Archive | August, 2013

Umana’s Loyalist Clashes with A News Editor Over Akpabio’s Overture to Ditch UOU

31 Aug

 

A certain story captioned “2015: Akpabio woos Umana Umana’s loyalists, foes”, written by Nigeria’s Youngest Editor, Ifreke Nseowo and published on Community Pulse newspaper has created much ripples in the Umana Okon Umana camp. Below is the story, Michael Bush’s response and Nseowo’s defense of his story.Image
 
 
2015: Akpabio woos Umana Umana’s loyalists, foes
 
By Ifreke Nseowo (Managing Editor)
 
Community Pulse investigations reveal that Governor Godswill Akpabio is currently wooing staunch loyalists and sworn enemies of his former close pal and ex Secretary to State Government, Obong Umana Okon Umana in a bid to stop him from realizing his ambition of getting into the Hiltop Mansion as the Executive Governor of the state come 2015.
Government House sources informed your soar away tabloid that after ousting Umana in an eye-brow-raising fashion, the state’s helmsman is in a mission to render Umana politically irrelevant and this he intends to do by speaking to his strong loyalists one-on-one.
We learnt recently that, Akpabio had put a telephone call through to one of Umana most trusted loyalists, Akparawa Michael Bush and urged him to ditch Umana and start working against him. According to those close to the Uruan born broadcaster, Akpabio promised that he will reward him (Bush) in no small measure if he succumbs to his offer. Bush, we understand had thereafter laughed off the offer and immediately informed his principal, Umana about the latest development.
 
Also, Akpabio had wooed some of his cabinet members who are known to be political allies of the 54year old Nsit Ubium technocrat. The state governor made several enticing offers to them, telling them to work against Umana, and also threatening to show them red card if they refused his proposals.
 
Chief Akpabio has also sworn to turn to perceived enemies of the former Commissioner of Finance, begging them to antagonize and rattle Umana so that he could surrender his governorship dreams.
 
Among Umana’s foes that Akpabio has sweet-tongued is Senator Effiong Bob whom many believe would happily jump at any offer in a bid to pay Umana back in his own coin for frustrating his 2011 senatorial ambition. It is no secret that Akpabio recently met Senator Bob in Abuja during the Eid-El-Fitri holidays and according to sources, Umana was top on the agenda of their tete-a-tete. The paper learnt on good authority that many politicians have given in to Akpabio’s advances while few have declined, maintaining that, it must be Umana or no one else.
 
Akpabio’s body language shows glaringly that he is desperate to stop Umana from succeeding him in 2015 and the state’s ex scribe is furious that the governor has reneged on almost all the agreements they earlier had.
 
 
  
Open Letter To Community Pulse!
 
Subj.: 2015, Akpabio Woos Umana Umana’s Loyalists, Foes
 
1.0 Community Pulse on Sunday carried the above banner headline on the front page of its 25th August, 2013 edition. Naturally, I was alarmed when the story written by Ifreke Nseowo suddenly branched off to me!
 
2.0 First, I reached out to the writer, who incidentally is the Managing Editor of the paper. He could not explain to me how he managed to concoct the story, especially the bit about me being wooed by Gov. Akpabio. Rather, Mr. Nseowo apologised for not calling me beforehand, and promised to carry the rebuttal!
 
3.0 Permit me not to repeat the total mischief here, so as not to spread it any further. However, from my own end, let me state that the story as it relates to me is F.A.L.S.E: false. Well, except if the writer is privy to imminent plans for me to be approached. The foregoing is important as I do not know what the intention or sense of the story was/is. Worse, Mr. Nseowo insists that he thought the story was good PR for me. Does he know something that I don’t?
 
4.0 But, here is it: the media and our people must exercise caution in the way stories are relayed about innocent persons. We should not be so malicious, so unprofessional, so careless, so inhuman in disseminating information. Above all, we should desist from weaving gist around people who are alive without first running it by them!
 
5.0 Finally, just to be sure; it is my belief that just as he did on telephone, Mr. Nseowo will not only apologise to me in the next edition of his paper but will also give it and this as much prominence as he did the original, fake story. That said, I like to plead with our people to channel their energies at praying for Akwa Ibom rather than at seeking to stoke real or perceived inter-personal fires. As for 2015, everyone knows I am a UOU man both in the day and at night. At 42, I know and I know that I know what I want. Is that too much for a newspaper to allow me in peace, if it cannot help me, to achieve it? Jesus is Lord!
 
Michael BUSH (Akparawa)
Director-General
Ibom Medallion
 
 
Re: Open Letter to Community Pulse by Michael Bush!
 
My attention has been drawn to a Facebook post by Michael Bush concerning a story captioned “2015: Akpabio woos Umana Umana’s loyalists, foes” written by me, Ifreke Nseowo and published on the Community Pulse (which I’m the Managing Editor) of Sunday 25thAugust,2013.
 
In the dying minutes of Sunday 25th August, 2013 I was already deep in sleep when I woke up to see a barrage of missed calls from several friends and colleagues. I wondered what was happening to warrant such litany of calls.
 
But immediately, a call came in from a very good friend and brother. He asked “Nseowo did you have any telephone conversation with Michael Bush? Have you read his post on Facebook?”. After dropping the call, I logged onto my Facebook timeline only to see a post by Mr. Bush that was directly targeted at ridiculing me and the newspaper house.
 
It is on this note that I wish to join this issue and state as follows:
 
1.0 I’m always guided by the ethics of the noble profession when I’m doing any story and would not in any way concoct a story as alleged by Michael Bush. That a story appearing to be controversial does not mean it is not true.
 
2.0 The banner story on Sunday Pulse of 25th August, 2013 captioned “2015: Akpabio woos Umana Umana’s loyalists, foes” is one of such true but controversial stories.
 
 3.0 Yes, I received a call from Mr. Michael Bush at 9.38pm on Sunday, 25th August, 2013. Bush had asked why I had to publish the story without his consent and that I should have called him first before I go to press with it.  He said as his friend, I should have protected his interest. He had asked me if he is the only Umana Umana loyalist that has been wooed? “Why is it that it is only my name that was mentioned in the story”, he asked.
 
4.0 I kept mute, listening to him. And so when he pressed on just to get words from me. Since he was angry from the tone of his voice, I decided to show him deep respect like a very senior colleague, big brother and friend. At that point I told him “I’m sorry sir”.
 
5.0 My apology to Bush was not for publishing the story but as a mark of respect and to allow him the confidence of communicating further with me at that time.
 
6.0 For the avoidance of doubt, I had actually sent a call across to Michael Bush at about 2.30pm on Saturday, 24th August, 2013 but  I was told by the network providers that the number I was calling was out of network coverage. After getting the same response over and over again from the network providers, I then decided to put a call across to one of his close friends to know Bush’s whereabouts and he told me Bush was in Calabar. The friend also informed me he has been trying to get across to Bush but his number was not going through.
 
7.0 On the manuscript of the last paragraph of the story, it was indicated that all efforts to get Mr. Bush to comment on the issue proved abortive as I couldn’t reach him for comments as at the time the paper went to press but during the page planning process, the last paragraph was mistakenly not included by the graphic designer on duty.
 
8.0. Again, yes, as a friend of mine, I told him I thought the story was not going to harm him, and in the other way round it was good for his PR. I said so knowing that Mr. Bush is a die-hard UOU loyalist. But as a UOU loyalist that does not mean that the opposing camps will not reach out to him. And more in this case a state governor. Except Bush was lying to one of his friends that the governor had reached out to him.  But if I may ask, is Mr. Bush considering ditching UOU for the governor’s enticing offer? Why is he denying that the governor called him?
 
8.0 Mr. Bush said that Ifreke Nseowo couldn’t explain how and why he “concocted” such a story he (Bush) claims to be false. As at the time Mr. Bush called, I was having dinner with two friends of mine at an eatery and music was being played on the background. There are certain conversations you can’t engage in at a particular time and mine with Bush was one of such. I couldn’t speak more with him because I was at a public place and I didn’t want to divulge sensitive information at that material time. And of course, the music played at where I was eating was disturbing our conversation. If Bush plays back the conversation he recorded, he will hear when I directed the waiter to go reduce the volume of the music.
 
8.0  For the records, Mr. Bush begged to know what could be done to remedy the situation. He asked if I could handle it, I told him to issue a press statement that I will help him publish it. Yes, I would have done it for him not because the story is false but because he is entitled to a rebuttal if he feels otherwise.
 
9. I was however surprised why he had to take to social media in a friendly discussion we had already concluded. It is on these grounds that I have to put this record straight because my silence on this matter would have been misconstrued to mean stupidity, cowardice and accepting all Bush wrote as true. Let me add that we won’t be deterred in our determination to inform and educate the people.
 
10. I still hold Michael Bush, my big brother, senior colleague and mentor in highest esteem. Thank you all.  
 
Ifreke Nseowo (Connoisseur)
Record holding Nigeria’s Youngest Editor/Managing Editor, Community Pulse

 

US considers ‘limited act’ in Syria

31 Aug

ImagePresident Barack Obama has said the US is considering a “limited narrow act” in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian army.

Mr Obama stressed that no “final decision” had been made, but ruled out putting American “boots on the ground”.

Citing a US intelligence assessment, Secretary of State John Kerry accused Syria of using chemical weapons to kill 1,429 people, including 426 children.

Syria said the US claim was “full of lies”, blaming rebels for the attack.

 

Syria map

I did not lie – Fani-Kayode replies Bianca Ojukwu

30 Aug

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has replied Bianca Ojukwu over her threat to sue him, if he fails to retract his ‘libellous publication’ about her within seven days.

Was Bianca the Lovebird of Mouth-running Fani-Kayode

Was Bianca the Lovebird of Mouth-running Fani-Kayode?

Mrs. Ojukwu had this morning vowed to drag Fani-Kayode to court for claiming to have dated her as a spinster in an article published by Fani-Kayode few weeks ago, in an attempt to exonerate himself of being tribalistic over the Lagos deportation saga.

Reacting to Bianca’s threat, Fani-Kayode in a statement made available to DailyPost through his Press Secretary, Mr. Bisi Lawal said the matter has since been referred to his lawyers who will now take it up.

The statement reads, “This morning Cheif Femi Fani-Kayode woke up to find a letter that was published as an advertorial in Thisday Newspaper purportedly by Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu’s lawyer threatening to sue him for mentioning her in his article and claiming that she has never met him before. She also said that he was being malicious. The matter has of course been referred to Chief Fani-Kayode’s lawyers who will now take it up.

“Ordinarily, he would not have said a word about this matter because he sympathises with her for whatever she may have been going through.

“However, now that she has put it in the public realm, Chief Fani-Kayode is compelled to formally respond. To the assertion that he never knew her and that they were never friends, he says this is false and he asks why would he lie? The public evidence is to the contrary. Chief Fani-Kayode would not want to say anything to embarrass her because that would be ungentlemanly.

“He sympathises with her delicate situation and once again he expresses his regrets about the fact that his statement about her was misconstrued. We shall just leave it at that,” the statement added.

DailyPost has gathered however that Fani has enough proofs regarding his relationship with former beauty Queen and may be forced to roll them out should the case go beyond this stage. Whatever the outcome, we shall bring you reactions as they come.

Inspector General of Romance: Police IG MD Abubakar Set To Remarry In September

28 Aug

IGP MD Abubakar and lady Safiya in a photo shoot preparatory to their wedding

Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar is set to remarry about a year after he lost his wife, Maryam Abubakar, to cancer in January 2012.

The IGP will be engaging in a three-day wedding ritual to a popular 35 year-old Safiya according to sources close to the Mr. Abubakar. The wedding proper will take place on Septemeber 14, 2013. Saharareporters obtained a photo from a series of photos takenduring a photo shoot in preparation for the grand wedding.

-SaharaReporters,

Profile: Prof. Richard King Usoro

28 Aug

“Putatively, they said esd has no credible contestants, now that the brides of esd are beginning to come out with intimidating credentials, the innuendoes now being churned out, are trying to besmirch on the paternity of prof.richard king. we will see more” – Chris Abasi-Eyo

“If Prof King Usoro is an Igbo man, that means the whole ESD is in Igbo land”- Mark Joe

Professor Richard King for AKS Governorship 2015
Prof. Richard King was born on 17th May, 1958 to the family of Chief John Usoro (late) of the Otonita/Nung Awo family nucleus of Ikot Ebok in the present Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Chief John King Usoro was a one time Head of Idua Clan. Prof. King attended St. Gregory Primary School, Ikot Ebok, Eket where he obtained the First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) in 1972. He proceeded to the Nigerian Christian Secondary School, Ukpom, Abak L.G.A. where he took and passed the O’ Level General Certificate of Education (GCE) examination in 1976 while still in class 4. He served his Secondary School in various capacities including: Class Prefect, Student Laboratory Attendant and Senior Prefect. He was a fine football player and an outstanding athlete. Prior to leaving Secondary School in 1977, Prof. King was honoured with the following:
1. Award for Excellence as the Most Disciplined Student 91976-1977)
2. Award for Excellence in Science (1976-1977)
3. Award for Excellence in Schools Challenge (1976)
4. Award for Excellence as Senior Prefect (1976-1977)
Prof. King attended the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) as a pioneer student where he graduated with a B.Sc (Second Class Honours, Upper Division) Degree in Zoology (1981), M.Sc. Degree in Hydrobiology and Fisheries Biology (1985) and Ph.D Degree in Zoology (with major in Fisheries Biology) in 1994. During his undergraduate days, Prof. King was the President of the UNIPORT Chapter of the National Association of Cross River State Students (NACRISS) from 1978 till 1979 and President of the National Association of Zoology Students (NAZOOS) from 1978 till 1979. He was the Welfare Officer of the Postgraduate Students’ Union (1982-1983).
EMPLOYMENT HISTORY
Prof. King devotedly served as a Youth Tutor in Science School, Hong in the present Adamawa State during the mandatory National Service Corps programme in 1981/82. He joined the services of the University of Cross River State as a Lecturer and Research Scientist in 1984. He later transferred his services to University of Uyo where he held several posts of responsibilities including: Head, Department of Zoology; Pioneer Head, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture; Acting Dean, Faculty of Agriculture; Pioneer Director, Center for Wetlands and Waste Management Studies; Director, Remedial Directorate and Chairman and Member of Sundry Committees and Panels.
Prof. King is the first Professor of Fisheries and Aquaculture of the University of Uyo and the first Professor product of the University of Port Harcourt. He has served as an environmental Consultant on several Baseline Environmental Studies (BES), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Post Impact Assessment (EPIA) projects in the Niger Delta. Prof. King has been an EIA Review Panelist for the Federal Ministry of Environment for a time frame of over seven (7) years. Prof. King has attended over thirty (30) major National and International Scientific Forum including workshops, conferences and symposia. He has authored and/or coauthored over 70 publications including Journal, Articles, Technical Reports, Monographs, Books and two chapters of an International Encyclopedia.
Prof. King is a member of Member and Vice President for Africa – International Society for Environmental Geotechnology(ISEG); Member, Network of Tropical Aquaculture & Fisheries Professionals (NTAFP); Member, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF); Member, Nigerian Society for Biological Conservation (NSBC); Member, Nigerian Environmental Society of Nigeria (ECSON); Member, Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON); and Fellow, Institute of Industrial Administration (FIIA) of Nigeria.
At the national level, Prof. King has served in the following capacities: Member, 2007 Presidential Campaign Team; Member, 2011 Presidential Campaign Team; Member, Niger Delta Technical Committee; Member, Vision 20: 20 20 National Technical Working Group (Environmental Thematic Area); Member, The National Parks Steering Committee of the National Council on Privatization (NCP); Chairman, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) and Member, Presidential Monitoring Committee on NDDC.
Prof. King is an active member of the People Democratic Party (PDP) and belongs to Ward 3, Eket. He served as the only male indigene of Akwa Ibom State in the 2007 and 2011 Presidential Campaign Teams. Prof. King is the author of authorized Presidential Campaign materials viz: (1) The Dr. Goodluck Jonathan That I Know (2007); and (2) Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan: A Personality Profile (2011). Commentator and Script preparation for the Electronic Media Publication, Democracy at Work: Goodluck Working for Nigeria, Vol.3 National Orientation Agency, 2011. Script Preparation for the Electronic Media Publication, Democracy at Work: Goodluck Transforming Nigeria II, National Orientation Agency, 2011.
Prof. King is a holder of the befitting titles of the Okuku of Idua Clan in Eket and Obong Ikkike of Uyo. He is a sound Christian and Deacon of the Living Faith Church Worldwide (aka Winners Chapel).
Prof. King is happily married to a loving and caring wife, Lady Laurel King (MSc, B. Pharm, RN, RM, RNT). Lady King is an Environmental Health Scientist, Pharmacist, Registered Nurse and Registered Midwife. Lady King is also a holder of the Chieftaincy title of Obonganwan Ikkike of Uyo. The Union is blessed with five (5) children.
From the foregoing, Prof. Richard King can be aptly described as a highly Distinguished Scholar, an Educationist, Resourceful and Dedicated Worker, a Seasoned Administrator, an Indefatigable Achiever and an unassuming gentleman.

Arik Air Stowaway Teenager: Gov. Aregbesola’s Group Offers Him Scholarship

28 Aug

De Raufs’ Volunteer Group has agreed to offer scholarship up to university level to the 13-year-old Daniel Oikhena, who emerged from the wheel compartment of an Arik Air flight from Benin Airport to Lagos last Saturday.Image

De Raufs, a group extolling the leadership qualities of Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, stressed in a statement on Tuesday that it was ready to give scholarship to Master Oikhena up to university level to help him realise his dream of travelling by air legitimately.

Director General of the group, Amitolu Shittu, who signed the statement, said that ambitious citizens of Nigeria like Master Oikhena must not be suffocated on the altar of political and bureaucratic enforcement.

Rather, Shittu stressed that “The little boy’s ambition should be nurtured through qualitative education, and our group is ready to give him all the necessary support to make his dream a reality.

“We are sincerely willing to offer him the scholarship in order to encourage thousands of teenagers who are ambitious, because the truth is, our leaders in Nigeria have failed on their part to see the potential of the little boy.

“Therefore, De Raufs’ is taking up the responsibility to safe the future of this great boy and not turning him to criminal.

“The parents of the boy should contact the secretariat of our group for further briefing,” the statement added.

NIGERIA: STOWAWAY BOY THOUGHT ARIK PLANE WAS US-BOUND

28 Aug

THE teenage stowaway, Daniel Ihekina, who was arrested at the Lagos Airport after flying in the tyre hole of an Arik plane from Benin to Lagos on Saturday morning, thought he was on a US-bound flight.Image

A source at the Benin Airport who disclosed this said the boy’s parents had already departed for Lagos in search of the stowaway.

The airport source, who did not want his name in print said, “From what we heard, the boy said he was being maltreated and tried to escape from his parents. He thought he was on his way to the US.

“The parents have travelled to Lagos by road, to get him back.”

Meanwhile, investigations conducted by one of our correspondents in Lagos revealed that the boy had been handed over to the operatives of the State Security Services for further investigation.

The General Manager, Corporate Communications, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Mr. Yakubu Dati, who also confirmed the development, said the aviation security personnel of the agency had handed over the young voyager to the men of the SSS for extensive investigation.

Dati said, “The residential address the boy gave to us was traced to a church in Benin by our airport manager and his team. So, there is need to hand over the teenager to the SSS who are experts in such investigations. They will carry out further investigation on the matter.”

The FAAN spokesman said the nature and circumstances surrounding the crime informed the agency decision to hand over the stowaway to the SSS operatives.

Meanwhile, following the Benin Airport incident, FAAN has adopted the ‘risk amelioration processes to safeguard flight operations’ at all its 22 airports across  the country.

Dati stressed that the agency had tightened its risk amelioration procedure to ensure that similar incident did not occur again.

He also said the agency had prioritised the perimeter fencing of all the 22 airports in the country.

“In the meantime, we have adopted risk amelioration processes to safeguard flight operations. As a result of this incident in Benin, we have further tightened our risk amelioration procedure to ensure that a similar incident does not occur,” he  said.

However, FAAN has also continued to trade blame with Arik Air over the Benin incident.

The agency, in a statement on Sunday, said it read with “great dismay the statement released by Arik Airlines about the stowaway found on board Arik’s flight 544 from Benin to Lagos on Saturday 24 August, 2013.”

Dati said FAAN was “unfairly indicted” while the airline took no responsibility whatsoever for such a “serious security breach.”

FAAN said its preliminary investigation had revealed that Arik did not give accurate account of the Benin Airport incident.

Giving the accounts of its preliminary findings, FAAN said, “Our investigations reveal that a passenger on board the flight called the attention of the cabin crew while the aircraft was waiting to take off at the threshold of the runway, to the effect that they had seen a young boy walk under the aircraft and had not seen him re-appear on the other side.”

“The cabin crew in turn informed the pilots in the cockpit about this. The pilots called the control tower and asked them to request FAAN to do a sweep of the area after their departure, opting to carry on with their flight despite the report.”

“Upon the arrival of the aircraft in Lagos, we were informed that there had been a stowaway found alive alighting from the wheel well of the aircraft. While FAAN takes this security breach extremely seriously, we deem Arik’s attempt at indicting and smearing FAAN as irresponsible. Safety and security breaches occur when all the checks in the system are beaten.  Given that security is a responsibility for all players in this industry, a critical last opportunity to detect and prevent this stowaway was offered and had the airline taken the information by passengers as seriously as they should have, this incident would have been avoided.”

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