Thursday, December 2, 2021

Soft Drinks Are Poison!

 By Maje Ayida

Several reports have labeled soft drinks as extremely harmful to your health and a lot of people are already aware of the dangers. But this doesn’t seem to affect the addiction people have, doesn’t stop the manufacturers flooding the market and certainly hasn’t stopped parents giving to their children.

On average we can consume up to 23 teaspoons of sugar per day, some consume more. It is important to understand that reduction in consumption is a necessity, not punishment. Many people know the dangers of too much sugar but fail to apply it to their lives.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

State Judicial Panels Can Indict Military And Police Officers

 By Femi Falana

As a sequel to the #EndSARS protests last year, the National Economic Council advised all State Governments to institute judicial commissions of Enquiry to probe allegations of police brutality in the country. Based on the advice the Federal Government and 28 State Governors set up judicial commissions of inquiry to probe sundry allegations of police brutality under the applicable Tribunal of Inquiry Laws. However, a few lawyers deliberately set out to obfuscate the issues in a desperate attempt to cover up the massacre of unarmed protesters in Lagos, Rivers, Edo, Oyo and the Federal Capital Territory.

*Falana 

Notwithstanding that some of the lawyers had previously appeared in panels of enquiry set up by State Governors they turned round to question the constitutionality of the judicial commissions, albeit on a very shaky legal wicket. I was compelled to intervene by clarifying the state of the law on the unquestionable validity of the powers of the President and State Governors to institute administrative or judicial commissions of inquiry within their areas of jurisdictional competence under the current political dispensation. Thereafter, the Panels which had been set up by the State Governors commenced public sittings.

Nigeria: Script For A Final Looting Spree

 By Ochereome Nnanna

The Good Book says “by their fruits ye shall know them”. When you dress a person in borrowed robes just to show off, William Shakespeare (Macbeth Act 5, Scene 2) says it will be “(hanging) loose about him like a giant’s robe upon a dwarfish thief”Before 2003, the Finance portfolio of the Nigerian economy had always been handled by men. After his frivolous first term, former President Olusegun Obasanjo decided to get serious in his second. Nigeria had a debt overhang of $32bn owed to the Paris Club alone.

*Buhari 

Obasanjo saw that his global gallivanting and begging for debt forgiveness was not cutting ice. He needed to do more than merely advertise his “beautiful” mug on the streets of Western capitals.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Nollywood Personifies The Resilience And Ingenuity Of The Nigerian, Says Sam Kargbo

 Lawyer, law teacher, social commentator and film maker, Sam Kargbo is many things to many people. Although a regular TV guest on many topical issues and a newspaper columnist,  Kargbo carries about his life with utmost modesty. He loves his beautiful wife from Akwa Ibom State and adores his mentors with a passion. He is the maker of Blood Diamonds, arguably one of the highest budget films in Nollywood, the Nigerian Home Video Industry. Yet, he insists film making is just an avenue for him to pass his message across to a target audience. In this interview with UGOCHUKWU EJINKEONYE (February 2005), he talks about his involvement in film making and the bold efforts of private investors that have taken the good image of Nigeria across continents.

Excerpts:

*Sam Kargbo

Most people are familiar with Sam Kargbo the lawyer, not the script writer and film producer, at what point did this other side of you come up?

Yes, I studied law. But I have been doing many other things, and as lawyers would say, legal things for that matter. I have always been a heckler  and proactive person. I don’t sit on the fence on matters. I like emptying my chest and putting my money where my mouth is. I realise that one stands in a  better  position to understand things when one is involved. I have been writing  ever  since my secondary school days. I have written short stories for radio   presentation. I was one of the earlier contributors to the His and Hers  (or  something like that ) on Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation (OGBC)  in 1991. I had a teacher called John Agetua who encouraged me to take writing seriously but I disappointed him when I veered off to study law. He wanted me to study English Language. Am sure he was the one that influenced people like Nnamdi Okosieme (of Independent) to study English and Literature. I followed the advice of another teacher,  Mrs. Lambert Aikhion-Bare, who was equally close to me, to study law. But even at that all my colleagues at the University of Benin knew me more for my writing potentials than for my law studies. I am also a very outgoing person. My social life is, to be honest, very complex. My circle of friends cut across all classes. But I have my preference for artists. That was why people like T.J. Cole, Mike Nliam and Abay Esho of  Safari could convince me to invest in movies. To cut cost and perhaps to simplify matters, I decided to write the first story I was to shoot. I  wrote the screen play and Teco Benson, who directed it for me,  gave it to one Bat Hills,  a banker,  to edit it, and he did it overnight. Blood Diamonds came out very well but I can assure you I am a better writer now and my next effort in screen play would be better than Blood Diamonds. Many people have asked me to screen play for them but I can’t afford to add that to my busy chores. For now, I will confine myself to writing my movies.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

New Perspectives On Dynamics Of Leadership In Africa

Book Review

Book: Tomorrow’s leaders

Author: Andrew Okhenoaghue Umoru

Publishers: Blueshield Publishers

Pagination: 124

Reviewer: Banji Ojewale

In 1983 Chinua Achebe, late Nigerian writer and critic, was a lone voice as he mourned the death and dearth of strategic leadership in his country. His intervention through the slim nonfiction, The Trouble With Nigeria, was mocked when it wielded the sledgehammer on Nigeria and argued that flailing leadership was primarily responsible for the country’s seasonal misery and crises. This eminent novelist of universal acclaim held that poor management of our enormous resources was the cauldron brewing the challenges besieging the land.

But a great community of critics rose after reading the book to give their fellow critic a sarcastic riposte: the troubles with Nigeria were too complex to be dealt with so simplistically in a small book and by attributing them to one single origin.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Nigeria: The Massacre At The Lekki Toll Gate

 By Femi Falana

For several years, the human rights community had called for the prosecution of the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) over incessant arrests, detention, torture and extrajudicial killing of citizens. As such calls were ignored by the authorities the SARS intensified the brutalization of citizens particularly young people. The video of the reckless killing of an unarmed young man in Delta State sometime in the first week of October 2020 by trigger happy SARS officials went viral and led to  spontaneous street protests in many states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory. In its initial reaction to the protests the Federal Government announced that SARS would undergo some reforms.

Since the Government had ignored the reports of many administrative panels that  made a strong case for police reforms in the recent past  the youths distrusted the authorities  They continued the  peaceful protests and demanded for the immediate disbandment of the SARS.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Reducing Poverty Rapidly In Africa And Latin-America

 By Francis E. Ogbimi

The world has a written history of the past 5000 (3000 BC-2000) years of the human development experience. That record ought to guide the human development process but that is not the situation. Many nations and institutions are approaching development activities as if man has no experience, no history. A people without a sense of history repeat the mistakes older societies made and suffer unnecessary stress. This article is written to demonstrate how the knowledge of history and the science of human development can be used to accelerate development in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, the poorest regions of the world.


I am Emeritus Professor of Technology Management. I have conducted a curiosity-driven research and taught Technology Management for over three decades with the objective of establishing the scientific basis of the present global distribution of wealth and power and how nations develop. The research has been abundantly blessed. I have summarized the highlights of the research in a 7-book series. The eighth book is in press. I am grateful to the Almighty God, the source of wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

#EndSARS: At Last, Truth Resurrects From Shallow Grave Of Lies

 By Charles Okoh

No matter how far falsehood travels, the truth must always catch up with it. Everybody, that should be telling Nigerians who gave them the mandate they exercise, lied concerning the issues before, during and after the unfortunate development on October 20, 2020, at the Lekki Toll Gate, when defenceless Nigerian youths were shamelessly mowed by wicked uniformed personnel of the Nigerian Army and the Police. Since then, there have been tons and tons of lies to mask the truth, but the truth cannot be buried forever.

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who before then enjoyed tremendous goodwill among Nigerian youths in Lagos, joined in the lie. These flip-flops and cocktail of lies were so much and concerted that the victims were made to look like the suspects.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Five Ways Human Traffickers Find Their Victims

By Enitan Adefolaremi Ibironke 

Avoid falling into the hands of human traffickers by learning to spot the signs today. And remember the saying: When an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

What Is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking, simply put, is when a person is taken from one location to another with the intent of forcing or exploiting the victim. And it happens more often than you might think. There are at least 1.4 million victims of human trafficking living under coercion and exploitation in Nigeria, according to the International Organization for Migration. Yetumbe Abraham was one of them; she was tricked by a close relative with an offer in Germany, she told VOA news. After agreeing to the offer, she was trafficked to Libya for prostitution to make money for her traffickers. She was there for six years.


Where Do Victims End Up?

Although half of the several hundreds of thousands of Nigerians in Europe live in the United Kingdom, Italy is host to the second-largest group of Nigerians and is the most important destination for Nigerian victims of trafficking. According to IOM, the source of victims is predominantly from Edo State with Benin City identified as the main junction for prostitution-related emigration.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Anambra State In Nigerian Politics

 By Chuks Iloegbunam

Anambra is one of Nigeria’s 36 states. In size, it is the second smallest after Lagos, measuring only 4,844 km2. Lagos State is 3,577 km2. But Kaduna, Kano, Kogi States are 46,053 km2 , 20,131 km2  and 29,833 km2  respectively. Despite its tininess, however, Anambra’s motto of Light Of The Nation is true in many respects. 

Compared to all other states, Anambra people have shone the brightest in all positive forms of human endeavor – academics, business, politics, sports etc. Olaudah Equiano, the writer and abolitionist came from Esseke, in Anambra State. So did Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the doyen of Nigerian journalism and the first President of Nigeria who played a pivotal role in the attainment of political independence from Britain in 1960. Chinua Achebe was from Anambra as were countless other notable novelists, including Chukwuemeka Ike, Nkem Nwankwo, Onuorah Nzekwu. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is from Anambra.

Why APGA Should Remain Eternally Grateful To Peter Obi

 By Ifeanyi Maduako

Recently, the national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Oye, was reportedly quoted in the media as saying that former Governor Peter Obi would never make progress again in politics unless he returned to APGA. 

*Obi

If the reports were anything to go by, he was apparently mocking Mr. Peter Obi following the outcome of the recently concluded Anambra governorship election in which his party’s candidate, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, was declared as the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. Chief Oye has the liberty to celebrate the victory of his party at the polls, but does Peter Obi deserve mockery and invective from APGA members?

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

There Were Unknown Soldiers Before There Are Unknown Gunmen

 By Owei Lakemfa

I passed in front of the University of Abuja, UNIABUJA Staff Quarters on Sunday, October 31, 2021 on my way from the Nigeria Media Merit Award programme in Lokoja. As I did, my mind raced back to the issue of insecurity I had raised three days earlier during my keynote address to the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Bauchi Zone Summit on the state of the nation.

I had paused to ask the audience at the Abubakar Tafawa-Balewa University, Bauchi venue what the university population was. “Thirty thousand” was the reply.

I had then said it was preposterous to me if a dozen or two dozen bandits were to arrive on the campus, and all we do is run away, allowing the gunmen to round up as many persons as possible and herd them like cows into the forest or the hills and then place hefty ransom demands on the captives.

Re: There Were Unknown Soldiers Before Unknown Gunmen

 By Femi Falana

In concluding his brilliant article on Unknown Soldiers Before Unknown Gunmen”, Owei Lakemfa referred to the verdict of a tribunal which claimed that the Ransome-Kuti’s residence was set ablaze by an “unknown soldier”.

*Falana 

The Supreme Court of Nigeria questioned the verdict for blaming the “unknown soldier” in place of the State whose soldiers had perpetrated the crime. Thus, in the leading judgement of the apex court in the celebrated case of Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti & Ors v Attorney-General of the Federation (1985) 1 NWLR (Pt 6) 124, Kayode Eso JSC said: “This immunity attaching to the State in this country is sad.” The learned trial judge who took evidence described the scene that day as “hell let loose” and this he had set out in his analysis of the evidence.

Chinua Achebe: The Eagle On Iroko At 91

 By DAN AMOR   

Prof. Albert Chinualumogu Achebe, easily one of the world's most popular and celebrated novelists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries would have turned 91 years today having been born on November 16, 1930. Yet, amidst the torrent of tributes and acclamations that heralded the transition of Professor Achebe to higher glory on March 21, 2013 (more than 8 years ago), at Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, some hacks or literary kill-joys still found space to circulate that Achebe’s style of writing and literary philosophy were not original or sophisticated enough to attract the sympathy of the Nobel Committee.  

Achebe 

That is to say that the whole gamut of Achebe’s literary corpus was not deserving of the Nobel Prize for literature. Whereas the import of this anniversary piece is not about the politics of Achebe’s world view as a global citizen, no amount of false-hood and propaganda can diminish the fact that he was one of the most cited twentieth-century thinkers and quintessential intellectuals. While this may not be surprising for a man who had authored one of the most influential novels in world literature – and had changed the way the world at large appreciates the African cosmology and ontology – Chinua Achebe remains a conundrum to most people.  

Monday, November 15, 2021

Unknown Disease Putting Women At Risk Of Cancer

 By Tijani Salami

I was talking to a fellow physician a few days ago that had recently treated a 70-year-old woman with cervical cancer.

Upon examination it turned out she was infected with schistosomiasis, a parasitic worm, commonly known as bilharzia. It is quite likely that her long-term infection with the schistosomiasis parasite had caused her cervical cancer.  She died a few months later.

Currently a group of doctors from tertiary hospitals across Nigeria are leading an awareness campaign on Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS). They started the campaign because they realized that many women are not being diagnosed at primary or secondary health care facilities. It is only when they present at tertiary hospitals, often with cancer symptoms, that FGS are being diagnosed. Women have reported that FGS is rarely mentioned when they are treated for infections at primary healthcare centers and many healthcare workers are simply not aware of the disease – which can be easily prevented.

In fact, millions of Nigerian women are at risk of serious reproductive health complications as a result of exposure to schistosomiasis. In English it is commonly known as bilharzia but is also known as Àt̀s í Ajá in Yoruba, Tsargiya in Hausa and Avàrà or Etu in Igbo. It is a chronic water borne disease caused by parasitic worms and Nigeria has the highest burden of the disease in Africa, with reports across the 36 states and the Federal capital. Infection can occur through the skin by coming into contact with water contaminated with the parasites, and children are often infected while swimming or collecting water. Women are also at risk as they are more likely to take washing to infected creeks or rivers, and to fetch and carry water for the household. Urban women and girls are also susceptible when washing or bathing in contaminated water.

Because the symptoms of the disease mimic those of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or urinary tract infections (UTIs) such as vaginal discharge, blood in the urine and abdominal and pelvic pain, most cases are misdiagnosed in our clinics. If untreated, FGS causes infertility, spontaneous abortion, ectopic pregnancy, genital ulcers and increases risk of HIV transmission and cancer of the cervix. There is no national data on the prevalence of the disease but it is reportedly affecting about 56 million African women and girls globally. If Nigeria is the most affected country in Africa, our numbers are bound to be very high.

Currently there are no public health interventions in Nigeria targeting FGS and ultimately a comprehensive approach will be needed to eliminate this disease by ensuring all Nigerians have access to clean safe water and sanitation. But we do not have to wait to stop this disease from damaging one more woman. Preventive doses of Praziquantel, administered every 6-12 months from childhood through adult life would dramatically reduce infections and the terrible burden it is placing on Nigerian women. The cost of such treatment is less than 300 naira ($1) and is readily available with no adverse effects.

In my health outreach work in rural communities, I have already adopted a preventive strategy, encouraging all girls and women to take Praziquantel as part of our deworming project. We have already seen a reduction in STIs and pelvic infections, and fewer hospital visits.

A few weeks ago the Federal Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ohanire said that 122 million Nigerians are at the risk from 15 Neglected Tropical Diseases of which schistosomiasis is one. The minister said that the diseases are devastating, but are barely mentioned in the media. I was pleased to hear the minister call on the media to ensure there is greater awareness of NTDs, but even he failed to mention Female Genital Schistosomiasis. The current strategic programme on NTDs , which includes schistosomiases, doesn’t specifically address FGS, perpetuating the myth that schistosomiasis is a disease that mainly affects children and men.

We must make FGS a public health priority with a combination of mass drug administration and education. It is time for Nigeria’s Ministry of Health to develop a comprehensive strategy for the elimination of FGS including raising awareness of the disease and its treatment, distributing Prazinquantel routinely to all children and adults, and commencing FSG screening for all women alongside cervical cancer screening.

Additionally, the government should invest directly in NTD prevention and treatment rather than rely on foreign partners to do this work, collaborate with educational leaders to teach FSG prevention in school health programmes and ultimately make the provision of clean water and sanitation a health priority for all Nigerians.

Female Genital Schistosomiasis is a serious public health problem in Nigeria that can be easily prevented. We owe it to the women and girls of this country to raise awareness of the disease and take immediate steps to address it. This is an achievable goal if our leaders are willing to take action.

*Dr Salami is a physician, sexual and reproductive health expert and founder of Sisters Caregivers Project Initiative, which provides medical and social support for women and advocates for an end to child marriage and maternal malnutrition. @DrSalamiTijani1

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Disruptions At The Federal Ministry Of Industry, Trade & Investment

 By Ikechukwu Alozie 

There is no end in sight to the extent to which politicians can go to disrupt any system or process that does not favour their perfidious and nefarious plans. Our investigation has revealed that the plot to remove the Permanent Secretary of the ministry is purely political, no more no less. In abroad, the ministry  of industry, trade and investment, like the ministry of foreign affairs, is like the gateway to any country.  

Consequently, the ministry of industry, trade and investment, in other shores, is like countries' major international airports, with arrival and departure halls, very clean and massively beautified. In other countries, the ministry of industry, trade and investment is a place where records are kept in its most cautionary validity and visibility devoid, of corruption. In that ministry, workers wear their best character because they reflect the conduct of the country's workforce to the international community. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Nigeria: Oil Rich, Energy Poor

 By Jerry Uwah

A CNN report last week derisively tagged Nigeria as a country that is oil rich but energy poor. The global television news network was referring to Nigeria’s abysmal electric power supply situation. It lamented that even the oil wealth might be hampered by a recent decision of the leading world powers which rose from a gathering on climate change in Glasgow, Scotland in the United Kingdom of Great Britain with a firm resolve to drastically curtail investment in fossil fuel exploration and exploitation in a desperate bid to halt the millions of tons of carbon dioxide spewed into the air from the burning of fossil fuel.

Nigeria has a notoriety for abysmal electricity supply in the whole world. The World Bank recently celebrated Nigeria’s deplorable electricity supply situation by declaring it the country with the highest number of people without access to electricity.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

When God Visits A Beleaguered World

 By William F. Kumuyi

I did say in my last State of the Nation intervention essay published in October in most of Nigeria’s leading newspapers and worldwide in the social media that while God expects the state and its institutions of administration to attend to secular matters, He is nonetheless interested in fairness, equity and justice as man discharges those obligations. Man’s challenges in various shapes of crime, insurrection, corruption, climate change, youth restiveness, collapse of moral norms, pandemics, sectarian intolerance, wars etc., are all a consequence of our failure to meet our Creator’s demands.

*Kumuyi

Where justice or fairness is denied its centrality in our relationships, whether in the Church or outside it, the victims would always fall into the ensnaring and extirpating embrace of the devil. He is perpetually on standby to feed on man’s quest to right perceived wrongs through ways not prescribed by Heaven. It is safe, then, to conclude that although Satan is the infamous author of all evil assaulting mankind, man is his inseparable accomplice on account of his wilful alienation from the Lord manifesting in his rejection of His laws.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Who Is Governor Lalong Trying To Please?

 By Charles Okoh

It is difficult to fathom whose interest Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, is out to serve. Governor Lalong for some inexplicable reasons has chosen to look away while the once peaceful state has been turned into a huge killing field. Lalong’s personal ambition, it seems, has left him satisfied with the albatross he carries around in the name of being the chairman of the Northern States’ Governors Forum and his desire not to upset the presidency, even in the face of a clear threat to exterminate the people of the state.

*Lalong 

June 2018, over 100 people were killed in Gindi Akwati, Ruku, Kura, Rapps, Kinshan, Gengere, Heipang, and Gana Ropp areas of the state. The gory incident forced Governor Lalong, who was in Abuja to attend the All Progressives Congress (APC) national convention, to abandon the convention and return home to attend to the situation.

Ken Saro-Wiwa And The Ogoni Conundrum

 By Dan Amor

This week (Wednesday November 10, 2021, to be specific) indubitably marks the 26th anniversary of the tragic death of Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa and eight of his Ogoni kinsmen, in the evil hands of professional hangmen who sneaked into Port Harcourt from Sokoto in the cover of darkness. We were at the national convention of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) in the auditorium of the University of Lagos when the news came to us with a rude shock that our immediate past President then had been killed by the State under the watchful eyes of Gen. Sani Abacha who was head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

*Ken Saro-Wiwa 

By his death, the Abacha-led military junta had demonstrated, in shocking finality, to the larger world, that it was guided by the most base, most callous of instincts. As a student of Nigerian history, and of the literature of the Nigerian Civil War, I am adequately aware that Ken Saro-Wiwa, against the backdrop of our multicultural complexities allegedly worked against his own region during the War, the consequences of which he would have regretted even in his grave. 


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