Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman who was recently spared death sentence for apostasy was flown to Italy this morning July 24th in company of her two children, and accompanied by Italy’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Lapo Pistelli.
(To my brothers Augustine, Blaise, Igwe jr and my sweet sister Chiamaka. To SCOBA 06, and all those that really made life interesting as a teenage Solowise,Mccarthy,Ata ado,Napoleon,Vino,Izunga War,Mbada,Tempus,Cybucu and all those I can’t possibly mention here. Especially SCOBAs. LOVE)
Tonight is indeed
Thicker than usual
The Lightening blinding
The painful screams of
Tempted me to ask
Thee my little princess
Tell me, if this be?
The Cold Day In Hell. )
The lack of money l must say shaped the very basics of my life. As a child I lacked this almighty entity. I grew up in a small town that’s not more than 20 minutes drive from the famous NKPOR JUNCTION. A town known by the name umuoji. A name that can be translated into “Children of Oji”. That was where I received my nursery and primary education. I can still vividly remember trekking down a foot path that snaked through the bush popularly known as “AJO OFIA” (Evil Forest) to where my school building stands. It was not like there were no better roads that leads to my destination. There are tarred roads that were motor-able. But when your parents weren’t rich enough to own a car or give you a 100 naira transport fare on daily basis. Then you have to resort to transporting your self with the cheapest form of transportation that God provided, to at least the fortunate 98% of the world’s population. I fell under this category. I trek to school every morning. Which was not as exhausting as trekking back home at noon when the sun is shinning with a fierce force. My childhood was not all that colourful like the rich kids that grew up in a more civilised settlement would think. We had our own happy and colourful moments. Created our own ways of having fun without giant toys inside our school premises. I remember the little song we tailored together for the most brilliant boy in my class. A song that was indeed forged just for the purpose of having fun. His name is Chidiebere Amah. He had jealously seized the 1st position as his and his only. it doesn’t slip his grip. From term to term, Year to year. Amah remains on the wanted throne of the first position. There was a popular herbal doctor then that goes by the name Doctor Amah C Amah. So because of their Identical name we changed Chidiebere Amah’s name to Doctor Amah C Amah. Whenever the school dismisses. Amah will go and get a very long cane on his way home, waiting for the students that will gather behind him to chant him a hymn. Students will then find Amah where ever he was, gather behind him and will start chanting behind him. Then we use to have a lead vocalist that will be singing in a very loud scream ” Chief doctor Amah C Amah” The others will now give him a loud joyous response of “Ozo Ndi Igbo!” (Saviour of Igbo people). We will be repeating this behind him till he turns unexpectedly with his cane to come after us. We will then took to our heels and in a second we will gather back behind him. That’s how joyous Our free young spirit were. Feeling safe and happy in our little world. Living in a noisy concrete jungle that crawls with lions, tigers and bears in a human form, or licking sugary creams instead of consuming akpu (Pounded cassava) with a good vegetable soup doesn’t mean your life is colourful. Material things I think can lower your depression rate but cannot provide you true joy, and true joy was one luxury we were blessed with. We were all young but the fact was we also had big dreams of one day becoming a pilot, medical doctor or a Legal practitioner.
I am the first child of my parents with a brother and two sisters. We attended the best elementary school that was in the sub-urban settlement we grew up in before moving to a more civilised settlement for our secondary school education.
I love my secondary school days. Life at the hostel taught me a lot about life generally. Nobody can deny the fact of the positive, as well as the negative impact that the hostel life had on us. There was a popular saying among my school peers that since we survived in St Charles, we can survive anywhere. But then I don’t think we fully grasped the gravity and reality of that statement. Think of whatever you can possibly find inside a boys hostel in a school that is situated in the heart of the commercial city of Onitsha. St Charles College and Special Science. Then you might understand where I’m coming from. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Wolves dressed in a sheep clothing. Boys with that kind of brilliant minds that scares their teachers. Crooks and Criminal minded individuals. Rich as well as poor kids. Homosexuals that often fell into the merciless hands of blackmailers. Mean and funny teachers. The seniority hype. Nights that we sneaked out from the school compounds to get ourselves some cheap beers. The October first marching and the sagas that usually accompanies it. The fear of being caught by the most intelligent mind I’ve ever seen. Our School Principal. Sir Emanuel Ezenduka, nicknamed “Onyeoma” (Good man). The tense atmosphere whenever we are about to gather for monday morning assembly for the fear of the punishment of the sins we’ve heaped upon our heads during the weekend. The irony of the whole assembly thing was that while some were reciting the morning assembly prayer for the sake that it was a boring daily routine. Some actually, were in a deep state of prayer for God to send Onyeoma to an emergency meeting so that their punishment can be averted, for at least that morning. And then the business. St Charles Special Science have the reputation of hitting jack pots on our W.A.E.C scores. These Good, Bad and Ugly I must confess were the best company I had growing up. Life was beautiful when we were young I must confess. May be because we were still being catered for till we have to do it for our selves, feed, cloth and shelter ourselves. Till we have to deal with the harsh realities of life.
I recruited into the military 3 years after I graduated from Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra state from the department of business administration, with the help of colonel NNajiofor whom presently has been promoted to the office of the General. The general is more of a military godfather to me. The only soldier within Nigeria’s top military circle that never turn his back on me, never let the military politics snatch me away from his immediate cartel. He was like a father to me and the best I can do was to remain an obedient son to him. I can remember about 4 years ago. I got my self into a mess. I left the barrack to visit my family at home without permission and couldn’t make it back before the daily evening attendance. The next morning he summoned me up in his office. When I came in he was sitting on his arm chair studying a file that laid on his elegant table. He raised his head when he heard the door open. Saw me through his golden rim reading glass, and focused back his attention to the file before him.
“Good morning sir” I greeted him. He raised his head again and regarded me with a cold stare for a moment.
General Nnajiofor is a man known for his habit of not saying much. But then It is rumoured by those that occupies the offices around his, that sometimes the inside of their offices becomes unnaturally warm even with the Air Condition systems on. That these mostly happens whenever the General returns from long military meetings.
When I entered into his office that morning. I noticed that the air condition system was on and yet the general was sweating under a faint morning sun. The inside of the office unnaturally warm and I began to wonder whether my sin is having the same effect that the long military meetings do have on the general.
“What were you thinking?” he finally asked
“Sir I am sorry but please can I explain the situation?”
“Are you deaf?” He asked again.”Since when did you start answering questions with one? You missed the daily attendance yesterday, you left the barrack without permission, and now you are answering my question with a question sergeant”
“I am sorry sir”
“For you” he replied
Not allowing me to digest the “sir”.
“I have to pull some strings to get you out of the mess you landed yourself in”
I didn’t know what to say. The truth was that I was overwhelmed with joy when I heard him say that. Dumb founded were the only words that could literally define my state at that moment. I knew the consequences of my sins and it have kept me awake through out the night and now like a lucky-go-happy they’ve just been washed away by the string pulling of this man here. I really didn’t know whether to thank God or the General.
“Thank you sir” I finally uttered
“Don’t thank me” he shot back “rules are rules”
“It won’t happen again”
“I hope so for your sake blaise”
I stood there not breaking the moment of silence that engulfed us for that seconds before his sharp deep voice came cutting through the damp air. “
“I need you to go and pick my son from the school.
‘It will be my pleasure sir’
I went over to the table and he gave me the keys to his green peugeot and I left to bring his last son from the school .
to be continued
When Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page became billionaires many years ago, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was still struggling with the social networking site. But now he’s richer than them, this is according to Bloomberg. See the full report from Bloomberg below…
The Facebook Inc. chairman added $1.6 billion to his fortune yesterday after the world’s largest social network closed at a record. The surge elevated the 30-year-old’s net worth to $33.3 billion, moving him past Brin, 40, and Page, 41, as well as Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, 50, on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Zuckerberg is No. 16 on the ranking. The Google founders are 17th and 18th. Bezos occupies the 20th spot.
“He’s just getting started,” David Kirkpatrick, author of “The Facebook Effect,” said in a telephone interview. “He’s going to become the richest person on the planet.”
The Menlo Park, California-based company posted second-quarter sales that soared 61 percent to $2.91 billion yesterday, exceeding analysts’ average estimate of $2.81 billion. The company’s revenue gain follows Google’s results last week, when the Web-search company posted sales that topped analysts’ estimates, largely based on the strength of online ads.
Facebook has jumped 183 percent in the past 12 months, the biggest rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company trades at 82-times reported earnings, compared to a multiple of 18.2 for the S&P 500. Google is up 7.5 percent for the year.
Mobile promotions accounted for 62 percent of ad sales, up from 59 percent in the prior period. Net income more than doubled to $791 million, with profit excluding some items at 42 cents a share, above the projection of 32 cents. In total, Facebook accounted for 5.8 percent of worldwide digital ad revenue in 2013, up from 4.1 percent in 2012, according to EMarketer Inc.
The company’s performance also propelled the fortunes of other Facebook shareholders, including Dustin Moskovitz, the 30-year-old who started the social network with Zuckerberg at Harvard University a decade ago, and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s 44-year-old chief operating officer who became one of the world’s youngest female billionaires in January. Sandberg owns about 9.9 million shares valued at $740 million and has collected more than $550 million in share sales.
“The company’s success is growing by the minute,” Kirkpatrick said. “There’s no sign it’s going to slow anytime soon.”
Speaking recently on the spate of bombings and attacks in the country, GO of the Living Faith Church aka Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo said that Nigeria is on the verge of a break up.
“I hope that we are willing to find solution to it. I would be the last person in this world to believe that government has not discovered those who are behind Boko Haram. Otherwise, we don’t have any intelligence service in our country. Are they sacred cows that cannot be brought to book? Until we cut the source of their supplies and get those who are involved, we cannot stop them. But the danger is this, and I must say it here, we are at the verge of a break up. That is the truth. It’s unfortunate. The Nigerian nation is too intelligent to claim not to have discovered those who are behind this. So, I really believe it’s all in the hands of the authorities to decide whether they want to confront the issue headlong or to keep watching it until Nigeria breaks up……All that the church can do is to pray. The church is not in power, it has no political power. And when invited, we give advice, when required or called upon. You can’t call someone and say can I advise you?” – Bishop David Oyedepo
The move was engineered by the acting governor, Ahmadu Fintiri.
In the aftermath of Governor Murtala Nyako’s impeachment, the All Progressive Congress, APC, might be on its way to collapsing in Adamawa State, as all the 21 Local government Council chairmen, councillors and development area administrators in the state have defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The chairmen, who joined Mr. Nyako in declaring for the APC, on Friday, announced their defection to the ruling party in the state in solidarity with the acting governor, Ahmadu Fintiri.
Mr. Finitiri had spent Thursday trying to convince the 21 local government chairmen and 50 Development area administrators to join the PDP.
The spokesperson of the chairmen, the chairman of Michika local government area, Vandi Favanza, told the Acting Governor of their readiness to support his government to deliver the dividends of democracy to the electorates in the state.
‘’We are here to announce our defection and declare our support and readiness towards moving the state forward,’’ Mr. Favanza said on Friday.
While responding, the acting governor thanked the chairmen, councillors as well as the development area administrators for their resolve to dump the APC. He promised to do his best to correct the wrongs of the past in order to enhance development in the state.
He said his administration was working with all relevant persons to chart the most viable alternative towards the enhancement of the welfare of all the people of the state. He said his administration would welcome genuine advice from all stakeholders.
In a swift reaction, the state chairperson of the APC, Binta Garba, said the party was not rattled by the defection; rather it would make the party stronger.
“You know, in politics, there is no permanent friend or permanent enemy but permanent interest. So, it’s not surprising to hear that they chose to defect because they were threatened with impeachment and dissolution by the acting governor as parts of PDP’s desperation to get power.
“But I will assure you that the electorates are watching the betrayal with keen interest.
They only mortgaged their rights and political conscience. So, we are not disturbed, perturbed or rattled. APC will definitely continue to wax stronger,” said the party chairperson.
PDP set conditions for defectors
The state chapter of the PDP on Friday, while receiving the defectors, set strong conditions for the 21 local government chairmen and 36 areas administrators.
The state chairman of the party, Joel Madaki, who received the defectors said that PDP was willing to accept them if they would follow due process.
According to him, since the defectors were public office holders and leaders of APC in their various local government areas, it was imperative for them to go back to their individual wards and re-validate their PDP membership card.
Mr. Madaki also advised them to publicly renounce their APC membership in the media so that constitutional lapses would be averted.
The chairman of Michika local government, Mr. Favanza, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, pledged their unalloyed support and willingness to meet with the conditions given.
“We are not strangers in PDP, because it’s the party that gave us the mandate we are enjoying today. We will do anything to work for the interest of the party,” he said.
However, the Gombi local government chairman, Rufai Umar, expressed fear that the PDP executives at their local government level may not accept them, due to political differences that had earlier ensued. To this end, he prevailed on the state executives to set up committees that would harmonise them in the local level.
But Mr. Madaki declined the suggestion, saying that there was no need to form any committee but that the state executives would intervene when the need arose.
The same officials- all the 21 Local Government Chairmen and development areas administrator- defected in December 2013 from the PDP to APC, when then governor, Mr. Nyako, now impeached, decamped to the APC.
At the time, the Chairman of Association of Local Government of Nigeria, ALGON, Sa’abo Aliyu, in Adamawa state, told journalists that they resolved to follow Mr. Nyako to APC because they could attest to his character, and that Mr. Nyako “carried everybody along”.
A blast occurred around 3 this afternoon at New Road Motor in the Sabongari area of Kano city, according to police sources. The explosive was hidden in a table top fridge disguised as luggage
Details of casualties are still sketchy but eyewitnesses say scores were killed and as many as 10 people injured. Details later…