Paris: Man grabs French leader Sarkozy by the shoulder

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Read Time:1 Minute, 38 Second

PARIS (AP) — A man in a crowd grabbed French President Nicolas Sarkozy by the shoulder Thursday and nearly knocked him to the ground before being tackled by security officers and detained.

The unusually aggressive incident occurred as the president shook hands with a crowd in the town of Brax in southwest France.

The man was not armed, according to the national police service. An official with the service said the 32-year-old Frenchman lives in the Lot-et-Garonne region and works in the theater business. The official was not authorized to be publicly named due to police policy.

The man was detained and being questioned in the nearby town of Agen.

Images broadcast on French television showed Sarkozy reaching over a metal barricade to greet onlookers when an arm grabs his suit roughly by the shoulder and pulls it toward the crowd.

Sarkozy started to lose his balance and fall, then immediately recoiled and righted himself. Security officers pulled the assailant to the ground.

Sarkozy’s office would not immediately comment on the incident.

Sarkozy is an outspoken and divisive figure whose poll ratings have been quite low for months. He is expected to run for re-election next year, and his presidential visits to the French provinces in recent weeks have the air of campaign stops.

He occasionally gets heckled by critics, though only verbally. In one 2008 incident, a man was caught on video telling Sarkozy not to touch him as the president walked through a crowd. The man accused Sarkozy of “dirtying me,” and Sarkozy snapped back with an insult that mildly translated as “get out of here, you total jerk.”

Sarkozy’s predecessor, Jacques Chirac, was the object of an assassination attempt in 2002, during a military parade for the Bastille Day national holiday. A far-right activist, Maxime Brunerie, was convicted of attempted murder after he pulled a rifle from a guitar case and shot at Chirac. Chirac was unhurt.

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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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AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA ON THE LIBYAN WAR

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Read Time:2 Minute, 54 Second

Mr. President,

It is with a bleeding heart that I am writing you this letter, asking you to please listen to the message the U.S. House of Representatives sent to you yesterday (24/06/2011), rejecting the text authorizing military intervention of the United States in Libya, and to end the current aggression against the Libyan people with the most extravagant excuses like that of protecting them.

Three years ago you ignited the entire continent of Africa during the presidential primaries of the Democratic Party. When you were elected president, we believed that we had seen a son of Africa who had succeeded and could now serve as a reference for a billion Africans. You seemed to be one of those heroes we never knew, because those heroes of ours have become legends for the emotion aroused by their short life (all killed by the Europeans). With your election as President of the United States of America, we instantly believed that we have seen this semi-Black God Africa has been searching for all these shameful years of contact with Europe.

Yes Mr. President, we knew quite well that you were elected by the Americans to protect the interests of your country, but what do you want? To think that you could also be our President, you had our genes; you are also our Black brother is a dream we all had with our eyes well opened. We have all seen you as one of us, as someone who was able to understand the wounds and sufferings of the Africans better than any other powerful individual on earth.

On January 20, 2009, you sworn on the Bible of your illustrious predecessor, Abraham Lincoln, becoming the 44th President of the United States of America; this highly evocative gesture symbolized in our eyes, the hope of meeting and reconciliation which never took place between Europeans and Africans, between Whites and Blacks. That day marked for the American people and African people, the bound of a painful past, hoping to start a fraternity based on a relationship of mutual respect, a more just and equal one.

But after more than two years of your presidency, the heat you have aroused in our hearts in Africa, quickly turned into a cold shower and the fire of hope that you had known quickly turned off on us by the destructive tide of the ocean of your bombs against the African people (120 Cruise missiles overnight in a capital: Tripoli). The more we got to know you through your real actions in Ivory Coast and Libya the more we are afraid of you. Your African politics which is soiled with arrogance and the tendency you have to hide behind powers in crushing the weak will make you to be remembered in history, as a contradictor to the path taken by President Abraham Lincoln.

We were not expecting much from you as we are accustomed to bear our cross without screaming, without whining, without complaining, but we were hoping at least, that you would be neutral in the Oppressed-Oppressors’ relationship, still raging today between Europe and Africa. To our surprise, you have chosen your side, that of our oppressors. And you have put substantial resources in place to curb our desire for emancipation, to suffocate our momentum of freedom…

Professor Jean-Paul Pougala – Geneva, 25 June 2011

Translated from Italian by Piervincenzo Canale and Ewanfoh Obehi Peter

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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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Big Brother Africa Amplified: Miss p force alex to have sex with her

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Read Time:55 Second

It seems Miss P will not take no for an answer from Alex.

She has been persistent in her quest to get him to have romantic links with her, but Alex has repeatedly told Miss P that he is playing a game and using his alter ego, Bumaye, as a means to win the ultimate prize.

The same way Nic was brushing Kim off, Alex seems to be pushing Miss P away but she either doesn’t get the hints or is not willing to give up.

She has been coming onto him rather strongly and he has been rather distant, to the point of even physically pushing her out of bed when she tried to sleep with him.

After Kim had tried all she could to get Nic to date her, she ended up nominating him. Would Miss P end up a woman scorned and let her fury consume Alex during the next Nomination session?

This week you get to save Zeus, Hanni, Vimbai, Wendall, Lomwe, Millicent, Felicia or Sharon O. Vote now to save your favourite Housemates.

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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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Big Brother Amplified: Heads and Tails Merge

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Read Time:56 Second

The Big Brother Amplified Monday night nomination show turned into a surprise reunion for the two sets of housemates.

Big Brother started the surprise during dinner time in the Heads house when he called Hanni to the dairy room.

Hanni was asked to put on a blind fold and then assisted out through a secret passage into the Tails House. She was followed by Lonwe and that sparked some suspicion amongst the other Headsmates who started speculating and investigating until it became apparent to them that Hanni and Lomwe had left the House.

Bit by bit the Heads House emptied into the Tails House as the merger between the two sets of housemates was clear and complete. Meanwhile the Tailsmates received their former buddies with hugs and excitement.

But the merger seemed a bit too hard to swallow in by some housemates Vina commented, “This will be hard…I am very unhappy”. Wendell also said “This is hectic”.

All housemates were asked to move into the garden where they were met by a spectacular display of fireworks

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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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Ghana: Strive for Right To Information – a necessary tool for democracy.

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Read Time:2 Minute, 34 Second

Unlike in the UK and in Nigeria, which both passed their freedom of information bills after long periods of civil society activism, Ghana’s Right to Information (RTI) Bill is still stuck before Parliament. Whilst it is necessary that a strong bill, without unnecessary exemptions, is properly formulated, it is about time that we Ghanaians start enjoying the chunk of benefits that accompanies the RTI.

The bill, if passed, would give power to the governed to know what goes on in the public offices which should help to make governments more accountable. In short the RTI bill will help to create a fuller and more dynamic democracy.

Politicians should not forget that, they are elected to work towards the betterment of those they govern. They are not elected to suit their own whims and caprices. It seems politicians always want to take the electorate for granted, but they should not forget that the electorate are becoming more discerning day in and day out.

The current NDC government and their NPP predecessors have overseen a country which has been hailed internationally as an African democratic success story, yet both parties have done little to move the bill forward. Democracy was defined by Abraham Lincoln as; government of the people, by the people, and for the people. From this definition, one could clearly see that Ghana is government of the people, by the people, but not for the people, in that the voice of the majority is not heard no matter how high they scream.

Laws are made to be obeyed, if not they become useless, as stipulated in Article 21 (1) (f) of the 1992 constitution of Ghana that “All persons shall have the right to Information, subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary in a democratic society.”

In a democracy, the people are sovereign – they are the highest form of political authority. Power flows from the people to the leaders of government, who hold power only temporarily. As a result politicians must always remember that they are only the temporary custodians for the information they hold in trust for the people

Under a democratic government, citizens have an obligation to become informed about public issues, to watch carefully how their political leaders and representatives use their power and express their own opinions and interests.

Democracy can never be practiced to the fullest if there is no transparency, and accountability that is requisite in a proper democracy. The more they prolong the passage of the bill, the more the citizens conceive the idea that, politicians have something to hide, but no matter how thick a forest may be, the tortoise will surely find its way to its home.

Are Ghanaians safe if even in a democracy, they still cannot exercise their rights as citizens to know? Let us all rise in unity to support this worthy course, for it’s my right, it’s your right, it’s our right to know.

Edward Balami,

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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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Thunderbirds Add Finland Performance

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TURKU, Finland — On both sides of every U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds F-16 Fighting Falcon, there’s a colorful, square panel that displays the flags of all the countries in the world where the team has performed. The Thunderbirds had the privilege of adding a new flag to the panel June 18.

For the first time in its 58-year history, the Air Force’s premier jet demonstration team performed in the country of Finland. The Thunderbirds headlined “Turku Air Show 2011,” which also featured Finland’s own Midnight Hawks.

After the show, the team conducted a brief ceremony to commemorate the historic occasion. Lt. Col. Case Cunningham, the Thunderbirds commander and flight leader, and his crew chief, Tech. Sgt. Paul Degrechie, pulled off the old flag panel decal to reveal the new one.

Gen. Mark Welsh, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, and Bruce Oreck, the U.S. ambassador to Finland, along with other Thunderbirds team members attended the ceremony.

“It’s an amazing honor to be the first Thunderbirds team to perform in Finland,” Colonel Cunningham said. “Representing America’s Airmen in other countries around the world is truly a privilege.

“Finland is a great friend to the U.S., and I hope this is just the first of many Thunderbirds performances here.”

“I’ve been looking forward to this weekend since last December when the Thunderbirds schedule was released,” said Jyri Mattila, a Finnish F-18 test pilot and one of the show coordinators. “Seeing the Thunderbirds perform in my country and getting the opportunity to work directly with them could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They are an amazing team of professionals, both in the air and on the ground.”

The Thunderbirds are approximately halfway through their six-week 2011 European tour. Before the Finland show, the team performed in Cigli Air Base, Turkey; Constanta, Romania; Jesolo, Italy; and Karup AB, Denmark. Next on the schedule is Graf Ignatievo AB, Bulgaria, followed by shows at Royal Air Force Waddington, United Kingdom, and Koksijde AB, Belgium.

This year marks the Thunderbirds’ 58th season as the Air Force’s “Ambassadors in Blue.” From mid-March until mid-November every year, the team travels around the country and abroad, showcasing the integrity, selfless service and excellence embodied by American Airmen everywhere. Part of the unit’s mission is to represent the U.S. armed forces to foreign countries and project international goodwill.

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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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Study suggests UN force brought cholera to Haiti

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Read Time:4 Minute, 13 Second

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Evidence “strongly suggests” that a United Nations peacekeeping mission brought a cholera strain to Haiti that has killed thousands of people, a study by a team of epidemiologists and physicians says.

The study is the strongest argument yet that newly-arrived Nepalese peacekeepers at a base near the town of Mirebalais brought with them the cholera, which spread through the waterways of the Artibonite region and elsewhere in this impoverished Caribbean country.

The disease has killed more than 5,500 people and sickened more than 363,000 others since it was discovered in October, according to the Haitian government.

“Our findings strongly suggest that contamination of the Artibonite (river) and 1 of its tributaries downstream from a military camp triggered the epidemic,” said the report in the July issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, a journal of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The article says there is “an exact correlation” in time and place between the arrival of a Nepalese battalion from an area of its South Asian homeland that was experiencing a cholera outbreak and the appearance of the first cases in the Meille river a few days later.

The remoteness of the Meille river in central Haiti and the absence of other factors make it unlikely that the cholera strain could have come to Haiti in any other way, the report says.

In an email U.N. mission spokeswoman Sylvie Van Den Wildenberg didn’t comment on the findings of the article published in the CDC journal, referring only to a study released in May by a U.N.-appointed panel.

That panel’s report found that the cholera outbreak was caused by a South Asian strain imported by human activity that contaminated the Meille river where the U.N. base of the Nepalese peacekeepers is located. The study also found that bad sanitation at the camp would’ve made contamination of the water system possible.

But the U.N. report refrained from blaming any single group for the outbreak. While no other potential source of the bacteria itself was named, the report attributed the outbreak to a “confluence of circumstances,” including a lack of water infrastructure in Haiti and Haitians’ dependence on the river system.

The panel’s report was ordered by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as anti-U.N. protests spread in Haiti and mounting circumstantial evidence pointed to the troops.

Before that, for nearly two months after the outbreak last October, the United Nations, CDC and World Health Organization refused to investigate the origin of the cholera, saying that it was more important to treat patients than to try to figure out the source.

The article published in the CDC journal comes as health workers in Haiti wrestle with a spike in the number of cholera cases brought on by several weeks of rainfall. The aid group Oxfam said earlier this month that its workers were treating more than 300 new cases a day, more than three times what they saw when the disease peaked in the fall.

Cholera is caused by a bacteria that produces severe diarrhea and is contracted by eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

The disease has spread to the neighboring Dominican Republic, where more than 36 deaths have been reported since November.

Epidemiologist Renaud Piarroux, the lead author of the CDC journal article, was initially sent by the French government in late 2010 to investigate the origins of Haiti’s outbreak. He authored a report for U.N. and Haitian officials that said the Nepalese peacekeepers likely caused the outbreak, a copy of which was obtained at the time by the AP.

The latest study was more complete and its methodology was reviewed by a group of scientists.

The new study argues it is important for scientists to determine the origin of cholera outbreaks and how they spread in order to eliminate “accidentally imported disease.”

Moreover, the study says, figuring out the source of a cholera epidemic would help health workers better treat and prevent cholera by minimizing the “distrust associated with the widespread suspicions of a cover-up of a deliberate importation of cholera.”

It also argues that demonstrating an imported origin would compel “international organizations to reappraise their procedures.”

After cholera surfaced last fall, many Haitians believed the Nepalese peacekeepers were to blame, straining relations between the population and U.N. personnel and sparking angry protests. On the streets, cholera has become slang for something that must be banished from Haiti.

The new study is acknowledged in a commentary by a pair of public health experts affiliated with the CDC.

“However it occurred, there is little doubt that the organism was introduced to Haiti by a traveler from abroad, and this fact raises important public health considerations,” wrote Scott Dowell, director of the CDC’s Division of Global Disease Detection and Emergency Response, and Christopher Braden, a medical epidemiologist with the CDC.

___

Associated Press writer Trenton Daniel reported this story from Port-au-Prince and Jonathan M. Katz reported from Mexico City.

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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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Volkswagen to start talent assessment at Finland Rally

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Read Time:1 Minute, 17 Second

The countdown is underway – in 2013 Volkswagen will start to contest the FIA World Rally Championship with the Polo R WRC. Until then a rally car with about 300 hp based on the Polo is being developed. To gather initial experience in the World Rally Championship, the team will be contesting selected rallies in 2011 with vehicles from the Volkswagen Group’s Škoda brand. At these rounds top talents are to be given the chance to qualify for a cockpit in the Polo R WRC in a new talent assessment programme under competitive conditions.

“In addition to a few top-calibre rally racers we want to present top talents in our 2013 driver line-up,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. “Therefore, we will be giving young racers in particular an opportunity to show their skills at our runs in competitive conditions. This is the best way to see who is doing a good job of driving and would fit into the Volkswagen rally team. It would be great if we could find a new Walter Röhrl or Michèle Mouton using this approach.”

The first run will be at the Finland Rally from 28 to 31 July for which Volkswagen Motorsport has submitted entries for two Scandinavian driver pairings. The rally car will be the 270-hp Å koda Fabia S2000 from the SWRC, a subcategory of the World Rally Championship for vehicles with normally aspirated 2.0-litre engines.

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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Finland: Immigration has little impact on Finland’s birth rate

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Read Time:1 Minute, 27 Second

Mothers born abroad have more children on average than Finnish-born mothers, but not by much at all, according to Statistics Finland. Since immigrants make up a very small proportion of all women of childbearing age, their contribution to the total birth rate is correspondingly minor.

At the end of last year, some 1.2 million women of reproductive age resided in Finland, whom almost 90,000 were born outside of Finland.

“Women born in Finland, on average, give birth to 1.85 children, while the average among immigrants is just over two children. However, since they still make up but a small proportion of the women of childbearing age, the effect of immigration on the total birth rate was also quite minor,” explains Senior Actuary Markus Rapo from Statistics Finland.

Regional fertility rate variation

There are differences among different groups of immigrants as regards fertility rates. Women who came from Africa give birth to 3.33 children on average, while those who arrived from Asia have marginally over two. The women who have moved to Finland from the former USSR have on average just 1.73 children.

“These offset each other, and so their impact on the total Finnish birth rate remains moderate,” Rapo says.

Fertility rate—the number of children born to each woman—is not to be confused with birth rate, however.

In 1990, immigrant mothers gave birth to 1,200 children in Finland. Last year, that number stood at 5,700 children. Without them, the number of births last year would have been about 55,000—perilously close to the number of deaths, of which nearly 51,000 occurred.

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: The task ahead of Jonathan

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Read Time:6 Minute, 51 Second

THAT   President   Goodluck     Ebele  Jonathan‘s  dreams came  to pass  to continue  from May  29, 2011, as president  of  Federal  Republic of Nigeria raised the  hope  of  Nigerians  that change  is  inevitable considering  the  President’s  zeal, commitment    and   readiness  to effect   a   change  in the  Africa’s  most  populous country – a  heady   mix  of about 150 million  people, and 250  ethnic   groups.

The  ambition  to  become  the  president  of  Nigeria was  nursed right from when the late President Umaru Yar’Adua  fell  ill, and    Jonathan  was  constitutionally  required  to step into the  shoes  of Yar’Adua, while  his ailment lasted; and it  was speculated  that he  was not  likely  to  survive. But,  after  the  demise  of  Yar’Adua, Dr  Jonathan  was warmly  welcomed    both  at  home  and  abroad   to  fill   the  vacuum  last year.

When   Jonathan  took  over,  he assured   Nigerians  that   he will   fix  three  of  Nigeria’s  biggest challenges: electoral  fraud, unreliable  electricity supply(NEPA/PHCN problem)  and  Niger  Delta  crises,  that  was  constantly  assuming    frightening  dimensions  at  the spur   of  every  moment.

This  signal from Jonathan…   apparently  in  the  right  perspective  restored  hope  in  Nigerians, particularly  in the  Niger  Delta  region and there  was  confidence  that   Jonathan  could  make good his reformist  zeal. But  this  can never  be  achieved  in a jiffy – he  needs  time  to  deliver-  apparently – this  warmed  Jonathan  into  the  heart   of   Nigerians,  that  if  given  the   opportunity as President he  could   transform  Nigeria.

He took  a cue  from  where  Yar’Adua   stopped  in  negotiating   Niger  Delta  militants’ rehabilitation, and  a  rehabilitation  camp  was  opened  in  July, 2010  for  the  repentant militia  who  laid  down  their  arms.

The  crux  of   the  matter   which  sparked  off  agitation for a president(from South-South)  is  that  the  oil from  the Niger  Delta region constitutes  80 per cent of   the  government’s  revenue, yet  its   residents  are  politically  marginalised, and the oil from their  area has equally destroyed their land, that negates the possibility of any worthwhile  farming. This  unfair  treatment  re-awakened   in  their  consciousness  the  quest   for a   president   from   their   region.

When the tempo  gradually began to reverberate towards 2011 election last  year after  the  death  of Yar’Adua,  Jonathan  did  not  indicate  that  he will  run  for the  presidency; and those who had built their  hope on him were astounded. But while  speculation has  been growing as  Jonathan, who was appointed   to  his  post  earlier, pondered  whether  to  run  for  election, on  the  streets of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, unusual  posters  were  appearing.

Lobby   groups  were busy  plastering  the city  with banners  encouraging  Dr. Goodluck  Jonathan  to run  for the  2011  presidential  election. One  of  them  who could  not  even  contain  his  emotion said:  “ We  have   found  our champion”; and “ You  can  do it…”, declared  another. Yet, Jonathan did not budge, may be until he pondered enough and  sought  the   face  of  God  for  approval before  he  summoned  courage  to declare  his  interest  to  contest  for the  presidency.

Perhaps this  led to  his resounding  victory  at the  polls  in  April . As  it  were, his  biggest  challenge  was winning  similar  support in Northern Nigeria, but  in the end by  providence, he  got  the reasonable  percentage of votes from  the  Northern divide necessary  for  him to scale  through  the presidential election. He  made  it  because  he has  the  credentials and the quality, perhaps, the electorate expected. Jonathan was  bold  to say: ”Don’t  rig  for me“. That  is  confidence, and  it speaks volume…  .The  electorate  saw  it…  and they  voted  for  Jonathan, not  PDP.  The people  sounded it  loud  and  clear. What next?

Now  the populace  has  gotten Goodluck  as  their  president,  the   expectation  is  high  that  he  should  shine  in  every nook  and  cranny of   Nigeria. There  lies  the  challenge  ahead: Our  economy  is  in a bad  shape, even  dubbed one  of   the  poorest  countries  in the world. The  country  so  richly  endowed with human resources (found virtually all over the world, contributing their own quota in developing other nations),blessed  with mineral resources yet to be exploited  and  arable  land  for   mechanised  agriculture.

A  feat in  agricultural  project  alone will  have far-reaching  results: Strengthen  our   economy, remove over-  dependence  on oil, alleviate  the suffering  of  the populace, create  job  opportunities which  will check  unemployment, etc. Our  nation  is  not  free  from  a  network  of violence, especially  in the  North; our  health care  system is  not dependable hence Nigerians go abroad on health grounds; educational  system  is fast  deteriorating to  the extent that  Professor  Tam David-West and others  often   weep  at the  depth  of  decay.  From oil sector analysts: The national budget is put at about N4.485 trillion.

Yet it will amount to lack of foresight on the part of government to still maintain the status quo of overdependence on oil sector instead of diversifying; reviving other sectors of the economy.

Mr. SIMEON NDAJI, a commentator on national    issues wrote from Lagos.

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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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