I love our staple food, and I am lucky enough to eat it on a daily basis. How healthy are they though?In Nigeria, our staple food consists of a variety of yam, cassava and brown rice. These can be prepared in any number of ways. They however, all have one thing in common. Since it makes sense to classify foods based on their highest nutritional content, the one thing they have in common is that Cassava, Yam and Brown rice are all carbohydrates.Carbohydrates however, are the main culprit where weight gain is concerned. This is because; the final break down of carbohydrate in the body is simple sugar. I want to point out that when the supply of ingested glucose (glucose is the only usable form of simple sugar) is too high, the blood sugar level gets too high and the excess glucose must be eliminated from the bloodstream. This increased level of blood sugar triggers the release of insulin (the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels) to transport or make the excess glucose available to the body tissues.Especially after exercise, when energy stores are low, the muscle tissue is the first point of call of the insulin-carried glucose. Glucose however can only be taken up by the muscle tissues at a gradual rate. If too much insulin-carried glucose is present at one time, the liver is the next stop.The liver like the muscle tissue, also takes up glucose at a gradual rate and when the liver stores are full and there is still an excess supply of insulin-carried glucose in the bloodstream, the next stop is the adipose tissue where it is stored as fat. Unlike the muscle and liver, the adipose tissues take up glucose quite rapidly.The rate at which glucose is released into the blood is an important issue as, if the ingested carbohydrates are already simple sugars or low in fibre, the digestion process will be shorter and they will be absorbed too quickly. This causes the pancreatic tissue to release an excess amount of insulin into the blood. Since the liver and muscle tissues only take up glucose gradually, the excess insulin-carried-glucose will by-pass the muscle and liver and be deposited in the adipose tissue where it is rapidly stored as fat.This is where the quality and quantity of carbohydrates we eat comes in. I believe that by now you can see the danger in eating too much simple sugars or food low in fibre. The flip side to the coin is to eat complex carbohydrates as this will result in an intermittent release of glucose into the bloodstream which means that the pancreas will not release excess insulin into the bloodstream; which also means that most of the glucose will be stored in the liver and muscle tissues as opposed to being deposited as fat in the adipose tissue.Our staple foods tend to be complex carbohydrates and that is great news but we definitely do not eat them on their own. Irrespective of how healthy they are, we cannot survive on carbohydrates alone. There are a number of ways in which we eat our staple food. For example, yam can be boiled and eaten with palm oil and pepper soup or yam when cooked, will be beaten to a paste to make pounded yam and eaten with ogbono soup (my favourite) or egusi soup, etc. Cassava can be used to make garri and eaten in a similar way. Brown rice can be eaten with stew, or made into jollof rice, or fried rice.I mentioned above that the glucose we get from complex carbohydrates is slowly released into our blood stream. This is because it takes longer for our body to fully digest them (up to an hour). Well, it takes even longer when these complex carbohydrates are mixed with proteins and fat. In fact, when you eat carbohydrates with proteins, it takes about 3 to 4 hours for digestion to be completed.The Nigerian staple food is clearly healthy to eat as they are complex carbohydrates. However, what we eat them with and how much we eat at any given time, also plays an important role in our weight management and overall well-being.Look out for my future article on THE RIGHT WAY TO EAT TO BURN FAT! Until then, here are a few tips to follow:• Eat moderately, not like there is no tomorrow. It does not matter how healthy the food is, if you eat too much, you will gain weight.• When using Palm oil, choose that with little or no cholesterol and use it sparingly. Avoid palm oil or any other oil that is solid at room temperature.• Eat at regular intervals – 3 to 4 hours and do not skip meals.• Engage in a regular sporting routine so that you can balance out your input versus your output (depending on what your goal is).Tejiri OrugboCertified Fitness NutritionistCertified Personal TrainerFounder - http://wwwgymhawk.comRead more…
1. This is how it starts: Almost everyone arrives at the party late2. You were given one invitation card, but you invite 20 other friends.3.You call the attention of the people serving food by saying "Please we haven't eaten in this area o!"4.Look around very well. There is always a PDP section. They get served everything...and in excess.5. Even when it was obvious that no alcohol was served, you still ask "Don't you have any alcohol?6. At a kids party scheduled to start at 5pm and finishing at 12am, you arrive with kids (some of them already sleeping) at 11pm.7. You go back to ask for more food and drinks.8. The food is served on a 'man know man' they tell you "the moi-moi don finish" despite the fact that a man next to you has 4 on his plate.9. Most of the guys are frowning and cussing because fufu, semo, gira or eba wasn't served.10. You hear, "Wetin dem dey wait for sef? I beg make dem bring the food make I comot jo!"11. Towards the end of the party you see people going into the kitchen helping themselves to "take away" food and drinks.12. More than two bouncers are at the door that leads to where the foods/drinks are kept.13. You dance to "Obesere" or "Fela" music as if your life depended on it.14. You ask the DJ to play a specially recorded cassette tape you brought with you.15. You hear people talking, as if they are in a fight, about sports and politics.16. Once every 20 minutes, someone goes out to see how the generaing set is holding up.17. The men are sitting in groups, instead of sitting with their women.18. On the dance floor, you have women dancing alone or with women and men dancing alone or with men.19. Most of the guys are hanging around outside, attending to "business" with cellular phones.20. The hall empties immediately after food has been served.21. Take aways are packed in plastic bags not food containers because they are not big enough22. Special group of guest brings their own food and drinks and place them under the table.23. Naija parties are the only social activities i know that foreign exchange takes place..
Dr. Conrad Murray needed a big payday when he became Michael Jackson's personal physician last spring.The Las Vegas cardiologist owed at least $780,000 for settlements against his business, outstanding mortgage payments on his house, delinquent student loans, child support and credit cards. And that doesn't include the $68,000 the distributor of an energy drink says Murray, a one-time business associate, owes for skipping out on payments.Court records chronicling Murray's woes in Las Vegas, where authorities searched his home this week as part of their manslaughter investigation into Jackson's death, help explain why — beyond basking in a celebrity's aura — Murray might have jumped at the $150,000-a-month Jackson's promoter was prepared to pay him to keep the star healthy through a series of concerts in London.Murray hooked on with Jackson in May, as his bleak financial picture threatened to worsen. He already was under court orders to pay more than $363,000 for equipment for his heart clinic and $71,000 in student loans dating to the 1980s, a judgment that hit in April. Two lawsuits claiming he owes $240,000 more for unpaid equipment are pending in Nevada courts.And Murray had appeared unable or unwilling to settle more modest debts — a nearly $3,700 judgment for not paying child support and two recent credit card company claims totaling $2,600.Murray's 5,268-square-foot home near the 18th hole of a golf course offers no refuge — he's in "pre-foreclosure" after failing to make payments on his $1.66 million loan, records show. He stopped paying the $15,000-per-month mortgage in December and could lose the home by November, said Mary Hunt, the foreclosure officer handling the case for Stewart Title company.Authorities investigating Jackson's death at his rented Los Angeles mansion believe Murray gave the star a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol to help him sleep, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. Propofol is commonly used for surgeries and is not meant as a sleep agent or to be given in private homes. Because of its potency, only trained anesthesia professionals are supposed to administer it and patients are to be constantly monitored.Police have not labeled Murray a suspect but have said in search warrants they are seeking evidence he committed manslaughter and prescribed drugs to "an addict," an apparent reference to Jackson.Murray, 56, has not spoken publicly since Jackson's June 25 death. His lawyer, Ed Chernoff, has said the doctor did not prescribe anything that "should have" killed Jackson.Neither Jackson nor AEG Live, the promoter for the London concerts, paid Murray for the two months the doctor worked for the pop star, according to Chernoff."Dr. Murray has lost the ability to make a living as a result of this investigation," he said. "His hope is he can forestall foreclosure until he can once again begin working as a doctor."Murray's financial background could become an important part of the case if prosecutors file charges, said Rebecca Lonergan, a University of Southern California law professor and former federal prosecutor of health care fraud cases."It does potentially provide evidence of good motive for financial-based crimes, including prescribing when there is not a medical necessity," she said.Murray's cresting financial woes fit into a history of money problems. He filed for bankruptcy in California in 1992 and had a string of tax liens from Sacramento and San Bernardino counties as well as Maricopa County, Ariz., between 1993 and 2003.Several years ago, Murray branched out, striking up a deal with John Thomas, distributor of an energy drink called Pit Bull. Thomas said in 2005 and 2006 Murray had the rights to distribute the drink in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean island nation where Murray lived and worked before coming to the United States in the 1980s to study medicine.The drink never gained popularity there. Murray paid his bill for a first shipment, then didn't pay for three subsequent shipments, Thomas said.Though Thomas said Murray owes him $68,000, he remained friendly with the doctor and spoke briefly with him days before Jackson's death, when he invited Murray to the opening of a mixed martial arts gym in Las Vegas. Murray told him he was out of town and wouldn't be able to attend."You always think you know a guy," Thomas said. "All the dirt is coming out now."___Ritter reported from Las Vegas. Contributing to this report were Associated Press reporters Juan Lozano in Houston, Thomas Watkins in Los Angeles and Tony Fraser in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, and AP Researchers Judith Ausbel and Barbara Sambrinski in New York.
While the Imo State Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim is yet grandstanding and his Information Commissioner, Dr Amanze obi spewing falsehood that Imo is the safest state in Nigeria , the Government of the United States of America has effectively classified Imo state as an unsafe destination where it cannot guarantee the safety of its nationals. This was released in a security assessment of hot spots in Nigeria as contained in a recent Travel Warning issued by the United States Department of State, under the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Washington D.C.Issued on the 22nd of July, 2009 exactly 24hours after Dr. Amanze Obi literally insulted the intelligence of newsmen who sought to know the security preparations of the state in view of the visit of Mr President, by asserting that ‘everybody knows that Imo is the safest state in Nigeria’.Beside the regulars - Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers, the U.S. Department of State included Imo, Abia and Edo state in their categorization of unsafe locations in Nigeria .Sources aver that the warning has triggered off some panic movement out of Imo by few Americans and other nationals. Most of those staying at the Concorde and All Seasons hotels were said to have vacated their hotel suites.The report partly reads, “the U.S. Mission currently requires advance permission for U.S. Government travel to these states given the safety and risk assessment…” The document made available to huhuonline.com further stressed: “The incidence of kidnappings and other armed attacks is on the rise in Imo and Abia states. American citizens who are resident in these Niger Delta and Southeastern states are advised to review their personal security in light of the information contained in this Travel Warning.” This security alert, according to the document, replaces the Travel Warning for Nigeria dated December 2, 2008, to note areas of military operations, violent activities and crime in Nigeria .This is coming on the heels of the over N2 billion spent in establishment of the security apparatuses called Operation Festival and the New Face Vigilante which are yet to register their relevance in the fight against crime in Imo State.According to government sources, over 130 Hilux trucks and buses have been bought with communication gadgets installed for swift response to criminal activities across the state. All these security bodies are paid by the government and yet there is so little to show for it.What perhaps, Governor Ohakim has failed to realize is that there is a link between poverty and crime. Needless to say, there is also a connection between maladministration and crime. While the per capita income of an average Owerri income earner has dropped, the cost of living in Owerri has drastically increased. This followed the destruction of small businesses on the excuse that they were located in shanties and the ban on commercial motorcycle operations without adequate ameliorating alternatives.This scenario has thrown thousands into joblessness with some probably turning to crime for survival.The Governors of the South East have continued to meet in their fora but their approach to the issue of security of the South Eastern enclave has largely remained carefree.Incidentally the U.S Travel Warning was issued a day after the South-east governors’ security meeting held at Concord hotel Owerri, Imo state, where the governors of the region further accentuated their lackadaisical approach to the issue of security in the region by merely delegating their deputies to what should have been a top priority function.It is however worrisome that in the face of the speedily deteriorating security situation in the region, that governors of Anambra, Enugu , Abia and Ebonyi could afford to find other more engaging priorities beside the security of their domain, thus leaving the host governor to deliberate with their deputies and security agencies, obviously for formality sake.U.S Govt Lists Imo, Others As Unsafe Destinaion….Alleges rampant kidnapping and armed attacksWhile the Imo State Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim is yet grandstanding and his Information Commissioner, Dr Amanze obi spewing falsehood that Imo is the safest state in Nigeria , the Government of the United States of America has effectively classified Imo state as an unsafe destination where it cannot guarantee the safety of its nationals. This was released in a security assessment of hot spots in Nigeria as contained in a recent Travel Warning issued by the United States Department of State, under the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Washington D.C.Issued on the 22nd of July, 2009 exactly 24hours after Dr. Amanze Obi literally insulted the intelligence of newsmen who sought to know the security preparations of the state in view of the visit of Mr President, by asserting that ‘everybody knows that Imo is the safest state in Nigeria’.Beside the regulars - Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers, the U.S. Department of State included Imo, Abia and Edo state in their categorization of unsafe locations in Nigeria .Sources aver that the warning has triggered off some panic movement out of Imo by few Americans and other nationals. Most of those staying at the Concorde and All Seasons hotels were said to have vacated their hotel suites.The report partly reads, “the U.S. Mission currently requires advance permission for U.S. Government travel to these states given the safety and risk assessment…” The document made available to huhuonline.com further stressed: “The incidence of kidnappings and other armed attacks is on the rise in Imo and Abia states. American citizens who are resident in these Niger Delta and Southeastern states are advised to review their personal security in light of the information contained in this Travel Warning.” This security alert, according to the document, replaces the Travel Warning for Nigeria dated December 2, 2008, to note areas of military operations, violent activities and crime in Nigeria .This is coming on the heels of the over N2 billion spent in establishment of the security apparatuses called Operation Festival and the New Face Vigilante which are yet to register their relevance in the fight against crime in Imo State.According to government sources, over 130 Hilux trucks and buses have been bought with communication gadgets installed for swift response to criminal activities across the state. All these security bodies are paid by the government and yet there is so little to show for it.What perhaps, Governor Ohakim has failed to realize is that there is a link between poverty and crime. Needless to say, there is also a connection between maladministration and crime. While the per capita income of an average Owerri income earner has dropped, the cost of living in Owerri has drastically increased. This followed the destruction of small businesses on the excuse that they were located in shanties and the ban on commercial motorcycle operations without adequate ameliorating alternatives.This scenario has thrown thousands into joblessness with some probably turning to crime for survival.The Governors of the South East have continued to meet in their fora but their approach to the issue of security of the South Eastern enclave has largely remained carefree.Incidentally the U.S Travel Warning was issued a day after the South-east governors’ security meeting held at Concord hotel Owerri, Imo state, where the governors of the region further accentuated their lackadaisical approach to the issue of security in the region by merely delegating their deputies to what should have been a top priority function.It is however worrisome that in the face of the speedily deteriorating security situation in the region, that governors of Anambra, Enugu , Abia and Ebonyi could afford to find other more engaging priorities beside the security of their domain, thus leaving the host governor to deliberate with their deputies and security agencies, obviously for formality sake.
As part of our ongoing series: "Jobs and the Recession: What you need to know" we examine an industry that, despite the recession, seems to be booming
Are online jobs the next big thing? As the U.S. economy continues to free-fall, millions of American are finding themselves without jobs, sufficient retirement or paychecks coming in. In March alone the number of unemployed increased by 694,000 to 13.2 million. Throughout history those on the cutting edge have adapted and prospered by knowing how to adapt to current economic climates, and this trend may once again be taking place on the internet.
With more time on their hands, many California residents (And people around the country and world) are getting creative and turning to the online world for help.
For years we've all heard the stories of people making internet millions and now, it appears you don't have to be a technology guru at all to quickly get started making a decent income online. It's called Google Money Master and it's taking the internet and business communities alike by storm.
While researching the online-job phenomenon for this article I found countless stories of every day people making between $250 - $1000 a day from their homes. They explain that they're posting links on websites using hugely popular text advertising applications like Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing and MSN Adcenter.
Below is an excerpt from one site.
"Basically I actually make around $5,500 to $7,000 a month from Google. Not a ton of money. But, very solid and good. I was able to replace my previous job's income, working less than 10 hours a week on my computer at home." - Kevin H.
Now we've all heard of countless 'get rich' schemes and scams and I'm sure that by now most of us have received at least one email promising us multi-million dollar fortunes if we'd only assist some displaced member of the "Nigerian Royal Family." However Google Money Master Google Profits does not appear to get caught up in the 'hype,' instead focusing on a steady stream of results over a period of time driven by individual effort and not the promise of revealing some 'special sauce.'
This new online opportunity doesn't give you an unrealistic 'pitch' at all. In fact this may be the only online opportunity that promises that you won't instantly make millions online, a stark contrast to websites featuring "Get Rich Quick Schemes" and pictures of Yachts and Luxury Homes and Automobiles. Most users share stories of moderate but steady incomes of between $50,000 - $90,000 a year. But as with most jobs the more you put in the more you get out.
"To cut to the chase within a month I had generated over $4,800 in income at home. This was unbelievable to me. I had seen all sorts of scams promising you could make millions of dollars a month or live in a giant mansion if you tried their ’system’ and of course never believed this. When this product advertised a legitimate way to make some pretty decent monthly income with no far-fetched ’scheme’ but instead simple illustrations of how to take advantage of Google like countless other people around the world already were I was sold, and the results to me speak for themselves!" - Steve
The idea of working from home sounds good to most of us who have to deal with varying lengths of unpleasant commutes to and from work, and in this digital age the number of people telecommuting continues to rise- saving time and money spent on fuel and allowing more time to be spent with family.
If you're struggling in the current economic debacle and the idea of working from home interests you, Google Money Master may be a viable option for you to try. The website states that there is a trial period available with every enrollment. Users pay only about $2.00 to have the kit shipped and the site states that "Satisfaction is 100% Guaranteed."
Google Money Master official site
15 Years later: FHA tells Super Eagles team who won 1994 Nations Cup in Tunisia to come for the houses promised themBy FEMI ADEOTIThursday, July 23, 2009The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) has advised members of the Super Eagles who won the 1994 African Cup of Nations in Tunisia, to report to its Estates Department, to take possession of the houses allocated to them for winning the cup.S. M. Ndanusa, Minister/Chairman, National Sport CommissionAccording to the authority in response to enquiries made by Daily Sun, the houses are located at Isheri Olofin 1 Estate, Lagos, and 1st Avenue 1 (C) Close, Lugbe Estate, Abuja.Daily Sun had on Thursday, July 2, 2009, published an exclusive story on the plight of the members of the team who are yet to be allocated houses promised them by the Abacha Government, 15 years after they won the cup.But FHA’s Head of Communications, Mr Tunde Ipinmisho, in response to enquiries asked the affected team members to come over to the authority’s Estates Department. His e-mail message reads:“Please note that eight units of houses were allocated to the Eagles 1st Avenue 1 (C) Close, Lugbe Estate, Abuja.“Nineteen units of houses were also allocated to them at Isheri Olofin 1, Lagos.“In 2004, FHA went into partnership with Lock Int. Limited and an MoU was signed to complete some houses but the agreement was not followed up by the company leading to the abandonment of the project.“It is, however, advised that all members of Super Eagles of 1994 who have not taken over their houses should come to the Estates Department of the Federal Housing Authority.”Daily Sun had sent a message by e-mail to the FHA, Abuja, seeking clarifications on the inability of the housing authority to fulfill the obligation. The message reads:“The Super Eagles won the 1994 African Cup of Nations in Tunisia. They were given houses (three-bedroom each) by the then General Sani Abacha Government. There were 23 players and eight officials in the team.“On June 3, 1994, the General Staff Headquarters, State House, Abuja, wrote to the Executive Chairman, National Sport Commission, informing him of the package. It reads in part: ‘23 players and eight officials be given $8,000, N250,000.00; and three-bedroom house each.’ The letter was signed by Lt. Col. AO Peters for the Chief of General Staff (CGS) and Vice Chairman, PRC.“Members of the team are: Eguavoen A, Iroha Ben, Keshi Okechukwu, Okafor Uche, Finidi George, Oliha Thompson, Yekini Rasheed, Okocha Austin, Siasia Samson, Amokachi Daniel, Oliseh Sunday, Ago Aloy, Ikpeba Victor, Adepoju Mutiu, Rufai Peter, Agbonavdare W, Amunike Emmanuel, Senitoju Isaac, Ikoku Efah, Ugbade Nduka and Ike Sorounmu.“On June 10, 1994, Air Commodore Emeka Omeruah, Chairman, NFA, wrote each member of the team of the allocation of a three-bedroom house. He wrote a similar letter on October 19, 1994, to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing ‘to kindly expedite action to allocate the houses in Abuja and Lagos, accordingly.’“On December 27, 1995, Chief Jim Nwobodo, then Minister of Youth and Sports, wrote the team members: ‘Allocation of houses’ promising that Works & Housing Ministry had been directed for ‘the immediate release of the houses.’“Not until April 3, 1997, that the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) wrote to the team members: ‘You are hereby allocated Isheri Olofin Estate, Lagos, for a term of ninety (90) years certain, commencing from the date you are invited to take possession of the housing unit.’ Ibrahim Ali, MD/CE, FHA, signed the letter.“Nothing happened until October 9, 2000, when Olusola Akanmode, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Vice President, wrote the Minister of Sports & Social Development ‘to draw your attention to the VP’s directive for your urgent necessary action,’ on the matter.“A lot of correspondence went on. Sources said those in Abuja and Finidi George in Port Harcourt River States, were given their houses. The rest 28 are yet to take possession, 15 years after.“Isheri Estate has been re-structured and the addresses of the houses supposedly allocated to the Eagles members are no longer in existence.”On his part, the Director-General, National Sports Commission (NSC), Chief Patrick Ekeji, claimed total ignorance. He told Daily Sun in a telephone conversation:“Nobody has brought this matter to my notice. By 1994, I was in Imo State. I am not privy to any document relating to that issue.“Except the matter is brought to my notice, I cannot comment on it. In fact, I don’t even know what to say or do on it. So, I am not aware of what you are saying.”
Rosemary Obiakor, 46, of Lagos, won more than three million naira (£13,500) in the National Sports Lottery, reports the Daily Metro.When asked what she planned to do with the money after she was presented with her cheque in a ceremony on local TV, Mrs Obiakor said she'd give it to a "lucky beggar"."I have heard a lot of stories about how people win the lottery, and they get broke in the short run and come across a lot of misfortune. I am scared, and so I'll give it to a lucky beggar on the street," she told TV reporters.She collected her cheque, cashed the money and gave the money to a female beggar who was sitting by the street side with her two-year old baby.When Mrs Obiakor and a team of lottery executives handed the beggar a bag full of banknotes, she screamed with delight, and hugged them all.She thanked her benefactor profusely and promised to start a food retail business immediately.Before she went away with her money, the new 'millionaire' gave handfuls of money to other beggars on the street.
Chinese government had agreed to issue exit visas to Nigerians resident in China illegally, to enable them leave the country without molestation, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.The development is coming on the heels of street protests last week, over the death of two Nigerians who jumped out of a window to escape police clampdown of illegal migrants in Guangzhou Province.This is as Chinese Embassy in Abuja, has said it was yet to receive detailed information on the alleged death of a Nigerian, Emmanuel Egisimba, in the Chinese town of Guangzhou last Wednesday.The Embassy’s Spokesman, Mr Peng Yijun, said they are still waiting for confirmation and approval from Beijing before any reaction could be sent to that effect."There is an agreement in principle with the Chinese authority to issue exit visas to Nigerians who have overstayed without arresting and clamping them into jail,'' Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ayo Olukanni, told NAN yesterday in Abuja.'This is what the Nigerian mission in China is currently negotiating. The mission is working with the Nigerian community to ensure that the list of those affected is compiled for necessary issuing of the visas,'' he said.Olukanni denied that two Nigerians died after jumping through a window.'No Nigerian died. The two people, Mr Ndubusisi Ohaneme sustained some injuries and had been discharged from the hospital, while Emmanuel Okoro, who was in intensive care, is now out and is in stable condition in the hospital,'' he said.According to Olukanni, nearly 20,000 Africans, including 5,000 Nigerians, reside in the Guangzhou Province, adding that in recent times, the Chinese had embarked on an exercise to `flush' out those staying illegally.He advised Nigerians against overstaying their visas to avoid harassment from the security personnel of their host countries.What nigerians face as written from ucboboy in chinaOver the years, Nigerians in China have been suffering untold hardship in the hands of the communist police of China,notwithstanding the deplomatic and trade relations between Nigeria and China.While other smaller african country's citizens are treated fairly one wonders why the citizens from the most populous nation in africa is being treated with levity in China.For example the Chinese authorities has been very considerate in renewin the visas of other african countries with the exception of Nigeria.Other african countries have been getting their resident permit with ease but the case of Nigerians is different.Even when a Nigerian is married to a Chinese Citizens according to the Chinese law the person is still being denied the one year resident permit that the Chinese government give to people in that category rather they will be renewing the person's visa every three months in the case of Nigerian Citizens.One therefore is pushed to ask if the then president Olusegun Obassanjo just signed a bi- lateral relation with Chinese government just to give millions of Chinese citizens free accsess to enter Nigeria so that they help and send our half dead industries to their graves. It is supprising that these Chinese citizens scattered all over Nigeria enjoy their freedom and carry on their businesses without any interference.It is absurd to hear that Nigerians in China do not enjoy any freedom at all and that there are many Nigerians that are being detained by the communist police in an underground cell.It is too bad that while many Nigerians wish to go about their legal businesses that the Chinese communist police are trying their best to frustrate their efforts especially in the commercial city of Guangzhou.The police in the commercial city of Gunagzhou is a carbon copy of Nigerian police in corruption.The difference is that while the Nigerian police collect a pea nut as bribe their Chinese counterpart collect a furtune.Right now in Gunagzhou Nigerians are paying between 10,000 to 13,000 RMB that is 175,000naira to 227,500 naira bribe just to get themselves released as soon they are arrested to avoid being thrown into the underground cell.Even as the Chinese government says that anybody that overstayed should pay a fine of 5000RMB they still cannot not allow Nigerians to pay the fine with ease and go home if they wish to go,rather they will handcuff the person and make him to suffer in the cell and still pay the fine.The wife of a Nigerian who have a resident permit can never claim through her husband's residency, rather if she wish to come to China she will apply and get a one month visiting visa within which she will leave. If not she will be there as illegal allien.Many Nigerian wives are in these category right now.The most annoying thing is that these Nigerians that are being denied the legal stay in China employ Chinese Citizens in their various offices and shops, where they pay them a huge sum ranging from 2000 to 3000RMB monthly that is 35,000 - 52,500 naira. An amount that most Nigerian graduates are not receiving as minimum wage. I was recently informed that among the multinational companies in Nigeria that Chinese are the least paid workers. It is disheartening that these Chinese will cheat us in their country and rob us of our due at home.In Nigeria Chinese are importers, hawkers, clearing agents even visa vendors. In China, most Nigerians hardly see breathing space to carry out their legitimate businesses. A situation that most Nigerians have been helpless about.I need a general advice on how to get this problem solved.Since Nigeria have her own laws, is there any means that we can get Mr Ude the boss of Nigerian immigeration to try and enforce our own laws?Can we unanimousely in this discussion group write pettition to Mr president about this situation.
15-yr-old Nigerian records flying feat in U.S.
From Laolu Akande, New York
Since July 11 that she accomplished the feat, mainstream American media have been awash, especially in the last one week with the news of the Nigerian-American
Major U.S. media like Cable News Network (CNN), Los Angeles Times, CBS, New York Daily News, and Philadelphia Inquirer, have been writing about Kimberly Anyadike.
However, much as the U.S. media have been reporting her story, there has not been a mention of her's or her family's Nigerian nationality. All the headlines and the stories said nothing about her or her family hailing from Nigeria. Most of the U.S. media headlines have been calling "Los Angeles Teen," "15-year-old girl," "Youngest African-American female," etc.
Speaking to reporters on July 11 as she landed the one-engine Cessna aircraft in Compton, California, after a 13-day flying spree from California on the West coast of the U.S. to Virginia on the East, the young Anyadike, who, hails from the eastern part of Nigeria, said she flew as a "messenger of hope" with expectations that her flight would inspire many more young people "out there."
Anyadike is making waves not only on the airwaves and the press, but also online, where her own facebook has now been supplemented by a fans' page. Already there are talks and you tube videos speculating about her meeting with the U.S. President Barack Obama. She herself has confirmed on her facebook page that the Governor of California, her U.S. home state, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has already invited her to visit at the state capital.
Anyadike's story started after she was enrolled into a flight programme in California having been targeted as an at-risk youth. But before then she had always wanted to fly, a passion that stuck with her until she joined the flight school that trained her under an intervention and mentoring programme.
From there she received air flight instructions and took on the challenge to fly an aircraft across the US under a programme co-sponsored by the U.S. Tuskeegee Airmen, being a group of Black U.S. military pilots whose initial patriotic attempts to join the U.S. Armed Forces and fight in the Second World War were ridiculed with claims that black people lacked the physiological and cognitive developments to fly planes.
She was trained at the Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum, a flight school and youth mentoring centre in Compton, California.
The aircraft she flew was named after the Tuskeegee Airmen and one of them, Levi Thornhill, now 87, actually flew with her across the U.S., and another safety pilot. Anyadike, according to U.S. media reports, said she wanted to use the history-making flight to honour the famous Tuskeegee Airmen for their service during the war.
On the 13-day journey she landed in 13 US cities and met with Tuskeegee Airmen all over the country. She said meeting all the Tuskeegee airmen on the trip " was really inspiring to me, and gave me the incentive to keep flying." At all her stops, she was reported to have received a hero's welcome like it was on her return flight to California, which has been posted on youtube.
Speaking on her return to California, from where the 13-day trip had started, Kimberly Anyadike who had been deemed an at-risk youth said: "I really appreciate everything that everyone has done for me." She thanked the Tuskeegee Airmen "for what they have done and what they have allowed me to overcome and to accomplish."
According to her: "I am being a messenger of hope. I hope I am an inspiration to many people out there."
She stated that her accomplishment as the youngest black female, perhaps youngest black person to fly an aircraft had been bigger than her imagination. "This is bigger than just me, larger than any accomplishments I could have ever made."
The 15-year old girl is expected to receive a pilot's licence in two years and she said she would like to become a cardiovascular surgeon with her eyes already set on such ivy league US schools like Harvard, Stanford and Yale. At 15 she is currently in high school and already taking college classes. She is also attending a dance academy, learning to read music in church and training on the piano, violin and guitar.
Crazy like a Fox is one of few movies directed by a Nigerian that has won global recognition. This film was one of the official selections for the American Black Film festival in 2008 and has been nominated for several awards as well.I got a chance to sit down in Harlem with the director of this movie - Tony Abulu (Back to Africa, American Dream, Crazy like a Fox) and we got a chance to talk about his story behind the arts of film making. Tony Abulu is truly multi-dimensional — uses the arts to express several dimensions of creativity: beyond being the voice for the African film maker and artistic persons in New York, Tony has also been the voice for Nigerian film makers and producers, owned his own Pan-African magazine for ten years, and the list is endless. Enjoy the interview! Tony, could you tell us a little bit about your background?I actually started studying fine arts, graphic design and illustration in college and then I worked in a top ad agency in Nigeria between 1982 - 1984. I eventually left that company because I felt my creativity was eroding but before I left I started a magazine called Black Ivory which was basically ancient Africa in an illustrated form. Some will say that was when my foray into film making actually began. Black Ivory eventually became a major Pan African magazine in Nigeria and the United States and I was in that business for fifteen years (15).What would you say actually took you into the world of movies and films?The idea to make a film came in 1976 when I was in college. I started toying with this idea with a few friends of mine. At that time I was a martial arts instructor, so the script I wrote had major elements that incorporated martial arts. You have to remember that in 1976, there was nothing like that - there were only three or four people who made movies at that time in Nigeria and it was really grand scale and these movies were shot in 35mm. So we (my friends and I) tried to make this movie but it never came about. I will say that was my first foray into the world of films.Beyond your background in martial arts - what other factors influenced your interest in movies?At that time, a lot of people in my age group were being influenced by movies like the Ten commandments, Sound of Music, etc. These movies had the ability to transform you and take you into a totally different world. But, you know we weren’t only being influenced by movies from the West but we were being influenced by movies from India, China etc. I remember my brother fell in love with Indian cultures via Indian movies that he chose to move to India at nineteen (19).You know this is very interesting because you see how African young children get into a form of art that is completely outside their ‘norm’. Nigerians at that time, were looking very heavily into world cultures and we had the opportunity to imbue these cultures at an early age and as such many Nigerians at that time, were calling themselves by Indian nicknames - Jagu, Jatamaurta. The next influence was from Chinese movies like Bruce Lee. We were influenced by different Nigerian cultures as well. I know my Nigerian influence was via my grandmother who used to tell us stories - she was a top rate story teller. She used to sit us down at night and tell us stories about Ancient Nigerian history.So, what event led to your first movie - Back to Africa?About fourteen (14) years ago, at around the time that Eddie Murphy’s movie, “Coming to America” came out, I wrote another script and I was determined to see this script through. My script was called American Dream.I spent some months going after people like Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis to be in my movie. They all read the script and wanted to be in the movie but my budget was 1.4 million dollars and I spent four years trying to raise the money but couldn’t do it.Luckily, one of my very good friends, Obafemi Lasude came to my rescue. Femi Lasude was a Nigerian who used to work in a TV station in Brooklyn, we were both very passionate about entertainment in Africa. He eventually went back to Nigeria to pursue his passion further and he advised that I come back as well. At that time, I had written another script, which took me two days to write, called Back to Africa and I decided to follow Femi’s advise and produce my movie in Nigeria.Femi introduced me to a friend Larry Talbot with the hopes that Larry will invest in my movie. I met Larry and told him about my movie and that same day Larry invested 25 000 dollars in my movie. The only favor Larry wanted was that I take his son to Nigeria with me. So, I did my casting call and picked a couple of my cast from the U.S and then took them to Nigeria. We spent 6 weeks in Nigeria shooting that movie. We went to places like Ekiti, Oshogbo, etc to shoot this movie. By the time we got back and started editing the movie - people who saw it were amazed at the quality. That was the first Nigerian movie anyone ever saw in the U.S.After that movie - I spent the next ten years developing distribution for the Nigerian film industry in the U.S and ironically to this very day - I get orders from all over the world for that movie. That movie cost about 80,000 dollars to produce.You mentioned earlier that there was no form of distribution of Nigerian movies in the states when you produced the movie, Back to Africa - so how did you distribute your movies?I made VHS copies of my movie and I went to every single store and restaurant in different communities from the Caribbean community, African community and the African American Community.I went to Nigerian parties and other parties that I was invited to and set up a table and often times faced the initial jeers at the cost of the movies but people eventually started warming up to the idea and started wanting more of it.During that time, I ran into two other Nigerians - the first one was Rabiu Mohammed - he had a small store in the Bronx ,where he used to sell movies. Today, he is one of the number one African movie distributors in the U.S and another guy called Bethel Agumoh. Bethel Agumoh was the first Nigerian to sell VCD on the Internet in the U.S.A.The Film Makers Association of Nigeria (FAN) was made up of these two men, myself and Caroline Okoli who came through Bethel. Her forte was back end management - she had worked for McDonald corporation for some years. At that time, we had noticed that a few Senegalese and Malian traders were beginning to sell bootleg copies of Nigerian movies and we understood that if FAN does not legitimize the distribution of Nigerian movie where we ensure that people sell authentic copies of the real thing so that producers in Nigeria get some renumeration for the movies sold in the states - the industry could die.At that time, Nigerian producers were selling 100,000 - 200,000 copies of their films. We took this issue to the Nigerian producers in Nigeria but they did not want to listen to what FAN had to say, they felt that we needed to prove that we were serious and had their interest at heart by putting down some money which we were not ready to do. Now, with the Chinese getting involved in the Nigerian movie distribution business - many now wish that they had listened to our suggestions. What is going on now is that a lot of Nigerian movies (as much as 50) are being compressed illegally into one CD and being sold and none of the monies are going to the producers, directors or anyone involved in the creation of the movie. Working with FAN as the president, I was able to convince 70% of distributors of bootleg movies in the states to become legitimate distributors of Nigerian films.Beyond distribution of Nigerian movies, were there other issues that you were hoping that FAN will address?Ultimately, the plan was to get involved in movie projects that tell the cross over stories. We wanted to work on Nigerian projects that can appeal to the American public as well. I think one of the things that Nigerian movie producers do not realize is that very few consumers of Nollywood movies are African American. We have a lot of ‘buyers’ from the Caribbean community, the African community and a couple of others. The reason that the African American community isn’t buying into our movies is because they can’t relate to it.For example, the movie Back to Africa, tells the story of an African American girl that goes to Africa to find her roots and in the process, I integrate every day aspects of Nigerian life. It is a story that appeals to a lot of African Americans because at one time or the other, they had questions about their roots and where they are from originally. that movie is heavily bought into by the African American community but I can’t say the same about a lot of other Nollywood movies.But, I will have to say this about Nollywood’s effect on Americans - it has shown a different face of Africa. For those that do watch it, they see that Africans in Africa live like they do and do not swing on trees. That Africans in Africa have cars, houses, go to parties and often times dress like they do.You’ve definitely been in this business for a long time. What are the weaknesses that you see in the Nigerian film industry?My main problem is the lack of authenticity in most of the stories told. I will call it the ‘fakeness’. There are some movies that are a direct copy of American movies but even when they copy these movies, they refuse to put their ‘Africaness’ or should I say ‘Nigerianess’ into it. They use music that isn’t theirs, they dress in ways that aren’t really authentic. I think a lot of our movies are projecting images that aren’t really African but rather African American and because those images aren’t really ours, it makes it a difficult sell. If you do not really comprehend what it means to be African American then how can you project the image realistically and most importantly how can you support that image?I have often said that if people believe that a certain culture is theirs then they should be able to support it. The way that the world works is that you have your own products that you create and you brainwash other people to buy into it. We need to learn our culture and find out what our own brand of products are and then sell it.Extra:There are a lot of issues within the Nollywood industry that were highlighted during this interview. Regardless of if we buy into his argument or not, Nollywood is an industry that will keep on growing and is one of Nigeria’s main cultural exports. Our hopes are that this industry will become more recognized within the global film making community. Tony Abulu’s movies are a must watch for any connoisseur of movies. I got a chance to watch - Back to Africa and Crazy like a fox and the quality and story telling were on point. You can get these movies
Nigeria TribuneLanre Adewole, AbujaMonday, July 20, 2009THE Federal Government is said to have formally applied to the United States of America for the extradition of former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, in order to face trial in Nigeria for alleged fraud while in office.An eight-count charge of criminal conspiracy, abuse of office, misappropriation of N32 billion and allocation of land to associates and family members slammed on the former minister and two associates by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had also been pasted on his Abuja residence, as ordered by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.The EFCC’s spokesperson, Mr Femi Babafemi, confirmed the pasting of the charge. The house is located at No. 12 Mambila Street, Maitama, Abuja.Nigerian Tribune gathered from a source that the commission routed its extradition request through the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mike Aondoaaka (SAN), who in turn reportedly forwarded the request to the relevant authorities in the United States under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the two countries.The commission’s request was received in the minister’s office penultimate Thursday. It could not be confirmed at the time of filing the report if the United States had communicated the Federal Government over the request.An International Treaty between Nigeria and United States of America empowers the anti-graft commission to extradite the embattled former minister using the instrumentality of the Nigerian government.The treaty entitled “TREATY BETWEEN THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ON MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS” was signed at Washington on November 2, 1987.The introductory part states that “the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the government of the United States of America, hereinafter called the “Contracting Parties”.The provision of the Treaty which deals with deportation of nationals of the two contracting parties when such is required is under Article XVIII entitled “Information on Crimes, Arrests, Convictions, and Deportations”Meanwhile, following the commission’s inability to serve the charge on el-Rufai who is resident in the US, the commission asked the trial court for an order to have the charge pasted on his residence.Justice Adamu Bello last Thursday granted the request, though he said he believed that the former minister was aware of the charge which made him to engage the services of the former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi SAN.When the matter came up on July 8, former General Manager of Abuja Geographic Information Systems (AGIS) Altine Jubrin and former Director General Ismaila Iro who were also charged with the former minister were present.The judge fixed October 14 for el-Rufai’s plea. The commission had declared el-Rufai wanted over the alleged fraud. Nigerian Tribune gathered that el-Rufai has many petitions against him which the commission had been investigating, with a petition from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) said to be receiving top priority from the commission.Documents secured by the Nigerian Tribune had revealed an alleged conversion of 13 plots of land originally allocated in the Abuja Master Plan to the PHCN, for his family use, despite warnings from top civil servants in the ministry and construction giants, Julius Berger, which was reportedly given the contract to convert the plots for private use.The plots located in Asokoro Area D were allegedly distributed among himself, his wife and children.
Who do you think will win ?
Only for one brief moment did he appear overcome – when he testified about how the US had forced him out of office and how former Liberian allies turned against him. Olusegun Obasanjo, the former Nigerian president who offered him exile in 2003 before allowing his arrest in 2006, was singled out with venom. Asked what he would do, if he found himself in a closed room with him now, Mr Taylor said: "You would see two presidents in a little tussle... I'm damned angry."
Two years after the trial opened, and after sitting through harrowing testimony from the prosecution's 91 witnesses, Mr Taylor seemed pleased to finally have the stand. "This whole case has been about 'Let's get Taylor'. Haven't they had their pound of flesh yet? I am not guilty of all these charges," he said, "not even a minute part of these charges".
Mr Taylor denied arming the Sierra Leonean rebel group, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), when he was president in return for vast quantities of diamonds.
"Never, ever did I receive – whether [in a] mayonnaise or coffee or whatever jar – any diamonds from the RUF," he said. "It is a lie, a diabolical lie."
The defence does not contest the signature amputations, the beheadings and the sexual violence to which the people of Sierra Leone were subjected during the 1991-2002 war. Indeed Mr Taylor's own lawyer, Courtenay Griffiths, this week described the parade of prosecution witnesses as a "procession of hurt human beings reliving the most grotesque trauma".
But the British lawyer will argue that it had nothing to do with Mr Taylor and that far from being an "African Napoleon" as the prosecution contends, the Liberian president was too busy trying to protect democracy and make peace in his own country to have time to micro-manage the conflict next door.
It was a point that Mr Taylor, who introduced himself to the court as the 21st president of Liberia and the reigning chief of all the country's tribes, was keen to hammer home yesterday. "Charles Taylor is supposed to be out there like some little common street thug involving himself in the acquiescence of rape and murder," he said, his voice dripping with sarcasm as he adjusted his gold-rimmed tinted spectacles.
Aside from his opening remarks, which directly addressed the charges against him, Mr Taylor's first day on the stand offered up a bizarre mix of childhood reminiscences and African history lessons.
He stressed his humble origins, the child of a sugar cane farmer who grew up in a mud house without running water, waking up with the crow of the rooster and running barefoot to school. Educating himself was his main goal, he said. He won scholarships to schools in Liberia and then decided to go to university in the US.
"I was dating a girl and this old friend of mine came back from the US, and took my girl from me. And I said 'Oh my God'... That really pushed me," he recounted.
There were rants against Washington for not doing enough for Liberia in the 150 years since the country was founded by freed slaves shipped back to west Africa from the US.
But he contradicted that later when he passionately argued that Africans should solve their own problems and not be subjected to Westerners telling people what to do.
With the defendant having to spell out many of the Liberian names, the courtroom felt like a spelling bee at times – "I'm not sure I got that one right," Mr Taylor said. Keeping a handle on the cast of characters included in his lengthy narrative also proved difficult on occasion: he drew a blank on the name of his paternal grandmother.
Only for one brief moment did he appear overcome – when he testified about how the US had forced him out of office and how former Liberian allies turned against him. Olusegun Obasanjo, the former Nigerian president who offered him exile in 2003 before allowing his arrest in 2006, was singled out with venom. Asked what he would do, if he found himself in a closed room with him now, Mr Taylor said: "You would see two presidents in a little tussle... I'm damned angry."
A verdict in the case is not expected until next year. But campaigners hope the trial will send a powerful message to other leaders around the world that they cannot act with impunity.
Pulling the microphone toward him, the dapper 61-year-old man in sunglasses creased his forehead, cleared his throat emphatically and introduced himself to the war-crimes court in the Hague: "My name is Dakpenah Dr. Charles Ghankay Taylor, the 21st President of the Republic of Liberia."Thus began the testimony of Charles Taylor, the reviled warlord and ousted Liberian President, at his landmark trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. He is facing 11 charges relating to the murder, rape, sexual slavery and mutilation of civilians by rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone — or, as the prosecution put it, he's charged with being "everything from terrorist to rapist." Asked to respond to the charges, Taylor issued a forceful denial. "It is very, very, very unfortunate that the prosecution's disinformation, misinformation, lies and rumors would associate me with such titles," he said. (See pictures of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.)
Taylor took the stand on July 14 at the U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone for the first time since his trial began 18 months ago. He is accused of arming, training and controlling Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels, who rampaged across the country during its brutal 1991-2001 civil war. Prosecutors allege that Taylor targeted Sierra Leone so he could strip it of its vast mineral wealth, in particular its diamonds. Earlier in the trial, chief prosecutor Stephen Rapp insisted that Taylor was "an exceptional violator of human rights" who steadily provided weapons and support to the RUF in exchange for blood diamonds. Witnesses testified about arms smuggled from Liberia to Sierra Leone in sacks of rice and diamonds sent back in a mayonnaise jar. But Taylor rebutted the claims. "Never, ever did I receive — whether it is [in] mayonnaise or coffee or whatever jar — any diamonds from the RUF," he said. "It is a lie, a diabolical lie."However, it is the stories of Taylor's sheer brutality that are likely to be the most damning testimony. As many as 250,000 people were killed in the blood-soaked conflict that embroiled Sierra Leone and Liberia, even spreading into Ivory Coast and Guinea. During the course of the trial, the court — sitting in the Hague for fear of stirring up fresh unrest in Sierra Leone and Liberia — was told about how RUF rebels enslaved and mutilated thousands of civilians, who had their hands and arms severed. Some of the worst crimes were carried out by gangs of child soldiers, who were fed drugs to desensitize them to the horror of their actions.The slang Short sleeve or long sleeve used in the movie Blood Diamond with Leonardo Di Capri and Djimon housou graphically and literally puns the amputation of arms either below the elbow (short sleeve) or above the wrist (long Sleeve) The blood, is plentiful. People about to lose limbs are asked if they want "short sleeve" or "long sleeve." Child soldiers carrying automatic weapons, fire into crowds. There is death, and then more death. All of those interviewed agreed that the film was an accurate portrayal of the violence.And there were tales of even more grotesque violence, including how opponents and peacekeeping forces were killed, cooked and eaten by Taylor's militia. Last year, the alleged head of Taylor's "Death Squad," Joseph (Zigzag) Marzah, told the court that cannibalism was practiced "to set an example for people to be afraid" and that nothing was done without Taylor's approval. Marzah also revealed that he and Taylor belonged to the same secret religious society and had together eaten human hearts.As the charges were laid before him on Tuesday, Taylor, the first African leader to be tried before an international tribunal for war crimes, responded with indignant protestations. "I am a father of 14 children, grandchildren, have fought all my life to do what I thought was right in the interests of justice and fair play," he said. "I resent that characterization of me. It is false, it is malicious."His lawyer, Courtenay Griffiths, had earlier denied that Taylor was an "African Napoleon bent on taking over the subregion," saying instead that he was a "broker of peace." Griffiths does not dispute the horrors of the war but says Taylor was not the heart of darkness directing it. "The case is all about linking the crimes to Mr. Taylor, but the evidence has been riddled with inconsistencies," he said. (Read "Charles Taylor Trial Starts.")Taylor launched a Libyan-funded armed uprising in Liberia in 1989. The ensuing civil war lasted until 1996, and Taylor was elected President the following year. He ruled for six years before heading into exile in Calabar Cross river State, where he was eventually arrested. Taylor was sent to the Hague in June 2006, but the trial covers only his role in Sierra Leone.Taylor's testimony is expected to last six to eight weeks, and a final verdict in the case is likely a year off. If convicted, he would serve his jail sentence — he's facing life imprisonment — in Britain. But even if he is acquitted, it doesn't mean his worries are over. Last week, the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission released a report on the 1989-2003 civil wars. It has a list of eight warlords whom it wants brought to trial for crimes against humanity — and Taylor is on that list.
Light Up Nigeria: Enough Is EnoughJOIN GROUP NOW !
Despite being a country rich in oil, Nigeria’s electricity supply situation is insufficient. “In most parts of the country, darkness pervades and generators have taken over as the source of power”, says Adebayo’s blog. “When the power shuts down – which it does all the time – people sit in the dark or, if they’re lucky, fire up generators that cost the country $140 billion to fuel (add a chunk more for capital and maintenance costs)”, says David Steven at Global Dashboard. Adebayo adds:
But to explain or fathom the reasons why it is so complex. From the cartels who import generators, the contractors who fail to complete power projects, citizens who vandalize power lines and installations, languid attitude of government up to the manufacturers of the generators (in developed countries); all these have a vested interest in the continued failure of power
provision in Nigeria.
Now Nigerians have started a massive online demonstration against this frustrating situation on social media sites, especially on Twitter with the hashtag #lightupnigeria. There’s also a Facebook group, with the following description:
Are you tired of the constant excuses being given for the incompetence of PHCN, we are forming this group as a voice for our generation. It is time for something to be done,the 7th oil producing nation is one of the world’s worst electicity providers. The time has come, Nigeria belongs to all of us and if we do not speak out now,its the same burden we will all have to bear. So join,tell your friends, family andybody you can, enough is enough. Our voice may be small now but as the group grows and the word is spread, the government will hear our words and something will be done. LIGHT UP NIGERIA so progress in all the other sectors can advance also.
Energy is the engine that drives industrialization, which improves communication, helps innovation in science and Technology, provides sound healthcare delivery system and improves citizens’ standard of living. Since energy is the engine that drives industrialization, a sound energy policy would indirectly create jobs even in unexpected sectors.
Archiwiz at To fit or not to fit? commented on the campaign:
The hashtag itself will not do much if the responsible parties don’t take notice and do the right thing, but this is a good first step. Awareness is always important when it comes to movements of change […]
So you ask, what is #lightupnigeria? The words that make up the tag are self explanatory to any Nigerian, or anyone that has spent a good two weeks in Nigeria and has experienced firsthand the impact of lack of electricity in Nigeria. I can give you a long laundry list of what we lose because of lack of electricity, but several things surface: money, time & productivity.
[…] This movement needs to get to get to the media and to the ears of our Nigerian leaders. We cannot continue to wink at our lack of electricity.
Here’s a selection of some of the things people have been saying on Twitter as part of the #lightupnigeria campaign:
Nigeria’s economy can’t change until we #lightupnigeria
#lightupnigeria so that her 140million nigerians can say goodnight and really look forward to having one
the only thing to known to be stable in nigeria is darkness #lightupnigeria
the money we use to buy diesel for a year can pay 10 years light bills, so pls #lightupnigeria
#LightUpNigeria so that people don’t go to work on weekends to iron!
#lightupNigeria Nigerians leaders love darkness, cos the works of their hands are so dark, it cant stand no light
#lightupnigeria cos wen there is no light at nite & i need to pee… aiming for that bowl has to be intuitive!! damn!
have not had power for 4days now… #lightupnigeria pls
i’m planning to relocate to nigeria soon but plans to visit london every week just to charge my phone #lightupnigeria
It’s 11pm, which means it’s another night without electricity. Hopefully we can #lightupNigeria so that ‘Goodnights’ can actually be good!
#lightupnigeria because that’s my country & my country deserves light
As we fight 4 dis to work,i know u r all tired, but think about your kids, how much u want them 2 grow in a good environment/nation #lightupnigeria
i would be mighty ashamed if in future my kids called me d generator generation & i did nothing #lightupnigeria
it ain’t right that at this time and age we dont’ have regular power supply #lightupnigeria
#lightupnigeria cos constant power supply should NOT be a luxury in 2009
The pollution from generators is stunting the brains of Nigeria’s youth. Now many of us are no longer imaginative. Please #lightupnigeria!
Obama’s campaign didn’t stop until a day before elections. Our #lightupnigeria campaign won’t stop until 24/7 electricity. Tell ‘em
#lightupnigeria because we have the resources – both natural & man-made..what are we waiting for??
Nobody will listen to #lightupnigeria by just twittering,u hve 2 kill somebody&tell d police u mistaken stabbed the fellow cz it was dark…
Our greatest challenge isn’t in Abuja. It is in ourselves. It is that voice that says: “This will all amount to nothing” #lightupnigeria
So what are we waiting for lets light up Nigeria !
The movie What the Bleep Do We Know!? challenges us with the question: “How far down the rabbit hole would you like to go?” In the safety of a movie theater seat, it’s tempting to confuse the invitation to experience a glimpse of another dimension with a ticket to a virtual A-ride at Disneyland. Rabbit holes seem such benign things — artifacts of Alice’s grand adventure in Wonderland where one might satisfy one’s curiosity by following a tardy furry little animal. What a delightful way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon!
It would be wise not to confuse the storybook version with the slippery kaleidoscopic vignettes one encounters in the quirky world of quantum metaphysics. It’s one thing to read about doorways into other dimensions or see them depicted on a movie screen, and quite another to actually risk entering their depths.
I don’t mean to sound foreboding — quite the opposite. Nor do I wish to make the process of descent appear overly difficult — it isn’t. All that’s required to dive into the rabbit hole is the release of all personal identity and the belief systems that hold it in place. That’s like saying the path through the illusion is simple — provided one has no preferences.
Unfortunately, there are many hucksters — including your own inner voices — who tout all manner of shortcuts into the rabbit hole. Laced sugar cubes, magic ‘shrooms, sacred plant concoctions, and a host of other mind-altering substances are generally available to those not ready to do the serious work. In the age of instant gratification, these seem such simple ways to separate from the portion of oneself that still believes it is living within the illusion.
The question, then, is: Why would you want to go anywhere near a rabbit hole? Before you answer, consider this: Who is the you that would make the journey, and who is the you making the decision? What do you really know about yourself that doesn’t come from your lifetime resume? You can make a list a mile long describing every aspect of your life, your physical attributes, your likes and dislikes, your thoughts, your beliefs, and you wouldn’t begin to depict who you really are. Each item on your list is little more than the way you choose to project yourself into the illusion. None of these can make the journey.
Surprisingly, religious beliefs are the largest single obstacle to ascension (the lightness of being required to explore the deeper regions of rabbit holes) — not because people have them but because they cling to them as truth. Yet most people have not chosen their religions. Rather, the religion they claim as their own chose them, usually through circumstances of birth or enculturation. Feeling lost and abandoned at the edge of a vast galaxy in an incomprehensibly large universe, we understandably cry out for a mommy or daddy to comfort us. Religions give us community, and they give answers that, for many, make the challenges of their lives more bearable.
People are more readily attracted to a religious concept if it is presented as the word of a deity. Imagine the priesthood saying that what they teach might be an interesting theory for the congregation to explore for a while. Any good marketer knows it’s easier to fill the seats if what they offer is advertised as the only true path to God’s heavenly mansion, and that whoever doesn’t follow it is doomed to an eternity of unspeakable damnation. Fear, it turns out, is an excellent motivator.
But fear will not allow you into the rabbit hole. Nor will a tenacious hold on a belief system. Rabbit holes are only for the passionately curious, for those who are not so overburdened with someone else’s answer that they long ago forgot the question. Arguably, the greatest damage wrought by a belief system is the blunting of the desire to seek beyond the boundaries of dogma. The essential nature of a rabbit hole is to unravel. What you experience upon entering one will not only blow your mind, it will strip you of all sense of personal identity.
Rabbit holes are definitely not for the faint of heart. Don’t let the cleverness of the question fool you into thinking you can stick your toe into the hole to get a preview. What black hole ever asked “How far into me would you like to go?”
Up to10, 000 militants in the troubled Niger Delta could benefit from the amnesty offered by the federal government aimed at ending the crisis in the region, which has almost crippled the oil industry.
The chief coordinator of the Amnesty Implemen-tation Committee, Air Vice Marshal Lucky Ararile, announced this yesterday in Abuja at a special media dialogue on the status of the amnesty deal.
Ararile also announced that the federal government has budgeted N200 million to feed the targeted 10,000 militants that will turn up to lay down their arms at the 50 to 60 camps spread across the six Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Ondo and Rivers.
"We are working on about 10,000 militants. Each militant will receive an allowance of N20, 000 per month in addition to N1, 500 per day for food while at a reintegration centre, translating to N65,000 a month.
“Disarmament and demobilisation part of the programme will last 60 days. Thereafter, the reintegration programme is indeterminate," Ararile said.
He said a few militants have already surrendered their arms but declined to give a specific figure.
Ararile continued: “If you compute 20,000 per month by 10,000 ex-militants, we will be talking of billions of naira. This is for the disarmament and demobilization part of the programme, which is for 60 days.
“Their duration at the camps will depend on the things they want to do. Some of skills will be acquired at home while others will be sent to relevant institutions to learn a trade, or back to school for those who want an education.
“For the re-integration centres, we are thinking of either building new ones or renovating structures that are available. But because of time constraint, we may be forced to renovate.
“So in certain cases, we are renovating and in others we will build. The degree of renovation varies from facility to facility but there is no fixed figure on that.”
He called on more militants to take advantage of the amnesty offer and commended the level of enthusiasm so far expressed by those who have already surrendered their weapons.
“I think is in the interest of everybody to end this right now. Most Niger Deltans are tired.
“They are now the victims of this whole struggle. It is virtually impossible for development to take place in the Niger Delta today with the level of violence that we have.
“It is not just development that is affected, even our individual social lives have been completely affected.”
The Media Coordinator of the committee, Dr. Timiebi Koripamo-Agary, added that the consequences of this crisis “as we have seen in Gbaramatu Kingdom, is that it is the women and children that have been displaced.
“This is the reason we think the militants should accept this amnesty and save their parents, their mothers, even their grandparents the pain they are going through.
“If you should visit this camp, you will see a very sorry sight. The activity that led to this displacement shouldn’t have happened.”
Asked if the committee is in touch with Government Tompolo, a key militant, Ararile said there has been no direct contact with him.
It would be recalled that President Umaru Yar'Adua had announced the offer of amnesty from August 6 to October 4, 2009 for all those directly and indirectly engaged in militant activities in the Niger Delta.
Henry Okah, the leader for the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta had all charges against him dropped as part of the amnesty deal. He was released from jail last Monday.
In response, MEND declared a 60-day ceasefire on its "oil war" which has seen oil production cut by 50 percent.
FRAUD is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual. It is a crime and is also a civil law violation.
Many fraud cases involve complicated financial transactions conducted mostly by business professionals with specialised knowledge and criminal intent.
Fraud can be committed through many methods, including mail, wire, phone, and the internet. Many scams use telephone calls to convince the victim that the person on the other end of the deal is a real, truthful person.
Many Nigerians have fallen victim of fraud one time or the other. Perhaps the version of the story differs from one victim to the other. The strange thing is that the victims are being defrauded by fellow Nigerians who take the advantage of the respect people have for their kith and kins living in foreign countries.
In the past, the trend was that Nigerians living abroad would send money for a specific project back home. Such people had been swindled many times. They were taught hard lessons, but they became wiser. They now know the “safe hands” to put their money in for any investments back home.
Sometime ago, a man was reported to be sending money home to his brother, who diverted the money, meant for a building construction for personal gain. Pictures of the ‘progress’ made on the work were continuously sent to the trusting fellow abroad until the lid was blown open. He was duped by his own brother!
However, with Nigerians abroad now exercising caution in their dealings with those they are supposed to trust, even relatives, those at home are being duped by people living in their present surroundings, but who claim to be relatives living in faraway countries.
According to a source, a middle-aged man recounted how he woke up on a fateful day to a call from abroad. The caller, using an international number, told him that his son, who was living abroad, had longed to speak with him.
“Your son (names withheld) had been trying your number before he left for office. Since he could not reach you on phone, he asked me to deliver his message,” the man quoted the caller to have said.
Asked how the caller got the details about his son, the man said, “the caller did not mention my son’s name. I gave him the details – his name, country and everything. I was so curious; has anything happened to my son?”
And the message: The son wanted the father to help him acquire a property in a choice area. A friend was arranged to take the man to see the property. The parent was careless. He did not call the son to confirm the development. He took the bait. The next day, he parted with about N500,000 (he was rich and he would do anything for his son) to acquire the so-called property.
On how he got to know he had been duped, the man said his son called later in the day. “I was expecting him to ask me about the latest development, but he did not say anything. I told him all that had happened, but my son said he had no knowledge of it,” the man said.
He decided to check on the ‘property’ the next day, but the number with which he was contacted was no more available.
Another reported case of such fraud involved a man who believed he was being contacted by a neighbour who had relocated abroad. The caller told him that he decided to partner with him based on his record of honesty and transparency and he would also transact a business on his behalf.
The neighbour was so eloquent that the victim did not suspect any foul play. The ‘neighbour’ had left a message also that the man should contact his business associates who had just arrived in Nigeria. The offer was juicy. The man was ready to parter with his former neighbour, but he was entering into a trap. He got involved in the deal. He filled forms and made bookings for the ‘products.’
For certain ‘goods’ the man was to deliver for his ‘neighbour,’ he was to part with about N2 million and pay a non-refundable fee of N150,000 to register for the business. But before the deal could be concluded, he got a call from the real neighbour, who told him to ‘play along’ so the syndicate could be arrested. However, the fraudsters could read the writing on the wall and so they quickly backed out, but not until their victim had parted with about N200,000.
With the latest Internet communication, fraudsters have updated their skills. Pictures of relatives and friends abroad are usually manipulated to perform their dastardly act. Chatting fora like Facebook and others also make their work much easier.
For men who love ‘anything in skirt,’ pictures of beautiful girls are being used to get at them. ‘The girls’ surf the net for addresses of men and then send them mails expressing an interest to begin a relationship with them.
How do the fraudsters get people’s phone numbers? How do they get accurate information about their victims before initiating any communication. Are ‘insiders’ (relatives or other people close to the victim) involved in their work? Like it was stated earlier in this writing, the fraudsters are mostly business professionals with specialised knowledge.
A Nigerian living in London, Kunmi, said the trend was not a new thing.“I have alerted everyone closer to me. I have means of communicating with them and if the need be for anyone to take action on my behalf, they will get across to me first. I don’t know what the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is doing to check the situation,” he said.
Another Nigerian living in the Netherlands said it was the crave for quick wealth that made Nigerians to fall victim of such tricks.
When asked whether any of his relatives in Nigeria had fallen victim of such, he was quick to answer in the affirmative. He said he had warned members of his family to cross-check with him, any information supposedly coming from him before acting on it.
As copied from the Western Austrialia Ministry of Fair Trade’s e-zine Fair Bytes, here is a story of a fraud: “When I received an unsolicited e-mail from a son of a prominent Nigerian, asking for my assistance in retrieving $500 million for a 25 per cent reward, excitement raced through me. I requested more information. A second e-mail provided me with a Nigerian phone number. A purported Nigerian attorney told me that I would receive 20 installments of $25 million deposited into my bank account bi-weekly. All I needed to do was pay $25,000 in expenses and up-front fees.”
According to him, he believed he would soon be on the list of the richest people in the world! All he had to do was send money to these contacts, allowing them to pay for hotels, airfares, gifts, and processing fees.
For the $1,200 sent, he received a faxed copy of a Certificate of Ownership to $25 million. All faxes proudly displayed official signatures, stamps and seals.
A deposit of $32 million within 72 hours into his bank account would take place after he paid a membership fee of $75,000 to join the "Secret Bank." He could have an immediate release of up to $1 million within 24 hours after he had paid the fee and filed the application.
According to the victim, “I asked them to take a cheque, telling them that it will mature in 10 days, but they insisted they preferred cash. So, I travelled to meet them in London.
“There, they communicated by cell phones, and never provided a physical address for contact. We met in my hotel’s bar. They showed me 10 stacks of $100 bills. Each bill had a smudge on its face that I was told would prevent detection by a scanning device as it passed through customs. This money, plus two million more that was waiting in a security company's vault, would be mine within 24 hours if I would buy the special chemical needed to remove the smudges and pay the release fee for the other two million dollars.
“I asked to cut open one of the plastic-wrapped stacks of money so I could fan through it. I believed I saw 10 stacks of copy paper with a $100 bill topping each stack. They did not allow me a hands-on inspection!
“As I stalled for time, trying to find a suitable end to my investigation, a cellphone rang. The conversation was not for my ears, but due to the loud, panicky voice of the caller, I could not miss her words: ‘Where’s my money!”
This was the voice of a woman who was recently duped and was threatening to have her money back from the contacts, and as such, the man knew it was a game and he sought ways of escape for himself.
The next time you get calls from abroad supposedly from families and friends, be sure you are talking with the right person, otherwise, you might be on the way to getting duped.
281x211.jpgDome Project’ reportedly featured elaborate sets, including a ‘Thriller’-like cemetery.In addition to overseeing the over-the-top, effects-heavy stage show for his comeback shows at the O2 Arena in London, Michael Jackson completed a mysterious video production known as the “Dome Project” two weeks before his death on Thursday, according to The Associated Press.The production could be the last video piece from the singer known for creating some of the most acclaimed, elaborate music videos in history. While details on the project are hard to come by due to confidentiality agreements signed by those who worked on it, two unnamed sources with knowledge of its existence spoke to the AP.According to these sources, the five-week project was housed at Culver Studios in Los Angeles — the same set used for “Gone With the Wind” production 70 years ago. Jackson was said to be on set for most of the days it was shot, from June 1-9. Four sets were constructed for the video, including a cemetery similar to the one from the singer’s famous 1983 “Thriller” video. Other sets included one draped in black with an oversized portrait of Jackson in his “Thriller” werewolf costume, a simulated lush jungle and a fake construction site.The project is now in post-production and is slated for completion next month. Michael Roth, a spokesperson for concert promoter AEG Live, told the AP that he had not heard about the “Dome” shoot, but it could have been part of the company’s contract with the entertainer, which reportedly had provisions for the release of musical recordings and videos. MTV News could not reach Roth for further comment at press time.An anonymous source said a very thin, pale Jackson left a strong impression on the crew during the production, arriving in a caravan of SUVs with “hulking security guards in tow” and introducing himself to workers on the set. The singer was described as having a “spring in his step,” but it was noted that at one point he needed help while walking down a set of stairs on the stage.The shoot reportedly included one scene on the construction site set featuring scantily clad male dancers wearing construction belts.In addition to the “Dome” project, AEG Live is reported to have filmed 100 hours of rehearsals for the London shows, including last Wednesday’s final rehearsal, which wrapped up just hours before Jackson’s death. That footage could be used to create what would be Jackson’s first-ever live CD and DVD.Video of Rehearsals Just Days Before His Death
Dear All.This is recommended for immediate implementationWhere and/if applicable.Happy weekend.CheerssssssssssssssssssssssHOME INTERNAL MEMOFROM: DADTO: ALL DEPENDANTS AND RELATIVESCC: MOTHERDATE: JUNE, 2009SUBJECT: FINANCIAL MELTDOWN/COST CUTTING MEASURES FOR YOUR URGENT ATTENTIONDue to the current economic situation, all domestic rules andregulations have been revised as below and under no circumstance isany violation going to be accepted.1. The Kitchen and all pantries are declared Restricted Zones. Entryand/or passage shall require express permission from me uponsubmission of written request.2. Breakfast is banned. This matter cannot be discussed!3. Such food items as rice, chicken, butter, jam, eggs, bread andmilk are restricted. Anyone intending to eat any of such foodstuffsmust write to me in triplicate, with three days notice, givingjustifications backed by a qualified dietician report as supportivedocumentation.4. Watering with hoses is banned. Further, only food-giving plantsshall be watered. No lawns or flowers shall receive water. Forinternal decoration, only plastic and dry-flower arrangements shall bepermitted.5. Bathing in the morning is limited to 5 litres of water per day perperson while bathing in the evening is banned unless there are medicalreasons.6. All security lights should be removed with immediate effect. Alldependants shall abide by an all-night guard-duty roster I shall makeavailable shortly.7. No dependant shall entertain friends indoors, far less attempt tooffer food, drinks or even music. Those who want their guests tolisten to music shall sing for them.8. No one is allowed to talk to officials from police, Council orCourt Bailiffs; doing so shall carry an instantaneous penalty ofejection from the House.9. Anybody who breaks a glass, furniture or any other property in theHouse, shall immediately have to seek temporary employment somewhereto earn money to replace such broken item(s).10. All visitors intending to spend a night/week or more shall applyin triplicate and give two months notice, with an endorsement fromtheir town Mayor, Village Headman or Church Priest, giving convincingreasons why they can't stay at their homes. Failure to do this shallresult in their being turned away, at the gate, upon arrivalTHESE RULES ARE BINDING AND NOT SUBJECT TO ANY DISCUSSION WHATSOEVER!!!Signed:DAD (Domestic Affairs Director)
I think when the world (or even Nigerian federal officials) talk about Nollywood, they are not thinking about the Hausa film industry, a.k.a. Kannywood. Nollywood is simply the Nigerian movie industry WITHOUT its Hausa component. Surprisingly, Nollywood includes the Igbo and Yoruba productions. The question is: why are Hausa movies not included? In my view, it has to do with the fact that federal officials working in the culture sector - Ministry of Information and its parastatals such as the National Film and Videos Censors Board and the Nigerian Film Corporation - hardly remember Kannywood when they are designing policies. Until in recent years, they scarcely included Kannywood stakeholders in their programmes.Of course, things have been changing in recent years. Kannywood stakeholders have been making an in-road into the federal culture sector - participating in film festivals, awards and meetings. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go before we get THERE, largely due to the dominance of non-Northerners in the sector and in the mainstream mass media. If you take a look at the entertainment pages of Nigerian newspapers where news and gossip about the Nigerian movie world are told, you will hardly see anything being said about Kannywood. That is, with the exception of northern papers like Leadership, Trust, New Nigerian and Triumph.The senseless attacks on Kannywood operators by officials of the Kano State Censorship Board in the bogus name of sanitising the industry appears to have taken Kannywood back in reckoning. That's the actual target of the censors. But theirs is a futile exercise because only a dimwit will presuppose that a censorship regime can destroy the progress of the new information technologies, of which movies are a significant part.This is more so in a democracy, which has a preset tenure. As the Hausa say, "Zalunci ba ya karewa!"Posted by Bahaushe Mai Ban Haushi! at 14:01