
Many Republicans already argue that Mr Obama is soft on terrorism; he prefers to denounce “violent extremists” than to refer to George Bush’s “war on terror”. Ms Napolitano has been mocked for talking of “man-caused” disasters—in order, she says, to avoid the politics of fear. The loudest complaints have been prompted by Mr Obama’s promise to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay (where nearly half the remaining detainees are Yemeni) and the decision to try five suspected terrorists (including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged September 11th mastermind) in civilian courts.
It is difficult, though, for Mr Obama’s opponents to make a persuasive case so soon after he decided to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. On his watch American drones and special forces have been busier than ever, not only in Afghanistan and Pakistan but also, it is reported, in Somalia and Yemen. Mr Obama restated that every element of America’s power would be used “to disrupt, to dismantle, and defeat the violent extremists who threaten us—whether they are from Afghanistan or Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia, or anywhere where they are plotting attacks against the US homeland.”
Intelligence analysts reckon that strikes have weakened al-Qaeda’s “core” leadership in Pakistan’s lawless border region. Perhaps so. But al-Qaeda is adaptable, inventive and is seeking new bases. Joe Lieberman, the hawkish independent senator, says he was warned by an American official in Yemen: “Iraq was yesterday’s war. Afghanistan is today’s war. If we don’t act pre-emptively, Yemen will be tomorrow’s war.”
Posted by technology on December 30, 2009 at 7:03pm
Activating Internet services on mobile phones GPRS 3G settingsAlthough a mobile phone may be internet ready, it will require activation before it can be used to browse the internet. In this page, you will find information on activating your mobile phone for internet browsing on MTN, Glo mobile, Zain, Etisalat, and so on.To access internet with a mobile phone you need to activate it by loading the mobile network’s internet settings to your mobile phone. This is done by sending an SMS command to the mobile network. On reception of your SMS, the network will send you your internet settings. You will then have to save the internet settings to your mobile phone. Some phones (usually newly launched mobile phones) may not accept automatic internet settings, in such a situation you will have to load your internet settings manually.In Nigeria, you do not worry about activating your mobile phone for internet access if you are using CDMA. This is because CDMA networks usually carry exclusive mobile phones, which are often preloaded with internet settings. When buying a mobile phone from network exclusive outlets, ask whether the mobile phone has been activated and if not request for internet configuration on the spot.Most often, you worry about configuration when you are using GSM or WCDMA. Here are internet, 3G or GPRS settings of MTN, Glo mobile, and Zain:Activating MTN mobile internetTo get your 3G/3.5G/GPRS internet settings, text SETTINGS to 3888 on an MTN Nigeria mobile phone. Save the internet settings.You can also use manual internet configuration:MTN manual 3G/3.5G/GPRS internet settings for WAPAccount name: MTN GPRSIP Address: 10.199.212.2Port: 9201Username: webPassword: webAccess point name (APN): web.gprs.mtnnigeria.netMTN manual 3G/3.5G/GPRS internet settings for full internetAccount name: MTN GPRSIP Address: 10.199.212.2Port: 8080Username: webPassword: webAccess point name (APN): web.gprs.mtnnigeria.netActivating Glo mobile internetTo get your Glo 3G internet settings SMS activate to 444 using a 3G mobile phone. Save the internet settings in your mobile phone. To get Glo WAP settings, SMS your phone name and model to 927. For example, to activate Nokia 2630, SMS Nokia 2630 to 927. Save the internet settings in your mobile phone.Glo manual 3G/3.5G internet settingsService name: Glo 3GIP Address: 10.100.98.22Port: 3130Username: wapPassword: wapAccess point name (APN): glo3gvideoAuthentication: NormalHome page: http://cms.gloworld.comActivating Zain mobile internetTo get your Zain GPRS settings SMS Internet [space] [phone make] [space] [model number] to 232. For example, to activate Nokia 2360, SMS Internet Nokia 2360 to 232. Save the internet settings in your mobile phone.Zain manual GPRS settings for WAPPort: 8080Username:Password:Access point name (APN): internet.ng.zain.comAuthentication: NormalHome page: http://wap.ng.zain.comActivating Etisalat mobile internetEtisalat manual 3G/3.5G internet settingsAccount name: Etisalat InternetIP Address: 10.100.98.22Username:Password:Access point name (APN): etisalatHome page: http://mobile.etisalat.com.ngEtisalat manual WAP internet settingsAccount name: Etisalat WAPIP Address: 10.71.170.5Port: 8080Username:Password:Access point name (APN): etisalatHome page: http://mobile.etisalat.com.ngActivating CDMA mobile internet for Starcomms, Reltel, Multi-Links, VisafoneCDMA networks carry specific phones preloaded with network settings like internet settings. Hence, if you bought your CDMA phone with internet capability from an authorised outlet of CDMA networks like Starcomms, Visafone, Reltel, or Multi-Links it is likely to be preloaded with internet settings. However, inquire just to be sure.
Billions could have their mobile phone calls intercepted and recorded after computer hackers cracked the secret code used to protect 80 per cent of the world’s users. The code was posted on the internet by German scientist Karsten Nohl, who said he organised the breach to demonstrate the weakness of mobiles’ security measures.He claims an eavesdropper could be listening to calls within 15 minutes with just a laptop and two network cards.There are now fears that half the world’s population could be left vulnerable to crime including identity fraud.Nohl said: ‘We have given up hope that network operators will move to improve security on their own, but we are hoping that with this added attention, there will be increased demand from customers for them to do this.‘This vulnerability should have been fixed 15 years ago. People should now try it out at home and see how vulnerable their calls are.’The code, called A5/1, was devised by the GSM Association 22 years ago and is used by more than three billion people in 212 countries.It prevents calls being intercepted by forcing mobile phones and base stations to rapidly change frequencies. 3G phones are not affected as they are protected by a different code.Nohl and a team of experts took five months to unravel the complicated mathematical sequence – known as an algorithm – used to encrypt calls.Last night the GSM Association played down the risks to customers.Security director James Moran said: ‘We are concerned but we don’t believe it will result in widespread eavesdropping tomorrow, or next week or next month.'The reality is that a practical attack is beyond the capabilities of the vast majority of people.’But if he is wrong, mobile operators could be forced into expensive upgrades to base stations.
Xmas Day Bomber AKA El nigri Said "I am lonely ! "
"Hence I am in a situation where I do not have a friend, I have no one to speak too, no one to consult, no one to support me and I feel depressed and lonely. I do not know what to do."
Liverpool FC is my TEAM Arsenal is just a stupid team ...
The disturbed mind of the Christmas Day airline bomber is evident in a series of tormented postings he wrote on the internet.
As a lonely 18-year-old, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab turned to an Islamic web forum as he struggled with his shame over his sexuality and growing alienation from his family.
His innermost thoughts reveal a shy and awkward
They show an increasingly religious and intolerant young man who fantasised about becoming a Muslim holy warrior in the ‘great jihad’ that would take place across the world.
In 310 internet posts written between 2005 and 2007, ‘Farouk1986’ – Abdulmutallab’s middle name and year of birth – desperately searches for guidance and help in hastily written messages filled with spelling and grammatical errors.
While at a prestigious British boarding school in Togo, he wrote: ‘First of all, I have no friends.
‘Not because I do not socialise, etc but because either people do not want to get too close to me as they go partying and stuff while I don’t, or they are bad people who befriend me and influence me to do bad things.
‘Hence I am in a situation where I do not have a friend, I have no one to speak too, no one to consult, no one to support me and I feel depressed and lonely. I do not know what to do.’
The posts were made on an Islamic bulletin board called Gawaher, which literally translates from Arabic as ‘gems’ or ‘jewels,’ but can also be read as ‘essence’ or ‘spirit’.
They started in 2005 when Abdulmutallab was 18 and preparing to apply to British universities. He wrote about his privileged upbringing in Nigeria and his family’s wealth.
Abdulmutallab’s father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, a frequent visitor to the U.S., retired this year as chairman of First Bank of Nigeria and still sits on the boards of several prominent Nigerian firms.
His love of sport, British football in particular, is evident with his fervent support of Liverpool, and his disparaging remarks about other clubs.
But gradually the football-mad teenager with academic ambitions is replaced by a student ideologue.
He writes of his struggles between balancing Islamic tolerance and fundamentalism.
‘I want to talk about my dilemma between liberalism and extremism,’ he writes. ‘The Prophet (S) said religion is easy and anyone who tries to overburden themselves will find it hard and will not be able to continue.
‘So anytime I relax, I deviate sometimes and then when I strive hard, I get tired of what I am doing i.e. memorising the quran, etc. How should one put the balance right?’
And there are chilling hints of the deadly role he was to play following his terror training in Yemen earlier this year.
He wrote: ‘I won’t go into too much details about my fantasy, but basically they are Jihad fantasies. I imagine how the great jihad will take place, how the Muslims will win (Allah willing) and rule the whole world, and establish the greatest empire once again.’
He also confides that he struggles with his sexual desires – encapsulated by the religious duty of ‘lowering the gaze’ in the presence of women.
‘And then I think this loneliness leads me to other problems,’ he writes. ‘As I get lonely, the natural sexual drive awakens and I struggle to control it, sometimes leading to minor sinful activities like not lowering the gaze.
‘And this problem makes me want to get married to avoid getting aroused.
‘The Prophet (S) advised young men to fast if they can’t get married but it has not been helping me much and I seriously don’t want to wait for years before I get married.’
In December 2005, Farouk1986 wrote that his parents were visiting him in London and that he was torn about whether he could eat meat with them.
‘I am of the view meat not slaughtered by Muslims … is haram [forbidden] for consumption unless necessary,’ he wrote.
‘My parents are of the view as foreigners, we are allowed to … eat any meat.
‘It occured [sic] to me I should not be eating with my parents as they use meat I consider haram. But I fear this might cause division and other complicated family problems.’
While officials haven’t verified that the postings were written by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, details from the posts match his personal history.
Abdulmutallab, the youngest of 16 children and a son of the second of his father’s two wives, was raised at the family home in Kaduna, a city in Nigeria’s Muslim-dominated north.
At boarding school, he earned the nickname ‘Alfa,’ a local term for Muslim clerics, because of his penchant for preaching Islam. He went on to study at UCL in London, from 2005 to 2008.
Fabrizio Cavallo Marincola, 22, who studied with him, said he graduated in May 2008 and showed no signs of radicalisation or of links to al-Qaeda.
‘He always did the bare minimum of work,’ Mr Marincola said. ‘When we were studying, he always would go off to pray.
‘He was pretty quiet and didn’t socialise much or have a girlfriend that I knew of.’
Farouk1986 also refers to his love of Liverpool FC in the posts, mocking Arsenal fans for the state of their home ground Highbury stadium.
Writing in February 2005 he described the stadium as a 'tiny junkyard', adding: 'How can someone get to like Arsenal? I tried to, but no way, I've been to several football stadiums, I must say Highbury was one of the least impressive, a tiny junkyard sought of place in the streets of London, what a pity!'
He also made reference to players Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, writing: 'Lampard is really becoming a classy player. Now I think his better than Gerrard.
'Gerrard might regret leaving Liverpool, but somehow I want him to leave. He keeps on saying the team needs improving when he needs a lot to improve.
'He's getting more inconsistent with time and pressure is on him. He seems to be handling it pretty badly.'
Farouk1986 was enthusiastic and described parts of the city as being traditional and quiet and other parts bustling, with Western fast-food restaurants, amusement parks and gyms.
'Its quite cheap too,' the writer gushed. 'Yemenis are so friendly and welcoming.'
Early investigations into the Christmas Day jet bomb have uncovered ‘systemic’ security flaws, Barack Obama said on Tuesday.
‘It is becoming clear that the system … is not sufficiently up to date,’ he said. ‘A systemic failure has occurred and I consider that totally unacceptable.’
The U.S President said information passed on to U.S. intelligence by Abdulmutallab’s father should have been acted on to stop him boarding the plane.
He had been concerned about his son’s behaviour and alerted both the U.S. and Nigerian authorities.
Mr Obama said the U.S. would have to act quickly to remedy the flaws in the security system
Xmas Day Bomber AKA El nigri
Behold Nigeria’s silver spoons in the North!
Tunde Mark is the first son of Senate President, David Mark. He was named after his father’s long-standing friend, Senator Tunde Ogbeha. He is in his 30s. Tee Mark, as he is fondly called, currently oversees his father’s business interests. Though very much on the reserved side, he is one of the most talked about silver spoon kids in Abuja.
Abubakar And Mohammed Idris
These are two of the eldest sons of Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris. Abubakar, who is the older of the two, is based in Lokoja, the state capital. He is also into the same field of business his father was known for before he became governor, which is mining. Mohammed, on his part, is the managing director of Ibro Hotel, Abuja, one of his dad’s well-known investments. Under Mohammed, Ibro Hotel has become one of the places guests are sure of comfort and safety. Both brothers, however, share one thing in common – they are split images of their father.
Aminu Atiku Abubakar
When Aminu Atiku Abubakar, son of the immediate past Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, wedded Rakeeya in Yola and Abuja recently, it was a carnival-like event. Aminu is the younger version of his father, walks and talks like him. But time will tell if his pretty wife would have juniors, that is, children that would have striking resemblance of their dad. Always in the background, this doesn’t diminish his influence among his peers. Amniu is mostly based in the Federal Capital Territory, where he does his business and administers some of his dad’s companies. He is said to have passion for automobiles.
The ladies can’t get enough of him. The handsome son of Senator Ibrahim Mantu is undoubtedly the most well-known of the former number two man in the Senate. Musa is often mistaken for a Nollywood actor, courtesy of his dressing and carriage. He is hardly seen in northern attires, instead he prefers urbane outlook.
He is the only son of the late Col. Yohanna Madaki (rtd). Despite being born with the proverbial silver spoon, Gagarin has carved a niche for himself as a top businessman. He and his highly revered father had a close bond before his demise. The younger Madaki shuttles between Kaduna and Abuja, quietly going about his business. He is a guy with exquisite taste, though.
He is the younger of the Saraki sons. Though still not officially into politics, Laolu, according to insiders, was part of the team that toured the country with President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. This might have led to talks, though largely unconfirmed, that Laolu maybe taking a plunge into politics like his elder siblings, Senator Gbemi Saraki and Dr. Bukola Saraki, governor of Kwara State. Still single, his choice of a life partner has been that of endless speculation. However, whoever he picks as wife will surely be the envy of many women, as he is known for pampering his women.
Sherrif Shagaya is the son of Hajia Bola Shagaya, believed to be one of the richest businesswomen in Nigeria. With investment in real estate, banking and photography, not a few observers expressed surprise when Sherrif alongside Aminu Babangida set up a petroleum marketing company. One of Shagaya’s sons (not Sherrif) was once said to have told a friend that to see a true five star hotel one would have to travel out of the country. This, in a nutshell, shows the level of sophistication of the Shagayas. They certainly are no local champions.
This guy, who co-owns communications outfit, One Number, has been described as the most stylish in the capital city. A lawyer by training, his choice of suits fit his macho frame.
The Madaki Alis
Chief Garba Madaki-Ali, former minister of Works and Housing under the Obasanjo administration, has the following kids, namely: Sese, Lilly and Junior, who are a rallying point among northern silver spoon kids. Though from Kaduna State, they have an urbane outlook, having schooled in Ivy League, American universities. Lilly got wedded in a classy ceremony to another silver spoon like herself, Major Abayomi, whose dad owns GODAB, one of the leading construction firms in Abuja. The Madaki-Ali girls are trendy, well-spoken, and also known to be down-to-earth.
Fatima Hassan (nee Kingibe)
Fatima Hassan is the pretty daughter of the Secretary to the Federal Government, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe. Fatima got remarried to Hon. Shehu Hassan after being a single mother for sometime. A former staff of the Bureau for Public Enterprises, Fatima has taken time to raise her family.
The scion of the Yar’Adua family, Murtala is the son of the late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua. A member of the board of Bank PHB, the president’s nephew has business interest in different sectors of the economy.
The late head of state was blessed with a large family. The Abacha children are mostly grown ups. They have impeccable taste for jewellery, cars and designer wears. The most popular of the former head of state’s children include Mohammed, Zainab, Gumsu, Rekiya, and Mahmood. Though they sometimes visit Abuja, Kano is the base of the Abachas. There, they live with their mother, Mariam.
Ahmed Maitama Sule
Ahmed Maitama Sule is the debonair son of celebrated elder statesman, Ambassador Maitama Sule. He is a chip off the old block. Though not a diplomat like his father, Ahmed is well-read and an orator like his father.
Taju Dantata runs one of the many companies in the vast Dantata dynasty. He is said to be a shrewd businessman.
Kwajafa and Nuhu, her brother, are the children of former boss of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Fulani Kwajafa. Nuhu has busied himself for over a year now with feeding the less privileged in the society. Tabitha, on her part, runs Amen 2, a stylish boutique for the wealthy. The quality of items at Amen 2 is never in doubt. No wonder the store has remained on top for many years in the capital city.
He is the son of former Kogi State Governor, Prince Abubakar Audu. Mohammed is the brain behind the luxury Mediterranean Hotel in Asokoro. He was once married. Most people who do not understand Mohammed say he works with a chip on his shoulders. However, close friends are quick to point out that he is a nice guy, who likes to take his time in making friends.
The eldest son of Professor Jerry Gana, Joey, as his friends fondly call him, is a graduate of the University of Abuja and one of the prominent northern silver spoon kids. The younger Gana’s company won one of the four licences given by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) for power distribution. A staunch Christian like his dad, he is humble, with a charming personality.
The one-time member of the House of Representatives, Anwal Turkur, is the son of the chairman of African Business Roundtable. The younger Tukur, like his highly accomplished father, is a businessman. Blessed with good looks, Anwal lost out in the power play in the aviation sector, where he was appointed director general of one of the parastatals and later dropped. He is still very much into politics. Time will tell if he would again run for elective office.
George is the oldest son of the late deputy governor of Kaduna State, Stephen Shekarau. He is highly rated in Kaduna, as he is one of the guys who make Kaduna tick.
Probably the most well-known of the silver spoons in the country, Aisha, Mohammed, Aminu are full-fledged celebrities. Mohammed’s and Aisha’s weddings, despite taking place years back, is still the talk of the town. Mohammed is better known for his excellent polo skills, and is believed to be a +4 handicap player. For Aminu, he runs Abuja-based Phoenix Oil with Sheriff, Bola Shagaya’s son.
Mabruka Mai Deribe
She is the daughter of the stupendously rich Mai Deribe. A fashion designer for the upper class, her cute body has won her many admirers. She is still single and in a recent interview she said her ideal man must possess her late billionaire father’s qualities.
Abacha Mai Deribe
Another of the late Mai Deribe’s kids, Abacha is cerebral and has chosen to lecture at the University of Maiduguri after obtaining his PhD. His love for sharing, Daily Independent was told, lured him into the Ivory Tower.
Jubril Indimi is the heir to his father’s fortune estimated at billions of naira. His younger sister is married to Mohammed Babangida. The Borno-born silver spoon is blessed with a handsome face many ladies would like to have for keeps.
The Abdusalami Abubakars
Though very much on the quiet side, former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar’s children are known for their brilliant and self-effacing nature. They have few friends and are not too much into partying. This, however, doesn’t mean they are not in the league of celebrated silver spoon kids.
Spotted Partying: Tiger Woods & Rachel Uchitel?!
This is getting ridiculous.
We know Rachel Uchitel has been spending time lately in Palm Beach, Florida. We know Tiger Woods' yacht is docked in Palm Beach, Florida. We know someone supposedly spotted them together around said boat on December 23.
All circumstantial evidence or hearsay, to be sure.
But now Entertainment Tonight claims Tiger, who's gone AWOL since wrecking his car and reputation last month, was partying there last night - with mistress #1 in tow.
Not that ET is gospel by any means, but we honestly wouldn't put this past Tiger, no matter how hard he is supposedly working to salvage his shattered marriage
Is Rachel Uchitel still doing Tiger Woods?
The entertainment site claims Rachel Uchitel was spotted holding hands with the world's #1 golfer and mingling with about 300 other partygoers Sunday night.
The location? A private mansion in Palm Beach.
Reports also surfaced that the couple partied together Saturday at the Everglades Club in Palm Beach. Would they really be able to without pics getting out?
You wouldn't think so, but then again, you wouldn't think Tiger freaking Woods would have been juggling 11 mistresses (and counting), now would you?
All we know is that if this is true, there must be something completely irresistable about Rachel Uchitel, because that chick wrecks homes like it's her job.
Elin better ask for the yacht in the divorce
THIS is the singed underpants bomb that terrorist Umar Abdulmutallab used in his deadly bid to blow up a Christmas Day jet.
THe Exploded Pant
The charred underwear contained a packet of high explosive strong enough to blow a hole in the side of the plane, it was claimed.
Photos of the would-be suicide bomber pants were revealed as internet postings allegedly from Abdulmutallab emerged.
A 'farouk 1986' posted hundreds of messages on the Islamic Forum Website from around 2005 and on Facebook.
In one blog he says: "loneliness leads me to other problems".
Photos of the Abdulmutallab appeared on ABC News in the US.
A six-inch long packet of the high explosive chemical called PETN - weighing about 80 grams - was sewn into the crotch of the underwear.
A government test with 50 grams of PETN blew a hole in the side of an airliner. That was the amount in the bomb carried by the so-called shoe bomber Richard Reid over Christmas 2001.
The underpants bomb would have been one and a half times as powerful.
Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to detonate the device as the plane came in to land at Detroit airport.
Explosive ... PETN powder
A second picture showed the burnt and melted syringe which would have been used to ignite the device.Postings
Al-Qaeda admitted last night that it was behind the Christmas Day attempt to blow the American airliner.
Terror chiefs bragged that Abdulmutallab, a London-educated Nigerian, was a "martyrdom-seeking brother" who "reached his target".
They said he failed because "a technical fault occurred leading to a lack of complete explosion".
But they warned of atrocities and called on Islamists to attack Western embassies.
Last night federal intelligence officials were reviewing the internet postings believed to have been written by Abdulmutallab, said the Washington Post.
The newspaper, which has reviewed the postings reported that farouk 1986 (a combination of his middle name and his birth year) searched for friends online through Facebook and in Islamic chat rooms.
In one such posting he wrote: "My name is Umar but you can call me Farouk."
Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab
Bomber ... Umar Abdulmutallab
A posting from January 2005, when he was attending boarding school, read: "I have no one to speak to. No one to consult, no one to support me and I feel depressed and lonely. I do not know what to do. And then I think this loneliness leads me to other problems."
Farouk1986 also wrote about considering applications to US and British universities - including University College London from where he graduated in June 2008
In a June 2005 posting, when Mr Abdulmutallab is now known to have been in Yemen, farouk1986 wrote that he was in Yemen for a three-month Arabic course, saying that "it is just great" and raving about about the capital's shopping and restaurants, including Pizza Hut and KFC.
As a student at the British boarding school in Togo, Farouk1986 wrote that he was lonely because there were few other Muslims.
He said: "I'm active, I socialise with everybody around me, no conflicts, I laugh and joke but not excessively," he wrote in one posting.
In the same posting he also wrote about desire and marriage, saying that at 18 he was not yet ready for it.
"The Prophet advised young men to fast if they can't get married but it has not been helping me much and I seriously don't want to wait for years before I get married," he wrote.
He said he had not started searching for partners because of social norms such as having "a degree, a job, a house, etc. before getting married."
But, he said, "my parents I know could help me financially should I get married, even though I think they are also not going to be in favour of early marriage."
He also wrote of his "dilemma between liberalism and extremism" as a Muslim.
He wrote in 2005: "The Prophet said religion is easy and anyone who tries to overburden themselves will find it hard and will not be able to continue".
Fire Guts DAAR Communication Headquarters
The corporate headquarters of Daar Communication Plc, owner of Africa Independent Television (AIT), Ray Power Radio, and Daar Sat was gutted by fire.
The private media organisation's office located in Alagbado, Lagos went aflame on Tuesday afternoon.
Fire servicemen from Nigeria Airport Authority were dispatched to salvage the situation.
Details on the fire outcome remain sketchy at the time of this report.
Kaka has told Real Madrid is he raring to go in the New Year after a month's absence through injury.The attacking midfielder has been sidelined with a pelvis problem since Real's defeat at Barcelona in late November, but the 27-year-old was back in training on Monday as the first team returned to duty from the winter break.Kaka, who moved to the Santiago Bernabeu in a £59 million move, has failed to hit the heights expected of him since his summer move to Spain from Italy.But with Sunday's clash with Osasuna on the horizon, the former AC Milan maestro has declared himself fit for the weekend fixture and keen to prove his worth to Real in the second half of the season as they look to close the gap on Barca at the top of the Primera Division.Cured"I am totally cured," said the Brazilian. "I am good, I don't have any more pain in the pubis."I hope to work with the group at my top this week and get myself good physically."Real have won all four of their matches in Kaka's absence and it remains to be seen if Manuel Pellegrini will shuffle his pack to accommodate the former world player of the year for the trip to Osasuna.Kaka's spell on the sidelines has allowed the midfielder to look ahead to the 2010 World Cup where Brazil are bidding to win an unprecedented sixth trophy.But the playmaker called on his team-mates to have extra focus in their preparation for the South Africa tournament after off-field issues aided their early exit to France in the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup."We will need to use the two weeks we will have before the World Cup to practice properly, to gain tranquillity and to think about getting focused," Kaka told the Estado de S. Paulo."It's going to be key for the team to arrive with winning chances."
The ladies have really established themselves this year. From Omawumi, Waje, Kel, Mo’Cheddah, L’Ami based in Nigeria and then the rising talent like AiRis and Zara based in the US.Now there is Shiikane – a new group consisting of twin sisters Shayshay & Princess Annamay and younger sister Baby-K, the sisters share Nigerian heritage which they are very proud of.They have recently signed a deal with Marginal Records who will be instrumental in pushing the project. Shiikane write and produce all of their music and are looking forward to being at the forefront of the music industry for many years to come!The group has just released a new video for their song “Bamboo Dey Chop (Say Goodbye)”. The video was shot in LA by Director Taj (who also directed Rihanna’s ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ and videos for NAS, Ne-Yo, LL Cool J, Fabolous, Kristinia De’Barge and The Dream)HeadlinesBoko Haram Reloaded as http://tinyurl.com/kalaKotoEntertainment 2009 http://tinyurl.com/2009SightSnSoundshttp://www.9jamovies.com new movies addedhttp://www.ask9ja.com your classifieds for 2009
With a plethora of exciting and not so exciting television programmes and movies to feed on this year, TV and movie buffs have not had it so good in recent times, although many opined that the presence of too many reality shows, on just about everything - many similar ones airing at about the same time - made it almost impossible for viewers to follow accurately and religiously.For movies on the other hand, while some will complain of lack lustre performances and funny titles like Shakira, Be Yourself, Hottest Boys, Kill the Orphan, there were, thankfully, a few stand out flicks which found their way to movie theatres, something that used to be rare.As such, we can tag 2009 as the year that saw a return to the cinemas for our movies, as the Nigerian movie scene witnessed quite a number of movie premieres at home and overseas.While the industry didn't churn out large numbers of movies due to piracy and distribution issues, we saw a complete diversification of some of our brightest acting talents trying their hands out at directing, scripting and - wait for this... singing!For a lucky few also, it was money in the bank from telecoms company, Globacom when Ramsey Nouah, Desmond Elliot, Jim Iyke, Nonso Diobi, Funke Akindele, Uche Jombo, Chioma Chukwuka- Akpotha and Monalisa Chinda, amongst others, were made Globacom Ambassadors.Others clinched endorsement deals. There was Mike Ezuruonye as the face of Malta Guinness, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal as the face of Onga Seasoning and Rita Dominic as the face of Nokia.Here are some of the memorable TV shows and movies that shaped 2009 for better and for worse.TelevisionBig Brother Africa:The RevolutionThis was obviously the high point of all reality shows held in the year. Dubbed ‘The Kevolution' after 27 year old Nigerian Kevin Chuwang-Pam clinched the $200,000 (approx. N30 million) prize money, from September 6 when the reality show began airing, the aspiring rapper and entertainer was the clear favourite in the show that included fellow Nigerians Nkenna and Geraldine.Maltina Family Dance AllAlthough so many reality television shows were airing at the time, the show anchored by TV personality and director, Kemi Adetiba, was widely followed. The Ibiam family from Ebonyi State was voted best in the 2009 edition of the annual competition and went away with the N2.5 million prize and a brand new Toyota mini-van.The winning family was decided before a live audience at the Landmark Village, Victoria Island on September 26 by fans during the final episode of the two-month long show.Most Beautiful Girl in NigeriaThe show this year did not parade a very impressive bevy of beauties and brains, however, 24 year old Youth Corps member Glory Chukwu was named MBGN 2009 on April 4 during the event held at the Sam Mbakwe Hall of the Concord Hotels, Owerri, Imo State. Ms. Chukwu represented Nigeria at the Miss World Competition which took place on December 12 in Johannesburg, South Africa, which was won by 23 year old Gibraltarian, Kaiane Aldorino.Naija SingsThis music reality show that had to compete for attention against MTN Project Fame West Africa, but it more than held its own. Jon Ogah, 18, from Abuja won the grand prize of $100,000 (approx. N15 million) and a performance slot at the 2009 Channel O Music Awards. Jon already has a single and accompanying video for the song, "Gbedu" featuring his Storm label mate Sasha.Gulder Ultimate Search VIThe show was devoid of the usual razzmatazz typical of the previous editions. Nonetheless, after 21 days of rigorous tasks and adventure, Uche Uwaezeapu grabbed the ‘Horn of Valour' to become the Gulder Ultimate Man VI on Aug. 7. Mr. Uwaezeapu's winning prize package included N7 million cash, an SUV worth about N10 million, a N500,000 wardrobe allowance and other benefits.Koko MansionThis highly criticised reality show, conceived by the Koko Master himself, D'banj, in search of the ideal kokolotte. drew to a close on August 9 with 21 year old Lagos State University undergraduate Bolanle Okhiria emerging winner. Bolanle, the surprise choice, went home with a new car, N5 million and a Chris Aire diamond ring.The unpolished Rita Isoken Igbinedion was a fan favourite from the beginning, but missed out on top spot. The show aired on Nigerian satellite station HITV.AMBO 5Twenty three year old Ivie Aviomoh Okujaye emerged winner of Amstel Malta Box Office (AMBO) 5 on December 5. The University of Abuja undergraduate edged out runners-up, Shade Olowu and Ovie Atori, to get to the star prize of N2.5 million, a brand new Honda City car and, of course, the lead role in a Nollywood flick to be produced by Amstel Malta.MTN Project Fame West AfricaMike Anyasodo emerged winner of this keenly contested competition touted by many as an improvement on the previous editions. The 26 year old undergraduate of the Ambrose Alli University won by polling more votes from viewers across West Africa to beat other finalists, Nicholas Builgar, Tomiwa Sangonuga, Krimi Johnson and Madonna Robinson to the coveted prize of N2.5 million, a Toyota RAV 4 and a one year recording contract. He recently released his debut single titled "Sweet Pass".Celebrity Takes 2Compared to the debut edition two years ago won by Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi, this year's edition, which features a blend of music and movie stars, hasn't quite lived up to the hype. The contestants include Fred Amata, Yinka Davies, Kel, Zaaki Azzay, Fathia Balogun, Stella Damascus, Yemi Blaq, Obiwon, Faze and Dakore Egbuson.MoviesJenifaIt wouldn't be out of place to say that this was the most watched and talked about movie of the year, with an appeal that transcended beyond Yoruba speaking people. With the expressions "Suliat kan, Ayetoro kan!", "Yelz!", "Ooouushhh!" and "Gbo Gbo Bigz gals!", you are certain to remember the Jenifa phenomenon.Released in late 2008, it exploded into a monster hit this year, shooting lead character Suliat, played by Funke Akindele, to super stardom. So popular was the movie that it inspired a song by Amplifyd Crew featuring ID Cabasa titled "Big Girlz". As the buzz slowly died down, catchphrases from the movie found their way into regular conversation. Ms. Akindele also became an official big girl as she was made a Globacom movie ambassador, won several awards and clinched several other endorsements deals. The Law graduate no doubt had a great year and has promised a sequel to the movie titled The Return of Jenifa to be produced by Kingsley Ogoro.The Figurine: AromireRiding on the success of his first movie, Irapada, Kunle Afolayan raised the ante in movie making in Nigeria with the thriller, The Figurine: Aromire. The movie, shot with state of the art equipment, gulped over N50 million and featured some of Nigeria's finest artists. It also successful premieres in London, Ghana and Nigeria.Through the GlassThis, Stephanie Okereke's directorial and movie production debut, was one of the top grossing films of the year. Not only did it open a vista of opportunities for the New York Film Academy alumnus, it also set the pace for other Nigerian movie makers to follow suit. The movie, shot in the United States, featured a Nigerian and American cast and raked in a reported N10 million in box office sales in just about two weeks of release.The TenantThis was yet another international movie project written, produced, and directed by Jude Idada and Lucky Ejim, two Nigerian emigrants in Canada. It was shot at various locations in Canada and Nigeria with Dare ‘Baba Dee' Fasasi as co-director. The movie was premiered in Lagos and won several awards such as the Hollywood Black Film Festival Viewers Choice Awards. It featured at the Mid Atlantic Film Festival and was the opening movie for the Canadian Film Festival.ArugbaVeteran Nigerian cinematographer Tunde Kelani has always had a knack for producing top notch movies and in Arugba, he was at his best. The movie, which is set against the backdrop of a corrupt society seeking cleansing, rebirth and nationhood, had the backing of the Lagos state government. As such, the movie was premiered in select local government councils in the state.Silent ScandalsBanker turned movie producer Vivian Ejike premiered this movie to positive reviews in Ghana and Nigeria. The movie tells the tale of a young and very successful lady who struggles with life as a career woman and single mother to a wild and free-spirited teenage daughter. It featured Nollywood's ‘it girl' Genevieve Nnaji, Ghanaian movie star Majid Michel, Uche Jumbo, Ebele Okaro and many others.Nollywood HustlersActress Uche Jumbo and award winning producer Emem Isong were the brains behind this satirical comedy which explored the behind the scenes intrigues of movie making in Nollywood. The movie witnessed an impressive turnout at its Lagos premieres and featured Monalisa Chinda, Ramsey Nouah and Genevieve Nnaji playing themselves, as well as cameo appearances from the likes of Sasha and Derenle Edun.Guilty PleasuresThis is yet another Emem Isong collaboration, but this time around with Desmond Elliot. The movie, which was premiered on the same day as Nollywood Hustlers, is a love story about a pampered but bored housewife who feels emotionally neglected by her husband, a controlling, busy business executive. She soon becomes emotionally entangled with his attractive brother-in-law. The movie featured Nollywood's breakout actress Nse Ikpe Etim, best remembered for her remarkable performance in the 2008 Emem Isong movie Reloaded.Back
Al-Qaeda, the infamous terrorist group behind the September 11 US bombings, in which thousands died, on Monday claimed responsibility for the failed Christmas Day attack in which Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up an airliner as it landed in Detroit.
According to an Internet statement on Islamist websites, the organisation said it had given "Umar Farouk al-Nigiri" (which translates to ‘the Nigerian'), a "technically advanced device" which however failed to work at full capacity.
The group claimed the attack was in reaction to U.S. attacks on its Yemen arm.
The news corroborates earlier statements credited to Mr. Muttalab during his preliminary interrogation by US authorities
Also, on Monday, the United States District Court for the East District of Michigan yesterday cancelled its first hearing on a case filed by the FBI against Mr. Mutallab.
No reason was given for the cancellation of the hearing, which was scheduled to hold before U.S. District Judge Paul Borman.
"The hearing has been cancelled," said U.S. Attorney's spokesperson Gina Balaya. "I was not given a reason for the cancellation."
But media reports state that prosecutors are aiming to get a search warrant to enable them to collect DNA from Mr. Abdulmutallab, who is being held in a federal prison in Michigan. This is presumably to determine if Mr. Abdulmutallab has links to other crimes or terror plots prior to his arrest on December 25.
In an affidavit dated December 26, 2009, Special Agent James Peissig of the FBI submitted the facts of the case against Mr. Abdulmutallab as follows: "that Mr. Mutallab was in violation of US Code Title 18, Section 32, which is the destruction of an aircraft or aircraft facilities, or the willful attempt to do so."
Bail for Mr. Abdulmutallab is scheduled to be set at a January 8 hearing in Detroit.
Tracing the failure
Meanwhile, U.S. and British authorities admitted that lapses in visa and airport security systems may have allowed Mr. Abdulmutallab's preparation for his plot to go unnoticed.
In a television interview on NBC's Today Show, when asked if the system "failed miserably," U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano replied: "It did. And that's why we are asking - ‘how did this individual get on the plane? Why wasn't the explosive material detected? What do we need to do to change?" The last question referred to the security watch list rules.British Home Secretary Alan Johnson confirmed that Mr. Abdulmutallab had been put on a U.K. watch list after he was refused a student visa following an application to study at a bogus college. But he was still able to get a U.S. visa, which was issued in London.
Also, an investigative report by America's CBS News yesterday revealed that the State Department system designed to keep track of active U.S. visas twice failed to reveal that Mr, Abdulmutallab had been issued an active visa allowing him multiple entries into America.
"According to a law enforcement source, the first failure came on November 19, 2009, the very same day (Mr.) Abdulmutallab father's, Dr. Umaru Mutallab, a prominent banking official in Nigeria, expressed deep concern to officials at the U.S. Embassy in Abjua, Nigeria, that his 23-year-old son had fallen under the influence of "religious extremists" in Yemen," the report read in part.
According to CBS News, "the second failure to flag an active visa belonging to Abdulmuttalab occurred the very next day - November 20 - in Washington after Dr. Mutallab's concerns were forwarded to officials there. It was only after the Christmas Day terror attack in Detroit that U.S. officials learned that Abdulmuttalab had been issued a visa by the U.S. Embassy in London valid from June 16, 2008 through June 12, 2010."
Mr. Abdulmutallab was on a broad U.S. terrorist watch list but he was not designated for special screening measures or placed on a no-fly list because of a dearth of specific information about his activities, Ms. Napolitano said.
A White House spokesman said President Barack Obama had ordered a review of how suspects' names are added to counter-terrorism watch lists.
Amsterdam airport speaks
Officials of the Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where Mr. Muttalab's flight passed enroute to Detroit, also spoke on the issue.
The CNBC reports that "spokesperson Marianne Debie confirmed that the reason the airport does not use scanners on American flights is because the "US government did not approve the use of the machines for American passengers."
Ms. Debie also said there is strong opposition to widespread use of the machines by the European Union due to privacy concerns. Germany refuses to use the machines, for instance.
She revealed that following the incident, the airport now has 17 scanners, and is working to obtain advanced scanners that are more anonymous. Ms. Debie also said Schipol airport wants to use the scanners everywhere but scanning is voluntary for those subjected to it; officials believe it should not be voluntary.
Deaths as police and sect clash in Bauchi, Nigeria
At least 20 people are thought to have died in clashes between security forces and members of a religious sect in the northern Nigerian state of Bauchi.
Some eyewitnesses said as many as 37 people had been killed.
The fighting came after local people told authorities they were alarmed by open-air preaching by the religious sect, which is known as Kala Kato.
Such preaching was banned in the state after an uprising by another sect, Boko Haram, earlier this year.
Hundreds of people were killed in the subsequent fighting across northern Nigeria.
The BBC's Caroline Duffield reports from Lagos that Kala Kato is a non-conformist Muslim sect made up of poor tradesmen, labourers and other working people.
Some residents in Zango, just south of the city of Bauchi, have said that in recent days the mood of their preaching had become aggressive.
The violence there began on Sunday morning. After some initial shooting the security forces retreated, before returning in greater numbers.
Members of the group had armed themselves with machetes and cutlasses, and appeared ready to fight armed police and soldiers, she adds.
A spokesman for the Bauchi state governor said the local military had been deployed, though other accounts spoke of a feared police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
The Associated Press news agency cited Bauchi state official Mohammed Maigari as saying sect members had gone on the rampage to demand the release of their leader.
The sect leader had been arrested in connection with the killings of several Boko Haram members, AP reported.
Yar’Adua’s absence: Military on alert • No holidays for commanders • Politicians wooing soldiers
By PHILIP NWOSU
“No commander is allowed to travel during the celebrations. Stay with your troops and celebrate with them. The Nigerian Army is not unaware of recent remarks in the press literally calling for what they term military solution to the political affairs of the country. While taking cognizance of the current democratic dispensation that respects the freedom of speech, the Nigerian Army dissociates itself from such remarks, as we are collectively resolute in operating within the confines of our constitutional roles.
“Whatever political disputes that may exist in our society, like they exist in all human society, they are best settled through constitutional means. Please the military should be left out of this.”
These are the words of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazau to men and officers of the military at a recent Chief of Army Staff Conference. Consequently, the Nigerian Armed Forces may have been placed on high alert during this festive season to forestall any move to truncate President Umaru Yar’Adua’s administration.
The alert, Sunday Sun, gathered may not be unconnected with the raging controversy over who governs the country in the absence of ailing President Yar’Adua and the fear in some quarters that the confusion may give the room for some extremists and mischief makers in the military to take over government.
It was gathered that the Service Chiefs have placed commanders of their troops on alert, urging them to cancel every trip that will take them away from their men.
Sunday Sun also learnt that the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazau, had reiterated his warning to Brigade and Battalion Commanders to stay at their location during the Christmas and New Year celebration.
Dambazau had during the Chief of Army Staff Conference warned Brigade and Battalion Commanders to celebrate the Sallah and Christmas festivities with their troops.
A key Nigerian Army source told Sunday Sun that the warning was re-emphasized by the force and that a signal was reportedly issued to that effect.
The Army Chief had also warned the force’s personnel against working with politicians to undermine democracy, explaining that emerging security reports indicate that soldiers were being wooed by politicians to work against the country’s democracy.
He told senior military officers that intelligence reports indicated that politicians have been courting some military personnel to get involved and find a military solution to the political problems of the country.
To his classmates and teachers at the British school in Togo, west Africa, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab was the cheerful if sometimes serious student, whose pious views earned him the nickname, the Pope.
But behind his innocent chiding about the perils of alcohol and western decadence lay a burgeoning pull towards radical Islam, which on Christmas Day, saw him try to take the lives of 278 passengers aboard an American bound airliner.
Mutallab's journey towards terrorism is an unusual one which has shocked and dismayed those who knew him as a youngster.
The son of the former chairman of a Nigerian bank, he enjoyed the trappings of a wealthy upbringing, privately educated in a highly regarded international boarding school.
Among his classmates was the daughter of Karl Hoffman, an adviser to the former US secretary of State Colin Powell.
Mutallab's former history teacher, Mike Rimmer who taught him at the British School of Lomé in Togo, west Africa, remembered him as a model pupil but admitted that he had some radical views in his teenage years.
Mr Rimmer told The Daily Telegraph: "In 2001 we discussed the Taliban in class. All the other Muslim kids thought they were a bunch of nutters with beards, and could not understand why they did such things as banning kite flying. But Umar seemed to think that was reasonable."
He said fellow pupils gave him the nickname ‘The Pope’ because of his "pious" and "high-minded” attitudes and later dubbed him 'Alfa' a local term meaning Islamic teacher.
On one occasion, during a school trip to London, Mutallab objected to being taken to a pub for lunch.
The teacher said: "Umar came up to me and said, ‘Mr Rimmer, you should not be taking us into pubs. We do not want to be in a building associated with alcohol.'"
But despite these instances Mr Rimmer remembered his pupil with fondness, saying: "He was very interested in world affairs and would stay behind after lessons to discuss issues. For a teacher, that was just wonderful.
"He was a very personable boy; he could have gone into politics. He could have become the president of Nigeria. But now his future doesn’t look bright at all."
Mutallab's father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, 70, is from Funtua in the largely Muslim northern state of Katsina, and retired as chairman of Nigeria’s oldest bank, First Bank, earlier this month after a distinguished career in finance that included 13 years on the board of the bank.
Last night he spoke of his devastation at the news of his son's alleged terror bid. He said: "I am really disturbed. I would not want to say anything at the moment until I put myself together."
After leaving school Mutallab won a place at the prestigious University College London to study mechanical engineering.
His father rented a luxury apartment just off Harley Street and Mutallab surrounded himself with siblings and friends who were part of an elite group of Nigerian ex-patriots in London.
But one friend who knew him in London said he kept himself to himself much of the time and always wore a skullcap, relatively rare among young Nigerian Muslims who usually only wear them on religious occasions.
After graduating from UCL, he moved first to Egypt, and then Dubai in the United Arab Emirates where he studied for an MBA before dropping out and telling his family he did not want to have anything to do with any of them again.
A family friend said Mutallab had made two trips to Yemen for short Arabic and Islamic courses.
Speaking in Kaduna, Nigeria, one of his brothers said he had “extreme views about religion” and had alienated himself from his family members because they disagreed with his views.
The man, who declined to be named, said Mutallab had a number of arguments with his immediate family members over his views on religion and feared he had joined an extremist group in Northern Nigeria called Boko Haram.
"We know Farouk’s extreme views and were always apprehensive of where it may lead him to. He has maintained his distance from us and we never bothered him much. He wanted to be left alone so we respect his wishes. We were always worried about him because he is young," he said.
The brother described Mutallab as "quiet, nice and gentle," adding that he minded his own business and was "morally upright."
But in a series of postings on internet chatrooms Mutallab revealed some of his personal struggles.
In one he wrote: "Can you be my friend? I get lonely sometimes because I have never found a true Muslim friend.”
Later he wrote of joining protests against the war in Iraq, asking: “When is lying allowed to deceive the enemy?” and among his last posts he wrote of heading to Yemen.
Family sources told The Daily Telegraph that Mutallab contacted his them in October from the Yemen, telling them he would be out of touch for seven years.
In interviews with FBI agents Mutallab said he made contact via the internet with a radical imam in Yemen who then connected him with al Qaeda leaders in a village north of the country’s capital, Sanaa.
The student said he lived with the al Qaeda leader in Yemen for about a month and was not allowed to leave as he was trained in what to do and how to explode the device.
At some point, according to the account, Abdulmutallab said he was joined by a Saudi citizen whom he described as an al Qaeda bomb maker.
His family's mounting concern over his behaviour eventually prompted his father to report his activities to the United States’ Embassy in Abuja as well as Nigerian security agencies.
Fabrizio Cavallo Marincola, a 22-year-old mechanical engineering student at University College, who studied with Mutallab said. "We worked on projects together.
"He always did the bare minimum of work and would just show up to classes. When we were studying, he always would go off to pray.
"He was pretty quiet and didn't socialize much or have a girlfriend that I knew of. I didn't get to talk to him much on a personal level. I was really shocked when I saw the reports. You would never imagine him pulling off something like this."