Thursday, October 11, 2012

Biden, Ryan squabble in vice-presidential debate

United States Vice-President Joe Biden and Republican vice-presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), late Thursday squabbled over the economy, taxes, Medicare and other issues in a contentious, interruption-filled debate.
“That is a bunch of malarkey,” the vice-president retorted after a particularly tough Ryan attack on the administration’s foreign policy, the Associated Press reports.
“Not a single thing he said is accurate,” Democrat Biden declared after Ryan said U.S Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, had been denied sufficient security by administration officials.
Stevens died in a terrorist attack on the U.S Consulate in Benghazi on September 11.


 "Thieves, thieves" he screamed, it was almost funny. Not until more voices joined the chorus as they screamed and shouted on us. We could have ran at least to save our lives, but little did we know how the day would end.

From a handful of young men shouting and throwing questions at us, it escalated to a crowd of angry mob. There was no way we could escape this one, so we calmed down.

They pushed us around and then stripped us all. These men pulled us pants down, we were more than embarrassed, the whole community watched, I recognized few faces from the crowd. Obviously they were so afraid to say "stop" then the beating started, I wished it to be just a nightmare....
But it was real! These men were determined. They dropped heavy rocks on our heads, they pounded our faces wit largeplanks, blood covered our eyes, they matched and kicked us right on our nostrils, we couldn't breathe."Bring tire" one of the men repeated, until they brought the tires.

Fish out perpetrators

Pastor David Sadiq, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr once said that, “Through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar,  but you can’t establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater,  but you can’t murder hate. Darkness cannot put out darkness. Only light can do that…”

The people that brutally and in such a inhumane manner, murdered the four university students in Aluu, Rivers State have done nothing to ward off evil but in their callous and barbaric jungle justice have demonstrated that they are nothing but harbingers of death.

Taking lives of fellow human beings in such a calculated coldness and alacrity can only confirm what the scripture says that in the end “the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:4-12.

A full inquest must be carried out by the Nigeria Police to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice.

Let us all rise and pray for our youths that our tomorrow shall not plunge into dark oblivion.

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Why we embarked on evaluation of NTI study centres –NCCE boss

Executive Secretary, National Commission for Colleges of Education, Prof. Mohammed Junaid Executive Secretary, National Commission for Colleges of Education, Prof. Mohammed Junaid
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The Executive Secretary, National Commission for Colleges of Education, Prof. Mohammed Junaid, has said the urge to ensure quality of teachers being produced by the National Teachers’ Institute for the nation’s basic schools informed the body’s decision to embark on the monitoring and evaluation of NTI’s study centres across the country.
Also, stakeholders in the education sector, who attended the opening ceremony of the evaluation exercise in the South West geo-political zone, in Lagos on Wednesday, have faulted the Federal Government’s decision to scrap teacher training colleges in the country.

Court remands petroleum magnate, others in police custody

A Lagos State Magistrate Court presided over by Martins Owumi on Thursday at the Tinubu Square Magistrate Court 5, Lagos Island, ordered the police to remand the Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Ifeanyi Ubah, and four of his staff for alleged fuel subsidy scam.
Ubah and other senior officers of the company – the Head of Trading, Nsikan Usoro; the Depot Manager, Godfrey Okorie; the General Manager, Operations, Chibuzo Ogbuokiri; and the Executive Director, Operations, Orji Joseph Anayo – are being held for alleged diversion of fuel subsidy payment by the Federal Government, Eagle Online reports.

Four Nigerian farmers sue Shell

THE HAGUE  (AFP) – Four Nigerian farmers take on Shell in a Dutch court on Thursday, accusing the oil giant of destroying their livelihoods in a case that could set a precedent for global environmental responsibility.
The civil suit, backed by lobby group Friends of the Earth, alleges that oil spills dating back to 2005 by the Anglo-Dutch company made fishing and farming in the plaintiffs’ Niger Delta villages impossible.
The case was initially filed in 2008, demanding that Royal Dutch Shell clean up the mess, repair and maintain defective pipelines to prevent further damage and pay out compensation.

Bad spot causes gridlock on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

A bad spot at NASFAT junction on the inward Lagos side of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway has been identified as the cause of daily gridlock on the busy highway.

The bad spot comprises some flooded potholes at the intersection and has reduced the inward Lagos side from two lanes to one.

An abandoned container, which fell off a truck some weeks ago, is also sitting at a conspicuous spot on the right side of the highway, a few metres from NASFAT Campground.

The gridlock usually stretches for over two kilometres from the intersection to Mowe junction, causing agony to road users.

Federal Road Safety Commission officials sometimes help to direct traffic at the bad spot.

The gridlock usually stretches

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Man arraigned for allegedly stealing computers from church

The police on Thursday arraigned one Paul Ogor before a Kubwa Senior Magistrates’ Court in Abuja on a two-count charge of house-breaking and theft.

Police prosecutor, Sandra Oparaugo, told the court that one Immalusi Silas, a security man at St. Bartholomew Anglican Church, Kubwa, reported the case to the police on October 1.

Oparaugo said that on the same day, the accused allegedly broke into an office in the said church and stole two sets of computer valued at N150, 000, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

“He was arrested while trying to escape from the crime scene,” Oparaugo said, adding that the offence contravened Sections 346 and 286 of the Penal Code.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecutor, however, requested for an adjournment to enable the police to prove their case.

The presiding Magistrate, Mrs. Simisola Adeniyi, adjourned the case to October 19 for hearing and granted the accused bail in the sum of N100, 000 with two sureties in like sum.

She ruled that both sureties must reside within the jurisdiction of the court while one of them must be a civil servant.

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Hong Kong woman dies after beauty tretment as three others fall ill

A 46-year-old woman has died in Hong Kong and three others are fighting for their lives following a beauty parlour treatment that involved blood transfusion, highlighting a lack of regulation in the city’s cosmetic industry.

The cases have prompted an investigation by the police and medical authorities, and renewed calls by health experts for tighter
regulation of Hong Kong’s beauty industry.

“Yes, the woman aged 46 died on Wednesday of septic shock,” a government spokeswoman said, Reuters reports.

Three other women, aged 56, 59 and 60, were in hospital with the eldest in critical condition.

Septic shock is normally caused by bacterial infection and can result in respiratory and organ failure, and even death.

The four had recently undergone a complicated blood transfusion procedure at the DR beauty chain, according to government statements, in a treatment that was meant to boost their immune system and appearance.

The women paid about Hong kong dollars ($6,400) for the procedure, which experts say is at best an experimental treatment for cancer patients and which has not been shown to have any aesthetic application so far.

DR said in a statement on Wednesday that the procedures were carried out by a doctor who was not employed by the parlour.

The procedure required their blood to be taken to isolate and culture certain types of immune cells.

These cytokine-induced killer cells were then injected back into the women together with their own blood plasma.

The four quickly fell ill with fever, dizziness and diaorrhea.

In an earlier blood sample taken from the woman who died, health officials found Mycobacterium abscessus, a superbug that is notoriously difficult to kill.

Although the direct cause of the woman’s death has yet to be confirmed, experts say it is likely to have been bacterial infection.

“They now have to find out where the bacterial contamination occurred in this whole process.

“Did it happen when the blood was drawn, during the culture process or when it was re-injected into the body?” William Chui, president of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists in Hong Kong said.

The cases raise fresh questions on how governments in many places in Asia regulate doctors’ conduct and sale of medicines, but exercise little or no control over what goes on in beauty parlours or what goes into “healthcare’’ products.

In Singapore in 2002, 15 women developed liver problems and one died after consuming Chinese-made slimming pills that were
later found to contain two undeclared ingredients.

One of the patents, an actress, survived only after a liver transplant.

Felice Lieh Mak, a leading medical expert in Hong Kong and former chairman of the Medical Council, said, “We hope that this tragedy will result in some attempt at making a legislation, or at least working towards legislating and defining what medical treatment is.”

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Four Nigerian farmers sue Shell

THE HAGUE  (AFP) – Four Nigerian farmers take on Shell in a Dutch court on Thursday, accusing the oil giant of destroying their livelihoods in a case that could set a precedent for global environmental responsibility.

The civil suit, backed by lobby group Friends of the Earth, alleges that oil spills dating back to 2005 by the Anglo-Dutch company made fishing and farming in the plaintiffs’ Niger Delta villages impossible.

The case was initially filed in 2008, demanding that Royal Dutch Shell clean up the mess, repair and maintain defective pipelines to prevent further damage and pay out compensation.

In a landmark ruling, the Dutch judiciary in 2009 declared itself competent to try the case despite protests from Shell that its Nigerian subsidiary was solely legally responsible for any damage.

“I inherited the fishponds from my late father. I lost my income due to the oil spill. Now we are struggling to make ends meet,” plaintiff Fidelis Oguru, the head of Oruma village, was quoted as saying by Friends of the Earth.

Oil pollution has ravaged swathes of the Niger Delta in the world’s eighth largest oil producer, which exports more than two million barrels a day.

Shell is the biggest producer in the west African country, where it has been drilling for over 50 years.

Environmental groups accuse Shell of double standards and treating spills in Nigeria differently from pollution in Europe or North America.

“The scale of the pollution is enormous: twice as much oil has been spilled in Nigeria than was in the Gulf of Mexico. Only there (Nigeria) it’s never been cleaned up,” Friends of the Earth Netherlands spokesman Geert Ritsema told AFP.

The 2010 explosion and sinking of BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig led to around five million barrels of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico in the biggest ever marine spill.

Shell says that spills in Nigeria are well below five million barrels and that the company cleans up whenever there is a leak, many of which it says are caused by sabotage.

Environmentalists want the Netherlands, and other Western nations, to pass laws forcing companies to enforce the same environmental responsibility standards abroad as at home.

If the Nigerians’ suit succeeds, it could lead to a flood of similar cases being brought before Dutch courts.

Shell operates in over 90 countries, according to its website.

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UN Secretary-General commends Nigeria, Cameroon on Bakassi

By Nnamdi Ojiego

The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon has commended the commitment of the governments of Nigeria and Cameroon  to honour the obligations of the ruling of International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the border between the two countries.

The commendation was contained in a release issued by  Olajumoke Araba, Reference Assistant, United Nations Information Centre, Lagos, Nigeria on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the ICJ ruling on the Bakassi Peninsula.

The statement reads: “the Secretary-General commends the commitment of the governments of both countries to honour the obligations of the ruling.  He also congratulates the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission for the commendable efforts it has made in implementing the ICJ ruling.

“The success of the Commission is an embodiment of an innovative approach to conflict resolution.  By peacefully resolving their border dispute, Cameroon and Nigeria have provided a positive example for countries around the world facing similar challenges.

“The Secretary-General stresses the importance of addressing the socio-economic, humanitarian and security needs of the populations affected by the demarcation process, including in the Bakassi area.  He also highlights the importance of implementing confidence-building measures and fostering cross-border cooperation.

“Finally, he encourages both countries to reach an early agreement on the remaining 200 kilometres of land boundary in order to conclude the demarcation process.    The Secretary-General reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to continue its support to Cameroon and Nigeria in implementing the ICJ ruling through the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission and the Follow-up Committee on the Greentree Agreement related to the Bakassi peninsula, both chaired by the United Nations.”

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Flood: 25% of Nigerians displaced, says Jonathan as Dangote committee targets N100bn

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday regretted that no fewer than 25 per cent Nigerians had been displaced by the flood ravaging most parts of the country.

He said since those saddled with the responsibility of compiling data on the victims were still working, there was possibility that the figure might be more than that.

He said his major concern was therefore how to resettle the displaced persons immediately after the flood receded.

Jonathan spoke at the Presidential Villa, Abuja while inaugurating the National Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation which he set up to raise fund to augment government’s efforts at mitigating the pains of the flood.

The committee has businessman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; and a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association as its co-chairmen. Chairman of Globacom, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr., who was absent at the inauguration is the Chief Fund Mobiliser.

The President regretted that some states of the federation, including
his home state Bayelsa, are currently about 80 per cent submerged.
He said his government was sad that Nigeria was facing what he called its unfair share of the global phenomenon.

He tasked members of the committee to ascertain the impact of the flood on the people, raise fund to complement or augment government’s efforts to mitigate the pains and advise government on other things incidental.
He said he expected the job to be completed in 12 months.

He said, “When people face this kind of flood devastation, it is no longer a national issue, it is an international issue because of the magnitude of refugees.

“This is a country of 167 million as at November last year’s projection. It’s almost a year since that figure was released though the Commission is yet to release fresh figures, we are definitely more than that now.

“And when you consider the fact that about 25 per cent or so of these communities are impacted by that, though the actual figure of the land and area affected is yet to get to us, have been affected by the flood.

“I spoke to my governor yesterday, he was so desperate because he said people do not even have food because all the channels of communications to Bayelsa State has been blocked by water.
“So you have enormous responsibility but we believe you are equal to the task.”

The President said members of the committee were carefully selected because the assignment needed people with empathy and human kindness.
Jonathan assured stakeholders that his government is up to the task as it will do everything possible to ameliorate the pains.

“Let me also use this opportunity to assure Nigerians again that the present administration will do everything possible to ameliorate the impact of this devasting flood on our people.

“We will do everything to cushion their pains, and we have put up a strong team made up of credible men and women who will also help government to achieve this,” he added.

Dangote, in his remarks, said he and other members of the committee saw their selection as a call to service.

He regretted that the floods came at a time the nations was battling with other challenges.

He, however, commended the President for responding swiftly to the situation by allocating funds and materials and materials for the relief and rehabilitation of the victims and also the setting up of presidential technical committee and the fund-raising one.
He said the committee would reach out to relevant organisations and individuals nationally and internationally to join them in mobilising resources and ideas to complement government’s efforts.

He also promised that the committee would be accountable and transparent in carrying out the assignment in such a way that both donors and beneficiaries are given account of the judicious application of funds and materials donated for the purpose.

“Be rest assured that we will not only rise to your expectations, but indeed, we will exceed them,” he said.

Dangote later told State House correspondents that there was no limit to how much the committee intends to raise.

He, however, added that a minimum of N100bn would be raised.
He said, “Our target is as much as we can think of and I am sure lot of Nigerians will donate something including yourselves.
“We are targeting N100 billion minimum, we do not want to look at it as a government issue.

“For some of us, when there were disasters in other countries we helped and so we expect people to help us.”
Members of the committee inaugurated by the President include Alhaji Karami Isiaku Rabiu, Alhaji Mohammed Indimi, Ngo Hannatu Cholum, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, Prof. Dora Akunyili and Mr. Tony Elumelu.

Others are the Secretary-General, Nigerian Red Cross, representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, UNDP, European Union, DFID and USAID.
Permanent secretaries of the Ministries of Environment, Water Resources, Works, Agriculture, Health, Finance, National Planning and the Ecological Funds Office are also members.

Other members are the Director-General, NEMA; acting Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Chairman, Senate Committee on Special Duties,  Chairman, House Committee on Environment , representatives of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, National Council of Women’s Societies, Mr. Tunde Lemo, (representing the Central Bank of Nigeria), Ms. Fatima Wali, Mr. Frank Nweke Jnr., and Senator Florence Ita-Giwa.

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