Saturday, September 23, 2017

BREAKING: Resident Doctors Suspend Strike

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has suspended the strike action it embarked upon a week ago, after hours of a secret meeting...

World Humanitarian Day: UN aid chief calls for protection of workers

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Stephen O'Brien, has called for the protection of aid workers, saying it is “paramount” for the continued delivery of aid to victims.

O.J. Simpson's LA exhibit shows memorabilia as art

O.J Simpson memorabilia.

More than 20 years after the so-called Trial of the Century, an art exhibit examines the public's enduring fascination with former footballer, O.J. Simpson. during his sensational arrest and murder trial.

Simpson was acquitted of the June 12, 1994 murder of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. Now 70 years old, he was granted parole in July after nine years in jail for a bungled 2007 armed robbery in which he attempted to steal mementos from his own legendary sports career. He is due to be released in October.

The The O.J. Museum, which is at the Coagula Curatorial Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles, features artwork, clothing, newspapers and magazines about the case. The show was curated by Adam Papagan. At the O.J. Museum, one entire wall is crowded with dozens of Simpson-themed T-shirts featuring slogans like "Don't Squeeze the Juice" and "The Juice is Loose" that Papagan said were sold around Los Angeles during his 11-month double murder trial. Another artifact is a banner with messages from people who waited outside Simpson's Rockingham Avenue home on June 17, 1994, the day of his infamous car chase. Police tailed Simpson's Ford Bronco for hours on the freeways of Los Angeles before arresting him on suspicion of murder.

A man ripped the banner off the gate of Simpson's house that night, Papagan said. "It's been under this guy's bed for the past 23 years."

The O.J. Museum will open to the public on Friday for a five-day run. Another pop-up museum has opened in Chinatown.

**Courtesy: Reuters

How Ayade gives our jobs to the Chinese

'Tunji Ajibade

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State hosted Chinese citizens the other week. They were representatives of one of the provinces in China. The visit had to do with an agreement signed by both parties. In the process, it was announced that the governor gave some jobs to his visitors. Giving jobs to foreigners isn't the issue. Giving jobs that Nigerians could easily handle to foreigners is what I have a challenge with. The Cross River State governor signed out a job for a geological survey of his state to the Chinese. Is it that we don't have geologists who can do this?

I was a secondary school student when I heard of a university course and profession called Geology for the first time. For the fascination it held for me, it was one of the courses I would have contemplated studying if I had been in the sciences. Incidentally, it was almost the same manner Political Science attracted me that I was attracted to Geology. There was this NYSC member in my school who taught us Government. He said he read a course called Political Science. So, I desired to read Political Science. Years later, he said to me that he had said I should not read Political Science but I did. I said it was because I loved the course. But Geology had fascinated me for a stranger reason.

One of my friends in secondary school had an elder brother who was a geologist. He gave us a ride in his car from school one day and that was how I met him for the first time. He was already practising, and was on his way to a site. How did he get me attracted to his profession? He was an avid reader of novels. The James Hardly Chase series, the African Writers Series (publishers of ‘Things Fall Apart'), Pacesetters etc. I was intrigued by a geologist who read novels. As a kid, I had always read every story book I could get. In primary school, I had read all the fiction work in Yoruba written by D.O. Fagunwa before I ever read the smallest English story book from cover to cover. I was taught how to read Yoruba in primary school. These days, it's posh to not teach indigenous languages in ‘posh' schools. In secondary school, I had continued this trend of reading everything and I persuaded my friend to bring his brother's novels for me. I was faithful. He would bring it. I would read, return it, and he would bring another. If I didn't complete the entire set of books under the African Writers Series and the James Hardly Chase series as of that time, I must be very close.

I recall this story on realising that the Cross River State governor gives our jobs to foreigners. The first thing that struck my mind was that Nigeria had been producing geologists for as long as it had been in existence. But when we have a job geologists can handle, we give it out. What has happened in Cross River State is another sample in a pattern, and I ask myself why we keep doing things the same way but expect a different result. What is so magical about geological mapping that the government has to import some exotic foreigners? I should think geological mapping is something any fresh graduate could handle, let alone eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in this field.

Giving the job to such distinguished professionals isn't where it stops. There are the younger Nigerian geologists and graduates in related fields who would have been brought on board to gain some field experience. This means funds are retained on our shores. If some technical equipment were needed for this job that we didn't have, the Cross River State governor could have ordered for them. And if he wanted the guarantee that a white face (or other shades) must be involved, he could have had one Chinese brought it in an advisory capacity. But what we see in this case is that about nine Chinese were imported by the Cross Rivers State Government to handle geological mapping of the state. The number cannot stop there. Trust the Chinese. They would equally import chefs and gardeners, crediting the bill to the Cross River State Government's account.

There are other angles to this matter. For instance, the question could be asked: Does it mean no geological survey of Cross River State has ever been carried out since its inception? I do not know this detail, but at least I've seen how some federal agencies regularly display mineral resources along with the names of the states where they're obtained. The official claim is that there's no state in Nigeria that doesn't have certain quantities of mineral resources. Our officials make the same claim about other natural endowments with regard to what industry should be where, and the kind of agriculture that soil in different parts of the country can support. Also, I'm sure there's a state agency in Cross River that has the same information. How do the federal and state agencies know what is where if nothing has been done before about geological mapping in Cross River State? What is new in the job that Ayade has contracted the Chinese to do? How much is he paying out in dollars at a time we mention recession?

These questions call attention to the harm we do ourselves as a nation, and it shocks that our leaders who should know lead in this. An agency in Abuja has the information that Ayade is paying to get. An agency in Cross River State also has the information. This meant our resources had been utilised in the past to get it. In the event, this latest contract amounts to duplication and a waste of scarce resources. Moreover, at these concerned agencies there are professionals who're recruited and paid wages as civil servants to handle such issues. When they retire their huge pension is on our neck as a people to settle. Now that there's a job for these civil servants to do to justify both their wages and pensions, the Cross River State governor is paying foreigners to do it.

This aspect brings up another angle about our culture of wasting resources. It's about officials that we pay salaries in government agencies, but we don't make them work for what they earn. In conversations, I point out that if a Nigerian sees houseflies having a carnival on the meat on the table of a meat seller in the market, there's an official in a government agency who receives a salary to ensure that those carnivals don't happen or that the meat seller is sanctioned, but he doesn't do what he is paid to do. There are laws about the safety of food items and officials are paid to enforce but anyone could see how garri that Nigerians eat is exposed to houseflies and dust beside the road. I was surprised the other day when I saw Environmental Officers (from a federal agency that should enforce hygienic practices in the market place) defending their budget at the National Assembly. So they exist?

Recently, the European Union banned importation of Nigeria's beans to Europe, insisting our beans contained chemicals that were too dangerous for human consumption. Note that the same is sold to Nigerians. I was at an event where the EU Ambassador to ECOWAS said banning Nigeria's beans wasn't just for the safety of European residents alone, but one measure to make our government realise that it's feeding Nigerians with poison. Yet, there's a federal ministry with a Quarantine Department (that should guarantee food that's without poison), fully staffed with all manner of professionals and staff members who draw fantastic salaries and allowances.

On the whole, what has happened in Cross River State further calls attention to one of our leadership challenges – lack of commitment to wholistic approach to policies, how we run government. Our officials say they want to create jobs, but some of their actions are the direct opposite of what they proclaim. It's baffling that at a time when everyone knows that buying Nigerian products and thereby create jobs are part of the solutions to our current economic challenges, giving jobs to foreigners is what many of our leaders are doing for reasons that only they can explain.

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“Think outside the box” – Journalist urge youths

A veteran journalist, Orji Ogbonnaya has urged youths to learn to think outside the box and be creative in order to become assets to the country and their parents

Osinbajo attends inauguration of Rwandan president

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, is on Friday joining other world leaders to witness the inauguration of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda in the country's capital, Kigali.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists on Friday morning.

Akande said Osinbajo would return to the country immediately after the inauguration.

The statement read, “Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, is attending the presidential inauguration of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, taking place today in Kigali, the country's capital.

“The inauguration ceremony which is expected to be witnessed by several African Heads of State and Government, follows President Kagame's victory at the August 4 Rwandan presidential election.

“Prof. Osinbajo who is accompanied by the Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama is expected back in Abuja later today.”

Buhari's return is imminent, says Saraki

L-R: Senate President Bukola Saraki, President Muhammadu Buhari and Speaker of House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara at the Abuja, London on Thursday, August 17, 2017. PHOTO: TWITTER/NIGERIAN PRESIDENCY

Ailing Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's return to the country from London where he is receiving medical treatment for an undisclosed ailment is imminent, the president of the country's senate said on Thursday.

"It is clear that Mr President's insistence on following his doctors' advice has yielded the desired results," Saraki said.

"I therefore confidently look forward to Mr President's imminent return home."

Senate President Bukola Saraki and the speaker of House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara were the latest Nigerian public officials to meet Buhari in London. Last week the president received a team of his media aides including Nigeria's information minister Lai Mohammed, spokesmen Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, and his personal assistant on social media Lauretta Onochie and senior adviser on foreign affairs and diaspora Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

Buhari has spent more than 100 days in London having left Nigeria on May 7, transferring power to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

His absence from the country has spun a few yet sustained protests in the Nigerian capital city Abuja. Counter protests by groups loyal to the president have also been held. Face offs between the two groups have resulted in violence.

On Tuesday, singer and media personality Charles ‘Charly Boy' Oputa, led a modest rally of around a dozen of his followers into the city's sprawling Wuse market.

They were however attacked by traders from the president's own Hausa ethnic group, pelted with stones and chased out of the market -- leaving behind Oputa's BMW convertible in the chaos, AFP reported.

A Guardian reporter Dare Richards was also attacked by the pro-Buhari crowd.

But Saraki's statement after meeting with Buhari on Thursday suggested the protest may not need to hold for long as the president is due to return home soon.

He said Buhari was abreast of the goings-on in Nigeria and that the meeting with the 74-year old leader was "of substance where we discussed important matters of state" including the 2017 budget.

"In particular, we talked about the virement request by the Presidency which is before the National Assembly," said the Senate president.

"We then considered the steps to be taken in the preparation of the 2018 budget to ensure its early passage."

Dangote to invest $50bn in US, Europe

Stanley Opara with agency report

Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, plans to invest $50bn in the United States and Europe by 2025, in renewable energy and petrochemicals.

This is coming after completing almost $5bn of agricultural projects and an $11bn oil refinery in Nigeria.

He confirmed the planned investment in an interview with Bloomberg Markets Magazine.

“Beginning in 2020, 60 per cent of our future investments will be outside Africa, so we can have a balance,” said Dangote, who is worth $11.1bn, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index.

Dangote Group would consider investment in Asia and Mexico, but would focus mainly on the US and Europe, he said, adding that, “I think renewable energy is the way to go forward, and the future. We are looking at petrochemicals but can also invest in other companies.”

According to the report, Dangote has diversified rapidly in the last five years, both geographically and into new industries. He has expanded the Dangote Cement Plc, which accounts for almost 80 per cent of his wealth, into nine African countries aside from Nigeria.

In 2015, he began building a 650,000 barrel-a-day refinery near Lagos, and he is constructing gas pipelines, connecting to Lagos from the Niger Delta with the US private equity firms Carlyle Group LP and Blackstone Group LP.

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FG remains committed to providing key infrastructure – Minister

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said on Thursday that despite dwindling resources, the Federal Government was still committed to providing key infrastructure for the benefits of the people.

Immunization: Sept. 10 deadline for governors to pay counterpart fund

The Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF) has appealed rescheduling of deadline given to all governors to make counterpart contribution toward nationwide polio immunization to Sept. 10.

Father allegedly impregnates 14-year-old daughter, flees

Ovie Okpare, Warri

The police in Delta State have launched a manhunt for one Mr. Orutebe, who allegedly impregnated his 14-year-old daughter in Ugboroke, in the Uvwie council area of the state.

Orutebe, who was said to be in his mid 40s, allegedly fled his home after initially claiming responsibility for the pregnancy.

It was learnt that the suspect, who hails from Ogulagha kingdom, in the Burutu Local Government Area of the state, had two wives.

Trouble started when neighbours reportedly started noticing pregnancy signs in the teenager.

Upon interrogation, she allegedly confessed that her father had been having carnal knowledge of her.

A neighbour, who spoke with our correspondent on Thursday on condition of anonymity, said, “The girl confessed to us when she was interrogated. The little girl didn't even know she was pregnant until she started noticing that her belly was growing big.

“The girl further revealed that her stepbrother, who is also on the run, deflowered her and had been sleeping with her as well.”

A source told PUNCH Metro that the leadership of the community where the suspect resided was irked by the development and had sanctioned him for incest.

The source added that the suspect was stripped to the waist and booed by residents for the act.

A senior police officer at the Warri Area Command confirmed the incident, adding that the police were indeed searching for the suspect.

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Andrew Aniamaka, said he was not aware of the case.

He added that the only case reported at the Ogberikoko Police Station was that of a quack doctor who performed abortion on a 19-year-old girl.

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All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.


Nasarawa woman murders own child, dumps corpse in river

Umar Muhammed, Lafia

The police in Nasarawa State have confirmed the arrest of a 25-year-old woman, Mwuese Keleve, who allegedly murdered her three-day-old child in the Kadarko area of Keana Local Government Area of the state.

The Police Public Relation Officer, DSP Idirisu Kennedy, who hinted this in an interview with Northern City News on Thursday in Lafia, said the command on Monday received a report about the corpse of a baby found in a river in the Keana Local Government Area.

He stated that police detectives on Tuesday arrested the suspect who turned out to be the mother of the dead child.

The police image-maker said the suspect had confessed to committing the crime, but did not give any cogent reason for killing the baby.

Kennedy told our correspondent that as soon as the police concluded their investigations, Keleve would be charged to court.

His said, “Based on the report from the preliminary investigation, the woman is sane and has admitted to committing the crime.”

The suspect's husband, Mr. Fanen Peter, said what his wife did took him by surprise.

He explained that they had been married for 15 years with two children and the deceased was their third child.

He said the deceased child had since been buried.

Reacting to the incident, the paramount ruler, Kadoko of Kadarko, Chief Fabian Orugu, described Keleve's action as a devilish act “which cannot be tolerated.”

He applauded the efforts of residence of the area and the police for the collaboration that led to the culprit's arrest.

The monarch promised that the traditional council would monitor the case to ensure that the law took its course so as to serve as a deterrent to others.

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All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.


Mudslides: UN agencies rush aid to victims in Sierra Leone

UN agencies are stepping up efforts to aid displaced families affected by the deadly flooding and landslides in Sierra Leon's capital, Freetown and surrounding areas.

Here Is Why You Should Use Rosehip Oil

Rosehip seeds. Photo: Livestrong

Rosehip oil is made from the seeds of a special type of rose. It contains a high amount of essential fatty acids, vitamins, anti-oxidants and beta-carotene, and is suitable for all skin types including dry, sensitive, oily and combination skin. Rosehips were a remedy that was used by the ancient Egyptians, Mayans and Native Americans all because of their healing properties. More people started using this oil in recent times after a number of celebrities, including Victoria Secret models, admitted to using it. Here are a few reasons why you should add rosehip oil to your beauty regimen:

1. Great Omega fatty acid source
It contains a high amount of omega fatty acids (omega-3, 6 and 9) which our bodies are unable to produce but are vital for our general health. Essential fatty acids help to regenerate skin cells and to repair damaged skin tissue, quench dry, sun damaged skin and help to improve the appearance of burns, scars, wrinkles and stretch marks.

2. Anti-ageing properties
Ageing and exposure to sun causes the skin's collagen fibres and elastin to break down. The essential fatty acids and vitamins in rose hip oil are readily absorbed by the skin and help to slow the breakdown of these fibres. With its neutral pH balance and anti- inflammatory properties, rose hip oil keeps skin balanced and healthy, helping to protect against cell degeneration caused by bacteria and oxidants. Vitamin A helps improve the skin's moisture level and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. Rosehip oil is rich in a natural source of vitamin A, known as trans-retinoic acid, which helps to prevent premature ageing caused by sun exposure and reduce the activity of skin-damaging enzymes. It is rich in antioxidants, including beta-carotene and lycopene, which help to protect and repair skin from premature ageing. Vitamin C and lycopene in rosehip seed oil has skin rejuvenatin properties which repairs the skin's surface, restores elasticity and protects against sun and pollution stressors that can lead to wrinkles.

3. Moisturising abilities
It is a great moisturiser for face, skin, hair and nails. It nourishes the skin deeply for a smoother and even complexion. It is a non-comedogenic oil and will not clog your pores the way some other beauty oils might. It is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant which helps decrease environmental damage to the skin and nourish it. It's non-greasy and super light and is absorbed by the skin immediately. Unlike heavier oils that are commonly used on the face like jojoba and shea butter, rosehip seed oil absorbs easily. It is also good as an addition to lotions and creams.

4. Scars treatment
It helps diminish the appearance of scars, including acne scars, burn scars and even stretch marks. The essential fatty acids and vitamins in rose hip oil help to keep damaged skin hydrated so that a wound can heal quickly without drying out and tearing your skin. They also improve the permeability and flexibility of the skin. The Vitamin A present in the oil could contribute to scar healing and skin regeneration as Vitamin A plays a role in enhancing the skin's tone and texture. The oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that help to prevent infection.

Rosehip oil. Photo: StyleCraze

5. Protects and repairs skin
Rose hip oil could combat the damage done to the skin by the rays form the sun. The oil contains antioxidants which fight the stressors responsible for ageing. The essential fatty acids, in combination with Vitamin A, help enhance the skin texture, tone and pigmentation. The fact that the oil plays a huge role in moisturising the skin and mitigating irritation makes it an ideal treatment for skin issues.

6. Gives skin a healthy and beautiful glow
Another benefit that makes rose hip oil popular is the natural glow it gives you when you use it. Not only does this oil help reduce or get rid of wrinkles and fine lines, it also gives the skin an attractive and a healthy glow. All the ingredients in rose hip oil are natural, and that makes it an ideal healthy treatment for the skin.

7. Hair growth and prevention of hair loss
Like jojoba, rosehip oil also is a dry feeling or non-greasy oil. It is well absorbed by our scalp, helping to keep it moisturised and soft. The fatty acids in the oil help repair and renew damaged hair follicles and scalp tissue to promote healthy hair growth, soothe irritated scalp conditions like dandruff, and increase hair elasticity while adding shine and luster. Rosehip oil also contains beta-carotene which works to normalise oil production and is useful for both oily and dry hair. It can help battle against oxidants (free radicals) that damage your skin and hair cells.

8. Acne and eczema treatment
The essential fatty acids found in rosehip seed oil work wonders for dry scalp and itchiness. It is what the skin needs for hydration and skin sensitivities. So make sure to try this beauty oil and tell me what you think about it.