Edo LG Polls: Govt Supporters, Opposition

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Read Time:4 Minute, 3 Second

Soldiers and armed riot policemen were Tuesday deployed to major streets and roads in Benin City, the Edo State capital as hundreds of pro-government and aggrieved members of the opposition parties protest the outcome of the April 20 local government elections held in the state last weekend.

The soldiers and policemen attached to the state Operation Thunderstorm, were drafted to the popular King’s Square as the protesters stormed the area in the early hours of the day, making vehicular and human movement impossible for about five hours. The protesters also blocked all entry points in and out of the ancient city.

During their protest, members of the opposition parties accused the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)-led government of Adams Oshiomhole of electoral ambush and insensitivity, as against the spirit and letter of the ‘One-man, One-vote principle’, which he claims to be the pivot of his administration.

They vowed to resist any attempt to conduct the rescheduled council elections in Esan West and Esan North East today and those of Oredo and Ikpo Okha scheduled for tomorrow at all cost.

However, in a counter protest, the pro-government group led by Mr. Tony Kabaka, also staged their protest in solidarity for the ruling party for emerging victorious at the polls.

The pro-government group took its peaceful protest to the Government House.
But the situation nearly went awry but for the  timely intervention of soldiers and anti-riot policemen, who dispersed them.

This led to hours of gridlock as motorists had to make a detour to other routes to beat the tensed situation.

As at the time of filing this report, the soldiers and policemen were still stationed at various strategic locations in readiness for any breach of public peace.
Besides, a Coalition of Registered Political Parties (CRPP), yesterday urged the citizens of the state to cultivate the culture of accepting defeat and be good sportsmen in any contest.

Chairman of the CRPP, Dr. Samson Isibor, who stated this in a statement on the conduct of the council polls, said: “The election is adjudged to be the best local government election ever conducted in Edo State.”

Isibor, who is also the National Secretary of Accord Party (AP), said: “Although you cannot rule out human fault, the little hitches experienced was due to logistic problems devoid of electoral malpractices such as ballot box snatching, stuffing of ballot box, use of guns to scare away eligible voters.”
Speaking in the same vein, the state chairman of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Godwin Erhahon, absolved Oshiomhole and Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) of any blame in the conduct of the election.

Instead, he appealed to the people of the state not to allow “PDP and their cohorts who have lost political value to incite them against the governor and government of Edo State.”

Also, the state Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius Odubu, has denied media reports linking his convoy with the distribution of election materials during last Saturday’s elections in the state.

The deputy governor was reported to have said his vehicle conveying electoral materials was waylayed and vandalised by hoodlums suspected to be opposition party members in the ward headquarters.

But in a statement issued on behalf of his office by the Chief Press Secretary to Oshiomhole, Mr. Peter Okhiria,  said: “The attention of Edo State Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius Odubu, has been drawn to an erroneous report used by a section of the media after last Saturday’s council election in the state.

“To set the records straight, the state deputy governor, Odubu merely mentioned in the course of the interview, that the bus assigned to escort the vehicle conveying electoral materials to Urhonigbe North in Orhionwon Local Government Area to avert diversion was attacked and vandalised by miscreants whose intent was to cart away the materials for rigging purpose.  And indeed, electoral materials meant for two booths were destroyed by hoodlums despite the security measures taken.

“It is pertinent to stress that Deputy Governor is not the state Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) Chairman whose duty it is to provide the necessary logistics for movement of electoral materials.”

He said: “For emphasis, what the Deputy Governor did was to assign some party agents to escort the vehicle bearing the electoral materials to the polling units.  And the said vehicle was attacked on the way to the units ostensibly to cart away the materials for rigging.

“The deputy governor, therefore, considers it absurd and mischievous for anyone to suggest or conclude that his personal vehicle was used for conveying election materials.
The statement assured that “Security agencies are already on the trail of the hoodlums who vandalised the vehicle and destroyed the election materials.”

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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: An Unlearned President

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Read Time:7 Minute, 14 Second

Save for his politics, President Goodluck Jonathan has not deployed sufficient experience in the art of governance.
At a time the Boko Haram insurgency became aggressive and crippling, all that President Goodluck Jonathan had said to the Nigerian people, at least to pacify them was that the act of terrorism had become a global threat and that it was probably the turn of Nigeria to have a dose of the bitter pills of terrorism.

His position, quite expectedly, elicited anger and rage of the people as it was not only unpresidential but an indication of a government that was both helpless and clueless. A few years down the line, the Nigerian government, still under the leadership of Jonathan, has yet found a way round the menace of Boko Haram and other sister terrorist groups that have made the Northern Nigeria their safe abode.

Instead, the Nigerian government, apparently hunching to political and religious pressure, has bought into the idea of negotiating with terrorists, an initiative that remains a-no-option in civilized climes.

Although, in advanced societies and even in progressively developing ones, the idea of dialogue is often embraced in crisis situation as a critical tool to resolving differences in order to avoid the shedding of blood, such extreme generosity is hardly ever extended to terrorists because rather than buy into the essence of dialogue and shift grounds for peace, the demands of the anti-social groups are hardly within reason and common sense.

It is therefore common knowledge that, for the same reason, the United States Government does not go to the roundtable with anyone or group identified as terrorist. The terrorist, like the biblical thief, comes not just to steal and destroy but kill. As such, the basis for dialogue with persons or group with such a mindset is not justifiable by any standard, hence the hard-line but patriotic and reasonable stance taken by the US government.

This was, however, reaffirmed recently when the US government released to town, all its security apparatus to hunt down two brothers who masterminded the Boston marathon bombing over a week ago. Immediately the attack was carried out, not only did government swing into action and uncovered other explosives planted in strategic places, the US President, Mr. Barack Obama, came out to say that the perpetrators would be brought down and true to his words, they did.

The Tsarnaev brothers, Tamerlan, 26 and Dzhokhar, 19, have since been caught up with. While the younger brother who is still in custody and just regained consciousness after police cornered him in Watertown, near Boston, his elder brother, Tamerlan, died following a fatal injury sustained during a shootout with officers in the course of the manhunt.

Although, it took the American government nearly a week to round up the bombers, that government was resolved about this was not in question as a whole Boston city was practically shut down in the hunt for the Tsarnaev brothers. The whole of America celebrated the success and an excited Obama described the feat as the end of a chapter in that episode.

Unfortunately, while the Nigerian government is habitually unlearned and ideologically lame, the American government has only reaffirmed its ascription as God's own country. It is no wonder, therefore, that many a Nigerian would tell all sorts of fictitious stories just to step into the US soil and at a cost to the image of Nigeria and her people. The capture of the Tsarnaev brothers by the US government would later elicit denigrating jokes for the Jonathan administration as helplessly clueless.

But, there is the belief that the Nigerian situation is not as hopeless as the present administration makes it look. For many, if the Jonathan presidency devotes as much time to good governance as it does its politics, the administration would probably have recorded enviable growth and development than any of its predecessors in the country.

Starting with former Bayelsa State governor, Sylva Timipre, Jonathan, despite interventions from various quarters insisted on not allowing Timipre return to Government House and he did. He was even reported as having gone to the extent of showing video clips of where the former governor allegedly threatened to deal with him to people in order to attract their sympathy and justify why he has taken that position.
It did not matter to him what implications that probably portended for his administration even if only in terms of perception, the President had his way and at great cost to his fast dwindling image.

Next on his plate is the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Rivers State, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi. This is another development that has constituted huge distraction for the administration. It is also a feud that has continued, both in persons and by proxy.

It was all in an attempt to “tame” Amaechi because he does not pander to the President’s wishes, that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum was set up and headed by the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio. With that, the president has not only created a needless gulf amongst the governors, he has also caused enmity between Amaechi and Akpabio. This is in addition to allegedly setting his ministers after the Rivers Governor even where the issues involved are mundane and counter-productive to the president and his administration. Just like he did to Timipre, there is also a “fast selling video” on Amaechi.

The latest, however, is the sack of the Rivers PDP executive, a move at the behest of the president and his wife, Patience. The sacked executive was led by Chief Godspower Ake and considered loyal to Amaechi while the new executive is led by Chief Obuah Felix, ready to do the bidding of the president in Rivers State.

Although, the judgment handed by Justice Ishaq Bello of the Abuja High Court sacking the former executive has remained controversial and even described in many quarters as a setback to the progress so far recorded by the judiciary as its role in nation rebuilding, the beliefs that the judgment cannot stand the test of time is entrenched and predicated on time.

Ironically, while the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih undertook reconciliatory visits to Amaechi at different times, the president has continued to stoke the fire of discord and thus doing more harm to the collective good of the party and government.

Apart from the Amaechi/Jonathan deteriorating feud, the president has also clearly parted ways with his benefactor and predecessor, former president Olusegun Obasanjo, such that the former president has elected to maintain a “siddon look” stance and watch the president navigate his rickety ship. Not only has he sidelined the former president by yanking off his lieutenants from the party structure, he has also technically decimated his geo-political zone- the South-west in the subsisting equation.

Yet the president is doing these things for two reasons. First is the idea allegedly sold to him on the need to be his own man and stop deferring to anyone, irrespective of whatever roles such persons may have played in his emergence as the president. The other factor is that the president is believed to be blinded by his re-election ambition such that he would say yes to anything even if it is at a cost to national unity.

The irony, however, is that despite being the longest serving public official since 1999 that the nation returned to democracy, the president does not appear to have learnt anything- either on the job or from history. This is why his approach to issues does not only demonstrate poor thinking and political naivety but often at sharp variance with the thrust of his administration. It’s a situational misfortune!
Indeed, if all the president’s political missteps and muddled up approach to governance are because of his re-election which is politically unsettled and constitutionally contentious, he may have done more harm than good to his projections because at the end of the day, the gamut of all these is what will play out to the answers he seeks in the next election. And at that time, it might be too late to redress a lot of his undoing.

Like Albert Einstein once stated, the President needs to know that “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.” If only that could guide his politics and drive his policy, perhaps, things would change considerably.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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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Rivers PDP Issues Amaechi, Assembly 48-hour Ultimatum

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Read Time:4 Minute, 12 Second

The new leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in River State has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the state Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, and the State House of Assembly to rescind the decision to sack the leadership of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area or face disciplinary actions.

The ultimatum came as the assembly also  said it would not recognise or work  with the newly-constituted  Chief Felix Obuah-led PDP state executive.

In a statement signed by Obuah and the Secretary of PDP, Ibibia Walter, after an emergency meeting of the state working committee yesterday, the party said it would be constrained to “take appropriate disciplinary and legal action to check the excesses of Amaechi and some members of the Rivers State House of Assembly” if they failed to review the decision.

The party said it viewed the “purported dissolution of the chairman, vice-chairman and 17 councillors of Obio/Akpor Local Goverment Area without recourse to due process as a flagrant display and abuse of power by the governor of Rivers State and the Assembly and hereby condemn the action.”

It said the decision to sack the council leadersip was “appalling and disgraceful “ and an attempt to trample upon the mandate of the people of Obio/Akpor.

It said it was also aware of plans to suspend some members of the Assembly.
“The party is also aware of the plan of the state House of Assembly to suspend from the house five members of the assembly for expressing their views on issues bordering on internal democracy,” the statement said.

It urged the Assembly to discard the plans or face the wrath of the party which controls the members.

The Assembly on its part, in a statement issued yesterday and signed by 25 members, said members of the new executive were imposters and vowed not to work with them.
The lawmakers condemned what they described as the “conspiracy and betrayal” by some individuals to distort history.

Addressing assembly correspondents shortly after approving  members of the Caretaker Committee for Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, the Speaker, Otelemaba Dan Amachree, said they were not part of a group known an Rivers State Legislative Forum purportedly led by Hon. Kingsley Chinda.

He said: “We shall not support, recognise or do business with any other state executive borne out of the unfortunate judicial recklessness of the Abuja High Court.

“We make these commitments fully aware and, or abreast of the plans to annihilate or collapse the administration of Rotimi Amaechi, through series of planned arrests, intimidation and threats to life and property of Rivers State government officials and members of the Rivers State House of Assembly including the economic strangulation of Rivers State to hinder early completion of projects in the state.
“We are aware of the wanton cunning collapse of the security apparatus in the state possibly intended to orchestrate a breakdown of law and order with the aim of bolstering a state of emergency.”

He said as delegates at the convention where Ake was duly elected, the lawmakers pledged their unflinching support to the leadership of Amaechi and the PDP.

“We restate in clear terms our unalloyed, total. Irrevocable and irretrievable support for the duly elected Chief G.U. Ake, as chairman-led executive committee of our great party,” he said.

While urging the people of the state to be calm and remain peaceful, he said the state goverment would pursue the matter to a logical conclusion in court.
Meanwhile, Amaechi has sworn in a seven-member caretaker committee to replace the suspended leadership of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.

This came barely 24 hours after the sack of the leadership of the council.
The caretaker committee members included; Chikordi Dike (Chairman) Ernest Ogbonda, (Vice-Chairman) Ovunda Ihunwo, Chima Wogu, Chikweru Ejims, Stanley Ehoro, and Friday Owhor.

Amaechi charged the members shortly after they took the oath of office to deliver their duties with due sense of responsibility.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. George Feyii, Ameachi urged them to manage the resources of the council prudently in order to speedily bring development in the area in accordance to the vision of his administration

His words: “I charge you as Obio/akpor Caretaker Committee that as you have taken your oath of office to discharge your duty with due sense of responsibility, you need to recognise that the office in which you have sworn into is that of a public trust and the resources of the public have been put to your charge and we urge you to excercise due diligence in dealing with that. “You need to remember that the extent of which you discharge your responsibility diligently will justify the confidence that we have on you by giving you these appointments. You are expected at this time to show diligence and manage the resources of the council with every sense of responsibility.”

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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: I m the female version of my dad – Dominique Oputa says

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Read Time:42 Second

"I think I’m just the female version of my dad, we are just the same pretty much, I guess I caught his cold after years of being around him. I have always admired him for his freedom and his tenacity at a time when it was taboo to look that way. In my case, the whole thing just grew on me.

I don’t do all I do because I am trying to be like my dad. I am just Dominique, even though I wear tattoos and have piercings, but it’s just because I love them, not because I got influenced by my dad. There are many people who do this stuff, not because anyone, but because they are just comfortable that way."

-Dominique Oputa is the last child of Charly Boy.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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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Koreans Slap Bill Gates for 'Rude' Handshake

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Read Time:2 Minute, 7 Second

The buzz in town today is this photograph of Microsoft founder Bill Gates' shaking hands with South Korea President Park Geun-hye.

Gates, 57, might have not realized it Monday, but a one-hand shake in Korean culture – and also in Asia – is notably casual, done only when the other party is a good friend, of the same or younger age. Using one hand with the other tucked in the pants pocket is considered rude here, done when one is expressing superiority to the other.

"Perhaps it was his all-American style but an open jacket with hand in pocket? That was way too casual. It was very regretful," said Chung Jin-suk, secretary general at the Korean National Assembly.

President Park's office has said nothing publicly about the incident and a spokesperson for Gates declined to comment.

But Internet chat rooms and social network sites are filled with views debating cultural differences and analyses of Gates' laid-back style.

"I don't know if that was ignorance or just plain disrespect," Cho Park, a Korean student studying in New York, said. "It was pretty rude of him. The thing is I'm not sure if it is rude in Western culture."

The controversy doesn't end there. Gates had met with two other previous South Korean presidents: Kim Dae-jung and Lee Myung-Bak. He apparently gave the proper handshake with both hands to the late Kim in 2002 but was spotted giving an improper shake to President Lee in 2008. That also became a subject of debate.

Some South Korean media have been speculating that perhaps it was intentional, showing his political preference; respect for the opposition leader Kim but disrespect for the ruling party leaders Lee and Park, 61.

"Cultural difference or bad manners?" the Joongang Ilbo newspaper wrote.

"A disrespectful handshake or a casual friendly handshake?" DongAh Ilbo newspaper said in its photo caption.

"It's a head of state we're talking about," said Rick Yoon, a brand retailer in Seoul. "And she's a lady. This is not just a Korean thing. It's an international protocol.

"Maybe it was intentional. Otherwise, he has a very strange habit."

Gates was in South Korea on a three-day visit to promote his start-up TerraPower, which is developing next-generation nuclear reactors.

ABC News' Joanne Kim contributed to this report.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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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African Utility Week to give practical solutions to solve power challenges facing big business

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Read Time:5 Minute, 44 Second

Tariff hike of only 1% increases mining costs to R100 million per year, says industry expert –  African Utility Week to give practical solutions to solve power challenges facing big business

An electricity tariff rise of only 1% has a devastating impact on the mining industry as it amounts to an increased expenditure of R100 million per year according to the South African Chamber of Mines.  It therefore really hurts that since 1 April this year, large power consumers have had to fork out an average monthly 9,6% tariff increase.  Energy challenges facing big business is high on the agenda at this year’s African Utility Week which takes place in Cape Town from 14 to 15 May.

African Utility Week
According to Nicolette Pombo-Van Zyl, programme manager of the Large Power User programme at African Utility Week:  “the proverbial axe is falling on ‘business as usual` as every industry in South Africa, from mining to manufacturing to retail, is cringing at the thought of rising energy tariffs and commencement of a carbon tax on 1 January 2015.  On the receiving end of tariff hikes, industry is dealing with three significant elements, namely the cost of electricity, uncertainty around sufficient electricity supply and carbon emission management.”

More optimistic about jobs
Although some industry insiders have warned that the tariff increase could lead to 250 000 job losses, Dick Kruger, techno-economic adviser to the South African Chamber of Mines, is more optimistic.
“Eskom previously indicated a 35% increase.  Although 9,6% is high, we are nonetheless thankful that it is less than the 16% that Eskom eventually applied for.  This increase will definitely not go unnoticed in an industry which has seen prices doubling over the last three years.  However, at this stage we do not foresee any job losses or mine closures directly as a result of the increase.  We have known since August 2012 that increases were on the way and mines could figure this into their short and medium plans.”
This means that mining companies had to seriously look at their operations and make adjustments such as the introduction of variable speed drive motors that have been known to cut energy use.  Says Dick Kruger:  “some mines have already looked at replacing electric motors with variable speed drive motors and replacing compressed air drills with extremely expensive electric rock drills.”
According to Kruger, gold mines will be hit hardest:  “about 60% of the total cost of the electricity consumption at gold mines goes towards creating an environment that one can work in.  Large amounts of money are spent on ventilation, pumping and refrigeration. Only 40% of the expense goes towards production purposes.”
Power cuts of 2008
Some pockets of the South African economy are still trying to recover from the devastating effects of the first few months of 2008 when power cuts were a daily occurrence. This coincided with the global economic crash and thousands of jobs were lost across all economic sectors.
At the time Eskom gave an undertaking to large power users that it would do everything possible to avoid power cuts to big business.

“Eskom has made good on this undertaking. But there are other problems.  In March (2013) the mines in Carletonville stood still for three days when transformers burned down and miners could not be sent underground.  It also happens frequently that the power supply is not running on full strength which leads to work grinding to a halt.  Although the mines do not generate income during these situations, the expenses do not decrease.  Workers still need to be paid and the mines have to foot the bill for the ordinary daily running costs,” says Kruger.

“The mining industry has signed the Voluntary Energy Efficiency Accord committing itself to pursue a reduction in power use of 15% by 2015. Mines have already saved a lot of energy, but savings can only be done up to a certain point before production is compromised.”

Anglo American
In a brief response about how Anglo American is dealing with unstable power supply and tariff hikes, the mining giant’s spokesperson Hulisani Rasivhaga said: “Anglo American is monitoring many aspects of Eskom's performance on a regular basis and is aware of Eskom's limitations. Anglo American and all its business units, is supporting Eskom by shedding load as and when required and as mutually agreed.”

The South African Chamber of Mines’ Dick Kruger emphasises the need for more power generating plants:  “When the new Medupi power station in Limpopo and the Kusile station in Mpumalanga have been completed, we will be able to breathe again.  At least for a while.”

African Utility Week’s programme for Large Power Users includes:
 
Free CPD accredited Technical Workshop programme on the exhibition floor:
Cogeneration / power plants – new product development in turbine technology
Julio Cesar Bianchini, Commercial Manager – TGM Turbinas, ZEST WEG Group, South Africa

Large energy savings through Compressed Air Management / Monitoring / Leak Detection and auditing
Devon Fisher, Audit Manager, Artic Driers International, South Africa

Solar Rooftop projects for LPUs
Claire Lockey, Marketing and Communications, SolarWorld Africa, South Africa

Sustainable energy solutions for businesses
Wayne Fortuin, IDM Implementation Manager, Eskom, South Africa

Renewable energy solutions for IPP’s, Mining, Industrial and Corporate companies
Reutech, South Africa

Conference programme for Large Power Users:

Mining perspective on sustainable energy efficiency performance to secure our future
Coenraad Pretorius, Energy Engineer, Anglo American, South Africa
Making Energy Saving a Reality – from the Western Cape’s largest electricity consumer that saved R90 million in one year
Reinet van Zyl, Business Improvement Manager, ArcelorMittal, South Africa
The human element – changing the workforce mind-set
Pieter Pretorius, Senior Marketing Manager, 49M Initiative, South Africa
Energy Management Standards and Systems – ISO 50001
Alfred Hartzenburg, Senior Project Manager: Industrial Energy Efficiency Project, National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA), South Africa
Managing tariffs: a discussion on the Price Impact Assessment project
Shaun Nel, Project Director & Advisor, Energy Intensive Users Group of Southern Africa, South Africa
Carbon and energy reduction initiatives at Woolworths
Justin Smith, Head of Sustainability, Woolworths, South Africa
The exhibition and the technical workshops are free to attend if visitors pre-register on the event website.

The dates for African Utility Week are:  
Exhibition & Conference: 14-15 May 2013  
Pre-conference Workshops: 13 May 2013
Site Visits: 16 May 2013
Location:  CTICC, Cape Town
Website:  www.african-utility-week.com

Contact:
Communications manager:  Annemarie Roodbol
Office:  +27 21 700 3558
Mobile:  +27 82 562 7844
Email:  annemarie.roodbol@clarionevents.com

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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: A bid by opposition political parties in Kogi state

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Read Time:40 Second

The bid by opposition political parties in Kogi state  to stop the forthcoming local government council elections, Tuesday failed, as a  High  court judge  sitting in  Koton Karfe ,  dismissed their  application for interlocutory injunction to  stop the elections scheduled for May 4.

The coalition of    opposition parties  had approached the court  to restrain the defendants from conducting the May 4  local government  election in the state, pending the determination of substantive suit.

In his ruling , the  Judge , Justice Alaba Omolaye Ajileye  stated that the court cannot grant such application in view of the lateness of the  application coming in the eve of election, after  enormous preparation and resources committed have been  to the project.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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: A People in Denial

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Read Time:7 Minute, 3 Second

"Boko Haram has not committed any wrong to deserve amnesty. Surprisingly the Nigerian government is talking about granting us amnesty. What wrong have we done? On the contrary, it is we that should grant you (government) pardon"- Abubakar Shekau, the spokesman and leader of Boko Haram speaking to the French News Agency, AFP.

Whilst our President is still busy offering amnesty to those who have rejected it and whilst the Nigerian people and intelligentsia are involved in a barren and futile debate about the merits and demerits of granting amnesty to terrorists, Boko Haram continues to kill, maim and destroy. It is clear to me that our people are in denial and that our government is deluded, irresponsible and insensitive. As we are busy debating amnesty or no amnesty for Boko Haram, the Niger Delta terrorist organisation known as MEND have quietly given us notice about their sinister plans for our country.

After killing 14 policemen in a ruthless attack just last week, they have told us through their spokesman, one Jomo Gbomo, that it is their intention to "start killing Muslims and attacking mosques from May 31, 2013 in order to protect and save Christianity in Nigeria." This warning and statement of intent was published and reported in the American website magazine called Bloomberg.com on April 14, 2013.

Yet despite all these troubling signs and signals, the Nigerian people and the Nigerian Government, in their usual manner, are still napping and pretending as if all is well. Perhaps we all deserve what is coming. A people that do not even have the guts to courageously demand that their government rise up to the occasion and do their job by protecting the lives and property of its citizens deserve prayer and pity.

When Boko Haram and MEND finally face one another in a terrible war of reprisal killings and bombings, that is when our people will understand the implications of tolerating a government that is incapable of doing its job and confronting terror with a firm and decisive hand.

It is very clear to me that Pastor Tunde Bakare's assertion that President Goodluck Jonathan's destiny is to "bankrupt and balkanise Nigeria" and that he is merely "dancing to the drum beat of his destiny" may be prophetic. Meanwhile Nigeria continues to bleed and die as many of her citizens are bombed to pieces, maimed and have their throats slit every day by islamist terrorists who do not know, or care to know, the meaning of peace, restraint, decency or dialogue.

President Goodluck Jonathan has handed our country over to a bunch of butchers who have no value for human life. Under his watch, our people continue to die and die whilst he sits in the Presidential Villa and drinks champagne.

Worst still is the sheer irresponsibility and shameless behaviour of one or two of our northern governors who, instead of attempting to provide more security for their people in their respective domains, are trying to either get on the lucrative gravy train known as the Boko Haram Amnesty Committee or are actually speaking for Boko Haram and explaining their actions.

If the latter were not the case how do you explain the illogical and frankly absurd contribution from my old friend Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State that ''the real Boko Haram will accept amnesty'' and that ''it is their criminal and political sect members that are rejecting the offer?

I have three questions here. Since when has a democratically elected governor of one of the largest and most important states in northern Nigeria and a man that was a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under President Obasanjo's government for almost eight good years become the official spokesman for Boko Haram? How come he appears to know who-is-who within that terrorist organisation and the attitude and nature of each of its factions?

And why does he seek to absolve his preferred faction of the evil that they have collectively visited on the Nigerian people in the last two years? The third question is this- since when has any part or faction of Boko Haram not been criminal and political? I daresay that every part and every faction of this wicked organisation of heartless men and women is not only criminal but are also political and religious.

Boko Haram is an islamist organisation that is dedicated to imposing and establishing an Islamic fundamentalist state in northern Nigeria through the use of violence. It also wishes to wipe out Christianity and true Islam in the north and rejects the idea of living in a country where Christians can take any position of leadership let alone Presidency. Yet these are the type of people that Governor Yuguda and a number of other northern leaders are now speaking for and trying to absolve?

A vicious group of people that have slaughtered no less than 4,200 Nigerians and non-Nigerians in the last two years and that have burnt down and bombed virtually every church that existed in some communities and states in the north? If anyone doubts, they should find out from the Catholics what happened to 50 of the 52 churches that they established in Borno State.

The implication of Yuguda's contribution is that there is a faction of Boko Haram that is wholesome and righteous. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Every single person and group that is a part of or is in any way associated with Boko Haram is evil, destructive and has blood on their hands. And anyone, no matter how highly placed, revered or distinguished, that tries to rationalise their actions or absolve them of their murderous ways is equally evil and equally guilty of murder.

Nigeria is a country in denial where leaders are always ready, willing and able to rationalise, defend and forgive the actions of beasts. Yet this has not always been so. Remember the public beheading of Gideon Akaluka in Kano in the 90's by an irate mob of Islamists for allegedly using a page of the koran as toilet paper and General Sani Abacha's decisive response to such madness?

When Abacha was in power, he knew exactly how to handle the Islamist tendency that plagued Kano in his time, including those that organised and incited the mob to kill Akaluka. He had them killed quietly one after the other until the problem was solved and the plague of Islamist terror was abated. One of the leaders of those that killed Akaluka, as a consequence of his royal connections, survived and escaped death only because he was hidden in a Sokoto prison for two years whilst Abacha was told that he had been killed.

That individual certainly came bouncing back into the public space and the circles of power and has now reached ''high places'' but that is a story for another day. How I wish that the present leadership of our country could learn a lesson or two from General Sani Abacha's approach to the Islamist rebellion that we have been confronted with. They can also learn a lot from the approach of another moderate Muslim by the name of Kamel Attaturk who was the founder and father of the modern Turkish state. He knew what to do to the Islamist terrorists in his midst and he did it without thinking twice or batting an eyelid.

Sadly, Nigeria is not blessed with such leaders today. Instead we are saddled with a President who, only a few weeks ago, described Boko Haram as his ''siblings''. We have a President who does not appreciate the fact that it is his job to provide security for our nation and to protect the Nigerian people from the enemy within and the enemy without.

We have a President who is on his knees morning, day and night begging the Islamist terrorists to accept an amnesty that they never asked for in the first place and which they have consistently rejected. We have a President and a people that just don't know what they are up against. We have a President and a people that are suffering from the worst form of denial. May God save Nigeria and may He send us a deliverer.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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: ANPP Chides Okupe Over Attack on Party

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The  All Nigeria Peoples Party [ANPP] has described the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe as someone who does not have a constructive job to do.

The party said its attention has  been drawn to media reports of a  press conference in Lagos on Sunday, when the Party was  described   as ‘‘moribund and lacklustre’’ by Okupe.
The Party said that the Senior  Special Assistant also  ashed out at the emerging All Progressives Congress [APC].

According to the Party, " It is unfortunate that Dr Okupe, who was hurriedly hired by The Presidency as a decoy strategy to whitewash this lacklustre Government, does not have any constructive job to do but to pollute the remaining breathable air in the nation space at any given opportunity”.
In a statement issued by the .national Publicity Secretary, Chief Emma Eneukwu,  ANPP said it is a great party of solid foundation; a platform from where many of today’s notable statesmen have sprung up to serve this great nation.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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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Alleged truck thief claimed zombie pursuit

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Authorities in California said a man accused of crashing a stolen truck loaded with strawberries on an interstate said he was being chased by zombies.

The California Highway Patrol said Jerimiah Hartline, 19, of Tennessee stole the semi from a weigh station on Interstate 15 in Rainbow around 6 p.m. Saturday and drove it to Temecula, where he collided with a Toyota Tacoma that in turn struck a Toyota 4-Runner and a Mercedes, The (Riverside) Press-Enterprise reported Wednesday.

Investigators said Hartline struck two other cars before losing control of the truck, which flipped onto its side and blocked all four northbound lanes of the interstate.

Highway Patrol spokesman Nathan Baer said Hartline climbed into a van and demanded a ride, but the driver instead pulled him out of the vehicle and held him with the help of other bystanders until officers arrived.

Police said Hartline, who was a passenger in the semi before driving off at the weigh station, denied ever being behind the wheel of the truck and gave a different explanation for demanding a ride from the van driver.

"He said zombies were chasing him and he had to get out of here," Baer said.

Baer said police have yet to determine whether Hartline was under the influence of drugs.

The spokesman said police are seeking vehicle theft and hit-and-run charges against Hartline.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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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