Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bennard Edoga; U.S based financial economist slain in Nigeria

He was among a select group of Nigerian professionals from the University town of Nsukka in Enugu State based in far-away United States of America, clamoring for a better medical care for the seemingly forgotten majority in our country Nigeria. They swore an oath of allegiance and commitment in God’s Own country to alleviate the suffering of their people back home.

Their credo and unalloyed commitment was to raise money and come back home to take care of their massively impoverished populace that were unable to get proper medical care in their oil -rich fatherland.
They therefore, formed what they called ‘’Nsukka Professionals in US’’ and embarked upon fund raising for the construction of an ultra-modern medical diagnostic centre in the University town. For years, they have been tasking themselves and raising funds for the project. 

Then in December this year, the professionals decided to come back home and actualize their pet project. They all trouped back home for a formal launch.
But tragedy struck in the early hours of Wednesday preceding the D-day. One of their prominent members and an arrow head of the project from inception, a reputable Financial Economist, Ogbo Bennard Edoga, 56, was slain by unknown gun men in his village, Aku, Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area, LGA, just 30 kilometers from Nsukka township.

The victim had gone to the village to see both his aged mother and twin sister whose husband was opening his new house. After that, he, in company of his elder brother and two of his nephews aged 12 and 10 respectively, decided to visit some of his kinsmen.  On approaching the entrance to the man’s residence, he parked his car and alighted with his briefcase after pleading with the other occupants of the car to give him few minutes to felicitate with the owner of the house.

Eyewitness said as he was about entering through a small gate, a car suddenly pulled up in front of his car. Two boys emerged from the car leaving the third person inside. The two boys approached the occupants of his car and  asked where the driver was. Before the occupants could answer them, they sighted the victim entering through the small gate and they quickly pulled out their guns and fired some  shots.
They reportedly rushed towards him and ordered him to kneel down. As he was obeying their orders, they snatched the briefcase and ransacked his pockets. While this was going on, the victim was passionately pleading with them to spare his life stating that they should take whatever they wanted.

Unfortunately, as they were leaving the scene with the briefcase, one of them who was clutching an AK47 assault rifle retraced his steps and released several shots into his hip angle. The bullet penetrated through the waist and pierced his innards. Blood started flowing freely.
While the gun men were coming out from the compound, they accosted a retired SSS official from the town  who was driving in his car and on overhearing the commotion, stopped to ascertain what was happening. They confronted him and one of them reportedly ordered that he should be killed but  his colleague said they should leave him alone. They therefore, pushed him out of his car and fled in it abandoning their operational car.

It was gathered that the bewildered villagers who thronged the scene quickly rushed Ogbo to  nearby Attah Memorial Hospital, where unfortunately, he was declared Dead On Arrival, DOA. The incident threw both the community and the entire University town of Nsukka into utter confusion and shock.
Crime Guard learnt that youths from both the community and Odenigbo area in Nsukka main town where the deceased grew up started grouping to carry out a violent demonstration against the brutal killing of one of their foremost sons whom they described as a “messiah and philanthropist” that was working hard to alleviate their sufferings. It was the timely intervention of a one- time Chairman of Nsukka Local Government Area and former member of the House of Representatives, Alex Ezeh and other elders that stopped what could have been a bloody protest by the aggrieved youths.
Meanwhile, it was reliably gathered that few minutes after the incident, the Police Area Commander in Nsukka, Ros-Amson Halladu and his military counterpart, Lt. Shuabu, in-charge of Nsukka Urban patrol quickly swung into action and blocked all entrance and exits to both the community and other neighboring towns.

Police sources said they quickly mobilized their men and commenced frantic search and patrol of the areas. Their efforts paid off as they were able to recover the vehicle used by the fleeing gun men at 9th mile near Enugu . Following this development, they mounted heavy surveillance and house-to-house search in and around the area and beyond.
When Crime Guard visited the family house of the victim, the two teenagers who witnessed the ugly incident were said to still be in shock. One of them, a 12-year-old, was overheard lamenting pathetically that he and his sibling have finally lost the opportunity of getting educated because the victim promised to educate them to all levels after the recent death of their father.

Few minutes later, a group of teenagers numbering about 10 came into the compound crying uncontrollably. They told Crime Guard that the victim gave them scholarship and had returned to renew his financial commitment before he was brutally murdered.
Following this development, it was also gathered that  other returnees from overseas and even those from different parts of the country who came for both the yuletide and the launching of the project had to flee for their lives. Some of them that were already landed in Lagos from abroad were reportedly said to have hastily flown back to their bases for fear of being killed.

As at the time of going to press, it was not possible to ascertain the motive for the gruesome murder but police sources hinted that all hands were on  deck and they were not leaving any stone unturned in their desperate quest to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of the US returnee. According to one of the sources, “we will also spread our dragnets abroad with a view to finding out the motive and if it has to do with the project.”

source: vanguard

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas And A Prosperous New YEAR


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Project Walk: Lizzy Oke on a Mission

It's been a journey of hope and determination for Elizabeth Oke. She was that young Lady who featured prominently on Hi5; the pre-facebook social networking site.

Today, she goes about her daily chores on a wheel chair. No thanks to spinal cord injuries she sustained from an auto wreck on the Dallas-Oklahoma highway in 2008.
Strong, courageous and determined, Lizzy has maintained her faith that she will walk again.

That determination has gotten her involved with  'PROJECT WALK'. 

According to Lizzy, the therapy sessions at 'project walk' are not cheap so she has launched a fundraiser to enable her undertake two months of 'extreme therapy'.

 To assist with her goal, kindly GET LIZZY BACK TO PROJECT WALK.

Lizzy Oke prays that as you donate and with your prayers, she will get back on her feet and walk AGAIN!

God Bless as you do so.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Nkiru Sylvanus, aide to Imo State Governor kidnapped

Nkiru Sylvanus, Nollywood Actress and Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has been kidnapped. The kidnap was reported to have occurred in Owerri, Imo State.

The Commissioner of Information, Chinadu Offor confirmed this in a recent media report. Nkiru Sylvanus was abducted at about 2:30pm on Sunday, 16th of December 2012. Her abductors are demanding N100 million ransom.

source: agency reports

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Helicopter Crash Kills Kaduna State Governor, others

The governor of Nigeria's Kaduna state, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, was killed on Saturday, 15th December 2012 when the helicopter he was travelling in crashed in the southerly oil-producing Bayelsa state.

The helicopter was also conveying former National Security Adviser, General Owoeye Azazi from a funeral for the father of presidential adviser, Oronto Douglas Oronto.

It reportedly crashed into the creeks, bursting into flames and killing all on board. Also in the chopper were a senator and a former leader of the Ijaw people.

source: Agency Reports

Friday, December 14, 2012

Woman implants cocaine in her breasts

Spanish police caught a woman smuggling more than a kilogram of cocaine hidden inside implants in her breasts, officials said Wednesday.
The Panamanian woman was caught at Barcelona airport after getting off a flight from Colombia, the national police said in a statement.

The woman “had two breast implants containing cocaine implanted in her. She had two open cuts under each of her breasts,” the police said, releasing a photograph of one of the loosely stitched wounds.
“She intended in that way to bring more than a kilogram of the drug into Spain,” the statement added.

Officials questioned the woman as part of standard checks carried out on passengers from Colombia — a major source of cocaine. When they searched her, they found bloody dressings on the wounds.
They took her to hospital where doctors removed the implants and tests showed that they contained 1.3 kilograms (three pounds) of cocaine, the police said.
Source: AFP                   

Lagos Airport begins free internet service for passengers

The Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Ltd. (BASL), operators of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2) in Lagos, say they have begun free internet service to passengers travelling through the terminal.

According to a statement signed and issued by the company’s spokesman, Mr Steve Omolale-Ajulo, the company said the service was in conjunction with iWayafrica and MultiChoice Nigeria.
“The first phase of the project has already started from the Final Departure lounge. This is one of the numerous Christmas gifts BASL is giving to its passengers.

“Other locations at the terminal, such as the Food Court, Meeters & Greeters, as well as KFC are to be considered for the facility very soon. “More ambitious projects to make MMA2 the best terminal in Africa will be executed in the New Year,” it said.

The statement noted that the Wi-Fi Hotspot solution at the terminal would be the first of its kind in any airport terminal in Africa.

It says that the facility will enable users of the terminal access the world while waiting to board their flights. “We’re really making the travel experience unique. We are the only airport terminal in Africa to offer free Wi-Fi to passengers.

“When it comes to working, investing and maintaining in the interest of the Nigerian public, we will make sure we remain far ahead,” it said.
The statement quoted the Chief Executive Officer of BASL, Mr. Christophe Penninck, promising that the terminal would always remain the preferred gateway to majority of local air travellers in Nigeria. 

Source: Vanguard

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Brig. Gen. Oluwole Rotimi’s wife kidnapped

Unknown gunmen have abducted the wife of Brigadier General Oluwole Rotimi, (rtd), Titilayo Rotimi in Ibadan.
Vanguard gathered that the kidnappers, numbering four abducted her Monday evening, when she was about entering the premises of her company, AOK Logistics Limited.

It was further gathered that the wife of the ex-miltary leader was whisked away in a green Nissan Primera car.
Confirming the incident, the Oyo State Acting Police Public Relations officer, Mr. Ayodele Lanade said” Titilayo was kidnapped on Monday at about 6.30pm and I can tell you that our men are currently on the trail of the criminals”
Earlier, the incident which happened within the jurisdiction of Egbeda Police Station was transferred to the state Criminal Investigation Department at Iyaganku, Ibadan.

Source: africanspotlight

Monday, December 10, 2012

Nigeria’s Finance Ministers Mum Kidnapped

Prof. Kanene Okonjo, mother of the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was on Sunday abducted at the gate of the palace of the traditional ruler of Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State, Prof. Chukwuka Okonjo, who is her husband.
The 82-year-old monarch’s wife was said to have been abducted at about 1.47pm by a gang of armed men who seized her at the gate of the palace at Ogbe-ofu and took her away, when her husband traveled out of the town.

But the Police command in the state has said a man, who was said to have left the palace a few minutes before the incident, had been arrested.
The man was said to have informed the housemaid that he was in the palace to take the octogenarian to somewhere in the town.
Prof. Kanene Okonjo

The kidnappers, numbering about 10, were said to be lurking around the palace until the woman and her maid came down to offer some drinks to workers at the gate.
Eyewitness said as soon as the woman came down from the main building, towards the gate, the criminals also moved in from the gate to grab and push her into a waiting Golf Volkswagen car.
A source said, “The abductors were heavily armed. They were about 10. They bailed up the men fixing the interlocking tiles and asked them to lie face down.
“Immediately they saw her (the King’s wife) they bundled her into a waiting Golf car while another car was parked outside.”

It was learnt that one of them went upstairs to collect the woman’s handbag. The eyewitness said another maid, who sighted the kidnappers upstairs, hid herself in the kitchen.
The atmosphere at the palace was gloomy on Sunday as many sympathizers and well-wishers, including members of the community vigilance group, gathered to discuss the development.

State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Charles Muoka, who confirmed the kidnap to our correspondent on telephone on Sunday, said the police had collected information that would be useful enough to track down the kidnappers.
Her husband, Obi Chukwuka Okonjo, a retired professor of Economics, is the traditional ruler of Ogwashi-Uku.
The kidnappers have yet to make contact with the family of their victim.

source: Punch Newspapers

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

NOLLYWOOD loses yet another

The death has been reported of Nollywood actor, Enebeli Elebuwa who passed away in the early hours of today, Wednesday, December 5, 2012.
Enebeli Elebuwa
Confirming the news, the PRO of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, described the veteran actor as a friend, brother and veteran that will be greatly missed by both colleagues and the Nollywood community as a whole.
Elebuwa, 65, had been battling with an undisclosed illness for over a year and was reported to be responding to treatment in an India hospital, where he was being treated until the sad announcement.
His death comes shortly after that of other veteran actors like Akin Ogungbe, who died last week, as well as Pete Eneh, who passed on last month.
Peter Eneh
The Popular Nollywood actor, Peter Eneh was reported to have died from an Infection.
Akin Ogungbe
Veteran Yoruba theatre legend, Pa Akintola Ogungbe was an iconic actor who was popular with the epic film, 'Ireke Onibudo'. He was aged 78 before his death.

Report by Trendy Africa

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nigeria: Disappointing Africa and the Black Race?

There is this documentary showing young men from Portugal escaping the harsh economic realities in Europe and migrating to Angola and Brazil to work. As both counrties are former Portuguese colonies, Portuguese is spoken there. Thus, the migrants do not have to battle with a different language. However, the real attraction is not language, but the
fact that Angola and Brazil are experiencing an economic boom.

Angola’s case is truly interesting, more of a fairytale than a true story.

Rememeber the 27-year war that erupted right from its independence in 1975 and ended in 2002, with some interludes in-between. No news bulletin in Nigeria in the 1980s and early 1990s was complete without a reference to the Jonas Savimbi-led National Union for the Total Independence of Angola in the Southern African country, or the John Garang-led Sudan People’s Liberation Army, or the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka, or a clash between the Mangosuthu Buthelezi-led Inkatha Freedom Party of South Africa with the African National Congress, or between the ANC and the brutal apartheid regime.

We used to see our “peaceful” country as a lucky one.

Now, Angola’s economy has undergone a period of transformation in recent years, moving from the disarray caused by a quarter century of civil war to being the fastest growing economy in Africa and one of the fastest in the world. In 2004, China’s Eximbank approved a $2bn line of credit to Angola. The loan is being used to rebuild Angola’s infrastructure, and has also limited the influence of the International Monetary Fund in the country.

Angola emerged from such a long-drawn war and becomes a booming economy in less than 10 years, to the extent that it would not just attract other Africans but also citizens of their colonial masters. It is both surprising and exciting.

But to us as Nigerians, it is rather depressing and somewhat embarrassing.

Remember the book, "The Anatomy of Female Power", by one of Nigeria’s most celebrated critics of the 1980s and early 1990s, a man with no surname: Prof Chinweizu. Do you know his whereabouts? Nowadays, he seems to be residing in Ghana.

Ghana? Why Ghana for such a brain like Chinweizu, and not Nigeria?

Furthermore. Where is Africa’s highest-selling author, Prof Chinua Achebe? - The United States of America. If at 82 a home-grown African icon like Achebe still resides in the US, when he should be in his home town Ogidi receiving visitors like an oracle, when will he return to Nigeria?

Prof. Wole Soyinka, Africa’s first Nobel Laureate, is home-based, but seems to be more outside Nigeria than within.

What about award-winning authors such as Ben Okri, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Helon Habila and others? They are either in the UK or the US.

This brain drain is not just prevalent in the literary sector; in different sectors of the economy, our best brains – young and old – are fleeing the country, while those who left long ago have refused to return, even in their old age.

Spirits don’t build nations: human beings do.

With the drain of intellectuals and youths from Nigeria, the resultant effect is better imagined. Those who should be using their talents and energy to develop the nation are using such to the benefit of other nations.

And while those nations grow, Nigeria suffers.

In most other countries, their youths who travel to Europe or the US merely go to acquire education and skills. After a couple of years, they return home to use such to better their nations. But in the case of Nigerians, even when attempts are made to deport them, they resist deportation. And when successfully deported, they start making plans to emigrate to another nation.

Discussions with so many people who live outside Nigeria show that if not for the state of things in Nigeria, they would have no business living outside the country. They usually agree that they could go on holidays abroad but would have preferred to be resident in the country. No matter the amount of freedom and development overseas, Nigerians abroad who were born in Nigeria usually feel incomplete in their countries of residence. They usually miss the communal and family life that is available in Nigeria, the wonderful weather, the delicious cuisines and the feeling of home. When the citizens of many nations display unfriendliness and hatred to Nigerians in their country, such Nigerians usually curse those who have made Nigeria hard to live in.

For other Africans and Blacks from other parts of the world, Nigeria’s situation leaves them with a feeling of disappointment. The thinking is that if Nigeria had taken its rightful place in the comity of nations, it would have been a country other Africans and the Black race would be using to boast about the power of the Black man to build a great country. Nigeria’s success would have spurred other African and Black countries to be successful too. It would have been the type of country the United States is to the American sub-continent: a country of refuge for all manner of people.

For the rest of the world, they just can’t understand how a wealthy nation like Nigeria can be among the poorest, with her nationals swarming all over the earth like refugees from a country at war or in a terrible famine.

There is no denying the fact that if Nigeria had an enviable economy as well as administration, Europeans and Americans would be coming into Nigeria on their own accord to look for jobs. Currently, the foreigners who work in Nigeria are treated as extraordinary staff, because they are lured in with mind-boggling salaries and conditions of service, which are different from those given to their Nigerian counterparts, and they live in choice locations such that which will not be available to them in their home countries.

The return of democracy in 1999 had given high hopes to many that in a couple of years, there would be a tremendous turn-around in infrastructure, quality of leadership and administration as well as the economy such that the best and brightest of Nigerians would be in charge of affairs in all sectors and millions of Nigerians living legally or illegally in other countries would flock back home to be part of this rebuilding process. Unfortunately, those who came back in 1999 and 2000 had to go back sadly, while those who adopted the let’s-wait-and-see attitude were happy that they did not rush back home.

Die-hard bashers of President Goodluck Jonathan would readily put the whole blame on him. But it goes beyond him. He has his portion of the blame, because of his casual pace in governance. But former President Olusegun Obasanjo has a huge chunk of the blame. Here was a man who had the chance to be another Mandela. Despite his seemingly honest efforts to turn things around, he ended up personalising governance by having those he tagged “friends” (who called him Baba and kowtowed to him and therefore must never be touched), and those he tagged “enemies,” who must be dealt with brutally. The late President Umaru Yar’Adua initially sounded as if he would be different... but also ended up protecting his “friends” vigorously from prosecution in the short period he was in office. Jonathan seems to have everybody as “friends” that must be protected, except one or two isolated cases. He seems to be the perfect Mr. Conviviality, more eager not to create enemies than fix the nation.

The result is that corruption soars, the economy gasps for air, frustration and despair mount in the citizens, acts of terrorism and violent crimes sky-rocket, and those who should be the engine room of the economy flee to other countries where they hope to get a better life.

And our fatherland continues to lose.

Coutless sons and daughters of Nigeria did not die as happy people because of the status of Nigeria.

Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Mallam Aminu Kano, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Mrs Margaret Ekpo, Chief Anthony Enahoro and many others, who had lofty dreams about Nigeria, were not happy that they died without realising the Nigeria of their dream.

We pray that in our lifetime we will see the Nigeria of our dream.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Power Alternative: Nigerian School Girls Use Urine to Run Generator

Lagos — It’s ironic that Nigeria, Africa's leading oil producer, suffers from frequent fuel and power shortages. But four school girls have found a solution from an unlikely source: urine.
Most Nigerians have to rely on generators because of the epileptic power supply. Many businesses have also closed down because they cannot afford to buy expensive fuel from the black market to power their generators. Faced with this problem, four teenagers from the Doregos Private Academy School in Lagos developed a generator powered by urine.

"We noticed that many Nigerian businesses depend on a power supply have virtually been put out of business because of the high cost of power, so we decided to make a device that will reduce this problem. We noticed that waste products can be used to generate energy that is why we decided to experiment on urine," said Eniola Bello, one of the students.
The generator is powered by hydrogen and oxygen formed from urine stored in a compartment attached to the generator.

Adebola Duro-Aina, another student, said six litres of urine can power the small generator for 36 hours.
"This urine is being electrolysed, releasing hydrogen and oxygen gas, and this then goes into our gas tank. Our gas tank here stores the gases, and anytime we need the gas we can open up the gas tank and release the gas and our generator is powered."

When the girls power up the generator, the light bulbs in the room lit up.
"The generator powers everything in the house," one of the girls said. "We were so excited, we were so happy once the generator started working."

The girls say they were frustrated with growing up in an environment where they cannot read at night or watch their favourite television program because of the irregular power supply. The invention of this urine powered generator comes at a time when the Nigerian government is under increasing pressure to address the country's electricity problems.

Source: rfi news. By Sam Olukoya

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cameroonian Immigrant Killed on Dallas Highway Wreck

DALLAS — Fey Kidze, a 30-year-old mother of two moved to Dallas from Cameroon in 2007. In that time, she got her citizenship, worked several jobs, and earned a degree as a licensed vocational nurse.
Kidze's husband and two children back in Africa relied on her income from Texas. The money paid for her children's tuition and helped her husband, a nursing assistant, take care of the family.

Kidze had been preparing paperwork to move them to the U.S., her friend Samobo explained. But those dreams were dashed two weeks ago, when the home health care nurse was hit and killed in the 6900 block of LBJ Freeway.

She was on her way to see a patient when her car broke down in the middle of the freeway, friends said. Minutes later, a pick-up smashed into it. Kidze died from blunt force trauma, according to her death certificate.

"I was talking to her. I was screaming. I was crying," Samobo said as she recalled her visit to the emergency room. "She was just laying there like she was asleep. And then I felt like, 'Maybe if I pinch her, or maybe if I push her, she will stop pretending,' because she loved to giggle a lot."

Samobo described her co-worker as energetic, enthusiastic, and always inquisitive.
Friends have raised $7,000 for Kidze's funeral and wake, but said they need another $10,000 to send her body back to Cameroon in Central Africa.

"It doesn't look too good, but I still have hope that maybe we'll be able to do it," Samobo said.
The fate of her family is what worries friends most. They lost a provider, a mother and wife, and perhaps a shot at a better life in America.

Friends have planned a funeral for Kidze on December 1 in North Texas. They hope to have raised enough money to get her body back to her family before the holidays.
"I've seen her struggle," Samobo explained. "That's why I feel like it's not fair."
Friends have established a fund at Bank of America to help pay for Kidze's funeral and transportation costs. It's account number 004785784948.

Source: wfaa

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

US supercomputer crowned ‘World’s Fastest’

In the clash of the world's supercomputing titans, a new U.S. supercomputer named "Titan" is king. The $100-million Titan seized the No. 1 supercomputer ranking on the Top500 List with a performance record of 17.59 petaflops per second (quadrillions of calculations per second). The supercomputer, a Cray XK7 system based at Tennessee's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, leaped past the former champion, the Sequoia supercomputer at California's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

The top five supercomputers in the world are:
- Titan Cray XK47 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (17.59 petaflops/s)
- Sequoia BlueGene/Q at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (16.33 petaflops/s)
- Fujitsu's K computer at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Kobe, Japan (10.51 petaflops/s)
- The Mira BlueGene/Q computer at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Ill. (8.16 petaflops/s)
- The JUQUEEN BlueGene/Q computer at the Forschungszentrum Juelich in Germany. (4.14 petaflops/s)

U.S. supercomputers had fallen behind China's Tianhe-1A supercomputer and Japan's Fujitsu K Computer starting in 2009, but staged a comeback with Sequoia's rise in 2012.
Sequoia's 1,572,864 computing cores actually outnumber Titan's 560,640 cores, but not all computing cores are created equal. Titan draws 90 percent of its performance from having 261,632 of NVIDIA's new K20x accelerator cores.

The NVIDIA accelerator cores use the same graphics processing unit (GPU) technology that drives graphics cards for displaying video games. GPUs run tasks on many different "threads" that may run slower than traditional threads on central processing units (CPUs), but GPUs make up for that by running many more threads simultaneously.

GPU-driven supercomputers will become even more crucial in building the next generation of "exascale" supercomputers that would work 1,000 times faster than today's supercomputers. That's because GPUs use far less energy than the CPUs that have traditionally driven computing.
Titan used the new Tesla K20x accelerators to achieve an energy efficiency of 2,142.77 megaflops per watt (million calculations per second per watt), enough to also rank Titan No. 1 on the Green500 list of the world's most energy-efficient supercomputers.

 Source: technewsdaily

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Nigerian Woman Homeless in New York after ‘Sandy’

As Hurricane Sandy rolled into Brooklyn Peggy Ndubisi, a 51-year-old woman from Nigeria, went to the only place she has been able to call home for the past six months—Fort Greene Park.
Since the restrooms were locked in the park, Ndubisi said that the most protective shelter she could find was under the woman’s bathroom overhang.
As she sipped a cup of ice water in the ER on Seventh Ave., Ndubisi said she has been wet and cold since Sunday.

By the time she went to Park Slope Christian Help, the soup kitchen on Fourth Ave. better known as CHIPS on Wednesday she could barely walk. The director of CHIPS, Denise Scaravella has been speaking with Ndubisi for about a week and convinced her to go to the emergency room before she found a bed at the shelter set up for Sandy evacuees at John Jay High School on Seventh Ave.

“She looks like your typical bag lady, but she has a Bachelors’ Degree from Pace University and was a case worker for almost 30 years,” Scaravella said, explaining that Ndubisi was fired from her job two years ago.
Ndubisi, who is a naturalized citizen, moved from Lagos, Nigeria in 1980 as a foreign exchange student. Four years later, she moved into an apartment on Lafayette Ave. in Fort Greene. That apartment she called home for 27 years.

She worked at the Post Graduate Center of Mental Health in Manhattan for 12 years, but was fired one day when the vice president gave her a phone call, telling her never to come back. She also worked at The Family Center, when it was on Reade Street, from 1998 to 2010 but was laid off.
In 2007 she went to Lehman College in the Bronx for social work. At the height of her career, she was making $70,000.

But in 2011, she began to have a conflict with her landlord who wanted her to vacate the apartment. She got a lawyer, but one day she came home from working the midnight shift as a caseworker and saw her apartment on fire.

“I came home to see my house in flames,” Ndubisi said. “I lost everything.”
Three days later, when she went to get her belongings and talk to the landlord, she found that the landlord had locked up her apartment and she was never able to get back inside.
From there, she bounced around from shelter to shelter in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens for six months until someone stole her identification, she said, prohibiting her from entering another one.
After not being able to find a bed, she took to the streets and set up her home in Fort Greene Park. She would stay there for six months, outside of the woman’s bathroom with her shopping cart.
“During the hurricane, it was horrible. I was by myself under the overhang,” she said. “I just sat there wet and freezing cold.”

When Scaravella met her at CHIPS, they got to talking and they took to each other.
“It’s one sad, sad story after the other for her, but she’s not angry, she’s not crazy and she’s not hallucinating,” Scaravella said, explaining that she is now helping her figure out her finances. “She’s just not able to connect the dots and just needs a little bit of help to get back on her feet.”
Since she worked and contributed to Social Security for nearly three decades and has a retirement fund and a life insurance policy, Ndubisi has racked up $150,000 in retirement. For now, Ndubisi wants to get a couple thousand dollars to help her get back on her feet and collect Social Security Disability.
But, with no valid address she cannot get a disbursement.
Scaravella said she is helping her to solidify a new address and by Nov. 12 she’ll hopefully be able to get some money.

“She even has a life insurance policy, she is totally legitimate but has just been hit hard. This was a woman who was totally financially responsible, took care of her body and mind and now this is her situation,” Scaravella said. “It is the most devastating story I have seen.”
Ndubisi said once she gets her money together, she will get an apartment, a job and then go back to school to get a Master’s degree.

But for now, Ndubisi said, she needs to rest and figure out what is wrong with her feet. As a nurse came to take down her information at New York Methodist Hospital, she seemed to be worn by weather, and life.
“I just want to get my life back together,” Ndubisi said, while her eyes filled with tears. “But right now, I’m just tired.”

Source: Will Yakowicz – ParkslopePatch

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Gunmen kill 19 at Deeper Life Church during service

Okene, Kogi State - Unknown gunmen stormed a Deeper Life Bible Church opposite the Federal College of Education (FCE) and opened fire on worshippers, killing no fewer than 19. Many were injured. The gunmen, who were said to be bearing sophisticated weapons, stormed the church during the Bible Study, a Monday programme, at about 7p.m., shooting indiscriminately. The gunmen reportedly took the worshippers by surprise. They blocked all entrances into the church, preventing people from escaping as they fired indiscriminately at the worshippers.

A source said at least15 worshippers died on the spot; others died in the hospital. Among the dead was the local government area Pastor, according to a source who spoke in Lagos where news of the incident sent members into a shock. One of the injured is the Dean of Student Affairs of the FCE. The attack came two weeks after an account officer with FCE was abducted from his home and murdered. An attack on the Living Faith Church on Lagos Road in Okene was last month repelled by security operatives who stopped an explosive-laden vehicle parked by road side. It could not be immediately ascertained how many worshipers were in the church at the time of the attack.

Related developments
Gunmen believed to be members of Boko Haram struck again in Sokoto State yesterday.
They bombed a police station in Shagari Village about 70 kilometres to Sokoto, the state capital.
Shagari is the home town of Second Republic President Shehu Shagari. The police station that was attacked is a few metres away from his home.
A police source said the attackers came on a motorbike and tossed dynamites at the police outpost while firing at the policemen on duty.
Sokoto, the seat of the Caliphate, was attacked last week.
Boko Haram, the violent Islamist sect, yesterday claimed responsibility for Sunday’s killing of six soldiers and two civilians in Damturu, the Yobe State capital.
The group said it was responsible for other weekend attacks in the Northeast.
Also on Sunday night, four people were killed in their homes by suspected Boko Haram members in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, as the Joint Task Force (JTF) alerted the public to an impending series of suicide bombings in the city.
In an email statement attributed to a Boko Haram (Wester Education is a sin) spokesman and obtained by The Associated Press yesterday, the group said “One of (their) fighters” caused an explosion Sunday in Damaturu.
Police say six soldiers and two civilians were killed in the blast.
The statement also claimed responsibility for two other attacks in two other northeast cities. It was not immediately clear which attacks it was referring to.
The statement comes after an Internet video featuring the sect’s leader was posted on YouTube on Saturday.
Boko Haram is held responsible for more than 660 deaths this year alone according to international media count.
Apart from Sunday’s attack in Damaturu, the Emir of Fika was attacked on Friday in a suicide bid but he escaped. His orderly died
A former Commissioner for the Environment in Borno State Alhaji Abdulkadir Kaasa, was shot dead in his home in Maiduguri on Sunday.
Two of the victims of Sunday night killings in Maiduguri were residents of Lawan Bukar, where Alhaji Fannami Gubio, the original candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) in the governorship election in 2011 was killed.
Another victim was killed in the Railway Quarters, where the headquarters of the sect was located before the 2009 clampdown. It was there that its leader Mohammed Yusuf was killed by security operatives alongside dozens of his followers.
One other person was killed at Gamboru Ward. The killing caused apprehension among residents of the town.
Though there was no official confirmation at press time, a military source who spoke anonymously told reporters that the military had intensified efforts at getting the culprits.
The JTF yesterday alerted the public to the plan of the sect to undertake massive snatching of vehicles in Maiduguri and environs which they will later use for suicide missions.
The vehicles, according to the task force, would be laden with explosives and used to bomb strategic locations and cause breach of the peace in the town. The statement signed by the task force field operations officer, Col. Victor Ebhaleme reads: “The JTF wishes to alert members of the public of the desperate moves by Boko Haram terrorists to steal/ snatch vehicles for suicide bombings.”
He urged those whose vehicles have been stolen to immediately report the theft to the nearest police station or to the JTF. He warned that anyone who failed to report and his vehicle is used as a courier of bombs would be treated as an accomplice of the sect.

 source: Nigeria Forum

Friday, August 3, 2012


A recent report in The Guardian says the controversial new traffic bill prescribing three years jail term for one-way traffic violators in Lagos State will be signed into law today by Governor Babatunde Fashola. However, due to recent developments, the jail term has been reduced to one year for first time violators of one-way traffic in Lagos.Trying to be my brother’s keeper, I would like to share with you some roads in Lagos that can take you directly to jail as from Friday. 

Since a new Shopping Mall accommodating Shoprite was launched in Alausa, Ikeja, the road that passes directly behind it is now a one-way street. Policemen have been feeding fat on people who had used that road for ages and are unaware of this new development. When the bill becomes law, heading in the wrong direction on the road will send you to jail for three years.

To new motorists or those visiting Lagos, Somolu is filled with booby-traps that can send you to jail. One-way streets there are numerous. But the ones that quickly come to mind include Oyebajo Street. If you’re coming from Morocco Road, going to Ikorodu Road, Oyebajo Street is to the right. With no visible signs, this street is a one-way ticket to jail.

Again, when coming from Ikorodu Road, heading to Igbobi College, there is another one-way traffic street by Fadeyi Bus Stop via Kalejaiye Street. It is the right turning before the National Orthopaedic Hospital. Officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority will usually not stay at the entry point to warn you, but in the middle to apprehend you. You will regain your freedom in three years!

Then, the popular bridge linking Dopemu to Egbeda is one-way traffic at a designated time of each day. From 5am to 11.59am, you can cross from Dopemu side to the Egbeda side and vice versa without any trouble. But by noon, if you cross from Egbeda side to Dopemu, LASTMA and the police will be waiting for you with a Black Maria. Kiss your freedom goodbye.

On the Yaba/Akoka section, there are a few booby-traps, apart from the clear one-way traffic roads with concrete medians. The one that leaps to mind now is the major road from University Junction that leads directly to the UNILAG Gate. This road is 95 per cent two-way traffic. But there is a 5 per cent one-way traffic, where you have to detour inside the community and burst out a little further down the road. There is an old, faded ‘No Entry’ sign, to warn motorists, but many first timers miss it. They are joking with three years jail term. 
The service lane at Oshodi coming from Mile Two is presumably two-way traffic up to a little after NAFDAC. The road forks into two, the right links CAPPA/Mushin, while the left links Oshodi Oke. Motorists who want to drop passengers at Oshodi, but are too law-abiding to do it on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, usually enter the service lane, drop their passengers, drive past NAFDAC and at the fork, bear left to link Oshodi Oke, onward to Oworonsoki or Maryland, as the case maybe.

But any day some LASTMA officials are broke, they usually stay on top of Oshodi Oke bridge and  monitor those climbing the bridge at the fork. They then pounce on them, accusing them of one-way traffic violation. If you are unlucky to pass that route on one of such days, you will be writing a prison memoir soon, or you offer to pay for the school fees of the children of the ‘hardworking’ LASTMA officials who apprehend you.  Which would it be?

Then, from the past few months, motorists coming from Toll Gate by 7Up, and attempting to link Oregun can no longer drive straight into Ikosi Road by Union Bank. Entry has been barred even though there is no single sign to that effect yet. In lieu of that, there are traffic cones placed there to guide motorists. In all fairness, there are sometimes some honest LASTMA guys at the intersection to guide confused motorists how they can access Ikosi via Unilever.

But often times, on duty are the crooked ones who see an opportunity to make money. When a Lagos State Waste Management Authority truck or other government vehicles exempted from traffic laws blow these cones away, motorists coming afterwards inadvertently drive into Ikosi at the intersection and are slammed by LASTMA and gun-toting policemen. You are in serious trouble.

There are many more, I’m sure. If there are some roads you know that are not included, be your brothers’ keeper and share. Wish you a jail-free motoring.
Culled from John Awe Online

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Domestic Violence: Wife Murdered in UK

A Nigerian Man identified as Shola Adebiyi has been arrested for the brutal murder of his wife, Esther Arogundade in the UK.

Late Esther Arogundade
Esther was found stabbed to death at her residence in Cumbrae Gardens, Salford on the 26th of June, 2012. The 32-yr old mother of one was later pronounced dead at the hospital after suffering multiple stab wounds.

Man Murders Girlfriend in Ghana
A 26-year-old Nigerian man, Nathaniel Udama Edu, is being held by the Mile 7 Police at Achimota in Accra, for the suspected murder of his girlfriend, Matilda Asante, 19, a senior high school graduate at South Afankor in the early hours of Monday.

The body of the deceased was found in the neighborhood, wrapped in a bed sheet and her legs tied, while her head was covered in a black polythene bag.

Narrating the incident in Accra, the Crime Officer of the Mile 7 Police Station, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Mr Henry Agbeve, said around 7:30am last Monday the body of the deceased was found on the compound of an adjoining house in the Ga West municipality, lying in a supine position.

According to him preliminary investigations conducted indicated that the body was ‘thrown’ into that house after the act with the legs tied, the head covered with a polythene bag and the rest of her body wrapped in a bedsheet.

The Motive

It had started with the blazing fire of new-found lovers. Consumed by their passion, and determined to share love and emotional affinity, neither Esther Arogundade, 32, nor Shola Adebiyi, both Nigerians, cared a hoot about their religious differences. They found love between themselves, and religion was not going to be a barrier. Or so they thought. While Arogundade was a devout Christian, Adebiyi was a committed Muslim.
Between them, they could handle their religious differences. But a third member, their daughter, soon joined to change their calculation. The faith to be practised by the two-year-old daughter became an issue.   Should she be allowed to be a Muslim like the father or should she, like the mother,  be a Christian? Neither parent accepted to bulge. And that began to generate tension and create rift between the erstwhile lovers.
The disagreement between them strained their relationship and that drove Arogundade into the arms of another man.
Unable to stand being ditched by her, Adebiyi plotted his revenge. One day, Adebiyi, a kitchen porter, attacked Arogundade, a worker with KFC, with a kitchen knife in her home and stabbed her 13 times.
He also drank oven cleaner in an attempt to kill himself and phoned Arogundade's new lover to say he would never see her again before confessing to the killing to a friend.
Police broke into the mother-of-two's home in Salford, Greater Manchester, and found Arogundade lying dead on the kitchen floor with multiple stab wounds to her back and front.
Adebiyi was jailed at Manchester Crown Court for a minimum of 20-and-a-half years after admitting killing her.
The court heard how Arogundade began dating Adebiyi in 2007 and that they later had a daughter now aged two but split up last year after a series of rows.
Rob Hall prosecuting said: 'These arguments were ignited by differences of opinion over the religion of their daughter - the defendant wanted her to convert from Christian to Islam, but Esther was a church goer.
'There were arguments about expenses, bills and childcare.'
Last March, Arogundade who also had a nine-year-old daughter living in Nigeria from a previous relationship, began a friendship with another man named in court as Mr. Alabi.
While visiting family in Africa, Alabi received a sinister phone call from Adebiyi, claiming he would be killed if he returned to the UK.
  Alabi told Arogundade about the call and she spoke to Adebiyi but he initially denied it.
Hall added: 'Mr. Alabi returned to the UK and the relationship took the next step and it turned into a sexual relationship.
'They spent a great deal of time talking and texting on their mobile phones - it may well be that it came to the attention of the defendant.'
On June 26, Adebiyi cleared out his locker at work at a conference centre in Manchester then left armed with a large kitchen knife and waited for Arogundade and their daughter to come home.
Throughout that evening, there were phone calls between Alabi and Arogundade and also a child minder who was booked for the next day.
But the following morning, Adebiyi was said to have made 'frantic arrangements' to get child care for his daughter and handed her over at 9.50 am along with her birth certificate and left in her push chair.
He then called Alabi, who asked about the whereabouts and welfare of Arogundade only to be told he would never see her again.
He then called a friend and confessed he had killed her, claiming it had happened during a fight.
The friend went to the house and saw Adebiyi come out wearing a blood-stained T-shirt and holding a large black-handled knife.
He saw him throw the knife into nearby bushes.
In mitigation, defence counsel, Michael Lavery, said his client had made a 'very genuine' attempt to take his own life by drinking oven cleaner.
He added: “He took the knife to kill himself and his partner. He's lost his daughter as well as a consequence of his own actions.
“Many men and women have to endure the discovery that the husband, wife or partner is no longer content with the relationship they have. What the law cannot permit is the use of violence, which is what you used.
“It is tragic for the victim of this murder and a tragedy for the daughter and for the father too. It is his own fault, I know, but that is not going to make it easier for her.”
Passing sentence, Judge Andrew Gilbart QC told Adebiyi it was not clear exactly when he had killed Arogundade.
He added: “Your relationship had come to an end with frequent disagreements and rows between the two of you.
“She formed a relationship with another man. You resented it, and tried to warn him off with threats.
“She let you know that she no longer wanted to be with you and wanted to pursue a relationship with another man.
“You were most upset at that prospect. She sought friendship elsewhere, including in an affair with another man. You were understandably upset but let me be clear about this.
“Many men and women have to endure the discovery that the husband, wife or partner is no longer content with the relationship they have.
“Many are jealous or unhappy. But what the law cannot and will not permit is the use of violence, which is what you used.
“I am prepared to accept that you were very upset - and indeed distraught - at what was happening to your relationship.
“'When you acted as you did you were under considerable emotional strain.”
After the case, Senior Investigator Andrew Tattersall of Greater Manchester Police said: “The biggest tragedy here is that a young girl has now been deprived of both her parents.
“Her mother was taken from her in a vengeful, violent attack and no sentence today can bring her back.”