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The organizers dubbed it a “Presidential debate” but what was aired was a tête-à-tête, a private conversation; familiar interview or conference of two persons. Thus depriving many Nigerians the opportunity to view a formal contest between President Goodluck

Jonathan and opposing sides. No proposition was advocated as all opposing speakers were absent.


Below are the questions posed to the president and how he responded.


PANEL: What is it that you think you are bringing to the table that is different from every other person and from what we have had in the past that should make Nigerians entrust you with power?


GEJ: I want to be the President of Nigeria because I’m totally committed to transform this country. If given the opportunity to continue as the president for the next four years, a good number of things that I started with the former president, now late and we’ve been going on with it, and others we’ve planned, we will have the opportunity to see them through? The first thing that Nigerians always remind us of is the issue of power. That if you can fix power, you will at least solve the bulk of the problems we have, even in terms of wealthy creation. These are things that we have been working on and we believe that if given the opportunity for the next four years, we will be able to get to a point where we will stabilize power reasonably. But one thing that I stand for which is quite significant is the unity of this country and hope for Nigerians. My presidency will bring hope for this country. My presidency will encourage Nigerians that irrespective of your background, wherever you you come from, you will have the opportunity to get to the top of your career, if you are hard working and you are committed and you are disciplined. We have been running transparent system and we will continue to run transparent system. A system that will not discriminate. That is what we stand for and that will make me different from quite number of others. Quite a number of Nigerians are qualified to be president, no doubt about that but most of them have not shown interest but among those that have shown interest from all the political parties, we believe that I will be best material because of my background experience and because of my commitment to use myself as an example and because of the way I do things. I will not discriminate against anybody. I will not come up with policies that will bring development to one part of the country at the expense of other parts. I will make sure that resources are distributed uniformly and that all Nigerians have equal opportunity to participate in governance. These are some of the attributes I have that others probably may not have. And the background experience I have as somebody who operated at the state as a deputy governor, somebody who operated at the state as a governor and having served as a vice president and then the president and as somebody who have gone round this country two times and other visits, in fact now confronted and of course the problems are quite vivid and it places me at an important position to address the issues of development.


PANEL: The yearly rating of Nigeria by the Transparency International as a corrupt nation has assumed the status of national embarrassment. Also, political appointments, as compensation for political support and as well as propensity for quest for office has been argued as impediment to fight against corruption, especially god fatherism. What criteria will you set aside as basis for key political appointment and what will you do to institutionalize a culture of leadership by example?

GEJ: It’s good that you concluded by emphasising on leadership by example. Luckily for me and luckily for Nigerians, they knew me as a deputy governor, they knew me as a governor, I was the vice president and of course I took over as a president and I have made political appointments and from the appointments I have made, you will agree with me that the appointments were not based on who I know. I appointed people to very sensitive offices. People I have never interacted with. My chief economic adviser, I’ve never interacted with her before but from the questions I asked and she was recommended, then I appointed her. Even for the elections that I was to contest, I never interacted with Professor Jega and I wanted somebody that the level of credibility will transcend Nigeria. Somebody that the International Community will also believe in and from all my investigation, Professor Jega’s name appeared in quite a number of places. Just to tell you, My Finance Minister, I never interacted with him. Most of these Ministers, go and ask them, I don’t know them. I never interacted with them. But from the information we gathered, they were competent people. I believe in competence. That does not mean that politicians will not hold a political office. That is a wrong notion. In some countries, a parliamentary systems for example, before you will be appointed a minister, you will first of all be appointed as a member of parliament except some sensitive ministries like ministry of justice and finance where sometime they bring people from outside of parliament to head. So, there’s absolutely nothing wrong all over the world in appointing a politician into office but the emphasis is that whether the person is a politician or a technocrat, he must be competent, he must be somebody that is above board, he must be somebody that is seen to be less corrupt or should not be involved in anti social atrocities.


In terms of corruption generally, no Nigerian is happy by our rating. Rightly or wrongly, sometimes people dispute the figures but all of us collectively are fighting against it. One thing we must do is to make sure that we strengthen the institutions that manage corruption. The PDP government during Obasanjo time came up with ICPC and EFCC, a creation of PDP to dedicate special efforts to fighting corruption and we’ve been going on with it.

PANEL: You have just spoken about the creation of the ICPC and EFCC as creations of the PDP government. Some people would say that in spite of all those institutions, corruption is still thriving in Nigeria. If you are re-elected president of Nigeria, what would you do differently to curb corruption?

GEJ: First and foremost these institutions were established to refocus on corruption but fighting corruption is not limited to EFCC and ICPC aloe. It is the primary responsibility of every citizen to fight corruption like fighting crime by reporting cases of corruption to these establishments. One thing that I will do differently is not to interfere with their operations. I will give them the free hands to investigate anybody that is linked up with corruption. I will obey the rule of law because a country that the leadership don’t obey any law, then you will expect the followership also to resist it. I will make sure that if it is because of capacity building, they are properly exposed to training and properly financed and encouraged to do what is right. I believe, the weakness, if there are any is probably maybe senior government functionary interfering, but even when I was a governor of Bayelsa state, I always open my doors. I remember when I was in office one day and a local bank manager called that the EFCC are coming to investigate the state, I said okay, go ahead. As long as you don’t limit them and you encourage them to do what is right, definitely, Nigerians will do well and that is what I will do. I don’t believe that it is only Mr. President himself that is going to investigate the votes of any bank or the treasury of any parastatal. No. And if you look at what we are doing which I will continue to do, the very first thing that I directed that should be done is to audit some very big organizations like the NNPC. Nobody has asked for external auditing of NNPC for all this period because that is where our bulk of monies come from and I feel that we must know exactly what is happening and I directed the Minister of Finance to get external auditors to audit NNPC. I will make sure that we get external auditors to audit major parastatals of government if the external auditors don’t satisfy us. We must know how much money we have and how the money is spent. Of course most agencies are doing this biometrics and that is what we will do. Corruption itself is something that you need to look at it from different perspectives. In most cases people are limited to financial corruption; maybe a government functionary putting his hands in the thing and taking money but corruption is far beyond that. Even the mere perception, is a form of corruption. We must encourage people to accommodate others, to work with every other Nigerians. Don’t discriminate against other Nigerians irrespective of their backgrounds.


PANEL:Globally debates during elections have been used to strengthen the democratic culture in the society. Recently, there is this controversy that you did not accept debate invitations to one or three debates where your political contemporaries were also invited. This evening your three other fellow presidential candidates are not participating with you. As PDP presidential candidate, what is your disposition towards debates in Nigeria?


GEJ: The PDP as a party believes that all political office holders at all levels should give account of themselves as people and give account of the government they head. And that is why even in 2003, the PDP presidential candidate even though he was a sitting president participated in the debate. In 2007, I was a vice presidential candidate and I participated in the debate. That is the PDP position. This time around, even in my opening statement, I did mention that I was ready for the debate. Probably you people can organize another debate because some of the stories I read in the papers that Mr. President didn’t come because he wanted questions to be leaked out to him. Rearrange the debate, let candidates ask themselves questions. So that nobody would come with spurious stories to deceive Nigerians. What happened was maybe a communication gap. More than 12 bodies indicated interest and got to us that they want to host presidential debate and as a sitting president, I don’t have the luxury and even the other presidential candidates; I believe they don’t have the luxury to appear in 12 or more different debates. And we are told that there is a body, and of course this is a body, the Nigerian Election Debate Group that normally co-ordinates presidential debates. Did I refuse your invitation? I did not refuse your invitation. I was told that the medium, that the reach out was not that big, that very few Nigerians will listen to that and that it’s better for us to use the medium that everybody, even those who have radio alone will listen to this presidential debate and I was waiting because I was told that it was to come up on March 29 and I was waiting for that March 29. Some of the journalists that I met with can remember that we met in Lagos tied with the operators of media houses and later on editors and I told them that I wanted to address international press conference but before that international press conference, I need to meet with them at that level but this debate came up and we now said okay, let us finish with the debate before the international press conference. So, it’s not as if the PDP government ran away from debate. It’s a communication gap but I would advise that this time around, maybe in 2015, the Nigerian Election Debate Group should take charge from beginning, immediately parties are going on with their primaries, announce this so that all the parties, all the presidential candidates should know that this is the authentic body that should organise debates.


PANEL: The role of the media in governance is among others, to educate the public for understanding of the government’s policies and programmes, sharpen political direction and ideological focus but some successive Nigerian administrations, military or civilian have instead always sought to intimidate, harass, muscle and sometimes compromise the media. What will be your attitude and policy direction with Nigeria mass media especially the famous Freedom of Information Bill and broadcast license for community radio because it’s only Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa that are without community radio?


GEJ: Thank you. I wouldn’t want to ask you a question but in my own case I’m already a serving president and you know the way I relate with the media, so it’s not a question of futuristic. For those who want to come in, yes, it’s futuristic. You can ask what I am doing with the media. You know I am one of the best friends to the media irrespective of what they write. I have not harassed anybody. I have not used any power that I have against any media house or an individual even though some of the write-ups are even libellous in nature but as a president you must absolve some of this excesses because we know that the media a group that I believe are doing a very good job for this country irrespective of the fact that sometimes we may not smile over some of the things they write and it’s a body that I have high respect and regard for. I always tell media practitioners that there are two professional groups that I admire, the media practitioners and lawyers because of their vast experience, and know little things of almost everything. So, it exposes you so much and probably my first job after leaving school would have been to work in the media because I remember the first application I wrote then was to the Nigerian Tide in those days to be a reporter but that is history.


And in terms of the Freedom of Information Bill, it has not come to me, immediately it gets to me, I think I will have no reservation as to endorsing it except there are provisions that we need to touch but definitely it will go through. Sometimes Bills come and probably as a president, you know a little more than others and may notice one or two things that need to be adjusted and I pray that this time around we should not even have that situation. But I can assure you that the media, they are my friends and for the past four years, I have been here as the vice president, then now. In Bayelsa state I served for eight years, so my relationship with the media is well known. So, it’s not a question of what will you do but what are you doing and you know what I have been doing, that I’ve been doing well with the media and I will continue to relate well with the media practitioners.



PANEL:Every promise to raise the power sector has so far proved difficult. The promise of 4000 megawatts does not seem to have been achieved. How would you specifically ensure adequate power generation and distribution to achieve regular power supply to Nigerians?



GEJ: The power sector is one that all Nigerians know is a major priority of this administration from the time I came in as a vice President and even in the Obasanjo era. If you look at the history of power, you would realise that for many years there was no addition to what we have until 1999 and that first administration headed by Obasanjo came up with the NIPP projects so that the state, local governments jointly made money available from the excess crude account to intervene in the power sector under the arrangement that the three tiers of government would own the infrastructure and when it starts yielding benefits, they would be shared among the tiers of government. Along the line there was this problem that was not properly handled. The state government never complained because everybody wants power, but the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission took the federal government to court. So when we came on board, it was stalemate. For almost all the first two years, we could not move anywhere until we summoned the Economic Council which I was chairing as a vice president then. We formed a body and all contracts are assess and awarded by the body. From that we started the project again

PANEL:What economic agenda have you fashioned for the nation?

GEJ: The first skyscraper in this country was not built from oil money but with cocoa money. The first television station was not from oil but from agric. A lot of countries are surviving today without oil and that is why if you look at our manifesto today, you would realise the emphasis on how we would revitalise agriculture. As a basic guideline the PDP believes every state must specialise in two crops, one for local consumption and the other for export. We are implementing that. For us to revolutionarise agriculture, you must irrigate. In the next four years, we are going to re-visit our dams, irrigation projects, and of course, power. One of the challenges with agriculture is the variety of seeds we use. The volume of milk produced by one cow in Nigeria is just one over ten of a similar cow of different species. To bring high yielding seeds and cattle is one. One of the problems we have is that we import fertilisers that are not adapted to the characteristics of our soil. That is why the Minister of Petroleum Resources is coming up with five different blending plants to be built in the country to increase yield.


PANEL:Most of the refineries are shut down. What efforts are you making on this?



GEJ: Until we are in a position to refine petroleum products locally, we cannot as a nation be proud of ourselves. We produce crude oil and there is no reason to import fuel. We have two refineries in port Harcourt, one in Warri and one in Kaduna and they operate at 60 per cent of the installed capacity since we came on board but that gives us only 20 per cent of out consumption which is quite high. So we still need to expand our capacity. This time around, we also want the private sector to come around. We are also saying for us to move, the economy must be in the hands of the private sector. we also have a new concept on board- community refineries. This is to encourage small companies to refine small quantities of crude.



PANEL:What measures will you put in place to ensure that budgets are facilitated to meet development?



GEJ: budget implementation has always exceeded 50 per cent. We have the procurement law which give details of what we procure. In most cases the budget are passed late and you cannot advertise for a project which budget has not been approved. So it not is not true we don't implement up to 50 per cent.


PANEL:About 70 per cent of Nigerians live below poverty line?



GEJ:Job creation remains one of the most interest. Everyday, people die and everyday, young babies are born. So the figure is not constant. But out of about 150 million people, we have 70 per cent below the age of 30 while 50 per cent of them are below 15. So a country must prepare for them. That is why we are emphasising three major areas. First is agriculture, we have to commercialise and make it more attractive. They cannot go and get involved with the kind of farming our parents are used to. If we continue to sell only crude oil, we would not create jobs. It is during drilling that the oil companies employ more people. After this, you hardly see people because every other thing is done mechanically. We must encourage commercial and more modern ways of farming.


PANEL:What is your understanding of leadership problem and how would you tackle it?

GEJ:About two days ago, when I was confronted by this same question while discussing about candidates in some states that were imposed, I told my friend that one of the greatest thing in leadership is the cost of leadership. As an individual, you have close friends and supporters, but as you go taller, everybody becomes your own. If you go to influence, it becomes a problem. I don't put my personal interest above the interest of the party. I believe that all Nigerians irrespective of their background are the same. So a leader must be ready to make special sacrifice and I have been doing this because my becoming president today is by providence.

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Doris Simon is billed to act as Dagrin's girlfriend Eleven years after she cut her teeth on the set of the Papa Ajasco series, Doris Simeon Ademinokan has since moved up the ladder of success by interpreting up key roles in some major movies in the Yoruba language movie genre.

She stands out in an industry where rumour mills are regularly at work just as she has managed to stay free from scandals.

The actress who starred in the long awaited movie about late rapper, Oladapo Olaitan Olanipekun, aka Dagrin, Ghetto Dreamz explains to Kleiglights why she accepted the role.

“The content and quality of the script determines what makes me accept the role. After a long chat with the director of the film and some of the Dagrin's friends about the relationship that ensued between the rapper and his girlfriend, I realised what they really want from me and as far as acting is concerned, I'm really giving it all what it takes to make it an evergreen movie. The script is educative and entertaining and it's also challenging,” she explained.

The mother of one further revealed that acting the role of Dagrin's girlfriend is quite challenging and that the experience of working with other casts on the set is a memorable.

Ghetto Dreamz is a movie aimed at preserving the late artiste's legacy for posterity, to raise funds for his family and most importantly, to finance the Ghetto Dream Foundation, in order to help aspiring young artistes achieve their dreams.

Reminiscing on how her journey into the big screen started, the beautiful actress state “as a young girl, I have always loved entertainment but I never thought it would be acting. I have always known I would do something behind the camera because I'm a very shy person by nature. But I never thought I would be in front of the camera. But because of the passion I have for the entertainment industry, I left the door open to any thing that comes my way. I'm ready for any job as long as it is in my chosen field. And that's how I found myself in the business.

I heard of an audition for Papa Ajasco comedy from the stables of Wale Adenuga Productions and I went for it. I was selected and that was how I joined the motion picture industry.

The delectable actress who is one out of many actresses in the Nigeria movie industry that has enjoyed a scandal free career so far told Kleiglight how she has been protecting her image and relationship with male fans.

“I'm disciplined because I know the type of home I come from.

”A Yoruba adage says that 'he who has no mother should not sustain a back injury' because there will be no one to help treat it'. “Besides, my name and that of my family is very dear to me. I cherish the name because a good name as they say, is better than silver or gold. I don't want to get involved in anything that will tarnish the name. Even when male fans come around, I try my best to make them understand that I'm married. I make friends with them without overstepping my boundaries.

“For me, discipline has been the watch word that has helped me to stay scandal free.”

Talking of her most memorable day, she reveals the pain she went through when she gave birth to her son.

“That was the day I gave birth to my first baby, David. It remains the most memorable experience for me. After I had been delivered of him, I vowed never to get pregnant again because of the pains associated with child birth. But right now, the pains have been forgotten and I'm looking forward to having another baby,' she said amidst laughter.

Doris also spokes about coping with family responsibilities and the acting profession.

“Above all things, God gave me a husband who is also into the same line of business with me and so he understands the nitty-gritty and the demands of the profession. He is also a very good helping hand because sometimes when I have to be on locations I leave my son with him. Responsible fathers now know they can also be helpful in matters concerning domestic chores and all. I thank God for my husband.”

With major roles in movies like Oloju Ede, Alakada, Ten Million Naira, Modupe Temi among others in the kitty, Doris has also tried out her hands as a producer. Her first effort was a co-production job with her husband on the set of 8Omo Iya kan.

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tiny pony quote: ‎"united we stand divided we fall ! 3 "messiahs" vote one "

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tp quote "dont act like a tourist in your own country, vote wisely "
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data?pid=avimage&iid=ieIYByRDPVC0&width=234Warren Buffett, the billionaire stock picker and takeover specialist, said investors should be wary of valuations for social networking websites as some of the industry’s biggest startups prepare for initial share sales.

“Most of them will be overpriced,” Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), said today in New Delhi. ”It’s extremely difficult to value social- networking-site companies,” he said, without specifying companies. “Some will be huge winners, which will make up for the rest.”

Facebook Inc., owner of the most popular social-networking site, drew investors including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in private stock sales that valued the company at $50 billion as of January. Groupon Inc., the Chicago-based daily deals site, has held talks about an initial public offering that would value it at as much as $25 billion, two people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.

Buffett, 80, has shunned technology investments in favor of industrial, financial and consumer-goods holdings in his four decades at Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire.

Twitter Inc. , the microblogging site, said in December that it was valued at $3.7 billion after receiving a $200 million round of funding led by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The company’s value may now be closer to $5 billion, according to SharesPost Inc., a private-share exchange.

To contact the reporters on this story: Pooja Thakur in Bangalore at; Unni Krishnan in New Delhi at; Andrew Frye in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Arijit Ghosh at Dan Kraut at;
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12166305863?profile=originalMisofunyi Entertainment in partnership with Stingomania Records will host ‘The Dagrin Memorial Carnival' on April 21 at National Stadium in Lagos. Speaking about the forthcoming event, Ope Banwo the chief executive officer of Stingomania Entertainment said "a Dagrin anniversary, particularly the first one, cannot be complete without his colleagues gathering together to salute him in the language he understands best, which is music. A carnival like this also gives his contemporaries a platform to express themselves on an annual basis.

We are therefore happy to be working with Dagrin's father on this project with KSB helping us with her experience as a seasoned concert organizer." With performances from musicians like Naeto C, KSB, DJ Zeez, Jaywon, YQ, Goldie, Edreez Abdulkareem, Sheyman, General Pype, Baba Nee, Kas, Flavour and Obesere PK1st, the carnival will include an awards session for the Best Dagrin Look-alike, Best Dagrin Tribute Song, Best Dagrin Collabo Song and Best Dagrin Collabo Video, Best Yoruba Rap, Best English Rap Artiste, Best Upcoming Hip-Hop Artiste and Best Upcoming Entertainer of the Year.

Banwo also revealed that "the proceeds from the concert will be applied to the Ghetto Dreamz Foundation for Young Entertainers" which he is organising while the rest will go to Dagrin's estate for the welfare of the parents and siblings. "It is a charity project that I am very proud to be associated with", Banwo said. In a related development Dagrin's biopic ‘Ghetto Dreamz' starring Trybson Dudukoko as Dagrin, Doris Simeon, Pa Kasumu, Rachael Oniga, and Gabriel Afolayan will be premiered on Friday April 22, 2011.

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K-Solo features Timaya in new song

Producer cum singer K-Solo has premiered a new song titled ‘I Don Know' off his latest album titled ‘Mr Pedigree'. According to K-Solo, the album "will highlight issues and matters that I have scaled through as a young Nigerian and street breed. My party-hard beats will get you off your feet. This one's for my fans that always love my bass line and hooks. It's an album to go for." The album which will feature collaborations from several artists including Timaya, DJ Zeez and Flavour N'Abania and will be released under the singer's record label, K-I-M (K-Solo Inc Musik).

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Kefee set to organize peace concert in Jos

Kokoroko crooner, Obareki Irikefe popularly known as Kefee will organise a peace concert in Jos,Plateau State on March 30. The singer disclosed that the project "was born out of a desire to contribute my quota towards the return of peace in Jos". "We just want to show love and preach peace. I don't have any biological relation in Jos but as far as the people are Nigerians, they are my brothers and sisters. Some of the things I hear from there make me cry hence I called several colleagues and friends who feel the same way to record a peace song. We can't change the situation in Jos but we can make a difference by going there to perform at a peace concert". According to the singer, the concert would feature performances from the likes of Ice Prince, Banky W, Uti Nwachukwu, and Kel. On the other hand,as a buildup to the the concert, Kefee alongside other artists have also recorded a peace song for the concert which was directed by Wudi Awa.

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Biodun Shobanjo joins lineup for MTV's ‘Real Talk'

Vice Chairman of Insight Communications, Biodun Shobanjo has been selected to join the panelist for MTV's ‘Real Talk' seminar. Scheduled to hold on March 30 at the Civic Centre, Lagos.

MTV's Real Talk is designed to help brands and marketers understand the most productive and authentic ways to interact with the Nigerian youth demographic. Shobanjo will join Alex Okosi, Senior Vice President & Managing Director MTV Networks Africa; Ben Murray-Bruce, Chairman, Silverbird Group and Leke Alder, Principal, Alder Consulting on the panel. Speaking on the recent inclusion, Okosi said ‘Mr Shobanjo's in-depth understanding of every facet of broadcasting, advertising and public relations as well as the challenges faced by marketers and brands, will significantly elevate the level of Real Talk and we are excited that Mr Shobanjo has confirmed his commitment to the event.'


Dance music rave and Dem Mama crooner, Timaya, has labelled the freshly released track, ‘I Don Know’ by producer cum performing artist, K Solo, as fraudulent. The Hip-Hop World Award winning singer, whose vocals were present on the track which premiered last weekend, denies ever being a part of the song on his Twitter page. ‘‘Pls my people, I didn’t record any song with ksolo, I have not seen him for the past nine months. My vocals on his song was copied from my song,’’ the self professed Egberi Papa 1 of Bayelsa tweeted in the morning of Tuesday, March 292011. Timaya also stated that he cannot remember recording any song with K Solo and suggested that the vocals were lifted from an old song he recorded at KSolo’s studio a long time ago. ‘I Don Know’ is the first official single off KSolo’s upcoming album, ‘Mr Pedigree’. KSolo, real name Solomon Oyeniyi, exclusively produced Timaya’s sophomore album, ‘Gift and Grace’, in 2008.


Havana Music carnival postponed

Organisers of the annual music jamboree, Havana Music Carnival, have announced that the 45th edition of the carnival earlier scheduled for 22 to 25 March, 2011 in Ibadan has been postponed. According to a press release from the event’s management company, Zmirage Marketing & Communications (ZMC), the carnival was postponed ‘‘due to the wave of political tension and the heated electioneering process in the country as these uncertainties would have implications on the security and safety of the stakeholders’’. Now scheduled after the election period, the organisers said, ‘‘[Having] considered many factors especially the peculiar political situation in Ibadan, the traditional venue for Havana Music Carnival, and as such agreed to hold the event after the general elections in Nigeria when the external environment will be predictable to a certain extent’’, the release reads.

Speaking on the recent change, Executive Director of ZMC, Mike Yomi Dada said, ‘‘while all is set for the effective activation of the longest running musical concert in Africa, it will be unprofessional to ignore the implication of key issues of environment intelligence on the project, but we promise the stakeholders an unforgettable experience at a new date that will be communicated soonest. This decision will allow us provide adequate security and best protection to all of our participants and the vulnerable society while maintaining the entire thrill that goes with the event’’. Tagged ‘Non Stop Action for Charity’, the carnival was expected to take place at The University of Ibadan campus and Trans Amusement Park, Agbowo, Ibadan with performances from musicians including Femi Kuti, King Sunny Ade, King Ayinde Marshal, Tuface Idibia, and Ice Prince.


The Perfect Church premieres at Easter

Wale Adenuga Production (WAP) movie, The Perfect Church’ will premiere at the National Theatre, Lagos, on April 23 and rescreened on April 25, 2011. According to the production outfit, the movie which stars Olu Jacobs, Ramsey Nouah, Funke Akindele, Ngozi Ezeonu, Jibola Dabo, Nobert Young, Hakeem Rahman, and Yinka Olukunga, ‘‘tells the story of a church with perfect reputation and holy people with unholy secret’’.

Speaking on the relevance of the movie, the producer Wale Adenuga said ‘‘a story like that which was told in ‘The Perfect Church’ is not one that should be limited to a few viewers; it is a movie everyone must see, so we are doing all we can to ensure it is is accessible for everyone’s viewing. According to WAP’s publicist, BigSam Media, the movie will also be debuted at the KS Cinema on Sunday April 24 in Ibadan, and on Monday April 25 at the Welcome Centre on Airport Road, Lagos, and at the Cultural Centre in Abeokuta.


Omawumi releases new video

Nigerian Pop music singer and first runner up at the 2007 Idol West Africa television show, Omawumi has released the video for the lead single, ‘If You Ask Me (Na Who I Go Ask)’, off her upcoming album. Released on Monday, March 28 across various entertainment websites, the Cobhams Asuquo produced track is directed by Capital Vision boss, Clarence Peters.

According to a press release from her PR company, the track ‘‘deals with child and sexual abuses and takes a musical journey through it’s painful experience’’. The singer released her debut album, ‘Wonder Woman’, in 2009 to commercial success. The album included monster hits, ‘Today Na Today’ and ‘In The Music’.

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Rapper Rick Ross arrested for marijuana

Rapper Rick Ross was arrested and booked with possession of marijuana in Louisiana after being caught with one gram of the drug in a hotel room, police said on Monday.Ross, 35, whose real name is William Roberts, but adopted a stage name inspired by former Los Angeles drug dealer, Ricky Ross, was caught with marijuana on Friday at the Hilton Hotel in Shreveport, Louisiana, police spokesman, Bill Goodin, said. Police responded to a citizen's complaint about "an odor of marijuana" coming from the Florida rapper's hotel room, Goodin said. Another man with Ross in the hotel was arrested for possessing eight grams of the drug. The rapper, whose albums include ‘Port of Miami', ‘Teflon Don', and ‘Deeper than Rap', was charged with one count of a first offence of possession of marijuana and was released from jail on a misdemeanor summons. In the past, the rapper, whose lyric have bragged of a cash-fuelled, drug boss life, has dealt with image problems after it was revealed he had once worked as a corrections officer, an occupation that jars with the hustling image of some rappers, including Ross. Ross initially denied the reports, then admitted it but maintained his drug-dealing tales of the street were true.

Waje releases video teaser

R&B singer, Waje, yesterday released a video teaser for her current single, ‘So Inspired'. According to a press release from the singer, the official video of the track will be premiered online on Monday 4 April 2011.The singer also added that the video would "depict every aspect of the song - a generation of young people, especially the oppressed ones who will fight for their dream and work twice as hard to be heard. It cuts across every aspect of life - jobs, people we associate with, families, life generally [it] is a struggle but the inner strength lies within you to get your back off the wall."The Clearance Peters directed video was shot in Johannesburg, South Africa.The release also stated that her album, ‘W.A.J.E.', would be released within the 2nd quarter of the year.‘So Inspired' features beauty queen-turn-singer, Munachi, and was released in 2010.

Storm records sign Yung6ix

Storm 360's music imprint, Storm Records, in partnership with 411 Entertainment, has signed on young rapper, Yung6ix.According to a press release from Storm 360, the deal, which was penned on Monday, 28 March, 2011, aims at positioning the rapper's music career at the top on Nigerian mainstream music."The joint venture agreement aims at positioning the brand of the artiste to the next level, enabling it to compete with global brands while it dominates locally," the release reads.Yung6ix, real name Onome Onokokwomo, became famous after the release of ‘Oleku Warri Remix', a remix of Ice Prince's hit single ‘Oleku'.


Ty Bello set to Reclaim Naija


Ty Bello reiterated her love for Nigeria.Reclaim Naija, a project set to repossess the mandate of Nigeri-ans by Nigerians through voting, has the green land crooner as its goodwill ambassador.At the launch of the project held at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Lagos on Thursday, TY Bello said she had no choice but to get involved in reclaim Naija when she heard the director of the project, Ms. Ngozi Iwere, speak with so much passion about Nigeria. She said she thought to contribute her little quota to the project.In her words, "we have a voice, we have a message, we are that generation that have refused to sit down and let things go down. The die has been cast with politics in Nigeria, and every little thing we do, we will go forward."The singer also said she was impressed with the work of other artistes and young people to ensure that votes count during this election. Reinforcing her commitment to ‘Project Niger-ia', Ty Bello has recorded a song titled ‘The Future' and has dedicated it to the cause of Nigeria. On the pack of the CD, she throws a little light on the reason behind music. - "I had commit-ted to writing a jubilee song for Nigeria.... I realize that the crisis in the nation is beyond the politi-cal. We each need to personalize Project Nigeria and take a stand for Nigeria NOW."‘The Future' is available for free down load on the website Ty Bello set to Reclaim NaijaTy Bello dedicates new song to Nigeria.

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jpeg&STREAMOID=GIU6UVhtelZl6NU5CdLW4C6SYeqqxXXqBcOgKOfTXxQVltK8h_UqYUEtlXEO8yaTnW_PgxgftuECOcfJwS6Jtlp$r8Fy$6AAZ9zyPuHJ25T7a9GKDSxsGxtpmxP0VAUyHL6IDcZHtmM2t7xO$FHdJG95dFi6y2Uma3vSsvPpVyo-&width=234Congolese film, ‘Viva Riva’ has beaten features from across the continent to win Best Film at the 2011 Africa Academy Movie Awards, held Monday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. Nigerian films were left floundering as movies from Congo, South Africa and Ghana won multiple awards in various categories. ‘Viva Riva’ was the top film of the night, winning AMAAs in six categories including: Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography and Best Director.

A gritty rollercoaster of a film set in Kinshasa, ‘Viva Riva’ tells the story of a criminal who intercepts a lucrative consignment of fuel during a shortage, and the ruthless Angolan gang hot on his tail. Patsha Bay Mukuna, who played the charismatic Riva, attended the AMAA ceremony, alongside the film’s Best Supporting Actress winner, Marlene Longage. Accepting the Best Film award, producer Boris Vanglis said, “It’s a historic moment for us. This is the first film in Congo-Kinshasa in 20 years in Lingala (language).” He paid tribute to the vision of the director, Djo Tunda Wa Munga, said to be away in Europe promoting the film. ‘Viva Riva’ has wowed audiences at international festivals and is now set for release in Britain and America.

photo above: Best Supporting Actress Marlene Longage and Viva Riva's lead actor, Patsha Bay Mukuna Photo: MOLARA WOOD

Another big AMAA winner was ‘Sinking Sands’, a Ghanaian film written and directed by Leila Djansi. It got awards in three categories including Best Actress for UK-based actress, Ama K. Abebrese. A story about domestic violence and love gone sour, ‘Sinking Sands’ also stars Haitian-American actor Jimmy Jean-Louis, a Best Actor nominee. Accepting the Best Screenplay award on behalf of Djansi, Jean-Louis urged for more collaboration between African moviemakers, noting that ‘Sinking Sands’, though a Ghanaian film, used actors and crew from several countries including Nigeria, Britain and Germany. A major presence at the ceremony, Jimmy Jean-Louis featured in at least four films nominated for this year’s awards. The African American actor, Nate Parker (‘The Great Debaters’), also attended the awards.

Showing Nigeria pepper

A number of South African films including ‘Izulu Lami’ (Best Film in an African Language), ‘Hopeville’ (Best Actor, Themba Ndaba), and ‘A Small Town Called Descent’ – featured strongly. Receiving one of the first awards presented on the night, a South African filmmaker jokingly promised that her country would “show [Nigeria] pepper”. Much later, she was able to boast, “I told you earlier that South Africa will show you pepper.” Another South African film, ‘Shirley Adams’, won the Achievement in Sound as well as the coveted Jury Prize, for being the kind of movie “that doesn’t come along all the time,” according to juror, Ayoku Babu.

Nigerian filmmakers were left subdued as the night wore on. Only the Yoruba language epic, ‘Aramotu’ put up a decent showing, winning two of the six categories it was nominated for. Directed by Niji Akanni and produced by Femi Ogunrombi, ‘Aramotu’ won for Best Costume and was crowned the Best Nigerian Film of 2011. Accepting her award, the film’s costumier Toyin Ogundeji said, “I want to thank my mother who was the repository of all my search in costume.” ‘Mirror Boy’ a film set in The Gambia but written and directed by Nigeria’s Obi Emelonye, fetched the Best Young Actor award for its star, Edward Kagutuzi, a UK-based actor of Ugandan origin. The high production musical, ‘Inale’, was rewarded for Best Soundtrack, won by Bongos Ikwe whose award was picked up by his daughter and the film’s producer, Keke Bongos.

Erratic Jim Iyke

A major minus of the award ceremony was the erratic behaviour of the show’s co-presenter, Jim Iyke, whose cringe-worthy performance included homophobic and sexist remarks. At one point, he told co-host, actress Nse Ikpe-Etim to “shut up.” When in onstage banter he asked her to come to his room later and she asked what for, he replied, “You’re a Calabar girl, you should know, now!” Forgetting he was in front of an international gathering of the liberal arts for a show telecast live on Africa Independent Television (AIT), Iyke had earlier gone off on a tangent about gays and their “weird” ways. “There is something wrong. It’s just wrong.” It was left to Ikpe-Etim to say, “Okay, that’s enough. I must apologise for my colleague. There is nothing wrong with being happy.” But she could only smile powerlessly as the actor’s behaviour degenerated further onstage, reading his notes with dark shades on; and ranting about anything from an ill-timed defence of Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde’s weight to women “popping pills” to stay slim.

The speeches

In his speech at the ceremony, the governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, called on African filmmakers to tell positive stories about the continent. “Africa today cannot be portrayed as the dark continent,” he said. The governor added that the “horrendous impression” created about Africa by the West, should be resisted.

Presenting the award for Best Visual Effects, filmmaker Kunle Afolayan canvassed for more support and corporate sponsorship for AMAA. “We should give [AMAA] all the support and we should embrace it. This is the only platform where African films can be appreciated all over the world,” he said, giving testimony to the impact of the awards on his own career since his multiple wins in 2010 for ‘The Figurine’. The award ceremony featured performances by music stars including Tee Mac and his 10-piece band, Wande Coal, and the South African group, Malaika. Another performer, the hip-hop act, Doctor Sid, revealed that he is the son of Nollywood actor, Justus Esiri. Thousands attended the awards, held at the Gloryland Cultural Centre in Yenagoa. 320 films were submitted from all over Africa for this year’s awards. 180 of these were features, from which the Jury selected 30 for nominations. “We received a stunning range of film – films that tell us moviemaking is alive and well in Africa,” said juror, Keith Shiri, who represented the Jury Chair, John Akomfrah.

CEO of the Africa Movie Academy, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, pleaded with corporate organisations in Nigeria and across Africa, “Take us seriously. We are the reason Africa’s perception is changing. The positive thing coming out of Africa is Nollywood. I need my industry taken seriously. I need piracy wiped out.” At a press conference with the AMAA jury earlier in the day, Anyiam-Osigwe had told Nigerian filmmakers who like to snipe about not winning, “If your film does not win, it didn’t win because it’s not good enough.” It will be food for thought for Nollywood practitioners as they mull over their poor showing in the seventh annual AMAA awards.

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What ever will be will be .....

12166304901?profile=originalWomen are almost programmed by nature to seek out a mate before the timing killjoy called the biological clock resets its alarm.


The month of March is an interesting one for everyone, especially for women all over the world. It is a month dedicated to mothers, wives and sisters and I have seen many feminists tear to the street to canvass equal rights with their male counterparts. Many of these activists are even ready to burn their bras and grab the men’s pants and ‘take over the world’ and totally relegate men to the background.

Day after day, there is a war that wages stronger than that of the Middle East, it is a battle of the sexes; women are no longer contented with been left in the kitchen; they want to be at the forefront, they want to lead men to the ‘promised land’, they are ready in all ways to take over the world.

During this month, I have heard about and read various articles written in advocacy for female liberation, which to a point I greatly support. I am totally for the girl-child education and the fight against female oppression including abuse of any kind, but what I won’t ever subscribe to is this present wave of male suppression by women. However, there are some hardcore truths about womanhood that will always be, no matter how hard we try to subjugate them.

Late last year, I was privileged to attend my first art exhibition in Lagos with a friend; it was of works by Victor Ehikhamenor who brilliantly used the concept of time to depict different events and stages of the human life. His artistic use of different brands of wristwatches brought into sharp relief the fact that humanity is bound by time. In all the artworks displayed, there was one that reminded me of my distinction as a woman, this particular piece boldly differentiated the two genders in a lot of ways.

This artwork shows a female figure beautifully curved, however, what stopped people in their tracks when they roam to the piece is the ticking clock placed at the reproductive area of the painting. I remembered arguing with a friend about the meaning of the artwork, and as the debate got heated, others joined in. The conclusion we all drew afterwards was that “females are more bounded by time; whether she accepts it or not. Women do not have all the time in the world as their eggs come with an expiration date.

The adage about making hay while the sun shines aptly apply to us women; following my view, I believe that there is a perfect time to marry and have children, a time when the eggs will voluntarily fall, not coerced medically. It seems that since the days of old, there have been more women than men and it still seems like that in Nigeria today. I have witnessed the number of women increase compared to that of men, and this in a way made it quite impossible for women to meet the deadline of marriage before a certain age.

Thanks to menopause that is daily clamping down on fertility, more women than ever, are having a difficult time in meeting that ‘knight in shining armour’. And even if there are men, we all know that it is not just about any man on the street , but the ‘right man’ that will appreciate our femininity. This search, like I have seen in Nigeria, has led many women to spiritualists, it has made more females to solely concentrate on deep meditations and prayers. My take on that is to implore these waiting women to keep at it, for it works and please cultivate good character to make perfection of it.

My views are however challenged when I discussed the issue of time and women with my friends, they refuted the basis of my opinion calling it old-fashioned , one said “men and women are the same , why should one gender be forced to meet the marriage deadline while the other is left to sow the wild oats?” Another said “ it is my power to get married or not to, even if it is at 40 years”.

Quite alarmed by what I heard, I was left wondering “when is the perfect time for a woman to get married?”


culled & adapted from next

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12166305059?profile=originalAs further evidence that next month’s elections are unlikely to be free and fair, SaharaReporters has obtained a document which shows that the media group which is organizing today’s debate did prepare advance questions for President Goodluck Jonathan at least a week ago.

  It is the equivalent of one student receiving the exam test papers in his own home while the others sweat in libraries and study rooms.

Although the event is supposed to treat all the debate participants equally, the questions prepared by the media group for President Jonathan demonstrate that the group is biased in his favour.  This was one of the reasons given last week by three of the leading contenders who pulled out of today’s debate, but the charge was denied by the so-called “media group.

The targeting and phraseology employed in the questions also show a tendency not to challenge President Jonathan, but to help him formulate favourable responses. On the PDP’s zoning quagmire, for instance, he is merely asked such a penalty-spot question as whether he does not carry a moral burden.   On the question of transformation, he is lobbed another “Help Yourself” question: “What are you really saying to Nigerians?”

On the vexed question of infrastructure, the media group says, “The complex of infrastructure in Nigeria is allegedly notoriously inefficient, inadequate, underdeveloped, derelict and neglected,” but again points to the penalty spot, “Its (sic) all the noise about power not just a hype?”

In addition to the questions submitted by the media group, the document also shows government functionaries feverishly trying to help Jonathan pass the test, with both questions and suggested answers carefully laid out for him.  An e-mail dated 25 March from Kassey Garba, the Chief Economic Adviser to the President to Professor Sheikh Ahmed Abdullah, the Minister for Agriculture, covers Questions 23 & 24, supposedly for that Ministry.  Since the questions from the media group are numbered 1-16, this suggests that Questions 17-22 were expected from other government bodies.

The emergence of this document will provide further worry to many Nigerians and the international community that although Jonathan has repeatedly said he wishes to see elections that are free and fair, he is desperately trying to employ short cuts to ensure his victory.  On December 25, SaharaReporters reported the presence of a rigging manual that had been prepared by the Jonathan Campaign.

The television debate advisory by the media group is particularly worrying because the group is supposed to be a professional one and has asked to be seen as such.

“This is a terrible tragedy,” said a political analyst in Abuja this afternoon.

“This is a sad day for both the media and this government.   It is the old story of power being desperately sought by every desperate measure.  This is a terrible tragedy.”

Full text of the document:
Questions submitted by the media group

1.    Your emergence as PDP presidential candidate was mired in controversy as a result of the conflicting interpretations of your party’s zoning and rotation principles: do you not carry a moral burden?

2.    When you talk of “transformation” what are you really saying to Nigerians?

3.    The Nigerian economy seems to be in the grip of an unending crisis, characterized by a poor growth rate, low capacity utilization, unimpressive direct foreign investments, bank failures and now a rapidly weakening naira. Is the situation redeemable?

4.    The complex of infrastructure in Nigeria is allegedly notoriously inefficient, inadequate, underdeveloped, derelict and neglected. Its all the noise about power not just hype?

5.    What is your programme for taking the Nigerian Railways, roads, marine and air transportation into the 21st century?

6.    Employment is one area of crisis. 80% of Nigerian school leavers/graduates do not get jobs for years after graduation. What will your government do to cure this dangerous scourge?

7.    With Boko Haram in Bauchi and Borno States, endless killings in Jos, bombings everywhere, kidnappings in the South-East and armed robbers operating with impunity everywhere. Could it not be said that your Government has lost grip of the management of security in the country?

8.    Has your Government abandoned the fight against corruption in Nigeria? All the former Governors indicted since 2007 are sitting in the Senate, seeking re-election and playing active roles in the current electoral dispensation!

9.    Is the lackadaisical way the reform agenda in the petroleum sector has been handled not symptomatic of your approach to governance? Why has the Petroleum Industry Bill been so shabbily treated?

10.    Please, give us an insight into how you intend to tackle the rot in the education and health sectors.

11.    Are you satisfied with the outputs and growth rate in the agricultural sector? If not, give us an insight into your programme for the sector?

12.    Your foreign policy seems to be defined by the contradiction between declaration and action on the election crisis in the Ivory Coast. Do you really have a coherent Foreign Policy?

13.    Is your corruption fight not compromised by the alleged involvement of your wife in money-laundering and what is seen as your own indictment by the Code of Conduct Bureau?

14.    Your wife is already exciting women about getting 35% of public offices under your Government, if you are elected. Are you really serious about fulfilling this promise?

15.    With hindsight, do you approve of your handling of the bombing incident at the Eagle square on 1st October 2010?

16.    Are you confident that your strategy for peace and development in the Niger delta is working?


•    Question 23: 
It has been argued that government subsidies on agriculture and other products have not achieved the desired goals, what is your view on this?
Why is Nigeria spending so much on food importation despite the abundance of resources?
Subsidy is not getting to the farmers


•    This is because we have not embarked on developing the full value chain for our agricultural products and not paid enough attention to reducing post-harvest losses. Once this is done, food importation will reduce.
•    As a developing country, subsidy is still very important if we are to achieve the desired growth. Even developed countries have one form of subsidy or the other.

•    Government will continue to subsidize agriculture but with better management approach to its administration. The Fertilizer voucher scheme which we have piloted in partnership with private sector since 2009 appears to be working well. We shall use it to reach the desired target population that needs the subsidy.
-Between 2007 and 2009 a total of 1.23 million metric tons of fertilizer were procured and distributed at a total subsidy cost of N29.16 billion. In 2010 alone, 900,000metric tons were procured for distribution at a cost of N89.31billion with total subsidy of N22.30 billion.)

♣    There have been a lot of investments in irrigation, (HMIC) in addition to fertilizer supplies, GMP support for farmers, 

Question 24: 
What will be your government’s programme for agricultural transformation in the country?
Agriculture is an important sector of Nigeria economy; employ over 75 % of the population; contribute 41% to GDP and accounted for 30% of the growth in the non- oil output
Creating of enabling policy environment and provision of essential infrastructure that will boost the productivity and output of smallholders and large scale producers. Areas of focus of my government will include;

•    provision of  improved seed and other farm inputs at subsidized rate 
o    ( 25 % subsidy level on fertilizer) with emphasis on expanding the new fertilizer voucher scheme subsidy model; one-stop shop agro- input centres,

•    agricultural financing / Credit facilities  to boost agric value chains 
o    ( N200billion Commercial Agric Credit scheme, N100billion Textile and cotton  fund, Revitalization of Bank of Agriculture)
•    Increase irrigation facilities and dams across the country  to support dual season production 
o    cover 200,000 ha of irrigated farm land from the present 40,000ha.

•    attracting private investment into agriculture through Public-private partnership in all the agriculture value chain process,

•    Facilitate agriculture value chain process to reduce post harvest waste and market for producers ( establishment of agricultural value chain infrastructures:- two  fish processing estate, five  integrated livestock processing centre; eighteen agro-industrial estates; nine farmers’ markets

•    Development of strategic food reserve to ensure national food security, stabilize food prices and guarantee producers’ farm income. ( increase reserve from current 300,000 metric tons to 1.3million . In addition to current 14 silos that are operational , 20 more are at various stages of completion across the country.
•    In my transformation plan, opening up the rural roads is a top priority so that agricultural products can be moved to the consuming areas.

From: Abdul and Kassey Garba <>

Subject: Q & A

Sheikh Abdullah
Date: Friday, March 25, 2011, 3:20 AM

Dear Honorable Minister,
As discussed at the meeting yesterday, I am sending you the proposed questions and suggested answers in preparation for the presidential debate as it relates to your Ministry / sector.
You are kindly requested to review the suggested answers and provide alternative answers as may be necessary, preferably less than half a page.
Please note that the 'questions submitted by the media group' are included for your information only.
I will be grateful if you could make your contribution available by 2pm please. This is because the final document must get to His Excellency by 3pm today.
Stay blessed.

Kassey Garba
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Baby boom in Oyo State camp:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011
The hands of officials and members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Oyo State are full and busy as 40 female corps members among a total of 2,423 deployed to the state for the 2011 Batch ‘A’ Orientation were delivered of babies in camp in the last three weeks.


The State NYSC Coordinator, Mr. Gabriel Ibe, announced the unprecedented baby boom yesterday during the passing-out ceremony for the serving corps members at the orientation camp in Iseyin.

He said all the nursing mothers, who had put to bed safely, “had initially been accepted for registration in the Batch ‘A’ in line with the policy shift of the scheme.” He, however, remarked that “all these newly-delivered nursing mothers had been sent home to their families after their registration.”

Ibe saidd the three-week orientation exercise had been carefully packaged with a view to exposing corps members to the ideals of patriotic and selfless service thereby preparing them for the challenges ahead during the service year. Apart from this, the participants were exposed to a two-day extensive training by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), “preparatory to the April general elections where they are to undergo their first test of national service.”

While stressing the need for a free and fair election in the country, Ibe called on politicians in the state not to engage in any unwholesome act that could drag the name of the NYSC in the state into their guaqmire.

The NYSC State Coordinator declared: “May I use this opportunity to call on the politicians to leave the corps members out of the muddy politics of Oyo State.”
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Voters interested in witnessing the collation of votes at polling centres during the general elections are free to do so.

INEC Chairman , Prof. Attahiru Jega

But such freedom is with a proviso: their conduct must be peaceful.

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, announced this after briefing the National Council of States on the preparations for the elections in Abuja on Tuesday.

They warned that anyone caught behaving unruly at any polling unit would be arrested and prosecuted.

Jega, who was the first to speak with the journalists, said that the impression that voters could not stay behind and defend their votes was based on a misunderstanding of INEC's guidelines on elections.

He made it clear that INEC would prefer a situation where voters went to their homes immediately after casting their votes.

But he said that voters who wished to stay behind and monitor the collation process were free to do so.

He, however, warned that security agencies had been directed to deal with anyone found to be formenting trouble at polling centres.

The INEC chairman said, "There are concerns over crowd control. These concerns are such that anywhere where about 200 or more people are gathered, there is the possibility of a breach of the peace. When it concerns elections, there is the likelihood that it might get out of hand and lead to violence.

"These were the concerns the members of the council of state raised , and I think at this point, I need to make a clarification about the participation of voters and monitoring of election results.

"What we issued as guidelines is that every voter will come, will be accredited and will be allowed to vote. When he or she finishes voting and chooses to wait and observe the collation, then it must be done peacefully.

"I want to state categorically that we in INEC are not urging people to stay and defend their votes the way people are suggesting it. If anybody chooses to stay, he or she must make sure it is done in non-violent manner. The rules must be obeyed. Anybody who cannot do that should not stay."

Ringim, who also briefed journalists on the matter, said, "People would be allowed to stay as long as they conduct themselves peacefully and not otherwise.

"Anybody that is found to be in a position to threaten the conduct of the election shall be arrested and prosecuted."

The IG had last Friday said that voters would be allowed to witness vote counting at "a reasonable distance from polling centres."

Their position also received the nod of the Nigerian Governors Forum led by Dr. Bukola Saraki of Kwara State.

Saraki, who also spoke with the journalists after the meeting said, "The chairman of INEC had briefed us. He told us that though it was not compulsory that voters should wait, those interested are free to wait and monitor their votes.

"We the governors are not against this, but what we want also is that there should be adequate security for the polling centres.

"We are happy that the commission and the security agents have assured us that they will be able to handle that aspect."

Alhaji Danjuma Goje of Gombe State, who was with Saraki, said that "The police will be patrolling to ensure that people who intend to make trouble are handled properly."

Some political parties and their candidates had been calling on their supporters and members to stay behind at polling centres to monitor the collation and counting of votes.

The NCS had at the meeting reviewed the logistic and security arrangements in place for the elections at the meeting attended also by the service chiefs.

It was learnt that Jega briefed the members on what INEC had put in place to ensure that the polls were hitch-free while Ringim highlighted the security arrangements for the elections which will begin on Saturday.

The NCS members were said to have expressed fears that voters who remained at polling centres after casting their votes might resort to violence and other actions that could derail the calls for credible elections.

The NCS also resolved that politicians and candidates should be careful about divisive statements, especially those alluding to religion and ethnicity.

Former Nigerian leaders at the meeting includes Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, Alhaji Shehu Shagari and Chief Ernest Shonekan.

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send text messages to report any fraud, violence or election tampering...send sms to 0816 666 2222, 0812 000 6622, 0809 666 2221!



Namadi-Musa.gifA Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Kaduna State and organising secretary of the campaign team that brought the immediate past governor of the state to power, Namadi Sambo, in 2007, Engr Namadi Musa, has sensationally revealed how the party rigged previous elections in the state.

Sambo is the current Vice-President of Nigeria. 
Musa made the revelation at Arewa House in Kaduna while delivering a paper titled: “Credible Leadership for Good Governance: Beyond Regional and Ethno-Religious Sentiment,” at a one-day interactive session tagged “Countdown to 2011 General Election,” organized by the Initiative for Moral Rebirth in Nigeria.

Musa, who is still a member of the PDP, however said he decided to reveal the dirty past of the party because he was now a reformed individual and was no longer willing to participate in rigging in future elections.

But he contended that even though the latest voters registration exercise had reduced the PDP’s chances of rigging by over 60 per cent, the party would still win the presidential poll. But he was silent on what would become of the party in the April governorship election in the state.
Musa, who is now vice chairman of the Political Committee of the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria, further said: “I am in PDP; I like PDP and I will be in PDP but the party is bad. 

However, I don’t want us to completely blame PDP for Nigeria’s woes because since 1999 the party has always co-opted members of other political parties in the running of the affairs of the country. Therefore, the political arrangements we have in the country have contributed in no small measure to Nigeria’s problem.

“But let me say that the recent registration exercise has reduced our chances of rigging by over 60 per cent. I say so because most Nigerians now have the statistics of how potential voters registered. So inflating the number, which is one of the many ways we rigged, has been reduced.
“Historically speaking, PDP has never won in Kaduna North, Sabon Gari and Zaria councils. But we have about 13 ways of rigging. One of them is by increasing our votes without tempering with the votes of the opponent.

“For instance, if on the voters register the number of registered voters is 100 and at the end of election in a polling unit we scored 20 while the opposition scored 80, all we do is to tamper with the register by increasing the number of registered voters to 400 and award all the 300 votes to the PDP. By so doing, we have not tampered with the votes of the opponent but we have increased ours. But, like I said, it is unthinkable to try this method in the forthcoming elections because most people have the figures now.

“Another one is to use the opposition party to rig itself out. We use this method especially in strongholds of the opposition to rig them out. We monitor such polling units and approach the opposition party agents, who unknowingly will play along with us. If say in a polling unit the opposition recorded 300 votes while PDP had 20, we just say: “This PDP people are useless people, we even hate them. Take our votes, add it to your candidate’s own so that the number will increase.” 

The agent will be happy, thinking we are helping them. Once we start collating, we will raise eyebrow to say number of those who voted is more than the number of those who registered. And you know one vote more than registered number of voters will lead to automatic cancellation of the results. This is why most times you hear that results of polling units where ordinarily the opposition would have won would be cancelled. So once those cancellations are made, it gives us upper hand. 

“But I will not do that again. Allah is my witness. May He forgive me for the ones I have done in the past. I will not be party to it this time around. We have to say the truth for the sake of our tomorrow. Politics provides the direct key to heaven or hell fire. So politicians have a choice,” the PDP chieftain added.

On the presidential poll, he was emphatic that President Jonathan would win, not because he likes it but, according to him, it is based on the present realities on ground, even as he called on the opposition to prepare for 2015.

“For 2011, it is all over because we (PDP) will win. In the past, say 1979, Nigerians voted for party. But these days, it is individuals that are being voted and not party. I like (Muhammadu) Buhari but CPC (Congress for Progressive Change) is not in any way different from the PDP. If Buhari leaves the CPC today, the people will follow him. 

So that shows you that it is about individuals and not about party. I pray Buhari becomes the President but it is unlikely. The truth is that I will be happy if Buhari wins, because it will force the PDP to go back to the drawing board, where we will now sit down to address our problems. But it will not happen.

“I see Buhari’s party as a northern party and his winning the northern votes alone cannot make him President. If the merger between the CPC and ACN (Action Congress of Nigeria) had worked, PDP would have been finished. It is not realistic for ACN to have dissolved into the CPC. So if Buhari wins the North, he won’t get the spread.” 

Asked if it was morally right for him to remain in the PDP, considering what he referred to as the ungodly things himself and the party had been involved in in the past, Musa responded: “Morality is a relative term. When Sheik Gumi was alive, he once said it would be nice to have a Muslim as the Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries, and people said ‘haa!’, and he continued by saying as long as he would reduce the quantity of beer produced. So you can remain in a place for the purpose of reforming the place or to further wreck the place, which is one.

“Two, during the PDP presidential primary, some Mallams were preaching in the mosques that people should collect Jonathan’s money but ensure they do not vote for him. Is that morality?” he asked rhetorically.

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Some Patience for the Dame

I confess. I am one of those Nigerians who have been intrigued by Dame Patience Jonathan's recent gaffes. I have even gone as far as memorising the hilarious sound bite where she urges voters to press their ‘hand' on the ‘umblera', come ‘April elections'.



It's not so much her astonishingly poor grasp of the English language that I find amusing - although this is frightening, given that people say she once taught in a primary school - but the musicality of her voice, the way she cleverly employs repetition and refrain in her speech. One is reminded of nursery rhymes and I suppose in her ideal world, some gormless individuals may, after internalising the content of her speeches, press their thumbs on the PDP umbrella, in spite of themselves.

I admire this lady's confidence. This is woman who is determined to articulate and promote her faith in her husband's presidency. This is a woman who is using her clout to canvass for her husband's aspirations. Day after day, rally after rally, she is out there saying anything and everything to show that she is a present and indispensible useful force on the campaign trail. I have not been a fan of the Dame; she cuts the profile of an embarrassing aunt who refuses to leave your twenty-first birthday party and insists on joining in when your mates start playing naughty party games. I have had the opportunity of listening to her ramblings live and although she didn't have a chance of making it onto my list of top twenty speakers, it was impossible to deny her passion.

Using her voice

In the last week, all over the world, we have been celebrating the international woman. It's been a Femfest the world over. We lovers of womanhood have had a chance to remind the world that the voices of women ought to be heard. We want a good seat at the proverbial table, a seat with an enviable view. We want due credit for the overwhelming sacrifices we make in our families and our communities. We want to be walk next to our partners, not crushed beneath their feet. We want to celebrate our small and significant strides.

In the light of all this, yesterday night, as I was reciting the ‘umblera' speech to a bunch of friends who hadn't had the pleasure of receiving it as a Blackberry voicenote, something occurred to me. In spite of the dislocated grammar and her murderous handling on English vocabulary, Patience Jonathan is doing a great thing for womanhood. She may well go down in history as the most vocal First Lady, Nigeria has ever had. I hear people wondering if this is a good thing.

Actually, it is. In fact, it's a great thing. I was one of those who followed the Obama campaign very closely. There were times when Obama would campaign in one state and his wife would do the same in a different US state, speaking to a different cohort, using her personal charm in delivering her husband's message.

In Nigeria, we have been cursed with two types of first ladies: the overbearing money-grabbing ones and the colourless, invisible ones. I have never seen Ribadu's wife. And where on earth is Buhari's wife? They are rarely seen in public, let alone heard. I find it difficult to trust a man who keeps his wife under wraps. If she's good enough to bear your children, she deserves a place next to you on every podium. I like to see the complete package and at least with the Jonathans, I know what I am getting.

Believe me, a lot can be understood about a man from the way he looks at his wife, how much he leans towards her when she talks to him, how comfortable he is about her engaging with the public. On this score, I give President Jonathan pretty high marks. He has no qualms with letting his wife do her thing. He even came out to defend her recently, berating those who ‘insult his wife'. So cute! She's no pushover

Dame Patience may be rough around the edges but she is a no push over. She is a strong, thick-skinned woman with a voice, albeit a coarse one. There is something charming about the fact that the criticism and cheap shots we take at her expense have left her undeterred. I would only advise that perhaps she communicate in her comfort zone - Pidgin English or even her mother tongue. There is nothing embarrassing about using an interpreter and promoting our indigenous languages. I would also suggest that, in the meantime, she supports her husband's Bring Back the Book initiative by reading a novel or two. Nothing improves your proficiency in an any language than reading the good literature available.

For Nigerian voters who lived through the 80s and experienced the full measure of despotic leadership, these are interesting times. I am still not certain who will get my vote in April but I can't help but think even Dame Patience would have turned out better if past rulers like Mohammad Buhari had prioritised education, equipped schools with books and thought a little deeper about future generations of Nigerians.

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jpeg&STREAMOID=ZlbMPfkAEFbyDZYTJIYiiy6SYeqqxXXqBcOgKOfTXxRLRszHBww1Y9el9P$QptoBnW_PgxgftuECOcfJwS6Jtlp$r8Fy$6AAZ9zyPuHJ25T7a9GKDSxsGxtpmxP0VAUyHL6IDcZHtmM2t7xO$FHdJG95dFi6y2Uma3vSsvPpVyo-&width=234Like the Yoruba and Igbo, the Hausa are hardworking and adventurous traders. Apart from trading within various Hausa villages, towns, and provinces, the Hausa also trade with merchants from other parts of Nigeria, Ghana, Niger, and North Africa. Some of them have had to settle with their families outside Northern Nigeria in the course of their business pursuits. Their main items of trade are cattle, kolanuts, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, guinea corn, groundnuts, traditional medicines, and leatherworks. Kano is the commercial nerve centre of the Hausa people. Metropolitan in nature, it still clings tenaciously to various elements of traditional life as can be seen in the prominence of Hausa language, architecture, and dressing in the city.

There is no way one can analyse gender relations among the Hausa without considering the role of Islam. This is because over half the Hausa population is Muslim. Islam introduced and sustained new ways and avenues for the discrimination of women. It popularised polygamy; it allows a man to marry as many as four wives and to keep as many concubines as he can afford. The clause attached to marrying four wives at the maximum is hardly considered: a man can only marry four wives if he can treat them equitably, without having or showing a preferential disposition to any of the wives.

This is not to say that the pre-Islamic Hausa society did not discriminate against women. It did. There are some negative socio-cultural beliefs, attitudes, and practices, which started in pre-Islamic times among the Hausa. Examples are female circumcision and child marriages.

In spite of the political and cultural penetration of northern Nigeria by the British colonialists, the Muslim Hausa have been able to retain a major proportion of their culture and tradition even in contemporary times. Islam as a unifying religion and Hausa as a common language have contributed significantly to this. This perhaps explains why the empowerment of women by gender-sensitive people and organisations remains slow and difficult. Muslim women activists (like Zainab Kabir) have used the Quran and other notable published Islamic authorities to counter the negative image of women in Hausaland. They encourage women to actively participate in work, even in those areas that are regarded as being for men only.

Countering the common injunction (readily used by men and women to justify their attitudes towards women) of Surah Al-Baquarah 2:228 that a woman's authority is subservient to that of a man, they insist on women and men as being protectors of each other, as found in Surah At-Tawbah 9:71. Isa Wali (1956) has also used verses from the Quran to support the thesis that women and men are created as equals (see the Quran, 11:228; 53: 44-46; 92: 1-3).

Hausa Women in Proverbial Lore

Pre-Islamic Hausa women were largely dedicated to storytelling activities. It was their domain. Every night, within the confines of their homes, or under the dark sky, they re-told age-old stories. Proverbs held a very important place. They encapsulated the people's history and philosophy of life. This was more so because the people could not read and write. Their history and beliefs were stored and coded in some special people's mental capacities. They are then transmitted orally within various literary genres, proverbs inclusive.

The cultural heritage, ethics, mores, beliefs, traditions and wisdom of the Hausa are all embedded in their proverbs. The attainment of Islam as a state religion did not in any significant way diminish the status of proverbs in Hausaland. Islam only changed the general animistic belief system found in proverbs by shifting the focus to Allah. The laws governing inter-personal relationships as found in proverbs remained the same. Islam confirmed, to a large extent, the virtues of equity and fairness needed in one's dealings with others, as taught in Hausa proverbs. Islam broadened the horizons of Hausa proverbs by making use of them as titles of books, newspaper headings and articles, and in works of fiction. The highly moralistic works of fiction by Muslim authors, writers, and poets relied heavily on the adoption of proverbs for easier transmission.

Hausa gender proverbs, though relatively few in number compared to those of the Yoruba and Igbo, reflect the hierarchical position of women, and the attitudes and beliefs that shape their existence. Some of these proverbs, loosely translated, are:

i. A man should not eat from the same plate, tray, or pan with a woman, as she uses this as an avenue to drain the man of all his strength.

ii. Having sex with a mad woman, undetected, will make the man very rich.

iii. A woman who is grinding corn must sing while she is at it, or else she will become mad.

iv. A woman who climbs a ladder will become mad.

v. A married woman who utters her mother-in-law's name is inviting the visit of an earthquake.

The first saying confirms what has been extensively stated in literature: men believe that women are spiritually powerful; they fear this power, detest themselves for giving in to their fear, and take measures to curtail this fear by spinning negative superstitions, proverbs, folktales, etc. about women.

The second proverb depicts an act that unscrupulous men have been carrying out for generations on mentally ill women. By this very act, men re-inscribe the master (male) - servant (female) relationship which sometimes involves the rape of the possession by the possessor.

The third belief reaffirms the "suffering and smiling" syndrome women are expected to put on whenever they are carrying out household chores. Since nature has endowed women with the timeless ability to give birth to and nurture children, men expect them to carry out all work revolving around these cheerfully. Any woman who falls short of this expectation is regarded as rebellious.

Hierarchical structures

It has been said before that the Hausa society is hierarchical in nature. Many of their proverbs serve as reminders to youth, who are believed to be generally restless and always in a hurry, to be contented with their place on the social ladder, as failure to do this would bring undesirable consequences:

Akwiya ta yi wayo da yankekken kunne.

(The goat acquires wisdom from burnt ears).

Abin da babba ya gani yana kasa, yaro ko ya hau rimi ba zai gan shi ba.

(What an adult sees from the ground, a boy cannot see even if he climbs a silk-cotton tree).

However, the fourth proverb boldly states that the female sex is not even on the ladder (hierarchy) yet; her place is still on the ground on which the ladder rests.

The fifth proverb confirms one of the major statements of this study: that patriarchy as a social system deliberately creates an environment which encourages women to nurture superstitions, dislike and acrimony against other women.

The following Hausa proverbs throw more light on the negativity ascribed to women in northern Nigeria:

-Babban abu shi ne, mace ta riga nijinta bawali.

(It is a serious thing for a wife to urinate before her husband does).

-Dole a zo, daki ya fada wa gurguwa da dan masu gida.

(Come quickly, the roof has collapsed on a crippled woman and the owner's son).

These two proverbs are often used to describe desperate and grave scenarios. Though highly sexist in nature, they can be applied to explain situations that are not sexist in the least. But this does not in any way rectify or decrease the impact of the negative impressions these proverbs leave on the subconscious.

-Tuo na iyali, nama na - gida.

(The ‘tuo' - a staple food made from grain - is for the household; the meat - a much appreciated delicacy - is for the master of the house).

The master of the household is traditionally entitled to the best part of any meal, while the the women and children have to be contented with whatever is left for them. Though some Hausa proverbs do not use the word "woman" in a direct sense, popular notions about the proverbs and contexts of usage always point at women.

The co-wives' ethos

The distrust, envy, dislike, fear, and hatred co-wives entertain toward one another are also reflected in Hausa proverbs. There is always a basis for these negative elements to generate the outbreak of physical violence. The presence of contrastive characters or experiences possessed by wives in a polygamous setting - the procreative wife versus the non-procreative wife; the wife that has all male issues versus the one that has only female children; the wife whose children are in school or are educated versus the wife whose children are delinquents, etc. - often precipitate trouble. The husband, the nucleus of the women's attention, most times worsens the already sensitive scenario by having a favourite among his many wives.

-In mugawa kaza ta fara shiga akurki ko wace ta zo sai ta tsare ta.

(If a wicked hen enters the fowl house first, everyone that comes in after her will be pecked by her).

What should be noted is that the major cause of the general discontent in most polygamous homes is envy. This envy steams from the fact that no two persons are created the same. A number of women under the same roof as wives to a particular man would use whatever attribute they possess to inflict pain on those who possess what they do not have, or to punish those who do not have what they possess. Thus,

-In na rena kaza ko ramonta ba na so.

(If I despise the fowl, I do not even want any soup from it).

This is another proverb often brandished by co-wives to one another. Any little event, experience or attribute can cause a feeling of animosity towards a co-wife. This rivalry which women generally manifest towards each other, especially in polygamous settings, is also reflected in the proverb,

-Mai koda ba ta son mai koda.

(A woman who is paid for grinding does not like another woman to be paid for grinding).

What this implies is that a woman does not like a rival in the form of another woman whose presence would diminish her person and importance in the eye of her husband and the public.

Wai kanama da ta harbi kasko ta ce ‘shegen duniya ko motsi ba ka yi'.

(The scorpion said to the small pot it stung, ‘you bastard thing, you don't even move').

Hausa men also believe that women talk too much. The proverb above is thus thrown at them to shut them up. Though there is a proverb used generally for people who talk a lot - Yawan magana ya kan kawo karya, meaning, ‘there is the tendency to tell a lie when one talks too much' - it is believed that more often than not, women will always chatter away. The man is therefore, conditioned to be reticent, especially when in the midst of women. He is brought up to be sober and not to get into much argument with women as this could put him in trouble.

In tururuwa ta tashi lalacewa sai ta gashi.

(If the black ant is getting ready for an attack, it sticks out hairs).

This proverb refers to the supposedly temperamental nature of the woman, this time a scolding wife whose red hot anger forewarns her husband of her preparedness to leave him. The condition of the Hausa woman is made more pathetic by the fact that even an outright abusive proverb as this gets largely drawn upon by women in their descriptions of or attacks on fellow women.

Being the concluding part of a paper, ‘Subliminal Texts: Women, Proverbs and Power' delivered by Anthonia Yakubu during an International Women's Day seminar at the University of Lagos on March 9.

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 What is love at first sight?

Many people have felt all of a sudden a strong crush on a person they literally saw the first time in life and knew little or nothing about. In the ancient times, this unusual romantic emotion felt for a totally stranger person along with the strong desire to posses sexually that person was known as "Cupid's love arrow ".Today ,we call this "chemistry" or " love at first sight ".

This phenomenon can happen equally to both sexes, males and females (sometimes two people of opposite sex may experience this at the same time), even to those who deny the possibility to be stack by this kind of "madness" , in their conception.

What happens when we fall in love?

According to most of researchers and anthropologists, a person falling in love at first sight experiences some chemical changes at brain's level, the so-called "cocktail of love", consisting of : higher level of dopamine, nor epinephrine and vasopressin, plus lower level of serotonin.

The increased level of the first three chemicals is responsible for producing that intense level of excitement, energy, craving, addiction and loss of appetite, symptoms usually associated with the state of being passionately in love. The lower level of serotonin explains the obsessive preoccupation of lovers with each other in the first stage of love at first sight.

Unfortunately, the action of the chemicals responsible for the love feelings does not last for the whole life , after two -three -four years their activity decreases considerably and the persons involved in relationship are not feeling anymore the same passion as they have felt at the beginning . This is a critical stage in such 'love at first sight "relationships and if the bond is not strong enough to get over the difficult period, usually the relation ends at this level.

That explains why there are so many married couples who divorce only after three-four years of living together.


Why do we feel suddenly attracted by some persons?

The psychological concepts which explain why we can have a crush at first sight on certain type of persons and /or reject others, are anima ( which is the personification of feminine psychological tendencies within a man ) and animus (the personification of masculine psychological tendencies within a woman ) , two complexes introduced by psychologist C.G. Jung last century .

The anima is formed of those feminine qualities that are not recognized by a man as being his own (though they are, for instant these might be the tenderness, sensibility, need for cuddling, whatever)

So, he resolves the inner conflict within him by projecting that image onto a woman he sees as having those qualities and, thus, feeling an instant powerful attraction for her.

In the same way is formed and projected the animus, the woman feeling a compelling attraction to the man she projects her own animus image.

In simple words, there are our own hidden qualities that make us to feel attracted by the person we suddenly have felt love at first sight, qualities that we recognize intuitively at the unconscious level in the opposite sex.

A man who displays signs of virility , power , courage ,independence will be attracted by a woman who is exactly the opposite ,that meaning a weak, fearing ,dependent one, and the one who displays qualities like sensibility, weakness, excessive manners , politeness etc. will be attracted by strong, independent, assertive women.

This principle was spotted in a simple way by popular wisdom in the saying "the opposites attract. "



Love at first sight means more than physical chemistry; it is a strong spiritual connection with the other at a deeper level than we are able to realize using common senses. Although there is a real possibility that the love at first sight might not last for longtime, two mature partners who are not addicted to those intense feelings that comes in the early stage of the romantic attraction and know how to be creative and rekindle the flames of love from time to time, might manage to take the relationship to a deeper level and remain attached to each other for a lifetime.


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12-year old astrophysics prodigy

In some ways, Jacob Barnett is just like any other 12-year-old kid. He plays Guitar Hero, shoots hoops with his friends, and has a platonic girlfriend.

But in other ways, he's a little different. Jake, who has an IQ of 170, began solving 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzles at the age of 3, not long after he'd been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism. A few years later, he taught himself calculus, algebra, and geometry in two weeks. By 8, he Einstein.jpghad left high school, and is currently taking college-level advanced astrophysics classes—while tutoring his older classmates. And he's being recruited for a paid researcher job by Indiana University.

Now, he's at work on a theory that challenges the Big Bang—the prevailing explanation among scientists for how the universe came about. It's not clear how developed it is, but experts say he's asking the right questions.

 "The theory that he's working on involves several of the toughest problems in astrophysics and theoretical physics," Scott Tremaine of Princeton University's Institute for Advanced Studies—where Einstein (pictured) himself worked—wrote in an email to Jake's family. "Anyone who solves these will be in line for a Nobel Prize."

Here you can watch Jake question some of the key elements of Albert Einstein's theories on quantum physics:


It's not clear where Jake got his gifts from. "Whenever I try talking about math with anyone in my family," he told the Indianapolis Star, "they just stare blankly."

But his parents encouraged his interests from the start. Once, they took him to the planetarium at Butler University. "We were in the crowd, just sitting, listening to this guy ask the crowd if anyone knew why the moons going around Mars were potato-shaped and not round," Jake's mother, Kristine Barnett, told the Star. "Jacob raised his hand and said, 'Excuse me, but what are the sizes of the moons around Mars?' "

After the lecturer answered, said Kristine, "Jacob looked at him and said the gravity of the planet ... is so large that (the moon's) gravity would not be able to pull it into a round shape."

"That entire building ... everyone was just looking at him, like, 'Who is this 3-year-old?'"

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LAGOS – THE mysterious disappearance of a notorious armed robbery suspect from a Lagos police cell has thrown the state command into confusion.

 Police sources said one of the suspects, identified as Segun Egbere (aka Shaggy), an ex-convict was shot and  arrested with another unidentified suspect by a senior police officer attached to the anti-robbery squad of Pedro Division after a fierce cross fire, weekend. 

The two suspects were said to be on the wanted list of the police for series of robberies. It was gathered that sophisticated arms and ammunition were recovered from them,  and that the suspects had since confessed to be part of the group that killed  three persons at the Shomolu park of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, last week. 

 However, Vanguard was told that a signal for the transfer of the suspects was sent from the office of the Ops officer 1 ‘the Area H’ command headquarters Ogudu, Mr. Ibrahim Fasesan, weekend, where further investigation was supposed to commence.

But a twist was introduced into the investigation after the suspects were reported to have disappeared from the cell Saturday night when the investigative officer, IPO, who was to take them on fact finding mission the following morning arrived. Confused, the unnamed IPO was said to have reported the strange finding to the Area Commander who ordered an immediate probe. 

At the time of this report, it was not clear whether the suspects said to be related to some powerful politicians in the state had been re-arrested
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As a toddler, Mr. Eric Idogun learnt the rudiments of cooking from his mother. From that early stage, Idogun was saddled with the responsibilities of shouldering the cooking for the entire household, thereby horning his skills.
Pepperoni Foods. inset: Idogun











A Master’s degree holder in Public Administration, Idogun had worked in various capacities in some oil servicing companies and marine industry before moving to Kingfisher Foods in Port Harcourt from where he established Pepperoni Foods Limited, Yenagoa.


In an interview with Daily Sun, Idogun revealed for the first time the success story of Pepperoni which he attributed to President Goodluck Jonathan who gave a lifeline to the company when he was Governor of Bayelsa state in 2006.

He explained it better: “From childhood, I have had a strong inclination for cooking. Although, I hold a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Port Harcourt, my heart remained in the food industry. For a while, I consulted with my friend and mentor in the business at Kingfisher Foods in Port Harcourt before I picked up courage to take off. Bayelsa State proved to be viable because there was a ready market and competition was low. In fact, the economy was just ripe for our kind of business. We were indeed fortunate to have come into the market at the time we did.


Pepperoni Foods started in 2005 in Bayelsa State at NTA/Azikoro Road, Yenagoa as a restaurant. We ran it (mama Put) for a couple of months until a friend who was Special Adviser to the then Bayelsa Governor informed us of a credit facility programme by the then Dr. Goodluck Jonathan Government in Bayelsa State. The programme was aimed at creating an enabling environment and enhancing economic development as well as boosting the Hospitality industry in the state through interest free credit facilities. Our application for the facility was granted and this gave us the opportunity to upgrade the existing small restaurant to a standard quick service outlet and to equally open a second but purpose built outlet with a Bakery at Opolo in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. We not only leveraged on the facility provided by the Jonathan led administration but worked closely with the Local Tourism industry in Bayelsa State and beyond to become the Pepperoni you know today.”


From the outlet at Azikoro, Idogun had established another branch at Opolo, moved to Port-Harcourt, Calabar and Uyo taking over the food industry in the South-south region. He maintained that if not for the detribalized stance of Jonathan, the expansion Pepperoni is witnessing would have remained in dream.

According to him as evidenced by the intervention of Jonathan in the growth of his company and other small scale businesses in Bayelsa when he was Governor, government has a critical role to play if Nigeria’s economy wants to witness expansion.


Hear him: “We operate in the Food processing Industry, particularly indoor and Outdoor Catering to production of Food and Food related Products. Presently, the Catering Arm of the Business has since branched out into other areas. We now have a fully digitalized Photo Company, a table water company (xyno waters), a sewage disposal unit (backward integration) , the production of Confectionaries especially Bread and Cake at commercial level. I’m proud to say here that our Bread is the number one selling Brand in Bayelsa State, Port Harcourt and Calabar at the moment. And of course, we are fully into Real Estate.


The role of Government should cover the provision of; (i) Power (ii) Security (iii) Infrastructure (iv) Credit opportunities, to mention a few. These would create an enabling environment for businesses to grow and would build confidence in our economy for indigenous investors. Our people are scared of taking risk and losing their investments, however they would readily partner with a foreign firm to set up shops in Nigeria. As the then Governor of Bayelsa state, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan already had a national outlook which was evidenced by his detribalized policies. He made sure that every Tourism Oriented business in Bayelsa State benefited from his policies irrespective of tribe or religion”



While expressing gratitude to the government and people of Bayelsa State for their support, he insisted that the loan extended to him coupled with the enabling environment has given his company a future.

Not only that he advised state governors to emulate Jonathan when he was governor and help to grow small business to solve the problem of unemployment in the country.


Idogun captured it succinctly: “One of the primary reasons for the high level of unemployment in the country is the absence of viable small and medium scale enterprise. Many businesses have gone bust along the way and our graduates now go looking for employment in Shell, Elf, and Chevron etc. The strength of any economy lies in the value of its small and medium scale industries as this guarantees national growth, thereby bringing down inflation. Government should invest in the real sector. It should provide education so we can have skilled hands at all levels and also create an enabling environment for young businesses to grow. Government through its agencies should partner with individuals and firms to create industries and job opportunities for the unemployed. The Goodluck Jonathan Hospitality scheme of Bayelsa State which I benefited from in 2006 will help the Nigerian State. Other States should take a cue from this and grow similar industry niches in their local environment.


The Role of the Bank of Industry (BOI) should be clearly spelt out. The policies of the C.B.N relating to small and medium scale enterprises (SME) should be geared towards encouraging sustainability and growth of the industry. This is one of the most productive sectors in terms of employment generation”

For him, the hopes and, aspirations of Pepperoni are geared towards becoming the Biggest in the country. As it stands today, Pepperoni is the Biggest Brand in the South South geo- political Zone, with outlets in four states and still spreading across the zone.

He said they are equally looking at other products that are directly related to foods, adding that the horizon for us is extremely bright.

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12166307063?profile=originalUrban Reproductive Health Initiative, NURHI, has disclosed that not less than 750,000 abortions are committed yearly in the country, bemoaning the lackadaisical attitude of the three tiers of government to family planning.

Among these women that commit abortion, 545 of them  die per 100,000 most of whom are married women whose percentage was put at 35. 

This was disclosed by Mrs. Stella Akinso, State Team Leader, NURHI, and Dr. Celina Johnson at a sensitization workshop organised for various stakeholders in the helath sector in Ibadan.

NURHI with other groups such as Development Communication Network, Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria and many others assembled participants to enlighten them more on safe motherhood.

The workshop which witnessed large turn out also called the attention of government to the need for disbursing money allocated to family planning to the appropriate quarters.

Some of the participants who were sourced from local governments in the state also appealed to the government to stop diverting the money meant for family planning to other concerns.

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