Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Adele Postpones 5 Tour Dates Due to Illness


Adele


31 May 2011 12:00 Africa/Lagos

Adele Postpones 5 Tour Dates Due to Illness

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, May 31, 2011

NEW YORK, May 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Columbia Records -- British singer Adele, currently with the #1 album and single in the U.S., has been forced to postpone 5 dates on her current sold-out tour of North America due to laryngitis. The singer was diagnosed last Thursday in Minneapolis, MN, where doctors ordered immediate rest and postponement of that night's engagement at First Avenue (rescheduled for June 22nd). Adele performed on Saturday evening in Denver, CO (Ogden Theater) which proved too early a return to the stage. Adele's show last Sunday evening in Salt Lake City, UT (The Depot) was postponed last minute when her illness worsened. The Grammy-winning vocalist is also forced to postpone shows in Vancouver, BC (Orpheum Theatre) on May 31, Seattle, WA (Paramount Theatre) on June 1 and Portland, OR (Crystal Ballroom) on June 3. The tour will resume on June 4 (Greek Theatre Berkeley) in San Francisco, CA.

SOURCE Columbia Records

CONTACT: Benny Tarantini, +1-212-833-5858, benny.tarantini@sonymusic.com


4 Facts about Adele

1. Adele has matched Madonna as the female solo act with the most consecutive weeks at No 1. 21,the record set by Madonna's greatest hits collection more than two decades ago.

2. Adele is the first act since the Beatles to have two top five singles and two top five albums in the charts at the same time.

3. Adele’s 21’s sales are over 1,496,588 so far.

4. Adele is 22 years old.



Security Challenges in Nigeria


Nigerian soldiers on patrol in an area of conflict.


Security Challenges In Nigeria

~ By Albert Akpor

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan says he is determined to improve security in the country with a new administration that takes power with Sunday's inauguration.

Security was a driving issue in the presidential campaign following bomb blasts by militants from the oil-rich Niger Delta and attacks on police by members of an extremist Islamic group in the north.

President Jonathan campaigned hard to convince Nigerians that his government was meeting those security challenges. But rioting that immediately followed his election raised anew questions about security preparedness. The New York-based rights organization Human Rights Watch says Muslim-Christian electoral violence in northern states killed at least 800 people. President Jonathan says he is determined to protect Nigerians wherever they live.

“As president, it is my solemn duty to defend the constitution of this country. That includes the obligation to protect the lives and properties of every Nigerian wherever they choose to live,” he said.

Delta State University political science lecturer Benjamin Agah says part of the problem is that suspects arrested after attacks are often released without prosecution, returning to the streets for the next round of violence.

“The same people who ought to be found guilty, who ought to be jailed or who ought to be punished, they are the same people who will still come out again, untouched by the law. So the president has a lot of security challenges,” he said. Agah says the new government must be willing to better equip security forces, especially in remote areas of the north.

“There are some places now that can not be policed ordinarily except through air. So the police should be fully equipped. They should be given the requisite necessities to enable them to fight these criminals,” he said. Public affairs analyst Kole Shetimma says insecurity is a problem for the president that runs far deeper than spending more money on police.

“In these security challenges, I think that we should not approach it from a law-and-order perspective. I think we have to look at the socio-economic and political conditions that have given way to some of these major problems,” said Shetimma.

In the Niger Delta, for example, President Jonathan helped organize an amnesty for militants fighting against a federal government that they say have failed to develop the oil-rich region. There have been delays in paying monthly stipends to those demobilized combatants and far fewer job-training programs than were promised. Shetimma says the president must address the underlying economic grievances in the Delta.

“How do we ensure that the communities in which this oil is produced have access to some of the oil resources that we have. The new petroleum bill, which gives like ten percent of the oil resources to the communities, I agree that that should be fast-tracked,” said Shetimma.

In the north, the extremist Boko Haram group is fighting to establish Islamic law and says it recognizes neither the Nigerian constitution nor the just-completed election. It is rejecting an amnesty offer from the governor-elect of Borno State, who is trying to end months of attacks against security forces. Shetimma says one of the obstacles is the government's refusal to recognize that security forces acted outside the law last year in killing Boko Haram members in Jos.

“It has to be on how do you respond to the loss of property? How do you respond to the security implications? So I am hoping that this is going to be a comprehensive approach to the issue of Boko Haram,” said Shetimma.

President Jonathan says part of his plans for improving security in the north and in the south is to increase employment for young men who he says are being used as “cannon fodder for the ambitions of a few.”

One of the greatest challenges presently facing security agents in the country, especially the Police is the constant threat by members of the notorious Boko Haram sect operating freely in the northern part of the country. The dreaded group has so much instilled fear and trepidation on our law enforcement agents to the extent that the fear of Boko Haram is now the beginning of wisdom to them all.

In fact, posting to the northern part of the country has become an anathema to, especially members of the police force from the southern part of the country going by the constant killings and attacks carried out by members of this sect who are gravely averse to all kinds and nature of civilization or education. Life before perpetrators of these heinous, sectarian and or religious upheavals has become meaningless and something that could be cut short at will.

Like the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) in the West, the Egbesu (militants) in the Niger-Delta, Boko Haram came to limelight in 2002. But unlike the OPC and Egbesu, the ideology of Boko Haram was purely Islamism and anti-western civilization.

This sect led by the (late?) Ustaz Mohammed Tusuf, Mallam Sanni Umaru and Abu Darba has as its sole aim, entrenching Shariah law as the official and only religion not only in the North but also in Nigeria as a whole. With its operational headquarters in Kanamma, Borno state of Nigeria, the term ‘’Boko Haram’’ comes from both the Hausa and Arabic words meaning, ‘’western or non-Islamic education’’ and ‘’sin’’ respectively. So, to believers of the faith, ‘’anything western or non-Islamic education is a sin.’’ It therefore goes to say that members of the sect are totally averse to anything that has to do with western civilization and this literally means that ‘’Western or non-Islamic education is a sin.’’

Investigation carried out by Crime Alert revealed that though the fanatical religious movement started in 2002 in Maiduguri, its anti-people, anti-government activities became intense in 2004 when the group reportedly attacked a police formation and killed several senior police officers for reasons only known to members. Afterwards, it became much more hostile to non-members, secular education and of course, the nation’s nascent democracy. In fact, the leader of the sect, in his avowed determination to drive home the group’s ideology was once quoted as saying, ‘’This war that is about to start would continue for a long time’’ if the political and educational system in the country was not changed.

In the mean time, the group’s notoriety assumed international dimension in 2009 as a result of the orgies of violence carried out in nearly all the Northern states, especially, Kaduna, Adamawa, Bauchi and Borno states during which several lives and property worth millions of naira were destroyed by members of the sect.

Apparently irked by this disturbing dimension, the Police in the month of July 2009 commenced investigation into the nefarious activities of the group especially when it was reported that it was stockpiling arms. The police succeeded in not only arresting several of its members but killed their leader. This sparked off another violent clash to the extent that security reports showed that the group was arming itself. It was revealed that, prior to the clashes, many Muslim leaders and non-members of the sect and a security official had warned the authorities about the heinous activities of Boko Haram and their plans to strike a deadly blow on the nation’s stability.

However, Crime Alert scooped the reasons behind the group’s guerilla-like modus oparandi and why security agents, especially the Police is seemingly helpless over the ugly development in spite of their heavy presence in the Northern states where the sect is noted to have wrecked and is still wrecking havoc.

A senior security operative who spoke on the condition of anonymity alleged that a reasonable number of officers and men of all the security agencies from the Northern part of the country, the physically challenged persons from the area and Muslim women who wear hijab are members of the deadly sect. According to him, ‘’I can tell you that the reason why you think we are helpless is that most of us who are members of the group are constantly working against ourselves. As a commander of a squad and secret member of the group, if it is known that the group is operating in one area, you will lead your men to another area. Secondly, if you are the landlord of where the sect grouped or re-grouped to wreck havoc, you dare not inform security agents; it is part of solidarity.

Again, the fact that you hear of sporadic bombings is not because we were not doing our best, but because as security men, you dare not search Muslim women who wear Hijab. Searching them would amount to indecent assault. Meanwhile, most of them carry the bombs, pass them over to the common cripples on the streets begging for alms and before you know it, you will hear explosion even close to checkpoints and most times at police formation or the barracks.’’

Continuing, the source said, ‘’This is why we are seemingly helpless. Except we are able to correct this visible errors which are of course, security lapses, bomb explosions and the menace of Boko Haram sect would continue for a long time.’’ It was also gathered that this ugly development which is receiving the attention of the powers that be will soon be addressed following revelations that the Presidency is taking time to ascertain the veracity of the report while at the same time compiling names of those suspected to be involved.

More over, the Presidency is said to be holding series of meetings with all the security agencies with a view to identifying where there is laxity in the pursuit of this goal. It was also gathered that security at the borders will be strengthened with a view to making it impossible for foreigners to capitalize on the activities of members of this sect and infiltrate into the country.

Meanwhile, reports said the Controller-General of Immigration, Mrs Rose Uzoma has ordered her men at the borders to swing into action and fish out foreigners that collaborate with members of this sect without delay. Sources at the Immigrations headquarters in Abuja said she had already set up a special task force that will report directly to her over the issue with a mandate to deliver positive results within one month. On their part, the State Security Services (SSS) are said to have intensified efforts towards rounding up all those connected with the activities of this sect remotely or otherwise.


Related Reports:

Security in Nigeria, by Mary Crane, Editorial Coordinator, Council for Foreign Relations

Nigerian President Faces Security Challenges in New Term




Chevron continues to use desperate tactics to escape $18 Billion Court Judgment

Alex Thorne: Husband of Chevron Employee Poses as “Journalist” to Undermine Environmental Group Critical of Oil Giant’s Ecuador Catastrophe

Oil Giant Continues To Use Cover of Independent Journalism To Escape $18 Billion Court Judgment


Amazon Defense Coalition

30 May 2011 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


San Francisco, CA – Alex Thorne, the husband of a senior-level Chevron employee, has been posing as an independent “journalist” to send e-mails designed to intimidate funders of a small environmental organization that has been critical of Chevron’s management for refusing to pay the company’s court-ordered $18 billion liability in Ecuador.

The stunning revelation about Thorne’s e-mails comes just days after several large Chevron shareholders blasted Chevron CEO John Watson for displaying "poor judgment" in Ecuador which “has led investors to question whether [Chevron’s] leadership can properly manage the array of environmental challenges and risks that it faces. The investors critical of Watson manage a combined $156 billion in assets and include New York’s pension fund, the nation’s third largest.

Thorne recently sent e-mails to several funders of the U.S.-based environmental group Amazon Watch in which he claimed to be working on an “article” for a publication he refused to specify. The e-mails then asked the funders “if it is time” to “reevaluate” their support for Amazon Watch in light of Chevron’s oft-criticized claim that the 18-year legal case is part of an extortion racket.

Thorne is married to Kristen Thorne, Chevron’s senior policy advisor on environment and energy issues. Alex Thorne did not disclose in the emails to Amazon Watch’s funders that he is married to a high-level Chevron employee or that he has operated a pro-Chevron website critical of the leaders of the Ecuador lawsuit.

“Alex Thorne’s phony emails are part of Chevron’s Karl Rove-style campaign designed to intimidate American citizens who are trying to hold Chevron accountable for committing environmental crimes and fraud in Ecuador,” said Karen Hinton, the spokesperson for the Ecuadorian communities who brought the lawsuit.

In one email to the Moriah Fund, which was forwarded to Amazon Watch, Alex Thorne says: “I’m writing an article highlighting Amazon Watch’s top donors which will include mentioning the Moriah Fund… My article highlights organizations such as yours and questions whether it is time to reevaluate your support for Amazon Watch.”


When confronted by telephone about his phony emails, Thorne confirmed to Hinton he had written them and said: “I am just a bored, stay-at-home Dad with nothing better to do.”

Representatives of the Amazon communities have long charged that Chevron committed environmental crimes in Ecuador and that its “extortion” claim is nothing more than a last-ditch ploy to mislead shareholders. Two Chevron employees are currently under criminal indictment in Ecuador for lying about the results of a purported environmental cleanup that the plaintiffs say was a clear case of fraud.

Amazon Watch, which is based in San Francisco near Chevron headquarters, has a handful of staff members and a $950,000 annual budget. In contrast, Chevron has 62,000 employees and grossed $204 billion last year, or an amount roughly 200,000 times more than Amazon Watch’s annual expenditures.

Despite their lack of resources, Amazon Watch’s staff members have had an outsized impact on Chevron. They have infuriated Chevron’s management by filing complaints against the oil giant with the Securities and Exchange Commission, by confronting the company’s Board of Directors during shareholder meetings, and by organizing protests outside the luxurious home of Chevron CEO Watson.

Just last week at Chevron’s annual meeting, Amazon Watch Executive Director Atossa Soltani accused Watson of having a personal conflict of interest over the Ecuador issue while several Chevron Board members looked on in stunned silence.

Along with lawyers for the Ecuadorians, Amazon Watch also has raised the possibility that Chevron violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in Ecuador (the FCPA prohibits the bribing of foreign officials). Some of Chevron’s potential FCPA violations – which would expose the company to criminal liability in the U.S. -- have been summarized in the sworn affidavit of Ecuador attorney Juan Pablo Saenz, available here.


Chevron’s larger problem is that an Ecuador court in February imposed a cleanup tab of $18 billion for the deliberate discharge of billions of gallons of toxic waste into streams and rivers of the Amazon rainforest, where the company operated (via predecessor company Texaco) from 1964 to 1992. Chevron’s substandard operational practices in Ecuador – admitted to by the company at trial -- decimated indigenous groups and caused an outbreak of cancer and other oil-related diseases that will haunt tens of thousands of people for decades without a comprehensive remediation, according to evidence submitted by the plaintiffs.

For most of 2009, Alex Thorne maintained a website where he regularly attacked the leaders of the Ecuador lawsuit and Hinton.

After Hinton wrote in a press release about his wife’s participation in a “green technology” panel discussion that failed to mention Chevron’s environmental disaster in Ecuador, Alex Thorne created a separate website called “Hinton Communications Watch” that was designed to intimidate Hinton into stopping her work for the Ecuadorian indigenous communities, said Hinton. Alex Thorne later took down the websites and at the time apologized to Hinton.

This is not Chevron’s first attempt to use the image of independent journalists as cover for its campaign to undermine the legal claims of the impoverished Ecuadorian communities, said Hinton.

Last year, Chevron was caught trying to pay American free lance journalist Mary Cudahee $20,000 to spy on the plaintiffs in Ecuador by pretending she was conducting research for an article. Cudahee exposed the effort in The Atlantic.

In 2009, just days before a 60 Minutes segment critical of Chevron’s misconduct in Ecuador was slated to air, the company posted on the internet a pro-Chevron corporate video on Ecuador narrated by former CNN correspondent Gene Randall that was designed to look like a legitimate news broadcast. Chevron hid its role in paying for the production of Randall’s video until it was exposed by The New York Times.

Nor is Chevron shy about pushing the envelope when trying to intimidate its many vocal critics on the Ecuador issue.

Chevron CEO Watson ordered the arrest of five shareholder critics at the company’s 2010 annual meeting; Chevron took out newspaper advertisements attacking the U.S.-based Goldman Foundation for awarding its prestigious environmental prize to advocates for the Ecuadorian victims of Chevron’s human rights abuses; and Chevron recently filed a racketeering lawsuit in the U.S. federal court against 47 Ecuadorian villagers and their lawyers that named Amazon Watch as a “co-conspirator”.

Hinton noted that Chevron uses CRC Public Relations, which is known for launching vicious attacks against critics of its corporate and political clients. CRC, which has close ties to the right wing of the Republican Party, is infamous for designing the Swift Boat attacks ads that targeted 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry.

CRC is one of at least six public relations firms and four corporate law firms used by Chevron General Counsel R. Hewitt Pate to deal with negative fallout from the Ecuador judgment, apparently the largest environmental liability in history other than the BP Gulf spill, said Hinton. Pate is a former high-level political appointee in the U.S. Department of Justice under President George W. Bush and the mastermind of Chevron’s Ecuador litigation strategy, she added.

A Chevron spokesman recently said Chevron will not pay the Ecuador judgment and that the company plans to fight the Ecuadorian indigenous communities “until hell freezes over.”


#

Contact:
Karen Hinton
Hinton Communications
1215 19th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Karen@hintoncommunications.com
703-798-3109, cellular
480-275-3554, fax by email

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time

26 May 2011



25 May 2011



24 May 2011




Monday, May 30, 2011

Belfast marks 100th Anniversary of the Titanic







Centenary is commemorated by TITANICa: The Exhibition & The People’s Story

Belfast, May 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Belfast is set to mark the 100th anniversary of the launch of one of the city’s most famous creations – RMS Titanic. On May 31st 1911, Titanic was launched into Belfast Lough by Harland & Wolff – then the largest shipyard in the world. It took three years to build and just 62 seconds to complete the launch.

To mark the occasion, there will be a special slipway event attended by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, dignitaries of Cherbourg and Titanic societies to reflect Belfast’s maritime heritage. There will also be a flare set-off to mark the moment exactly 100 years ago when the Titanic was launched.

With a £7bn investment in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter and interactive visitor centre due to be unveiled in 2012, Tourism Ireland is keen to share the wonderful history of the Titanic through this programme of fantastic events.

On 31st May 2011, The Ulster Folk & Transport Museum is launching TITANICa: The Exhibition to showcase her story. The exhibition, which runs until 31st August 2011, will feature more than 500 original artifacts - some of which have never been seen before - and will explore Titanic and her world. Visitors can discover life on board the vessel through fascinating objects and personal stories that explore the tragic loss of the Titanic in 1912.




An innovative trail will link this exhibition in the Transport Museum to TITANICa: The People’s Story in the outdoor Folk Museum, where visitors will be able to explore a living history experience of Titanic. Discovering people’s daily routines in the period before, during and after Titanic’s maiden voyage, guests will be able to walk the historic streets and journey through the shipyard riveter's home, before visiting the Post Office to compose their own Morse code message sent from Titanic. They can then pop to the printers to get their own Titanic launch ticket before heading on to the Newspaper Room to read publications printed from the time.

A festival of films featuring historic footage of life at the time of Titanic will also be on show in the Picture House. There will be opportunities to dress up in the fashionable costume of the time or just relax and watch the children play traditional games in the park.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said “No ship has gripped the world’s imagination like RMS Titanic. Her remarkable story begins at her birthplace in Belfast, and we highly recommend visitors to Belfast to discover the story of her creation through this exhibition."

"Drawn by its vibrancy, warmth and charm, increasing numbers from around the world are making Belfast one of the most popular city destinations in Europe, where visitors can discover a thriving cultural scene combined with unique heritage including the story of the Titanic."

For more information, visit www.discoverireland.com


Further media information and rights free photographs, plus an FTP feed are available on the Tourism Ireland Media Room at www.discoverirelandmedia.com, just click on the 'download broadcast footage of themes related to Titanic Belfast' tab


About the RMS TITANIC



Experts Help Boost Mobile Banking in Emerging Markets

27 May 2011 17:10 Africa/Lagos


Experts Help Boost Mobile Banking in Emerging Markets

PR Newswire

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., May 27, 2011

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., May 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mobile phone ownership is commonplace all over the world. A ubiquitous symbol of modernity, these communication devices are now a platform for providing financial services to underserved populations.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100916/DC66431LOGO)

Darden School of Business Professor Frank Warnock and Batten Institute Fellow Veronica Cacdac Warnock have joined ShoreBank International (SBI) in their efforts to assist two new mobile banking companies achieve the goal of increased access to financial services for those outside the banking mainstream in Bangladesh and Pakistan.

The team, whose participation is funded through SBI's $16.9 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will design a structure for evaluating the businesses and their progress toward the goal of financial inclusion for poor and underserved populations in the two countries.

"Companies operating in the social sector are expected to run their businesses as well as any traditional for-profit company," says Frank Warnock. "We are tasked to provide guidance on putting in place an efficient system to track the processes and enable timely and critical review of the business."

bKash, a new joint venture between BRAC Bank and Money in Motion, will offer an easy, safe and affordable way for Bangladeshis to store, transfer and pay bills via their mobile phones. UBL Omni, also a bank-led branchless banking venture, launched pilot programs beginning in 2009 to provide broad financial services that best address the unique set of needs of Pakistanis with limited use of banking services. In both ventures, the Warnocks' role is to help the companies by providing technical assistance and business expertise along a number of dimensions, including market intelligence and economic impact.

"Mobile banking for the poor has been successfully implemented in a number of countries, including Kenya and South Africa. bKash and UBL Omni aim to go beyond the traditional focus on transactions and transfers by broadening the poor's participation in the financial system as savers and borrowers," Veronica adds. "Over time, we hope to be able to extract lessons and stylized facts that will deepen the understanding of what does and does not work in the social space."

The ultimate goal is two-fold: effective and efficient delivery of bKash and UBL Omni financial services consistent with the needs of the population who have been managing their lives at the periphery of formal financial institutions, and bring them to a position where they can save, borrow and invest in order to better their conditions.

Broadly, microfinance is the provision of small-scale financial services such as loans, savings and insurance to low-income people. Micro-saving has emerged as an integral element of microfinance, which benefits many of the world's poor when their hard-earned money is protected in banks rather than kept hidden in homes and vulnerable to theft. Frank and Veronica care deeply about opportunities in underserved markets, and work to increase awareness of them among emerging entrepreneurs at Darden and U.Va., as well as in the broader business community. Along with Darden Professor Saras Sarasvathy, they also guide their students in developing "Markets in Human Hope," a practicum course for Darden's Second Year students.

This news release was issued on behalf of Newswise(TM). For more information, visit http://www.newswise.com.

SOURCE University of Virginia's Darden School of Business

CONTACT: University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, communication@darden.virginia.edu

Web Site: http://www.darden.virginia.edu

Top Headlines







ARIK why now?



ARIK why now?

For over a year and half now, precisely since September 2009, ARIK Airline has refused to honour my request for a refund on two unused tickets- Business and Economy class (Sokoto to Lagos).

I was at this time Personal Assistant to the former DG of the National Theatre Professor Ahmed Yerima and together we traveled to Sokoto for a conference but due to a delay in the arrival of their service, we left with another service so we can meet up with a meeting in Lagos. On return to Lagos, I sought their advice (at the ticketing and reservation section) on what to do since they had a policy of non re-routing and they advised that I could apply for a refund and i was availed numbers to call, for follow up.

I have since then called & written severally but the last officer handling my case has even stopped picking my calls and would not reply my emails either. Please Editor, how best do you think i can get these monies refunded?


~ By Husseini Shaibu


Sunday, May 29, 2011

President Goodluck Jonathan must prove himself to Nigerians



It was a very calm Sunday as President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn-in at the Eagle Square in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, witnessed by thousands at the venue and millions of others followed the event on TV and the internet.

There is relative peace in the Niger Delta as the former militants are now fully engaged in the Amnesty programme of the government, but the terrorist Islamist sect Boko Haram is still attacking and killing innocent citizens in Borno State.
President Goodluck Jonathan should do his best to prove to Nigerians that he can lead without the interference of his discredited political godfathers like his former boss, the disgraced former state governor of Bayelsa State Diepreye Alamieyeseigha who was indicted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for corruption and former President Olusegun Obasanjo who has done more harm than good to Nigerians. Mr. Jonathan does not need their excess political baggage in his mission to reform and transform the most populous country in Africa.


~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima



Inside Story: Nigeria's presidential election




Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rihanna is third sexiest woman alive!


Rihanna

The ultra sexy black, bold and beautiful singer Rihanna has been rated the third sexiest woman alive by FHM on the list of the selected 100 sexiest women alive in the world. The second on the list is Katy Perry and the number one is Rosie Huntington-Whiteley,


Rosie Huntington Whiteley

The problem with all these fake ratings is the fact that these dumb American magazines totally ignore the beautiful and wonderful women in Africa and Asia where we have the most beautiful and sexiest women on planet earth.

You can check out the so called Top 99 women by Ask Men, the Esquire magazine voted Minka Kelly as the sexiest woman alive, but Ask Men disagreed. Then the gallery of sexiest black women is full of only black American celebrities without anyone chosen from Africa or other continents.


Katy Perry


Minka Kelly

You can also see the sexiest babes on hottest Play Boy Covers. But any list of the most beautiful or sexiest women alive today without including women from Africa and Asia is absolute bollocks.



~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2011

• 100. Izabel Goulart
• 99. Lady Gaga
• 98. Andrej Pejic
• 97. Bar Refaeli
• 96. Chelsy Davy
• 95. Gisele Bundchen
• 94. Leona Lewis
• 93. Christine Bleakley
• 92. Malin Akerman
• 91. Zoe Saldana
• 90. Angelina Jolie
• 89. Miley Cyrus
• 88. Olivia Munn
• 87. Genevieve Morton
• 86. Christina Aguilera
• 85. Hannah Tointon
• 84. Ana Beatriz Barros
• 83. Elizabeth Banks
• 82. Christina Hendricks
• 81. Dianna Agron
• 80. Natasha Alam
• 79. Jessica Lowndes
• 78. Jessica Biel
• 77. Charlize Theron
• 76. Eva Longoria
• 75. Doutzen Kroes
• 74. Avril Lavigne
• 73. Christian Serratos
• 72. Billie Piper
• 71. Jennifer Metcalfe
• 70. Kylie Bisutti
• 69. Keira Knightley
• 68. Emma Stone
• 67. Zoe Salmon
• 66. Olga Kurylenko
• 65. January Jones
• 64. Belinda Stewart-Wilson
• 63. Rachel McAdams
• 62. Candice Swanepoel
• 61. Taylor Swift
• 60. Alessandra Ambrosio
• 59. Lindsay Lohan
• 58. Elle Liberachi
• 57. Holly Willoughby
• 56. Dannii Minogue
• 55. Jessie J
• 54. Anne Hathaway
• 53. Amy Childs
• 52. Rachel Bilson
• 51. Kylie Minogue
• 50. Jorgie Porter
• 49. Rachel Stevens
• 48. Kara Tointon
• 47. Lea Michele
• 46. Nadine Coyle
• 45. Beyonce Knowles
• 44. Miranda Kerr
• 43. Shakira
• 42. Karen Gillan
• 41. Una Healy
• 40. Diora Baird
• 39. Kate Middleton
• 38. Eliza Dushku
• 37. Summer Glau
• 36. Sarah Harding
• 35. Gemma Arterton
• 34. Amber Heard
• 33. Eva Mendes
• 32. Scarlett Johansson
• 31. Pixie Lott
• 30. Kaya Scodelario
• 29. Daisy Lowe
• 28. Abbey Clancy
• 27. Audrina Patridge
• 26. Michelle Keegan
• 25. Britney Spears
• 24. Elisabetta Canalis
• 23. Emma Watson
• 22. Frankie Sandford
• 21. Hayden Panettiere
• 20. Vanessa Hudgens
• 19. Natalie Portman
• 18. Emily Atack
• 17. Ashley Greene
• 16. Mila Kunis
• 15. Kim Kardashian
• 14. Adriana Lima
• 13. Kristen Stewart
• 12. Cheryl Cole
• 11. Jessica Alba
• 10. Irina Shayk
• 9. Nicole Scherzinger
• 8. Kelly Brook
• 7. Marisa Miller
• 6. Brooklyn Decker
• 5. Olivia Wilde
• 4. Megan Fox
• 3. Rihanna
• 2. Katy Perry
• 1. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley







Security Challenges in Nigeria

Security Challenges in Nigeria

~ By Albert Akpor

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan says he is determined to improve security in the country with a new administration that takes power with Sunday's inauguration.

Security was a driving issue in the presidential campaign following bomb blasts by militants from the oil-rich Niger Delta and attacks on police by members of an extremist Islamic group in the north.

President Jonathan campaigned hard to convince Nigerians that his government was meeting those security challenges. But rioting that immediately followed his election raised anew questions about security preparedness. The New York-based rights organization Human Rights Watch says Muslim-Christian electoral violence in northern states killed at least 800 people. President Jonathan says he is determined to protect Nigerians wherever they live.

“As president, it is my solemn duty to defend the constitution of this country. That includes the obligation to protect the lives and properties of every Nigerian wherever they choose to live,” he said.

Delta State University political science lecturer Benjamin Agah says part of the problem is that suspects arrested after attacks are often released without prosecution, returning to the streets for the next round of violence.

“The same people who ought to be found guilty, who ought to be jailed or who ought to be punished, they are the same people who will still come out again, untouched by the law. So the president has a lot of security challenges,” he said. Agah says the new government must be willing to better equip security forces, especially in remote areas of the north.

“There are some places now that can not be policed ordinarily except through air. So the police should be fully equipped. They should be given the requisite necessities to enable them to fight these criminals,” he said. Public affairs analyst Kole Shetimma says insecurity is a problem for the president that runs far deeper than spending more money on police.

“In these security challenges, I think that we should not approach it from a law-and-order perspective. I think we have to look at the socio-economic and political conditions that have given way to some of these major problems,” said Shetimma.

In the Niger Delta, for example, President Jonathan helped organize an amnesty for militants fighting against a federal government that they say have failed to develop the oil-rich region. There have been delays in paying monthly stipends to those demobilized combatants and far fewer job-training programs than were promised. Shetimma says the president must address the underlying economic grievances in the Delta.

“How do we ensure that the communities in which this oil is produced have access to some of the oil resources that we have. The new petroleum bill, which gives like ten percent of the oil resources to the communities, I agree that that should be fast-tracked,” said Shetimma.

In the north, the extremist Boko Haram group is fighting to establish Islamic law and says it recognizes neither the Nigerian constitution nor the just-completed election. It is rejecting an amnesty offer from the governor-elect of Borno State, who is trying to end months of attacks against security forces. Shetimma says one of the obstacles is the government's refusal to recognize that security forces acted outside the law last year in killing Boko Haram members in Jos.

“It has to be on how do you respond to the loss of property? How do you respond to the security implications? So I am hoping that this is going to be a comprehensive approach to the issue of Boko Haram,” said Shetimma.

President Jonathan says part of his plans for improving security in the north and in the south is to increase employment for young men who he says are being used as “cannon fodder for the ambitions of a few.”

One of the greatest challenges presently facing security agents in the country, especially the Police is the constant threat by members of the notorious Boko Haram sect operating freely in the northern part of the country. The dreaded group has so much instilled fear and trepidation on our law enforcement agents to the extent that the fear of Boko Haram is now the beginning of wisdom to them all.

In fact, posting to the northern part of the country has become an anathema to, especially members of the police force from the southern part of the country going by the constant killings and attacks carried out by members of this sect who are gravely averse to all kinds and nature of civilization or education. Life before perpetrators of these heinous, sectarian and or religious upheavals has become meaningless and something that could be cut short at will.

Like the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) in the West, the Egbesu (militants) in the Niger-Delta, Boko Haram came to limelight in 2002. But unlike the OPC and Egbesu, the ideology of Boko Haram was purely Islamism and anti-western civilization.

This sect led by the (late?) Ustaz Mohammed Tusuf, Mallam Sanni Umaru and Abu Darba has as its sole aim, entrenching Shariah law as the official and only religion not only in the North but also in Nigeria as a whole. With its operational headquarters in Kanamma, Borno state of Nigeria, the term ‘’Boko Haram’’ comes from both the Hausa and Arabic words meaning, ‘’western or non-Islamic education’’ and ‘’sin’’ respectively. So, to believers of the faith, ‘’anything western or non-Islamic education is a sin.’’ It therefore goes to say that members of the sect are totally averse to anything that has to do with western civilization and this literally means that ‘’Western or non-Islamic education is a sin.’’

Investigation carried out by Crime Alert revealed that though the fanatical religious movement started in 2002 in Maiduguri, its anti-people, anti-government activities became intense in 2004 when the group reportedly attacked a police formation and killed several senior police officers for reasons only known to members. Afterwards, it became much more hostile to non-members, secular education and of course, the nation’s nascent democracy. In fact, the leader of the sect, in his avowed determination to drive home the group’s ideology was once quoted as saying, ‘’This war that is about to start would continue for a long time’’ if the political and educational system in the country was not changed.

In the mean time, the group’s notoriety assumed international dimension in 2009 as a result of the orgies of violence carried out in nearly all the Northern states, especially, Kaduna, Adamawa, Bauchi and Borno states during which several lives and property worth millions of naira were destroyed by members of the sect.

Apparently irked by this disturbing dimension, the Police in the month of July 2009 commenced investigation into the nefarious activities of the group especially when it was reported that it was stockpiling arms. The police succeeded in not only arresting several of its members but killed their leader. This sparked off another violent clash to the extent that security reports showed that the group was arming itself. It was revealed that, prior to the clashes, many Muslim leaders and non-members of the sect and a security official had warned the authorities about the heinous activities of Boko Haram and their plans to strike a deadly blow on the nation’s stability.

However, Crime Alert scooped the reasons behind the group’s guerilla-like modus oparandi and why security agents, especially the Police is seemingly helpless over the ugly development in spite of their heavy presence in the Northern states where the sect is noted to have wrecked and is still wrecking havoc.

A senior security operative who spoke on the condition of anonymity alleged that a reasonable number of officers and men of all the security agencies from the Northern part of the country, the physically challenged persons from the area and Muslim women who wear hijab are members of the deadly sect. According to him, ‘’I can tell you that the reason why you think we are helpless is that most of us who are members of the group are constantly working against ourselves. As a commander of a squad and secret member of the group, if it is known that the group is operating in one area, you will lead your men to another area. Secondly, if you are the landlord of where the sect grouped or re-grouped to wreck havoc, you dare not inform security agents; it is part of solidarity.

Again, the fact that you hear of sporadic bombings is not because we were not doing our best, but because as security men, you dare not search Muslim women who wear Hijab. Searching them would amount to indecent assault. Meanwhile, most of them carry the bombs, pass them over to the common cripples on the streets begging for alms and before you know it, you will hear explosion even close to checkpoints and most times at police formation or the barracks.’’

Continuing, the source said, ‘’This is why we are seemingly helpless. Except we are able to correct this visible errors which are of course, security lapses, bomb explosions and the menace of Boko Haram sect would continue for a long time.’’ It was also gathered that this ugly development which is receiving the attention of the powers that be will soon be addressed following revelations that the Presidency is taking time to ascertain the veracity of the report while at the same time compiling names of those suspected to be involved.

More over, the Presidency is said to be holding series of meetings with all the security agencies with a view to identifying where there is laxity in the pursuit of this goal. It was also gathered that security at the borders will be strengthened with a view to making it impossible for foreigners to capitalize on the activities of members of this sect and infiltrate into the country.

Meanwhile, reports said the Controller-General of Immigration, Mrs Rose Uzoma has ordered her men at the borders to swing into action and fish out foreigners that collaborate with members of this sect without delay. Sources at the Immigrations headquarters in Abuja said she had already set up a special task force that will report directly to her over the issue with a mandate to deliver positive results within one month. On their part, the State Security Services (SSS) are said to have intensified efforts towards rounding up all those connected with the activities of this sect remotely or otherwise.

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time

27 May 2011









G8/Africa joint declaration / Shared values, shared responsibilities

27 May 2011 20:02 Africa/Lagos

G8/Africa joint declaration / Shared values, shared responsibilities

ADDIS ABABA, May 27, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- G8/Africa joint declaration


1.

The G8 and Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa, and the African Union Commission, highlight the importance of an enhanced partnership between the G8 and Africa. Africa is on the move, and is becoming a new pole for global growth, even if challenges to be addressed remain, particularly in the least developed countries. The G8 and Africa stand side-by-side during this key time of change.

2.

To reach our objectives, we are determined to further promote together shared values, notably peace and human rights, democratic governance and sustainable development, and we will continue to endorse our respective and shared responsibilities in this regard, in a spirit of mutual accountability.

* * *

Peace, Security and Governance

3.

We welcome the overall progress that has been made towards stability and democracy on the continent. Several long-lasting armed conflicts have come to an end and democratic processes are becoming the norm and no longer the exception. However, we need to address remaining challenges, notably respect for free and fair election results and for the rule of law, people's aspirations for increased democratic openness, and resolution of the persisting conflicts. Current global threats such as terrorism, trafficking in human beings, arms and drugs, organized crime and piracy likewise, require strengthening national and regional initiatives in Africa with the support of the international community and increased global cooperation.

4.

We commend the steadfast support of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union and the United Nations for the free and sovereign will of the Ivorian people. We express our deep concern over the grave humanitarian and socio-economic situation in Côte d'Ivoire. In this

regard, we call on the International Community as a whole to extend the necessary support to alleviate the plight of the refugees and internally displaced persons as a matter of urgency and to lend support to President Alassane Ouattara and his government to enable them to restore lasting peace, security stability and economic recovery throughout the country. We also encourage the Ivoirian authorities to spare no efforts to take the necessary steps to address the issues of justice, peace and reconciliation among all Ivoirian people, and to implement the pending issues of the Ouagadougou Political Agreements, including those relating to Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of ex-combatants.

5.

We commend the African Union High Level Implementation Panel for Sudan for its work with the Sudanese parties. While congratulating the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the people of Sudan for the successful conclusion of the 2011 referendum, we condemn the recent escalation of violence in Abyei. We call on all parties to withdraw all unauthorized forces from the area, to uphold their previous commitments, and we call on the parties to reach agreements on all outstanding issues of the CPA, particularly the status of Abyei, oil issues and debt. We also urge the parties to reach a speedy conclusion to the negotiations on post-referendum arrangements between Sudan and an independent South Sudan, within the framework of good neighbourhood and the mutual economic viability of the two states. We express concern about the persistent violence and insecurity in Darfur and call on all parties to engage with a view to reaching a speedy solution in the context of the Doha Process mediated by the Joint Chief Mediator and the Government of Qatar. We encourage G8 and African countries' continued cooperation and mutual efforts to these ends, including through the Sudan Consultative Forum.

6.

We urge the Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to broaden and consolidate the reconciliation process and to work with the international community with a view to agreeing on the way forward notably on how to end the transition and on the key tasks ahead such as the constitutional process after the Transitional Federal Institutions' mandate expires in August 2011. We call on all actors to support an inclusive, Somali-led process as the means to resolve the conflict. We commend the action undertaken by the African Union and its mission, AMISOM, and express our full support for the mission and the effort of the UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Somalia. We commit to remain constructively engaged on Somalia and to support international efforts for the establishment of a peaceful and secure environment in which human rights and democratic institutions can develop at all levels.

7.

We welcome the Political Declaration and Action Plan adopted at the G8 Ministerial Meeting on Transatlantic Cocaine Trafficking on May 10 and aimed at strengthening the international and regional cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking on both sides of the Atlantic.

8.

We reaffirm our commitment to fight against all forms of terrorism and address the conditions conducive to terrorism in full compliance with international law, in particular the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and international conventions. We encourage the creation of regional strategies to take into account all the dimensions of this transnational threat. We stand ready to assist the countries affected by this scourge in building their own capacities to fight terrorism and terrorist groups.

9.

We express our continued concern regarding the serious threat of piracy, in particular emanating from Somalia. We underline our determination to continue to respond resolutely to this threat, through a coordinated response at sea and by tackling longer-term regional capability development needs, including through the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, as well as the comprehensive strategy that would address the root causes of piracy and reinforce the Somali capacity. In parallel, we agree that effective prosecution including execution of sentences need increased support. We welcome the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1976, which represents a significant step forward in the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia.

10.

We welcome efforts made by the African Union and the regional economic communities to build up the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), including the African Standby Force, as well as the successful implementation of the G8 Action Plan, adopted at the Sea Island Summit in 2004, to reinforce African peacekeeping capabilities. We stress the need to further enhance the APSA in a spirit of mutual accountability, and we recognize the progress made with the recent APSA assessment and the adoption of the indicative elements for the APSA Roadmap. We emphasize the importance of improving coordination between all stakeholders in providing assistance and of promoting African ownership, in order to ensure maximum impact and sustainability of peace and security initiatives on the African continent.

11.

Respect for human rights, the rule of law and democratic governance, as well as gender equality, are of key importance to sustaining development, stability and democracy. We welcome the African Union decision on speeding up the ratification of African governance and human rights instruments, in particular the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. We recall our support to the African Governance Architecture, in particular the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), and we encourage further implementation of the APRM National Programmes of Action's recommendations. We also encourage ratification and full implementation of the African Charter on Human and People's Rights and its Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa.

12.

We fully support the action taken by the African Union and African regional organizations to fight unconstitutional regime changes. We encourage further efforts to ensure the rule of law and the respect of human rights and to tackle impunity. We strongly welcome the initiatives taken by several African countries to set up transitional justice mechanisms to address human rights violations. These actions need to be further developed.

Economic Development and Environment

13.

Africa is increasingly a destination for foreign investment and private sector development. The challenge today is to build on the current and positive dynamic of the African economy to achieve a more inclusive, shared and sustainable growth that creates jobs, ensures human security and empowers individuals, especially the younger generation. We need to intensify our efforts on drivers for economic growth, including human capital development, regional and global trade integration, business environment, domestic resources mobilization, and scaling up access to infrastructures and related services, including for energy, transport, information and communication technologies. In this regard, we welcome the conclusions of the 16th meeting of the Africa Partnership Forum (APF) on 21 April 2011 in Paris.

14.

Beyond traditional official development assistance (ODA), African countries need to attract additional domestic and foreign direct investment to finance economic growth, while preserving debt sustainability. Mutual efforts to improve the regulatory framework and the business environment, and to fight corruption, need to be strengthened. To this end, we will establish a dialogue within the APF, involving business, to increase momentum and help remove obstacles to business environment reform. We encourage responsible investment by all stakeholders and call on companies to improve their corporate and social responsibility.

15.

Regional integration is essential to increase growth and stability in Africa. Ambitious strategies have been adopted but progress in implementing those remains slow and uneven. African economies are also not sufficiently integrated into global supply chains. We support an ambitious vision for regional integration initiatives and free trade areas in Africa, as building blocks to deeper integration at a later stage. We welcome the proposed focus of the January 2012 African Union Summit on boosting intra-African trade for the means of fostering a better regional and continental integration on this issue. We will continue to support the African Union and regional economic communities to fully implement their action plans, including the Minimum Integration Programme of the African Union. We encourage increased coordination between them and with the African Union. We will support actions to improve the efficiency of key trade corridors, especially those that are important for accelerating trade in Africa's landlocked countries, notably the implementation of the corridor action plans developed by the regional economic communities. We also call for policy reforms required for increasing regional trade and improving infrastructure. Taking into consideration the specific challenge the continent is facing, we call for concerted action by the international community, and notably through the Multilateral Development Banks, to prioritise Africa in financing infrastructure projects.

16.

Regional integration in Africa is also crucial to ensure the effective integration of the continent in the global markets. We reiterate our commitment to advance the process of trade liberalization and rule-making to strengthen the multilateral system, and are ready to explore all negotiating options to bring the Doha round to a conclusion including with regard to the priorities of least developed countries (LDCs) in line with the Doha mandate.

17.

Improved domestic resources mobilisation is crucial to sustain development, strengthen growth resilience and reduce aid dependency. Improving taxation administration systems and policies in developing countries will help build a sustainable revenue base to fund nationally owned development plans.

18.

Transparency in payments and revenue collection linked to extractive resources and sound financial governance on the management of these revenues are essential to taking full advantage of domestic resources and ensuring delivery of public goods and services for citizens. More broadly, transparent, fair and functioning public financial systems are very important requirements for poverty reduction as well as sustainable and self-determined development. Good financial governance on both the revenue and spending sides is a key prerequisite to reach this. Therefore, we emphasize the importance of further fostering the 2007 G8 Action Plan on Good Financial Governance in Africa and welcome the ongoing African-led development efforts for Good Financial Governance.

19.

We will all continue to support transparency in other areas including through the full implementation of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI). We call on all countries, notably resource-rich countries, and extractive companies to join or support this initiative. We also welcome the complementary efforts to increase revenue transparency, and commit to setting in place transparency laws and regulations or to promoting voluntary standards that require or encourage oil, gas, and mining companies to disclose the payments they make to governments. We encourage full implementation of international and regional initiatives to tackle illegal exploitation of and trade in natural resources in Africa, such as the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region Action Plan adopted in Lusaka in December 2010. A comprehensive and global approach is needed to address the illegal exploitation of and trade in mineral resources and promote sound natural resources management, including the protection of forests.

20.

The G8 will continue to support capacity building and technical cooperation on macro-economic governance, domestic taxation, public financial management, and negotiations of concessions and contracts.

21.

Limited access to energy along both dimensions – electricity and cooking fuels – remains a major concern. It is a key bottleneck for economic development and poverty reduction, and the widespread use of traditional cooking fuels is at the origin of severe negative health and environmental impacts. We therefore emphasize the need to ensure access to sustainable energy services, with a particular focus on renewable energy sources. The G8 will continue to support projects for access to energy, both decentralised and centralised, notably those with a regional dimension and a sustainable development perspective, as well as cross-border trade and capacity-building initiatives on energy. The African Union-NEPAD Action Plan and the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) constitute appropriate frameworks to mobilise foreign direct investment. We stress the need for institutional and regulatory reforms to attract increased investment, notably from the private sector.

22.

We deem of the utmost importance that the use of large river water resources should have in due consideration the interests of both upstream and downstream countries in order to reach agreements aiming at common development.

23.

Agriculture in Africa can serve as an important driver of broad-based sustainable economic growth and development. Sustainable increases in agricultural productivity and production offers ample opportunities to attract private-sector investment and leverage private sources of capital, create jobs, raise income of farmers and stimulate inclusive growth in rural Africa. They contribute to better food security and are key factors in counteracting price volatility. We commit to improving food security in Africa by enhancing cooperation among the G8 and Africa through the L'Aquila Food Security Initiative and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

Mutual accountability

24.

In a spirit of mutual accountability, we are fully committed to meeting our commitments and to monitoring their implementation, with a view to achieving the Millenium Development Goals by 2015, strengthening economic growth and job creation, and addressing global challenges.

25.

We welcome the mutual accountability process, and the 2011 G8 Accountability Report on health and food security and the first African Union and NEPAD Accountability Report on the G8/Africa Partnership. We recognise the need to continue our efforts to improve the mutual accountability process.

26.

We encourage mutual accountability and transparency in the use of domestic and external resources for development and we encourage civil society and private sector stakeholders to foster accountability at all levels. Accountability mechanisms should monitor performance and provide for adequate incentives for compliance. We call on all donors and African partners to provide transparent and comprehensive information on aid flows and participate in multilateral accountability efforts. We welcome the determination of Japan to hold the TICAD Ministerial Meeting held in Dakar on 1 and 2 May despite the challenges caused by the recent disaster.

27.

Ahead of the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to be held later this year in Busan, Korea, we welcome efforts to implement the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action. Major challenges remain such as involving new stakeholders in the development agenda, including new donors and the private sector, enhancing the impact of aid, limiting aid fragmentation through a better division of labor, strengthening institutional capacities, and increasing accountability and transparency. We call for a reinforced focus on the impact and outcomes of aid and development policies.

28.

Considering the remaining challenges, we stress the urgent need to mobilise a wide range of resources for development and global public goods. ODA is a key element for African developing countries, in particular least developed countries and fragile states. We reaffirm our commitments, including on ODA and enhancing aid effectiveness. In synergy with other sources of funding, ODA also serves as a catalyst for key development policies and to leverage for private investment for economic growth. We stress the need to go beyond aid and mobilize other resources as stated in the Monterrey consensus, including domestic resources, innovative financing, migrant remittances, market instruments used by development banks and private sector flows.

* * *

29.

The challenges lying ahead are considerable. But so is our shared commitment to overcome them. We will act in the spirit of partnership aimed at liberating development potential of one billion Africans.


Source: African Union Commission (AUC)



Friday, May 27, 2011

Lest you forget, my father fought in Burma


An African soldier during World War 2
The following true story is for Memorial Day and is published on the Red Room.

Lest you forget, my father fought in Burma
~ by Chima Michael Ekenyerengozi

May 26, 2011, 3:41 pm

(In memory of my father Sunday Eke, who fought and survived the World War II in Burma)

I have kept my father's identity card of Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF). But I have forgotten everything he told me about the role he and other thousands of Nigerians played as soldiers who fought for the British Empire and the allies in World War II. I do not know if my father won the coveted Burma Star. Marshall Kebby wrote about their exploits in Burma before he passed away over a decade ago. My father never kept a diary and it was after he died on November 19, 1983, that I knew that keeping a diary like Mr. Kebby would have helped me to know more about his past life as a soldier and ambulance driver before I was born.


African soldiers of the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF) during World War 2

Every Memorial Day reminds me of my father and the other unsung African heroes of the Whiteman's war that the Blackman was forced to fight against Adolf Hitler's Germany and Japan. No war film on World War Two has ever included them, except in 2009 when the BBC News reported about a documentary that revealed that only two in 10 of the soldiers who fought in Burma were white!


Click here to read the complete story.

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time 27 May 2011



26 May 2011







25 May 2011


Jeta Amata is working on new film after "Black Gold"


Jeta Amata


Nick Vivarelli of the Variety reported that the ambitious Nigerian filmmaker Jeta Amata is already working on a new international film after making “Black Gold”.

The director who is also well known for his daring film “The Amazing Grace” is going to focus on the corrupt practices of pharmaceutical multinationals in Africa in his new film "Journeys of One," with Donald Ranvaud of "The Constant Gardner" fame as an executive producer.



Amata’s “Black Gold” had a market premiere at the 64th Cannes Film Festival. The film on the Niger Delta crisis featured top Hollywood actors like Tom Sizemore, William George "Billy" Zane, and Hakeem Kae-Kazim.

"Journeys of One" will be a way to provide a more genuine take on the Big Pharma in Africa theme tackled by Hollywood in Fernando Meirelles' "The Constant Gardner". We like Hollywood coming to tell our story; but they miss some of the essence of the African point of view," Amata said.

Variety reported that Amata, producer Soledad Grognett and Ranvaud are looking for a name African-American actor for one of the key roles in "Journeys" and likely to also feature an Indian star.

"The idea is to make it Hollywood, Nollywood -- as the Nigerian film industry is know -- and Bollywood; the three biggest markets in the world," said Amata. "If you go to the remote villages where they don't have proper means of communication, you find people just dying unnecessarily," he added. "And though they don't realize it, the real thing that killed them was some drug that they weren't meant to take."
"The environment in Nigeria makes it a haven for these people (the pharmaceutical companies) to run whatever tests they want and treat people like rats and guinea pigs," Grognett added.


~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima