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.