Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Luxury Vehicles Litter African Cities

Abidjan (AFP) - Porsches, Range Rovers and even Maseratis... luxury cars are no strange sight weaving through the old bangers that rumble along Abidjan's chaotic streets, another indication of the emergence of a wealthy class in Africa. Each of the vehicles costs at least tens of thousands of euros, representing decades of work for an Ivorian earning the minimum wage, even after it was recently hiked 60 percent to 60,000 CFA francs (around 90 euros, $125) a month.

Yet in wealthy Abidjan neighbourhoods the streets are jammed with more luxury autos than in rich quarters of European capitals. It's the same story in Johannesburg, Lagos, or even Libreville. In the Gabonese capital it is common to see SUV after SUV snaking along the oceanside boulevard.

Wealthy Africans love the big, high, four-wheel drive vehicles. Not only are they better adapted to the roads, regularly in a poor condition, they have also become something of a status symbol. In Gabon, 70 percent of the 6,000 new vehicles sold each year are big 4x4s, mostly Japanese models, according to the Gabonese Federation of Car Importers.

In Ivory Coast, luxury cars make up only 3 percent of the 8,000 new cars sold each year, said one industry expert who asked to remain anonymous. "However certain customers are looking for the top of the line -- "bling-bling" cars -- there are people with money like that in the market," he added.

The African Development Bank put the size of the African middle class at 300 million in 2011. Ventures financial magazine recently put the number of African billionaires at 55 -- more than triple the previous count. That figure is likely an underestimate, the Nigerian magazine said, as many are not comfortable disclosing the true extent of their wealth.

Luxury automakers are not letting this bonanza pass them by. Porsche boasts a brand new showroom in Victoria Island, one of Lagos' most chic neighbourhoods. The German carmaker's sales have jumped by nearly 40 percent the past two years in South Africa, where it has been present for decades. It has recently set up shop in Angola and Ghana as well as Nigeria, according to Christer Ekberg, Porsche's managing director for the Middle East and Africa.

With 2,000 Porsche cars sold in sub-Saharan Africa in the first three quarters of this year, which the company described as a "promising" figure, the automaker is committed to expanding further across the continent. Local partners are being sought for dealerships in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Namibia, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia. Mercedes also views the potential of the African market as "enormous", a spokeswoman said.

The German carmaker has an assembly line in South Africa, where it sells 20,000 vehicles per year. BMW said it also intends to keep expanding across Africa, where it saw 15 percent sales growth in 2012 to 34,000 vehicles. As for Audi, the company expects further growth in certain parts of Africa, where its sales have doubled in three years to 22,000 vehicles. The carmakers are also being pulled in by the need to service their vehicles that have already found their way into African countries.

A lack of parts and diagnostic equipment has led to these high-performance vehicles being kept off the road for months in Abidjan, according to an expert on the local car market. "If Porsche comes to Ivory Coast, customers will be overjoyed to be able to repair their cars in a company garage," said another expert on the African market.

Source: AFP

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Top Ten New Year Resolutions

New Year's Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It's a time to reflect on the changes we want to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. For instance, you may decide to reduce your intake of Aggies fish or Mama Risikas pepper soup. Others may decide to spend more time with spouses and less time with others. Let’s see what statistics shows us are the top ten resolutions.

1. Spend More Time with Family & Friends Recent polls conducted by General Nutrition Centers, Quicken, and others shows that more than 50% of people vow to appreciate loved ones and spend more time with family and friends this year.

2. Fit in Fitness The evidence is in for fitness. Regular exercise has been associated with more health benefits than anything else known to man. Studies show that it reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, and even improves arthritis.

3. Tame the Bulge Over 66 percent of adults are considered overweight or obese by recent studies, so it is not surprising to find that weight loss is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions. Setting reasonable goals and staying focused are the two most important factors in sticking with a weight loss program, and the key to success for those millions who made a New Year's commitment to shed extra pounds.

4. Quit Smoking If you have resolved to make this the year that you stamp out your smoking habit, over-the-counter availability of nicotine replacement therapy now provides easier access to proven quit-smoking aids. Even if you've tried to quit before and failed, don't let it get you down. On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good. Start enjoying the rest of your smoke-free life!

5. Enjoy Life More Given the hectic, stressful lifestyles of millions in Lagos and other major world cities, it is no wonder that "enjoying life more" has become a popular resolution in recent years. It's an important step to a happier and healthier you!

6. Quit Drinking While many people use the New Year as an incentive to finally stop drinking, most are not equipped to make such a drastic lifestyle change all at once. Many heavy drinkers fail to quit cold turkey but do much better when they taper gradually, or even learn to moderate their drinking. If you have decided that you want to stop drinking, there is a world of help and support available.

7. Get Out of Debt Was money a big source of stress in your life last year? Join the millions who have resolved to spend this year getting a handle on their finances. It's a promise that will repay itself many times over in the year ahead.

8. Learn Something New Have you vowed to make this year the year to learn something new? Perhaps you are considering a career change, want to learn a new language, or just how to fix your computer? Whether you take a course or read a book, you'll find education to be one of the easiest, most motivating New Year's resolutions to keep.

9. Help Others A popular, non-selfish New Year's resolution, volunteerism can take many forms. Whether you choose to spend time helping out at your local library, mentoring a child, or building a house, there are many nonprofit volunteer organizations that could really use your help.

10. Get Organized On just about every New Year resolution top ten list, organization can be a very reasonable goal. Whether you want your home organized enough that you can invite someone over on a whim, or your office organized enough that you can find the stapler when you need it, these tips and resources should get you started on the way to a more organized life.

Trendy Comm.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ruffcoin ft Phyno in "30/40"

Big A entertainment presents the most anticipated rap music video "30/40" by Ruffcoin 'Nwa-ABA' ft Phyno, a single from the hit album 'Diamond in the Ruff'. Since the single's release, 30/40 has fast grown to become an anthem for the streets and the club's favourite in the East, slowly gaining ground in the West.
30/40 which carries a hard straight talk message of "anyone who does harm to me will have it returned in 100 folds" has become an anthem in the eastern part of Nigeria, The song and it's message does not encourage violence in anyway, instead acts as a metaphor to inspire listeners and fans to repay haters and ill wishers with ones success.

The video artistically directed by the prolific video director Mattmax features strong, vivid imagery and sequences of the dynamic rap duo Ruffcoin and Phyno delivering powerful verses in Pidgin and Igbo. With the new 30/40 video, Ruffcoin hopes to give life to the already successful single and capture the love of those who appreciate beautiful music. 30/40 is undoubtedly the best Igbo Rap collaboration to hit Africa's airwaves.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Royal Deji of Akure Dead

The Deji of Akure, Adebiyi Adesida is dead. According to sources from the Deji’s Palace in Akure, the Ondo State Capital, the Monarch who was installed in 2010 died early hours of December 1st, 2013.
A paramount ruler of the ancient community of Akureland, Oba Adebiyi Adesida is dead. The Oba died after a brief illness, DailyPost has learnt.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

South Africa Tops Africa's 50 Richest, Johann Rupert Is Country's Richest Man

South Africa leads the African continent in names appearing on Forbes list of Africa’s 50 Richest. With 14 individuals on the list, the country trumps both Nigeria (11 fortunes) and Egypt (9 fortunes). South Africa’s 14 richest have a combined net worth of $28.79 billion, and an average net worth of $2.06 billion.

Johann Rupert, whose fortune – comprised largely in shares of luxury goods maker Richemont — grew 39% to $7.9 billion, allowing him to leapfrog Oppenheimer to become South Africa’s richest man. South Africa’s largest fortunes have seen slow growth in the past year, weighed down by meager gains in the resources and mining sectors. Nicky Oppenheimer ($6.6 billion), who recently sold diamond mining firm De Beers to mining giant Anglo American for $5.1 billion; African Rainbow Minerals chairman Patrice Motsepe ($2.7 billion) and Assore chairman Desmond Sacco ($1.4 billion) barely saw their fortunes move compared to a year ago.

The real standout success story in South Africa this year is Stephen Saad and his drug company Aspen Pharmacare. His fortune is up more than 50% from a year ago to $1.5 billion. The stock surge also introduced a newcomer to the richest Africans list: Saad’s deputy and Aspen’s cofounder, Gus Attridge. He debuts on the list with a fortune of $525 million.

 Troubling trends continue. Only two of South Africa’s 14 richest are black – and most of the remaining fortunes have roots in Apartheid-era South Africa (still better, it should be noted, than America’s 1-in-400 figure; Oprah Winfrey is the US’s only black billionaire). None of the country’s richest are women.
But there’s reason for hope. In December 2012, investor-entrepreneur Cyril Ramaphosa ($700 million) was elected Deputy President of the country’s ruling African National Congress party.

Source: forbes.com                                               

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Samsung gives Apple a run in Tablet category

Samsung tablets have edged out iPads for the first time in JD Power's biannual customer-satisfaction survey; although some observers say the results don't quite add up. Samsung topped JD Power's rankings with a score of 835 out of 1,000, narrowly beating out Apple's 833. Amazon was third in customer satisfaction at 826, followed by Asus and Acer.

The rankings are based on the experiences of 3,375 tablet owners who responded between March and August of this year, and don't include the new iPad Air and iPad Mini, which went on sale Friday. But some tech pundits questioned the market-research company's scoring system. Survey respondents scored Apple's iPad higher than Samsung's tablets in four of five categories: performance, ease of operation, styling/design, and features -- while Samsung scored higher in just one: cost.

A Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 with an almost 8-inch screen, Wi-Fi-only connectivity and 16GB of storage sells for $299, compared to $399 for a comparable iPad Mini. The survey found that before buying their tablet, 50% of consumers rely on recommendations from friends, family members or colleagues, while 49% gather information from the manufacturer's website. Other factors that determine tablet-buying choices include brand reputation (42%) and past experience with the brand (32%).

Source: CNN

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Lights on Lagos Streets as an antidote for fear

Flying into Lagos at night, you would never know there are up to 21 million people down there. There is no orange glow, as you see on approach to cities such as New York or London (both with about eight million inhabitants). Waiting for you on the streets of Lagos is darkness. And with it, fear. I spent days and nights following electricity crews who are trying to change that. They are building big generators and installing lights that bypass what Nigerians call the "epileptic" offerings of the national power grid. At night the crews work with a security detail. On Lagos Island, the man in charge of it is called Mr Omo. He is short and beefy, not sculpted, like a body-builder, more rounded and somehow solid, like a large refrigerator.

"You are the tough guy," I said when we met by the side of a darkened road. Above, the street lights were out. Below, an electrician was on his knees with a torch in his mouth and a nest of cables in his hands. "I am not the tough guy," Mr Omo said, with a shrug, but he said it with a demeanour that suggested he was not someone who would back away from trouble.

I liked him immediately. And not just because I had already been in dark neighbourhoods where shouts and noises and people come from every direction; and when you walk you cannot see the ground, so you almost trip over children, or fall into storm drains; and you have no idea why that crowd of young men over there are yelling and fighting, or where to go if they come any closer.

"Just a second," Mr Omo said. He raised a phone to his ear. "Go ahead," he said. Then, to me: "Soon the lights will come on." They did and there was a collective "Aaah". I looked around and was surprised. I had no idea there were so many people around me. The crew started to pack up and I asked Mr Omo why they needed a security detail in the first place. The big problem, he said, was the "area boys" - gangs of young men who hassle the crews for money. They are a scourge across Lagos.

I had once stopped to record the sound of children crowded under a street light. They were dressed in creamy white clothes, singing prayers with an imam. I was there maybe five minutes before a group of area boys came up and started demanding money from my guide. They spoke heatedly in Yoruba, the local language. My guide sounded firm, but soon he said to me in English: "Let's go."

We did not give them any money, but I spoke with street traders who said they regularly paid 10% of their daily take to area boys, who would threaten to beat them up or wreck their stalls. The government in Lagos hopes light will change that. At the Iyana Ipaja market - a major trading centre in the north of the city - it has spent £750,000 ($1.2m) to install and restore lights. I met a man there named Mr John, who sells alcohol from a small stall. He told me about the moment the lights came on, a week earlier.

"There was a jubilation along this street - ask anyone," he said, waving his arm. "We opened drinks for people because of the light." He and the other traders used to close when the sun set around 6.30pm. "Now they stay open as long as they like," he said gleefully. Mr John says the area boys have vanished and profits are up. Others in the market say the same thing. On Lagos Island, Mr Omo is also starting to see change.
"As more light comes, it is getting easier," he says. "The tension is going down, little by little." Electricity crews have yet to come to the street where Mr Omo lives. The plan is to do the main roads first, then work into neighbourhoods. So far, they have lit about 120 miles (190km) of road, in a place where there are more than 8,000 miles.

Standing in the dark outside his house, Mr Omo and I began to hear shouts from the other end of the road, then crowds of men began to run past looking over their shoulders. "Come to the back," Mr Omo said, as he put himself between me and the street. "Maybe they are fighting. They might be throwing stones or bottles." We had been talking about Lagos's reputation as a dangerous place. "You now, do you feel safe?" he asks. Of course I do, I say, I'm with Mr Omo.

Source: bbc.co.uk (Neal Razzell)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Aviation Ministry in BMW soup

Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Fola Akinkuotu has debunked media reports on the circumstances surrounding the procurement of two BMW 760 LI armoured series cars by the agency.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, Captain Akinkuotu says the cars are operational vehicles used in the varied operations of the NCAA including transporting the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah and aviation-related foreign dignitaries.

Captain Akinkuotu who announced that the purchase of the two cars worth two hundred and fifty-five million naira followed due process added that the NCAA remains focused on enforcing standards and promoting safety in line with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCAA).
Nigeria’s embattled Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, could have easily bought an Eclipse 500 private jet with the whopping $1.6 million (about N255 million) used to buy her two BMW bullet-proof cars, investigations have revealed.
Each of the two bullet-proof BMW 760 Li cars bought for Oduah by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, is also more expensive than the car used by British Prime Minister, David Cameron. While Oduah’s cars go for $800,000 (about N127.5m) each, Cameron’s armoured Jaguar XJ X351 car costs £200,000 (about N52m).

Oduah could have also bought at least five presidential limousines used by United States President, Barack Obama, at the cost of $300,000 each. Oduah could have also bought as many as 1231 cars, the type used by Uruguayan President, Jose Mujica, who drives a 1987 Volkswagen Beetle worth $1,300. 


The Worlds Longest Flights

Let's start with the king of nonstop flights: Singapore Airlines Flights 21 and 22 between Singapore and Newark, New Jersey. The route is the longest both in distance -- about 9,500 miles -- and in time -- about 19 hours. All 100 seats aboard the flight are business class. Add hundreds of in-flight movie choices, and long-haul travel isn't so bad for this Discovery Channel executive.

His long-distance travel tips for surviving 19 hours aloft: "Walk around. Explore the cabin. Don't force yourself to sleep. "You should try on the day before to get on the same clock as your destination," "For long west-to-east flights -- a day or two before you leave, start moving your bedtime earlier in the evening. For long east-to-west flights, try to delay sleep until late at night. Planning ahead makes you a lot more productive when you hit the ground." Uriarte should know. He logs more than 200,000 flight miles a year.

Your seating position on the plane is "absolutely key," to a good longhaul, Uriarte says. Singapore uses Airbus A340 with a spacious 1-2-1 seating configuration. The back two rows are even better with 1-1-1 seating. In general, Uriarte recommends aisle seats in the center section. Sleeping is easier when "there's no one climbing over you," he says. Seats behind the plane's four wing-mounted engines will be louder, but some travelers enjoy.

Try to sleep at the time when your body is asleep, he says, although "that's not always possible." And avoid eating a heavy meal. For the traveler, avoiding exhaustion is nice if you can swing it. For pilots, it's critical.
Every three hours, the two crews will switch off command of the cockpit until about 90 minutes before landing, when the captain and first officer will land the aircraft.

So, those are some of the ultralonghaul challenges for humans. As for the machines -- they have their own hurdles. Obviously over vast oceans it's critically important for airliner engines to be reliable and powerful. But hey, it's a business, so the engines also have to be efficient enough to keep airline fuel costs low. Decades ago, that meant ultralonghaulers were likely four-engine planes, like the 747. In the unlikely event that an engine failed, the other three engines could power the plane the rest of the trip, no problem.
The downside: Four engines guzzle a lot of fuel. Now, engines are way more reliable. They're also more powerful and fuel-saving. That's why Boeing's twin-engine 777 Worldliner flies so many of the world's longest nonstop routes.

In the coming years look for newer wide-bodies to fly more longhaul routes, like Boeing's twin-engine 787 Dreamliner and the twin-engine Airbus A350 XWB. Both aircraft are made with superlightweight materials which also cut down on fuel costs.

The FAA requires twin-engine planes to fly within close reach of a safe landing spot, in case of engine trouble. Some travelers seem intrigued by the idea that an airliner can fly in a straight line with only one engine. "Wouldn't the thrust from the engine be unbalanced and make the plane fly in circles?" they ask.
If a 777 lost one of its two engines, the plane has a computer that automatically adjusts the aircraft's controls to compensate for unbalanced thrust. Pilots flying other airliners may have to manually adjust the plane to compensate.

How reliable are those engines?
"We've never seen an issue where a twin-engine plane has lost one engine during a transoceanic flight and can't make it somewhere with the other engine," says Snyder. "And engines almost never fail. With high reliability, airlines are free to look at economics and say, 'Why would we have aircraft with four engines when we can have one that performs the same mission with two and save us money?'"
What killed the longest flight in the world? In fact, money is exactly what's being blamed for killing the longest flight in the world.

That's right -- after nine years of service, Singapore Airlines Flights 21 and 22 are scheduled for cancellation. Snyder and most other experts suspect the airline got tired of dealing with poor profit margins on the fuel-guzzling four-engine Airbus A340. "They do use a ton of fuel, and that's always painful," says Snyder. "But the schedule advantage isn't that great either when you fly so far."
Also, the world's second-longest nonstop -- a Singapore Airlines 18-hour flight between Singapore and LAX -- is scheduled to be canceled this month.

That will leave Qantas Flight 7, a Boeing 747 from Sydney to Dallas, atop the list of world's longest nonstops by distance, at 8,600 miles. The longest nonstop by time will be Delta's Flight 201 -- a 777 from Atlanta to Johannesburg which clocks in at about 17 hours.
Fans of the Singapore-Newark flight say they'll miss its spacious seats and well-trained flight attendants. On a Singapore passenger website, commenter Buster CT1K -- tongue firmly in cheek -- called the airline's decision to cancel the flight a "very sad day in the history of aerospace and aviation. First, man stops going to the moon. Then the space shuttle stops flying. Then Concorde stops flying

--> Source: CNN

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Lagos: Plane Plunges to the Ground Shortly after take-off; casualties reported

A plane carrying 27 people has crashed shortly after take-off from Lagos airport in Nigeria, officials say. Authorities say at least 11 people are feared dead. The Associated Airlines plane was bound for Akure, which lies about 140 miles (225km) north-east of Lagos. The plane's engine appeared to fail and the aircraft plunged to the ground and burst into flames, officials said.

Reports indicate that the aircraft was conveying the body of late Dr. Olusegun Agagu, former Governor of Ondo state, with several members of his family when it crashed at Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
The politician died suddenly at his home in Lagos on 13 September. He was due to be laid to rest on 4 October at St Paul's Anglican Church in the district of Iju-Odo.

On board the ill-fated aircraft were also Agagu’s only son, Feyi, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Deji Falae and a staff in the Protocol Department of the Governor’s office, Mr Layi Daji.
Also on board were Mr Tunji Okusanja Jr and his father, Tunji Okusanja. However, while Okusanja senior is said to have sustained injuries and unconscious, his son is believed to have been among those that died. The Okusanja family owns the MIC Caskets, popular funeral undertakers in Lagos Island.
An employee of MIC Caskets, identified as Chijioke, was also among those that died in the crash

The Nigeria National Emergency Management Agency said that the aircraft crashed after taking off from Lagos. It had been bound for the city of Akure, about 170 miles away. At least 11 people were confirmed dead and at least one passenger survived the crash, the agency said. "The plane couldn't lift properly so it just came down," says an eyewitness.

Agency reports

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gunmen attack College in Northern Nigeria

Suspected Islamist gunmen have attacked a college in north-eastern Nigeria, killing up to 50 students. They were shot dead as they slept in their dormitory at the College of Agriculture in Yobe state.

Nigerian Accountant Murdered in U.K

A son was today arrested on suspicion of murder after his mother was found dead in their home.
Police were called to a large £350,000 four-bedroom property in Wickford, Essex, at about 10am where they discovered the body of a woman named locally as 46-year-old accountant Tolu Kalejaiye.

READ MORE; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2434035/Accountant-Tolu-Kalejaiye-dead-Wickford-home-son-arrested-suspicion-murder.html


Friday, August 30, 2013

Maryland State USA and Cross River State Nigeria sign Sister State Agreement

The US state of Maryland is home to more than 23 thousand Nigerians according to the Maryland's governor martin O'Malley. June 20th 2013 at the Maryland State Building, Maryland and cross river state - Nigeria signed a memorandum of understanding establishing a sister state relationship between the two communities.

 The Nigerian community is one of the fastest-growing immigrant groups in Maryland, and as their ranks have expanded; so has their prominence and visibility. Now to cement that relationship, Nigeria's cross river state has sealed a friendship pact with Maryland that will promote tourism, agriculture and industry between the two states.

The sister state agreement will provide a forum for economic development, tourism, and cultural understanding through business, high school, and university exchange programs, improvements in health care and more. 

Presiding over the signing ceremony, Maryland governor, martin O'Malley, noted the sister-state relationship between the Maryland and Cross River provides a unique opportunity for Maryland and its citizens.  The governor observed that the West African nation has a history of good diplomatic relations with the United States and the state of Maryland and that the memorandum of understanding between the two states was vital.

The Miss Africa USA Team was honored to be a part of this historical event. The team was present in full force to help with planning and organizing the Signing event.  The African Royal Family mostly from Cameroon, members of the USA North West Fon's Council were also present to show their support. Cameroon and Nigeria are very Close neighbors and share boundaries, common culture more so with the people of Cross River State, it was therefore an honor to support such an initiative.

Source: Lady Kate Njeuma. Report by Paul Ndiho.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Two Kenyan Men to marry one Wife

Two Kenyan men have signed an agreement to "marry" the same woman. The woman had been having affairs with both men for more than four years and apparently refused to choose between them. The agreement sets out a rota for Sylvester Mwendwa and Elijah Kimani to stay in her house and states they will both help raise any children she bears.

Mr Mwendwa told the BBC he loved the woman and said the contract would "set boundaries" and "keep the peace". Community policing Officer Adhalah Abdulrahman persuaded the two men to marry the woman after he saw them fighting over her in Mombasa county, the local Daily Nation newspaper reports. "We have agreed that from today we will not threaten or have jealous feelings because of our wife, who says she's not ready to let go of any of us," the agreement says, Kenya's NTV station reports.

"Each one will respect the day set aside for him. We agree to love each other and live peacefully. No-one has forced us to make this agreement," it adds. Mr Mwendwa said her parents had given their blessing, while he is planning to pay the bride price. The woman, a widow with two children, did not want to be named.
Mr Mwendwa told the BBC he did not marry the woman simply to satisfy his sexual desires but because he loved her and, most of all, her children. 

Kenyan family lawyer Judy Thongori told the Daily Nation that the law does not explicitly forbid polyandry. "The laws we have do not talk about it but for such a union to be recognised in Kenya, it has to be either under the statutory law or as customary marriage. The question we should ask now is whether these people come from communities that have been practising polyandry," she is quoted as saying.
Source: BBC

Monday, August 12, 2013

Massacre at Nigerian Mosque

At least 44 worshippers have been shot dead at a mosque in northeast Nigeria, officials in Borno state say. The killings took place during dawn prayers on Sunday morning, although news only emerged on Monday. The attack occurred in the town of Konduga, 35km (22 miles) from the state capital Maiduguri.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Apple Purchases Nigerian owned innovation

Apple has acquired HopStop.com, an “online city transit guide” and mobile application founded in 2005 by Nigerian tech entrepreneur Chinedu Echeruo. Echeruo’s company, HotStop.com was acquired by Apple in a move to bolster the tech giant’s plan to upgrade its map offering, following Google’s recent $1.1 billion acquisition of Israeli mapping startup, Waze, which draws similarities with its new acquisition.

Confirming the acquisition to ABC News, Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said in a statement that the tech company “buys smaller technology companies from time to time” and it generally does not discuss its “purpose or plans”.

HotStop.com is a mobile application that helps people get directions to subway stations and bus stops in over 300 cities. The company also makes apps available on iOS and Android platforms.

HotStop’s founder, Chinedu Echeruo, is a serial entrepreneur who has received several accolades including Black Enterprise Magazine’s Small Business Innovator of the year and the magazine’s Top 40 under 40. He grew up in Eastern Nigeria and attended King’s College, Lagos. He also attended Syracuse University and the Harvard Business School.

He founded HopStop.com after working several years in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Leveraged Finance groups of J.P Morgan Chase. Echeruo also worked at AM Investment Partners, a $500 million hedge fund. He founded and raised nearly $8 million for his two U.S based internet companies; Hopstop.com and Tripology.com.

In 2010, the latter was acquired by American travel and navigation information company, Rand McNally. He is currently a partner and head of the Principal Investing group at Constant Capital, a West Africa based investment bank.

Source: ventures

The African Awards USA, announces The Carter Center Organization as Humanitarian Award Recipient

ATLANTA (July 22, 2013)– The African Awards is an annual event sponsored by Hope of Africa, Inc. a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization headquartered in Atlanta, GA which is focused on community development through education and empowerment. This year we are pleased to announce that the Humanitarian Award Recipient is The Carter Center.

The Carter Center called international attention to the need to eliminate the Guinea worm disease by providing technical and financial assistance to national programs. The disease, which once afflicted over 3.5 million people, has seen a reduction by more than 99% due, in part, to the continued work of The Carter Center. In addition, the organization has also launched the Development and Cooperation Initiative, a multiyear effort to help reduce poverty in Mali. The Carter Centers continued efforts to contribute to the advancement of Africans as well as Africans of the Diaspora exemplifies the selfless contribution made by them and all selected nominees.

Each year the African Awards showcase and recognize the talents of people of African descent who have made positive and selfless contributions to the improvement of Africans as well as those of the Diaspora. Recognizing some of the Diasporas emerging talents, achievements, and leading organizations, the African Awards donates a portion of its proceeds to the Hope of Africa Organization in their continued determination to provide education scholarships funds and school and medical supplies to orphans and the underprivileged in West Africa.

Nominees are industry experts like Educator of the Year contender Rashid Brown , Learning Chief of Kingdom Fortunes Development Group (KFDG), a for-profit education and learning Logistics Company. African Publication candidate Trendy Africa, an award winning lifestyle and entertainment magazine focused on reporting, documenting, and presenting positive values and attributes of Africa, Africans in the world at large, and Fashion Designer of the year nominee, Mamasoe Aruna of rising Sierra Leone based line YEAMA , a women’s ready-to-wear and couture line often described as exquisite and elegant. The line infuses cultural influences through usage of traditional fabrics and illustrates the diversity of the African aesthetic. The ceremony will also present awards to outstanding individuals within the medical, entertainment, and diplomatic industries. 

Awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, August 31, at 9pm and will be held at the Georgia Public Broadcasting Studio located at 260 14th Street, NW, Atlanta, Ga., 30318.  Guests will delight in live entertainment, cocktails and hors d’oeuvers and following the ceremony recipients, nominees and attendees can enjoy the official African Awards after party. 

For more information about nominees or to purchase tickets online, please visit africanawardsusa.com or facebook.com/africanawardsusa.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

On the Massacre of defenseless pupils in Nigeria

Dear President GEJ, I sincerely share my grief with you. The recent assassination of innocent pupils in Northern Nigeria defiles all reasonable logic to say the least. Even in the worst of wars, defenseless children are never the targets.

The recent round up and brutalization of students in Yobe is one too many. Your Excellency, I am of the honest opinion that every day you hear the cock crow reminds you of the oath you took as the commander in chief and presiding officer of 170 million folks and still counting.

Giving the prevailing circumstances, it’s no more about black or white, who is from where or not, or who serves or worships who or what. This is about the ELIMINATION of the future of a GREAT NATION. This is not a blame game, nor is it an attempt to make a political statement. In fact, there is so much to write but tears in my eyes with the thoughts of those innocent children would not allow for more than a few paragraphs.
President Goodluck Jonathan - GEJ

Sir, I hope you constantly think about the word; LEGACY. If there is one that will immortalize your name, it will be bringing this carnage to an END. You must not and never allow for a defeatist tendency to permeate out of your office.

I am not sure who really advice's you with your interest at heart but the following are just my humble suggestions with specific reference to the recent heart wrenching events that has attracted international attention.

-         - Ensure that all students who have been slaughtered recently because of their in born passion to learn be accorded a befitting State burial. The future of the Nation has to be accorded some respect. I am sure you are aware of the Newtown USA episode and the concern shown by the Presidency.

-        -  Beef up security around any form of educational institution in the country; in all geographical zones. Events have shown that it could happen anywhere.

-        -  Institute massive campaigns to educate the citizenry of the affected areas about being each other’s watchdog. I have come to realize that the perpetrators of these acts also have blood running through their veins but maybe at a different pressure level.

-          -Sir, all politics aside, all State Governors who receive massive security votes should be accountable to such occurrences in their domain. Security is security and it’s for the entire citizenry and not for the state house alone.

-         - I can only imagine the level of deliberations going on to stem this epidemic but don’t fail to continue the use of modern surveillance technology and social media. We have read that the perpetrators have gone as far as pulling down mobile phone masts to stem communications. Sir, you are the President of the Richest black nation in the world and I am certain you can afford a few drones with Ariel photographic and surveillance technology (not those with war heads though).

You hold the mantle at this time and I wish you well.

Yours sincerely,
Tosan Aduayi

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Survival rate a miracle on Boeing 777 San Francisco crash

Officials now say they have accounted for all of the 307 people on board an Asiana Airlines flight from Seoul, South Korea, that crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, killing at least two people. The crash left the runway littered with debris, and forced passengers to jump down the emergency inflatable slides to safety.

In the moments before Asiana Airline Flight 214 crashed while landing at San Francisco's airport, the plane was going too slowly and tried to abort landing, an NTSB official said Sunday. The plane had an excellent air safety record.

While it may be some time before an official conclusion about the cause of the crash is released, there are already many clues about what may have went wrong. Among the evidence collected by officials in the aftermath of the crash is the plane's cockpit voice recorder, currently being analyzed in Washington, D.C.

A top aviation chief claims the large number of survivors had to do with the "structural integrity of the aircraft” and clearly when it finally stopped, the ability to get these people off, the training that the flight attendants actually displayed. We say, it’s clearly a MIRACLE.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Nigerian Presidency and the Northern Death Spell

The Presidency of any Nation determines the course of such society; hence, Wisdom is essential to leadership. A particular dimension of Wisdom apparently unknown to the Nigerian political leadership is the way of understanding and utilising the spirituality and power of iconic art forms that may come in literary, sculpture, or other art craft models through adoption of functional and regenerative metaphysical and aesthetic intelligence. A principal art form of particular reference in this piece is the Nigerian Coat of Arms and its connection with the ‘proposed’ and ‘adopted’ Bayelsan Coats of Arms.

When these iconic art forms are not understood, the human consciousness in material creation may be subjected to the directions of lower astral ambience. Hence, the mental state of human consciousness, which is higher than the astral, is subjected to leadership of the lower astral ambience and man is cut off from the purity in the plane of spiritual ambience of God through the sub-conscious bridge. Consequently, there is a reversal of roles in the directions of the power of thought and will. The place of God is given unto astral forces which are lesser than man. Due to the subjection of human mental ambience, there is bound to be a problem of bankruptcy in reasoning, consequently raising issues of ethical concerns in the course of statecraft. Human behavioral patterns would expectedly reflect instincts of lower animals. Hence, in socio-political philosophic theory, the organised human society finds a befitting definition according to Thomas Hobbes’ State of Nature.

By 2008, in the course of a private study of the evolution of the Nigerian Coat of Arms in direct relations to the course of social-political and economic evolution of Nigeria, I discovered that the Nigerian Presidency was operating under a degenerative spell emanating from the Coat of Arms—particularly from its Northern space. It was then presumed that the adoption of the Coat of Arms in 1975 was a ‘State suicide’ which shut the doors of Nigerian presidency against good leadership. 

The suicide was deemed to be the correct astral foundational root cause of majority of Nigeria’s current problems that God had revealed to some churches but which their leaders did not understand and erringly arrived at the disastrous conclusion that God was referring to FESTAC 77. What is more, it was presumed that even in the event of ascension of a good leader by chance to the Presidential throne, such leader will not last long in the position. Presently, the problems of the Presidency has increased by the influence of the adopted Bayelsan Coat of Arms in association with one of the proposed versions which was also briefly used by some Bayelsa State on-line outfit as the Coat of Arms. This version operates in stronger cosmic dimensions by virtue of the replication of the Red Eagle from National Coat of Arms on its apex.

To validate propositions made so far, I shall state reality incidents of Nigeria’s evolving but mutable metaphysical history, from the ‘death of Yar Adua’ to the ‘enthronement of Goodluck Jonathan’ and the ‘death vibrations threatening the current first lady’, the ‘death of Kaduna State Governor’, the ‘permeating of international cosmos of nations through the British cosmic lot’, and the ‘potential martial cataclysm by the evolutionary ghostly clash of talons and the water beast’.

At this moment in time and history, the Red Eagle on the Nigerian Coat of Arms spells doom for the entire country. However, the worst doom is spelt for the North to which it has attracted ‘self destruction’. In order to properly lay a foundation for the proposition of evolutionary danger and the Red Eagle nature, it is necessary that I refer to a write-up by the present author, titled ‘An Artistic Analysis of the Nigerian Coat of Arms’, which was published by The Nation News paper on July 2, 2007. In the write-up, the author made preliminary historical interpretations devoid of deep metaphysical considerations of, and reference to, inherent futuristic prognosis.

Summarily, of the eagle, I wrote that “it is a mythological bird that symbolises the sun and regenerates its energy from it through a fasting-ritual in which the eagle focuses on the sun…The sun rises in the East and sets in the West. However, the Nigerian eagle, in a fixed state, faces the West where the sun sets…Worse still, it is colored red…In esoteric science, the West hemisphere is the abode of water. Naturally, eagles’ motion towards that aquatic direction is for food. It is readable from this perspective that the will to power and leadership in Nigeria is governed by the appetite and vices of lower self. This is a formidable astral foundation of rabid greed and corruption in Nigeria”. The eagle positioning was also noted to be the “determinant of Northern educational incapacity, symbolic curse and cause of extreme poverty…”

The down-south does not have any animal symbolic representation like the North (Eagle), East (Horse) and West (Horse). The down-south, determined by the wreath, is like a non-entity and imaginary beast of burden on which the East, West, and Northern structures rely on for subsistence. Unfortunately, by the 21st century astral evolution of the Red Eagle, a deathly art spell is evoked from the Northern cosmos upon the destiny of all other cardinal zones of Nigeria.

The anti-intellectual eagle positioning sets the course of a cosmic curse of degenerative witchcraft and glories’ destruction upon the land. The error of mystic art has transformed the Eagle into its opposite: the Vulture. What is consequently attracted to the Nigerian presidential space and social space (in secular, economic and spiritual activities) is the manifestation of the spiritual culture of the Vulture (Eye Igun) which thrives on deadness and exudes stench and filth magnetism. These are translatable to mean a mutable predestined degenerative social, religious, political, economic intelligence.

The northern decline and Yar’adua’s death
The Red Eagle’s decline from its cosmic plunge in 1999 physically translates into a terminal decline of Northern Nigeria. The region began its journey down the abyss from year 2000 without any hope of recovery so long as the Nigerian Coat of Arms is in force. There are worse indicators for the Northern destiny in the 21st century through renewals of nature cycles at periodic crossovers that spell doom for Nigeria. Presidency headed by a Northerner ceased by May 29, 1999, during the closing periods of Nigeria’s 38th year of self rule. By October 1, 2000, which is the beginning of the 4th decade of self governance, the presidency was headed by a South-Westerner, Rt. General Olusegun Obasanjo. In 2007, he handed over to a Northerner.

By 2009, a Northern President faced serious health crisis that was attracted to his spirit by the etheric vibrations of the Coat of Arms. By the cosmic evolution of the Eagle’s fate from the vibrations of Nigerian Coat of Arms, it was determined that the late President Yar’Adua was never going to survive the luminous evolution of 2009 which was to complete the prism of 2000 and 2009—both being the first complete set of foundational luminous prisms for the 21st century human existence. 

The millennium began in 1999, and not 2000, on a count of 1. 1999 is 1+9+9+9=28 that transforms to 2+8=10; i.e., 1+0=1. Automatically, the proceeding number from 1 is 2; hence, the proceeding year from 1999/1 is Year 2000/2. 2+0+0+0=2. A symbolism of 2, from the Jewish mystical tradition, is of illumination as the biblical theme of divine act of creation where Jehovah or Jah commanded that ‘let there be light’. The more intense of these luminous numbers was bound to manifest in 2009; i.e., 2+0+0+9=11. 11 transforms to 2 as 1+1.
In this period, the intensity of cosmic light was bound to dominate the space of leadership, and every spiritual art directing national fate but which is creatively inclined to darkness will be drained of energy and vanquished. The presumed physical evolution of this cosmic agenda was expected to manifest in the form of an emaciated cadaverous being in prism with the Northern Iconic eagle.

The eagle had no immunity against the intensity of cosmic light, being unknown to the cosmic sun rising from the East. In the intensely luminous year 2009, when the sun ran its course and peaked in the North before journeying to set in the West, it was expected that the eagle’s head will be scorched and its crown dissolved.
The peaking point of luminous year 2009 was the eleventh month of November. Doom of the living principal Northern Icon was sealed at the closure of the evolutionary triangle of cosmic illumination in the following evolutionary order of days: Wednesday, November 11, 2009; Friday, November 20, 2009; Sunday, November 29, 2009. The numerological order of this sequence is 33, 42 and 51 derived from the calculation of 11 (number of November) + 11 (of the day) + 11 (of year 2+0+0+9), 11 (number of November) + 20 (of the day 2+0) + 11 (of year 2+0+0+9), and 11 (number of November) + 29 (of the day 2+9) + 11 (of year 2+0+0+9). All these numbers, digit summed in numerology, revolve to figure 6, the number of the Sun and intensely expressive illumination.

In Yoruba cosmology derivable from the Odu-Ifa mythology, Wednesday, Ojoru, is a day in which all evils berthed on earth, and on which those who perform the necessary sacrifices are expected to avoid the evils. In the utilitarian philosophic sense, sacrifice here is really not the material sacrifice of anthropological interpretations of traditional religious culture, but of the essences propounded in the fourth noble truth of Buddhist philosophical tradition which enunciates an eightfold path to peace which are as follows: Right mindedness, right concentration, right intention, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right speech, right views.

In the spirituality of days in Ifa tradition, Friday, called Ojo Eti, is the day of evolution of trouble and spiritual siege. Sunday, Ojo Aiku, is the day of immortality. Of the aforementioned triangle, at the time of manifestation of Orunmila (that is, Open-Heavens of Fate), the first determination was the evil day (Wednesday) by agreement of emanations from Nigerian Coat of Arms which operate in the form of what the Yoruba call aba, i.e, wishful decree to the powers of Heaven. Instead of experiencing the good fortune of number 33—a master number vibration of healing derivable from the Sun, the Presidency Icon was exposed to a manifestation of terminal infirmity by aarun ojise iku (spirit of disease, the messenger of death). In cosmic evolution, at the formation of the first point of the triangular base in the Eastern cosmic space on Friday, 2oth of November, the Presidential Icon came under the full spiritual siege of terminal infirmity. At the triangle closure in the Western cosmic space by Sunday, November 29, 2009, the advantage of immortality was non-existent, and the Presidential Icon’s mortality by terminal infirmity was sealed at sunset.

The metaphysical abstraction stated posits that the cosmos of nature as determined by the Coat of Arms never favored a Northern leadership in Nigeria, even though the cosmic evolution of the effect of the said Coat of Arms placed a Northerner on the Presidential seat—to face a ruthless and invincible cosmic revolt and opposition. The natural revolt was expected to be most intense if the Northern Presidency emanated from the 90 degrees range of the Northwest direction where the eagle faces, and which also represents the crown of the head. Incidentally, the degree range is the space occupied by the State of Katsina (which was Yar Adua’s state of Origin) on the Nigerian map. The scorching effect of the sun drained up the water contents of the eagle like it will drain water completely from earth devoid of spring, thus creating the emaciated cadaverous image (i.e., extremely thin and pale). In reality, this manifested physically in the fate of late President Yar’Adua in the year 2009.

The Northern decline and Jonathan’s ascension
The Northern decline began at the turn of the century and millennium. Turn of every millennium is an indicator of cosmic re-arrangement and crossover. It is a potential cause of the rise and fall of civilizations and empires largely determined by the influence of civic icons. As for Nigeria, although the Red Eagle and Horses on the Coat of Arms still appear to be in a fixed state, in metaphysical evolution and history, at the turn of the century and millennium in 1999, all these astral images naturally repositioned in a state of rest and chaos. 

The horses have since let go of the shield that elevates the distressed eagle which has since crashed with the shield and is buried in the devastation of Nigeria’s cosmic earth and waters through the wreath space, leaving its evil ghost to haunt the Presidency. In the plunge, the eagle drew upon itself and the South-South destination some elements of the treacherous spirit of the Horse (which, by vibrations of Odu-Ifa Obara Owonrin, is imported into the sub-consciousness of Eastern and Western Nigerian political class the spirit of treachery—in view of contest, akin to the Ifa legend in which the horse entered into a conspiracy to kill the beautiful deer before a scheduled dance contest in which the deer was favorite). Most unfortunately for the Red Eagle, it was without energy to flee from the cataclysm unlike the Horses which experience some cosmic earth-slide and struggle to find their feet on natural cosmic earth.

By the millennial turn that caused the Horses to let go of the shield on which the eagle perched uncomfortably on a wavy band, the Red Eagle’s plunge headed towards the down-south direction of the Nigerian Coat of Arms. The plunge created a vacuum in the cosmic space of leadership and terminated the Eagle’s ill cosmic fortune in the national space of subconscious direction. As a rule of causal science, nature abhors vacuum, and therefore, there was bound to be a cosmic exchange of position. In the Eagle’s down-south plunge through the wreath, advantages of leadership position and the cosmic fortune which crowned the North spattered over the Down-South of the Coat of Arms, bringing a burden of crisis upon the space of the Down South axis where the fortune roosts to fill the empty space of national leadership. A physical manifestation of this metaphysical historical evolution is the ascension of President Goodluck Jonathan, of the Down-South axis of the Coat of Arms, to the position of Nigeria’s Head of State.

Bayelsa’s inheritance of the Northern death spell
By the creation of the proposed Coat of Arms for Bayelsa, the principal evil immediately incarnated from the Nigerian Coat of Arms Red Eagle into the Bayelsan and National space was the death spell which overcame late president Yar’Adua and which still saturates the Northern space in a different dimension. It was expected by presumption that the spell of death was predestined to primarily haunt Mr. President’s space by incarnation, which means that death will occur within it, but the manner and targets cannot be precisely predicted, just as the Presidents’ space may refer to those directly connected to him. His wife was expected to be the first target of the vibration of death emanating from the eagle, because she is a principal officer in the government of Bayelsa State (as Permanent Secretary) and co sharer of the National Coat of Arms seal as the first lady by virtue of office. By this, she takes precedence over the President and the Governor in death choice; for, like a maxim in the law of equity posits: “when two equities are equal, the first in time prevails”.

Dame Patience Jonathan was reported very ill around the time of the inauguration of the Bayelsan Coat of Arms, but she escaped death by whiskers. Somehow, the death which lurked around Mr. President’s space however struck against his brother on Mr. President’s 55th birthday in November 2012. A coincidence it may seem to be, but the order of astral program of peculiar arts emanating powerful ether vibrations will always run its course. Assuming the first lady of Nigeria was not a part of the Bayelsa State Government, the death would expectedly have manifested in the space of the State Governor without any hope of an escape. Having roosted on the Mr. President’s brother, it was presumed in prognosis that the death had concluded its first dimensional manifestation in the Presidential space, and that the next space of manifestation was expected to be that of the co-sharer of the Nigerian Coat of Arms seal in the hierarchy of government, i.e., the Vice Presidential space.

Perhaps the Vice President’s wife does not have an official position in the government of her husband’s state of origin, therefore, the equity rule is presumably not expected to arise, and the deathly vibration of the eagle emanating from the Bayelsan contaminated space was speculatively expected to manifest against the Governor of the Vice President’s State of origin, i.e., Kaduna State. It was not precisely known how this was to manifest, but could be traced to any other astral icon on the proposed Bayelsan Coat of Arms. It was presumed that the deathly essence of the Red Eagle on the proposed version seals the deathly art vibrations of the unintelligent image of the ‘fishes out of water’. The two fishes are identified as shark and dolphin. Dolphins are aquatic icons of military intelligence—of Naval Command in particular. 
The configuration is very bad for the Nigerian Navy and this is most probably the metaphysical historical cause of the death of a former Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Yakowa, in a Nigerian Navy helicopter crash in Bayelsan territory.

The worst imaginable situation may be sealed in Nigeria by month of November of the expressively luminous year 2013, (2+0+1+3 = 6), on the normalcy platform of a cosmic triangle beginning from Thursday, November 7 through Saturday November 16 and Monday, November 25. Thursday, in the cosmic essence of days derivable from Odu-Ifa, is a new beginning of cosmic course when Sun returns to its normal course. 

It is within the powers of Governments to check the art forces unsuspectingly dealing devastating blows on Nigeria’s fate. To save Nigerian Presidency (as an office and institution) now and in the future, irrespective of which geo-political zone or political party occupies the position of Head of State, the National Coat of Arms (alongside the first Stanza of the National anthem and the pledge) must cease to exist by the force of legislation. Reasons stated are the most easily explainable so far for public knowledge. The Nigerian Coat of Arms is a common enemy to every Nigerian and the world. In its potential to permeate the global space, the gate of evil cosmic influence will be open through Nigeria’s mother—Britain. As a rule of practical metaphysical science, it is much easier to effect good changes from the astral plane in physical existence than using all the forces in the world to put things right on earth. It is written in Ecclesiastes 10 verse 10 that ‘Wisdom is profitable to direct’.

Every nation has a right to adopt a Coat of Arms. In doing so, there must be an understanding of what it is. A Coat of Arms is an armorial achievement or bearing. Its use by countries is known as civic heraldry. It originates from European culture and is a symbolic code and sign post of family or fraternal history and aspirations. Its use in Nigeria constitutes an improper and miscalculated adoption of foreign culture, thus constituting a colossal cultural and spiritual catastrophe. In Nigeria, it is the seal of the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and the Vice President in both the Military and Civilian regimes of government. As a matter of necessity, it is also used by the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial arms of government. It is the principal astral base of evolutions of indigenous cultures and national will.

Olumide Okunmakinde is an Artiste-in-Residence
Institute of Cultural Studies, OAU, Ile-Ife
Tel: 0813 818 3456