Saturday, April 30, 2011
The Real Heroes of the 2011 Elections in Nigeria
The incumbent and reelected President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and Professor Attahiru Muhammadu Jega, Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)) have been receiving accolades for the overall conduct of the 2011 elections in spite of the terrifying and horrifying post election violence caused by the allegations of electoral malpractices and recurrent acts of terrorism propelled by Islamic fundamentalism. But those who truly deserve the accolades are not Mr. Jonathan or Prof. Jega, but the patriotic Nigerian voters who thronged the polling booths to cast their votes regardless of the weather, risks of being attacked by unpatriotic political opportunists and their hired thugs. These millions of patriotic Nigerian voters in every state of the federation are the real heroes of the 2011 elections and the standard bearers of democracy and governance in Nigeria.
“Ultimately, it was the judgment on the fairness of the election process by the Nigerian people that is most important. The various international observer organizations have pronounced the elections as credible, but it was the words of a driver yesterday that appeared to echo the sentiment of most Nigerians, "We did it this time!"
~ William Strassberger, a Public Affairs Officer in the Bureau of African Affairs of US STATE DEPARTMENT
The President of Nigeria and Chairman of INEC had their glaring shortcomings in the most important challenge of the elections, SECURITY of the lives and properties of Nigerian voters. They both failed even when they were duly warned of the dangers before the elections. If one single Nigerian voter Adamu Bologi who is a devout Muslim could be so brave to dare to risk his precious life by confronting the ruthless marauding lunatics on rampage and using words of persuasion to appeal to them and succeeded in saving the threatened lives of his Christian neighbours in the conflagration of the post presidential election violence, then what stopped the well armed Nigerian police and army from preventing the murder of over 500 innocent Nigerians if they were doing their ultimate duty of policing the streets, guarding voters at the polling booths or polling stations and other places and making sure that there was no breakdown of law and order?
The Nigerian voters, and the hundreds of innocent citizens who sacrificed their precious lives in the post election violence are the real heroes we should celebrate and remember in the history of Nigeria.
~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima
Friday, April 29, 2011
29 Apr 2011 16:34 Africa/Lagos
Most Americans Not Willing to Pay to Read News Content Online
Even fewer than said they would pay 15 months ago
NEW YORK, April 29, 2011
NEW YORK, April 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As businesses explore best practices for success in the changing landscape created by the Internet, some companies have discussed charging for access to online content that was previously free. Some media outlets have discussed doing this, and The New York Times recently began charging online readers who view over 20 articles per month. But there may be trouble ahead as a recent Adweek/Harris Poll found that a large majority said they would be willing to pay "nothing" per month to read a daily newspaper's content online (80%). Of the one in five who would pay, 14% said they would pay between $1 and $10 per month while very few said that they would be willing to pay between $11 and $20 (4%) or more than $20 per month (2%).
These are some of the findings of a new Adweek/ Harris Poll, survey of 2,105 U.S. adults surveyed online between March 29 and 31, 2011 by Harris Interactive.
Interestingly, while online paywalls are becoming more common, fewer people say they would be willing to pay to read content online now, than said so in late 2009—20% say they would be willing to pay for a daily newspaper's content online today, compared to 23% who said so in December 2009.
Other findings of the recent poll include:
* Younger adults are more likely than those older to pay for a daily newspaper's content online—over a quarter of adults aged 18-34 say they would (26%) compared to between 15% and 18% of all other age groups;
* Men are more willing to pay than women are—a quarter of men say they would (25%) with 18% saying they would pay between $1 and $10 per month, while only 15% of women say they would pay anything to read a daily newspaper's content online; and,
* The more education a person has the more likely they are to be willing to pay to read a daily newspaper's content online—over a quarter of college graduates say they would pay (28%) compared to one in five people who have attended some college (19%) and just 15% who have not attended any college at all.
Currently several major publications charge readers for their content online including the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and most recently The New York Times . Unfortunately it seems that as these companies are adapting to a business environment increasingly dominated by the Internet, their readers are slower to embrace, or are resistant to, certain changes, especially when it comes to paying for something that has been free for so long. This raises several questions and areas for more research, including: how many Americans rely on the Internet for their news content, how particular are Americans about what publication or source they go to for their news, and, how do people think that media companies with large online presences should pay for the work that they do.
Click here for the complete details.
President Barack Obama named CIA Director Leon Panetta as his nominee to succeed Robert Gates at the Pentagon, with Gen. David Petraeus chosen to succeed Panetta at the CIA. Jon Decker reports.
© 2011 Reuters
President Barack Obama and his security chiefs.
The San Francisco Chronicle provoked the White House after the paper posted an unauthorized video of a protest at a San Francisco fundraiser for President Obama last week. This could be connected to reshuffling of the security team since coverage of events at the White House is within the purview of national security. In such matters, the White House cannot be queried if national security is at risk. And posting an unauthorized video of such an event could be inappropriate. No reporter should be allowed to compromise or violate the security procedures of the White House as stated by Office of the Press Secretary on August 18, 2010.
Islamic Terrorism Or Lunatic Muslims On Rampage?
If there is anything the repressive Arab regimes of the middle east and north Africa and the traditional institutions in parts of northern Nigeria share, it is the deliberate misinterpretation of Islam to hold on to power while abusing human rights and dignity. There is often a convenient convergence of culture and the clergy to perpetuate this fraud on the people. In Saudi Arabia, less than 1,000 princes and members of the royal family control a country that earns about $1 billion every day when oil prices climb above 100 dollars a barrel.
~ By Salisu Suleiman
April 29, 2011 01:18AMT
Islamic Terrorism is is defined by Wikipedia as "a term for acts of terrorism committed by extremist Muslims for the purpose of achieving varying political and/or religious ends."
The history of Islamic Terrorism is as old as the religion of Islam and trying to separate the sheep from the goats as Mr. Suleiman has attempted is not as simple as ABC, because terrorism is an instrument of violent agitation for the realization of a cause, no matter the purpose and the question of its justification is subject to the interpretation of the terrorists and their apologists.
Osama bi Laden in a 1998 photograph
The gory images of the horrors of Islamic Terrorism have been haunting the world from the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the United States since the 1970's to date The horrors have become recurrent nightmares in our lives. The history of humankind will not be complete without the inclusion of the atrocities of the Al-Qaeda of Osama Bin Laden.
FORENSIC FORCE: ‘Arab awakening' in Arewa? by Salisu Suleiman is on the website of the 234 Next on April 29, 2011 01:18AMT. It is worth reading, because it is perhaps the most critical analysis of the political crisis plaguing Nigeria of which the most recent is the last post election violence in some northern states after the disputed results of the presidential election of April 16, 2011. The lunatic fringe of Muslim youths revolted against the victory of President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the southern state of Bayelsa, because he defeated their fellow Muslim and northern hero Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd), a former military head of state.
You can also read my own report on The Causes and Consequences of the 2011 Post Election Violence in Nigeria.
~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima
The Royal Wedding of Prince William & Catherine Middleton on Friday April 29, 2011.
Prince William greets Kate Middleton as she arrives at the alter with her father Michael Middleton, prior to their marriage in London's Westminster Abbey, Friday April 29 2011. (AP / Dominic Lipinsk)
Philips Livable Cities Award: Left to right: Harry Hendriks, CEO of Philips Electronics, Sabrina Faber, Overall Winner and Richard Florida, Chair of Supervisory Panel.
28 Apr 2011 11:19 Africa/Lagos
Innovative Thinkers From Across the Globe Awarded Grants to Address Significant Challenges Faced by City Living
AMSTERDAM, April 28, 2011/PRNewswire/ --
- Philips Awards EUR125,000 to Help Make Cities More Livable
Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) has today announced the winners of the Philips Livable Cities Award, a global initiative designed to generate innovative, meaningful and achievable ideas to improve the health and well-being of city-dwellers across the world.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20110428/452767 )
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20110428/452767-b )
The overall winner of the Award, announced at a gala ceremony held at the world famous Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, was named as Sabrina Faber from Sana'a, Yemen, for her idea 'Rainwater Aggregation in Sana'a'.
Sabrina's idea was praised by the supervisory panel for its unique approach to modifying existing structures in Sana'a to capture, filter and store rooftop rainwater. Through her scheme, Sabrina hopes to help solve the water shortages commonly experienced in the city during dry spells, whilst providing clean drinking water. This could potentially result in significant health benefits for the whole population.
Sabrina will receive a EUR75,000 grant from Philips to enable her to realize her vision.
Richard Florida, Professor, Author and Chair of the Philips Livable Cities Award supervisory panel, commented: "What really impressed us with Sabrina's scheme was the proposed execution of a relatively simple concept that will have such a significant impact on the lives of so many people across the city of Sana'a. We're looking forward to seeing her idea come to life and improving the health and well-being of the residents of Sana'a."
Two additional winners will each receive EUR25,000 for their practical, implementable ideas.
Manuel Rapoport, from Buenos Aires, Argentina was recognized for his 'Plaza Movil Street Park' idea. This would see Buenos Aires' streets temporarily closed to traffic during weekends and public holidays and portable playground equipment and benches used to convert them into recreational spaces for people of all ages.
James Kityo of Kampala, Uganda, will use his grant to develop his Shade Stands project. Waiting for transport under hot sun, or in torrential rain with no shelter is a situation that the people of Kampala know only too well. The Shade Stands will provide vital protection in particular for nursing mothers and babies, and the elderly.
Other finalists come from Argentina, Kenya, Nigeria, the UK and the USA, representing a truly global picture of the solutions offered to city-dwellers across the world.
All eight finalists and their ideas for providing unique and original solutions were showcased and celebrated at the Award ceremony in Amsterdam. The event was attended by leading experts, dignitaries, and government officials from the Benelux region.
"We recognize the tremendous effort invested by both the winners of the Philips Livable Cities Award and the other finalists in developing their submissions. Philips is proud to be associated with the imagination and vision they have all displayed and offer our congratulations and thanks in the 2010-2011 Award's first year," said Katy Hartley, Director of the Philips Center for Health & Well-being and member of the Philips Livable Cities Award supervisory panel."
For 2011-2012 Philips is committed to building on the program's strengths to further recognize meaningful innovations which make a real difference to people's lives.
The winners will work with Philips and program mentors to help realize their ideas in their local communities.
More information about the winning entries and the progress of each project can be found by visiting http://www.because.philips.com/.
Information regarding The Philips Livable Cities Award is widely available in the social media space. For more information and updates on the initiative, including video coverage, interviews and live updates, please use the following resources:
- Social Media Release: http://bit.ly/fXpzhP
- Twitter: http://bit.ly/Livable-Cities-Twitter
- YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/livablecities
- Facebook: http://on.fb.me/Philips-Facebook
- Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=3159466
Notes to Editors:
About Philips Livable Cities Award
- The Philips Livable Cities Award is a global initiative designed to encourage people to develop practical, achievable ideas for improving the health and well-being of people in cities - ideas which can be translated into reality.
- The Award was open to individuals, community groups, NGOs and businesses.
- More than 450 ideas from 29 countries were entered into the competition.
- Entries are grouped into three categories, exploring how best to improve health and well-being in our cities:
- Well-being Outdoors: Initiatives that will help make citizens feel safe and secure in public spaces, or help create city identity and foster a sense of belonging;
- Independent Living: Initiatives that will help the growing number of elderly people living alone to feel secure and comfortable in a city, and/or enable them to live longer at home with the appropriate access to healthcare;
- Healthy Lifestyle at Work and Home: Initiatives that will support a healthy body and mind, whether through a person's surroundings or other essentials such as exercise, sleep and diet.
About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people's lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of "sense and simplicity". Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs about 117,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 22.3 billion in 2010, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at http://www.philips.com/newscenter.
For further information, please contact: Marie-Helene Azar, Philips Corporate Communications Officer, Tel: +31(0)20-59-77426, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, April 28, 2011
InMobi infographic summarizing results: 35% choose Mobile as No.1 digital shopping tool in US. (PRNewsFoto/InMobi)
27 Apr 2011 14:00 Africa/Lagos
Shopping From Mobile Device More Popular Than PC
35% choose Mobile as No.1 digital shopping tool in US
SAN MATEO, Calif., April 27, 2011
SAN MATEO, Calif., April 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, InMobi, the world's largest independent mobile ad network, revealed that shoppers prefer browsing and buying goods and services from their mobile over their PC. The study*, conducted among consumers using the mobile Internet, found that half of shoppers still prefer hitting the stores (49%) but over a third are now comfortable with shopping from their pocket (35%) and only 16% prefer shopping from their PC or laptop, highlighting the clear shift to 'shopping on the move.'
Results from the study support data showing the mobile shopping market doubled in revenue from $1.2bn** in 2009 to a staggering $2.4bn** in 2010 in the US alone. InMobi predicts growth to skyrocket over the coming year to an estimated $9bn**.
Commenting on the study, James Lamberti, VP Global Research & Marketing at InMobi, commented, "Mobile shopping is already commonplace with one in four Americans influenced by or purchasing goods from their mobile devices. It's an exciting time for the consumer, retailer, and manufacturer as mobile shopping solutions will become more intelligent and compelling to use. The clear consumer acceptance has opened huge opportunities in the world of mobile advertising. "
Most popular purchases from mobile devices in the US:
Product % Buying
Mobile Content/Games - 42%
Consumer Electronics - 19%
Apparel - 15%
Entertainment Tickets - 13%
Travel - 12%
Other - 4%
A sizeable 74 million US citizens – almost one in four – of the total 310 million consumers currently shop on their mobile phone. InMobi uncovered similar trends in the UK and predicts that take-up of shopping on mobile will be consistent in both markets.
Full results of the study, conducted in 14 countries among 15,000 consumers, will be released in a global research roadshow to leading agencies, brands, analysts, and journalists. For further information, please visit www.inmobi.com
*InMobi research based on approximately 2,500 mobile phone users.
**InMobi prediction for 2011 based on company insight and past ABI Research for 2009 and 2010: http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2010/02/17/mobile-shopping-in-us-will-grow-to-24-billion-this-year-abi-research
About the Study
The study, entitled "A Global Consumer Perspective on Mobile Shopping", was conducted among 15,000 consumers in 14 countries in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia during February and March 2011. Consumers participated in the study directly through their mobile devices offering the mobile ecosystem a point of view on mobile shopping among mobile Internet users. Detailed results from the 12 question, 4 minute survey, will be provided in a series of research roadshows with influential agency, brand, analyst, and press participating in New York City, San Francisco, London, Singapore, Sydney, Paris, Milan, Berlin, Nairobi, Johannesberg, Dehli, and Mumbai. Interested parties should contact InMobi for more details at research@InMobi.com
InMobi is the world's largest independent mobile advertising network. With offices on four continents, it provides advertisers, publishers and developers with a uniquely global solution for advertising. Its network is growing fast and now delivers the unprecedented ability to reach 220 million consumers, in over 125 countries, through more than 31.9 billion mobile ad impressions monthly. InMobi was recently selected as the 2010 AlwaysOn Global 250 Company to Watch in Silicon Valley.
InMobi is venture-backed with marquee investors including: Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers and Sherpalo Ventures. The company has offices in London, San Francisco, Bangalore, Tokyo, and Singapore.
To learn more, please visit www.InMobi.com/research, follow us on Twitter @InMobi, or read our blog at www.inmobi.com/inmobiblog/
Dan Gamble, +1-415-598-8902, email@example.com, for InMobi US
Web Site: http://www.inmobi.com/
This is an itinerant nomadic Fulani woman who is a native herbalist hawking on the streets of Lagos in Nigeria. I met with her in front of my office on Thursday April 28, 2011. She allowed me to photograph her and she is just one of the numerous nomadic Hausa Fulani women who have been hawking medicinal herbs for decades.
About the Hausa Fulani people:
rimary language: Fulfulde (90% speakers)
Second language: Hausa
Third language: Tamajaq
People Name: Fulani
Primary Language: Fulfulde
Ethnologue Code: FUE
Dialects: Kano-Katsina-Bororro (Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria), Bagirmi, Sokoto The Fulani people of West Africa are the largest nomadic group in the world.
Total People: 15 million Fulani with 100,000 Wodaabe
Urban Percent: 10% Fulani
Countries: Niger 1 million; Mali 1 million; Cameroon 700,000; Burkina Faso 500,000; Benin 230,000; Sudan 100,000; Togo 50,000; Central African Republic 25,000; Ghana 5,000; Nigeria 11 million. (Wodaabe: more than 40,000 in Niger and about 25,000 in Chad).
DG of NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema
Onyema calls for Market Transparency as PanAfrican Capital Plc sponsors 2011 Nigerian- South African Chamber of commerce breakfast forum
By Ingram Osigwe
The Nigerian-South African Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday April 20 held its April 2011 Breakfast Forum. The Speaker at this edition was Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, Director General, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)
Mr. Oscar Onyema, spoke on his vision for the capital market to include transparency, Innovation and liquidity. Speaking at the breakfast forum, Sponsored by PanAfrican Capital Plc, Onyema explained that his intension was to position the Nigerian capital market not only as a gateway to African frontier market but also a leading exchange for capital formation.
The NSE boss assured that his management would deploy such drivers of success at the exchange as organizational efficiency and fair level playing field for all participants in order to restore confidence in the market.
The DG of NSE with some members of staff of PAC.
He revealed that the plans of the exchange is to use better regulatory initiatives to attract more capitalization through new issues of from other sectors of the economy including the telecoms industry, adding that the market can do with significant foreign inflows but “ we are not looking for the high frequency trading”. Besides working with government to enthrone friendly policies, the new boss made it clear that new policies and procedures targeted at ensuring qualitative disclosure were best for the market at this point in time.
“Look at the market as a long term investment window instead of a speculative one,” Onyema further advised investors.
Mr Emeka Akwuaka, Company Secretary PanAfrican Capital Plc with the DG of NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema.
Mr. Eugene Ezenwa, MD CEO PAC Securities ltd and Mr Lanre Bakare, Head, Strategy and corporate Planning
He said the capital market was in need of market makers that would help to deepen it and improve liquidity.
"We will look at operational efficiency so that when you want to move a large chunk of stocks or bonds, you can do that easily without impacting on the price of the security, Said Mr. Onyema.
Mr. Onyema said the absence of market makers was affecting market liquidity.
"How do we make sure that securities have a standing bid and offer at any point in time? How do we get market makers that have the right depth and knowledge to provide liquidity in our market place? That is what we are looking at right now," he said
Managing Director/CEO of PAC Securities Limited, Chief Eugene Ezenwa, said the vision of the new CEO of NSE was going to affect the market positively, if well implemented.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Chevron Scrubs Lawsuit to Block Ecuador Award
~ By Adam Klasfeld
MANHATTAN (CN) April 22 - With little fanfare, Chevron dropped a charge from their racketeering lawsuit against an attorney who helped engineer an environmental case that resulted in an $18 billion judgment against the company in Ecuador.
As the parties are gearing up for a November trial in Manhattan to block the award, Chevron filed a proposed amended complaint on Thursday that removes attorney Steven Donziger as a party to one of the counts.
Donziger, however, is not too happy about the change, as it could prevent him from participating in a trial to determine whether the judgment he secured is enforceable.
Chevron spokesman Kent Robertson told Courthouse News that it made the change because Donziger does not "have a dog in that fight." He added that the Ecuadoreans can seek any lawyer they want to defend the judgment.
After Chevron filed the amended complaint, a spokeswoman for Donziger's Ecuadorean clients said that Chevron was engaging in an "un-American" bid to interfere with the attorney's due-process rights. Spokeswoman Karen Hinton added in an interview that Chevron's explanation was "complete nonsense."
Not only does Donziger have a dog in the fight, he is the central figure of Chevron's basis for attacking the judgment, Hinton said.
Well before the Lago Agrio, Ecuador, court entered its Feb. 14 verdict against Chevron, the oil giant condemned the proceedings there as fraudulent, and it accused of Donziger of acting like an organized crime leader in how he handled the case on behalf of Ecuadorean natives.
On Feb. 1, Chevron filed a federal lawsuit against Donziger and several other defendants in Manhattan, accusing them of violating anti-racketeering law, a statute originally conceived to deter mob bosses and gangsters. The lawsuit named dozens of other defendants from the Ecuadorean trial for counts fraud, conspiracy, tortious interference and related counts.
By March, Chevron had asked U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan to grant an early trial on Count 9 of the lawsuit, seeking a judgment declaring the $18 billion award unenforceable.
San Francisco-based attorney John Keker, who represents Donziger, said that Chevron was trying to interfere with his client's constitutional rights to fair trial.
Chevron has received the lion's share of rulings in Judge Kaplan's court, and this maneuver proved no different. In granting the request for a separate trial on Count 9, Kaplan said it was the key claim of Chevron's complaint.
"The core of this case is the issue of the enforceability of the Judgment outside of Ecuador," Kaplan wrote on April 15. "Once that issue is decided, one way or the other, it is likely that the rest of the case will vanish or at least pale in significance."
Days after Kaplan issued the order, Chevron amended its original complaint, adding new evidence and quietly dropping Donziger from Count 9.
In an ironic twist, Donziger, who has spent months blasting the "false and malicious" allegations against him, apparently want this charge to stand, for now.
Hinton, the Ecuadoreans' spokeswoman, says that Chevron is "petrified" to face off against Donziger's lawyer, Keker, who recently won a sex-discrimination jury trial against Chevron in California.
A footnote of Kaplan's April 15 order suggests Chevron has been planning to eliminate Donziger from the count, and that Kaplan may support the motion.
"Attorney Donziger, for example, is named as a defendant on Count 9," the order states. "Nevertheless, Chevron already has asserted that only the LAPs [Lago Agrio plaintiffs] and the Amazon Defense Front are entitled to contest the declaratory judgment claim because only they are judgment creditors. ... They have indicated also that either the Court or Chevron could drop him as a defendant on that count. ... While the Court does not now express a view on these matters, it is appropriate to recognize that changes in the parties may be in the offing and that those changes, should they occur, could further reduce or eliminate any overlap of proof."
Robertson, the Chevron spokesman, said Chevron dropped the charge based on "some observations that Judge Kaplan made in prior orders."
"The people who own the judgment are the named plaintiffs," Robertson said. "The [Ecuadorean] plaintiffs, or the Frente, could use any attorney on the planet, but Donziger doesn't have a dog in that fight. ... Donziger and his chosen counsel will have every opportunity to explain his misconduct."
Hinton was incredulous about Chevron's explanation in a phone interview.
"Chevron is accusing Steven Donzinger of orchestrating the fraud that would lead to the judgment not being enforceable," Hinton said, adding, "He doesn't have a dog in that fight?"
"To prevent Donziger from defending himself, Chevron is engaging in un-American behavior to deny due process to a litigant just like the company has tried to deny due process to thousands of its victims in Ecuador," Hinton said in a statement.
A trial date has been set for Nov. 14.
Some NYSC members on national service for INEC during the 2011 Elections
President Jonathan on the National Youth Service Corps Members: “will do what is right” including Professional Mental Health Counseling
Our world has a long history of election violence but what makes the April 2011 Nigeria election violence distinct is the reported horrifying death of some National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members.
How many of them actually got slaughtered, severely disfigured, vanished in the bushes or yet to be found remain unknown given our fragile intelligence and forensic power but we know that a good number of service corps members died in various riots across the predominantly Muslim northern States.
As young men and women serving in Nigeria’s National Youth Service Corps, a mandatory yearlong service, doing their civic work, little did they know that some of them will fall victim to deadly rioting that tailed the presidential election in particular.
As part of their calling they were helping to run polling stations but most of these corps members happened to be of the Christian and Southern stock resulting in their been murdered, set ablaze, raped and maimed.
These victims reportedly fell to the hands of angry Muslim mobs who saw themselves avenging against the Southern Christian President, Goodluck Jonathan the declared winner of the presidential vote of April 16th, 2011.
There is no doubt that the government will financially compensate many victims, and the families of the sacrificial victims or the dead, as well as give official recognition to the victims.
But what is needed now and more than ever is putting in place crisis-based psychotherapy or counseling plans.
As soon as possible, we need professional form of mental health care assessing for brief and longer-term therapy for the possibly traumatized victims, their children and families.
Please note that this is not ‘Oyibo (White people) thing’ or plan as depression and anxiety knows no boundary when it comes to race, ethnic, religion or gender.
We will all agree that many victims of this huge and sudden trauma should not be alone to bear the psychological problems of these torturous and ferocious acts. The ones that are fortunate to be alive, and their families will need practical, insightful and humane way to deal with these traumatic worries.
Immediate crisis-based programs manned by competent psychologists, counselors, and clinicians across various regional human and social services agencies should be set up for the care of victims and their families as well as relatives.
In traumatic matters as it relates to this regional violence, feelings of irritation, apprehension, indecisiveness, hopelessness and other likes are expected and the successful management of these issues are essential.
The victims will gain greatly from counseling along with getting empathy, and a focus on the special needs of these vulnerable citizens will be helpful in the long term. The overall well being of these victims needs monitoring as many of them could be struggling with the effects of culture shock as many were reportedly victims of forced confinement, fire traumatization and explosive suffering.
The front line counselors and clinicians across what could be called or set up as Crisis Drop- in- Centers should be ready for and open to tolerance as they will be seeing persons with responses of all types which could include self-blame, fatigue, uneasiness, acute stress, insecurity, gloom, confusion and loss.
The federal and State governments should be aware that these violent occurrences will cause many non-Muslim northerners living in the north to possibly remain in a state of heightened anxiety both at work, school and in the marketplace. As such, their concerns about more violence should also be followed with various forms of actions like group counseling sessions, inter-community relations counseling, and a short tem neighborhood security or policing in highly sensitive areas of the North.
~ By John Oshodi
John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D., DABPS; FACFE; is a Licensed Clinical/Forensic Psychologist; Diplomate of American Board of Psychological Specialties; Fellow of American College of Forensic Examiners (For Psy); Former Interim Associate Dean and an Assistant Professor of Psychology, Broward College - North Campus, Coconut Creek, Florida.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
The Lamentation of an NYSC Member
What do we do? Is there possibility of free and fair? Every one raises an eyebrow, over what? A situation that is overlooked! I cannot help but cry for my nation. What a nation! I sleep and wake with the thought of how to make it better, free from all manners of catastrophe. But can I do it alone? How can me when even those that are supposed to lead for an onward match to sensitization and success are nowhere to be found. You deny your subjects their right, making unfulfilled promises year in year out. When can we truly realize these? I ask. Imagine a society free from social crisis. Whereby meaningful employment is made available at all levels both for graduates and non graduates. Providing food for all, especially for the poor, less privileged, handicapped and the destitute as well.
A stable and reasonable transport system,
Good roads maintenance, proper and effective education at all levels with sound practicability.
I cannot imagine myself in an island as an islander to make me understand no man is an island, yet you make me an island. What a contradiction.
I put it to you even if we are called to serve it does not in any way make you have the right to use and dump us, leaving us to our own fate. It indeed turns out fruitless.
Imagine a world whereby everybody is a master, what would be our fate? A question you need to answer.
Whether I am compelled or not to serve you, I shall serve you. Does that make me less human? No! Yet you make me and my entourages feel so bad.
You deny us the comfort that belongs to us. No accommodation, yet you call us a national/federal figure, when we are not the partakers of the national cake? We do not ask for much, a little accommodation, meaningful employment and all that need to be allocated to us just like you get your allocation allocated to us.
The truth of this matter is that there is the possibility of a free and fair positive change in our nation, Nigeria.
When you know your onions, dot your i’s and cross your t’s, you came across as a leader and reconsider the considerate, take proper actions, then we can boast of a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and not “National Yeye Service Corp (NYSC)” carrying out their duties with every credibility.
Nigerians, we are the genesis of our problems:
Stop the marginalization; refuse to be corrupted, so there can be true fairness, for a positive change. Brace up and be liberated or remain a second class citizen.
This is what you need to do. Play your roles with all diligence and credibility, so that we can have a better Nigeria, free from all manner of unnecessary liabilities.
May God help us.
~ By Geraldine Ijeoma Alozie
About the National Youth Service Corps
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE NYSC
The NYSC scheme was created in a bid to reconstruct, reconcile and rebuild the country after the Nigerian Civil war. The unfortunate antecedents in our national history gave impetus to the establishment of the National Youth Service Corps by decree No.24 of 22nd May 1973 which stated that the NYSC is being established "with a view to the proper encouragement and development of common ties among the youths of Nigeria and the promotion of national unity".
As a developing country. Nigeria is further plagued by the problems attendant upon a condition of under development, namely; poverty. mass illiteracy, acute shortage of high skilled manpower (coupled with most uneven distribution of the skilled people that are available), woefully inadequate socioeconomic infrastructural facilities, housing. Water and sewage facilities, road, health care services, and effective communication system. . Faced with these almost intractable problems, which were further compounded by the burden of reconstruction after the civil war, the government and people of Nigeria set for the country, fresh goals, and objectives aimed at establishing Nigeria as:
(a) a united, strong and self reliant nation:
(b) a great and dynamic economy;
(c) a land of bright and full opportunities for all citizens; and
(d) a free and democratic society.
President Goodluck Jonathan
How The Psychology of Dr. Jonathan’s Presidential Election Could Be About National Sensibility and Development
It will not be unusual to state that the April 16, 2011 presidential election of President Jonathan remains a non-default national outcome with a clear or given mandate which is richly suited to our current national needs; no matter how imperfect it may be to some quarters in the country or else where.
The Nigerian people are a mix of various ethnic, traditional and religious sentiments and these psychologies play a role as to how the President will appeal to the country’s common national identity, share our common interests and address the soul or mentality of those tied to the politics is ruthless divisions and selfishness.
President Jonathan knows that his newly found mandate is not only God-sent but anchored in the spirit of a people crying for progress in their general living conditions; a cry that began since the democratic year of 1999.
In spite of our class, political, religious and regional differences, somehow the Nigerian people for the most part, and for the first time, have presented the same eyes for a transformational type of leadership.
There appears to be is a sense of national confidence in this new President by many rural, urban and diaspora Nigerians who are looking forward to measurable changes, and clearer indicators in areas of concern such as public safety, joblessness, local terrorism, lowly governance, religious radicalism, inadequate law enforcement, monetary mismanagement, and other related problems.
It could be safe to say that for the next four years the nation could come under a smooth line of political stability without the fear of post-1960 independence experiences such as coups and anti-rule of law leadership.
Therefore, let this presidency be a tenure when Nigeria is no longer viewed as one of the most corrupt nation in the world. Let this time not just be a period of pledging to end corruption, advance economic and social reforms but a time when today’s Nigerians will look back and say it was a period when real changes were noted and transparently carried out in health, road, electricity, budget, contract, security and other domestic areas.
We want to see dramatic improvements in the rule of law, policing, penology, agriculture, infrastructure, professional work, and privatization.
The Nigerian people are looking to a presidency that will aggressively pursue private investment, and maintain less dependence on government aid in areas like education, public financing, regional development, agricultural production, and technical research or studies.
In the areas of trade and economics, Nigerians in the diaspora should be invested upon and re-directed back home to help in various areas of research and technical assistance.
This presidency should find a way to convince leaders in the incoming administration to fully pursue efficiency and time management if we are to ensure growth and development in public service and governance.
Under this presidency Nigerians should practice positive expectations since such national mindset will always result in societal promotion within our today’s global economy, as well as help the presidency avoid the extra ordinary weight of bearing the formidable problems involved in the Nigerian leadership.
It matters not if this period in Nigeria is proclaimed as the dawn of a new era, or the emergence of a new State. The question for all of us is the Jonathan Presidency going to get the Nigerian public's overwhelming support that could prepare and motivate the prime change that we will all appreciate?
~ By John Oshodi
John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D., DABPS; FACFE; is a Licensed Clinical/Forensic Psychologist; Diplomate of American Board of Psychological Specialties; Fellow of American College of Forensic Examiners (For Psy); Former Interim Associate Dean and an Assistant Professor of Psychology, Broward College - North Campus, Coconut Creek, Florida. firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, April 23, 2011
When Peter and the other apostle went home, Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb crying. Suddenly she saw Jesus standing there, but she did not recognize Him at first. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?" Mary thought He must be the gardener and said, "Sir, if you have taken Him away, tell me where, and I will take Him!" Jesus said, "Mary!" Then she recognized Him and exclaimed, "Master!"
Jesus said, "Don't hold on to me, because I have not yet returned to the Father. But go to my disciples and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"
Then Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord!", and she told them everything that had happened.
Easter - The Resurrection of Jesus
Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20-21, Acts 1
Photo Credit: Press S TV, 2011.
Nigeria: Post election violence suspects escape from Jail
The AFP reported Saturday that 12 of the suspects detained over the post-election violence have escaped after riot broke out in an overcrowded jail in northern Nigeria.
The controller of prisons in Adamawa state, Andrew Barka said 18 of the 600 arrested this week escaped but six were later captured.
"There was heavy congestion. The living conditions have worsened since the suspects were brought in," Barka told AFP.
"Therefore yesterday they went on riot, burning a section of our (training) workshop and injuring two wardens. Some of them tried to escape by scaling over the fence," Barka added.
Arrested suspects of the post election violence in Nigeria in April, 2007
The following is the rest of the report.
Rights groups estimate that more than 1,000 people have been arrested since the riots broke out after last weekend's election won by incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, a southern Christian.
Riots in several states in mainly Muslim northern Nigeria after the election claimed nearly 250 lives, according to a rights group, and displaced 74,000 people.
Military patrols and curfews have largely restored calm in the affected states.
Barka said the situation in Yola had been brought under control, dismissing local media speculation that the jailbreak may have been organized by suspected members of a radical sect based in the north.
An Islamist sect, Boko Haram, last year freed more than 700 prisoners during an attack in nearby Bauchi state.