Sunday 20 April 2014

Resurrection concert at the Rock cathedral - Lagos!

It was was a fun filled time at the Resurrection service today the the Rock Cathedral Lagos as parishioners and guests were treated to a mind blowing musical entertainment

 from the Don Moen, 

the Lagos orchestra and 

...the Lagos Metropolitan Choir

Monday 14 April 2014

Nyanya bridge explosion!

Scores were feared dead in a bomb blast that occurred in Abuja  early this morning. The incident happened under the Nyanya bridge few kilometres to Abacha Barracks in the FCT.

According to an eye witness, a car laced with bombs exploded under the bridge where people gathered to take buses to their various destinations.  It was gathered that the noise of the blast could be heard at adjourning areas of AY,Asokoro ,Nyanya,Karu and environ .
According to information released by the Nigerian Police force, the NSA, CDS and Service Chiefs were at the scene to assess the situation.

They also indicated that the Police Anti-Bomb Squad has begins post-blast investigation at the scene.

Scene Photos below, discretion advised:

suspected bomber

This incident would have been avoided if the FG have continued with the tight security check they embarked on after the initial bomb explosions in various locations in the capital territory; but in the usual 'Nigerian style', it was relaxed when we thought the bombings subsided in the FCt and was diverted to some Northern states. 

I think that was just what the insurgents were waiting for to strike....and they did....

May the souls of the departed RIP.

2015 elections - Candidates gear up for election primaries!

As the 2015 polls draw near and state primaries at hand, Politicians are indicating interest in the ticket to various offices in their respective states and constituencies; lots of drama have been recorded, ranging from the Rivers state crises, to decamping of some politicians from one party to another.

In-spite of these developments, some politicians who recently  indicated interests in running for the number one seat in their states, patiently await the primaries to clear them for the main elections, among such candidates is Dr. Festus Okubor, a down - the - line PDP member. 

Born on October 12th, 1960, Dr. Festus Goziem Okubor, an indigene of Ute-Erumu, Ika North-East Local government area, and the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Delta state Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan; is a trail blazer, with remarkable achievements in various facets of life. Strongly guided by the objective “to join hands with all who believe in applying themselves diligently towards the enhancement of humanity and realisation of Nigeria’s destined greatness”; Festus Okubor’s immense contributions to national growth and development cannot be over emphasised. As a medical doctor, Okubor recorded ground breaking achievements in his professional field before venturing into politics. He was the first Nigerian to practice the health insurance scheme, his presentation on Health Care Financing at the first national health summit resulted in the adoption of health insurance as the preferred national policy for healthcare financing. As an expression of his passion on driving rural development in Nigeria, Festus Okubor established the first private medical hospital in Biu, Borno State in 1986.
Prior to his appointment as the Chief of Staff to the Delta State Governor in June 2011, Okubor was exposed to grass root politics in various capacities between 1996 and 2003. His wealth of experience at the State level sprawled from serving as the Director General, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) campaign council between 2010 - 2011, Commissioner of Health in Delta State from January 2007 - May 2007, and the Commissioner of Information between March and December 2006. Festus Okubor was the Commissioner of Special Duties from January 2006 - March 2006, and the State Director of Protocol from 2003 - 2005.
Though he believes in the school of thought that education goes beyond the four walls of a school, Festus Okubor holds an MBBS Degree from the University of Nigeria Nsukka in 1983. He attended Edo College Benin City 1972 – 1976 and St. James Primary School Agbor between 1966 - 1971.

Married to Christine Okubor, and blessed with four children, Festus Okubor is a holder of the Paul Harris Fellow medallion of Rotary International, he loves reading and listening to music. He is also a member of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA). 
In this interview with Vanguard, Festus Okubor discussed his views on politics, political aspirations and noble intentions for the people of Delta state. Excerpts.

What motivated you to go into Politics?
I would say that the annulment of the 1993 elections which Chief M.K.O Abiola clearly won under the SDP platform spurred me into politics. I thought the annulment of that election result was unjustifiable and I was deeply motivated to join other progressive thinkers in the fight against that injustice. I noticed a lot of abnormalities and wrongs in the system, and I knew the only way I can avail myself to be of service, and to right the wrongs was to get actively involved and express my views. That was the beginning of my journey into active politics.

So far, will you say you are satisfied with your political journey under the PDP platform?
I am very satisfied with my political journey under the PDP platform. Believe me, the PDP is a winning party. It is only normal for me to be fulfilled because the party offers a large platform for progressive thinking. Specifically, PDP has offered me the platform to serve my people for which I am very grateful. I don’t regret my political journey with the PDP at all.

On a scale of 1 – 100, how would you rate the out-going government performance in Delta state?
I would give this administration 97% that is an ‘A’ grade performance. Reasons being that the present government has recorded significant achievements in the State. The rapid urbanization in the State capital as well as other cities speaks for the government. In the education sector, schools have been refurbished and upgraded with up to date facilities to enhance learning. Road construction and maintenance is currently on-going to improve the transportation network and create easy accessibility to towns across the state. This has given Delta a new look. I am very sure that even if the indigenous Asaba ancestors were to come visiting today, they will not recognize Asaba based on the level of urbanization. It is the same for other towns in the state. Delta state has also recorded tremendous peace during this administration. Overall, I will say that the PDP earned a high score in its performance in the state since the 2011 elections.

 Any challenges?
There have been no challenges. However, it is normal for minor divisions to occur when governing people of diverse ethnic backgrounds. Nevertheless, this has not posed a challenge to the government.

What is the PDP’s stand on rotation of power to Delta North Senatorial District come 2015?
Rotation of power was clearly enshrined in article 7.2 (c) of the PDP Constitution, which states that: “In pursuance of the principle of equity, justice and fairness, the party shall adhere to the policy of rotation and zoning of party and public elective offices and it shall be enforced by the appropriate executive committee at all levels”. The PDP as a custodian of the constitution in Delta State upholds this. In a multi-ethnic society like Delta state, power rotation ensures that all ethnic groups are duly represented in government, more so that all parties get to have their turn in governance so no group feels marginalized. It is constitutional and the PDP in Delta state fully recognizes this.

What is your view on the recent court order that all PDP decampees should resign their political appointments?
The issue of decamping started in 1951, when a politician from the West was able to influence his kinsmen to decamp from the political party on whose platform they won elections, to another political party. Believe me, the result of that action was not good at all and if we allow this trend to continue, the outcome will not be good for the future of politics in Nigeria. For that, I am very much in support of the court order for perpetual injunctions passed by Justice Ademola,restraining decampees from altering or attempting to change the leadership of the House of Representatives. Politicians should understand that Politics is not always a win-win situation. We need to be able to take the heat in politics. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. In any case, we should stick to our original ideologies rather than decamping to other parties at the slightest disagreement.  

Are you interested in running for the 2015 Delta State gubernatorial elections?
Yes I am, if God wills it. I am only a servant in His hands; if it is His will that I join in the campaign to lead the state, I will not object to it. 

Why do you want to become the next governor of Delta State, if God wills?
Like I earlier stated, I have served in various appointments in the past. It is in this same stewardship spirit that I aspire to serve the great people of Delta State. I am only a vessel in the hands of God and His will alone will be done. I have always depended on the will of God to prevail over my personal ambitions.

What are the cardinal points of your election manifesto, and how do you intend to achieve them?
The key points of my manifesto includes: to revolutionize employment generation in Delta State, embark on societal development, growth, ensure peace and justice. To achieve this, there is the need to first and foremost embark on industrialization across the state; and ensure that these industries are located in the areas where the raw materials are produced. For example, an industry that produces chocolates will be located in the same area where coco is massively grown; the same applies to all the other products. Another vital step will be to create an acclaimed environment of peace and security in the state, in order to sustain this development.

Saturday 12 April 2014

President Goodluck Jonathan's daughter weds!

Last weekend, we brought you pictures of the traditional marriage ceremony of Nigeria's 1st daughter Faith and her beau Godswill.

The church wedding took place today at the National Ecumenical Centre - Abuja where dignitaries in attendance were treated to mind blowing entertainment. 

Photos below:

LIVE PHOTOS: President Jonathan's daughter's white wedding

We wish the couple a blissful married life.

Yusuf Onimisi, Abuja boko - haram jail break twitter released!

Remember Yusuf Siyaka Onimisi, the young man arrested for twitting boko haram jail break in Abuja; has been released.

Yusuf Siyaka Onimisi

Yes, Yusuf Onimisi has been released. His younger brother, Sanusi Onimisi, a student at Bayero University in Kano, spoke to him by telephone earlier today,” the family friend, Frank Edohor said.
We still do not have the details surrounding his release but he (Yusuf Onimisi) is in Abuja after his release and he is ok,” added Edohor.
The case sparked concern from human rights groups, with Amnesty International urging the Nigerian security forces to disclose Onimisi’s whereabouts on 12 April.
The 32-year old who works for Nigeria’s national electricity firm and was assigned to a sub-station within the presidential compound in Abuja near the Directorate of State Services (DSS) headquarters where the agency said there was an attempted jail break on 30 March, sparking a gun battle that killed 21 detainees.
Reports suggested Boko Haram militants were among the detainees trying to escape, but there has been no official confirmation of the group’s involvement.
Nigeria’s security forces, including the secret police, have frequently cited national security concerns to justify arresting people who publish sensitive material.
However, DSS spokeswoman Marylin Ogar did not respond to phone calls seeking comment on Onimisi.

Friday 11 April 2014

SSS personnels arrests and detains twitter of boko haram jail break!

According to Sahara Reporters, a young man pictured below and identified as Yusuf Isiaka, with Twitter handle Ciaxon, who tweeted photos of the recent Boko Haram jailbreak, was allegedly  beaten by security guards and dragged away.
News surfaced recently that he was arrested and currently being detained by the Department of State Security Services (SSS) in Abuja.
Isiaka was the major source of news stories for the jailbreak, which occurred on March 30, as he shared live pictures of the incident as it was unfolding and gave updates as to what was going on.
Yussuf is said to be a member of staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria working at a branch in the environs of the state house and the SSS headquarters.
Sahara reports that:
Yussuf, whose last was given as Isiaka is an Igbira from Kogi state. He was arrested soon after his tweets, and has not been seen since then.
The eyewitnesses say he had worked the night shift the night before at a PHCN substation near the Presidential Villa as an engineer, and was waiting for his colleagues to arrive for work that morning so he could go home, when the security incident occurred.
Yusuf is said to be widely-known in the area, and to be a friend to most of the DSS and military intelligence personnel who take shifts at the Gate-7. Our sources say they all normally interact and share jokes as there is hardly any activity or threat in that neighbourhood. Gate-7 is rarely in use. 
Ironically, it was the same friends who handed him over when one of the security personnel received a call informing him of pictures of the attack appearing online, leading to questions as to how the picture went viral while the shooting was ongoing. 
Yusuf was reportedly handed over to a security team, which descended on him with punches and gun butts before taking him into a nearby building. Yussuf is also said to have witnessed the summary killing of two Boko Haram boys who were caught in the bush behind the DSS building. Both boys, who only spoke Kanuri, were reportedly executed on the spot after they had surrendered.
The source expressed surprise only Yusuf was arrested, as some of the security personnel also took pictures. Meanwhile, his Toyota Camry car is still parked in the PHCN compound at DSS/State House Gate-7 as friends express fear that he might have been killed or seriously injured.

Nigerian secret service agents, the ball is now in your court to respond allegations....

Woman throws shoe at Hillary Clinton!

An yet to be identified middle-aged blonde woman was taken into custody after throwing what she described as a shoe at Hillary Clinton during a Las Vegas speech.

Embedded image permalink

The incident happened moments after Clinton took the stage Thursday at an Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries meeting at the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino.

Clinton ducked but did not appear to be hit by the object, and then joked about the incident.

'Is that somebody throwing something at me?' Clinton asked, according to the Review-Journal. 'Is that part of Cirque du Soleil?'

Security ushered out a woman who said she threw a shoe but didn't identify herself to reporters or explain the action.

Many in the audience of more than 1,000 people in a large ballroom laughed and applauded as Clinton resumed her speech.
'My goodness, I didn't know that solid waste management was so controversial,' Clinton said. 'Thank goodness she didn't play softball like I did.'

Brian Spellacy, U.S. Secret Service supervisory special agent in Las Vegas, said the woman was being questioned and would face criminal charges. Spellacy declined to identify the woman, and he said it wasn't immediately clear what the charges would be.

A black and orange shoe was recovered from the stage, Spellacy said.

In the hotel hallway, the woman sat calmly on a sofa, wearing a blue dress and thong sandals. She said she threw a shoe and dropped some papers, but didn't identify herself to reporters or explain the action. Security officials then ushered reporters and photographers away.
Spellacy and Mark Carpenter, spokesman for the recycling institute, said the woman wasn't a credentialed convention member and wasn't supposed to have been in the ballroom.

After her speech, Clinton answered questions posed by Jerry Simms, the outgoing chairman of the organization. Simms first offered what he called a 'deepest apology for that crude interruption.'

Clinton answered questions broadly, saying she felt politics today leads people to 'do what they think will be rewarded.'

It was gathered that an attendee handed a reporter a piece of paper that was apparently thrown by the woman. It appeared to be a copy of a Department of Defense document labeled confidential and dated August 1967; it referred to an operation 'Cynthia' in Bolivia.

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Akwa Ibom Police summon four journalists!

Information reaching our news desk reveals that the Investigations and Intelligence bureau of the Nigerian Police in Akwa Ibom state, has summoned four local journalists regarded as critical of the state government.
According to reports, the four journalists invited are publishers of The Guide, The Ink, Global Concord and The Radar.
A letter signed by a Superintendent of Police in the state, Joseph Udoh, stated that the four journalists have remained unrepentant of their critical disposition towards the state government. They were asked to treat the invitation as important.
In view of the political atmosphere in the country, and the role the press has to play in our day to day life and the forthcoming 2015 general election, it has become expedient for us to have a chat together,” the letter inviting the journalists stated.
“To this end, therefore, you are invited to a round table chat with the officer in charge of then state intelligence bureau, state police headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia on Thursday, 10th April 2014 by 10 a.m.
Please, treat this invitation as important. Accept our high esteem as we partner to make Akwa Ibom State peaceful, safe and secure.”

However, it was gathered that the State Commissioner for Information, Aniekan Umanah, did not pick calls to his phone when a reporter called to verify the situation, He also did not respond to text messages.

Gunmen kill 10, burn 20 houses in Taraba!

The Police Command in Taraba has confirmed that gunmen on Tuesday killed 10 people in Jibu village in Wukari Local Government Area of the state.

According to Punch newspapars, the Police spokesman, ASP Joseph Kwaji, told newsmen in Jalingo that the suspected assailants also burnt more than 20 houses.
Yes, I can confirm to you that at about 5 a.m. today, a group of Jukun youths stormed Jibu village, opened fire at the inhabitants and killed 10 people,” he said.
According to him, the suspected gunmen killed every one they saw in the area irrespective of the person’s ethnicity and region, including Jukuns.
I can also confirm to you that 15 people are badly injured and about 20 houses were set ablaze,” he said.
Kwaji, however, disclosed that a joint patrol of Mobile police and military had been deployed to intensify security in the area.
The spokesman, therefore, appealed to people in the area to stay calm, saying security personnel were on top of the situation.
He assured members of the community that the perpetrators of ‘this dastardly act’ would be brought to book.

Prince Charming George at New Zealand playgroup on his first official engagement!

Prince George undertook his first royal crawl-about as he attended a parent and baby group with his mama and dada. 

The eight-month-old was brought along by his clearly proud parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to the ‘playdate’ organised by The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society at Government House in Wellington.

Following his scene-stealing appearance on Monday when the family arrived in New Zealand to begin their three week tour Down Under, all eyes were on the future king as he was introduced to ten babies born within a few weeks of his own birthday, on July 22 2013.

It was the first time that the third in line to the throne had undertaken a public duty – of sorts. But it clearly won’t be the first, in what will be a lifetime of royal service.

Sunday 6 April 2014

Army, Boko Haram Working Together in Parts of Nigeria?!

President Goodluck Jonathan gives out first daughter in marriage!

All road lead to Otuoke - Bayelsa state, the home town of President Goodluck Eberechukwu Jonathan, on Saturday, April 5, 2014, as Faith Elizabeth Sakwe, the first daughter of the President was traditionally married to her beau Godswill Osim Edward from Cross River state.

The traditional marriage journey began on Friday, April 4, 2014 at about 7pm, with the payment of bride price and exchange of gifts between the two families which saw in attendance, family members on both sides and a friends, the likes of Hajia Bola Shagaya, Senator Ben Obi, Ifeanyi Uba, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa, Governor Liyel Imoke, among others.

Pictures below:

Do or die Politics- Thus butcher APC party member in Lagos!

A member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ejigbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA)of Lagos was allegedly attacked with a machete by some thugs over his refusal to hand over the materials to be used for the Party Congress.
The victim identified as Soji Ayinla belonged to the APC Ilamose Ward of the Ejigbo Local Government.
It was gathered that, his attackers acting under the instruction of an un-named council chairman inflicted fatal cuts on parts of Ayinla’s body.
It was alleged that Ayinla disagreed with the thugs who reportedly wanted to infiltrate the congress venue with fake materials with the aim of manipulating the congress result.
Ayinla was rushed to private hospital in Ejigbo while some thugs connected to the attack have been arrested by the Police and are being detained at the Ejigbo police station.
Victim's photo below, viewer discretion is strictly advised:

First Royal tour together: Shopping list for Prince George sent to New Zealand!

According to reports, a detailed shopping list of baby essentials has been sent to officials in New Zealand so that Prince George will have everything he needs when he arrives in Wellington with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Information revealed that the royal couple have packed dozens of outfits for their eight-month-old son as part of their bulky luggage that is accompanying them on a commercial flight via Australia, but nappies, wipes, baby food and toiletries will be waiting for them when they land.
The family will be staying at Government House in Wellington, the official residence of the Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae, who is the Queen’s representative in New Zealand. 
A nursery has been prepared for Prince George, along with bedrooms for the couple and their son’s nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo
A royal aide said: “There have been conversations between Kensington Palace and the teams in Australia and New Zealand about all aspects of the tour, but this is the first time we have been on a royal tour with a baby.
“Everything that is required for the parents and their baby has been provided. A list of stuff has been sent on and they have tailored things to the needs of an eight-month-old.”

NASA sets solar flare images to music!

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory released images of an April 2, 2014 “mid-level” solar flare set to music. 

The video could be poised to become a viral video hit.

The Observatory explains:
"Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however — when intense enough — they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

This flare is classified as an M6.5 flare. M-class flares are ten times less powerful than the most intense flares, which are labeled X-class. The number after the M provides more information about its strength. An M2 is twice as intense as an M1, an M3 is three times as intense".

Unknown Gunmen Kill 40 In Zamfara State!

Unknown gunmen reported to have been raiding and carrying out killings in Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna states Saturday continued their reign of impunity as they stormed a security meeting holding in a village in Zamfara state and killed at least 40 vigilantes and civilians.
A security source said that the attack occurred in a village known as Yar Galadima in Zamfara state.
The source said the victims were holding security meeting involving vigilante teams and other stakeholders on how to secure their villages when suddenly the gunmen on motorbikes stormed the security meeting and murdered several villagers.
Other villagers sustained various degrees of injuries while some took to their heels escaping into nearby bushes.
Several corpses speak many corpses litter the area as villagers are fearful that the attackers might return.
The police and military are yet to react following the development as at the time of publishing this story, but the security source said troops are being mobilized to the suspected hideouts of the gunmen. 

Nigeria emerges as Africa's largest economy!

According Nigeria's statistics agency, Nigeria has overtaken South Africa as the Africa's largest economy. It said its fresh calculation had shown nearly a doubling of Nigeria's gross domestic product.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for Nigeria was 80.3 trillion naira ($509 billion, 369 billion euros) in 2012, the country's statistics bureau said on Sunday.

That is nearly double the previous estimate of 42.3 trillion nairo assumed before the so-called rebasing, and far above South Africa's 2012 result of $384 billion.
The new calculations take into account changes in output in consumption since the last time Nigeria had done a GDP calculation in 1990.
Nigeria's new GDP value includes previously uncounted sectors such as digital telecommunications, information technology, music, airlines, online retail outlets and the hugely popular local film industry, Nollywood.
"Nigeria has moved to be the largest economy by GDP-size in Africa and has moved to be the 26th largest in the world," finance minister and former World Bank managing director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said.
Some economists however warned, not to take Nigeria's new figures at face value, given that South Africa - the continent's only G20 member - was still far ahead in terms of infrastructure. Ordinary Nigerians live on less than 2 dollars a day.
"The exercise is a journey from reality to vanity," said Bismarck Rewane, a Lagos-based derivates specialist.
Finance Minister Okonjo-Iweala said on a per capita basis "Nigeria is number 121 in the world. So, we have a total GDP size where we have moved up to 26th," she said.
Nigeria, which has Africa's largest population at 170 million, has seen high rates of economic growth. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the country had an annual average growth of 6.8 percent from 2005 to 2013, with the rate expected to rise to 7.4 percent this year.
Nigeria has become an increasingly attractive destination for foreign investors; howbeit it still struggles with widespread corruption, poor governance, rampant oil theft and a violent Islamic insurgency in the North.