Category Archives: General

My hazardous experience

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It seemed like the sun had conspired with the bus driver for our severe punishment that day.It wasn’t just for the fact that the sun was terribly scorching ,but the driver had apparently taken a crazy pill or was high on some cheap drugs of some sort.As i switched to the next track on my iPod,i wondered why the sun was so hot in this part of the country. The crisp white shirt i had put on earlier this morning had glued to my body like a second skin.Beads of sweat dotted my brow and i was as hot as ever!as i wiped off a drop which obvious plan was to enter into my eyes,i frantically looked up at the AC vent for what looked like the thousandth time.Even the AC had surrendered to the hot slaps of the sun.Just then, the bus driver swerved promptly to the left in an effort to bypass an oncoming vehicle and i was thrown against the passenger sitting beside me.Muttering a quick outburst of apology at her disgust,i quickly righted myself.This wasn’t how i had
planned to enjoy my long awaited journey from Lagos to Abuja; it all seemed like the forces of Abuja were banning an outsider from their territory.Somewhere at the back of the bus,a child started crying,a cynical smile curved my lips; apparently,i wasn’t the only one not enjoying the hideous journey.Just then,my iPod signaled a low battery and went off! Great! just great! i thought! could this day get any worse? i angrily folded my hands and made a chore of staring at my fellow passengers; of course, starting with the disgruntled one i’d earlier fell on,i took a closer look at her and she seemed uptight and rigid.The paper back novel in her hand must have recognized her rigidity showing by the extent at which an end was squeezed by left hand. I studied her for a while and saw that for a whole ten minutes,she had not turned the page.Wondering how anyone could be that slow,my gaze rested on the next passenger and that was when i saw Him!i don’t blame the
girl! i thought.If i were to be sitting down close by a hunk like that,i’d be as rigid as a rock.Was it just me or had the room gotten hotter?i couldn’t take my eyes off him,the whole six foot of him,from his neatly carved hair to his beautiful fingers,wow! did i mention that i was a sucker for lovely fingers?well,i am!his wasn’t just lovely but masculinely lovely.lol!If there’s a word like that.At that moment,a news slip came on on the radio,in which the FG was imploring parents and students to be patient with the ongoing ASUU strike which brought about a snort from most of the passengers and elicited a chuckle from me.Two elderly men in the seats in front of me began to murmur about their children who were stuck at home with nothing doing.tell me about it! i thought!The woman with the crying child and two other youths sited beside her joined in on the conversation and while some were on the side of the FG, others were on the side of ASUU..It was a
funny argument which had me chuckling time to time.Suddenly, goose pimples came all over my body and immediately, i knew that my hunk was staring at me.I immediately choked on the fanta i was sipping.What in the world was wrong with me? i thought.As i raised my head to look at him,the goose pimples on my skin multiplied and i sputtered in an effort to calm down.He gave me a lopsided grin and the world dropped beneath my feet.It really should be illegal to let people this handsome loose on the streets! i returned a strained smile and he chuckled and faced his laptop.And then,that was when i saw the WELCOME TO ABUJA sign.Although i had long awaited this sign from the beginning of my journey,there was a sad feeling in me because i was going to be separated from my hunk.After a few minutes,the hellish bus driver pulled up signifying our disembarking from the bus.When we all came down, my hunk came around to where i was standing and looked me in the eye
and said.’is it just me or do you enjoy sweating?’ expecting a fond speech,i incredulously stared at him.’why?’ i asked.He then said,’you never did open your AC-vent’. I went around around to the side of the bus where i was sitting and realized it was true.He gave me a pitiful smile and walked away.What a way to begin my experience in a new town,i thought!…..

Frostyfrend

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Nigeria’s Foreign Reserve Swells To $44. 6b

In what might be
cheery news to
managers of the
nation’s economy and
indeed Nigerians, the
Coordinating Minister
for the Economy and
Minister of finance,
Dr. Ngozi okonjo-
Iweala, yesterday
declared that the
nation’s foreign reserve has hit $44.6 billion.
The minister said this while speaking at the 31ST Meeting of
the Convergence Council of Ministers and Governors of
Central Banks of the West African Monetary Zone, WAMZ,
in Abuja. She also added that Nigeria has been building
buffers against “economic shocks”
Her words, “on the back of greater efficiency in the
management of our resources, our foreign reserves soared
from US$32.6 billion at the end of 2011 to about US$44.6
billion now.
“The Excess Crude Account,ECA, balance has also improved
from $4.57 billion in August 2011 to about $9 billion now.
Our Sovereign Wealth Fund is up and running and will oversee
the $1 billion set aside by the government. But more
important, President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration is
embarking on a strong program of economic diversification –
which is the only real buffer for our economy”.
According to the minister, Nigeria has started a massive
investment in agriculture, housing, solid minerals, the
creative industry, and other sectors, “in an effort to limit
our dependency on oil revenue, and create jobs. It is a fact,
that our present growth rate is being sustained by the
activities of the non-oil sector

Boko Haram Leader Shekau Shot, Flees To Mali

There were indications yesterday in Abuja, that the
leader of the Boko Haram Islamic sect, Imam Abubakar
Shekau was wounded during a gun battle with security
men recently.

Sources said in Abuja that security agencies traced the
whereabouts of Shekau, who succeeded late Mohammed
Yusuf as leader of the sect to Mali, where he escaped to
after sustaining injuries during a gun duel with soldiers of
the Joint Task Force, JTF, a.k.a Operation Restore Order.
Sources told Saturday Vanguard that the Federal
Government approved the deployment of 1,200 soldiers
apparently because of the need to arrest the wounded Boko
Haram leader.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika who
addressed officers and soldiers of the Nigerian army shortly
before they were airlifted to Mali Thursday in Kaduna, asked
them to be extra vigilant as there are indications that some
terrorists had sneaked into the country with the aim of
causing havoc.
Ihejirika however, pointed out that the Nigerian Army was
not resting on its oars as the war against terror was being
won.
Saturday Vanguard learnt that the battle between the JTF
and the sect members took place at Gao city, in the heart of
Northern Mali presently under the control of Tuareg
militants.
It was further learnt that Shekau, who is having N50million
ransom hanging on his head from the Federal Government,
was ferried to Mali through one of the porous routes in the
vast Nigerian border without Customs and Immigration
authorities getting wind of it.
Saturday Vanguard was told that while the Boko Haram
leader was being given medication in Gao, the foreign
sponsors of the sect’s activities in Nigeria, were busy, using
his name to indoctrinate, train and recruit more members for
the sect.
Shekau was said to have been shot at a checkpoint when he
reportedly attempted to deceive operatives of the JTF by
posing as a nomadic Fulani who was returning from a journey.
However, on approach of the vehicle conveying him and
members of his sect, ‘’a hot exchange of gunfire ensued as
the sect members started firing at the soldiers who equally
returned fire for fire.’’
During the crossfire, he and two other sect members with
him escaped with gunshot wounds while two members of the
sect were killed on the spot. Some AK 47 rifles were
recovered from the vehicle.
While stating that most of the weaponry including IEDS
recovered from Boko Haram members have been traced to
the weaponry used during the Libyan uprising against late
Libyan leader, Gaddafi, the source said Nigerian security
agencies believed that the more sophisticated and deadly
weaponry had gotten to the hands of sect members but they
are unable to operate them because they are not trained for
it.
The source cited the discovery of Shekau’s hideout and the
training base for Boko Haram sect members to unleash
terror on Nigerians as a further justification of the action
of the federal government to deploy 1, 200 troops as well as
Airforce fighter and transport aircraft to Mali to help flush
out the Tuareg militants and their sponsors.
Saturday Vanguard further gathered that security has been
beefed up along the Nigerian Army First Mechanized Division
and the Third Armoured Division’s areas of responsibilities
with the deployment of soldiers at the borders to
complement the work of other security agencies following the
escalation of the Mali crisis with a view to checkmating
infiltrations into the country by terrorists.
Last December, a total sum of N290 million ransom was
approved for anyone who could assist in locating Imam
Abubakar Shekau and 18 other leaders of Boko Haram.
A release by the JTF listed the wanted Boko Haram leaders
to include five members of the Shurra (the highest decision-
making body of the sect) Committee and 19 of their
commanders.
The five members of the Shurra Committee of the sect,
including Imam Abubakar Shekau whose ramsom was N50
million, and Habibu Yusuf (a.k.a Asalafi), Khalid Albarnawai,
Momodu Bama and Mohammed Zangina. Apart from Imam
Shekau whose ransom was put at N50 million, the other
Shurra members’ ransom was put at N25million each.
A ransom of N10 million each was put on the Boko Haram
Commanders including, Abu Saad, Abba Kaka, Abdulmalik
Bama, Umar Fulata, Alhaji Mustapha, (Massa) Ibrahim and
Abubakar Suleiman-Habu a.k.a Khalid.
Other commanders also included Hassan Jazair, Ali Jalingo,
Alhaji Musa Modu, Bashir Aketa, Abba Goroma, Ibrahim
Bashir, Abubakar Zakariya and Tukur Ahmed Mohammed.
The JTF statement on the N290 million ransom then, reads
in part; “They are wanted in connection with terrorist
activities, particularly in the North East zone of Nigeria that
led to the killings, bombings and assassination of some
civilians, religious leaders, traditional rulers, businessmen,
politicians, civil servants and security personnel, among
others.
They are also wanted for arson and destruction of properties
worth millions of naira.Therefore, anyone with information
that will lead to the arrest of any of the listed terrorists or
more will have the rewards (placed on them) as stated

The ‘Break Up’

It finally happened, my greatest fear, I had every reason to cry, every reason to be sad, this is real. It finally dawned on me that my relationship with Gerald has come to an end.

OMG!!! Could this possibly be real??!!! I kept on asking myself as I lay down on my bed, just crying helplessly.
I don’t wanna accept that its over!
This can’t be happening to me!!!! No!!!!
I cried for more than an hour, He’s gone, He’s not coming back. Its over!

I love him, I love him so much I told myself, How do I move on? Where do I start from? What happens next?
Damn! Why is this happening to me?!
WHY ME??? I lamented with a bitter heart.

Wow! This is actually happening, and there’s nothing I can do about it…… Its over!
I stopped crying and I started thinking, trying to figure out a way of this present problem…
“What do I do next?” That was the only thing that could possibly come into my head right now. I NEED ANSWERS!!! Not more questions.

I decided to get a cold drink. I couldn’t even sip out of it because my appetite was no where to be found. It was getting really late.
I went back to my bed, thinking of what would happen the next day. I was already feeling weak and my feet just turned cold.

Then a voice popped into my head; ‘He’s gone and he’s not coming back so why don’t you just pray and picture a better future instead of crying and hurting yourself more?’
At that point, I started thinking and I said to myself: Gerald is just a guy. He’s not God. And as long as I’m still alive and I still have God, there’s hope for a better future and a better guy. So I prayed, and I started listening to a song, and the picture of a better future with a great guy and wonderful kids just kept on rolling in… And I said to myself, my future is bright, the future is wonderful and my future is great!!!

I just found myself smiling and I became so happy, happier than ever before. My heart felt good, there was inner peace, I started feeling great and my appetite came back. I took the drink, started tweeting and I just couldn’t stop smiling at myself.

My whole life was getting better. I’m happy. Everything is falling into place. My whole life is perfect. And I’m looking forward to tomorrow because its gonna be an even better day than today.
I thought to myself, this is just an opportunity to make myself a better person for that great guy that’s coming… I don’t wanna misuse this great opportunity.
Few minutes later, I went to bed and had a wonderful dream… I woke up dancing the next morning. A new and perfect chapter is starting….

A break up is not the end of life… Its just the beginning of a better chapter…

Life is beautiful

Written by ‘Darielle’
Twitter: @le_modelle

Obasanjo’s recommendation for tackling Boko Haram

The recent “carrot and stick” approach recommended by
former President Olusegun Obasanjo to the solution of
the Boko Haram insurgency should be taken seriously by
President Goodluck Jonathan.
Till date, among all our past leaders, Obasanjo has
continuously shown concern, worry and proffered solution to
this lingering crisis. He, human like all of us, though, has his
faults which many of us have at one time or the other kicked
against both while he was in or out of power. Yet, it is often
said that, messages are considered while the messenger can
be ignored. Obasanjo as a former president and military
chief in this country has a lot to offer in terms of experience
and tactics in security matters. We cannot for very obvious
reasons sideline him when he speaks on similar issues just
because we differ with his political moves. We should and
must take him seriously because of our interest in building
and achieving peace and unity in this country.
It does not fetch us any advancement to trade tackles, each
time any leader bares his mind on this menace and, probably a
way out of it. We can for the merit it would do us as a nation,
marry the suggestions brought forth.
For years now, the Boko Haram group has shown the capacity
to over-run Nigeria in a matter of time and, it is then
desirable for the government of the day to look for the
solution without minding where it is got. Again, the argument
by the government that members of this Islamist group are
faceless is far from the truth; with this argument it is simply
providing for the security agencies, excuses to look the other
way while, innocent Nigerians are killed daily by this group.
The Boko Haram sect is an organised group of terrorists, the
memebers meet, discuss, acquire weapons, in fact, no doubt,
they must have sponsors. The truth remains that our security
agencies are not doing enough to arrest this ugly situation, it
is, in fact, worrisome that till date, this sect has not been
infiltrated by our security agents while its members have
infiltrated into the Police, SSS, Military and Presidency, as
Jonathan himself admitted some time ago.
Our security men are not telling Mr. President the whole
truth about this menace; they should buckle up, for the
reason they were engaged is to fight enemies of the state.
Obasanjo, according to media reports, spoke with the lawyer
of this group; would a faceless group have a lawyer? Why are
the security agencies not seeking out this lawyer to open
dialogue with the group? Why is it difficult for the security
chiefs to meet with their former ‘oga’, with the available
information at his disposal? For us to solve this problem that
is gradually growing to a monster status, all hands must be on
deck. Whether any person likes it or not, if any madman
decides to light the match in any highly inflammable
environment, it is doubtful if there would be anything to
salvage. Therefore, any crazy man wanting to set Nigeria
ablaze now has a very affordable and willing tool to use in
Boko Haram. Mr. President should meet with the former
President and indeed, all other past leaders, to discuss a way
out of this crisis before we are all consumed.
There is no doubt that, our past leaders, mainly the military
chiefs would come in handy in dealing with this crisis. They
have great wealth of experience that could be very relevant
in tackling this problem. President Jonathan could rub minds
with them, to tap from their experience and professionalism.
It is also important for the President to rejig his security
chiefs, perhaps to make them aware of their duty. All the
intelligence units of the security agencies ought to, by now,
be working in unison to be able to break into the camps of
these unrepentant Islamic militants. Certainly, to me, that is
where to start from, if they have not.
A human rights activist, Shehu Sani, once reportedly offered
to link the government with a contact person who could be a
veritable source of peaceful negotiation with members of
this sect. This is another door for consideration in achieving
peace. We would have expected the security chiefs to invite
Sani for discussions as one of the options to finding a lasting
solution to this evil that manifested in our country a few
years back, an evil and wicked act that has taken lives of
innocent Nigerians for no just cause. We have so far,
according to a report last year by the Human Rights Watch,
an international rights organisation, lost about 2,800 people.
This number is enormous, enough for the government to feel
extremely concerned and for the citizenry to lose confidence
on its government. Businesses have shut down in mostly Borno,
Yobe, Kano, Kaduna states; people have had to relocate to
neighbouring states and Abuja which afford more serene
environment, to continue their lives and businesses. Some
parents too have relocated their children’s schools to other
states for the safety of their lives. This evil must be tackled
to allow development thrive in these places and indeed
Nigeria.
This is not an issue to politicise at all, rather, it calls for our
leaders to work assiduously at taming these insurgents with
immediate effect. Nigeria is now regarded as a terrorist
nation and included in the list of countries to be avoided by
tourists and businessmen. Nigeria now witnesses poor
economic growth and development as a result of this
worsening security problem.
Our past leaders must invest their wealth of experience in
resolving this crisis. It is not Jonathan the Boko Haram
elements are fighting but, Nigeria, which may spell doom for
all if left unchecked.

Nwaogbe wrote in from Maitama, Abuja

Nigeria may emerge 13th leading economy in the world by2050 – Report

A report released by international accounting firm,
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has revealed that Nigeria may
occupy the 13th position as one of the leading G20 economies
in the World by 2050.
The PwC 2013 report disclosed that with Nigeria’s projected
rise in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), in terms of Gross
Domestic Product (GDP), from $2.6 billion to $3.9 billion by
2050, Nigeria is on its way to becoming one of the top 20
leading economies by the projected year.
According to the report, titled: “World in 2050 The BRICs
and Beyond: Prospects, Challenges and Opportunities”, a
yearly average real GDP growth rate of around six per cent,
as well as a youthful and growing working population will help
the country achieve this feat.
It reads in part: “Nigeria could be the fastest growing
country in our sample due to its youthful and growing working
population, but this does rely on using its oil wealth to
develop a broader based economy with better infrastructure
and institutions as regards rule of law and political
governance and hence support long term productivity growth
– the potential is there, but it remains to be realised in
practice.”

Culled from http://www.ventures-africa.com

How Obasanjo Saved Ghana’s Economy From Collapse –Kufuor

Former President of
Ghana, John Kofi
Agyekum Kufuor, has
described Nigeria’s
former president,
Chief Olusegun
Obasanjo as ‘a
prophet’ and ‘a living
legend’
who stands solid as a
rock of
Gibraltar.Kufuor, on
Friday, in a lecture
he delivered at a
programme to
celebrate the former
president at the
Olusegun Obasanjo
Presidential Library,
Abeokuta, Ogun
state, southwest
Nigeria, was full of
praise for the
former ruler. While
acknowledging Obasanjo’s legendary status, Kufuor said that
very few people are celebrated while they are alive, and in
most cases, people wait until when leaders passed on before
they were celebrated.
“Obasanjo is a prophet recognised in his own town and indeed
in the whole of Africa. There are two things which a few
people know that bound me and Obasanjo together. And this
will be the first time I will mention it in the public.
“I was in government in my country between 2001 and 2009
while Obasanjo was in power from 1999 to 2007. When I
assumed office in Ghana, I met an economy that was flat on
its tommy, everything was grounded. The fuel we had in Ghana
then could not last us a day. International communities were
packing out of Ghana. After consultation with my executive, I
concluded to go to Abuja and pleaded with Obasanjo to lift
embargo on NNPC of lifting fuel to neighbbouring countries
including Ghana. My plea was immediately granted and that
was how Ghana’s economy came back on its feet.”
Again, the former Ghanian leader narrated his second
encounter with Obasanjo in Washington, USA. He said when
Ghana needed $90 million to execute the West African Gas
Pipeline Project, he approached the then Nigerian president
and without ado, he (Obasanjo) raised $40 million to assist
the project.
Kufuor therefore praised and prayed for long life for the
former Nigerian president

Indonesian capital Jakarta hit by deadly flooding

At least four people have been killed by heavy flooding in
the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, say officials.
The flooding, caused by days of heavy rain, has blocked roads
and forced businesses in the capital to close.
Areas including the central business district (CBD) were
inundated and traffic was grid-locked as residents struggled
to move around the city.
Some 20,000 people have abandoned their homes, as officials
warn that the rain could worsen in the next few days.
The governor of Jakarta, Joko Widodo, has declared a state
of emergency.
He also said he was committed to making a “breakthrough” in
efforts to tackle the flooding.
The CBD normally escapes damage when Jakarta experiences
its heavy seasonal rains, but on Thursday, many government
offices and businesses were forced to close because staff
could not get to work.
Local television pictures showed people wading through almost
neck-high water in some parts of the city, while in others, the
waters were up to 2m (6.5ft) deep.
“What we need most is life rafts and a big truck to help
evacuate motorbike drivers whose engines malfunctioned
because of the water,” Sofia, a student, told BBC Indonesian.
Another Jakarta resident, Wildan, urged the government to
do more to stop floods in future. “The dams are no longer
sufficient to hold the water,” he said.
Yayat Supriatna, an urban planning expert, told the BBC that
Jakarta’s drainage system “is still the same as it was in the
Dutch colonial era” and should be rebuilt.
“The floods are caused by the failure to manage and sustain
the rivers as water reservoirs. I suggest the governor dredge
the rivers because if the rivers are deeper the better [the
system] will function.”
The presidential palace grounds are among areas flooded, and
images showed President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono walking
around the palace compound with Foreign Minister Marty
Natalegawa, wearing trousers rolled up above his knees.
Mr Yudhoyono told reporters: “I have no problem with the
palace being flooded. The most important thing is the people
are protected.”
He had instructed the national police chief and the army chief
to deploy their forces and evacuate flood victims, presidential
spokesman Julian Pasha told BBC Indonesian.
The Jakarta Post said two of the people killed in the capital
were children, aged 13 and two.
State funds are available to help those affected by the
flooding following the declaration of the state of emergency,
which will remain in effect until 27 January.
A Transport Ministry spokesman said air travel was not
disrupted.
A spokesman for state electricity company PLN said it had
cut power supplies to a number of areas to minimise the
danger of electrocutions, the Jakarta Globe reports.
The last severe flooding in Jakarta was in 2007, when at least
40 people were killed and hundreds of thousands forced from
their homes.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is due in Jakarta on
Friday to meet top leaders and deliver a foreign policy speech.
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