The YNaija Ticker
The YNaija Ticker
The YNaija Ticker
Nigeria midfielder Christian Obodo has been abducted by unknown gunmen in Warri, Delta State. The footballer was taken on Saturday morning according to reports on SuperSport.com.
Obodo, who played at Lecce in Italy during the just concluded season on loan from Udinese, was reported to have gone to a night club on Friday night in his car with registration number “Obodo 5” but was picked up on Saturday morning in front of a church in Effurun, a suburb of Warri.
“Yes he has been kidnapped,” an unnamed Delta State government official told SuperSport.com. “The details are still sketchy but I was told he was on his way to church this (Saturday) morning with his car that has registration number ‘Obodo 5.’”
“Apparently his car’s registration may have attracted his kidnappers because he went clubbing last (Friday) night in the same car.”
It is the first time a footballer is being kidnapped in Nigeria. However, footballers’ family members had been kidnapped in the past.
“The kidnappers called this morning at the home of the mother of Christian asking a ransom of about 150, 000 euros,” Obidike Okechukwu, husband of the sister of Christian Obodo, told ANSA.
“Christian was going to church, he was alone, around four o’clock in the morning Italian time, when some people took it and carried away.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that about 25 percent of medicines consumed in some developing countries, including Nigeria, are counterfeit or substandard.
Painting the stark scenario at a seminar in Lagos, Lekan Asuni, President of the Association of Nigerian Representatives of Overseas Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (NIROPHARM), described the situation as a global challenge requiring swift counter-measures.
An initiative of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) and NIROPHARM, the seminar was organised to commemorate 2012 World Anti-Counterfeiting Day.
The annual event calls attention to the growing problem of counterfeit and pirated goods, and this year’s event was themed, ‘Fake Medicine Kills… Take a closer look’.
- Daily Times
The last may not have been heard about the controversial healing of ailing veteran actor, Enebeli Enebuwa who has been down with stroke for more than a year now by the general overseer of Perfect Christianity Ministry, Surulere, Pastor Sign Fireman.
Enebeli, last week still on his sickbed debunked the news making the rounds that he has received his healing, courtesy of the controversial pastor.
Reacting to the story, the ailing actor, who is still on admission in an Abuja hospital admitted that he visited the man of God. But he maintained that despite the visit, his condition didn’t improve as captured in the video allegedly released on Youtube by the pastor.
Ailing Enebeli & Pastor sign Fireman
Angered by this development, pastor Fireman, last weekend held a press conference where he cleared the air in his Lekki residence. This is his own side of the story:
“ Enebeli claimed that I contacted his family pleading with them that I could heal him. This is a white lie because I was not in the country at that time he was referring to. If I travelled abroad and contacted his family to bring him, was I contacting them to bring him abroad? How could I have contacted them to bring Enebeli to the church for me to heal him when I was abroad?
On the contrary, we have a video, capturing where he was begging me to pray for him on the day he was brought to the church but I ignored him. The video also captured how I gave him my reason that when he had a similar ailment in 2010, and came to my church, I prayed for him and told him to go through our programme which he didn’t deem necessary to do.
The video capture him explaining that after God used me to heal him, he travelled to Benin to shoot a movie. I still refused to pray for him. When I saw him crying and begging, I couldn’t bear it anymore, as I was moved to minister unto him.
However, unlike the video on Youtube, our video captured Enebeli walking without any aid. This again showed that the old man was lying, because a national newspaper on June 1, reported that Enebeli told them two people were holding his legs. Watch our video and tell me if anybody held his legs. We also have pictures to buttress our claims.
Some of the runway lights at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja which were out of order on Friday night have now been repaired.
The Special Assistant to Princess Stella Oduah, the Minister of Aviation, Joe Obi, disclosed this in Abuja on Saturday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Mr. Obi said the defect on the runway lighting system was corrected on Saturday.
NAN recalls that the problem with the runway light caused some international and domestic airlines to delay, cancel or divert their flights on Friday.
The special assistant, however, said the runway blackout happened due to some routine maintenance work being undertaken by a construction firm on the runway.
He said that it was in the course of the maintenance work that some of the runway lights were tampered with.
Mr. Obi added that ‘for safety reasons, some of the flights were advised to be diverted to other routes for landing. ”
“This situation has been corrected, normal operations will begin from today (Saturday),” he said.
Akin Olukunle, the spokesman of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), also confirmed the incident.Þ
- Premium Times
Tension and emotions trailed the visit of the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, in Lagos as family members of the victims of Dana air crash openly demanded the release of the bodies of their loved ones.
The Minister was at the Lekan Ogunsola Memorial Mortuary of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH on Friday.
A total of four identifiable bodies have been slated for release from Friday to Saturday morning.
The four corpses, whom their relations have indicated their interest to collect included Temitope Ariyibi, Obiola Ikpoki, Prof. Celestine Onwuliri, and a Chinese, Kang Yi.
The family members, who were agitated over the rigorous processes which they have been subjected to, wondered why the identifiable bodies should not be released after they have actually being identified.
“Release the bodies, so that we can give them a befitting burial”, they chorused.
The agitation, however caused uproar.
All efforts by the Minister and other Lagos State officials, including the Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Prof. Wale Oke and the Chief Medical Examiner of the hospital, Prof. John Obafunwa, to pacify them failed as they became more agitated.
The relations, who queried the functionality of the counselling centre, also complained about inefficiency of the helplines.
One of the victim’s relations, Mr Ogbonna Nta-Uwaeme, who lost nine people in the ill-fated aircraft, stressed the need for government to ensure sincerity in the various processes.
“We want sincerity and counselling to further reduce the trauma we are passing through.”
Another victim’s relation, Mr Uche Oha, also pointed out the need to make the process less cumbersome by grouping people in batches and giving appointment dates through the telephone numbers they had dropped.
Attempts by the Minister to explain the reason behind the delay of the release of the bodies was greeted by an uproar from the angered relatives.
- Premium Times
A major crisis has engulfed the Abuja Green Society (AGS), over the sudden resignation of Gen. TY Danjuma, who was Chairman of its board of trustees until two weeks ago.
The AGS is a Federal Capital City parastatal inuagurated in 2008 with the mandate to, among other things, facilitate the greening of the FCT.
It was created by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s government during Dr. Aliyu Modibbo’s administration as the FCT minister.
Members of the board also resigned yesterday, after their advice to the minister to address the appalling inactivity in the parastatal fell on deaf ears.
This was disclosed in a communiqué they released after an emergency meeting on Monday and obtained by LEADERSHIP Weekend.
The communiqué, signed by vice chairman of the board, Dr. Newton Jibunoh, Mrs. Ajoke Mohammed, Mrs. Eugenia Abu, Messers Jack Farah and Luka B. Achi, noted that Danjuma’s resignation had left them with a big gap in the board.
It stated, “The resignation of the board chairman who is the rallying force for the board has left a big gap in the board. General Danjuma, a most respected elder citizen made enormous sacrifices for the Abuja Green Society.
“All Abuja Green Society board members are of impeccable pedigree and are passionate about greening. They have also given their time and service on voluntary basis to the society.
“It is against this background that the board members vide the emergency meeting held today have unanimously resolved to resign along with their chairman.”
A source close to the AGS told LEADERSHIP Weekend that Danjuma’s resignation may have been prompted by the inexplicable delay by the FCT to take a decision on the greening project in spite of the concern by board members that the project had not got off the ground, despite their best efforts.
Sources said that Danjuma had gone to Abuja on May 22, on the invitation of the FCT minister, Bala Mohammed, to discuss the project but got a shabby treatment after waiting all day to see him.
The former minister of defence flew to Abuja from Lagos in the company of the vice chairman, Dr. Newton Jibunoh, to honour the invitation of the FCT minister.
The source, however, said that Danjuma was kept waiting until 8pm when one of the minister’s aides called him to cancel the appointment, saying that the minister would not be able to see him.
This reportedly infuriated Danjuma who went back to Lagos that night and immediately turned in his resignation letter.
Nigeria’s chief aviation regulator, recommended for suspension after the nation’s deadliest accident in almost 40 years, defended his record as several safety advocates said he may become a scapegoat.
“Would you please wait for the accident investigation to complete, to have seen the black boxes, before we start judging?” Harold Demuren, director general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, asked in a phone interview yesterday.
Demuren appealed for patience during the investigation into the Dana Airlines Ltd. crash on June 3. All 153 people on board and an unknown number on the ground were killed when the Boeing Co. (BA) MD-83 jetliner crashed and burst into flames in a Lagos suburb while approaching the airport on a domestic flight.
Nigeria’s aviation industry had one of the world’s worst safety records in 2006, a year after Demuren took his job. Four years later, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration gave Africa’s largest oil producer a Category 1 rating, which allowed its domestic carriers to fly to the U.S.
“We have become one of the safest places in Africa,” Demuren said, speaking from Nigeria.
Nigeria’s Senate voted June 5 to recommend that Demuren be suspended. The minister of aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah, will convene a panel June 11 to review the nation’s aviation oversight system, according to an e-mailed press release.
Demuren has come under criticism for an aviation system that he said can be chaotic at times, with flights postponed and carriers not always adhering to schedules. Part of the reason for delays, he said, was that his authority has imposed stricter safety standards that prohibit departures in bad weather.
The Flight Safety Foundation, a U.S. non-profit advocacy group, issued a statement this week calling on Nigeria’s leaders to “not compound this tragedy” by targeting Demuren.
“You can’t let a leader go down in Africa if you want to make any change,” Bill Voss, president of the Alexandria, Virginia-based foundation, said in an interview June 6.
Tony Tyler, director general and CEO of the International Air Transport Association, a Geneva-based trade group, also backed Demuren.
“Safety is a constant challenge everywhere in the world,” Tyler said in a statement. “In Nigeria, as elsewhere, this important work must continue without political interference.”
In 2005 and 2006, airlines in Nigeria had three fatal crashes and three others serious enough to destroy the aircraft, according to the AviationSafetyNetwork, a Netherlands-based website that tracks aviation safety statistics. Those accidents killed a total of 322.
From that stretch until the Dana Air crash, there was one accident that claimed three lives, according to the group’s data.
A plane operated by a Nigerian cargo airline, Allied Air, skidded off a runway in Accra-Kotoka Airport in Ghana on June 2, striking a van on an adjacent road, according to the safety network’s website. The collision killed 12 people in the van.
The Dana flight crew’s final radio broadcasts included “Mayday. Losing two engines” and “Throttle not responding. Not responding,” Demuren said in the interview, emphasizing he was speaking from memory.
The pilot didn’t mention hitting birds, which has caused simultaneous loss of power in two engines in other incidents, or any other reason for the failures, he said.
The crash-proof recorders on the jetliner, known as black boxes, have been found and will be flown to the U.S. for analysis by the Washington-based National Transportation Safety Board, which is assisting in the investigation, Demuren said.
Countries with the best standard of living are turning atheist. That shift offers a glimpse into the world’s future.
Religious people are annoyed by claims that belief in God will go the way of horse transportation, and for much the same reason, specifically an improved standard of living.
The view that religious belief will give way to atheism is known as the secularization thesis. The specific version that I favor (1) is known as the existential security hypothesis. The basic idea is that as people become more affluent, they are less worried about lacking for basic necessities, or dying early from violence or disease. In other words they are secure in their own existence. They do not feel the need to appeal to supernatural entities to calm their fears and insecurities.
The notion that improving living conditions are associated with a decline in religion is supported by a mountain of evidence (1,2,3).
That does not prevent some serious scholars, like political scientist Eric Kaufmann (4), from making the opposite case that religious fundamentalists will outbreed the rest of us. Yet, noisy as they can be, such groups are tiny minorities of the global population and they will become even more marginalized as global prosperity increases and standards of living improve.
Moreover, as religious fundamentalists become economically integrated, young women go to work and produce smaller families, as is currently happening for Utah’s Mormons.
The most obvious approach to estimating when the world will switch over to being majority atheist is based on economic growth. This is logical because economic development is the key factor responsible for secularization. In deriving this estimate, I used the nine most godless countries as my touchstone (excluding Estonia as a formerly communist country).
The countries were Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. These nine countries averaged out at the atheist transition in 2004 (5) with exactly half of the populations disbelieving in God. Their gross domestic product (GDP) averaged $29,822 compared to $10,855 for the average country in the world. How long will it take before the world economy has expanded sufficiently that the GDP of the average country has caught up to the average for the godless countries in 2004?
Using the average global growth rate of GDP for the past 30 years of 3.33 percent (based on International Monetary Fund data from their website), the atheist transition would occur in 2035.
- Huffington Post
The Rochas Foundation, a charity organization dedicated to the educational development of the less-privileged, is developing facilities to open Nigeria’s first free university.
The Foundation currently owns and runs five secondary schools around the country offering free education to indigent students. The schools are located in Ogboko (in Imo State); Owerri, Kano, Ibadan, and Jos.
The Principal of the Rochas Foundation College in Jos, Mr Ugbobor Daniel, spoke of the ongoing preparation to establish the free university while receiving a bus donated to the Jos College yesterday.
Daniel said the university is to be sited in Ogboko, the birthplace of founder of the Rochas Foundation Inc., Chief Rochas Okorocha.
Before Sunday’s tragic incident, in which a plane belonging to Dana Airline crashed into two buildings on Olaniyi Street, the residents of the Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos were used to seeing aircraft flying past at low altitude.
The sight of the sleek metallic objects flying overhead, no doubt, must have stirred up dreams in some of the youths. But nobody ever imagined that one of the planes would someday crash into residential houses in the area.
When it happened, the few residents that were in their homes on the day of the crash were shocked to the marrow of their bones.
Six days after the incident, there is an indication that many of them are yet to recover fully from the nightmarish experience.
On Tuesday, when our correspondent visited the site of the plane crash, a large crowd was still concentrated around Toyin, Popoola and Olaniyi streets. The crowd comprised mainly unemployed youths, women and a few children. Most of the people claimed they came from the adjoining streets. Although they had seen the ill-fated Dana Air plane burn, some of them said they did not witness the crash.
The smell of burnt metal hung in the air around the crash site. Smoke was still issuing from the ruins of N0. 12 Olaniyi Street, the two-storey building that was hit by the plane, even as the ploughing shears of two bulldozers belonging to Julius Berger noisily scavenged through the rubble.
“Five corpses were removed from that house this morning,’’ an eyewitness says. Like everyone else, he stood behind an iron barricade erected by security men, obviously to prevent unauthorised persons from encroaching on the crash site.
Pastor Daniel Omowunmi, the owner of the building and block of warehouses in the same compound, was surrounded by a small group of people in a corner of the site. Sometimes they stepped aside so that his photographs would be taken as he recounted his losses in the crash.
Stern-faced policemen and armed soldiers cordoned off the crash site. Some of them persistently barked at the onlookers as they pressed forward occasionally to have a better view of the ongoing rescue work.
A low buzz rose among the crowd of onlookers as the bulldozers began to demolish the buildings affected by the crash. Almost at the same time, two young men climbed up a tree in a compound opposite Popoola Street and started chopping off its branches with cutlasses, apparently on the orders of the security personnel.
“They say the government will take over this area. People have been talking about it,’’ a youth, James Abiola, who lives on Sanu-Aje Street, says.
At a glance, Olaniyi, Toyin and adjoining streets looked like they badly need the attention of the Lagos State Government. The roads are in a bad shape and they lack a drainage system.
A young woman standing next to Abiola wanted to know what would become of the residents of N0. 12 Olaniyi Street and the property damaged by the plane crash. In response, Abiola says, “I heard the owners of the property and families of the victims of the crash will be compensated. I haven’t heard about the residents who lost their property in the incident.’’
Since the plane crash occurred, the Iju-Ishaga area has become a mill of sorts where rumours are peddled at random. This development seemed to have been fuelled by the absence of some of the residents of Olaniyi, Toyin and Popoola streets.
SATURDAY PUNCH learnt that most of the residents were too scared by the tragic event to return to their homes too soon. Also, it was said that the government asked them to evacuate their homes, so as to prevent further deaths from collapsed buildings in the area.
- The Punch