Archive | December, 2013

Fayemi’s wife faults allegations against poverty eradication scheme

30 Dec

Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi

Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi

Wife of the Ekiti State governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, has described as outrageous the claim in some quarters that the state Food Bank and Soup Kitchen programmes are cosmetic and ineffective approach towards fighting poverty.

The governor’s wife spoke in Isan Ekiti on Saturday during the 2013 Isan Ekiti Day celebration, noting that the schemes had brought relief to the poor people.

According to her, the schemes are established to cater for the indigent elderly, people living with HIV/AIDS, widows and the physically challenged.

She said the programme was part of Governor Kayode Fayemi’s efforts to banish poverty from the state, adding that no fewer than 12 soup kitchens had been established across the state to prepare free meal to indigent elders to cushion the effects of economic hardship.

Mrs. Fayemi said, “It was a genuine effort by Ekiti Development Foundation in partnership with the state government to banish poverty in Ekiti State.

“We established the Food Bank to give free raw food items to some of the beneficiaries to prepare on their own.

“It is a programme that gulps several millions of naira. So, we are committed to its sustainability and I believe it is a veritable weapon to fight poverty because feeding is part of the basic needs of life.”

Apple To Go Large In 2014 With iPhone 6 In May And iPad Pro in October.

30 Dec

Now that the ink is drying on Apple’s AAPL -0.68% deal with China Mobile

iPhone 6 concept design by ADR studioiPhone 6 concept design by ADR studio

iPhone 6 concept design by ADR studioiPhone 6 concept design by ADR studio

CHL +0.5%, supply chain rumors are emerging about Apple’s next significant
product releases. Digitimes reports that according to “sources from the upstream supply chain,” Apple is planning to release a 5-inch iPhone 6 “phablet” this coming May and a large tablet in October.

The immediacy for a larger-screen iPhone comes partially from the Asian market where Samsung’s phablets have made significant inroads. Assuming that Apple’s agreement with China Mobile includes these upcoming products, the pricing adjustments that normally occur with new iPhones could make the iPhone 5C significantly more affordable and attractive to the Chinese market. This would begin to make sense of the 5C, which so far seems to be a sales disappointment for Apple. Perhaps the important thing about the 5C is that it is not the 5S, so that down the road it can be discounted without putting price pressure on Apple’s flagship.

According to the Digitimes source, the larger iPhone 6 will use “a 20nm processor manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor TSM +0.47% Manufacturing
Company (TSMC).” Previous reports have pegged the screen size at just under the 5 inches of Samsung’s Galaxy 4.

The source also reports that Apple will releases a 12.9 inch “targeting North America’s educational market [and]… manufactured by Quanta Computer ,” in October. Samsung is also reported to be working on a 12 to 13-inch tablet, and it seems evident that “these large-size tablets will greatly impact ultrabook demand.” This “iPad Pro” will be a defacto laptop with the addition of new cases with integrated keyboards and batteries and could well become a mainstay for high schools and college students who need better content creation tools than those offers on existing iPads and iPad Minis.

These larger screen sizes will put additional strain on iOS 7 and developers who will need to figure out how to adapt their apps to even more configurations. These additional formats will provide some exciting opportunities for applications as well, and we can anticipate that iOS 8 will contain many features designed to accommodate multi-screen design.

-Forbes

 

Re-The Unity of the Ibibio: Sen. Effiong Bob and Obong Umana Okon Umana in Context

30 Dec

Former SSG, Umana Okon Umana

Former SSG, Umana Okon Umana

I am in agreement with your suggestion. I hope Sen. Bob finds it in his heart to forgive. But Mr. Umana has to understand why some of us do not buy into his excuse that he was set-up to deal a wrong hand to his fellow Ibibio brothers and sisters. A self-acclaimed “midfielder”, if he were still the SSG and buddying with Akpabio and not looking towards becoming the next governor perhaps this would not humble Mr. Umana. He’d still be “passing the ball” to Gov. Akpabio, “the captain” to score against Ibibio people. If he wants us to believe that he was set-up then he is telling us he is a man who has nothing to stand for hence he falls for anything including the destruction of his fellow Ibibios. However, I support his every move on this reconciliation project and agree with you Sen Bob is not the only person hurt by his actions, the bell is ringing about that around the state.

Many of us have been saying it for years that an inescapable day of reckoning will come and that day is here. As far as Akpabio administration is concerned one cannot separate Mr. Umana from the exploitation, maiming, torturing, kidnapping for ransom, political assassination where many women are left widows today. Many innocent Ibibio people were thrown into jail for crimes they did not commit including Sen. Udoedehe, Dr. Chris Ekong, and Sen. Bob recently has informed how Mr. Umana implicated him in the death of Edidem Robert Okon. This chief operating officer of Akpabio administration for more than six years did not say “pim” or did nothing to protect his people. I suggest he expands and leads a Truth and Reconciliation Commission among Ibibios people in all Senatorial Districts. This may be a good thing for his political fortune. Let him consult Gov. Amaechi administration and Bishop Desmond Tutu to borrow from their Truth and Reconciliation templates to help people get their atrocities and pain inflicted on them on the other hand out of their chest and start again.

Finally, I am not against house-cleaning provided the rule of law is adhered to. Having said that I must remind that after the civil war Eyo Uyo used elements of the Nigerian Army who liberated Uyo to settle political scores with real or imagined enemies and many innocent lives were lost in front of Uyo post office. Not again!

Eno Adams
Hayward, CA

Umana 2015: Gov. Akpabio orders withdrawal of Police Protection

28 Dec
 Umana 2015: Gov. Akpabio orders withdrawal of Police Protection

 

– Hit squad on the Prowl,
– Intimidates Umana’s supporter,
– Ibibios….. we are not timid says…
The 2015 fever is getting Governor Akpabio paranoid. It would be recalled that in recent times, Governor Akpabio had sought to prevent Umana Umana from visiting Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District to consult with his friends from Annang Land. His arrowhead, Sunny Ibanga had used the Area command to prevent Umana’s team from entering private property, an act that was considered very provocative and uncivilized.On Christmas eve, news filtered in that Governor Akpabio had ordered the Commissioner of Police to withdraw Umana Umana’s Police security from his residence. This was promptly done as Akpabio was angry that Umana could only have visited Senatorial Districts to greet his supporters because of security provided by the Police.

Akpabio was particularly angry that Umana was able to have peaceful movement around Ikot ekpene Senatorial District without any molestation. He was reported to have raved that ”I am the Governor of this State and nobody should move around so freely if I don’t approve of his ambition! I would not stand by and watch Umana become Governor of this State. He has me to contend with and I will show him that I am the Governor of this State!!”Umana was however not in Uyo at the time of the withdrawal of securitymen.Close watchers have however observed the surveillance of Umana’s residence by people of questionable origin and fear that Akpabio may have released his killer squad to do some harm to the Nsit Ubium born politician.

Ibibio Elders have warned that the threat to the life of Umana Umana cannot be business as usual. They recall the tragic end of Ibibio sons in the past who had shown interest in the Governorship of the State and how nothing had been done to unmask the killers. According to them, the State had been in peace until Akpabio became Governor and wondered why he was so interested in who succeeded him as Governor. Akpabio’s inordinate ambition had placed the State in a state of coma, especially in the second term.
The 20th Century Hospital is yet to be completed and may never be completed, the Tropicana project is a conduit pipe and may never be completed, the 10th Anniversary Hotel built with the sweat of civil servants, sold to Idowu and later repurchased by Akpabio’s government at the cost of N2.5 billion is now home to miscreants and rapists,Oron Road, Oron cut into two by erosion remains abandoned while Akpabio spends another N2.5 billion Naira to enrich his brothers in the name of Carol Night, etc and he has the effrontery to want to install somebody to continue in the financial recklessness and keep the treasury open for looting by him and his family.As at the time of this report, Liberty Voice agents were investigating unfolding news that President Jonathan, upon learning of the plot to eliminate Umana, quickly ordered that the Policemen be restored to his residence, without any delay.

That development is reported to have angered Akpabio, who now complains to whoever cares to listen to him that Jonathan is interfering in his running of the State. Also, group of Umana supporters confided with our agent that Akpabio is fighting a lose battle which he himself will run to hiding when the final bell rings. Umana’s supporter from Ikot Ekpene declare that when God want to destroy a wicked man He first turn him to go crazy. The supporters state it very clear that “never again will Akpabio use us, we are not timid.”

Pakistan’s Persecuted Christians, Uncertain of their Future

27 Dec

LAHORE, Pakistan — If ever there was a target for the Pakistan Taliban, I thought to myself, this would be it.

Christian persecution in Pakistan

Christian persecution in Pakistan

Besides the 750 graduating students and more than 2,000 guests gathered on the campus of Forman Christian College on Nov. 30 were the university’s American rector and two of Pakistan’s five provincial governors. Senior officials in Lahore had already warned the public to be vigilant. The police had information that the Taliban had dispatched suicide bombers to the city to take revenge for the recent killing of their leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, in a United States drone strike. Their targets would be senior government officials and foreigners, especially Americans.

Forman is Pakistan’s leading Christian educational institution, now celebrating its 150th anniversary. Only 600 of its 6,000 students are Christian; what’s remarkable is how fully integrated into campus life they are.

Like many non-Christian Pakistanis, I owed my education to Christian teachers, both at Forman and at my previous school, Burn Hall in Abbottabad, which was run by Roman Catholic priests. We loved and respected our Christian teachers, and they us. We never doubted that harmony and cooperation between faith groups were not only possible, but also completely normal. It was the reality of our lives.

I had returned after half a century to my old college (now a chartered university) to receive an honorary doctorate. Once there, I found myself transported back to one of the happiest periods of my life. It was a different Pakistan and it was a time of hope. Christians were very much part of the fabric of the nation.

Times have changed. Today, Forman is an island of tranquillity for Christians in a troubled sea. With increasing frequency, Christians have been attacked and their churches vandalized.

No one was taking lightly the seriousness of the threat at the commencement. I was told there were snipers on all the vantage points and security officers in plain clothes all over the campus. Yet, as if to insist on the normalcy of university life, the rector announced a new center with the express purpose of bridge building between different cultures and faiths.

Many Pakistanis are unaware of the role Christians have played in the nation’s history. Although the Christian population is barely three million, or 1.6 percent of the population— as compared with 180 million Muslims (more than 95 percent) — Christians have had a considerable impact, especially in education. Many of Pakistan’s most prominent leaders — including the current prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, the assassinated prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, and former President Pervez Musharraf — went to Christian schools. Christians also educated Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who founded Pakistan in 1947. Under Pakistan’s Constitution, Christians were guaranteed equal rights.

The targeting of Christians comes amid a widespread breakdown of public order. The ordinary citizen — hearing stories of gangs breaking into homes and kidnapping people — thinks only of survival. Groups like the Pakistani Taliban have challenged government authority to the point where the rule of law barely exists in parts of the country like the tribal areas of the Northwest.

While militant groups are frequently the culprits in attacks on Christians, a general anger against the United States has caused large numbers of people to target Christians, whom they associate with America, as scapegoats.

Christians have been especially vulnerable in cases concerning the blasphemy laws, which easily convert into a tool of oppression against them. Cases like that of the 11-year-old Christian girl arrested last year after being accused of burning pages of the Quran in Islamabad gain nationwide publicity — easy causes célèbres for those who are opposed to United States foreign policy in Pakistan or who believe that Islam is under siege from the West.

This, in turn, makes it very difficult for public officials to intervene, even if they are inclined to do so. Government promises to reconstruct the homes of Christians destroyed by mobs and distribute aid are rarely carried out.

Those Pakistanis who do speak up for Christians have themselves become targets of violence. In 2011, a governor of Punjab Province who criticized the blasphemy laws was killed by his own bodyguard, who was then hailed as a hero. Senior politicians and the Pakistani elite have been complicit in the sectarian hostility because they fear that any of them could meet the same fate.

Perhaps the worst blow to date was the deadly assault on a historic church in Peshawar earlier this year, in which 78 people were killed and 130 wounded. Little wonder, then, that there is widespread fear and uncertainty among Christians. There are rumors of entire families fleeing the country, many stranded in halfway stations like Thailand, awaiting official papers to emigrate.

The situation of the Christians will improve only if the causes of Pakistan’s instability are addressed. These include the breakdown of law and order, the dangerous gap between rich and poor, the ever rising prices of wheat and sugar, the lack of jobs, and the conduct of the American war on terror in the region.

Pakistanis also need to be reminded of their own history of religious tolerance. What they perhaps do not realize is that the protection and rights of the Christian community are more than a constitutional obligation: The situation of Pakistani Christians is a barometer of the health of the nation. Today, the signs are not good.

Akbar Ahmed, the Islamic Studies chairman at the American University in Washington, is the author of “The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam.

We rob successfully because soldier assists us – Suspects

26 Dec

Armed Robbers assisted by soldiers

Armed Robbers assisted by soldiers

A six-man robbery gang, which was recently arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Lagos, has said they were able to successfully carry out robbery operations through the connivance of a serving soldier.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the suspects, Jude Madu, Romanus Nweke, Edwin Ndinemeni, Abuchi Afunaya, Chibuzor Umebi, and Osita Nnaji; specialised in hijacking trucks in transit and selling off its contents.

It was learnt that the suspects were arrested on Saturday.

Confessing their roles in the crime, the alleged gang leader, Madu, who claimed to be 29-years-old, said a serving soldier usually supplied them with ammunition.

Narrating how they usually operated along interstate highways, the indigene of Umunze, Anambra State, said, “When we spot a truck that we are interested in, we drive in a rough manner and block the truck. When the truck hits our vehicle, the soldier will alight, go straight to the truck driver and slap him for hitting our car.

“He will ask the driver to come down and threaten to take him to an army barracks where he will be dealt with. One of our gang members, Afunaya, will then jump into the truck and speed off.

“We will drive the truck to a park and hand it over to one of our men, Obinna, who then drives the truck to Onitsha, Anambra State, and sells off its contents. My share from the last operation was N200,000.”

A second suspect, a 30-year-old indigene of Enugu State, said he sometimes also dressed as a soldier during robbery operations.

He explained that they usually hijacked trucks conveying drugs, chemicals, tyre, spare parts and beverages.

“It was the army man that gave me the army uniform of a lance corporal to follow them to hijack the truck. For the chemical truck that we hijacked I was given N150, 000. My role is to intimidate the driver with my gun,” he said.

Ndinemeni, a 27-year-old marble dealer and indigene of Imo State, said he joined the gang because of poverty, adding that he usually drove hijacked trucks to Iddo Park in Lagos State where its contents are offloaded.

He said his share from the last job was N350, 000.

Umebi, 24, who claimed to be an electronics dealer, said he took to robbery because he was once robbed of all his valuables and wanted revenge.

“I was an electronics dealer before I lost my goods to armed robbers. I decided to be an armed robber after being robbed. My role is to join the soldier to hold the conductor and the driver to enable the gang take over the truck and divert it. My going into armed robbery is a curse because in one operation a victim cursed me,” he said.

Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, who confirmed the incident, said investigations were still ongoing.

Falana Backs Jonathan, Wants Obasanjo Probed

26 Dec

Femi Falana

Femi Falana

Constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Chief Femi Falana (SAN) yesterday commended President Goodluck Jonathan for reeling out a detailed letter in response to the missive written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to him. Accordingly, he told the president to direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to reopen investigation into the Halliburton Scandal, Siemens Scandal and other corruption cases involving Obasanjo.

In a statement he personally issued on Monday, Falana also urged President Jonathan to sack his Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah following her indictment in the alleged financial irregularities in the purchase of two bullet-proof cars to the tune of N225 million by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for the minister.

“In this regard, since the Aviation Minister, Ms Stella Oduah has been unanimously indicted by the presidential panel of inquiry, the EFCC and the Aviation Committee of the House of Representatives for illegally allocating N643 million for the purchase of two armoured cars, President Jonathan should remove her from office without any further delay”, he stated. Specifically, the legal luminary lauded the president for his decision “to request the National Human Rights Commission to investigate the allegation that snipers are being trained and armed to annihilate political opponents in the country”.

He, however, said “the investigation should cover the Killer Squad set up by Sani Abacha’s murderous regime whose members were not disarmed and de-mobilised by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration”. Falana also urged Jonathan to ensure that the allegations of official corruption and politically motivated killings are not swept under the carpet.

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