Tuesday, 12 June 2012

YOU LAZY AFRICANS.........(nigerians smh**)

So I got this in my email this morning…

 They call the Third World the lazy man’s purview; the sluggishly slothful and languorous prefecture. In this realm people are sleepy, dreamy, torpid, lethargic, and therefore indigent—totally penniless, needy, destitute, poverty-stricken, disfavored, and impoverished. In this demesne, as they call it, there are hardly any discoveries, inventions, and innovations. Africa is the trailblazer. Some still call it “the dark continent” for the light that flickers under the tunnel is not that of hope, but an approaching train. And because countless keep waiting in the way of the train, millions die and many more remain decapitated by the day.

“It’s amazing how you all sit there and watch yourselves die,” the man next to me said. “Get up and do something about it.”

Brawny, fully bald-headed, with intense, steely eyes, he was as cold as they come. When I first discovered I was going to spend my New Year’s Eve next to him on a non-stop JetBlue flight from Los Angeles to Boston I was angst-ridden. I associate marble-shaven Caucasians with iconoclastic skin-heads, most of who are racist.

“My name is Walter,” he extended his hand as soon as I settled in my seat.

I told him mine with a precautious smile.

“Where are you from?” he asked.


“Zambia!” he exclaimed, “Kaunda’s country.”

“Yes,” I said, “Now Sata’s.”

“But of course,” he responded. “You just elected King Cobra as your president.”

My face lit up at the mention of Sata’s moniker. Walter smiled, and in those cold eyes I saw an amenable fellow, one of those American highbrows who shuttle between Africa and the U.S.

“I spent three years in Zambia in the 1980s,” he continued. “I wined and dined with Luke Mwananshiku, Willa Mungomba, Dr. Siteke Mwale, and many other highly intelligent Zambians.” He lowered his voice. “I was part of the IMF group that came to rip you guys off.” He smirked. “Your government put me in a million dollar mansion overlooking a shanty called Kalingalinga. From my patio I saw it all—the rich and the poor, the ailing, the dead, and the healthy.”

“Are you still with the IMF?” I asked.

“I have since moved to yet another group with similar intentions. In the next few months my colleagues and I will be in Lusaka to hypnotize the cobra. I work for the broker that has acquired a chunk of your debt. Your government owes not the World Bank, but us millions of dollars. We’ll be in Lusaka to offer your president a couple of millions and fly back with a check twenty times greater.”

“No, you won’t,” I said. “King Cobra is incorruptible. He is …”

He was laughing. “Says who? Give me an African president, just one, who has not fallen for the carrot and stick.”

Quett Masire’s name popped up.

“Oh, him, well, we never got to him because he turned down the IMF and the World Bank. It was perhaps the smartest thing for him to do.”

At midnight we were airborne. The captain wished us a happy 2012 and urged us to watch the fireworks across Los Angeles.

“Isn’t that beautiful,” Walter said looking down.

From my middle seat, I took a glance and nodded admirably.

“That’s white man’s country,” he said. “We came here on Mayflower and turned Indian land into a paradise and now the most powerful nation on earth. We discovered the bulb, and built this aircraft to fly us to pleasure resorts like Lake Zambia.”

I grinned. “There is no Lake Zambia.”

He curled his lips into a smug smile. “That’s what we call your country. You guys are as stagnant as the water in the lake. We come in with our large boats and fish your minerals and your wildlife and leave morsels—crumbs.         

That’s your staple food, crumbs. That corn-meal you eat, that’s crumbs, the small Tilapia fish you call Kapenta is crumbs. We the Bwanas (whites) take the cat fish. I am the Bwana and you are the Muntu. I get what I want and you get what you deserve, crumbs. That’s what lazy people get—Zambians, Africans, the entire Third World.”

The smile vanished from my face.

“I see you are getting pissed off,” Walter said and lowered his voice. “You are thinking this Bwana is a racist. That’s how most Zambians respond when I tell them the truth. They go ballistic. Okay. Let’s for a moment put our skin pigmentations, this black and white crap, aside. Tell me, my friend, what is the difference between you and me?”

“There’s no difference.”

“Absolutely none,” he exclaimed. “Scientists in the Human Genome Project have proved that. It took them thirteen years to determine the complete sequence of the three billion DNA subunits. After they

were all done it was clear that 99.9% nucleotide bases were exactly the same in you and me. We are the same people. All white, Asian, Latino, and black people on this aircraft are the same.”

I gladly nodded.

“And yet I feel superior,” he smiled fatalistically. “Every white person on this plane feels superior to a black person. The white guy who picks up garbage, the homeless white trash on drugs, feels superior to you no matter his status or education. I can pick up a nincompoop from the New York streets, clean him up, and take him to Lusaka and you all be crowding around him chanting muzungu, muzungu and yet he’s a riffraff. Tell me why my angry friend.”

For a moment I was wordless.

“Please don’t blame it on slavery like the African Americans do, or colonialism, or some psychological impact or some kind of stigmatization. And don’t give me the brainwash poppycock. Give me a better answer.”

I was thinking.

He continued. “Excuse what I am about to say. Please do not take offense.”

I felt a slap of blood rush to my head and prepared for the worst.

“You my friend flying with me and all your kind are lazy,” he said. “When you rest your head on the pillow you don’t dream big. You and other so-called African intellectuals are damn lazy, each one of you. It is you, and not those poor starving people, who is the reason Africa is in such a deplorable state.”

“That’s not a nice thing to say,” I protested.

He was implacable. “Oh yes it is and I will say it again, you are lazy. Poor and uneducated Africans are the most hardworking people on earth. I saw them in the Lusaka markets and on the street selling merchandise. I saw them in villages toiling away. I saw women on Kafue Road crushing stones for sell and I wept. I said to myself where are the Zambian intellectuals? Are the Zambian engineers so imperceptive they cannot invent a simple stone crusher, or a simple water filter to purify well water for those poor villagers? Are you telling me that after thirty-seven years of independence your university school of engineering has not produced a scientist or an engineer who can make simple

small machines for mass use? What is the school there for?”

I held my breath.

“Do you know where I found your intellectuals? They were in bars quaffing. They were at the Lusaka Golf Club, Lusaka Central Club, Lusaka Playhouse, and Lusaka Flying Club. I saw with my own eyes a bunch of alcoholic graduates. Zambian intellectuals work from eight to five and spend the evening drinking. We don’t. We reserve the evening for brainstorming.”

He looked me in the eye.

“And you flying to Boston and all of you Zambians in the Diaspora are just as lazy and apathetic to your country. You don’t care about your country and yet your very own parents, brothers and sisters are in Mtendere, Chawama, and in villages, all of them living in squalor. Many have died or are dying of neglect by you. They are dying of AIDS because you cannot come up with your own cure. You are here calling yourselves graduates, researchers and scientists and are fast at articulating your credentials once asked—oh, I have a PhD in this and that—PhD my foot!”

I was deflated.

“Wake up you all!” he exclaimed, attracting the attention of nearby passengers. “You should be busy lifting ideas, formulae, recipes, and diagrams from American manufacturing factories and sending them to your own factories. All those research findings and dissertation papers you compile should be your country’s treasure. Why do you think the Asians are a force to reckon with? They stole our ideas and turned them into their own. Look at Japan, China, India, just look at them.”

He paused. “The Bwana has spoken,” he said and grinned. “As long as you are dependent on my plane, I shall feel superior and you my friend shall remain inferior, how about that? The Chinese, Japanese, Indians, even Latinos are a notch better. You Africans are at the bottom of the totem pole.”

He tempered his voice. “Get over this white skin syndrome and begin to feel confident. Become innovative and make your own stuff for god’s sake.”

At 8 a.m. the plane touched down at Boston’s Logan International Airport. Walter reached for my hand.

“I know I was too strong, but I don’t give it a damn. I have been to Zambia and have seen too much poverty.” He pulled out a piece of paper and scribbled something. “Here, read this. It was written by a friend.”

He had written only the title: “Lords of Poverty.”

Thunderstruck, I had a sinking feeling. I watched Walter walk through the airport doors to a waiting car. He had left a huge dust devil twirling in my mind, stirring up sad memories of home. I could see Zambia’s literati—the cognoscente, intelligentsia, academics, highbrows, and scholars in the places he had mentioned guzzling and talking irrelevancies. I remembered some who have since passed—how they got the highest grades in mathematics and the sciences and attained the highest education on the planet. They had been to Harvard, Oxford, Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), only to leave us with not a single invention or discovery. I knew some by name and drunk with them at the Lusaka Playhouse and Central Sports.

Walter is right. It is true that since independence we have failed to nurture creativity and collective orientations. We as a nation lack a workhorse mentality and behave like 13 million civil servants dependent on a government pay cheque. We believe that development is generated 8-to-5 behind a desk wearing a tie with our degrees hanging on the wall. Such a working environment does not offer the opportunity for fellowship, the excitement of competition, and the spectacle of innovative rituals.

But the intelligentsia is not solely, or even mainly, to blame. The larger failure is due to political circumstances over which they have had little control. The past governments failed to create an environment of possibility that fosters camaraderie, rewards innovative ideas and encourages resilience. KK, Chiluba, Mwanawasa, and Banda embraced orthodox ideas and therefore failed to offer many opportunities for drawing outside the line.

I believe King Cobra’s reset has been cast in the same faculties as those of his predecessors. If today I told him that we can build our own car, he would throw me out.

“Naupena? Fuma apa.” (Are you mad? Get out of here)

Knowing well that King Cobra will not embody innovation at Walter’s level let’s begin to look for a technologically active-positive leader who can succeed him after a term or two. That way we can make our own stone crushers, water filters, water pumps, razor blades, and harvesters. Let’s dream big and make tractors, cars, and planes, or, like Walter said, forever remain inferior.

A fundamental transformation of our country from what is essentially non-innovative to a strategic superior African country requires a bold risk-taking educated leader with a triumphalist attitude and we have one in YOU. Don’t be highly strung and feel insulted by Walter. Take a moment and think about our country. Our journey from 1964 has been marked by tears. It has been an emotionally overwhelming experience. Each one of us has lost a loved one to poverty, hunger, and disease. The number of graves is catching up with the population. It’s time to change our political culture. It’s time for Zambian intellectuals to cultivate an active-positive progressive movement that will change our lives forever. Don’t be afraid or dispirited, rise to the challenge and salvage the remaining few of your beloved ones.

Field Ruwe is a US-based Zambian media practitioner and author. He is a PhD candidate with a B.A. in Mass Communication and Journalism, and an M.A. in History

New envoys get postings - Ojo Maduekwe (Canada) - Fayomi (France) - Shehu Bunu (S/Arabia)

Wednesday, 13 June 2012 05:00

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday gave letters of credence to 93 newly appointed ambassadors with a call on them to shun ethnicity and promote national unity in their countries of assignment. The new envoys included 62 Heads of Mission, 24 Deputy Heads of Mission and seven ambassadors-in-situ, who would be domiciled in Nigeria.

Prominent among the 93 ambassadors are former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Ojo Maduekwe (Canada), Abubakar Shehu Bunu (Saudi Arabia),  former Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Taofeek Arapaja (Jordan), Ambassador Tukur Mani (Iran), Akinyele Oladipo Fayomi (France), Assam Ekanem Assam (Russia) and former Minister of Aviation Minsiter Fidelia Akuabata Njeze (Switzerland).

Although the president presented the letters of credence to all 93 new envoys, Daily Trust obtained the list of only 48 envoys with their countries of postings. The 48 are also those who the federal government have received letters of approval from the host countries. The remaining 45 only received their letter of credence while government still awaits letter of agreement from their host countries

Also among  the envoys are 11 women including  Mrs Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Mrs. Hadiza Mustapha, Mrs. Victoria Onipede, Mrs. Katherine Okon and Mrs Chigozie Obi-Nnadozie

Other female envoys are Mrs Matilda Kwashi, Mrs Katyen Jackden, Mrs Nonye Okpara, Sifawu Momoh and Mrs. Martine Gereng-Sen.

Ambassadors in-situ who would be domiciled in the country are the State House Chief of Protocol, Mr. Olutola Onijala; the Presidential Liaison Officer, Alh. Abubakar Waziri and Alh. Abdulkadir Musa.

The other Ambassadors in-situ are Ridhwan Mustapha, Ozoemenam Nwobu, Sunday Omoigiade and Harrison Solaja.

The issuance of the letters represents the last stage of official release of the envoys to resume at their duty posts.

President Jonathan while presenting the envoys their letters admonished them to project Nigeria as an indivisible national entity.

“You are the torchbearers of our vision and purposes as we engage the world. Go out and serve the nation with dedication and pride.

Jonathan also charged them to show commitment to the defence of interests of Nigerians living and operating lawfully in their countries of accreditation

The president tasked the new envoys to attract investments to the nation and open markets to indigenous goods.

Earlier in his remark, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru, said the event should be regarded as government’s efforts at injecting vigour and dynamism to the nation’s foreign policy.

In his vote of thanks on behalf of the new ambassadors, Maduekwe said they were grateful for the opportunity to represent the president.

2.Amb. Felix Edobor Awanbor (Belgium)
3.Amb. Lawrence Olufemi Obisakin (Benin Republic)
4.Amb. Okwudili Odi Obidigbo Nwosu (Burundi)
5.Amb. Hadiza Mustapha (Cameroon)
6.Amb. Ojo Uma Maduekwe (Canada)
7.Amb. Garba Abdu Zakari (Chad)
8.Amb. Victoria Jolaade Bosede Onipede (C/Brazzaville)
9.Amb. Katherine Uyok Okon (Czech Republic)
10.Amb. Grant Okechukwu Ehiobuche (D/Rep. of Congo)
11.Amb. Sunday Benjamin B. Bassey (Equitorial Guinea)
12.Amb. Akinyele Oladipo Fayomi (France)
13.Amb. Ademola Oluseyi Onafowokan (Ghana)
14.Amb. Ayodeji Lawrence Ayodele (Greece)
15.Amb. Abdul Rahman Sallahdeen (Indonesia)
16.Amb. Tukur Mani (Iran)
17.Amb. Eric Tonye Aworabhi (Italy)
18.Amb. Olatokunboh Kamson (Jamaica)
19.Amb. Taofeek Oladejo Arapaja (Jordan)
20.Amb. Solomon Akintola Kayode Oyateru (Kenya)
21.Amb. Haruna Garba (Kuwait)
22.Amb. Chigozie Fidelia Obi-Nnadozie (Liberia)
23.Amb. Mohammed Lawan Gana (Malawi)
24.Amb. Zhiri James Gana (Mexico)
25.Amb. Matilda Kwashi (Mozambique)
26.Amb. Biodun Nathaniel Olorunfemi (Namibia)
27.Amb. Alexander Nwofe (North Korea)
28.Amb. Akinyemi Farounbi (Philippines)
29.Amb. Samuel Wodi Jimba (Poland)
30.Amb. Abba Abdullahi Tijani (Romania)
31.    Amb. Assam Ekanem Assam (Russia)
32.    Amb. Ayibakuro Peter Ogidi-Oke (Rwanda)
33.    Amb. Abubakar Shehu Bunu (Saudi Arabia)
34.    Amb. Katyen Catherine Jackden (Senegal)
35.    Amb. Eyo Asuquo (Sierra Leone)
36.    Amb. Femi Akenson Rotimi (Sri Lanka)
37.    Amb. Haliru Sodangi Shuaibu (Sudan)
38.    Amb. Fidelia Akuabata Njeze (Switzerland)
39.    Amb. Adamu Babangida Ibrahim (Syria)
40.    Amb. Chukwudi Newington Okafor (Thailand)
41.    Amb. Matthew  Sunday  Adoli (Togo)
42.    Amb. James Shuaibu Barka (Tunisia)
43.     Amb. Cornelius O. Oluwateru (United Arab. Emirates)
44.    Amb. Frank Ngozi Isoh (Uganda)
45.    Amb. Ibrahim Auwalu (Ukraine)
46.    Amb. Francis Chukwuemeka Okeke (Vatican)
47.    Amb. Mathias Ojih Okafor (Vietnam)
48.    Amb. Sifawu Inu-Umoru Momoh (Zambia)

For those lost last Sunday⁠, a heart wrenching tribute Written by Carmen McCain  

13 June 2012
“Pls confirm that TREM utako Pastors Rev Ayodeji n Ngozi Cole are safe. Plsssss any1. Oh God,” one of my friends wrote on Facebook. It was Sunday, and I had logged online to look for news about the church bombing in Bauchi. Instead, I was assaulted by news of the day’s second tragedy: the Dana plane crash. Another friend posted a photo of Amina Idris Bugaje’s emoticon sprinkled last bb message. “Finally in abuja airport. will soon leave for lagos.”

As the hours and days wore on the news became more and more heartbreaking. Nine members of one family gone, Onyeka and Maimuna Anyene, their four children, Maimuna’s mother Birikisu Mijindadi, and two other cousins, Ogechi and Oluchi. The Nation lists nine other families who lost at least two family members. A friend texted me that she had lost her aunt and uncle on the flight and nine family friends.

Other friends spoke of those they lost. Ed Oribhabor wrote on Jos-ANA listserve of his late boss, Anthony Nwaokoagbara, a Safety/Environmental Engineer and former Abuja Zonal Operations Controller, Department of Petroleum Resources, “The whole drama will play out, roll on and roll away like other mishaps before this. But one thing is clear, if you have someone in that ill-fated aircraft, it’s a different matter. Just like me who lost my immediate boss Mr. Anthony Nwaokoagbara. One boss too many. A man of his words. Pragmatic and forward-looking. Practical, sincere and down to earth. Non-discriminatory and patriotic.”

Enene Elayo wrote: “I met Adaobi “Dobi” Mojekwu about one year ago...considering the impact she has had on my life in such a short space of time, it’s easy to get a feel for what kind of person she was. Adaobi was a professional interior designer—among her other talents, she was an entrepreneur pure and simple with the personality for it.

Professional, well spoken, focused and cheerful. A friend had asked me to accompany her to see someone she had purchased household fittings and sheets from...I went along and met Adaobi.

I still recall the first thing she said to me once we were there “So you, where do you work?”

I replied that my friend and I both worked at Diamond Bank as marketers. The next question threw me, ‘So what is it you like about that banking thing?!’

I was recovering from that when she carried on, ‘Is it the power skirt suits?!’ I was about to take offense when I really looked at her and saw the twinkle in her eye and felt her complete lack of guile or malice. Adaobi took no prisoners!

As it turned out I hated skirt suits, and I hated working as a banker even more.

‘What do you love?’ was the next sucker-punch, direct, question Adaobi asked me. I guess you can figure that was her style. She was a direct, focused, ‘cut out the crap and lets make things happen’ kinda gal!

Adaobi made me think about my life, made me stop griping about a job I hated that was consuming my life. She made me realize that what I actually loved was writing and baking. On her father’s 80th birthday in April, I supplied the birthday cake. (And yes! she paid me for it.) It’s been four months since I quit my job and employed myself as a dessert caterer...there is no way I would have done this without Adaobi “Dobi” Mojekwu. I will never forget.”

Emman Shehu of the International Institute of Journalism wrote of his student who was to go to Oxford in September: “Alvana Ojukwu came into the Post-Graduate Journalism Class two years ago, somewhat late due to some challenges. But the moment she came into that class, her frail and quiet countenance could not hide her brilliance. A lawyer by training, it was easy to see she had a bright future ahead of her. Supervising her project, we had a couple of tiffs, but like I told her, she had to produce what I knew she was capable of doing. Eventually she saw my point and turned out a good thesis.

I had no hesitation recommending her for the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) job and the academic programme she was looking forward to abroad.

At the Institute’s Matriculation Programme last Saturday, she showed up and we joked and took pictures. She mentioned off-handedly an official trip to Lagos on Sunday.

Last night, my eyes scanning the DANA MANIFEST closed in on...ALAVANA OJUKWU. This morning, I get a confirmation from her office. Nigeria has lost a gem in the making.”

The stories go on and on, but in the midst of grief regarding the over two-hundred people  who lost their lives in Lagos, we must not lose sight of the continuing tragedy of terrorism and those lost in Sunday’s bomb attack on the Living Faith and Harvest Field churches in Bauchi.

A young man Joseph Femi wrote me a few months ago about how his brother, who was killed in the January attack on Kano, “called that he’ll be coming home on Saturday, not knowing it will be his corpse that will return home. He stayed at the police college, and he played soccer for the police team and he was a promising football player. Then came this tragic black Friday when he was murdered cold blooded. […] It was unbelievable when the news got home Saturday morning, the day he ought to have returned home to spend the weekend with his family but instead it was his corpse that was brought back. He’s the bread winner of the family.  […] All we want is justice but it seems it’ll never come. This country has turned to a lawless country where the evil ones can get away with all their wrong doings. It has not been easy ever since he was killed, but thank God we’re coping. May his soul rest in peace.” On Wednesday morning, he wrote, “Carmen, I told you about my brother that was murdered in Kano last January. Now another has been murdered here in Bauchi in the bomb blast. Two of my brothers have been murdered…”

The stories are so heart breaking, that I have no words. I let others write for me today. On an online profile put together for the air crash victims on onlinenigeria.com, a friend of Kola Ayoola, a branch Manager at Sterling Bank Plc. Lagos, wrote: “This is what you post on FB last month: ‘death to most seems like it’s far, far away. On the day that it arrives it will have been too late to do what we can do today’. We never knew it was goodbye message […] May Almighty God make you among of inmates of paradise…”

For Kola Ayoola, and for those killed alongside him in Lagos in the air and on the ground, and for those killed by bombs and guns in churches and mosques, barracks and offices, and for those killed in crashes on the hungry roads and in understaffed hospitals, we say “Amen.”

FCT Minister Seizes Turai’s Land For Dame Patience

⁠June 13, 2012

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed and Former First Lady, Hajiya Turai Umaru Yar’Adua, are poised for a bitter struggle over the ownership of a plot of land in the Central Business District, the heart of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Controversy over the land started after the FCT revoked ownership, which had been granted to a non-governmental organisation (NGO) Women And Youth Empowerment Foundation (WAYEF), sponsored by Hajiya Turai.

The land was then purportedly re-allocated to another organisation, African First Ladies Peace Centre, to which by the current first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, is believed to be a sponsor.

Although the minister is suspected to be fighting a proxy war for the first lady, LEADERSHIP could not confirm if she is aware of it.

Records of the transaction obtained by LEADERSHIP, showed that the choice plot of land, beside the ThisDay Dome, was allocated to WAYEF on February 19, 2010 only for another document dated August 11, 2008 to surface from the FCT administration, indicating that the same plot had earlier been allocated to the African First Ladies Peace Centre.

In response, WAYEF filed a suit at an Abuja High Court challenging the action of the FCT administration, which has turned a blind eye to the ongoing construction. In a ruling delivered by Justice Peter Affen on March 5, 2012, the court issued an injunction ordering the FCT to restrain all parties from any further activities at the site.

Two weeks after the injunction was issued, however, persons believed to be working for the African First Ladies Peace Centre have resumed work on the disputed land, forcing Turai’s lawyers to file contempt proceedings against the FCT Minister.

Also joined in the suit are the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke; Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS); and the Federal Capital Territory Administration.

Turai’s lawyers claimed that WAYEF, had not only obtained the requisite approvals, but had also paid N166million of the statutory N184million in September 2011, to the Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) for the right of occupancy. A balance of N18million was paid in November 2011.

However, despite the said payments, the FCT revoked WAYEF’s title to the property.

Although the August 2008 C of O issued to the African First Ladies Peace Centre had indicated that the land was to be used only for ‘‘public institution,’’ the centre is not listed in any official document as an agency, department or parastatal of the federal government.

Yet, according to the letter of revocation dated, November 2, 2011 and signed by Mrs Asma’u Mukhtar on behalf of the FCT Minister, the title was revoked “due to an overriding public interest.”

In the same vein, another letter of revocation was also issued to the African First Ladies Peace Centre by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory signed by Mrs Asma’u Mukhtar and also dated November 2, 2011.

Subsequently, the court granted the prayers of the plaintiff and orders thus: ‘‘I will and do hereby record an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants whether individually or collectively from taking any action or step that adversely affects the title, rights and interests over and the said piece of land pending the determination of this suit.”

Despite the subsisting court order, WAYEF said it noticed movement of earth moving machines on the disputed plot. This prompted counsel to the NGO in a letter dated 24th April, 2012 to draw the attention of the FCT authorities to the pending court order and the need to adhere to it.

Also on the 30th March, 2012, counsel to WAYEF wrote the commissioner of police, FCT command complaining of trespass against the construction company working on the disputed property.

In the said letter, the legal practitioner seeks the intervention of the police in order to “halt, immediately, the unlawful action and trespass by Construction Limited or whoever they are acting for.”

Legal search report at the Department of Land Administration in the FCT showed that though the land in dispute belongs to WAYEF, the title was withdrawn due to the ongoing litigation between the FCT authorities and WAYEF.

Culled: Leadership

Dana pilot’s last conversation with air traffic controller

⁠June 12, 2012

Good day!” These were the last two words the courageous pilot told air traffic controllers before the Dana Air flight 0992 crashed into a residential building in Iju-Ishaga, Lagos, killing all the 153 people on board and 10 people on ground on Sunday, June 3, 2012.

The transcription of the last conversation between the air traffic controller and the crew revealed that the pilots did everything to land the aircraft safely on Runway 18 Right of the Murtala Muhammed Airport.

The recording, a copy of which was obtained exclusively from a top official of the Ministry of Aviation on Monday by our correspondent, showed that the flight crew did not lose hope even up till the last second before the aircraft crashed.

The crew had believed the aircraft would make it to Runway 18R of the Lagos airport.

The transcription revealed that the aircraft had indeed lost its two engines, shortly after which the pilot declared an emergency.

This revelation is, however, contrary to the view of Dana Air’s Director of Flight Operations, Captain Oscar Wason, who had said it would be premature to conclude that aircraft lost its two engines.

Wason claimed that there was nothing to indicate that the pilot told the air traffic controller that the two engines of the aircraft had been lost.

The transcription revealed that the pilot told the controller he had “dual engine failure.”

Apart from having dual engine failure, the pilot also told the air traffic controller that he had “negative response from the throttle.”

Overall, the transcription revealed that the airplane was in a very devastating condition.

This explains why it was said to have descended very fast shortly after the pilot declared emergency, saying, “May Day, May Day”

Air traffic controllers, who spoke to our correspondent under condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to comment on the matter, confirmed that the aircraft descended very fast.

The video recording of the radar also revealed that the aircraft pilot declared emergency at about 5,000 feet above the sea level.

It further revealed that the ill-fated Boeing McDonell Douglass-83 plane disappeared from the radar at about 800 feet above the sea level.

The recording, however, confirmed Wason’s claim that the pilot of the ill-fated plane never spoke with air traffic controllers in the Control Tower.

Rather, the pilot spoke with ATCs in the radar control room of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, which is also located at the airport.

The recording also revealed that the pilot was handed over to the ATCs in the Control Tower, but he never had a chance to speak with them before the crash.
From the recording, the last words the pilot told the radar control unit was, “1181, good day,” in response to some information he had received from the ATC on duty.

The ATC had told him to contact the Control Tower on frequency 1181. The pilot, who had declared emergency to the ATCs in the radar control room, replied, “1181 good day,” meaning he had got the information.

According to ATCs, “good day” is the usual parlance they and pilots use in signing off from a conversation.

From his accent, it was obvious he was the Indian co-pilot, Mr. Mahendra Roathore, who spoke with the ATCs during the last minutes of the tragic flight.

The pilot, an American, Captain Peter Waxtan, was said to have been busy, struggling to keep the aircraft in flight, while the co-pilot spoke with the ATCs.

Below is the word-for-word account of the conversation between the crew of the ill-fated plane and the ATC on duty.

Co-pilot: “Lagos Tower, Dana code 0992!”

ATC: “Dana Code 0992, this is Lagos radar, go ahead!”

Co-pilot: “May Day! May Day! May Day! Dana code 0992 Five November Romeo Alpha Mike! (5N-RAM) dual engine failure!”

ATC: “Dana Code 0992, read me?”

Co-pilot: “I read you five by five! Dual engine failure! Negative response from throttle! Requesting for direct straight approach!”

ATC: “Alright, position it one mile to touch down, Runway 18R! Contact tower now on 1181!”

Co-pilot: “1181 Good day!”

Unfortunately, the crew never spoke with the control tower. The aircraft crashed into the residential building a few seconds after this discussion.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Spain 1-1 Italy: Fabregas spares holders' blushes

The Barcelona midfielder replied almost immediately after Antonio Di Natale's strike on the hour mark to earn La Furia Roja a point in the opening match of kicked off their respective Euro 2012 campaigns with an absorbing 1-1 draw on Sunday in Group C.

Antonio Di Natale drew first blood for the Azzurri on 60 minutes, coming straight off the substitutes bench to put his side ahead, but only four minutes later, Cesc Fabregas ensured their opening day ended with a share of the spoils in Gdansk.

The headline news that preceded the match was the inclusion of Cesc Fabregas as the man who would be bestowed with leading the line for the Spaniards in a 'false No.9' role, ahead of recognised strikers Fernando Torres and Fernando Llorente.

Meanwhile, coach Cesare Prandelli went with a 3-5-2 formation, with Daniele De Rossi lining up in defence. Emanuele Giaccherini was also given his maiden bow for the Azzurri at left wing-back.

Predictably, inside the first 10 minutes, Spain set out their stall as Italy were put on the back foot. La Roja threatened to impose their tiki-taka style in the early stages, but la Nazionale's wall at the back refused to be beaten, lead by Daniele De Rossi.

Soon after, the first chance of the game fell to David Silva, as the Roma man's mistimed tackle saw the ball fall to Andres Iniesta, who then laid a pass off for the diminutive Manchester City star. However, his attempt was easily saved by Gianluigi Buffon.

The move provided the impetus for Italy to hit back on 13 minutes with an Andrea Pirlo free-kick. Mario Balotelli's feint allowed the Juventus playmaker to step up and curl an attempt to the right of Iker Casillas, but the goalkeeper parried away to safety.

From there on, Italy gained momentum. Antonio Cassano was next up, collecting Claudio Marchisio's through ball, but his shot in the box went just wide of the far post with Casillas beaten.

Spain seemed to have lost their cutting edge, but with Iniesta on the ball, they could never be discounted. Italy continued to look more purposeful in their play, but La Roja came steaming back through the Barcelona man, who saw his lobbed effort go just over.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Funke Akindele wins again!

⁠June 9, 2012  |   ⁠Filed under: Art & Entertainment  |   ⁠Posted by: admin



Son of the doyen of Nigerian theatre, Hubert Ogunde, Bayo Ogunde last Sunday invoked the spirit of his late father when he mounted the stage to receive a posthumous award in his honour.

The event was the maiden edition of the Yoruba Movie Academy Awards(YMAA), which held at the new ultra-modern June 12 Cultural Centre in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital. It was attended by A-list actors from the Yoruba movie sector.

As soon as he mounted the stage, Bayo who happened to be the first son of the departed thespian recreated to the surprise of everyone the image of Ogunde by presenting a scintillating performance of one of his favourite songs.

Clad in white brocade, Bayo dramatically moved from one end of the expansive stage to the other, dancing and enchanting in a manner that invoked the spirit of his late father .

His performance, however, drew a thunderous ovation from the audience, including the wife of the state governor, Mrs Olufunsho Amosun who could not help but appreciated the immense contribution of Ogunde to the development of theatre tradition in Nigeria.

Ogunde was not the only thespian that was honoured at the event which was dedicated to celebrating Yoruba movie stars.

Other awardees include , Chief Lere Paimo, Tunde kelani, Moses Olaiya, Late Alade Aromire, actress Idowu Phillips(Mama rainbow), Abiodun Duro Ladipo (Moremi) and Adeyemi Afolayan(Ade Love).

The night’s big winners were newly wedded Funke Akindele who clinched the ‘Best Actress in a Leading Role Award’ and prolific actor cum producer, Odunlade Adekola who won the ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role Award.’Unfortunately, Funke was not in the country to receive the award.

Winners also emerged from other categories. Saheed Osupa bagged the Best Musician in a Leading Role Award while Gabriel Afolayan won ‘ The Most promising actor’as well as Abbey Lanre who went home with the Best Director award. Also, the Best Actress in a support role award was won by Peju Ogunmola, just as Adebayo Salami clinched the Best Actor in a supporting role. Afeez Oyetoro(Saka) bagged the Best Comedy actor award while the Best Cross over Actor was jointly won by Kelvin Ikeduba and Rykado Agbor amongst other awards.

The highpoint of the glamorous award night, which happened to be the first of its kind in the state was the “traditional red carpet” and the classy Hummer Limousine shuttle which conveyed the nominees from their respective hotels to the venue of the event. Indeed, it was a new beginning for the various stakeholders in the Yoruba movie industry

Culled: Vanguard

Creflo Dollar Makes Statement on Arrest

Congregants at World Changers Church International near Atlanta can expect to see their recently arrested pastor, Creflo Dollar, in church on Sunday, according to the Associated Press.

Yesterday Dollar was charged with simple battery and cruelty to children after a fight with his 15-year-old daughter left her with a visible injury on her neck. The altercation was over whether she could attend a party, said officials. He was released from Fayette County jail on $5,000 bond.

"As a father I love my children and I always have their best interest at heart at all times, and I would never use my hand to ever cause bodily harm to my children," Dollar said in a statement released by his lawyer Nikki Bonner. "The facts in this case will be handled privately to further protect my children. My family thanks you for your prayers and continued support."

Dollar will make no further comments since he's involved in the ongoing criminal matter, but he is expected to preach Sunday, Bonner said.

Christian Obodo, Super Eagles midfielder Kidnapped

Four unidentified gunmen have abducted Super Eagles midfielder Christian Obodo.

Obodo was kidnapped early Saturday morning in front of a church in Effurun, Warri, Delta State by four gunmen.

The midfielder was driving in the car with a customised plate number ‘Obodo 5′ around 9.20a.m on Jakpa Road when the kidnappers blocked his car and seized him.

His abductors were said to have tailed the footballer after he reportedly went to a club in Warri Friday night.

The gunmen left his car in front of the church at New Layout, Effurun and took him away in their own car.

A top official of the Delta State government who plead anonymity confirmed the unfortunate incident to SuperSports.

“Yes he has been kidnapped. The details are still sketchy but I was told he was on his way to church this (Saturday) morning with his car that has registration number ‘Obodo 5.’

“Apparently his car’s registration may have attracted his kidnappers because he went clubbing last (Friday) night in the same car,” the government official said.

There has been no word yet from the kidnappers.

Christian Obodo’s kidnap is the first high-profile footballer abduction in the country.


How woman was caught exhuming corpses in Bauchi ⁠

Written by Ahmed Mohammed, Bauchi  

Saturday, 09 June 2012 05:01

The people of Doguwa, in Doguwa Local Government Area of Bauchi State were last Wednesday thrown into a bizarre sight when a woman was caught digging graves at the town’s cemetery and removing the corpses buried in them. Doguwa is about 200 kilometers away from Bauchi metropolis.


A resident of the town Malam Hussaini Ahmed Doguwa told Weekly Trust that the incident happened around 4pm in the evening. He said a woman of about 50 years old, was apprehended by some people as she was digging grave inside the town’s cemetery. “She had already opened four new graves when she was caught. She actually tried to run when she saw people approaching her, but the people chased and caught her. She was later handed over to policemen in the town,” he said.

Ahmed said “we were surprised, because we have never seen this kind of thing in our life. And after she was arrested the woman gave her name initially as Odah. Later she changed it to Salamatu Abdurra’uf from Kutumi village in Gaya Local Government Area of Kano State.”

He said the woman had spent two days in the town and everybody pitied her because of her condition. She pretended to be insane. For instance she bought a mango and wanted to pay with leaves. The mango seller refused to accept the leaves, and some good Samaritans in the area intervened. She also bought a pair of sleepers and presented the trader with leaves. When he refused to collect the leaves she brought out fresh mints and paid him.”

“When the woman was found inside the graveyard, she was asked what she was doing and she said nothing and asked the people to leave her alone and mind their business. They left her and went inside the town and informed the members of the vigilante. When they arrived, they found that she had already removed the sticks of the fourth grave and was about to remove a corpse.

“When she saw the people in the town coming to arrest her she fled and they pursued her. The way she was running, you will think she is a man,” Ahmed said.

He said after she was arrested she started begging for forgiveness, claiming that it was an accident and she will not repeat it again. The crowd that gathered at the scene advocated for jungle justice for her, suggesting that she should be killed and her corpse burnt. But the vigilante members called the village head of Doguwa on phone who directed them to hand her over to Police.

The Village Head of Doguwa Aliyu Salihu said he was in Bauchi when he was informed about the woman and he directed his subject to take her to Giade Police station. He said this is the third time it is happening in the town same months in three years. He said “last year unknown people dug a grave of a young girl and removed her hair and cloth, while they disappeared with her corpse, and two years back we saw a strange woman near a millet farm, trying to cross the road. When she saw people she hid herself inside the farm, we thought she was feeling shy to cross the road because of people. A young boy called Muhammad was playing with his friend and the strange woman tricked him, she put him on her back and went into the millet farm. Till today, nothing has been heard about the woman and the little boy.”

Weekly Trust gathered that Police have arraigned the woman before an Upper Sharia Court in Giade. At the court, Police Prosecutor Corporal Alex Ako charged her with conspiracy and illegal entrance in to the grave yard to commit offence contrary to section 95,213 of the penal code. However, because of the mammoth crowd that converged on the court wanting to kill the woman, she was transferred to Shira Prison.

The Sharia Court Judge Malam Salisu Mohammed Konkiyel directed that the woman should be transferred to Bauchi State Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation, adding that she might be insane. He said at the state CID experts will be able to know if she was sponsored by some people to come and dig the grave.

Registrar of the Court told Weekly Trust that angry youths that gathered in the court argued that the woman was just pretending. They alleged that she said she is not the only one even if they kill her many of her type will visit the town, they also alleged that she has good and brand new clothes in her sack.

At the Bauchi State CID, a senior Police Officer told Weekly Trust that the woman may not be mentally alright because she doesn’t talk coherently. He also said that she sometimes catch and eat insects just as she excrete waste from her anus, eat the waste and clean it with her hand.

He said Police had arraigned her before Bauchi Chief Magistrate Court where the presiding Magistrate directed Police to take her to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital Bauchi and look for her relatives in order to return her to them.

The Police officer said they are now waiting for report from the hospital in order to complete their investigation for necessary action.

Weekly Trust investigations revealed that Doguwa and environs were battling with the problem of missing people. In Giade, one person called Malam Danladi Tela Manu was declared missing recently. His three wives and 22 children are now praying to the Almighty so that their breadwinner can be located.

Explosive kills Suspected Bomber In Maiduguri

A bomb killed one person early Friday in the northern city of Maiduguri, the army and residents said.

The improvised explosive device (IED), concealed in a bag kept under a public shed, exploded around 6:00 am (0500 GMT) in the Gidan Dambe district of the volatile city, they said.

The army said victim was a suspected Boko Haram member trying to plant an explosive device. Residents however said they thought he was a drug addict who had been trying to find out what was in the bag.

“There was an explosion in an area of Maiduguri this morning and our men immediately deployed to the area,” Colonel Victor Ebhaleme, commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) operating in the city, told AFP.

“They found a man we believe to be a member of Boko Haram, dismembered by the explosion.

“Preliminary investigation has shown that he was killed when he was trying to plant the device,” he stated.

A resident said: “a resident known to be a drug addict, named Dalwa, went into the shed and tried to open the bag to see what was inside it. The device exploded and killed him on the spot. His body was blown into pieces.”

The JTF has cordoned off the area.

Dana crash: How pilot reported dual engine failure, ‘negative throttle response

By Our Reporter ⁠

Fresh facts emerged yesterday that the pilot of the ill-fated Dana Aircraft, Captain Peter Waxtan, actually reported dual engine failure in his last communication with the control tower at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos. 

Also, the pilot allegedly declared negative response from throttle, implying a serious difficulty in landing. 

But the development has raised fresh posers in the aviation sector over the flight and the conduct of the pilot. 

In the last few days, the management of Dana Air had joined issues with the Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah, on whether the two engines of the aircraft were faulty or not. 

There were indications yesterday, however, that the two engines were lost about 10 nautical miles to the airport. 

According to the snippets of the last communication between the tower and the pilot obtained in confidence, the  latter spoke in a panicking tone. 

Apart from the Black Box which will provide technical details of how the crash occurred, contact with the control tower could be locally retrieved. 

Investigation revealed that aviation experts in the Ministry of Aviation, Abuja , who are in the know of the communication between the pilot and the control tower, wondered what the pilot meant by "dual engine failure." 

According to them, "the pilot contacted the control tower in Lagos at about 10 nautical miles while the aircraft was flying at an altitude of 5,000 feet to declare "May Day", interpreted in aviation to mean "emergency". 

The pilot was quoted as saying: "May Day, May Day due to dual engine failure and negative response from throttle", in a panic-laden voice. 

"The simple interpretation of this, according to the experts, is that the engines had packed up and the pilot was no longer in control of the aircraft." 

It was gathered that the experts also wondered why the pilot had earlier requested to be cleared to land on runway 18R, when the aircraft was flying at an altitude of 7,200 feet instead of runway 18L usually used by aircraft on local flights. 

The experts added: "Runway 18R is in the international wing and is 4.5km long compared to 18L which is over 3km long. 

"The request to be allowed to land on "18R with longer breaking distance meant that the pilot was anticipating some problems or was indeed having problems. 

"Could the aircraft have been on one engine with the pilot hoping to use it to land? If this was so, at what point did the aircraft lose the engine? Did the pilot try to "restart" or "relight" the engine to no avail? They said the questions are apt as it is rare for all the engines of an aircraft to fail at the same time. 

"It is not clear if any such problem was communicated to the control tower at that point. 

"All that, however, will be captured by the AIB, which is in possession of the black box containing the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder," they said. 

It was gathered that an analysis of the flight data recorder will reveal the state of the engine and the technical performance of the aircraft. 

One of the sources said: "From the cockpit voice recorder will emerge the pilot communication with air traffic controllers in the last 30 minutes of the flight. 

"Air traffic controllers also record their communications with pilots for aerial, approach and aerodrome. This is archived for 90 days and in the event of air mishap made available within 24  hours to the AIB." 

As at press time, more countries have joined ongoing investigation of the crash. 

The Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Joe Obi, who spoke with our correspondent in Abuja, said: "I know it is not only the US that is investigating the crash. There are other volunteer countries. But I won't be able to immediately give you their names. 

"Other countries are joining the investigation because we have some components of the aircraft that ought to be analysed too." 

Asked when the corpses of the deceased will be released, Obi said: "It has to do with medical examination. Only the Lagos State Government can talk on this. 

"We know that some faiths allow early burial of their deceased members, but the Lagos State Government will be of assistance in this respect." 

Friday, 8 June 2012


The Russian soccer team yesterday whitewashed their Czechs counterpart by a 4 - 1 margin on the day 1st day of the ongoing Euro 2012 co hosted by Ukraine and Poland.