Monday 29 September 2014

Death Row Soldiers Still in Underground Cells!

About a week after the 12 soldiers condemned to death by a military court-martial were moved to military facilities in Kainji in Niger State and Lagos, LEADERSHIP has again gathered that the soldiers are still being kept in an underground cell.
A source said last night that they were still in the cell waiting for their appeals to be fixed for hearing and determination.
The source further said that the soldiers are no longer being fed well compared to the way they were fed before they moved them to the cell.
"They no longer eat well since they were moved to the underground cell. They fed them better than now that they have been moved. We are waiting for the court to hear and determine their appeals," the source said.
Last week, a Nigerian newspaper exclusively reported that the soldiers had been moved to the military intelligence headquarters in Apapa, Lagos State and that they were facing inhuman treatment where they were kept.
The source, however, revealed last night that the inhuman treatment meted out to them initially had stopped.
The soldiers were tried and convicted for mutiny by a military court-martial about two weeks ago.
Since the verdict was passed on the soldiers, many Nigerians have been appealing to the military authorities to reduce their sentence, with some even appealing to President Goodluck Jonathan to temper justice with mercy.
We're Still Searching for Missing aircraft
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force last night disclosed that the situation remained the same with the missing aircraft: it is still trying to determine the whereabouts of its missing fighter jet.
"We are still searching for the aircraft. The search team is still at work. Every information received so far has not given us a clue about its location," the spokesman of the NAF, Air Commodore Dele Alonge, said.
Two weeks ago, specifically on September 14, the Defence Headquarters, through its spokesman, Major-General Chris Olukolade, had announced that an Air Force Alpha jet involved in operations in north-east Nigeria was missing.
"An Alpha Jet (NAF 466) belonging to the Nigerian Air Force is missing around Adamawa State.
"The aircraft, with two pilots onboard, left Yola at about 10:45am on September 12, 2014, on a routine operational mission and was expected back by 12pm. Since then, all efforts to establish contact with the aircraft have not yielded any positive result. Search-and-rescue efforts towards establishing contact with the crew are ongoing," a statement issued by Olukolade had read.
We must unite to defeat Boko Haram- Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan said yesterday that lack of unity among Nigerians was the main reason why the country was yet to defeat the deadly terror group, Boko Haram, and contain its activities which had claimed the lives of thousands of innocent people.
He urged politicians and highly placed Nigerian to be mindful of their action, saying that while it was usual to struggle for political space, such actions should be done with caution taking cognizance of the fact that the country needs to remain strong and united for the good of all citizens.
Speaking at the interdenominational church service to mark the 54th independence anniversary of the country which was held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, Jonathan cited the country's successful containment of the Ebola Virus disease as a battle won against a deadly disease because the country was united irrespective of political affiliations.
He said, "When I listen to some comments by some highly placed individuals, I feel sorry for this country. There are some of us who, while struggling to get what we desire, we have even forgotten that we cannot get that if we destroy our country. So, if we come together, while pursuing whatever achievement we want - I believe that we don't have any other country than Nigeria - I am sure we will overcome Boko Haram.
"We were able to defeat Ebola because all Nigerians agreed together in waging a war against the disease. That is the strength of unity," the president added, even as he observed that some of the challenges the country was facing "whether kidnapping or the greatest problem we are having - which is terror - is because all of us have not united to fight these challenges".
Noting that the Armed forces has done well and only needed the encouragement from Nigerians to do better, Jonathan commended the security services for doing their best in spite of their challenges, including sabotage.
The president further declared Nigeria is great because of the strength and resilience of its people and not due to its oil and abundant natural resources, noting that "Nigeria is a poor country if you look at the resources and the population."
On his part, the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, said that all the problems facing Nigeria were self-inflicted, including corruption and insurgency.

Galadiman Kano, Is Dead!

The Galadiman Kano, Tijjani Hashim, one of the most powerful members of the Kano emirate council, is dead. 
Acording to information, he died in the early hours of Monday in Abuja.
The late Hashim was a a very close ally of the late Premier of the north and Sardauna of Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello. He served as a regional minister under the Sardauna.
As the Galadima, Mr. Hashim was the most senior prince in Kano Emirate and was by birth, like the current emir, Sanusi II, an heir to the throne of the Emir of Kano when the late emir Ado Bayero died.
Although his father was never an emir, Galadima's  grand father, Abbas, ruled Kano from 1903 to 1919.
Mr. Hashim was arguably the most powerful member of the Kano emirate council and was close to virtually all presidents and head of state of northern extraction.
He was 79.

George Clooney Is Married!

 George Clooney is officially taken. 
The 53-year-old married Amal Alamuddin in Venice, Italy over the weekend.
So, how did this accomplished, beautiful woman steal the heart of Hollywood's most eligible bachelor.
They were first spotted together last October, followed by an engagement this past April. 
Their tale was like one straight out of one of Clooney's movies, where an acclaimed actor who had said for years he’d given up on marriage finally meets the one.

Friday 26 September 2014

Boko Haram Kill Pastor, Teacher, 18 Others, Razes Churches in Borno!

Some suspected members of dreaded Boko Haram sect attacked Shaffa and Shindiffu villages of Hawul Local Government Area of Borno state killing pastor Eliud Gwamna Mshelizza of the Living Faith Church, a teacher (name withheld) at Government Girls Secondary School Shaffa and other 18 others mostly Christians.
The terrorists also razed down about 10 churches such as E.Y.N No:I, E.Y.N No: II and III in Shaffa and Shindiffu villages including befitting houses mostly belonging to Christians as well as destruction of a clinic and some staff quarters and structures at the Government Girls Secondary School in Shaffa.
Unfortunately when the terrorists were about to leave Shindiffu and proceed to Turaku village another Christian community to continue their deadly act, military troops from Adamawa axis and Biu Military barracks who were on their trail ambushed them and killed almost all of them.
The attackers according to fleeing residents invaded Shaffa at about 8pm on Wednesday and wrecked havoc before storming Shindiffu Village on Thursday morning at about 11am.

Woman beheaded at Oklahoma food processing plant!

Oklahoma law enforcement officials said a 30-year-old man identified by officials as Alton Alexander Nolan reportedly beheaded a woman after a workplace dispute late Thursday afternoon at a Vaughan Foods processing plant in Moore, about 10 miles south of Oklahoma City. He also reportedly tried to kill another woman. 

A sheriff's deputy shot the suspect, he was taken a hospital and is expected to survive. Information says there were no immediate indications of a link to terrorism. 

Lagos Begins DNA Test To Identify Synagogue Church Casualties!

The Lagos State Government has begun DNA test to identify bodies of victims of the Synagogue Church building collapse. Emergency rescue officials put the death toll of the incident at 115.
The government called for DNA samples from relatives of the deceased to be able to sort out the dead bodies before releasing them to their loved ones for burial.
The government said relatives and family members of victims, both locally and internationally, must come forward to donate samples for the test.
Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris disclosed this on Friday at Alausa, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, He said early submission of samples would aid forensic identification and DNA analysis of recovered bodies.
He said the state government considered it necessary to start forensic identification and DNA analysis of the recovered bodies in view of the need to identify each of them.
He appealed to family members, especially parents, children and siblings of nationals who believe their relations died in the collapsed building to visit the Department of Forensic Medicine at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja from Friday, 26 September, to submit samples that could aid the forensic identification and DNA analysis of recovered bodies.
The commissioner explained that those eligible to give samples for the forensic identification and DNA analysis in order of preference include parents, children and siblings of the deceased.
Majority of victims of the disaster were identified as South Africans. The South African government said 84 of its citizens died in the incident.
Officials of the Lagos State Government said authorities of the church did not obtain approval before adding four more floors to the two-storey building.
Families of affected victims have threatened to sue the General Overseer of the church, Prophet Temitope Joshua, for preventing rescue workers from moving in immediately to save lives when the building collapsed.
The Federal Government has already set up a committee to investigate the incident.
Joshua had claimed that Boko Haram attacked his church citing a strange aircraft which hovered over the building several times before it collapsed, but many Nigerians dismissed his claim.

Nigeria's candidate to Big Brother House Unveiled1

Many Nigerian fans of Big Brother Africa are likely to be anticipating whether or not Lilian will act like past candidates like extrovert Beverly and the late Goldie, GEOFF IYATSE writes.

Nigeria’s Lilian, an actor and presenter, has joined fellow housemates in this season’s Big Brother Africa, which hits the screen on October 5.
She stands a chance of winning $300,000.

Popularly known as ‘SexyLeeLee’ among her fans, Lilian adds modelling and tax collecting to her swelling profile. She entered BBA hotshots for “the platform it provides and the publicity that comes with it, and of course the winning prize – the money,” according to the organisers.
BBA, which has enjoyed robust viewership, will be showed live across different hotspots in Africa.
Lillian said she was not willing to “sell herself short to win the grand prize.” If she wins, she will invest in her talk show, which is about “helping upcoming talents” and use part of the prize to get herself a house.

Lilian’s favourite food is rice and plantain; she likes watching Baggage on TV and listening to 2Face Idibia. She doesn’t have a favourite book, but likes movies like Think Like a Man, Blended, Friends With Benefits, Bridesmaids and Twelve Years a Slave. Her favourite actor is Angelina Jolie, because ‘she’s creative and can switch roles easily’.

Based in Lagos, she would like to visit California, the United States, for the opportunities the bustling city would provide her.
Lilian’s role model is Oprah Winfrey, because of her strength, while the person who has most influenced her life is her mother because “she has always believed in me and encouraged me to follow my dreams”
She described herself as “spontaneous, easy-going, focused and confident” and said her best assets are she’s ambitious, a good listener, flexible, persuasive, competitive, independent and original.

Speaking on the reality show, M-Net Africa Regional Director (West Africa), Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, said the viewers were in for almost as many surprises as the housemates.
We work hard to make each season of BBA bigger than the last – and we’ve really upped the ante this year,” she said.
BBA hotshots is going to bring viewers exciting innovations, heart-stopping twists and uniquely African glamour, 24/7 for the duration of their stay in the house. Both fans and housemates are in for some ‘unmissable’ television”.

BBA the continent’s biggest reality show which will go live on DStv and GOtv, will give the housemates a chance to compete for a massive prize $300, 000.

Thursday 25 September 2014

Political Palava in Ekiti Court As Pro-Fayose Thugs Beat Up Judge!

There was confusion at the premises of the Ekiti State High Court on Thursday morning as thugs believed to be loyal to the state Governor-elect, Ayodele Fayose, allegedly beat up a judge, Justice John Adeyeye, for being allegedly rude to Mr. Fayose.
The pandemonium that ensued scuttled the Ekiti State Governorship Election petition Tribunal sitting billed to hold today at the High court, Ado-Ekiti, as judicial workers abandoned their duty post and ran for safety.
Witnesses said the pro-Fayose thugs had besieged the court premises as early as 6a.m., while a detachment of policemen from the police headquarters were also seen on major streets and around the court.
Justice Adeyeye of High Court 3, who was miffed by the huge number of the thugs as they surged towards the court premises had approached Mr. Fayose and urged him to prevail on "his supporters" to keep a safe distance from the court premises, the witnesses said.
An enraged Mr. Fayose was said to have shouted the judge down. Immediately, thugs numbering about 20 pounced on Justice Adeyeye, beat him up and tore his clothes, while his co workers scampered and shouted for help.
Following the development, judicial workers hurriedly shut down the court premises thereby preventing any court proceeding for hours before the police fired tear gas canisters to disperse the surging crowd.
Justice Adeyeye is presently receiving treatment at a private hospital in Ado-Ekiti.
A similar scenario had played out on Monday when suspected PDP thugs stormed the high court premises, attacked the trial judge, some litigants and judicial workers in the bid to prevent hearing in a case to determine Mr. Fayose's eligibility for the June 21 governorship election.
Mr. Fayose could not be reached on Thursday morning. He did not answer or return calls to his mobile telephone.

Representatives to Investigate U.S.$50,000 Arm Deal Bribery Scandal!

Reports says House of Representatives has resolved to probe an allegation that $50,000 bribe was offered to lawmakers to douse the rising anger over the $9.3 million arms deal scandal involving two Nigerians and an Israeli national in South Africa.
A private jet, with the Nigerians on board together with the Israeli, reportedly conveyed the $9.3 million cash into South Africa.
The money was believed to be intended for procurement of arms and ammunition in South Africa.
However, the South African government apprehended the suspects and seized the cash because it was above the limit legally permitted into the country.
A motion seeking to investigate the scandal reportedly brought about disagreement between Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) members in the House on Tuesday.
The motion was sponsored by Deputy Minority Leader, Sulieman Kawu, and seconded by Olajumuke Okoya Thomas.
Debate on the motion led to rowdy atmosphere on Tuesday, as APC lawmakers staged a walkout following a perceived attempt by Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, to kill the investigate 
Ihedioha presided at the House plenary on Tuesday during which some members alleged an offer of $50,000 to each lawmaker apparently to kill the motion seeking to investigate the scandal.
The House on Wednesday mandated its House Committee on Ethics and Privileges issues arising from the event of the walkout by the APC members from the Tuesday's plenary.
The resolution to this effect, following a motion, was triggered by a media publication alleging that a member told the press that the PDP lawmakers in the House were paid $50,000 each to kill the motion that led to the walkout.
A member, Sam Tsokwa, described the allegation as weighty and must by investigated.
Ihedioha then threw the motion to the floor and it was resolved that the matter should be investigated.
The House referred the motion to the committee and asked it to report back on time.
Similarly, consideration of the report on drugs, narcotics and financial crimes suffered a major set back in the House following the absence of the committee chairman at the plenary to defend the bill which the leadership of the House described as very important.
It would be recalled that the Executive Bill referred to the committee for its input and possibly organise a public hearing to enable stakeholders contribute to the very important bill has been pending at the committee level without results.
The bill was, however, stepped down for deliberation on the next legislative date.
The Deputy Speaker, who expressed displeasure over the committee's delay of the bill appealed to committee members to expedite action with the view to according it accelerated passage.
The bill when passed will impact on the lives of Nigerians, Ihedioha noted.
Meanwhile, the House has urged the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to "urgently and responsibly commence action on all the issues raised by communities" which it (FCDA) has also accepted to implement.
The call was necessitated by a petition brought by inhabitants of Maitama Sabo, Maitama Tsoho, Kubwa, Katampe and Nyikuru communities.
The House also condemned the action of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) and Bwari Area Council in reallocating lands earlier reserved for the petitioners as well as the misappropriation of some of the allocations for the resettlement of the petitioners (original inhabitants) by officials of the FCDA and their cohorts.

One Of The Abducted Chibok Girls Found in Mubi!

Story making the rounds says one of the female students, identified as Susan,  who was abducted by the Boko Haram sect from Government Secondary School, Chibok, in Borno State in April, was found by the Police in the early hours of Wednesday in Mubi, Adamawa State, two days after she was thrown off a truck that was being used by insurgents to escape from Nigerian troops.

A senior Police officer in Mubi confirmed that the girl was dropped off near the Divisional Police Headquarters in Mubi by locals who discovered her.
 According to him, when the girl was found, she was incoherent, and had scars and injuries all over her body because she had been battered by her assailants, and left by the road by locals near the Police station. The police officer said Susan is one of the 219 Chibok girls, whose abduction had attracted the attention of the international community and a global coalition to find and rescue them.
He said the girl had old and fresh wounds and scars all over her body, with swollen legs because she had walked a long distance for two days after being thrown off the truck by her abductors.
"She had old and fresh wounds and her legs were swollen, may be because she trekked a long distance, and you could see marks on her body where she was mercilessly beaten by her abductors, I believe," the senior Police officer volunteered.
A witness, identified as Mallam Musa said that the Police yesterday morning found a young girl stranded on the road, near the Police station. He said the girl had fresh and old wounds on her body, adding that she had obviously been beaten and maltreated.
Musa said the young girl might have walked from Sambisa Forest, the enclave of the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents, which transverses Adamawa and Borno States.
Efforts to reach the Nigerian Army Public Relations Officer, Captain Nuhu Jefaru of the 23 Amoured Brigade, Yola, allegedly proved abortive, while the Public Relation Officer of the Police Command in Yola, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Michael Haa, said he was yet to receive any information on the freed school girl.
However, the leader of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group and former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, in elated late night tweets, confirmed the discovery of Susan tweeting from her twitter handle @obyezeks at 11.17 pm, Ezekwesili announced the news of Susan's rescue.
This came barely three hours after Ezekwesili had granted an interview to Aljazeera about the missing girls and the struggles of the BBOG group.
She wrote: "After the emotional upheaval of yesterday's (Tuesday) dashed hopes, today came with the factual return of one of our 219 #ChibokGirls. She's in trauma.
"One #ChibokGirl, miraculously found in a bush by locals and returned today, is confirmed by Chibok parents with her in Yola. Incredible!
"It is hard to comprehend the return of Susan who is yet incoherent. The locals that found her took her to Mubi Police and now moved to Yola.
"The eternal optimist that I am makes me see the return of Susan as a good sign for the rest of our 219 Chibok daughters. They shall return!!
"One hopes that our security/military would approach Susan's return in a way that helps us learn more in the next couple of days."
Giving more insight into Susan's discovery, another member of the BBOG group, Ms. Hadiza Usman, informed THISDAY that the young girl was traumatised and incoherent when she was found by the Police in Mubi.
She revealed that one of the Chibok parents travelled to Mubi and identified her, adding, "She has been moved from the Mubi police station to the Yola Police Command, following which she would be taken to the hospital this morning."
She said the authorities tried to stabilise her so she could be debriefed, expressing hope that Susan's release would give the security agencies some insight as to where other Chibok students who were kidnapped with her are held captive.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian military yesterday confirmed the killing of Shekau's imposter after a fierce battle for the control of the key town of Konduga.
Konduga is 35 kilometres from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, and was repeatedly attacked by Boko Haram terrorists this month as they tried to take over Maiduguri in their bid to carve out an Islamic Caliphate.
Making this known during a press briefing at the DHQ in Abuja, the Director of Defence Information (DDI), Major-General Chris Olukolade, gave the real identity of the downed terrorist leader, who appeared in the Boko Haram videos as Shekau's double, as Mohammed Bashir.

Las Vegas Porn actress attacked by ex boyfriend!

The Las Vegas police are reportedly searching for the ex boyfriend of a porn actress Christy Mack, 

Terrible Story of War Machine's Assault on Christy Mack Gets Weirder

whom a brutally attacked left with broken bones, missing teeth and a severely ruptured liver, among other injuries. 

The ex, Jon Koppenhaver, was a former mixed martial arts fighter who legally changed his name to War Machine.

Details about what happened according to a report allegedly written by the victim:  

4Chan prank gets Apple users to microwave their iPhones!

This #Wave capability is a #hoax. Don't be fooled into microwaving your #iPhone6. #Apple #Smartphone 

Internet users have warned to desists from an advertisement that encourages Apple iPhone users to charge their phones in microwave ovens: Microwaving your brand new iPhone 6 will not charge the device's battery in one minute and thirty seconds. Or ever.

 View image on Twitter

As evidenced by photos shared from Twitter accounts of those who've actually tried this "feature," iPhones and microwaves do not mix. 
View image on Twitter
Simply put, if you nuke your iPhone in the microwave, you're going to need a new phone... and possibly a new microwave.

View image on Twitter
 The AppleWave hashtag has been used just over 2,000 times — though many of those using the hashtag appear to be trolling, warning others of the hoax or simply making fun of the whole situation.


Tuesday 23 September 2014

ISIS Isn't Alone: Khorasan Group May Pose Bigger Threat to U.S!

When U.S fighter jets pounded ISIS targets in Syria overnight, they also carried out a separate mission targeting what the Pentagon said were “seasoned al Qaeda veterans” allegedly plotting an attack on American interests.
Little is known about those militants — dubbed the “Khorasan group.” But in the week since their name hit the international stage, they’ve been billed as potentially an even bigger threat to the U.S. than ISIS. Here’s a look at what we know about the group whose existence was not publicly acknowledged until last week.
Intelligence analysts say Khorasan refers to battle-hardened al Qaeda fighters who have travelled from Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere to Syria. Beyond that, accounts differ.
U.S. Central Command said the group was using civil war-ravaged Syria as a haven from which to plot attacks, build and test roadside bombs and recruit Westerners to carry out operations.
While Khorasan has been in operating in Syria for over a year, their attention has been focused beyond that country’s borders.
They’re in Syria but they’re not really fighting in Syria,” said Michael Leiter, the former director of the National Counterterrorism Center and now an NBC News analyst. “They’re using it as a place to find Western recruits.”
The core group is believed to be small - probably no more than 100, according to Leiter. They have one main mission: To attack Western targets.
Al Qaeda’s recognized affiliate in Syria is Jabhat al-Nusra – but that doesn’t mean there’s not room for Khorasan. Khorasan’s motivations are “very much in line” with traditional al Qaeda and it maintains close relations with Nusra, according to Leiter.
Intelligence analysts acknowledge disagreement over how separate or linked Nusra is to Khorasan. Still, the relationship appears to be symbiotic — Nusra focuses on internal operations within Syria, while Khorasan plans for external operations.
Director of National Intelligence James Klapper last week said that Khorasan poses a threat to the U.S. equal to that of ISIS, according to The Associated Press.
Khorasan is less of a threat to the region and more of a threat to the U.S. homeland than ISIS,Leiter said. "Unlike ISIS, the Khorasan group’s focus is not on overthrowing the Assad regime. These are core al Qaeda operatives who ... are taking advantage of the Syrian conflict to advance attacks against Western interests.”
Khorasan has been actively recruiting Westerners for plots against American and European interests, according to intelligence officials.
"They want to get Western recruits, with Western passports, to attack the West,” Leiter explained.
Fears are high that the group could exploit and capitalize on ties to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – and that affiliate’s sophisticated bomb makers.
Khorasan militants have been working with bomb makers from al Qaeda's Yemen affiliate to test new ways to slip explosives past airport security, The Associated Press recently reported, citing classified U.S. intelligence assessments.
The AP said that the recent Transportation Security Administration ban on uncharged cellphones arose because of information that al Qaeda was working with Khorasan.
A number of al Qaeda all-stars are believed to have migrated to Syria and put down Khorasan’s roots – but one name stands out: Muhsin al-Fadhli, a designated terrorist and apparent 9/11 insider.
The U.S. has a $7 million bounty on Al-Fadhli’s head – just shy of the $10 million offered for the capture of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghadi.

Al-Fadhliwas among the few trusted al Qaeda leaders who received advance notification that terrorists would strike the United States on September 11, 2001,” according to the State Department
It describes al-Fadhli as a veteran al Qaeda operative “who has been active for years.” Al-Fadhli is a wanted man in Kuwait and also on Saudi Arabia’s most-wanted list in connection with a series of terror attacks, according to the State Department.
Born in Kuwait, al-Fadhli was first designated a terrorist by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2005 - deemed an al Qaeda leader in the Gulf and accused of supporting Iraq-based fighters in attacks against U.S. forces there. The State Department has later called al-Fadhli as “facilitator and financier” for al Qaeda who moved fighters and funds through Iran on behalf of the terrorist organization. Specifically, the State Department said he works to move fighters and funds through Turkey to back al Qaeda-linked groups in Syria – plus leverages his “extensive network of Kuwaiti jihadist donors” to send money to Syria.
Al-Fadhli also allegedly has helped moved fighters to North Africa and Europe, according to the State Department — underscoring the concern of European nations that foreign fighters will mount attacks on their home soil.

The Nigerian Tragedy That Shook South Africa Into Gear!

It wasn’t so long ago that a hallucinating, schizophrenic interpreter communicated with angels while sharing a stage with US President Barack Obama (and many other global leaders) during what was meant to be a dignified state-run memorial service for South Africa’s beloved icon, Nelson Mandela.

Memories of how a festive wedding party landed at one of the country’s military airbases and crossed the border without a hint of a Home Affairs official still lingers as the scapegoats fight back.

The chickens at Nkandla scamper about, a stone throw away from the firepool, amphitheatre and underground bunker, which cost the taxpayers a cool quarter of a billion rand.
There’s an e-tolling system that nobody wants, the spy-tapes which have reached near-mystic status and so many poor appointments in the police, the National Prosecuting Authority, SABC, Eskom and countless other organisations that nobody can keep count any more.

To be polite: South Africa’s government and the man who leads it have not exactly covered themselves in glory over the past few years.
Then, one of the buildings at TB Joshua’s church in Lagos came crumbling down.
As things stand, 84 South Africans were allegedly crushed to death and at least 26 were reportedly injured or maimed (amongst these several children who are now orphans). The total death toll of the disaster is reportedly at 115.

What happened next is important.
On Tuesday night, exactly a week ago, President Jacob Zuma gave a solemn address to the nation about the disaster. Aside from Nelson Mandela’s death, can you remember the last time he did that?
Zuma may have overdosed a little on words like “compatriots” and “calamity”, but his address could not be faulted. It was exactly what the moment required.
Government then kicked into gear and formed various task teams, command centres and helplines. Officials were dispatched to help families at the airport. Experts in forensics were rounded up to assist identify bodies in Nigeria. An “assessment team” was sent to Lagos to do reconnaissance.

Almost daily (if not daily), minister Jeff Radebe gathered journalists to give detailed updates on progress, even when there was little to report. Even on a Sunday night.
A medical evacuation team was put together and a special flight chartered. This mission (a diplomatic miracle, by the sounds of it) flew out to bring 25 South Africans home. Those flown back were tracked down in various hospitals. Some had lost limbs. Others lost parents. One survivor seems not to have lost his faith, demanding to stay behind. Simply put: we went and we fetched our own and reunited them with their families.

When the flight returned on Monday morning, government set up special areas at the Swartkop air force base for reporters to witness (film and photograph) the arrival. Senior officials were at the scene to explain the process. A convoy of ambulances rushed the injured to hospital. It was a well-planned and -executed mission. It was clear that serious thought had gone into every detail.

Like so many moments that have come before it, this one united people by making them feel proud of what was achieved. Given the horror of the collapse, this moment will probably not stand out in history. But it was a good show of how much can be done – under difficult circumstances – if there’s political will.
One could argue, of course, that this was an international tragedy and it’s fairly easy for South Africa to come out shining. To rally people around it and to capitalise. There was no local scandal that needed to be covered up. No calls for heads to roll, letters to the Public Protector, court cases or angry DA statements.

To coordinate a response of this nature is very different to governing a country. To firing up an economy, which is currently in a coma. To building houses or bringing down stubborn levels of violent crime. To getting local municipalities to work or cracking down on corruption. To keeping the lights on. All that is true. But the way that government handled the building collapse in Nigeria illustrates so clearly how a state can, and should function – like a well-oiled machine, with a few glitches along the way.  It should be a slick bullet train, not a rusty steam train crashing from one scandal to the next, threatening to derail, with a driver who has lost the trust of his passengers.

The problem with doing something well is that it sets a standard. Or, at the very least, it shows people that it can be done. If anything, government should learn a few key lessons from the past week: Pick strong people to lead, get departments working together, go for less obfuscation, more communication and, finally, remember that the more honest you are about a situation, the less chance you’ll be caught lying. People are not idiots; they can appreciate a job well done.