Miracle Twins Born 87 Days Apart Set Guinness World Record

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Read Time:2 Minute, 39 Second

In what can only be called an absolute miracle, a set of twins from Ireland were born 87 days apart from each other – setting a Guinness World Record for "longest interval between the birth of twins." The miracle twins truly have an incredible story.

It all started when their mother, Maria, went into labor right before her 24th week began. The mother's water broke and after two days of labor, her first twin, Amy, was born. Because of her size – a mere 1 pound, 3 ounces – the dangerously premature baby was rushed to the NICU. Doctors prepped for the birth of the second twin. But something bizarre happened.

Maria's contractions stopped.

Her medical team was concerned about infection – of her and the other twin – so they induced labor. But something bizarre happened again: Maria did not respond to the induction and her contractions never began again. "They stopped dead. It was like I never gave birth," the mother says. And "the doctors said they had never seen anything like it."

The mother made the decision with her husband and her doctors to "let nature take its course," and not force a delivery of the second twin. And for the next three months, twin Amy and mother Maria both remained in the hospital. Maria says, "I made up my mind I wouldn't leave the hospital unless it was with both my girls. Even if it meant that I would have to lie in bed for the full three months I had left of my pregnancy – I would do whatever it took."

It was four days before Maria could even see baby Amy, and when she did, Amy was in the incubator "covered in tubes." It was another five weeks before Maria was allowed to hold Amy. Amazingly, when she did, Amy's heart stabilized and the twin still in her womb began moving and kicking, "as if she knew," the mother says. The second time Maria held Amy – the following day – Amy "turned and put her head towards her sister inside the womb."

Are you crying yet? Because I totally cried at that part.

At 36 weeks, 3 days, Maria was induced and twin Katie was born, healthy and not in need of any medical attention. Later that day, a nurse put Katie in the incubator with her sister and Maria says Amy immediately smiled.

Katie left the hospital with her mother five days later, and Amy joined the whole family – including two older siblings – seven weeks later.

These amazing miracle twins have broken the previous record of 84 days and have defied all odds.

Stories like this make me wonder how my own story would have been different if my water broke a few weeks later than the 17 weeks when it did. Would my twins have had a fighting chance? What if I had chosen to go against my doctors' advice and not have been induced after my water broke? I guess I will likely always wonder what if…

-By Aela H. Mass

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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Nollywood actor, Solomon Akiyesi tells own story

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Read Time:15 Minute, 54 Second

On Saturday, April 13, Nigerians were shocked when the supposed wedding of Nollywood actor, Mr. Solomon Akiyesi, to Ms Uloma Agwu, turned into a major scandal in Lagos.

The ‘wedding’, which was taking place at the Overcomer’s World Outreach in Aguda, Surulere, was truncated when Solomon’s authentic wife, Lillian, stormed the church with some family members, creating a scene and accusing the groom-to-be of abandoning her at home in Port Harcourt while he was busy, plotting an illegal wedding in Lagos.

It took the intervention of policemen to restore sanity. The wedding was eventually cancelled by the General Overseer of the Overcomers Church World Outreach, Bishop N.E. Moses.

Since then, many Nigerians have taken to the social media, raining unprintable invectives on the Nollywood actor, who was said to have been married twice before his latest failed attempt. In a chat with Daily Sun, Solomon tells his own story, explaining why he decided to take the actions that he took, concerning his marital life. Excerpts: Over the last one week, hell has been let loose on me.

I’ve not only suffered verbal attacks, but also vituperations and near fisticuffs, all because of another futile attempt of mine at my journey towards achieving that which I honestly and passionately desire – a peaceful home and family. Social network sites and blogs have been awash with how I left Lilian, my “pregnant” wife, to marry Uloma, my Lagos “mistress” whom they also claimed was pregnant for me. Nothing can be farther from the truth.

Only a mad or cursed man would simply leave his pregnant wife and elope with another one. And lest I forget, I urge you, as you read this, to have an open mind to listen to that which is true instead of taking sides and jumping into wicked conclusions with its attendant wicked insults and uncouth commentaries about how Solomon is running his life and how he is not. I’m not asking for pity or trying to buy anybody’s love at this time.

This is my life. If at my age I don’t know what I want, then I may just remain the dumb ass that I’ve been called over and over again. I don’t think I need anyone to give me any lecturing on how I should exercise my privileges.

For the record, I never planned on marrying more than one wife. And unlike the serial husband I’ve been labelled, I had dreamt and planned a lovely home and family.

And my quest for this dates back to 2003 after I had moved into Port Harcourt. I soon settled down with Ezinne, my university days girlfriend, whom I ran into in Port Harcourt during her National Youth Service. As fate had it, we couldn’t help reliving old times and one thing led to another. One fateful, rainy Thursday evening in October, 2002, Ezinne came to inform me that she was pregnant.

It was as far as I was concerned, a devastating blow to the new life I was living; rap music, cars, money and women. So, I told her the pregnancy was unacceptable to me. Besides, I only just started working and needed stability. But months later, Ezinne was to inform me that she was carrying a baby girl.

And knowing my attachment to baby girls and not wanting to ever have a baby outside wedlock, I repented and changed my thuggish ways and asked her to marry me, more so that I was mature enough in every ramification. Or so I thought.

And so, sometime in April, 2003, I hired a hall and invited a pastor to come officiate at my marriage with Ezinne and bless our rings. All done, we went home and started as husband and wife. God, the creator, knew how glad I was and looked forward to a happy home. However, five days after that marriage, I called my new wife on my way from work to ask what was up for dinner and she told me she had been in the hospital.

I rushed to the hospital and was told by Ezinne that she lost the baby. I got her discharged and took her home. But I was completely broken at the loss of a baby I had expected so much. Four days later, I asked my wife if she actually saw the dead baby. She responded by saying the doctor brought it but she gave instruction for it to be buried because she could not behold the sight. Instinctively, I called the doctor – both to thank him and to confirm because he wasn’t around when I went to pick her home. After thanking the doctor, I asked of the sex of my dead baby.

The doctor didn’t talk for like six seconds. I asked him the same question again and he said he’s been restless in his spirit and that he could no longer keep the fact that there was no baby inside Ezinne and that nothing like miscarriage happened in his hospital. I challenged him again and asked if he was not the same person, who confirmed her pregnant and that Ezinne had been attending antenatal in his hospital.

He responded that he had not set his eyes on Ezinne since October of the previous year. Meanwhile, Ezinne had always taken money from me for antenatal and had even shopped for the baby! It then became clear to me that this was a fluke all together.

Sadly enough, Ezinne denied any wrongdoing. For three years, I exposed opportunities for Ezinne to simply tell me the truth but she never took advantage of any of the opportunities. Alas! She was not pregnant. I decided to investigate myself and took her for HSG where it was discovered that there were no fallopian tubes in her and that there was evidence of previous surgery of the uterus. I independently probed further and found out with evidence that Ezinne had a life-threatening abortion in 1992 that resulted in the rupture and subsequent removal of her womb and tubes.

My biggest pain was not what I found out but the fact that Ezinne hid all this from me all these years and was still being economical with the truth even when confronted with hard evidence! In frustration, I moved out of the house but not before taking her to her mum in search of the truth.

Even the mum corroborated what Ezinne gave as excuse for the scar that runs from her navel down to her pubic region, i.e. she was operated upon due to menstrual irregularities. I then decided to stay out for good. While I was out, my relationship with Lillian whom I had known years earlier grew.

I was always going to see her in Enugu. I then got me another apartment and Lillian came around quite often too. Gradually Lillian grew from that little girl I was merely helping in her schooling, into a mature, witty and intelligent young woman. So, having taken my people to Ezinne’s place for the dissolution of the marriage – since we did only traditional marriage – I proposed to Lillian.

And, in 2007, we proceeded to the registry for marriage. And that was the day her father started troubling me. He insisted Lillian was not supposed to go home with me. For two years, he cut communication with me. Shortly after the marriage, my businesses ran into a crises and my entire life nose-dived.

There was tremendous loss in my finances. In my travail, Lillian’s father went to the police and told them to deal seriously with me because I was an “irresponsible son-in-law”. When the challenges kept mounting and seeing my life was at risk after I was badly shot, I left town to sojourn elsewhere. In 2010, I gradually re-emerged and we started finding our footing again.

Even though I tried to settle down again, I found that the centre could no longer hold, as Lillian had metamorphosed into a nag and had acquired a fire tongue with which she talked me down and reigned curses on me at any little provocation. There was no week we didn’t have a major fight, whether I was home or not.

At some point, she became religious. And having found her way into Winners Chapel, she suggested to me one day that it was necessary we took our marriage to God since we hadn’t a proper wedding. She said her church pastors were willing to help in blessing our marriage so there could be a turnaround. To this, I obliged. She said she would love for us to wear wedding costumes for the purpose of photographs. To this I also consented. And so, to Winners Chapel we went and were blessed and certificated.

But it was as if that blessing was what someone was waiting for before they would blow the whistle that would usher me into the hall of pain. Lillian became insatiable.

You would see tiny ingredients of marriage only when I could ensure her comfort. Once Lillian’s comfort was compromised, she would lampoon me and tell me my life history in graphic details and lecture me on what Mr. A and B have done for their wives that I’m not able to do.

It’s even worse when I try to remind her of the recent past that I laboured tenaciously to keep her happy. Once she told me that there was nothing I had done in the past that anybody couldn’t have done. Imagine sacrificing all you’ve got, including almost your life, for someone who would tell you it’s no big deal and that any other person could have done what you did. And then, suddenly, she wanted me to quit my acting career or she would divorce me. My phones were always her best companions at night. If she was not reading my texts, she was in my facebook or BBM.

I had no peace. My best moment was whenever I had to leave home for work. And after work I never wanted to go back home. On a trip back home sometime ago, I was praying that my aircraft should crash and I die instead of going home. Even when I was driving home, I was under strong temptation to ram into oncoming vehicles instead of going home.

It was either that a long list of demand would be waiting for me or an equally longer list of questions about whom I had been online with and whom I had been calling and not calling.

Then on the side was a supposed father-in-law, who claimed he regretted the marriage because he wasn’t getting anything from it and that I only came to destroy the love that existed in their family before the marriage. So, my joy knew no bounds when Lillian told me last year that she was pregnant. For me, it was a good thing. Maybe the baby would take her attention away from me at last. Then the heat started again. I must provide N2 million for her to deliver her baby, even though she knows my income and its source. When her pressure got to a head and to avoid the same road I travelled with Ezinne, I took Lillian to a gynaecologist. A scan was run on her and the result was declared before the two of us that she was not pregnant.

This was after she told me that she had done an independent scan and that she was carrying triplets! Even with the medical confirmation, Lillian never stopped her push for N2 million and money for baby shopping. I ended up suffering a partial stroke in January. Yet she would wake me up at 2am to ask me of my plans to raise N2 million for her, even while I was bedridden with stroke.

I knew then that I was going to die in that marriage and had to do something about it. Ladies and gentlemen, this is about my life. If what greeted the Internet and press was that I died, trying to please Lillian and my marriage, people would still insult me and ask why I didn’t take a walk. And taking a walk I tried to do but I did not do it right.

I tried to skip due process to avoid hurting anyone. More so, I did not have the political and emotional will to ask for divorce. Pray, people, divorce is not like going to a grocery store where you go to pay your money and come back with a bag full. What would have been my ground for divorce? I should also confess that I could not find an answer to what would happen to Lillian if I asked her to go because I was more than a husband to her.

So, I foot-dragged to the point of taking the easy way out. And the easy way is not usually the best way as I found out on Saturday, April 13.

Uloma did not just jump into the picture to “snatch” Solomon from Lillian. Uloma has been my friend since 2006. We met again in 2009 at the peak of my business crisis and have been seeing each other afterwards. Candidly, I was swept away by the love, understanding and the peaceful disposition Uloma proffered even as a friend, far from the opposites I was getting back home. The way Uloma treated me was the exact desires any man longed for in a wife. So, I was always running to her whenever Lillian lit her fires.

So, I asked myself why I couldn’t marry her. Far from the evil rumour that I wanted to marry Uloma because of her money, I wanted to marry Uloma to fill a vacuum in her life and make her happy and fulfilled because this woman with a heart of gold who has impacted many lives deserved to be happy.

If that was what I could ever do to plant some comfort in her life. If there was going to be any immediate gain for me, it would have been peace of mind and its attendant long life, not her money or any physical or material gains. I’m not a lazy man.

Apart from being an actor, I have been in business for almost fifteen years. Years back, when I poured millions of naira on exotic cars and a posh house in Port Harcourt, Uloma was a seventy thousand naira recovery staff in Sterling Bank. Today, even if Uloma gave me all her salary from where she presently works, it won’t be enough to put Internet credit in my tablets and phones. Someone even posted that I said I would have ‘hammered’ if I had married Uloma.

What could I possibly gain? Uloma wasn’t frustrated to the point of desperation to pay a man to marry her. There was no award for anyone who married her. She does not own an estate or anything willed to her by anyone that I was running after. Uloma is not the daughter of any rich man or top politician. She’s as much a hustler as I am.

Ok, yes, sincerely, maybe I actually would have ‘hammered’ long life, happiness, inner joy, a sense of being loved and long life. I also would have ‘hammered’ having her sisters as my sisters because they love me like their own brother – a far cry from what my own people give me.

If I had married Uloma, I know I would have had a good burial whenever I died because I’ve always been scared that at my level of loneliness, whenever I die, my corpse would probably have decomposed before my people would find me. I beg to be loved and appreciated. Nobody to call my own.

No one ever cared about me. I have always been alone and hardworking too. From way back, my joys, my sorrows I have always swallowed alone. But Uloma was the only person who truly listened to my heart and understood where I was coming from. So to say any of my failed marriages was for money is simply stupid and unreasonable. The first car Ezinne ever drove and financing for her first attempt at business all came from me.

Lillian was not born with a silver spoon. Her father is only a retired naval officer and the last time I checked he had no wealth ascribed to his name. On her 18th birthday, I bought Lillian an exotic Corolla car. At 300 level in school, I gave her a Mercedes Benz.

Then she graduated with an LS400 Lexus. This is apart from a lush apartment and school bills that God used me to help her take care of. So, who amongst these would I have married for money? Uloma stood out because she’s shared my pain even when it was because of me and that explains why it was a difficult task telling her Lillian was still in my tracks.

I couldn’t have deliberately gone out of my way to hurt Uloma, because that will be simply committing suicide. Hurting Uloma is like waging war against a nation. Is it her legion of admirers I will have to contend with or her nation of die-hard lovers who will be tumbling over each other to get a pound of flesh?

I wouldn’t give hurt for the love and hope Uloma and her family gave me. Unfortunately the same scandals I thought I was preventing by not doing what everyone is saying I would have done is now the same thing staring me in the face, and everyone is worse hurt.

And above all, my own life is now seriously at risk because I feared hurting anyone. I ask all concerned to please sheathe their swords of anger and find it in their hearts to forgive me. I will make restitution as much as the mercy of God permits me. It’s never too late to begin again as far as God keeps us all alive.

I’m a man on a mission for a peaceful marriage, a good home and family life. I guess my desperation took good reasoning off me. Again, I am humbly and truly sorry. I thank my friends who have stood by me through this trial. Your comforting words are like lights on my dark path.

And for the judgmental few, I urge you; work with the truth while the Almighty fixes that which went wrong in my life.

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: Them and Us – A Diaspora Perspective

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Read Time:8 Minute, 31 Second

There has always been an ostensible competition between Nigerians in the Diaspora and Nigerians back home, particularly due to different ways in which we perceive moral standards, cultural values and good governance.

In recent years, Nigerian legislators storm the Western countries, mainly the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, etc; to inform the Nigerian Diaspora of the need to engage in the development of our great country, Nigeria.

What one finds very disturbing about capacity building of Nigeria is the fact that the word ‘sustainability’ is tacitly considered insignificant by those who are at the helm of affairs. In any advanced and forward thinking nation, within a framework of an undertaking, there is a mechanism in place to ensure its continuance.

However, if for some unforeseen contingency, it is deemed to change direction; focus will be on how to ensure that the overall vision is achieved.

With this preamble, I relate it to the event held at Chatham House (an independent policy-focused and Research International Affairs organisation, based in the UK) on 27 February 2013. The topic was the Review of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution: Diaspora Consultation.

As usual, it appeared to be one of those Talk Shops organised by Nigerian Legislators (from Nigeria) which will have no positive impact because the so-called ‘consultation’ of the Nigerian Diaspora is baseless! The fundamental reason is because to date, the Nigerian Diaspora is yet to have a voting right.

Perhaps one should revisit the issue of Diaspora Voting which was an item on the Agenda of the National Political Reform Conference (NPRC) in February 2006. At the time, series of events were organised by various Diaspora organisations in the United Kingdom which campaigned for the right of every Nigerian to vote, irrespective of residence or abode.

Little did we all know that it was yet another time-wasting exercise! Seven years later, we are still debating Voting in the Diaspora! One cannot but fathom what necessitated another consultation with a group of people whose contributions have no relevance to the Constitution of Nigeria!

Amongst the panellists from Nigeria was Rt.Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, Deputy Speaker & Co-chair, Joint Committee on Review of the Constitution & a member of the House of Representatives – who delivered the Keynote address.

Also, were Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa – Chairman, Diaspora Committee, House of Representatives; Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan – elected Senator for Yobe State and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee; Hon. Garba Datti Muhammad – Deputy Minority Whip and Mr Clement Nwankwo – a Nigerian Lawyer and Executive Director of Policy & Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC). The Moderator was Dr Titilola Banjoko – who has contributed immensely to the Nigerian Diaspora community in the United Kingdom by establishing international development programmes such as Africa Recruit and FindAjobinAfrica.

The 43 key issues for review subsumed Section 77(2) of the Constitution (Diaspora Voting Rights), reservation of certain percentage of Elective Offices for Women, Creation of additional States, Immunity from Prosecution, Tenure of Local Government Councillors and Chairmen, Provision for people with Disability, amongst others.

For the purpose of this article, my main focus is on Diaspora Voting Rights and Women’s Representation in Nigerian Politics. Rt. Hon. Ihedioha, an ebullient and eloquent speaker did not mince his words when asked by a member of the audience if he felt that the Constitution would be amended in time so as to accommodate voting in the Diaspora by the year 2015.

He unequivocally explained the stages involved in the enactment of Diaspora Voting, consequently, declaring that it was very doubtful prior to 2015. I could not believe that for once, I would hear a Nigerian lawmaker tell the truth!

He did not believe he had to mislead the audience even though it was obvious that majority, if not all the Nigerian Diaspora, wanted to hear that by 2015, we would have the right to vote.

From my personal view, the legislator had taken time to evaluate the current state of affairs in the country, what had been (or not) done to amend the Constitution and the stages involved before the enactment in the House.

Furthermore, crucial consideration had to be given to the logistics – where and how the elections would be conducted and the need to devise a relevant watertight strategy in order to avoid or at least minimise election malpractices to which we have been so accustomed in Nigeria. Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa spoke passionately about engaging the Nigerian Diaspora and how she facilitated freedom for some Nigerians in Diaspora who had suffered injustice in other countries.

She also gave an insight to other nations’ Constitutions which had made provisions to accommodate the rights of their citizens based outside the shores of their home countries and how Nigeria could replicate their model. In addition, she mentioned that it was very crucial to create a database for the Nigerian Diaspora in order to ascertain the actual number of people living outside the shores of Nigeria. How admirable and commendable of this lady.

However, I was not impressed for the simple reason that in January 2009, Nigerian Diaspora Database was launched in London and the event was well-attended including the Honourable herself. Since that time, there has not been further development and the population of the Nigerians in Diaspora has always been a guess work.

However, this is not a surprise given that even in Nigeria; there is no viable census of the populace. It is fair to say that Nigerians are natural sceptics, as many people will not want to have their personal details registered on this ‘Diaspora’ database, not because they are illegal immigrants but for the fact that there has never been a full disclosure regarding the custodian of such database, its justification, frequency of updates and monitoring.

There is also the issue of Data Protection. As the interpretation of this legislation (Data Protection) differs from one country to another, how will it be effectively managed especially if the database is held by a government parastatal in the Diaspora (e.g. the Nigeria High Commission in a foreign country) or via a third-party such as a Diaspora organisation?

In the early days of the NNVS (Nigerian National Volunteer Service) Conference – established for the engagement and participation of the Nigerian Diaspora – which was (and still is) held annually in July in Abuja, under the aegis of Ambassador Joe Keshi (at the time); the purpose of having such database by Diaspora organisations was to meticulously select individuals with specific skill-set for suitable projects in Nigeria.

To my knowledge, majority of the Nigerian Diaspora have now lost confidence in the database which is meant to stem the Brain Drain of Nigeria’s resources outside its shores and engage in Brain Gain! The Honourable Chairman ended her address by encouraging the Nigerian Diaspora to attend the imminent Diaspora Conference in July 2013.

As for me and many other Nigerians in Diaspora who have worked assiduously in the past – utilising our personal resources to ensure that the vision of developing our nation and rebuilding its shattered image – will no longer wish to be partakers of such initiative.

Some Nigerians in the Diaspora actually perceive some events organised abroad by Nigerian legislators as nothing more than a ‘holiday package’ – at least they are seen to be doing something worthwhile which unfortunately, have done little to encourage capacity building of Nigerians. Conversely, Nigerians in Diaspora cannot be bothered since the main bone of contention – Diaspora Voting – has not been considered as pivotal in the Constitution of Nigeria.

During Dabiri-Erewa’s address, she advocated for fair gender representation in the Constitution so as to encourage women to be more active in politics. Ihedioha and other panellists acquiesced to her assertion but the Honourable was reminded that at times women were their own worst enemies.

Unfortunately, even though I am a woman, I have to agree with this most especially when Ihedioha informed the audience about the only female (Mrs Sarah Jibril now the Senior Special Assistant on Ethics and Values to the President, Jonathan Goodluck) who contested at the 2011 PDP Presidential Primaries in Nigeria and had only one vote whilst the rest of the contestants had several hundreds!

The appalling single vote was the female contestant’s! I also recall an event organised at the Commonwealth Club in London tagged ‘Women as Agents of Change’ which had the current British Home Secretary, Honourable Theresa May, as the guest speaker. She stated that once a woman has achieved the height of success through the assistance of other women, instead of encouraging others to join her, she would quickly fold the ‘ladder of success’. Subsequently, she would be the only visible success story because of lack of competition.

Ideally, if we women want to be taken seriously, there should not be any competition between us but to focus on working effectively as a cohesive team to make a change that we so desire in our nation.

I am of the opinion that there should be fair representation but selection should be based on hard work, competence, commitment but certainly not because of the need to fulfil the equal opportunity policy (yet to be fully recognised in the Constitution of Nigeria).

I commend all the Nigerian female Legislators but I cannot but ask the question – how many women have these legislators (female) employed to work with them? Perhaps, more importantly, how have the male legislators who are much larger in number, promoting and encouraging the women folk to be part of the legislative process?

How many women have risen to the position of a governor or even a state deputy governor, without having the role being usurped by the First Lady of the State? How many female senators do we have?

Unfortunately, given that type of mindset or myopic perception, every member of that organisation is labelled as ‘desperate’ albeit, there is in some cases, an iota of truth as a result of some misdemeanours of a minority. Fatusin writes from UK

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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Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu – The Moses of our time

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Read Time:7 Minute, 29 Second

A placard was inscribed thus – LIKE JESUS CHRIST LIKE IKEMBA – at Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos where thousands of great Nigerians trooped out while those more privileged took turns to extol the virtues of the great Igbo leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, the Ezeigbogburugburu, the Ikemba of Igbo land. An innocent-looking young man in his late 20s displayed the hand-written message. I took notice while the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola, read through what was undoubtedly the most-thought-provoking, memory-laden and eloquent tribute to a true icon of Africa.

On that historic February 23, 2012 clement afternoon, I doubted if many noticed the tiny placard. Truth be told, no mortal being should actually share comparison with our lord. But the message sent my mind racing through the greatest book ever – the Holy Bible. And it didn’t take long for my mind to settle on Moses as the best biblical character to compare the departed Igbo leader with.

Moses so loved his Jewish tribe that he killed and secretly buried an Egyptian for daring to fight his brother. Ikemba sacrificed his entire father’s wealth to protect his tribe and prevent a pogrom that was fast turning into ethnic cleansing by an enemy that had no moral justification to turn on a race that had given no less than any other in the cause of independent fatherland.

No one writer, however thorough, not even our own Prof Chinua Achebe, can summarize the exploits of the Ezeigbogburugburu in one write up. So, I won’t even try.

‘Let my people go’ … the phrase Moses sang severally to Pharaoh, was same message Ikemba constantly passed onto Gowon-led Nigeria while the Federal Army sweated to contain a dogged Biafra for 30 gruesome months.

The phrase, ‘no victor, no vanquished’ surfaced at the end of hostilities in 1970 while Gowon tried to calm waters and rebuild a nation battered and bruised beyond imagination. But Chief Obafemi Awolowo had other ideas – 20 pounds only to any Igbo man who had proof of commerce or account in any bank to rebuild with. 20 pounds! Add this to the starvation formula same Awolowo engineered to shrink Biafra to submission with and understand how united the hatred and gang-up to drown the Igboman has lasted.

Today, the Igboman, true to his doggedness and commercial vibrancy, borne out of resourcefulness and diligence, is counted amongst the riches in Africa. Beyond this commercial success lies the question – does that no-victor-no-vanquished phrase still hold water? Has it ever held water? Never!
Forty-two years after the Civil war, the Igbos are still treated like immigrants in a country they have shed more blood than any other tribe to behold. The Igboman will be found in any town in this country, however remote, in true spirit of one nation. Hence, he is the easy target whenever any ‘aggrieved’ sect decides to unleash senseless mayhem.

Unfortunately, some people (including Igbos) believe Ojukwu should not have fought the war. Space won’t let me give up to 100 reasons why the war was absolutely necessary and will only urge you to research, which this tabloid provides a handful, to convince yourself(if you belong to this dissenting voice) that the most worthwhile venture the Igboman ever ventured into is the civil war.

Beyond the civil war, what next? Today, what Ojukwu fought against still lives with us, even much more glaringly. The OPC in the West, the Militants in the South South, the APC in the North, MASSOB in the East, not to mention the dreaded Boko Haram, are evidences that it is living in fools’ paradise to believe Nigeria is ever one.

In Lagos, Yoruba landlords used to warn their agents not to give out tenancy to any Igboman. Until Igbos, true to type, built enough houses of their own in Lagos, this trend was brandished without any form of decorum. In every Federal establishment, the Igboman gets employment only as a matter of last resort.

Let me not get to politics, where Dr Alex Ekwueme was denied presidency after doggedly leading a G-34 that ultimately contributed to sending the draconian General Abacha to early grave while Olusegun Obasanjo helplessly played ludo in prison. Ekwueme, until 48 hours to PDP Convention, was conveniently poised to deny Obasanjo but the game play manifested just because of his Igbo origin!

Back to Ojukwu and Moses – Moses led the Israelites from Egypt towards the Promised Land. A journey meant for just 40 days eventually took 40 years. And most painfully, Moses never reached the land of Israel. The journey to Biafra has already taken 45 years. Like Moses, Ikemba, most painfully, won’t witness it. But question is – how long will it take? 10 more years?

I have lived long enough in Nigeria to know this nation has long lost it as a united entity, if ever it was one. Come to think of it, was it ever meant to be? The Hausaman is as interested in looting the common treasury as much as his Yoruba counterpart. The Igboman is not left out either, that is if he is ever given the chance, and neither is his ‘brother’ from South South. The Urbobo or Edo man has no mercy in his mind whenever he gets his turn. Little wonder then that a country blessed with such enormous natural and human resources continues to drift backwards while individuals from all spheres of engagements fattened their accounts in billions and hundreds of billions in foreign currencies.

Time has come for Nigerians to quit fooling themselves. This country must break up to move forward. This is what Ikemba saw over 45 years ago and decided to lead his people out of this fraud called Nigeria.

Does the Igboman have it at the back of his mind that Biafra is a project that must come to light? If he does, why should he champion development in all parts of the country without paying much attention to developing his town? Why should a man/woman from Anambra, for instance, own up to ten properties in Lagos or Abuja without owning even one property in Anambra? Yet, in any disturbance, and there’s always one, him and these properties are always targeted for destruction.

While he lived, Ikemba tried to pass this message to Igbos in various forums when he urged Nnewi indigenes, immediately he came home from exile, to industrialize their town instead of importing from Japan such goods as easily manufactured as toothpick. Today, Nnewi is the most industrialized non-capital town in West Africa. He shed uncontrollable tears on sighting new Trade Fair Market, where Igbos lavished money and where, true to the entity called Nigeria, the Igbos would abandon in face of inevitable disturbances.

Truth be told again, the entity called Nigeria has held back a hugely endowed tribe that otherwise would be exporting every form of technology to every country of the third world. This might seem bias but I urge you to genuine research on the Biafran efforts during the war in following areas:
………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Weapons Engineering and Construction, including Hardware and Software, upstream and downstream Biafran Technology Engineering; the likes of Ogbunigwe, ‘Sure Battery’.

Technical issues and challenges implied and related to the conduct and execution of the war, including policy implementation politics and development strategy.
Study and analytical details of the measure of quality control and assurance of materials, instrumentation and process engineering required for strategic and precision military intelligence… with respect to; weapons manufacturing and inspection.

Army/Military training and education; military strategy and war infrastructure development; tactical and diplomatic effectiveness and efficiency, military ethics and professionalism; management effectiveness and efficiency; purchasing and supplies – the standard culture of military discipline, integrity and puritanical attitudes.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………

When you do, you’d understand there’s another of God’s chosen people besides Israel. When the Igbos embrace God and do His wishes, in due time, Biafra will be a reality. Ikemba had tried to lead his people out of the caricature christened ‘unity in diversity’ but somehow, probably through our own sins, like the Israelites, a journey that might have lasted 100 days seems destined for 100 years. However long it lasts, the Igboman should start preparing himself. If he doesn’t work as assiduously as ever towards Biafra, then this great man we all mourn must have lived and died in vain. Already he left behind APGA in Anambrai. Will the Igboman learn to yield to voice of reason?
Imo State is already on track with the coming of Rochas Okorocha via APGA (and see his huge impact in so short a time!). What are Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi States waiting for?
Umu Biafra teta nu n’ura!

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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Barrack Obama: ‘Now know that the realities of the his office transcends rhetoric’

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Read Time:2 Minute, 45 Second

(CODEWIT) Barrack Obama surely now believe G W Bush when the then outgoing former US president warned the president elect that the realities of the office transcends rhetoric.??

The candidate Obama I and so many all over the world adored is quite a different subject than the American president more involved in the things that made me hate his predecessor. Indefinite detentions and drone attacks which are basically extra judicial killings.

??I must confess that I still love Obama for his intelligence but is trying to understand the complex problem facing him. Being president of the most powerful country in the world is actually a very complicated job that does not shy away from incurring the wrath of one side, whichever action or inaction you take.

??The newly sworn in president issued executive orders banning use of “enhanced interrogation technics (torture to you and me) and closing of the JTF detention centre of Guantanamo – Cuba. We can safely assume torture has been stopped but targeted assasinations has increased under Obama. One is left to wonder which one is worse, torture under Bush or more police, judge and executioner under Obama?

??Its very easy to berate Obama for his drone strikes which also kill everybody who happen to be around the intended target at the time of strike. This means being around a target puts you in the same category as the offender be you 85 year woman or 1 month old child. Obama is a constitutional lawyer and surely would never have seen himself capable of this say 8 year ago. His administrations lawyers have been up to their eyes in work trying to justify this actions.

??I think Obama is in a very huge dilemma. His utmost responsibility is to protect American lives and interests. Republicans and hovering around waiting for any terrorist attack to happen so they can beat their chest in glee and say “We told you so”. Obama wanted to close Guantanamo which is one part of it, the other part was what to do with the inmates of the prison. Obama proposed to bring the inmates into the criminal justice system of the US. Trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (mastermind of 9/11) at the scene of his crime (New York) but the Republicans some how convinced New Yorkers that it would be putting all New york at risk. Suddenly the Super power that is America suddenly discovered that it cannot hold high level prisoners. The Obama administration cowardly succumbed to this obvious obfuscation to its plans and dropped its overall strategy. This is why Guantanamo is still open.

??I think it suddenly became clear that killing suspected terrorists is less trouble to arresting them. What would Obama has done with Bin Laden had he been able to arrest him? He was more trouble arrested than shot so I cant bet existing directive to shoot against arrest. The Obama administration are holding terror prisoners at war vessels now for months as reports suggest. All this is not who candidate Obama was.??Its very easy to castigate Obama for these actions but let us look at the options open to him over drones. Not that anybody will take us serious but let us just look at the options open to him.

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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67bn foreign reserve face-off: Don’t probe Ezekwesili, OBJ tells Jonathan

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Read Time:4 Minute, 9 Second

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday said the probe of former Education Minister, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili by the incumbent administration would be an effort in futility. He said that rather than anything coming out of investigation of the former minister, Nigeria would instead pay her for the selfless service she rendered to the country. The ex-president who spoke at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) service to commemorate the 50th birthday of Ezekwesili in Abuja, also faulted plans by the Federal Government to set up a commission to monitor petroleum pipelines.

Ezekwesili served under Obasanjo as minister of solid minerals and later education. She recently at a lecture delivered at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) sparked controversy by declaring that the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and that of late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua squandered $67bn dollars of Nigeria’s foreign reserves. The Federal Government flayed the claim, accusing her of spreading falsehood. It threatened to investigate the former minister. Reacting on the threat yesterday, Obasanjo said the government was chasing shadows stressing that Ezekwesili had no baggage of any sort .

The former president who spoke shortly after the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Kanu Agabi read a citation of Ezekwesili, laughed off any move to probe the former deputy managing director of the World Bank. “Anybody talking about probing Oby is wasting his time, Nigeria is instead owing her”, he said . Obasanjo said that he was ready to take responsibility of any wrongdoing by any of his aides. He described Ezekwesili as an exceptional person who every Nigerian should be proud of. On plans to set up a Pipeline commission by the Federal Government , the former President dismissed the idea as uncalled for. He argued that it was the job of the police and other security agencies to protect petroleum pipelines. Former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mohammed Uwais in his remark, described Ezekwesili as an example in honesty.

He said the former minister served Nigeria creditably. Similar commendation came from Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi who said the state would continue to thank God for giving her somebody like Ezekwesili. “We are proud to have somebody like Oby as our daughter. We are also proud of her achievements both at the national and international levels.” Former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mallam El-Rufai who described the former minister as a great personality who could not lie nor bend truth, urged her to step out and offer herself for service . Several other speakers also urged her to vie for presidency in 2015. But speaking to newsmen during the colorful event, Ezekwesili distanced herself from any the call to contest presidency.

She insisted that she was not a politician. She however explained “Actually, there is nothing about being interested in politics if you understand democracy. Democracy is incomplete without the engagement of the citizens in the process. The demand for accountability and for results is the role of citizens. You don’t have to be in politics in order to be an active citizen engaged in the democratic process. “The reason that we have lacked results and accountability since our first democratic experiment in the 60s was simply because the citizens failed to play that role. I am not going to be a citizen that acts like a eunuch like there is no capacity to demand accountability.” She stressed“So, I am not a politician.

The day I decide that I want to be a politician, you don’t need to guess, you will see me. I am very candid, I am very frank, I am too honest to play games on things that I believe in. I don’t want to be a politician, I am not a politician but I am an active citizen who is basically carrying out the role that every citizen of this nation must carry out. “My general overview is that we are going through the throes of challenges that require a very strong sense of sacrificial leadership. The corruption in the society right now is so endemic, it’s almost become democratized. And that is going to sink us. We need not implode under the weight corruption. We need to tackle corruption and tackle it as you would tackle cancer. It can kill.

“There is no need pretending that this country is not burdened by the weight of a cancerous phenomenon that is called corruption. Every Nigerian knows that we have a problem. This is a broken society and it has permeated every aspect of our national life. So, we must do something about it. Dignatories at the event include the Minister of International Cooperation of Benin Republic, Prof Koutoub Mustapha,Deputy Governor of CBN, Kingskey Moughalu , Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission, MsArunma Oteh, former CBN Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, former minister of Information, Frank Nweke Jnr.

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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S3xual Harassment drove Me Out of Nollywood – Actress Mary Uranta

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Read Time:7 Minute, 21 Second

For star of Secret Mission, Mary Data Uranta, her first foray into Nollywood was unpalatable. When she started out as a green horn, it was not easy finding her feet in the industry because most times she ended up with people who were only interested in taking her to bed rather than exploiting her talent.

In an exclusive chat with The Entertainer, the actress opened up on her ordeal in the hands of film producers and declared that the sexual harassment was so much she decided to take a walk from Nollywood. That decision took her to the UK where she studied at the London School of Arts.
“At a point, sex became a condition for getting movie roles so I just took a walk. There were times when I missed getting roles because I wouldn’t succumb to pressure so I left and did other things including studying at the London School of Arts. But the passion was so strong I knew I just had to return so, I took time to look for professionals; people who would be interested in my talent and not taking me to bed,” she recalled.
However, the United Nation’s Peace Ambassador declares that sexual harassment is not a big deal today because it is a thing of choice. Hear her: “It’s a natural thing in the industry; men will always chase women so I don’t think it’s peculiar to Nollywood. It’s the same thing everywhere you go. I think those in the banks and other sectors also get harassed. So, it’s not what I love to discuss.
“Definitely, harassment will come but it’s a thing of choice. Movie or no movie, a producer can see you and get attracted to you. Same thing goes for an actor or marketer, so for me, it’s not a story to talk about.”
Childhood
Mary is an indigene of Okpobo but grew up in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. She lived all her life in Port Harcourt before relocating to Lagos to pursue a career in acting.
Commenting on her childhood, she said: “I had a great childhood. I never had it rough or tough growing up. Fine, I’m from an average home. But it’s never been bad. I had all I wanted as a child. I’m from a family of 13. Seven kids from my mum and four step brothers including mum and dad. It was fun growing up with my brothers and sisters, we were one happy family.
Passion driven
Right from childhood, Mary had always dreamed of being an actress so when she was in her teens she started shuttling between Lagos and Port Harcourt just to attend auditions.
“I’ve always loved acting,” she recalled. “I have been very passionate about it. I used to come to Lagos then from Port Harcourt just for auditions, my friends and I actually. We used to go to Asaba, Enugu, Owerri and even within Port Harcourt just to get auditioned. But after a while, I said to myself, ‘If Lagos is the place where it’s happening, I think I should just move to Lagos instead of coming and going.’ And that was it.”
Challenges
According to Mary, her journey into acting came with a lot of challenges because her parents were not down with it. “They had a way of coming up with good excuses about why I shouldn’t act so, I never had the full support at the initial stage from anyone around me. Actually, my parents didn’t have a problem with me doing it as far as it was in Port Harcourt. Probably that was because I was very young at the time,” she says.
Consequently, Mary had to sneak to Lagos to attend auditions and also get an apartment in view of her plans to finally relocate to Lagos and pursue her dreams. “My coming to Lagos was even a problem. Initially, I didn’t tell my parents that I was relocating to Lagos. I came quietly, got a house, furnished it and was still going to Port Harcourt and back as if I was around.
But later I had to tell my mum. And she was like ‘how would you cope all by yourself?’ But I assured her that I would cope. So, that’s how I became a Lagos girl. Ever since, I have never looked back,” the actress stated.
First break
Mary got her first role ever in Port Harcourt and it was in Girls Hostel, a movie also starring Olu Jacobs, Ngozi Ezeonu, Uche Jombo, and Empress Njama. “I was still in school then. The movie was shot in Port Harcourt and the director came for an audition there, so I went with my friends who were in the Theatre Arts Department.
They actually forced me to come with them. When we got there they each got a role in the movie and the director now turned to me and said ‘hey you, don’t you want to act?’ And I said ‘yes, I want to act’. I was very shy. He auditioned me for a role and surprisingly I did well. That’s how I got the role of a hall president in the movie. After that, we were brought to Lagos for another movie entitled, Silver Spoon and then another one entitled, Church Committee, and ever since I have never looked back,” she narrated.
Recounting further those years, the actress said: “Movies were very big then but at a point I stopped because I was still in school and my HOD was not down with my acting so she was always giving me problems. In fact, I had an extra year because of that and that was a big problem for me. But after school I took up the challenge. I told myself this is what I wanted to do and nothing could stop me.”
Secret Mission
However, Mary pointed to Secret Mission as the movie that gave her the big break in 2005. Hear her: “I played the lead in the movie. I played the role of Ngozi Ezeonu’s younger sister. There were also Desmond Elliot, Tonto Dikeh, Chioma Chukwuka and others. That movie stands out for me because I had problems interpreting the role.
“It was so bad I had to go to the producer twice to return the script. At a point, I went to the producer and pleaded with him to look for someone else to play my role because it was so difficult for me. I wasn’t just getting it right at all. I was just fumbling. At a point, I fled to Port Harcourt and they were looking for me everywhere.
“They called and asked me to come back to Lagos because I had already shot the film half way. The lesson I learnt from that experience was that it’s not about someone giving you a big role; the real challenge is interpreting it. But I guess it’s because it was my first lead role. Now I’m a pro. My work speaks for me.”
So, how’s the man in her life coping? The actress responded thus: “Men are just beginning to come to terms with the reality that a woman has dreams which she wants to actualize. They are beginning to realise that acting actually pays because people are becoming famous and rich from acting.
“Then, when we started, it was for the love of it. We never knew that we could make money from the industry. Nobody ever wanted his girlfriend to do movies but I am happy I have a man who believes in my talent and is giving me all the support.”
Who is that man in her life? “I don’t want to talk about my relationship,” Mary says with a dismissive tone.
As an independent career woman, does she sometime scare men? “Sometimes yes, you know men will always be men. When you are independent they worry. They are like ‘am I sure if this one will stay?’ When you are dependent on them they are like, ‘this girl, your bills are too much.’ So, it’s like that. But when the right person comes, he will understand that you are doing what you have to do and accept you the way you are.”

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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PDP Govs, NWC Members Fret over Jonathan, Amaechi Feud

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Read Time:4 Minute, 54 Second

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors and National Working Committee (NWC) members of the party have expressed concern over the lingering feud between President Goodluck Jonathan and Rivers State Governor, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, warning that if the crisis of confidence between the duo is not resolved on time, it could hurt the party’s fortunes in the 2015 polls.

Party sources told THISDAY Monday that the governors having watched the frosty relationship between the president and Amaechi take a turn for the worse, warned that the party should do all it can to reconcile the duo.

The simmering feud between Jonathan and Amaechi boiled over following a report of a plot hatched by the presidency to remove Amaechi as the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF).

The presidency, it was gathered, was uncomfortable with the governor’s continued leadership of the NGF, which it was believed, he could use as a launch pad for his rumoured bid for the vice-presidency in the 2015 presidential election.

This, aides and associates of the president have argued, could threaten the unconfirmed second term bid of Jonathan, who like Amaechi, is from the South-south geopolitical zone.

Efforts to stop Amaechi’s return as the NGF chairman have led to a crisis in the governors’ forum, which has led to the emergence of camps for and against Amaechi.
Despite the formation of the PDP Governors’ Forum (PDP-GF), purposely set up to stop Amaechi from seeking a second term as NGF chairman, the anti-Amaechi camp has found it difficult to achieve their objectives as even the PDP governors are divided over the matter.

The PDP-GF, after several futile efforts to shop for a consensus candidate to replace Amaechi, at its meeting last month in Abuja, finally resolved that both Amaechi and his Katsina State counterpart, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema, should vie for the NGF chairmanship.
However, Niger State Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, who doubles as the chairman, Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF), has warned against any attempt to cripple the NGF through external intervention.

Amid the raging crisis over the NGF chairmanship election, PDP sources said the feud between the president and Amaechi was at variance with the reconciliation agenda being pursued by the party at the national level.

One of the party’s governors, who confided in THISDAY on his colleagues’ take on the issue, said: “What is happening between the presidency and the Rivers State governor is very worrisome for some of us.

“Here we are preaching reconciliation on one part, yet there is a raging feud between the presidency and the Rivers State governor. This is coming when we say in PDP that we want to retain power in 2015. Some of us equate the crisis to that of a bull in a china shop.

“Some of us are appealing for restraints, because the crisis is one that will do the party no good. Some of us are also appealing to elders of the PDP to step into this feud before it is too late.”

THISDAY gathered that even within the PDP NWC, some members are not happy over the feud between the president and Amaechi.

An NWC member, who spoke on the issue with THISDAY, said: “What is happening between the presidency and the Rivers State governor is cause for concern for some of us.

“Both the presidency and the governor should know that their actions, whether overtly or covertly, could have a negative effect on the unity of the party.

“Some of us are aware that the governors of the party are not happy, but there is nothing we can do because some of us are even being threatened with sack because of this report from INEC that said the NWC of the party is not properly composed.
“But this is actually the time for the Board of Trustees (BoT) to act. They should intervene as the custodians of the party because elders don’t stay at home and allow a tethered goat to give birth under such a circumscribed condition.”

The NWC member said what was happening between the presidency and Amaechi deserved intervention from the party “at least for the continued unity of the party.”

“If the president doesn’t want Governor Amaechi to contest for the post of chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, the party elders should be invited to speak to him.
“To some of us here, there must be a way out of this. This ensuing crisis will not help PDP as a political party, when the opposition political parties are merging and plotting for 2015,” he added.

In an obvious reference to the face-off between the president and governor over the leadership of the NGF, the Niger State governor urged those plotting to foist a crisis on the forum to desist because they would not succeed, adding that no group or individual can clip the wings of the NGF.

Aliyu said in Minna yesterday, when the forum of PDP Secretaries from the North-central states visited him, that it would amount to a waste of time and energy for anyone to cause a crisis in the NGF.

“Nobody can kill the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. Even the other segments like the Northern Governors’ Forum or the PDP Governors’ Forum would all be subservient to the main governors’ forum no matter what happens during the election for a new chairman of the party.

“People should stop wasting their time in trying to clip the wings of the governors. A little part of the crisis in the PDP today is this desire to clip the wings of the governors and you cannot,” he added.

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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Lead Poisoning: FG to Complete Remediation by June

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Read Time:2 Minute, 16 Second

 The Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia, has said efforts by  her ministry to complete all remediation activities in the lead-contaminated areas  in Bagega village, Zamfara State by June this year was on course.

Mallafia said 300 compounds representing 75 per cent of the lead-contaminated area had been remediated and rendered safe for habitation.

A statement by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the Ministry, Mr. Lawrence Ojabo, said the Mallafia gave the safety assurance last Friday at Bagega village, while receiving the members of the Good Governance tour led by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku who inspected the ongoing remediation works at the project site.

According to the statement, the minister said the ministry hoped to complete all remediation activities in June 2013, after which  the Federal Ministry of Health would move into the site to render further medical intervention for the victims of the lead poisoning.

She said the Ministry of Solid Minerals and Steel Development would also step in to educate the people and ensure that they henceforth adopted safer mining practices.
She further stated that the ministry and the state Ministry of Environment would continue to carry out education and advocacy campaigns among the populace to prevent further or future recurrence of lead poisoning epidemic in the area.

While explaining the nature of the  remediation being carried out, Mallafia said the work involved the sequential and mechanical removal of exposed surfaces which were scientifically and safely replaced with new sand  or cement materials.

“She informed the Good Governance team that the exercise involved several Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and international technical partners, at a total cost of N800 million fully borne by the federal government.
She also revealed that the works were consistent with international best practices and of the highest possible standards.

Mallafia said technical expertise and supervision was being  provided by Messrs. Terragraphics Consultants working with Medicines Sans Frontiers (msf),
The technical consultant, Mr. Simba of Terragraphics, promised that the works were of the best possible standards.
He recalled that the lead poisoning in Barclay had been the worst ever experienced in the word.
He opined that children exposed to the poison world be irrevocably affected for life.

He stated that they would be issuing a certificate in June 2013 attesting that Bagega village was clean.
The statement quoted  Maku as having regretted the incident that brought about the poisoning which he blamed on unsafe open earth mining practices in the past.

He said the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel would try to address the issue after remediation by the Federal Ministry of Environment

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: Five Killed in Attack On Ex-IG’s Town in Jigawa

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Read Time:3 Minute, 30 Second

The stillness of the night in Ringim, Jigawa State was shattered by the booming sounds of gunfire.  A town, where a former Inspector General of Police (IG), Hafiz Ringim, hails from, was under attack by gunmen whose mission was yet to be identified.  Some claimed they were robbers. Others suspected they might be members of Boko Haram who have made life in neighbouring Kano State a living hell.  Residents, thrown into panic, fled in all directions in a bid to avoid being mowed down in the hail of bullets.
Monday, a day after the attack, the people and security agencies began to count the cost of the attack.

For residents of this Jigawa town, who had enjoyed relative peace compared to their counterparts in Kano, Kaduna, Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, which have been attacked by Boko Haram insurgents, it was a loss of innocence.

As they were counting the cost of the attack, THISDAY also learnt that 17 people were killed in last Thursday’s attack on Bama, Borno State where Joint Task Force (JTF) troops clashed with Islamic militants.   

THISDAY gathered that no fewer than five persons were killed in the attacks on Ringim, which affected a branch of Unity Bank Plc in the town, the Ringim Police Station and the ex-IG’s home.

Three of the dead were instantly identified as policemen because they were dressed in their uniform.

It was gathered that the gunmen arrived the city around 7pm and spent about four hours shooting at the targets.

The acting state Governor, Alhaji Ahmad Mahmud Gumel, who visited the town yesterday, expressed dismay over the incident and blamed armed robbers, whom he said were hiding under the banner of religious group to unleash terror on innocent citizens, for the attacks.

“We don’t see this incident as the work of any group but the handiwork of armed robbers who want to always perpetuate their heinous activities and murder the peace in the state,” he said.

While at the palace of the Emir of Ringim, Alhaji Sayyadi Mahmud Ringim, the acting governor told him that he was at the palace to sympathise with him and the people over the attacks.

The emir described the incident as the worst thing to have happened to the Ringim community in its history.

Confirming the incident, the state police spokesman, Abdul Jinjiri, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, told reporters that other houses like that of the state House of Assembly Deputy Speaker, Alhaji Sule Udi, were also attacked  by the gunmen.

THISDAY also gathered yesterday that 17 people, comprising 10 Boko Haram gunmen and seven security operatives were killed in the gun battle that left about 200 houses and shops destroyed in Bama town of Borno State.

Although the police had last week confirmed only two policemen killed in the attack in Bama, a security source confided in THISDAY yesterday that 17 people were actually killed in the town.

The military officer in charge of Bama Barracks, Lt.-Col A.G Laka, briefing the state Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, on the incident, said trouble started when Boko Haram gunmen attacked the police patrol vehicle of a Divisional Police Officer (DPO), killing two of his orderlies.

In a separate attack on the same day, Boko Haram gunmen laid ambush for soldiers patrolling the suburbs of Bama, which led to the death of a soldier while four others sustained injuries.
Laka added that 10 of the insurgents were also killed in the gun duel between them and security agents.

The DPO in charge of Bama, Eko Lawu, who was targeted by the gunmen, said about six of them opened fire on his vehicle.
But he managed to escape because he was in mufti and the gunmen could not recognise him.

The governor expressed sadness over the development and called for a general caution on the part of operatives and residents.

He ordered seven trucks of food items to be delivered to Bama today and distributed to the displaced residents, while he constituted a committee to assess the damage in three days and advise government on compensating the loss incurred.

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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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