Nigeria: Between Halloween and our culture

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Read Time:6 Minute, 11 Second

The last day of October, every year, to the people of Canada, Ireland, the United States and the United Kingdom, is the Halloween Day. This has its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain. Halloween activities commonly include wearing scary costumes, attending costume parties, ghost tours, bonfires, playing pranks, telling ghost stories or other frightening tales, watching horror movies among other things.

According to historians such as Nicholas Rogers, “some folklorists detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia. It is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, derived from old Irish and means summer’s end. A similar festival was held by the ancient Britons and known as Calan Gaeaf. This festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the ‘lighter half’ of the year and beginning of the “darker half”, and is sometimes regarded as the ‘Celtic New Year’”.

The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family’s ancestors were honored and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In a nutshell, Halloween is the celebration of ‘horror’, the dead, witches and wizards.

In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual. Another common practice was divination, which often involved the use of food and drink.

The interesting part is that this festival is generally accepted in the above mentioned developed world as a way of life. Even in churches, scary objects depicting spirits are hung in the windows and door in celebration of Halloween. They do not see anything wrong with the festival and whatever connotation would be drawn by other countries with regard to their beloved festival.

In Nigeria, we have lots of festivals that depict our cultures and traditions. We have festivals like “Mmanwu festivals like “Onwa Agwu” “Imo Oka”, Onwa Asato or Iri Ji (New Yam festivals), “ekpe” and “okonko”. During those festivals, activities include for instance masquerades which in most cases are used to drive away evil spirits. It is a festival that helps in enforcing laws, collecting levies, celebrating war victories and entertainment of people.

However, when Christianity came to our lands, everything was lumped together as evil. Masquerades were seen mostly as connoting evil, voodoo, and pagan (or unclean). Our people do not help matters. They forget that each nation have their own tradition that connotes their history as people. Even to cook and eat pounded yam in your house during those yam festivals, or to prepare a maize meal during the ‘okonko’ festivals people second-guess themselves. Even some people do not even celebrate it for fear of being labeled anti-Christ or pagan

Even it is only recently that beating of drums (igba) and other traditional musical instruments like ‘ekwe’ (wooden gong), ‘ogene’ (iron gong), ‘oja’ (wooden flute) were allowed in the church during services. They were seen as evil and as “iso ndi obodo wee mee otu ife afu”-to celebrate paganism with the heathens.

It is wrong for us to put down our own culture and tradition that define us as people. The fact that we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior does not mean that we should jettison our way of life provided it does not run contrary to our beliefs. The Jews celebrate Passover and do not apologize to anyone for that to this day. Even Christ fully participated in Jewish festivals and saw himself as a Passover lamb prior to the ultimate sacrifice in the cross of Calvary. He always broke bread in line with the Jews’ way of life. On the Last Supper with his apostles and even after he rose from the dead, he broke bread. The Jews also celebrate Pentecost (Shavout) and Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). During these pilgrimage festivals or “Shalosh Regalim”, the entire Jewish populace historically made a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. Samaritans make theirs to the Mount Gerizim.

All these people up till now are very proud of their tradition and do not apologize for them, why should we be afraid to identify ourselves with our traditions? In one of the pictures I took during my initiation into manhood (age grade), I was wearing “mbe n’ukwu”-traditional skirt for the ceremony, and I posted the picture on my face book. Someone wrote me asking me whether I belong to ‘mmanwu’ society. When I told him that I thought he was of Igbo stock, he replied by saying that he is Igbo “but shy away from their culture because of Christianity”.

The above statement captures the ignorance, stupidity and the conflict we face about practicing our Christian belief and observing our tradition. I do not owe anyone any apology for identifying with my roots. When you ask people where the breaking of breads during mass comes from, they would not know that it was derived from the Jewish culture. People go to Olympic Games, without knowing that the Olympic was derived from Greek festival. The Olympics were of fundamental religious importance, featuring sporting events alongside ritual sacrifices honoring both Zeus whose famous statue by Phidias stood in his temple at Olympia and Pelops, divine hero and mythical king of Olympia.

 

Breaking of kola nuts to some depicts idol worships. Why can’t we break kola nut without thinking that we are doing anything wrong? Even why can’t we break kolanuts in masses instead of breaking bread or hosts? If Christ was to be an Igbo man, don’t you think that breaking of Kola nuts with his apostles would have been what he did on the Last Supper? What other significant was the bread over kola nuts? Our people living in foreign lands celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving which are foreign to us. But when it is time for our own festival, not a lot of people even remember the time of the year we celebrate our festivals that define our way of life. Every culture is relative to the people that practice it (cultural relativism).

Our people should have a serious re-think about the way we jettison our own and swallow hook, line and sinker other foreign festivals. We should identify our rich cultural heritage and modernize some of them to attract tourists. Of everything the colonial masters did to our lands (and they are many), colonialism of the mind is the worst! It is mind-boggling. Tufiakwa!

 

*Chukwudi Nwokoye can be reached at nwokoyeac@hotmail.com

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Genevieve Nnaji and Majid Micheal in Silent Scandals

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Read Time:1 Minute, 42 Second

Few months after recording a resounding success with When The Heart Lies, leading female filmmaker and honcho of Purple Pine Productions, Vivian Ejike, is set again to hit the local and international movie scenes with another box office.

Entitled Silent Scandal, the thought provoking flick, according to cerebral Vivian, would be released on VCD and DVD soon in Nigeria, Europe, US and the rest of Africa.

The dramatic love story that revolves around the hidden and triangular love lives of a strict mother, her spoilt daughter and an indigent ‘playboy,’ has top actress, Genevieve Nnaji, as the lead act. Uche Jombo, Ebele Okaro, Ghanaian import –Michael Majid and a host of other emerging acts.

Shedding more light, pretty Ejike, who just returned from the UK where she went to tidy up some movie-related deals, disclosed that Silent Scandal was painstakingly shot with hi-tech production equipment and thoroughly manned by tested professionals within and outside Nigeria.

“It’s a contemporary movie that will blow away the minds of movie buffs. It’s also an emotional story, where a mother and her only daughter, unknowingly, are torn apart by the true love and lust of an indigent young man. Silent Scandal is full of intrigues and suspense from start-to-finish. With all sense of modesty, it’s another plus for Nollywood, especially now that the nation is preaching the gospel of re-branding.


We believe so much in quality films and productions at Purple Pine and that is what this movie stands for,” disclosed Vivian, a former top banker.

The movie, which was directed by a Nigerian filmmaker based in Los Angeles, US, also featured a live Fashion Show by award winning designer, Zizi Cardow and her leggy models.

Gathered that Cardow’s cameo appearance in the fast-paced movie was well applauded by the cast and crew.
Aside producing and financing the big budget project, Vivian, with over 13 years experience in Nollywood, also wrote and screen played the forthcoming movie

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Iran disowns intercepted arms

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Read Time:6 Minute, 20 Second

*Shipment rattles security forces, FG summons envoys

The arms intercepted at  the Lagos Port steeped further into controversy yesterday as Iran said there was no clear evidence linking it to the shipment.

Iran’s response contradicted the claim by an international shipping firm that the weapons originated from the country.

Israeli  officials had on Thursday accused Iran of trying to sneak the shipment into the Hames-controlled Gazo strip. By unloading the weapons in Nigeria, the Israeli claim suggested Iran perhaps sought to truck the weapons through Africa to evade an  embargo now in place in Gaza.

In Nigeria, the security forces intensified their investigations into the arms haul with the government reportedly summoning officials of countries linked to the incident to explain their linkage.

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State asked the Federal Government to suspend importation from the country where the arms may have come while cardinal Olubunmi Okogie demanded the prosecution of the masterminds.

The Iranian ambassador to Nigeria, Hussein Abdullahi, disowning the arms shipment yesterday, said “the different speculation doesn’t have any clear sources. At this time, we can’t judge on any of them,” Abdullahi told The Associated Press: “Sometimes they blame India, sometimes they blame Iran, sometimes they say the arms are going to Nigeria, sometimes they say they are going to Gambia. Now, they claim they are going to the Gaza Strip.”

FG summons envoys
Security sources told Sunday Vanguard, yesterday, that the office of the National Security Adviser had summoned some officials of  key countries identified in intelligence report to come forward and explain their linkage with the intercepted arms.

Diplomatic sources confirmed that there had been invitation from the National Security Adviser, but it  was a routine process of fact finding and collaboration on security matters as part of the global anti-terror war.

According to the sources,  the arms could also have been for domestic use. A breakdown of the unit cost of the arms show that a rocket launcher goes for about $82,000 each while the mortars cost between $85,000 to $95,000 each.

A former Chief of the Defence Staff,  who preferred anonymity, told Sunday Vanguard that the diplomatic shifting of blames must not distract the intelligence community from exploring the angle that the arms could have been imported into Nigeria for domestic use. “We know that the projections by some western powers that Nigeria will disintegrate in 2013 is real;  those behind the shipment have tried to exploit the often repeated porous state of the country’s borders but the war against terror has increased  international collaboration in the flow of intelligence and security information which those who shipped the consignment seemed to have overlooked.

“We must not allow propaganda of international politics to divert the attention of the investigators as we must do everything possible to get to the root. The placement of Nigeria on the global terror watch by the United States early this year was roundly criticised locally,  but two security events in the month of our golden jubilee show that Nigeria has crossed the age of innocence in international politics”.

Former governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, told Sunday Vanguard that although it is relieving to hear that the arms were in transit,  the claim must not divert the search light from the internal activities of groups that have become militant as the imported arms are  not the type to be used for electoral violence but to levy war on the state or cause a forceful change of government”.

A senior research fellow at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) told Sunday Vanguard that the need to overhaul the entire security community in Nigeria is long over due as the  global network of terror has seen that Nigeria’s security community can be easily caught napping, “We know that a proposal is before President Goodluck Jonathan to tinker with the country’s security assets to make them more responsive to the needs of modern statehood”

A source said the president is concerned that “the state security apparatus has not been living up to its responsibility in stopping security threats to the state. “There is something wrong with our intelligence gathering capabilities.  A lot of blunders were committed before and after the Abuja bomb blasts.  We had a  repeat of what happened in Warri last March, when the Vanguard   Post Amnesty Dialogue was bombed by MEND in a similar fashion.  Yet, the president was misinformed about the situation”.

The source said the president is favourably disposed to the idea of creating a ministry to handle home land security as “distinct  from the encumbered Ministry of Interior”. Such a ministry will co-ordinate the operations and activities of security  and para- military outfits that deal with physical security matters. It will deal with the growing threats of terrorism and religious uprisings; this will leave the Police and the Civil Defence corps with the task of dealing with civil crimes. The proposed National Guard, according to the source,  “will be built around the experience and expertise of service personnel who retire when they are still in their active years. “We need their experience and we know that it takes so much resources to train some of those who are made to leave the services because of political exigencies. The National Guard will make use of these retired service personnel who will be trained on how to handle security matters in a democratic era”.

Sanction country of origin of shipment — Fashola

Meanwhile, Governor  Fashola has asked the Federal Government to order immediate suspension of importation from the country of origin of the arms shipment.

The governor, who made the call during a visit  to Apapa seaport where the seized arms and ammunition are being kept, said; “This is a huge trading port, our port and the businesses that it brings in terms of export to other countries create international commercial benefit that must never be abuse against the safety of citizens.

“So this is the time we should be finding out were this cargo originated from and summoning their diplomatic representative if we have not done so, this is where we should be considering whether or not we should suspend import from that country to send the strongest signal to every other countries that ship goods to Nigeria that our port are ports for development of the prosperity of Nigeria and Nigerians and not port for being agents of destruction”.

Prosecute importers – Okogie

CATHOLIC Archbishop of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, yesterday commended the nation’s security agents for intercepting the  weapons, describing the shipment  as an act of illegality and criminality.

Addressing journalists  in Lagos, the cardinal stressed the need for all Nigerians to be vigilant at this crucial moment of the nation’s history, stating that the authorities should stop at nothing to unveil the importers of the deadly weapons at this point of the nation’s political history.

“The security of this country should be uppermost in our minds,” he said, adding that all hands must be on deck. “More security measures should be put in place in this country. The security agencies should double up their efforts just the way they have done to intercept this ones at the ports.”

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Nigeria: 2011 election crucial to Nigeria future -Jonathan goodluck

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Read Time:3 Minute, 8 Second

President Goodluck Jonathan has urged Nigerians not to see the 2011 elections was not about his candidature alone, but about the future of the country.

Jonathan who was speaking at a fund raiser organised by his 2011 presidential campaign organisation therefore task Nigerians to move beyond the limitations of sectional and parochial interests in order to engender a solid foundation for the progress and development of the country.

He said the vision for his campaign was rooted in the common desire to deliver a government that will partner with the private sector to complement government’s investments in critical sectors of the economy, and fast-track the delivery of quality living conditions for all Nigerians.

The President promised that his administration will not let down the confidence Nigerians reposed in it, adding that it remains committed to consolidating on its achievements, and on-going programmes of action to transform the country.

“We are delivering on our promise towards electoral reforms, adequate power supply, and peace in the Niger Delta. On these and other reforms, we will not relent,” the President said.

Donors at the ceremony tried to comply with the provision of the Electoral Act by ensuring that there is no individual donation that exceeds a million naira.

President Jonathan himself had insisted that no individual donor contributes more than N1million to his presidential campaign.

The President also paid glowing tributes to his late boss and predecessor, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, conveying deep emotions when he pointed out that the last time he attended such an occasion was with the late President in early 2007, as his running mate.

He called for a minute of silence in honour of the late President.

Director- General of the Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Organisation, Alhaji DalhatuTafida, expressed confidence in the viability of the Jonathan/Sambo ticket, stating that the organisation believes in continuity and stability of the country.

“This is a project that is accepted by all and sundry. The Jonathan/Sambo project is one that will unite us all, and bring development to this country,” he stated.

Chairman of the occasion, Chief Obafoluke Otudeko, in his remarks, said themission to support President Jonathan was based on his conviction of the President’s commitment to the rule of law, while describing any investment towards the Jonathan/Sambo project as “a worthy cause that will guarantee the future and progress of the country”.

He said that Nigeria being a major global player with a robust market,abundant resources, and thriving economy, currently requires collective participation for change and therefore called on Nigerians to join hands in choosing the best leader for the country.

The fund raising dinner organised by the Jonathan/Sambo Presidential Campaign Organisation to raise funds for the execution of the president’s campaign for the 2011 presidential election, was attended by the crème de la crème of the Nigerian society including Vice- President Namadi Sambo, visiting Kenyan Vice President, Mr Kulonzo Musyoka, Senate President, Senator David Mark, House of Reps Speaker, Hon. Dimeji Bankole, distinguished members of the Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly, party chieftains, captains of industry, business moguls, members of the diplomatic community, and a host of eminent Nigerians from all walks of life.

The chief launcher, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, state governors, business moguls – Mike Adenuga, Femi Otedola, Jimoh Ibrahim – and a host of other donors, stuck to the provisions of the Electoral Act by not exceeding N1million in their personal donations.

The occasion, which held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, also witnessed the formal launch of an on-line and SMS donation initiative that will allow Nigerians contribute to the campaign using the mobile GSM and internet platforms.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Nigeria: FIFA Lifts Nigeria Ban

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Read Time:48 Second

(Codewit)Pleased with the progress made thus far, the executive committee of FIFA has decided to lift the suspension slammed against the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) after receiving confirmation that the court actions against elected members of the NFF had ceased and that they could now work without hindrance.

 This decision was taken today at Zurich, where it was also agreed that the voting process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids will go on as scheduled on December 2.

After over sixty days of crisis, with no clear direction for the country’s football, the board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), on Wednesday, finally stepped into the Glass House, the NFF secretariat, in Abuja, to have its first board meeting.

Some of the decisions taken at the meeting include the fixing of November 6 for the commencement of the Nigeria Premier League and the shortlisting of Samson Siasia and Stephen Keshi for the Super Eagles coaching job.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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South African group snubs Tutu’s anti-Israeli call

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Read Time:1 Minute, 27 Second
Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s call, discouraging South Africa’s Cape Town Opera from performing in Israel have failed. The group says it will go ahead with its tour.
This week, the opera’s managing director said it would not take a political stand by shunning Israel culturally and will go ahead with next month’s Tel Aviv performance.

Managing Director, Michael Williams said the “transformative power of the arts” was more important than canceling the performance.

“The opera has “much which should provide food for thought for audiences in Israel. I am proud that our artists, when traveling abroad, act as ambassadors and exemplars of the free society that has been achieved in democratic South Africa,” he said in a statement.

Williams added his company is in ongoing negotiations to perform within the Arab world.

“In particular, Cape Town Opera welcomes the opportunity to perform within Palestine as well.”

However, the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner and one of South Africa’s iconic anti-apartheid heroes, 79-year-old Tutu said the Israeli trip would be inappropriate as it had been for artists to visit South Africa during apartheid.

The former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, wrote a letter to the company saying it would be wrong for them to perform in “a society founded on discriminatory laws and racial exclusivity,” Reuters reported.

“To perform Porgy and Bess, with its universal message of non-discrimination, in the present state of Israel, is unconscionable,” wrote Tutu, urging the company to postpone its trip until “until both Israeli and Palestinian opera lovers of the region have equal opportunity and unfettered access to attend performances.”

Tutu has been an outspoken critic of Israel. Last month, he supported a call for a South African academic boycott of Israel.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Zimbabwe denies eviction plans

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Read Time:1 Minute, 7 Second

Zimbabwean government denied claims that it was planning mass evictions from a shantytown outside Harare. The denial comes after Amnesty International said the government had threatened about 20 000 residents of Hatcliffe Extension with eviction if they failed to pay a $140 “lease renewal fee” – an unaffordable sum for the shantytown’s impoverished residents.

In a statement , housing minister Giles Mutseyekwa said, according to the state-run news agency, New Ziana that ,”I wish to categorically state that no such thing, and I repeat no such thing or action has been planned or is being planned.”

Many Hatcliffe residents are victims of a 2005 eviction campaign called Operation Murambatsvina (Drive Out Filth) that forced 700 000 people from their homes when President Robert Mugabe’s government destroyed shacks and vendor stands.

The government promised to build houses and vending stands for the victims of Murambatsvina, but only a handful of houses were built.

Last week, the European parliament adopted a resolution calling on Zimbabwe “to scrap the arbitrarily imposed lease renewal fees, which residents simply have no means of paying”.

Mutseyekwa said government had developed pro-poor housing schemes to ensure that no one is evicted from a settlement area unless alternative lodging has been arranged.

In August police in Harare set fire to about 250 houses in an informal settlement, a move condemned by human rights groups

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Nigerian idol judges take up the talented and less talented professionals

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Read Time:2 Minute, 1 Second

It’s the second city, and as usual, we had a feel of the good, the bad and the ugly” Communication’s Manager of Optima Media Group

 Adaora Mbelu says excitingly on a return flight from Abuja this week.

Recall that a few weeks back, at a star studded media launch, the team at Optima Media Group announced plans for auditions in Enugu, Abuja, Calabar and Lagos, and true to their word, auditions for the world’s biggest music  franchise show kicked off with Enugu on October 9 and 2010 before the train moved to Abuja last week.

And as fans of Idols wait to see what Nigerian Idol has in store for them, we can exclusively reveal that at the Abuja auditions last week, the judges took up the talented and the less talented professionals

Maikori who many believe will be Nigerian Idol’s Simon Cowell says to a legal practitioner, “Are you in Law school or are you a lawyer, because your voice is illegal”

“I think that was a very difficult song to sing and I also think that you should insure your voice” Daniel says to a brilliant contestant from the insurance industry.

Just like the original Idols, Nigerian Idol will not only focus on hunting and discovering talents, the show will also aim at nurturing and exposing talents to a global audience through local and international partner platforms.

Auditions continue in Calabar this weekend from October 22 to October 23. The final set of Auditions are billed to hold in Lagos on October 29, 30 and 31

“Music is a universal language, one that has come to be accepted all over the world. Nigerian Idol aims to find the best singer in the country who can be defined as the ‘’National’’ singer; a talent with true potentials to become a major international artiste” Mbelu continues

As the train moves to Calabar and Lagos, the producers have promised viewers that 2010 is the year to fall in love with their TV screens.

Millions of viewers around the world will be entertained and delighted by the Idols experience and it will be something to talk about and everyone will get involved through voting.

Nigerian Idol is sponsored by Etisalat. Nigeria’s fastest rising Telecommunications Company whose core belief is giving a voice to the younger generation.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Presidential aspirants Ribadu differ on improvement of education sector

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Read Time:2 Minute, 33 Second

While other presidential candidates declined the demand by stakeholders in the education sector to present their policies on education, three: Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Nuhu Ribadu of the Action Congress of Nigeria, and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, at the weekend, presented their programmes on how to tackle the challenges facing the sector.

The presidential hopefuls made their presentations at a meeting of the Joint Education Stakeholders Action Coalition (JESAC) in Abuja.

The JESAC is a voluntary association of eighteen (18) education unions, associations and organizations that cut across the entire gamut of Nigeria’s education sector.

Its membership cuts across academic and non-academic staff in all our educational institutions. These include the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, and the Association of Primary School Head Teachers of Nigeria.

The group had invited presidential candidates, including President Goodluck Jonathan and former military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida, to make presentations at the meeting . Only three did.

Ike Onyechere, the national coordinator of JESAC, however, absolved the other aspirants from any blame in not attending the conference.

“Yes, we sent invitations to everybody (the presidential aspirants). But they don’t all have equal time. When we are doing the third one (conference), we are going to take it round the zones so those who did not present their policies will have the opportunity to do so.” Mr. Onyechere told NEXT.

The three candidates condemned the decay in infrastructure and promised to take Nigeria’s educational institutions to a greater height if elected.

The areas where the candidates stated as needing urgent attention include funding, infrastructure development, staff training and welfare, research, science and technology development, regulation and inspectorate services, as well as education for the less privileged and physically challenged.

Different ways of addressing challenges

The candidates, however, differed on how to tackle the challenges facing the educational sector. Some of the areas where they differed include university funding and provision, funding of research, and the role of the federal government in education.

While Mr. Buhari and Mr. Ribadu in their policies stated that the FG would continue to fund all its universities, Mr. Abubakar stated that if elected President, the federal government would only finance and own one university in each of the six geo-political zones.

While Mr. Buhari stated that educational research funding will be carried out by the private sector, former EFCC boss stated that he would establish a National Research Fund with funding both from government and the private sector.

Mr. Onyechere, the JESAC boss, however states that his association is not limiting its conferences to presidential hopefuls alone.

“It’s not only presidential aspirants that will address our conferences. There are other conferences coming up around the zones in Nigeria. Governorship aspirants and local government chairmen will all be called upon to come and tell Nigerians what their plan is to revamp our educational institutions,” he stated.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Nigeria: Militants blow up oil pipelines

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Militants in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region blew up two pipelines belonging to the Nigeria Agip Oil Company in Bayelsa State in the early hours of Saturday, reportedly forcing a shut of the 60,000 of crude oil per day.
The attack comes one year after the federal government amnesty programme, disrupting the relative peace that had been in the region over time.

“Technical operators visited Osiama field to re-open the OS 2Ls that is not flowing. While working, they heard a loud blast like dynamite on the pipeline right of way across the river.

“On going to verify, they saw a spray of oil and a boat with gunmen who opened fire on them. They (Agip operators) took off and have arrived at the station. They (militants) might have blasted the 10-inch pipeline too.”

According to This day, the militant leader involved in the attack was said to have sent a message to Agip that the attack “is the beginning of a full scale war with the company and its operations in the area.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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