By Paul Ejime - Even before the United States assembled the 30-nation “Allied Forces” against Iraq during the first Gulf war in 1991, with all the attendant controversies and uncertainties, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had demonstrated an international best practice in regional peace keeping operation in Liberia through its Military Monitoring Group, ECOMOG. Nigeria provided the bulk of troops for the ECOMOG maiden mission with 10 journalists including this writer embedded in the regional force which landed with the Nigerian Naval War Ship (NNS AMBE) in Monrovia’s Freeport on 24th August 1990, to help end the civil war waged against then President Samuel Doe by Charles Taylor, ex-warlord now war crime convict serving time in Scotland. That mission was under the command of Ghanaian General Arnold Quainoo, whose tenure was later marred by the controversy that surrounded Doe’s capture and eventual death at the hands of former rebel...
BY Ade Adefeko It is not very often you are called upon to be part of a conversation that involves a behemoth and a global giant (not in size as per land mass or population) but with credibility built over the decades. I am writing this piece aboard an African bird with a Livery that is authentically African and that is Ethiopian Air which like its maxim says, is the New Spirit of Africa. I am quite enamored of them and will crave your indulgence to shower on them a few unsolicited encomiums. I am extremely proud of the airline which by the way is the flag carrier of Ethiopia and flies to 113 destinations with 92 aircraft and another 60 in order. It is currently the largest, the only government owned but privately run airline in Africa and boasts a profit to boot. It is worth mentioning, that it...
By Israel Ebije It is already 31 years since one of the most fiery, tenacious, patriotic journalists in Nigerian history Sumonu Oladele Giwa was cut down by a parcel bomb. The death of Mr Giwa was not only a loss to the profession, but a loss for Nigerians craving for people based investigative journalism. He blazed from all cylinders in an attempt to tame governments of his day. He was relentless even as pioneer editor-in-chief of Newswatch, a magazine he co-founded. In the era of the Giwa and others like him, journalism was honourable, the institution was impregnable and practitioners were noble in the discharge of their social responsibility to educate, inform and entertain. It is instructive at this point to recall that pre and post-independence media organisations owned by regions in our geographical entity were largely cleavage based. It is also instructive to intimate the younger generation that they served...
By Aaron Osai - On April 27, 2017, in what can be described as voluntary strict adherence to the provisions of the law, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) embarked on Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise across the 774 local government areas in Nigeria. It was the first time in the history of the nation’s electoral system. INEC said the exercise was aimed at giving ample opportunity to Nigerians that attain the constitutional age of 18 and other eligible persons to have their names on voters’ register. There is no doubt that there cannot be a credible election without a credible voters register. It is thus inexplicable why previous INEC leadership failed to conduct continuous voters’ registration, as prescribed by the electoral act, which would have produced near perfect register. Even the immediate past chairman of the commission, Prof Attahiru Jega, was no exception, despite his pristine overall performance. Before the...
Kidnapping incidents in parts of the country in the last couple of months have assumed very alarming dimensions. The development has expectedly engendered in people especially commuters palpable fear. Some communities in States such as Edo, Kogi and Kaduna are at the moment gripped with fear as a result of the frequency of kidnapping incidents. The development apart from the obvious implications to national security is in addition having its toll on the enthusiasm of foreigners wishing to invest in the country. On account of the resultant insecurity, travel advisory have severally been issued by some countries advising their nationals not to travel to parts of the country. Similarly, some diplomats wanting to travel to parts of the country for example the North East, had to put off such travels in order to avoid being kidnapped. This is the extent the kidnapping menace has dragged the image of the...
By Garba Shehu - President Muhammadu Buhari’s two-day visit to the South-Eastern states of Ebonyi and Anambra is taking place at the most opportune juncture, to show support to a governor who has done so much in promoting the President’s policy on food self-sufficiency and to to endorse his party’s candidate in a crucial vote to install a new governor through an election at the weekend in Anambra. Given the unfortunate secessionist winds sown by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB the President’s visit should be seen as part of the measures promised by the administration, following successful cooperation between the federal government, the region’s five governors and the cultural leadership of the people, the Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo. This joint effort has in no small means achieved success in putting out the fires ignited by IPOB. The visit should go further in soothing frayed nerves and provide an opportunity to listen more...
Nine weeks into her pregnancy, Frankielen da Silva Zampoli Padilha, 21, died from a stroke, after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage. The brain-dead pregnant woman was kept alive on a ventilator for 123 days—the longest time ever—delivered healthy set of twins by emergency Caesarean Section before her ventilator was switched off. Muriel and Frankielen were in a 6-year relationship before the incident The twins, Ana Vitoria, 1.4 kg, and Asaph, 1.3 kg, were born as healthy as premature babies. They were only nine-week-old embryos when their mother passed on, but their hearts continued to beat and doctors were able to save them. Her husband and father of the twins, Muriel Padilha, 24, has described their birth as a “miracle” after doctors initially told him there was no hope of them surviving. According to the Head of Neurological, ICU, at the Nosso Senhora do Rocio Hospital, Dr Dalton Rivabem: “We did an ultrasound...
By Anderson Owolabi - I sat transfixed on my chair, as the hall erupted into a rapturous mood, when the recipient of this particular award, bowed his head twice before the cream of dignitaries staring at him. And a voice vibrating in stillness, howled; “I dedicate this award to President Muhammadu Buhari for giving me the opportunity to contribute my quota in serving my country and to my team.” The awardee was Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources’ and Chairman Board of Directors of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu. I felt in Kachikwu, the exhibition of the assets of positive leadership traits and inclination, quite rare with our people- Nigerians in such exalted positions of authority. I strayed into The Dorchester, from North of Westminster City that Friday evening, where I am a resident migrant to spend the weekend with an old acquaintance.  That was when...
By Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed The only obstacle between our chaotic Nigeria of today and the Nigeria of our dream is good, credible and purposeful leadership. We must as a nation not only cross the hurdles of successful smooth transitions, but we must transition to the right leadership. The need to break out of the present status quo is a matter of survival for Nigeria. If Nigeria is governed 2015 - 2025 the same way as 2005 - 2015 then the giant of Africa may suffer a similar fate like a sister country on the east coast - God Forbid. This need is underscored by the fact that Nigeria is trapped in what I call the vicious circle of misgovernance. Looted funds and abuse of power subdue the poor and educationally-deprived electorate in a situation termed ‘bad politics’, which leads to poor and substandard elections in which sentiments override issues, and leaders cannot...
Since the return of democracy in 1999 and the establishment of two anti-corruption bodies (the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) to rid the country of institutionalised corruption, interests of various forms and influences from diverse sources have thwarted the fight against graft in Nigeria. Recently at a resumed sitting of the Katsina State High Court, where the ICPC is prosecuting three former officials of the last administration in the state, we were once again reminded that the government’s anti-corruption campaign is not insensitive to political and other socio-factorial sentiments. The state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ahmed El-Marzuk, emerged at the middle of the trial on last Tuesday seeking the permission of the court to take over the prosecution of indicted officials brought to the court by the ICPC. This is curious, especially an earlier fiat the state Attorney...