Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tackling Poverty & Ignorance As Threats to Global Solidarity Against Climate Change

Ignorance could often be considered a significant factor of influence in the wise of the low-level   perception of climate change among the common people of the developing world, but a more obvious pointer is their decried poverty state which has negatively influenced their take on the climate issue. 

The fact is that their common orientation towards devising a more or less daily surviving strategy way outweighs their relative concern for the inevitable change which in most cases they tend to term as not relevant considering their relative state of living. In a lot of respect, the premise is not that they do not feel or perceive the dangerous changes, in fact, these set of people, who make up the larger proportion of the developing countries’ population have come to recognize the fact that there are changes already well obvious around their respective environment and which in a way have been impacting their respective livelihood support systems.

The recent report released by the IPCC calls for a timely intervention as climate change has started affecting food security and a worst-case scenario has been predicted as an inevitable future occurrence if nothing is done. Now the perception is a call for global interventions, which would include individual responsibilities as a precursor to a complimentary alliance of stand.

Kogi Gets New Commissioners

Newly Sworn-in Commissioners and Their Portfolios:

Alih Ajuh - Budget and Planning
Tunji Oshanisi - Water Resources
Abdulmumini Usman - Science and Technology
Stephen Maiyaki - Lands, Housing & Urban Dev
Mohammed Umoru - Rural Development
Dr. Idris Omede - Health
Zakari Alfa - Finance
Agnes Okai - Education
Abdulrahman Wuya - Transport
Zacchaeus Atteh - Agric
Zainab Okino - Information

Coping With Boko Haram's Reign of Terror on Cameroonian Villages

In the villages that line the border with Nigeria, even those charged with protecting Cameroonians from Boko Haram fighters fear the fall of darkness.
"When night falls, we tremble. We don't sleep," said a Cameroonian policeman from a far-northern border town, on condition of anonymity.
The Nigeria-born Islamist group has stepped up raids into northern Cameroon in recent days, murdering and stealing with impunity despite military efforts to clamp down on their bloody insurgency.
On Sunday local police said one of their officers was killed during an attack on the village of Nariki, 500 metres from Boko Haram's Nigerian stronghold of Tarmoa, adding to scores of deaths from raids on local towns this month.
The militants have long used Cameroon to launch attacks on Nigeria as the border between them is extremely porous, with no buffer-zone clearly separating the two countries.
Nigeria's border with Cameroon
Earlier this month they stole a pick-up truck and weapons in a raid on a police post in Bomberi, Cameroon, only to abandon it on Nigerian territory where it was found by troops days later, said another Cameroon police officer.
Weapons and goods cross the border freely too: the remote northern Cameroon town of Amchide has become a hotbed for Boko Haram fighters and a hub for trafficking to finance their recruitment.

Boko Haram Hoists Flag in Damboa As Thousands Flee

Boko Haram Flag

A massive assault by Boko Haram in the northeast Nigerian town of Damboa has left about 100 persons dead with more than 15,000 people displaced, an official said Monday, as the Islamist fighters gained control of the town and hoisted their flag.
Officials from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) were struggling to establish a death toll amid multiple reports that Boko Haram fighters were still occupying the town, having hoisted their flag above a public building.

The attack on Damboa began late Thursday but continued through the weekend, with witnesses saying that civilians were left defenceless by the security forces who withdrew from the area earlier this month.
Abdulkadir Ibrahim of NEMA told journalists that at least 15,204 people had fled Damboa to escape the Islamist onslaught.
"The number of displaced in (the town of) Biu is 10,204. We have 3,000 in Maiduguri and 2,000 in Goniri," he said.
Multiple media outlets on Monday reported that Boko Haram had taken over Damboa and were seeking to establish themselves as the local authority, something the Nigerian Islamists are not widely known to do.
But the military tried to downplay the extent of the crisis.
Nigerian Soldiers
"We are not conceding any portion of this country to any terrorist group," defence spokesman Chris Olukolade said.
"Security agencies are firming up deployment of troops in the entire area...We are also going to reverse every form of insecurity in that area very soon," he added.
Boko Haram has relentlessly targeted civilians across the northeast, killing more than 2,000 already this year, and staged brazen attacks on the security forces.
Should the Islamists prove capable of holding their ground in Damboa in the face of a military assault, it would be a major embarrassment for the security forces and mark a significant setback in Nigeria's effort to crush the five-year uprising.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Nigerian Air Force Helicopter Crashes In Bama, Borno

Nigeria's Airforce Jets

A Nigerian Air Force Mi-35 Helicopter on a training mission crashed on Monday afternoon south of Bama in Borno, Defence Headquarters said in a statement.

The statement, issued by Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, the Director of Defence Information in Abuja on Monday, said the helicopter crashed because of technical fault.

“Investigation has commenced to unravel the circumstances that led to the accident.

“Meanwhile, it is established that the crash is not as a result of any enemy action. Further details on the crash will be made known as soon as the investigation progresses,’’ the statement said.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Writing Exams In Nigeria
The rot in the education sector in the country is a cause of concern to many Nigerians. Sulaimon Olanrewaju presents views of professionals and stakeholders who X-ray the causes, highlight the consequences and proffer curative measures.
IN Nigeria, education has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. The Nigerian education system which produced world acclaimed scholars and professionals like Professor Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate; Professor Chinua Achebe, Professor Ayodele Awojobi and others in that category has been reduced to one whose products are mere minions.  Unlike what obtains in other countries where achievements of the founding fathers in sciences, arts and other endeavours are surpassed by the succeeding generations, in Nigeria, references are always made to the feats of the past without any attempt to repeat or re-enact same.
The situation is so bad that, according to Prof. Mac Ade Araromi, former Director, Institute of Education, University of Ibadan, during an interview with the Nigerian Tribune, “many university graduates cannot speak good English. Even at the post-graduate level, we find out that the communication ability of the students is declining. Imagine reading through a thesis and you still have to correct tenses. This is somebody who is going to be a Ph.D. holder.” But the journey to the sorry pass was not an overnight one. The country, in the opinion of many people, took time to sow the seed for the current rot in her education system. Varied reasons have been advanced for the development; some blame military intervention in the country’s governance, others blame teachers’ strike, a section blames it on the unsuitability of Nigerian teachers, while some groups blame the downward trend in the nation’s economy. But all agreed that given the way the country started with her education, she has no business producing graduates that will be despised by foreign schools and rejected by local employers.

A United States of Africa? Not Yet

 The journalist and black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey wrote a poem about it. The reggae great Bob Marley sang about it. And the Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi poured his oil wealth into it. But none lived to see a United States of Africa.

This history of disappointed hopes will provide the backdrop in early August when President Barack Obama hosts the inaugural U.S.-Africa summit in Washington. Only a few of Africa's 54 leaders—including Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, who is still the target of U.S. sanctions—haven't been invited.

The U.S. wants to discuss continent-wide issues, such as security and terrorism, and to promote regional initiatives, such as shared electricity. To stress the breadth of the meeting's aims, Mr. Obama plans to meet with the African heads of state as a group, not individually—a move that has ruffled some diplomatic feathers.

The vision of an impoverished continent of countries coming together as one, flexing its muscle in geopolitics and the global economy, has long enticed activists, poets and politicians. But today's Africa remains divided, largely along hastily drawn colonial-era borders.

The question now is whether the still-remote idea of political unity can find new life in the more modest goal of an integrated economic community.

US PR Firm Suffers Backlash Over Deal With Nigerian Government

Someone tell Levick that Nigeria is, you might say, complicated. 
Nigeria’s Twittersphere erupted Thursday under the hashtag #SomeoneTellLevick over a government contract signed with U.S. public relations firm Levick last month — reportedly for $1.2 million — to improve news coverage of the Nigerian government’s efforts to recover 219 abducted schoolgirls.
So far, Levick has succeeded in getting some prominent media placements for embattled President Goodluck Jonathan, such as an opinion piece in the Washington Post last month.
It also succeeded in upsetting a lot of Nigerians.
The furious backlash over Washington-based Levick’s involvement reflects long-held sensitivity about foreigners who think they know more about Nigeria than Nigerians. Some accused the firm of profiting from the abductions.
“How can @LEVICK earn filthy income on the back of innocent women (&men) that have STOOD EVERYDAY for 78 DAYS DEMANDING: #BringBackOurGirls?” tweeted former Education Minister Oby Ezekwesili, one of the main organizers of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, whose work has attracted global attention to the fate of the missing girls.
The girls from the Chibok area in northeastern Nigeria were kidnapped by the militant group Boko Haram in mid-April. According to Human Rights Watch, Boko Haram killed more than 2,053 Nigerians in the first six months of the year. Villagers in the northeast complain that the country’s military rarely protects them from the militant attacks.
Boko Haram is bitterly opposed to secular education, democracy, Western culture, banking and taxation; and it wants to impose an Islamic state across the country of 170 million, which is divided between Christians and Muslims. It has launched a series of bombings in urban centers in addition to attacks on villages.
“We dont need some PR company from DC to tell us how our govt feels about us. we live here, you operate from DC @LEVICK enjoy your lunch fee,” read a post from @Perseverance__.

The Miraculous Deliverance Of Oga Jona


As soon as he opened his eyes, he felt it. A strange peace, a calm clarity. He stretched.  Even his limbs were stronger and surer. He looked at his phone. Thirty-seven new text messages – and all while he was asleep. With one click, he deleted them. The empty screen buoyed him. Then he got up to bathe, determined to fold the day into the exact shape that he wanted.
Those Levick people had to go. No more foreign PR firms. They should have made that article in the American newspaper sound like him, they should have known better. They had to go. And he would not pay their balance; they had not fulfilled the purpose of the contract after all.
He pressed the intercom. Man Friday came in, face set in a placidly praise-singing smile.
“Good morning, Your Excellency!”
“Good morning,” Oga Jona said. “I had a revelation from God.”
Man Friday stared at him with bulging eyes.
“I said I had a revelation from God,” he repeated. “Find me new Public Relations people. Here in Nigeria. Is this country not full of mass communication departments and graduates?”
“Yes, Your Excellency.” Man Friday’s eyes narrowed; he was already thinking of whom he would bring, of how he would benefit.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Kogi Chapter of UNIJOS Alumni Takes-off Today With A Dinner

Determined to have a formidable and reinforced ALUMNI association in Kogi state, all Josites around Kogi are hereby invited to a DINNER MEETING on Friday 18th July, 2014 at the GRA Residence of Mr. Inaju U.Inaju.

The organizers will appreciate if invitees gather at the GRA office of the Kogi state first lady by 3:30pm for take-off to the venue.

Looking forward to receive you.

Hon. Oladipo Bayode