Are you one of those believing that President Jonathan will not contest in 2015? Or have you been sucked in too by silly
statements such as the one made by a northern political lightweight that “the north will rise against Jonathan”. Please stop
being fooled. Lets move a bit forward in the way we analyze the likely future of our dear country.Let us be more realistic
with ourselves in order to improve general discourse and perhaps influence the turn of events in our motherland.
This write-up is neither for or against President Jonathan.The points listed can be useful for or against our president.So if
you belong to either side of the fence please feel free to express it the way you see it.
WHY JONATHAN’S PRESIDENCY MAY OUTLAST 2015
1.The issue of whether he has spent 2 terms or not has not been resolved legally. If two terms equal 8 yrs there should be no
election in 2015 until he has spent 8yrs.On the other hand some might argue that each election is for 4 yrs of a presidency no
matter how many occupied the seat within the period.We might be looking at another Akinjide “two thirds” case on our
hands.If not resolved now,History has shown that the Nigerian Supreme Court hardly decides against the interest of the
2.Northern politicians except a few like those in charge of Boko Haram can easily be bought over. The governors who have
spent two terms can be promised ministerial or ambassadorial appointments. Those who are going to seek for second terms
might consider it safer to stay with a rolling train. Once the governors are trapped the battle is won for Jonathan
3. The South-Eastern politicians are not seriously preparing to challenge Jonathan.Those who are making noise or are likely
to be “settled”
4.Opposition parties within and without PDP led by Atiku,Buhari and Tinubu have no hope of unseating an incumbent
president.They are too many miles apart ideologically and would be loaded by PDP pretenders or spies anyway before they
can understand themselves.All their “strategies” will always be on PDP tables within 24 hours.As for Atiku,PDP by now
knows how to handle his case and that of IBB.In reality OBJ only has a nuisance political weight.He has no real base to use
to challenge Jonathan.In any case Anenih has been rescucitated to provide an alternate to him.
5.The PDP is made up of people with the same capitalist ideology.It does not matter whether they are from the north or
south.Their interest is not really in geography or ethnicity.It is in the languages of naira,dollars and pounds sterling.It was
so during NPN days and so shall it always be.
6.The armed forces have been “scattered” by locations,appointments and modern technology.If a coup takes place today in
Abuja it is possible to have 3 to 4 dissenting units all over the country with access to radio,tv,social media to counter such a
7.The “rebels” or “freedom fighters” from the delta will rise up again to defend the pot of soup they are presently
licking.Nigeria may therefore step backwards by another 8 yrs.Or do you think Jonathan is a fool by keeping the group
“handy”?.In addition to this,the Ijaw nation will likely rise up once again as it did during the fuel price increase
to defend their son and keep him on seat.
8.Jonathan so far has craftily avoided making deep enemies of any particular section of the country in line with Yar’adua
policies and very much unlike OBJ who created eternal enemies for himself through military policies and styles of
governance.Many of those who voted for him in some sections of the country might see him as a lesser evil even
if they cannot identify anything positive about him.
9.But is it true that there is nothing positive about Jonathan? Has the power supply situation improved in your area like
mine?. Well we may have to leave each individual to determine what his/her priorities are to decide whether some sample of
goodness is attachable to Jonathan or not.
10.My last and most important point is that INEC ,meaning Prof.Jega will rather prefer to work with him rather than against
him (will you bite the hand feeding you so well?). So where is the hope for Buhari in 2015? It is locked up in a political
suitcase.Like those of most Nigerians.
Speaking out: Piers Morgan angered 90,000 gun-lovers in the US when he spoke out about gun control
It was controlled, legal, safe and undeniably exciting. But it also showed me, quite demonstrably, that guns are killing machines.
Rarely has the hideous effect of a gun been more acutely laid bare than at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, two weeks ago – when a deranged young man called Adam Lanza murdered 20 schoolchildren aged six and seven, as well as six adults, in a sickening rampage.
The Sandy Hook massacre brought back such horribly vivid memories for me of Dunblane, the worst mass shooting in Britain in my lifetime.
I was editor of the Daily Mirror on that day back in 1996 and will never forget the appalling TV footage of those poor Scottish mothers sprinting to the small primary school, many already howling with anguish at the thought of what might have happened to their five-year-old children.
It was a slaughter so senseless, so unspeakable, that it reduced even hard-bitten news reporters, including me, to tears.
And as I watched the parents at Sandy Hook racing to try to find their children, I saw the same images, the same terror, that engulfed Dunblane. And I felt the same tears welling up.
Then, 16 five-year-old children were slain in their classroom. Now, 20 six- and seven-year-olds. Beautiful young lives snuffed out before they had a chance to fulfil any of their potential. It made me so gut-wrenchingly angry.
I have four children. And I still remember the blind terror I felt when I lost my son Stanley, then aged two, for half an hour at a cricket match on a field surrounded by a small running creek. I was sure he’d drowned. But I was lucky: he finally emerged from where he’d been hiding – big, cheeky grin intact.
Every parent has a similar story. To even try to conceive of how you would feel if your child was shot multiple times in the head by a Rambo madman at school is just impossible. I honestly don’t know how you would ever carry on with life.
But my anger turned to blind rage when I saw the reaction to this hideous massacre in America.
Sales of the specific weapon used, an AR-15 military-style assault rifle, rocketed at gun stores all over America in the days following the Sandy Hook shooting.
And the country’s biggest gun supplier, Brownells, said it sold more high-capacity bullet magazines in three days than it normally did in three-and-a-half years.
What is behind this apparently insane behaviour? The answer is, mainly, fear.
The well-organized, richly funded, vociferous pro-gun lobby were straight out, on my CNN show and many other media outlets, declaring that the only way those schoolchildren would have survived is if their teachers had been armed. It’s been their answer to every mass shooting.
After the shootings at a cinema in Aurora, Colorado, in July – where 70 people were hit, the worst victim-count in such an incident in US history, and 12 people died – sales of guns in the state rose by a staggering 41 per cent in the following month as people bought into the theory that if everyone in the theater had been armed too, they’d have stopped the shooter. Can you imagine the scene as 200 people pulled out guns and started blazing away in a dark theater?
The gun-lobby logic dictates that the only way to defend against gun criminals is for everyone else to have a gun, too. Teachers, nurses, clergymen, shop assistants, cinema usherettes – everyone must be armed.
To me, this is a warped, twisted logic that bears no statistical analysis and makes no sense. Do you fight drug addiction with more cocaine? Alcoholism with more Jack Daniel’s? Of course not.
But woe betide anyone who dares suggest this. In the days following Sandy Hook, I interviewed a number of gun-rights representatives and grew increasingly furious as they trotted out these hackneyed old disingenuous lines.
Finally, I erupted at one of them, a man with the unfortunate name of Larry Pratt, who runs the Gun Owners of America lobbying group.
‘You,’ I eventually declared, ‘are an unbelievably stupid man.’
And that was the catalyst for the full wrath of the gun lobby to crash down on my British head.
A petition was created on an official White House website demanding my deportation for ‘attacking the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution’. This, of course, is the one that alludes to an American’s ‘right to bear arms’.
The concerted effort to get me thrown out of the country – which has so far gathered more than 90,000 signatures – struck me as rather ironic, given that by expressing my opinion I was merely exercising my rights, as a legal US resident, under the 1st Amendment, which protects free speech.
But no matter.
This gun debate is an ongoing war of verbal attrition in America – and I’m just the latest target, the advantage to the gun lobbyists being that I’m British, a breed of human being who burned down the White House in 1814 and had to be forcefully deported en masse, as no American will ever be allowed to forget – Special Relationship notwithstanding.
It’s no exaggeration to say that America’s unique fondness for guns pretty much got cemented by hatred of us Brits and the War of Independence. But the main reason the more fervent gun-rights activists give is a fear of their own US federal government using its army to impinge on their freedom. The problem is that America’s historical love of guns means the country is now awash with them – and with gun death.
The bare statistics say it all. There are 311 million people in the United States and an estimated 300 million guns in circulation. (Between four million and seven million new firearms are manufactured in the US every year.)
Take out children from the population figure, and that’s comfortably more than one gun per person.
Each year, on average, 100,000 Americans are shot with a gun. Of these, over 31,000 are fatalities, 11,000 of them murders and 18,000 suicides. More than a million people have been killed with guns in America since 1968 when Dr Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated.
The US firearm murder rate is 19.5 times higher than the 22 next most populous, high-income countries in the world. And a staggering 80 per cent of firearm deaths in the combined 23 countries occur in America.
My campaign against America’s gun laws didn’t begin two weeks ago when Adam Lanza committed his carnage. It began a week before I went on air for CNN, in January 2011. A US Congresswoman called Gabby Giffords was shot in the head by another deranged young man at an outdoor event in Tucson, Arizona, and miraculously survived. Six others, including a nine-year-old girl, were murdered.
Hitting back: Morgan has responded to the growing petition with a series of tweets
It was a horrifying incident but, to my astonishment, nothing happened as a result. A week or so of debate and furrowed brows, and everyone went on with life.
Since then, I’ve watched in despair as the volume of gun-related massacres has escalated. (Six of America’s 12 worst-ever mass shootings have occurred since 2007, when I first came to America to work as a judge on America’s Got Talent.) And I’ve been shocked at how America’s politicians have been cowed into a woeful, shameful virtual silence by the gun lobbyists and the all-powerful National Rifle Association in particular.
The NRA targets pro-gun-control politicians on every rung of the political system and spends a fortune ensuring they either don’t get elected or get unelected. It’s been a concerted, ruthless and highly successful campaign. And to those, like me, who stand up to them, they sneer: ‘You don’t know anything about guns. Keep quiet.’
Well, I do know a bit about guns, actually. My brother’s a lieutenant colonel in the British Army and has served tours of duty in Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. My sister married a colonel who trained Princes William and Harry at Sandhurst. My uncle was a major in the Green Howards.
My argument with guns is not based on some universal, pathological hatred of them. I’m not a pacifist. Guns win necessary wars and defeat tyrannical regimes like the Nazis.
Nor do I have a problem with those who use guns for hunting or for sport. I also understand, and respect, how there is an inherent national belief in America, based on their understanding of the 2nd Amendment, that everyone should be allowed to have a gun at home for the purposes of self-defense.
But where I have a big problem is when the unfortunately ambiguous wording of the 2nd Amendment is twisted to mean that anyone in America can have any firearm they want, however powerful, and in whatever quantity they want.
This has led to the absurd scenario where I can’t legally buy six packets of Sudafed in an American supermarket, or a chocolate Kinder egg, or various French cheeses, because they are all deemed a health risk.
Yet I can saunter into Walmart – America’s version of Tesco – and help myself to an armful of AR-15 assault rifles and magazines that can carry up to 100 bullets at a time.
That weapon has now been used in the last four mass shootings in America – at the Aurora cinema, a shopping mall in Oregon, Sandy Hook school, and the most recent, a dreadful attack on firemen in New York.
The AR-15 looks and behaves like a military weapon and should be confined to the military and police force. No member of the public has any need for a death machine that can fire up to six rounds a second when modified and can clear a 100-bullet magazine (as used in Aurora) within a minute.
The only apparent reason anyone seems to offer up is that using such weapons is ‘fun’. One gun-rights guy I interviewed last week even said admiringly that the AR-15 was ‘the Ferrari of guns’.
Well, I’m sorry, but ‘fun’ is just not a good enough excuse any more. Not when children are being killed by gunfire all over America.
President Obama seems to agree it’s time for action. After four years of doing precisely nothing about gun control in America, he finally snapped after Sandy Hook and said he’s keen to pursue a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. And he wants a closure of the absurd loopholes that mean 40 per cent of all gun sales in America currently have no background checks whatsoever – meaning any crackpot or criminal can get their hands on whatever they want.
These measures, which will be resisted every step of the way, won’t stop all gun crime. Nor all mass shootings. There are too many guns out there, and too many criminals and mentally deranged people keen to use them. But the measures will at least make a start. And they will signal an intent to tackle this deadly scourge on American life.
Obama should follow up by launching a Government buy-back for all existing assault weapons in circulation (as worked successfully in Los Angeles last week). I would go further, confiscating the rest and enforcing tough prison sentences on those who still insist on keeping one.
Either you ban these assault weapons completely, and really mean it, or you don’t.
He should also significantly increase federal funding for mental health treatment for all Americans who need it. It’s the lethal cocktail of mental instability and ready gun availability that is the key component in almost every American mass shooting.
Nor do I think Hollywood or makers of violent video games should avoid any responsibility – their graphic images can surely only twist an already twisted mind.
I will not stop in my own efforts to keep the gun-control debate firmly in people’s minds, however much abuse I’m subjected to.
And let me say that for every American who has attacked me on Twitter, Facebook or Fox News this past week, I’ve had many more thank me and encourage me to continue speaking out – including one lady who came up to me in Manhattan just before Christmas, grabbed my arm, and said firmly: ‘I’m with you. A lot of us are with you.’
I genuinely think Sandy Hook will act as a tipping point. A Gallup poll released on Thursday showed that 58 per cent of Americans now support new gun-control laws, up from 43 per cent in 2011. That’s a big jump.
The ‘more guns, less crime’ argument is utter nonsense. Britain, after Dunblane, introduced some of the toughest gun laws in Europe, and we average just 35 gun murders a year.
Japan, which has the toughest gun control in the world, had just TWO in 2006 and averages fewer than 20 a year. In Australia, they’ve not had a mass shooting since stringent new laws were brought in after 35 people were murdered in the country’s worst-ever mass shooting in Tasmania in 1996. Fewer guns equals less gun murder. This is not a ‘pinko liberal’ hypothesis. It’s a simple fact.
In conclusion, I can spare those Americans who want me deported a lot of effort by saying this: If you don’t change your gun laws to at least try to stop this relentless tidal wave of murderous carnage, then you don’t have to worry about deporting me.
Although I love the country as a second home and one that has treated me incredibly well, I would, as a concerned parent first – and latterly, of a one-year-old daughter who may attend an American elementary school like Sandy Hook in three years’ time – seriously consider deporting myself.
extracted from MAIL ON SUNDAY
Revealed: Manchester United’s Robin van Persie’s T-shirt goal tribute was to ‘close friend’ who died 24 hours before game – as Twitter goes mad speculating over who Tchuna was
After netting his side’s second and final goal in Manchester United’s 2-0 home victory against West Bromwich Albion, star striker Robin van Persie revealed a tribute on a T-shirt.
In the hours after the game, mystery surrounded who the message ‘R.I.P. Tchuna We Will Never Forget You’ was relating to with a number of social networking websites and news sites and football forums speculating their own theories.
Manchester United Football Club have since contacted Mail Online saying that the message related to a close friend of the £24m man who had died 24-hours before the game.
Sky Sports have also reported the same line.
However, it appears Twitter and Facebook users refuse to be convinced by that information, and until the Dutchman reveals it himself, it seems the rumour mill will continue into overdrive.
Discussion on Twitter has led many to believe it is actually the name of the Indian girl who was gang raped and later died as a result of her injuries in a Singapore hospital.
While others have put forward the theory that it is the name of the Dutch linesman who was beaten and kicked to death while officiating at a junior football game in Holland.
The fact his name has been revealed as Richard Nieuwenhuizen may well dispel that theory.
Other theories put forward on Twitter is that ‘Tchuna’ was his grandpa, while some have posted that it was in fact the name of his hairdresser back in Holland.
Van Persie’s agency SEG International have so far been unavailable to confirm the true identity of the mystery name.
The former Arsenal hitman climbed off the bench to fire a spectacular 90-minute strike that sealed a 2-0 victory for the Red Devils at Old Trafford.
United sit top of the Premier League, seven points clear of fierce rivals Manchester City, who sit second.
The goal was van Persie’s 16th in the league this year, comfortably the club’s top-scorer so far.
I have always wondered why some people have 50,000 followers plus while they follow 100 or just a couple in return. What makes some lovable persons so loveless in return?.You follow them but what do you get in return? Zero,zilch,nada and nothing.Looks like they always want to hear their own voices only.
I never loved Twitters until WordPress made me understand its importance as a social media express train for my blog.So i went out to FOLLOW as many as possible through some applications like TWELLOW. Result? Today i have about 1500 fellows on my FOLLOWING list whom i know nothing about and who in return do not give a damned about what i call myself!
I reached the maximum of 2000 allowed newbies by going on a train bound for nowhere.Ha!ha!ha!.Now i laugh at my own gullibility like many things you know nothing of tends to clown up your existence when the bulb lights up in the brain.Now i want to unfollow those who are not following me especially those whose demographics are not exactly related to me or what i do on the net.That is, if i follow you and you do not follow me why should your name fill up my limited space with Twitters?
At first i checked for help from Twitters and i saw a long and tedious process.Whats the need of going through the list one-by-one? But on checking the net further i saw the article below as very helpful.Some of the applications have expired but many of them are still working.Avoid those with premium accounts only or just keep to free accounts if you believe in freeware as much as i do. But please don’t use them for frivolity otherwise Twitters will apply the slap!
1. FlashTweetFlashTweet is a mass follow tool that simplifies the process of adding your twitter friends. You can see who you are following that is following you back, mass follow users based on search terms and even unfollow multiple friends at once.
Refollow helps you discover, manage, and protect your Twitter social circle.
Find out who follows whom on Twitter.
TwitTangle is a free service that helps you untangle the mess of having too many friends on twitter.
5. Tweeter Tags
Tweeter Tags makes it easy to declare your interests and find new, like-minded friends.
Helping you find great people and followers relevant to your interests.
Using twalala, you can filter tweets out of your stream by keywords and phrases or mute individuals who get a bit too chatty.
Interesting visualization of your followers and their followers.
It’s a good tool to avoid a blast of tweets from a conference you are not attending… just snooze the conference goers for a few days.
Tired of shallow e-mails from Twitter when someone follows you? Want to know more about the people who are following you? Twimailer is a free service that delivers that information right to your inbox!
11. My Cleaner
MyCleenr is a unique way to sort your friends by their last tweets.
12. Twitter Karma
Bulk management of followers and those you are following.
Tweepler Is an easy, more enjoyable way of processing your New Twitter Followers.
TweetSum does one thing and does it well: we show you at a glance who’s following you, give you the tools you need to decide whether you should follow them back or not.
Twitoria finds your friends that haven’t tweeted in a long time so you can give them the boot!
Mutuality is a simple service which allow you to make bulk operations with your account.
Find out which of your Twitter updates made people follow or leave you. Simply enter your Twitter ID in the following form.
TweepMe is the 100% opt-in group of Twitter users who all chose to follow each other on Twitter.
Twitterless tells you who stops following you and graphs your follower history over time, making this info available in a variety of useful views.
Your Twitter Ratio is the ratio of your followers to friends (or people who you follow). It is measured with the TFF Ratio (Twitter Follower-Friend Ratio).
Who are you following that’s not following you back? Who’s following you that you’re not following back? Find out!
Compare Twitter friends and followers.
Find and Follow Twitterers with similar interests to you.
With Twitter100, you can see your followers at a glance (up to 100).
Follow back people.
A new follower? Should you follow back? Find out if you have common followings with them, and which people you follow that follow them.
Everyone wants more friends. We just make it easy.
Monitor and Interact with the Twitter Hive Mind.
Before you follow.
Create and share lists of your Twitter friends.
extracted from pelfusion.com
compulsory minutes of prayers for the speedy recovery of Governor Wada and to spare the Party from further painful incidents.
“The PDP also prayed for the repose of the soul of the ADC to Governor Wada who died in the accident and asked God to comfort those he left behind”.
A friend sent this prayer as directed:
We pray for all PDP governors: Almighty God kindly run the lives of every PDP Governor the same way they are running their respective states. AMEN!
We pray for all PDP Ministers: OLUWA please run the lives of every PDP Minister the same way they are running their ministries. AMEN!!
Let us pray for GEJ: God please run the life of president GEJ the same way he is running the country, Nigeria. A thunderous AMEN!
let us pray for all GEJ Special Advisers, Assistants, et al: God kindly run their lives the same way they are advising the President to run the country. In Jesus mighty name we pray! AMEN!
And all the people say, Amen!!!
And if you have exhausted your quota of Amen for the day, May your lives be run exactly the same way President Goodluck Jonathan has handled the issue of fuel subsidy in the last one year! You don’t have to say AMEN, I have unlimited supplies of AMEN, so out of the abundance of my heart, I say, AMEN, AMEN, AMEN, AMEN, ad infinitum on your behalf!”
Reminds of an article I read on elombah.com, “The Curse By Nigerians On The Nigerian Ruling Class” written by Paul Omoruyi.
Paul wrote in part: It is no secret that Nigerians hate their rulers. But when Nigerian “prayer warriors” masses start to curse and pray for the death of their rulers, then there is a problem. In contrast to Nigeria, South Africans of all stripes grieved and wailed over Nelson Mandela’s hospitalization just some couple of weeks ago. If you want to infuriate an English man, insult, or speak evil about their WWII leader, Winston Churchill.
The ludicrous dimension to all of these is the euphoria and jubilation expressed by Nigerian masses when a member of the Nigerian thiefocratic class (President, Governor, Senator, House of Rep member, Minister, local government chairman, etc) dies.
I did not know how much the average Nigerian psyche has been crushed until the recent events in the last couple of months. In order to know the feeling on the ground when the plane of Governor Danbaba Suntai’s of Taraba State crashed, I placed a call to several friends. Needless to say, these are Nigerians I consider somewhat “God-fearing” and decent in many respect. The first response I got from each and every one of them is “make them all die, we are praying for the next one to die”. It was as if they were all reading from the same script.
……………Just barely some weeks after that discussion, we heard the ailment rumors of Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke and Sullivan Chime, Enugu State Governor and Minister of Petroleum Alison-Madueke. As if that was not enough, Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State was involved in a ghastly road accident that may have left one of his legs broken and his aide dead. I cannot help but remember all the curses and death prayers that Nigerian masses shower daily on their rulers.
Many Nigerians in recent times have become accustomed to cursing their rulers. Before you have a five minutes discussion on the state of Nigeria with a Nigerian these days they would have cursed the ruling class more than a hundred times. There is justifiable unprecedented hatred for the ruling class like never before in the history of the country.”
Let me follow-up this brilliant piece with the quotes below:
2013 will be pretty rough for politicians. They can control the military but the source of their greatest threat will be beyond their control. Abacha learnt that although it was too late then………Emmanuel Obi
There is a saying that the antics of the monkey will eventually be his undoing when he jumps from one tree to another playfully until he falls to his death.The recklessness of the politicians in their way of life is what will get them as their excesses will inevitably catch up with them. And we are not done yet………………Segun Dawodu
This pouring of rain on our governors and other top officials is a bit discombobulating..Chime, Suntai, Imoke, Yakowa, Wada, Azazi, etc.Greater introspection is called for. And there you have it…………… Prof. Bolaji Aluko
Sooner or later, the ‘heads’ of an abused people will soon start to kick backYou cannot expect to continue exploiting the people forever They are also HUMAN! Nigerian politicians and treasury looters ain’t see nothing yet! It’s only just starting! 2013 will be a rough year!And there you have it!!……Dr Val. Ojo
APOLOGIES ALL ROUND!
There is Yin and Yang, Black and White, Hot and Cold and unfortunately…Good Design and Bad Design. Since there must
be a balance in the Universe, good design can`t exist alone. Below you can see 20 examples of very bad web design.
PS: I`m really sorry if you are a owner of some of these websites, but hey: consider this free advertising.
*Students beg, Parents react…* School declines comment *I’m not aware — Prof Okojie, NUC boss
About 200 students may have been expelled by the authorities of Covenant University, Cannanland, Ota, Ogun State, recently for what was described as “disregard of paramount core values.”
Frustrated and angered by the development, some of the affected students who gave account of what happened battled emotions while narrating their situations to Saturday Vanguard recently. They however pleaded with the school authorities to tamper justice with mercy in order to save their future.
Saturday Vanguard investigation revealed that out of the figure, about 126 were expelled for not attending the ‘departure service’, meant to sign off from the school after the end of the Semester and Matriculation of students on November 30. Five other students were thrown out for smoking while unconfirmed source said additional 60 got the same fate for violating other rules bordering on the University’s core values. A few others were given four weeks suspension for failure to sign the head count that was conducted a couple of weeks earlier.
A letter of expulsion signed by the Registrar, Ntia Ubong, a copy which was made available to Saturday Vanguard stated that the affected students contravened Chapter 1, section 30, page 40 of the 2010-2014 Student Handbook.
We gathered that the massive expulsion was predicated on the anger of the Chancellor, Bishop David Oyedepo who was said to have been infuriated after seeing students loitering around when they were supposed to be at the Chapel for the Departure Service.
He was said to have personally chased students to the Chapel and ordered for a search into all the halls and colleges to fish out those who did not attend the service.
Several attempts to get the school authorities comment on the issue proved abortive. The Instituion’s Corporate Affairs Head, Mr Igban Emmaunel also refused to comment as calls pulled through to him were unanswered and text messages not replied.
How it happened
A few of the affected students gave account of what happened to Saturday Vanguard at different points. The similar accounts go thus: “On November 30, the last day of the semester, preceding our December break, there was also a Matriculation for the 100 level students; in fact some students had their last semester exams on that day, some of them finished around 3:00pm while the matriculation started around 8am. Some students retired to their rooms to relax while some engaged in some other activities jubilating the end of the semester.
“Some also got drinks from the matriculating students. Even as these were going on, some students who finished around 3pm retired to their halls. By 5pm, they announced that we should get prepared for the ‘Departure service’ which was to start by 8pm. Some students were already seeing their parents off while some of us were just trying to relax to get off the stress of the exams.
“Most of us hadn’t gotten through the tiredness of the sleepless nights of the exams; so, some us stayed back in our rooms. The departure service is usually a day before we go home and it is usually presided over by the Chancellor. Before the commencement of the service, they used to lock up the main doors of the halls so as to prevent cases of theft. I was not bothered since there were a lot of us in the hall. Some minutes past 8pm, they switched off the light and all of us in the hall went into our rooms. Because of the darkness and the cold, I slept off immediately.”
He continued: “The persistent knocks on the door woke me up and I realised that they had come to search for people who had not come to service. Before I realised what was going on, I found myself with other students numbering about 30. They took down our names and counted us to make sure that no one was omitted. They said the Chancellor was at the service and we refused to come. I heard them talking about other halls and they asked us to wait. I didn’t take it seriously because I never believed in my widest imagination that we would be expelled. We were later asked to go to our various halls.
“Some of those who went into hiding were lucky as they were not found. Shortly, those who went for the service returned and told us there was poor attendance at the Chapel and how students were diving in through the windows, scampering for seats. In fact, one narrated to us how the Chancellor jumped through the window to vent his anger on some students who had jumped in,” he stated.
Another expelled student also gave similar account of the incident. “I couldn’t go to the service because, I was not feeling well which was as a result of the stress of the exams we had just finished. After a while, I managed to go but I heard that they started driving people back around 7:30pm while the service was to start around 8pm. I was surprised because the rule was that you’ve got to be seated 15minutes to the service. Again, it was never made compulsory, but they tried to get students out of the halls to prevent cases of theft. So, because I was not feeling well, I went back to my room because I needed to rest for a while.
“I thought it was a joke when they said we are in for expulsion because we failed to come for departure service. I have never done anything contrary to the school laws. I have never faced any panel before and neither did I have any unpleasant case in my file. I never thought it was real until letters were handed to me the following morning.”
Giving account of how letters were handed out to them, the visibly troubled student said: “By 6am, they announced the names of those who were caught in halls and colleges. Usually after the departure service, one can sign out from there and go but because it ended late and no one could travel, students had to wait till the following morning. But the hall officer told those of us whose names were written down that if we leave, we should be considered gone from the university forever. That gave us an insight into what was likely to come as punishment. By 7:45am, we were called once again to go downstairs for our letters. Those who collected theirs before mine were crying and I wondered what the punishment could be until I read the letter stating I was expelled from the university.”
At the Chapel
Another student who found his way to the Chapel also told Saturday Vanguard that while the Chancellor was being driven past, he noticed that students were loitering at about the time they were supposed to be seated at the chapel. He said that this apparently infuriated him and he alighted from his car and chased students to the chapel with knocks. “I saw him, alighted from his car and chased students to the chapel; I quickly found my way to the hall. Not quite long after, I saw students jumping in through the windows. It was a big commotion. Even the chancellor was going after those who jumped into the chapel. Later, he addressed the students saying he was very disappointed by the behaviour that the students were not seated 15 minutes before the service.”
Another account had it that while the Education Secretary, Prof. Aize Obayan was addressing the students, the students were murmuring, then the Chancellor immediately took to the microphone and said: “if I hear the voice of any student, the curse of the Lord shall fall upon that one.” The chapel immediately went dead silent.
Our source who was also late to the service stated that the Chancellor later directed that those students who did not come to the service would be purged out saying they did not belong to the school. Our source stated that at the end of the service, he prayed for the students in the hall.
Another source in the school hinted that at that point, the Vice-chancellor pleaded on behalf of those who were absent but the Chancellor insisted they must be purged from the school.
Our source told Saturday Vanguard that the Vice-Chancellor while addressing the students announced that a search would be carried out in all the halls and colleges to find out those who failed to attend the departure service, advising them to wait behind.
Saturday Vanguard investigation revealed that out of the figure, about 126 were expelled for not attending the ‘departure service’, five were thrown out for smoking marijuana, twenty-five final year students and undisclosed number of lower level students were caught violating rules bothering on the University’s core values. We also gathered that a few others were given four weeks suspension for failure to sign the head count that was conducted a couple of weeks earlier. Some of the students opined that failure to sign the head count was even a greater offence which implied that the student was not in the school at the time of the exercise but yet got a four-week suspension.
The private university is known for its strict rules and discipline such as not allowing the students to use mobile phones within the school’s premises, while it is mandatory for students to always bring their bible to the chapel.
A few parents who volunteered information spoke to us on condition of anonymity fearing that their children might be victimised in case the issue was resolved amicably. One of them said with bitterness that it is unacceptable, adding that the expulsion was not commensurate with the offence deemed to have been committed. He urged the school authorities to rescind its decision adding that the future of the students is at stake.
“For me, it is not acceptable. These students were not given fair hearing. Expulsion should not be a punishment for failure to attend service. We all agree, it is a Christian school but failure to attend church service could be due to a lot of reasons. I gathered that some of the students even finished their exams about 5pm that day. So, those people that finished at that time had barely three hours to prepare for the service. But stampeding them to congregate for service and then expelling those who did not come is a decision taken too far. For me, if there was poor attendance, I think the authorities have a responsibility. They have not been fair in putting the service so close to the examination. Even God will not do that.”
He however commended the Chancellor, Dr. Oyedepo on his vision towards the education of Nigeria children especially when the government institutions are failing, but urging him to tamper justice with mercy.
Another parent who was afraid of the press noted that he was still studying the situation and would not want to comment but noted that he was reliably informed that some group of parents made frantic efforts to meet with the Chancellor on the issue but without success. It was not clear the level of the efforts made. He further hinted that some students have not told their parents about their expulsion, still hoping that the issue would be resolved.
He lamented that his child had been having sleepless nights, going through mental torture unjustifiably. “I agree that discipline must be instilled in the students but it should not be aimed at destroying the life of the students. Expulsion is too great a punishment for non attendance of a departure service, without even a warning especially when the students hitherto, had not been found wanting,” he stated.
What the Student Handbook says
The Covenant University Core values border on Spirituality, Possibility Mentality, Capacity Building, Integrity, Responsibility, Diligence and Sacrifice. On the spirituality aspect, it states: “The Christian ethos underguard our activities and conducts at all time and every student of Covenant University is expected to exhibit character traits and dispositions of a Jesus-centered heritage. The Jesus – factor centered approach to all issues is non-negotiable and central in the pursuit of our mandate in raising a new generation of leaders and in the realization of the objectives of our purpose.
To this extent therefore, students will be committed to maintaining a high level of spirituality and shall act in such manner as to facilitate their spiritual growth as well as work out ways to evolve and implement a spiritual development plan. Attendance at Chapel Services is a compulsory part of students’ spiritual development where a bible and notebook are essential kits for the service. Students are expected to demonstrate a deep reverence for God at all times.”
The school declines comment
Several attempts were made to get the school authorities comment on the issue. The institution’s Corporate/Public Affairs Officer, Mr Igban Emmanuel Kalu declined comment. At first, several calls were pulled through to him but he refused to pick his calls. When the reporter persisted, he later picked but said he was driving and could not answer any question. But few hours later, other calls pulled to him were unanswered. A text message was sent to his phone and up to the time of writing this report, he did not reply.
I’m not aware —Prof Julius Okojie, NUC Executive Secretary
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, NUC, Prof Julius Okojie said he has not been briefed on the matter.
Prof Okojie stated this during a telephone conversation Saturday Vanguard had with him a few days ago. “I am not aware of any expulsion by Covenant University; I will ask the school authorities. Right now, I am not in Abuja, I left Abuja few days ago and until I return to Abuja and find out details about the matter, I cannot comment on it,” he said
By Ishola Balogun/vanguardngr.com
The maddening rush for church begins.
Families, friends, neighbors tucked into cars.
Commuters rushing for the next available vehicle.
Rush. Rush. Rush.
Bible-clutching believers are going to worship.
Traffic control folks have a fit controlling traffic.
Drivers break traffic instructions to get into church early.
Ushers manage to direct worshipers to seats which many refuse for better seat options.
Brethren hug and shake hands.
The children in their Sunday school classes.
Everyone looks saintly and beautifully dressed Service begins….
The excitement.The frenzy of praise. The beauty of worship.
The choir does a fantastic job of singing God’s praise.
Its a very full house. Hall packed beyond capacity.
Many are outside, seated. Inside is too full.
From the altar to the pews, God is in the house. …SUDDENLY…
…a loud trumpet sound…deafening…frightening too…
…..the church is still full..
Just a few empty seats.
Pastors are still here.
Just a handful missing.
The choir-clutching microphones are here, just a few seats are empty.
The ushers still have a large crowd to direct.
The traffic control is still controlling vehicles, the occupants still intact.
The elders’ stand is almost empty too.
People begin working their phones. Frantic calls are made.
This doesn’t look too good at all.
What is going on?
Isn’t this supposed to be the haven for the saints?
The church is still full. Almost everyone is here! Fear. Chaos. Confusion. Tears. Anxiety. Dread.
Church people turn to pastor for answers…
People are screaming, running helter-skelter… “…RISE ON YOUR FEET AND LET US BEGIN TO PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF THIS NATION…”
That was the voice of the pastor that jolted me to reality.
And once again, i am back in the church building.
…Church Service continues…
SEO Vs SEM Vs SMM By Vince Ginsburg
These three terms have been thrown around a a lot, and often used alongside each other. SEO and SEM have often been used interchangeably. So what’s the deal with these concepts? How are they alike, and how exactly are they different?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO refers to the techniques and strategies used to increase the likelihood of a website appearing on search engine results, namely as close to the top of that list as possible.
Search engines prowl the Web, taking notes of everything they encounter. When a user types something into the search engine, making a search query, the engine’s algorithms spit out a list of what it thinks are relevant results.
In this situation, search is the deciding factor. It holds the position of strength. All a website can do is insure its content is sound, good, and proper and trust that the search engine will recommend it whenever appropriate. But in today’s online market-place there is lots of competition, so it’s not even enough to just make the list; a website has to stay near the top. Anything too far down the list of results and that website might as well have never been displayed in the first place. Being buried on page three or later is akin to being completely out of sight, and subsequently out of mind.
So SEO consists of ways a website can make itself as attractive as possible to search algorithms, so that when they output their results the website is as visible as possible. These techniques consist:
- Internal tweaks to insure the code adheres to Web standards and is easily accessible to search engine indexing efforts
- Internal metadata specifically meant for search spiders to read and catalog
- Utilizing the right keywords within the website’s content so that search engines will more strongly associate those terms with the website
- Submitting sitemaps, or complete “roadmaps” of a website, directly to search engines so they don’t have to work as hard to ‘discover’ your site
- Accumulating reputable back links, or links to your website from others, that search engines recognize as marks of distinction and therefore worthy of higher search result placement
- Fresh and interesting content that brings in traffic and makes your site increasingly prominent in use, thereby aiding in its search result placement
As a whole, SEO focuses on attracting natural, or organic, search traffic. These techniques work to persuade search engines to better rank your website and/or garner more web traffic. It happens naturally, through subtle and constantly dynamic self-tweaks and efforts of self-promotion. This is in stark contrast to…
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM is an umbrella term that encompasses all efforts to garner search engines’ attention and gain higher search rankings. SEO is a part of the greater SEM campaign. Like optimization, SEM includes using keywords and link popularity to increase a website’s exposure.
However, SEM does include strategies that are somewhat distinct from SEO. While the latter more focuses on acquiring search engine attention and hits through natural means, SEM includes paid direct inclusion in query results. Search engines provide this option as a way for quality results to stay floating at the top (for in most instances useful results, or spam, would never wish to pay) and to collect revenue for themselves. These paid results remain near areas of prominence on the search results page, often paired with key search words so that they’ll appear whenever those words/phrases are queried.
Buying the opportunity to appear with these keywords can potentially be quite costly, and subsequently the keyword industry is very profitable for search engine companies like Google. There can be intense competition just for access to keywords themselves. For the most popular and common key terms and phrases the prices can be so high that only large enterprises can possibly afford any prolonged campaign using them.
These paid links can sometimes work in minor conflict with really good SEO. Because SEO is organic and normally non-paid, if the optimization efforts are exceeding expectations it is possible for a website to be dominating the top of a results page; even while at the same time paid links for that same website are already appearing next to the normal listings. In this instance, the company is wasting money; and across large enterprise campaigns this can amount of large sums of money down the drain.
For this reason SEO and paid SEM efforts must be balanced, taking care that one does not overwhelm the other.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
SMM does not involve search engines, but does play a key role in a website’s exposure and online marketing efforts. Whereas dealing with search engines requires a delicate and constant adjustment of subtle factors (SEO) or costly premiums (SEM), working through social media is relatively cheap and holds the promise of incredibly lucrative growth, if done properly.
Having seen the power and reach of viral content, companies have flocked to the social Web in order to utilize this “online word of mouth” for their own branding efforts. This includes having a corporate presence on:
- social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter
- streaming video services, like YouTube
- Location check-ins, like Foursquare
- image sharing, like Instagram and Pinterest
Social media allows for information to spread exponentially, allowing company advertising efforts to spread very quickly and to like-minded audiences all at the efforts of the viewers themselves. Companies can also utilize social networks and social website components (like comment systems) to establish a more personal engagement with users; increasing the feeling of customer loyalty, brand awareness, and direct customer support.
SMM should not be directly confused with social media optimization (SMO), which like SEO utilizes specific techniques, methods, and key terms to promote web traffic and awareness. Whereas SEO works through search engines, SMO works through social media.
Successful SMO does impact a website’s search rankings, as positive social feedback in the forms of Likes, Shares, +1’s, etc. can be considered as marks of quality for a website, increasing its search rankings and thereby impacting its SEM.
Search vs. Social
Search engines have traditionally been the focus of online advertising and marketing efforts. Since the arrival of social media however more attention has been levied towards social networks as an additional venue in which to garner user attention.
Before people spent much of their time on search engines in order to find information and content. Now people spend much of their time on social networks in order to interact and engage one another, and also to look for some sources of content.
Social marketing holds the allure of a more “grassroots” form of exposure, at least compared to the monopolies held by search engines. Many companies consider advertising on social media to be far more direct. Instead of dressing themselves up to be attractive to search engines just to get in front of the faces of its viewers, websites can now just appeal directly to the users at the place where those masses now spent much of their time.
But while social marketing doesn’t hold the same monetary costs as dedicated SEM campaigns, they do require large amounts of time and coordination. Also if a social media campaign backlashes, there can be direct impact on the company’s online brand and presence. On the other hand botched search engine marketing campaigns only offend the search engines themselves, not the constituents.
Will social marketing make search engine efforts a thing of a past? Not completely. The Web is still a large and ever increasing place. Social media is great for finding some sources of content, namely stuff already within your sphere of interests and knowledge. But this hyper-personalization isn’t as adept at serving fresh avenues of new subjects. Research into previously unknown topics remains best done via search engine, not by scanning Facebook Timelines or Twitter Feeds.
Do you think social will ever completely overtake search? Or will SEO, SEM, SMM, and other marketing strategies begin to merge, or grow only more distinct?
What are your thoughts on the matter? Comment on my blog and add your voice to the discussion: http://corsairmediaservices.com/index.php/blog
WE SHALL SEND IN SOONEST MORE DETAILED COMMENTS ON THIS ARTICLE. BUT SO FAR, OUR BLOG HAS FOUND SMM MOST USEFUL OF THE THREE .THANK YOU.OUR INTENTION IS TO LET YOU KNOW THAT THE FOLLOWING ARE GOOD FOR YOUR WEBSITES BUT IS NOT THE ALL-AND-ALL FOR NIGERIAN WEBSITES.
1.Tweaking internal codes for indexing by Google and Bing
2. Setting internal meta data for their search spiders.
3.Setting keywords in content for association by them with your website
4.Submitting sitemaps to them for easy discovery.
5.Getting backlinks as a mark of distinction as stated above.
6.Interesting content as defined by foreigners for engaging traffic.
Please watch out for our next write-up on this topic to be known as
“RACISM: THE MOST IMPORTANT SEO FACTOR THEY DON’T TALK ABOUT!”
HERE IS THE ADVERT OF THE FRAUDULENT COMPANY
After conducting some investigation here is what we found:
FACTFILE 1:EARNITE WAS SET UP FROM THE GET GO TO DUPE PEOPLE.
Apart from the scheme set up to dupe Nigerians of backlinks it also claimed to be a high yield investment company.Our search has revealed what it advertised when it started in October this year
“Earnite Inc is online trading and investment company which offers Investment solutions to home users to invest with us and earn high return on their money. We invest in daily base Forex, stock, commodities shares and companies shares buying selling trade. Earnite has highly qualified expert staff and financial analyst which manage your investment and use in highly profitable business. This is risk free program and you can earn flat rate 4.9% daily for 50 days. We are offering industry high rate for your investment and time efforts.
Earnite Inc by continuously optimizing its management strategies, business policies, investment methods and human resources wins a stable and privileged development with a subtle consideration and estimation on various factors including credit, liquidity, market, operational, strategic and compliance risks. These enable our clients to diversify their investment portfolios while taking advantage of our highly profitable opportunities.
We accept Liberty Reserve for investment and Payouts. Withdrawals are offered as instant withdrawals with in 1 hour approval time.”
LIES!,LIES!,LIES!…If you are a Nigerian who has committed some of your money
to Earnite as a high yield investment company then your money is gone.In fact
earnite got blacklisted 3 days only after it opened in October this year
FACTFILE2:EARNITE IS NOT OPERATING FROM PAKISTAN.
It only used Pakistan as its country of origin for Alexa registration.Subsequently it has changed this to Nigeria.But where does it operate from?We checked for facts on those who registered earnite and please find below what we found from go daddy’s WHOIS:
WHOIS SEARCH RESULTS FOR: EARNITE.COM
Registrar: ENOM, INC.
Whois Server: whois.enom.com
Creation Date: 29-OCT-2012
Updated Date: 20-NOV-2012
Expiration Date: 29-OCT-2013
Registry Status: clientTransferProhibited
Registration Service Provided By: Namecheap.com
Domain name: earnite.com
WhoisGuard Protected ()
11400 W. Olympic Blvd. Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90064
WhoisGuard Protected (d4b35be17521437194bcb48290a97269.protect@)
11400 W. Olympic Blvd. Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90064
WhoisGuard Protected (firstname.lastname@example.org)
11400 W. Olympic Blvd. Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Creation date: 29 Oct 2012 16:56:00
Expiration date: 29 Oct 2013 08:56:00
The data in this whois database is provided to you for information
purposes only, that is, to assist you in obtaining information about or
related to a domain name registration record. We make this information
available “as is,” and do not guarantee its accuracy. By submitting a
whois query, you agree that you will use this data only for lawful
purposes and that, under no circumstances will you use this data to: (1)
enable high volume, automated, electronic processes that stress or load
this whois database system providing you this information; or (2) allow,
enable, or otherwise support the transmission of mass unsolicited,
commercial advertising or solicitations via direct mail, electronic
mail, or by telephone. The compilation, repackaging, dissemination or
other use of this data is expressly prohibited without prior written
consent from us.
We reserve the right to modify these terms at any time. By submitting
this query, you agree to abide by these terms.
Version 6.3 4/3/2002
Registrar: ENOM, INC.
Whois Server: whois.enom.com
Creation Date: 29-OCT-2012
Updated Date: 20-NOV-2012
Expiration Date: 29-OCT-2013
Registry Status: clientTransferProhibited
Please note the following….created on 29th of october…current status is locked…registry status is “transfer prohibited”…why? arrangement with registrars or under investigations? But here is what another website had to say about earnite
EARNITE………Start Up : 46 Days Ago. Listed : 46 Days BlackListed : 43 Days Life Time : 3 Days
So legally,earnite is not even supposed to be doing any business yet it is being ranked by Alexa.Today its ranking has jumped to 140633 from above 350,000 internationally and 821 in Nigeria where it never existed.ALL THIS BETTER RANKING ACHIEVED BY FAKE TRAFFIC BASED ON ITS NOTORIETY.Alexa needs to decide whether earnite is a good example to other website owners or not.
Also note the following
WhoisGuard Protected (d4b35be17521437194bcb48290a97269.protect@)
11400 W. Olympic Blvd. Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90064
WhoisGuard Protected (email@example.com)
11400 W. Olympic Blvd. Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90064
So who are WhoisGuard?.If you want to waste your time you can read their page here
CONCLUSION THUS FAR
Earnite was set up as a 419 business…no one knows whether it operates from Pakistan,India,USA,Nigeria or Ghana….its owners identities have been masked through Whoisguard…wish the info available now had been available from day 1….but we shall continue to look for more facts.
NOT THE ONE IN THAILAND!
As Nigerians in Thailand overcome diplomatic wickedness
ANALYSIS of narratives by some Nigerians who are resident in Thailand, and that of those who just returned to Nigeria to celebrate Christmas holiday with their loved ones gave an insight that presented a statistics which shows a lot of Nigerians are happy with the new Nigerian Ambassador to Thailand, Ambassador Chukwudi Newington Okafor.
Bothered by what he called diplomatic wickedness to Nigerians in Thailand by the former Ambassador of Nigeria to Thailand, Ambassador Suleman, and staff of the embassy, Mr. Adolph, (real names withheld for security reasons) who just arrived Nigeria to spend the Christmas holiday with his family highlighted some of the daunting problems they had experienced from the leadership of the former Ambassador, which was far more of an abuse of high level of human rights, when compared with the good work of the new Ambassador, Chukwudi Newington Okafor.
He lamented the distasteful attitude extended toward Nigerian nationals by the former Ambassador, the Counsellor and some of the embassy staff whenever they visited the embassy for various forms of consular assistance/services, saying, “we were always dissatisfied by the form and manner we were misrepresented in Thailand then.
“A large number of Nigerians in Thailand, including myself, were not happy with some of the actions taken by the former Ambassador to which we all felt was more or less a purposeful disregard of the very essence of his diplomatic mission to Thailand. Several complaints that emanated from other Nigerians in Thailand, expressed that we expected our Ambassador to be the key that should unlock the door to our desired fulfillment while in a foreign land, rather than become the originator of our disintegrations.
In all its ramifications, it is wrong for any embassy to charge her national to issue them any kind of simple letter of identification or certification, and or alarming sum of money to issue them Travelling Certificate (TC) in the case of lost or no passport.”
Another issue of great concern to Adolph was in respect to the non-challant disposition of the Ambassador and the Counselor whenever they were called upon to identify or certify a deceased Nigerian in Thailand. Their show of negligency, by not cooperating with the hospitals management led hospitals in Thailand to burn such unidentified corpses which is totally inappropriate and against the cultural and traditional beliefs of Nigerian, whose tradition seriously forbids the burial of their men in foreign land.
He also recalled a scenario, where the embassy refused to recognize the election of Mr. Gilbert Akudo Ndigwe, aka Kudos, as the elected president of the ‘Nigeria Community Association’ in Thailand for fear that he was going to expose their excesses, and help put a stop to the massive corruption that goes on in the embassy, as was stated during his campaign.
Nigerians languishing in Thailand prisons
In rather an emotional manner, Adolph stated that, “The most painful part of the Ambassador’s act of negligence, is by not making any effort to ensure that Nigerians who were then languishing in Thailand prisons were granted bail, rather he called them touts and the counselor then, Mr. Abayomi Bamgbelu, said they were illiterates and were constituting nuisance in Thailand. Going by those statements, they suceeded in creating unwarranted premise for the Thai Police to arrest, detain, torture and imprison Nigerians in Thailand unjustly.”
Then advocating for the existence of a better cordial and stable relationship between Ambassador Suleman and Nigerians to whom were one of the reasons of his diplomatic mission then as Nigeria Ambassador to Thailand, Mr. Ibe, a businessman in Thailand, was of the opinion that Nigeria government should assist in the case therein to caution and or curtail some of the negative proceedings placed against the then leadership team of her embassy by her people, stating that, “ That was my first time to have seen or read of an Ambassador who arrested, detained, tortured and jailed his own people in a foreign land, where he was sent to protect their interest and the image of the Country.
To me personally, it was a high level of abuse of human rights for Ambassador Suleman to reward such simple act of peaceful protest, which was aimed at seeking attention from him with such brutality. That was indeed diplomatic wickedness.”
In as much as Adolph, Mr. Ibe and others are entitled to their complaints about the former Ambassador of Nigeria to Thailand, many other Nigerians in Thailand argued that the Ambassador was not biased in exercising the various reasons of his diplomatic mission to his fellow Countrymen in Thailand.
To be concluded
By Vera Samuel Anyagafu/vanguardngr.com
Which Nigerian personality, idea, movement, corporate organisation must have had the biggest impact, positively or negatively, on Nigeria’s socio-economic or cultural development in a certain year.
Will the choice be different from those paraded by media selection and other organisation’s criteria? Can we give it a try? At Vanguard Online we say why not? And why not now?
Who or what has impacted most on the country in 2012 and deserves to be the Man of the Year?
Nominate your candidate now!
extracted from nigeriafilms.com
2012 EDUCATION IN RETROSPECT
AS we all get ready to pop champagne to celebrate a remarkable year and count down to 2013, we at Vanguard Learning bring you a collection of stories that made 2012 outstanding.
The year started off with the suspension of strike action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which kept public universities under lock and key for two months.
The strike was in protest of the Federal Government’s refusal to honour an agreement it reached with the union in 2009 to arrest and reverse the decay in the university system and reposition it for greater responsibilities in national development; reverse the brain-drain, not only by enhancing the remuneration of academic staff, but also by disengaging them from the encumbrances of a unified civil service wage structure; and restore universities through immediate, massive and sustained financial intervention among others.
ASUU and FG finally reached a common stand on the following: funding; review of laws that impinge on university autonomy; separate salary structure for academic staff in the universities; earned allowances to entitled academic staff; and pension for university academics and compulsory retirement age.
Rainstorm kill students, teacher
On Monday, February 13, 2012, an early morning rainstorm wreaked havoc in several parts of Lagos, destroying houses, cars, electric poles, and uprooting many trees, thereby leaving 15 persons dead, teachers and students inclusive.
Among the dead were 10 children, who drowned at Shibiri Ekunpa area of Ojo when a passenger ferry taking them to school capsized. Also, two students of Goodness Comprehensive High School were killed when the storm destroyed their school building, while a teacher at St. Gregory College, Obalende, was killed when a mast collapsed on him.
Also, Jakande Low Cost Housing Estate Primary School, Oke Afa Junior and Senior Colleges had their roofs blown away by the rainstorm.
8.43% education budget
Concerned education stakeholders were shocked at the allocation of N400.15 billion (8.43 per cent) of the 2012 annual budget to the education sector, a far cry from the 26 per cent recommended by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO.
A breakdown of the budget showed that N345.091bn (82 per cent) was allotted to recurrent expenditure while a meager N55.056bn (18 per cent) is for capital expenditure. N317.896bn was proposed for personnel cost and N27.192bn was for overheads.
Nigeria spends less than 9 per cent of her annual budget on education, far below what other African countries spend on education. Botswana spends 19.0 per cent; Swaziland, 24.6 per cent; Lesotho, 17 per cent; South Africa, 25.8 per cent; Cote d’Ivoire, 30 per cent; Burkina Faso, 16.8 per cent; Ghana, 31 per cent; Kenya, 23 per cent; Uganda, 27 per cent; Tunisia, 17 per cent; and, Morocco, 17.7 per cent.
Death of UNILAG VC
Just when things were getting normal, the Nigerian academic community was thrown into mourning following the death of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Professor Adetokunbo Babatunde Sofeluwe.
Sofeluwe, 62, suffered a heart attack in his office and was rushed to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital where he suffered another attack before giving up the ghost in the early hours of Saturday, May, 2012.
Sofoluwe, who was appointed on January 31, 2010 as the 10th VC, got his first degree from the University of Lagos in Computer Science.
Educating 9.5 million almajiris
Resolute in achieving Education for All by 2015, the Federal Government launched the Almajiri model school in Sokoto State, which has been replicated in other northern states, aimed at broadening the horizon of over 9.5 million almajiris on spiritual and moral values.
President Jonathan, at the inauguration of the first Almajiri Model Boarding School in Gagi, Sokoto State, said his administration believed that the time had come for the nation to build on the moral foundations of the traditional school system by providing the Almajiri with conventional knowledge and skills that would enable them to fully realise their creative and productive potentials.
Government had so far constructed 35 of such model schools, while states with large population of Almajiris would have both the boarding and day schools. The school comprises 15 blocks of classrooms, language laboratory, clinic, recitation room, vocational workshop, Mallams’ quarters and a dinning hall.
Mass failures in public examination
Public attention was, again, drawn to the rot in the education sector following the mass failure of students in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
In the May/June 2012 WAEC exams, only 38.81 per cent of the candidates or 649,156 of 1,695,878 candidates obtained credits in five subjects and above, including English language and Mathematics.
Of the 1,695,878 candidates, 6.70 per cent (112,000) were withheld for various report of alleged involvement in examination malpractice; 46.14 per cent (771,731) obtained six credits and above; 56.93 per cent (952,156) obtained five credits and above; 66.24 per cent (1,107,747) obtained credits and above in four subjects, while 74.55 per cent (1,246,729) obtained credits and above in three subjects.
The results were not any better in the UTME as, according to JAMB Registrar/Chief Executive, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, of the 1,503,931 candidates that sat for the exam, only 3 scored 300 and above; 901 scored between 270-299; 71,339 candidates scored between 250-269; 601,151 scored between 200-249; 374,920 candidates scored between 170-199; while 336,330 scored below 170.
27,266 results where withheld in 52 centres in eight states for exam malpractice, while number of invalid results was 5,161.
The National Universities Commission (NUC) threw some spanners in the wheel when it announced the suspension of the licences of seven private universities on July 4.
The affected universities – Madonna University, Lead City University, Tansian University, Caritas University, Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Achievers University and Obong University – had their operational licences suspended for failing to live up to guidelines stipulated for running of universities in Nigeria by NUC.
According to the Executive Secretary, NUC, Professor Julius Okojie, some of their offences were unwillingness to comply with regulations, inappropriate governance structure and poor management of academic activities. He added that the suspension would be lifted as soon as they comply.
Ban of part-time programmes
Then came the ban on part-time programmes in varsities by the NUC, which stakeholders say would deny millions of Nigerians whose only chances of acquiring higher education were through part-time programmes.
According to Okojie, the ban is aimed at rationalising the activities as well as ensuring that best practices and standards are maintained. He added that until the ban is lifted, admission into part-time programme will not exceed 20 per cent of a varsity’s total intake while lectures will be restricted to varsities campuses only.
PhD truck drivers
The value of our educational certificates was brought to question when Dangote Group announced that it received 13,000 applications from graduates for employment as truck drivers. Of this number, six PhD, 704 Masters and over 8,460 Bachelor degree holders applied for the Graduate Executive Truck Driver positions.
According to the Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, most of the applicants are from reputable universities and our plan is to eventually make them self-dependent.
The drivers will get trip allowances on each trip along with their salaries, and will own the trucks at no interests or repayments after they must have reached 300,000km, (about 140 trips from Lagos to Kano) within two to four years.
The death of the four University of Port Harcourt students that were lynched in Aluu Community, Ikwerre LGA, Rivers State, for allegedly stealing phones and laptops would forever remain in the minds of many.
The students, Chiadika Lordson, Ugonna Kelechi Obusor, Mike Lloyd Toku, and Tekena Elkanah, were beaten and later set ablaze by members of the community.
According to an eye witness, Miss Ibisobia Elkanah, sister to Tekena, policemen who visited the scene when the students were being beaten encouraged the mob to ‘burn them alive’
Svoboda: The rise of Ukraine’s ultra-nationalists
Ukraine’s ultra-nationalist party, Svoboda, was a shock winner in October’s parliamentary election, capturing more than 10% of the vote and entering the legislature for the first time. How radical is it?
Svoboda’s presence has been felt immediately in Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, where its 37 deputies belong to a broad coalition opposing President Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions.
Meeting for its first two sessions in mid-December, the Rada – as it has a number of times in the past – degenerated into scenes that resembled not so much a legislative process as an ice hockey brawl, involving dozens of shoving, punching and kicking parliamentarians.
Svoboda’s newly installed deputies, clad in traditional Ukrainian embroidered shirts, were in the thick of the melee, when not actually leading the charge.
They helped attack and drive from the opposition’s ranks two deputies – a father and son – who were accused of preparing to defect to the ruling party. Then they joined a massive free-for-all around the speaker’s rostrum, in protest at alleged illegal absentee-voting by deputies from the governing party.
One of Svoboda’s leading members, sports journalist Ihor Miroshnychenko, his ponytailflying behind him, then charged the podium (above) to prevent a deputy speaking in Russian. (Svoboda believes that only Ukrainian should be used in all official bodies.)
Outside, Svoboda deputies used a chainsaw to cut down an iron fence erected last year to prevent crowds from storming the parliament building. This they justified in the name of popular democracy.
The party has tapped a vast reservoir of protest votes. In a political landscape where all other parties are seen as corrupt, weak or anti-democratic – or all three – Svoboda seems to have attracted voters who would otherwise have stayed away from the polls altogether. Its strong anti-corruption stance – promising to “clean up” Ukraine – has resonated deeply.
“I’m for Svoboda,” said Vadim Makarevych, a supporter, said at a recent rally in Kiev. “We have to stop what is happening in our country. It’s banditry and mafia.”
At the same time, they have staked out a position as fervent – some say rabid – defenders of traditional Ukrainian culture and language.
Months before Miroshnychenko charged the parliament podium, Svoboda activists were photographed appearing to spray police with pepper gas, at a demonstration against a law making Russian an official language in some regions of the country.
Among those who see Russia as a threat to Ukraine’s independence – chiefly in the west rather than the east of the country – many applaud this tough anti-Moscow stance.
But in the run-up to October’s election, the party also wooed centrist voters by softening its image.
Party leader Oleh Tyahnybok repeatedly reassured voters that Svoboda is not racist, xenophobic or anti-Semitic – just pro-Ukrainian. “We are not against anyone, we are for ourselves,” he said.
By presenting itself as a party of very devoted patriots, Svoboda seems to have won over voters who would be repelled by some of its more radical views – or voters who sympathise with these views, but prefer them to remain unspoken.
In the last parliamentary elections five years ago, Svoboda managed only 0.7% of the vote. This time, in addition to expanding its traditional base in the country’s Ukrainian-speaking west – it won close to 40% in the Lviv region – Svoboda made inroads into central regions, capturing second place in the capital Kiev.
But while the party’s radical past can be papered over, it cannot be erased. Its name until 2004 was the “Social-Nationalist Party” and it maintains informal links to another group, the Patriots of Ukraine, regarded by some as pro-fascist.
In 2004, Tyahnybok was kicked out of former President Viktor Yushchenko’s parliamentary faction for a speech calling for Ukrainians to fight against a “Muscovite-Jewish mafia” – using two highly insulting words to describe Russians and Jews – and emphasising that Ukrainians had in the past fought this threat with arms.
In 2005, he signed an open letter to Ukrainian leaders, including President Yushchenko, calling for the government to halt the “criminal activities” of “organised Jewry”, which, the letter said, was spreading its influence in the country through conspiratorial organisations as the Anti-Defamation League – and which ultimately wanted to commit “genocide” against the Ukrainian people.
Tyahnybok stresses that he has never been convicted for anti-Semitism or racial hatred, though prosecutors opened a case against him after his 2004 speech. “All I said then, I can also repeat now,” he says. “Moreover, this speech is relevant even today.”
Other Svoboda members have also courted controversy. Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn, a parliamentary deputy considered one of the party’s ideologues, liberally quotes from former Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, along with other National-Socialist leaders.
This undoubtedly appeals to a number of Svoboda’s voters, though to what extent is difficult to determine.
Even now, Svoboda’s platform calls for passports to specify the holder’s ethnicity, and for government positions to be distributed proportionally to ethnic groups, based on their representation in the population at large.
“We want Ukrainians to run the country,” says Bohdan, a participant in a recent Svoboda rally, as he waves a Ukrainian flag and organizes cheering and chanting.
Some see signs that Svoboda’s radical elements are reasserting themselves. Activists recently attacked and sprayed tear gas at a gay rights rally in central Kiev. Ihor Miroshnychenko, meanwhile, used abusive language to describe the Ukrainian-born American actress Mila Kunis, who is Jewish, in an online discussion.
However, a number of Svoboda’s critics, while underscoring the potential dangers of the party’s rise, also say that its popularity may be fleeting. Svoboda’s surge mirrors the far-right’s growing strength in many countries across Europe, they point out, and may not signal any fundamental, long-term rightward shift among the Ukrainian population.
With the increased scrutiny that the party will come under in parliament, more Ukrainians may also take objection to Svoboda’s wilder statements, or decide it creates unnecessary divisions in an already polarised country.
The party itself could also become more mainstream as it conforms to pressure from its political partners. This has happened with other far-right groups in the past, like the Italian Fascist party, which mellowed as it integrated into Italy’s conservative camp, experts say.
“There’s a belief that Svoboda will change, once in the Verkhovna Rada, and that they may become proper national democrats,” says Andreas Umland, a political science professor at Kiev’s Mohyla Academy University.
But he hesitates to predict how the party’s internal tensions will be resolved.
“We don’t know which way Svoboda will go,” he says. “It may actually become more radical.”
By David Stern.bbc.co.uk
CLICK HERE: waecdirect.org
The next batch due for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) – Batch A 2013 – will be going for camping next year What and what should they take along to Camp? Do you really need most of the things you’re packing for the camp?
Here’s a checklist of what we think an ‘Otondoh’ like you is likely to need…
CAMP ITEMS/LIST OF WHAT BTON TAKE TO CAMPS
1. Documents and Photocopies
2 Call-up Letter
3 Statement of Results/Transcript
4 First Degree Certificates
5 School ID Card
6 Passport Photographs
You won’t be allowed into camp premises without any of them. Go there with about 10 passports & 5 document photocopies each
7 Toothbrush & Toothpaste
8 Bath soap & Sponge
9 Detergent & Bar Soap
12 Sanitary Pads & Tampons
13 Shower Caps
16 Buckets & Bailer
17 Body Cream & Lotion
Its ok to buy buckets and non-essentials at the camp.
18. White T-shirts
19. White Shorts
20. Whites Tennis Shoes
21. White Socks
23. Bed Sheets
24. Perfumes/ Body Spray
25. Rubber Slippers/Flip Flops
26. Combs and Hair needs
27. Make-up & Accessories
* You will be provided with 2 pairs of white T-shirts and shorts in camp but you can take up to 2 pairs more along.
* Colored panties will be too conspicuous under the white tops and bottoms.
* You can take a 2 – 3 sets of casual wears/mufti for Sunday and camp fire night.
* 1 pair of shoe and socks is okay. It is good to have a white rubber shoe that is easy to clean (sold at camp also)
OTHER RECOMMENDED ITEMS
28 Torch lights/Batteries
29 Mosquito Nets/Repellant
30 Food Flasks, Cups, Drinking flasks & Cutlery
31 Cloth Hangers
33 Padlocks and Keys
34 Waist Pouch
36. Face Towels/Kleenex
Get a cheap watch. Everyone uses a waist purse. It’s your camp bestie. Most of these items can be easily bought in the camp. So don’t worry if you cannot get them before traveling.
OPTIONAL FIRST AID ITEMS
38. Menthylated Spirit/ Rubbing Alcohol
39. Band Aids/Plasters
42. Cotton wool
43. Anti-purging pills (flagyl, tetracycline etc.)
44. Anti-malaria pills
45. Inhaler (for those who are asthmatic)
These aren’t necessary except you have something to treat or known allergies
46 .Camera & Batteries
47. Writing Pads and Stationery
50. Games Equipment
51. Mp3/ iPod
52. Eye pads for sleeping & ear plugs
53. Surge protectors / extensions
54.Glue sticks & stapler
55. MONEY, MONEY, AND MORE MONEY
*If you have an internet-enabled camera phone, do take it along. Camp life can be very boring without one. You will like to take pictures and share with your friends. You only need to be very vigilant and protective of your things. If you feel you need a bulletproof vest or helmet, please carry it. You know what we mean, don’t you?
* Never, ever, ever run out of money! Bring as much as you can afford.
* Mirrors and forks are known to be contraband items in camp
* Prices of items apart from fast consumer goods (Credit, Gala, Indomie etc) are usually higher than those outside so it is advisable you buy the things you can before going into camp.
PACK AS LIGHT AS YOU CAN AND MAKE SURE YOUR BOX IS AS THEFT-PROOF AS POSSIBLE.
We recommend that you get in touch with other ‘Corpers’ at http://www.otondoh.com. Otondoh wants to help youth corps members serving in different parts of the country to connect and share their experiences during their service year. The mobile network currently has over 1000 members and provides tips and resources for corps members. It’s a cool network that can also benefit all youth corp members who are currently on or about to embark on their primary assignment.
EDUCATION AND LIVING: Political pictures and late-night jokes of 2012
“According to the latest census poll, a large number of Californians are moving out of state and going to places like Texas and Nevada. Look, I know a lot of us are disgusted with the Lakers, but that’s no reason . . .” –Jay Leno
“The Lakers are so bad, when Mitt Romney talks about the 47 percent, he means Dwight Howard’s free throw shooting.” –Jay Leno
“New Jersey Democrats say Republican Governor Chris Christie will be impossible to beat. It’s unclear if they’re talking about the 2013 governor’s race or Coney Island hot dog-eating contest.” –Conan O’Brien
“December 21, the end of the world, is a Friday. So it means dress is casual.” –David Letterman
“Japan and South Korea are on high alert after North Korea successfully launched a long-range rocket. Both countries are surprised by North Korea’s successful launch, but definitely not as surprised as North Korea.” –Jimmy Fallon
“A company in California designed a flying drone that will drop burritos over your house using a parachute — or as Chris Christie calls that, ‘the best forecast ever!’” –Jimmy Fallon
Some have pegged the end on 12/21/12 at the moment of the winter solstice, which at one point had been estimated by the U.S. Naval Observatory to take place at 11:11 UTC, or 6:11 a.m. EST. The Northern Hemisphere’s winter solstice, when the top half of the planet (everything north of the equator) will face away from the sun, actually occured at 11:12 UTC, or 6:12 a.m. EST. Either way, the moment has ticked by, and the world is still here.
Today does mark an end, to the 13th 144,000-day cycle (called a b’ak’tun) of the ancient Mayan Long Count Calendar. The least worried about this rumored doomsday date? The Mayas.
Their calm comes amidst some particularly startling freakouts elsewhere: Chinese farmers making “doomsday escape pods;” NASA being flooded with worried phone calls; and supposedly mystical mountains in Europe getting overrun with apocalypse tourists. Oh yeah, and some kids got two days off school. In Michigan, two counties cancelled classes Thursday and Friday, citing both fears about school violence after the elementary school shooting in Connecticut last week and rumors about the end of the world causing distraction, according to CBS Detroit. [Mayan Doomsday (Not): Coverage & Countdown]
This week in the northwestern province of Qinghai, the government arrested more than 400 members of a doomsday-preaching group called the Church of the Almighty God, confiscating computers, banners, books, cellphones and other items, The Guardian reported.
Like many rumored doomsdays — from a 1910 scare tied to Halley’s Comet and a doomy divination by televangelist Pat Robertson in 1982 to TV preacher Harold Camping’s 2011 claim — that have come and gone, this one seems to have left Earth unscarred. Even so, social scientists have said the Mayan apocalypse does stand out from the rest. Most past scares have been sparked by charismatic leaders issuing divine proclamations. The Dec. 21 scare, however, was more of a grassroots prediction that seemed to pop up almost entirely online.
But where did it come from? Dec. 21 on the Western calendar likely corresponds to the end of the 13th b’ak’tun of the Mayan Long Count Calendar, one of three calendars the ancient Maya used to count time. The calendar works by counting first days, then 20-day chunks of time, then 260-day periods and 7,200-day periods. Ticking up like a car odometer, the calendar finally keeps track of 144,000-day blocks of time called b’ak’tuns.
continuing the cycle, 20 tuns become one ka’tun (7,200 days total) and 20 ka’tuns become one b’ak’tun (144,000 days total, or close to 400 years).
By matching Mayan calendar dates to our own calendar, researchers have concluded that Dec. 21, 2012, is the likely date for the last day of the 13th b’ak’tun. (Dec. 23 or Dec. 24 are other possibilities, thanks to different units on the calendar turning over at different times of day.)
Written in modern translation, that makes Dec. 21, in Mayan date, 18.104.22.168.0. Tomorrow, Dec. 22 will be 22.214.171.124.1. The ancient Maya believed that 13 b’ak’tuns represented one full cycle of creation, but they did not predict the world would come to an end. In fact, their calendar includes some rarely used units of time even larger than b’ak’tuns that would have allowed the Maya to count millions of years into the future, had their empire not crumbled around A.D. 900.