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11/02/11

Permalink 01:25:00 am, by amiru adamu Email , 805 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, World News

*The Soaring Popularity of Foreign Football Leagues in Nigeria

By Amiru Adamu

Though the first football association was founded in England, the origin of football/soccer could be found in every corner of geography and history. The Chinese Japanese, Italian, Ancient Greek, Persian, Viking and many more played a ball game long before our era. The Chinese played “football” as far back as 3000 years ago. The Ancient Greeks and the Romans used football games to sharpen warriors for battle .In the south and Central America a game called “Tlatchi” once flourished.

International matches were being staged in Great Britain before football had hardly been heard of in Europe. The first was played in 1872 and was contested by England and Scotland. This sudden boom of organized football accompanied by staggering crowds of spectators brought with it certain problems with which other countries were not confronted until much later on. Professionalism was one of them. The first moves in this direction came in 1879, when Darwin, a small club, twice, managed to draw against supposedly invincible old Estonians in the FA cup, before the famous team of London amateurs finally scrapped through to win at the third attempt. Two Darwin players, the Scots john love and Fergus Suter, are reported as being the first ever players to receive remuneration for their football talent. This practice grew rapidly and the football association found itself obliged to legalize professionalism as early as 1885. ( Continues below..... )

Foreign soccer players

The spread of professional football outside of England mainly due to British influence abroad started slow, but it soon gathered momentum and spread rapidly to all parts of the world, Nigeria inclusive. In Nigeria today foreign leagues such as the English premiership, Laliga, Serie A, Champions league and others are witnessing a soaring popularity. Nigerians most especially the youth are following these leagues with religious devotion. One needs only to visit a football viewing center, particularly when big and rival teams such as Barcelona F.C and Real Madrid F.C, are playing to confirm this assertion. This new romance between Nigerians and the foreign leagues is not unconnected to the fact that Nigerians are natural football lovers, and since the local football leagues and even the national team are nothing to write home about, Nigerian football lovers have found a new love in the foreign football clubs who thrill them with their skills of soccer.

Another interesting aspect of this romance is that the football enthusiasts did not limit themselves to viewing and clapping only, they follow up on other issues such as transfer, purchase of players and other related issues concerning their clubs of choice. Enterprising Nigerian youths are also cashing in on the football fever to earn a legitimate living by setting up television viewing centers where football lovers come to watch matches for a fee. For instance, in Lapai road, a suburb of Sokoto, football viewing centers are popular sight to behold with bill boards and notifications of match fixtures with dates and time of each match proudly on display for football enthusiasts. Gate fee actually vary from one viewing center to another, depending on the match being shown. ( Continues below..... )

soccer ball Foreign soccer players

According to Habib Mohammed, a viewing center operator, the venture is fast becoming a booming business. “In most cases particularly when big and rival teams are playing, we always find it difficult to cope with the population of viewers that come to our center”. “Sometimes, we show between four and five matches during weekends, and by the time we deduct the cost of fuel because the business depends largely on power from generators, we still make a sustainable amount of money at the end of the day, ” he said.

Football fanaticism and hooliganism, that lead to the ban of viewing centers in some states is also a challenge to the viewing center operators. Some fans after watching their clubs loose to a rival club find it difficult to control their selves, a situation that sometimes results to loss of lives and properties due to clashes between rival fans. ( Continues below..... )

Foreign soccer players

This problem according to Habib prompted the establishment of football viewing centers association in most states. These associations have guidelines of operation that are tailored to checkmate hooliganism at the viewing centers.

The romance between Nigerians and the foreign football leagues is at its peak. This should be a challenge to local football clubs and the National team. Football is a thing of national pride in our great country; in addition, there is a huge potential for investment in local leagues considering the number of players and clubs we have perhaps if we reform our local clubs to an acceptable standard, Nigerians might channel some of the love for foreign leagues to the local leagues.

Amiru Adamu is the publisher of Northern Wind Magazine.

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10/28/11

Permalink 09:44:00 pm, by admin Email , 663 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, World News, African News

*Comment Rejoinder To Nosa Osula-Aituamen’s Article of October 28, 2011.

By Jeff Gazzard

A rather lurid and inaccurate headline to the article above, I'm afraid! Let’s be frank – ALL the world’s airlines HAVE already registered (a handful “under protest” admittedly) for free allowances within the scope of the EU ETS aviation regulations; they have also invested in all the necessary monitoring and verification software to participate; and most are already operating in the carbon market through both in-house and external systems, advisors and traders.

One or two airlines have already been fined by EU member state’s regulators for missing deadlines in the run-up to the ETS January 2012 start date, so perhaps now is a good time to remind airlines of the heavyweight, some might say draconian, financial penalties for any future non-compliance which could potentially bankrupt even the world’s largest airlines.

We know that airlines are very aware of these penalties and many of them have said publicly that they do not intend to break any ETS-related laws at several meetings and events I have attended, although they oppose the scheme.

There is a substantial degree of desperate last-minute posturing and grandstanding to try and avoid practical and fair market-based environment protection solutions from countries who should know better – the recent presentation to ICAO in Montreal from the EC’s Artur Runge-Metzger, International and Climate Strategy Director, easily found on the web, is a welcome and very clear explanation of where we are right now and why the EU ETS is a fair and equitable policy.

Using this scheme as the global model is the way forward. Countries trying to avoid the fairly “light touch” ETS regulation in this latest bit of institutionalised moaning, are misguided and out-of-touch with the reality of the urgent need for action to control and reduce the climate change impacts of civil aviation.

Which is all the more difficult to understand when many are in the frontline of the fight against climate change right now.

The EU is not going to capitulate and has the support of environment NGO’s everywhere – covering around a third of aviation’s global CO2 emissions is a stunning achievement and needs support and expansion, not arrogant whingeing from the industry’s flat earthers. If you can afford the price of a ticket, you can afford the cost of carbon.

Jeff Gazzard
Aviation Environment Federation
LONDON
Email: jeffgazzard@greenskies.org

__________________________

Nosa Osula-Aituamen’s article prompting Jeff Gazzard’s rejoinder above is republished below.

EU Air Tax On The Verge of Collapse

By Nosa Osula-Aituamen (Aviationreport)

The House of Representatives has voted against U.S. participation in the European Union’s (EU) costly emissions trading scheme (ETS), which would impost new emissions taxes on U.S. and other nations’ carriers flying to and from the EU.

The bipartisan legislation, the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011 (H.R. 2594), was introduced by John L. Mica (R-Fla.), transportation and infrastructure committee chairman along with democratic committee members.

“This appropriately named EU scheme is an arbitrary and unjust violation of international law that disadvantages U.S. air carriers, threatens U.S. aviation jobs, and could close down direct travel from many central and western U.S. airport to Europe,” said Mica, who says neither Congress nor the government will support the EU tax scheme.

If imposed on January 1, 2012, the EU aviation tax scheme would apply to U.S. and other nations’ flights into or out of an EU airport, regardless of how long that flight is in EU airspace, according to the committee.

Airlines would be required to pay an emissions tax to the EU Member State to which they most frequently fly, without any requirements that EU countries even use these fees in aviation emissions reduction efforts.

H.R. 2594 prohibits U.S. aircraft operators from participating in the ETS. The bill also instructs U.S. officials to negotiate or take any action necessary to ensure U.S. aviation operators are not penalized by any unilaterally imposed EU scheme.

Click Here To Read Osula-Aituamen’s Article With Photos

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Permalink 09:43:00 pm, by aviationreport, 728 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, World News

*Nigeria: I Was Never Arrested By FIRS Says Arik Boss

By Nosa Osula-Aituamen

Chairman of Arik Air Sir Arumemi Ikhide has denied being arrested by the Nigeria Police Force on the orders of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), over failure to remit taxes from the operations of the airline alleging running into over N3 billion affirming that officials of the FIRS only visited the premises of Air Air to reconcile accounts over figures that in dispute. Sir Arumemi-Ikhide who briefed reporters at the corporate headquarters of Arik Air also denied that the managing director of the airline Mr. Chris Ndulue as well as the vice president in charge of finance of the carrier was also arrested.

The Arik Air boss explained that officials of the FIRS only visited the airline for clarifications on issues bordering on figures to be taxed from the proceeds of its ticket sales, which he said needed the full imput of the airline, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA), and other stakeholders. ( Continues below..... )

Arik Chairman receiving award.

Photo Above: Arik Chairman, Sir Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide (right) receiving the Company of The Year Award from Nigeria’s former High Commissioner to South Africa, Alhaji Shehu Malami at the Leadership Awards for Excellence 2009 held in Abuja on Friday, April 30, 2010.

He said : "At no no time was I arrested, in fact at the said time, I was far away in London, how could I be in London and at the same time be arrested in Nigeria. Sometimes, I wonder where such misrepresentations are coming from, which only intent is to portray the airline in bad light.

We do not need to join issues with anybody, but to just put the record straight by insisting that nobody from Arik Air was arrested by officials of the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

The FIRS officials were only here on courtesy visit, they did not invade Arik Air offices, just the way journalists come in here, they were here carried out their routine assignment and left. At no time did they arrest me or anybody."

He further said of the issues that led to the visit of FIRS officials to Arik Air: "The FIRS write a letter to us in Arik Air that they will like to clear some issues over ticket sales with our officials and we gave them appointment for October 25, 2011. But, before that date we had some issues with the technology that controls our ticket sales and the accruing revenue it should capture. To get such issues sorted out takes quite some time, because the officials handling the technology had traveled to Dubai to fix the equipment that drives the technology. ( Continues below..... )

A landing Arik Plane

Photo Above: A landing Arik Plane

When the FIRS officials visited the affected officials were not on ground to carry out the accounts reconciliation. So, to put it in persective, Arik Air does not owe FIRS, we have already paid about N1.2 billion out of the N2.1 billion.

It was a case of disagreement in sales figures that the FIRS officials sourced from the NCAA, which we as an airline need to reconcile. But, due to the failure in technology, we were unable to achieve that."

The Arik Air further explained such misrepresentation of facts could send negative signals to the international community that is poised to drive the growth of the aviation industry through the injection of the much needed funds.

He explained that information making the round that Arik Air has acquired a brand aircraft worth several millions of dollars, could not be true because the airline has been utilizing multi lateral funding to acquire state - of - the - art equipment, which may have prompted the visit of the team to its office.

He explained that Arik Air will continue to demonstrate its obedience to the laws of the land as a responsible organisation, and not a debt ridden outfit out to short change government. Sir Arumemi- Ikhide lauded the efforts of the Federal Government to assist the airline by creating a conducive atmosphere for it to carry out its business with restrictions in terms of policy and a friendly operating environment.

He also lauded the efforts of the Assets Management Company of Nigeria ( AMCON), which has assisted Arik Air through Union Bank to acquire working capital to keep the operations of the carrier afloat.

Nosa Osula-Aituamen (Aviationreport)

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Permalink 12:30:00 pm, by aviationreport, 269 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, World News, African News

*EU Air Tax On The Verge of Collapse

By Nosa Osula-Aituamen

The House of Representatives has voted against U.S. participation in the European Union’s (EU) costly emissions trading scheme (ETS), which would impost new emissions taxes on U.S. and other nations’ carriers flying to and from the EU.

The bipartisan legislation, the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011 (H.R. 2594), was introduced by John L. Mica (R-Fla.), transportation and infrastructure committee chairman along with democratic committee members.

“This appropriately named EU scheme is an arbitrary and unjust violation of international law that disadvantages U.S. air carriers, threatens U.S. aviation jobs, and could close down direct travel from many central and western U.S. airport to Europe,” said Mica, who says neither Congress nor the government will support the EU tax scheme. ( Continues below….. )

United Airlines Airborne Plane

If imposed on January 1, 2012, the EU aviation tax scheme would apply to U.S. and other nations’ flights into or out of an EU airport, regardless of how long that flight is in EU airspace, according to the committee.

Airlines would be required to pay an emissions tax to the EU Member State to which they most frequently fly, without any requirements that EU countries even use these fees in aviation emissions reduction efforts.

H.R. 2594 prohibits U.S. aircraft operators from participating in the ETS. The bill also instructs U.S. officials to negotiate or take any action necessary to ensure U.S. aviation operators are not penalized by any unilaterally imposed EU scheme.

Airborne Plane

Photo Above: An Airborne Plane

Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport,  Abuja, Nigeria.

Photo Above: Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria.

Nosa Osula-Aituamen (Aviationreport)

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10/27/11

Permalink 05:24:00 am, by aviationreport, 715 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News

*Nigeria: Commercialize NAMA Now
........For Efficiency & Transparency Says Air Controllers

By Nosa Osula-Aituamen

The National Association of Air Traffic Controllers, NATCA, has called for the full commercialization of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) for efficient service delivery.

At a news conference in Lagos to commemorate the International Air Traffic Controllers Day, President of the Association, Alhaji Jubril Haske said this would help to bring about transparency and accountability which is necessary for efficiency in the running of the agency.

According to him, wastages would be eliminated and other inefficiencies inherent in a typical government agency. ( Continues below..... )

Airborne Plane

Photo Above: An Airborne Plane

Alhaji Haske emphasized that the provision of air traffic control services was capital intensive and therefore, required a cost-recovery business model for efficiency in harnessing and allocation of resources.

"We need to commercialize NAMA through a government statutory provision right now is established as a government parastatal like most other government agencies that are not necessarily aviation based or aviation bias or aviation centered but if you look at the trend globally in the last 15, 20 years the trend has been to either privatize like we have in Canada, partial privatization like we have in UK with the Department of National Air Traffic Services (DNAT) or the model that we have in South Africa where you have ATNS that is 100 percent government owned but it is a company that is run just like every other private company, every year they are required by law to publicly publish their statement of account which are also audited by private accounting auditing films. ( Continues below..... )

Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos

Photo Above: Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria.

According to him, "Now the advantage in that is that it brings a lot of transparency in how the organization is run, it brings accountability which is necessary for efficiency, it equally eliminate wastages and other inefficiencies inherent in a typical government bureaucracy so what we are asking, what we are advocating for is for NAMA to be fully commercialize based in line with these other examples that I have given and I am sure that this can be done through a statutory provision in which case the agency will simply operate like a commercial entity operate, the main concern of course is safety but then you are also going to put certain mechanisms to ensure that you recover cost, if for example an agency buys 20 VOR and install it in the airport, you must also have a plan as to how you are going to recover the cost of procuring and installing those 20 VORs or 20 ILSs you know we feel if you do that it will serve the interest of safety and efficiency better" ( Continues below….. )

United Airlines Airborne Plane

Highlighting inadequacies in functional communication, navigation and surveillance equipment including insufficient Training and retraining programmes, poor remuneration and unsatisfactory job career structure as some of the problems they are grappling with, Alhaji Haske wants the Federal Government to expedite action to address these problems.

Speaking on ‘Pay As You Go’ Alhaji Haske noted that the Association was in total agreement with its introduction, as a lot of money had been collected with its introduction.

"Well I am not in the position to say,,,, but all I can say is that yea, it is necessary, we fully identify and support with that policy thrust by NAMA to recover cost I mean it is absolutely necessary and I am quite sure that you are aware that there are so many airspace users who have not paid for services rendered dating back to years, three years, seven years and what have you so in order to prevent that I think that is why the agency now said ok we will do pay as you go, you pay as we provide the service so those ideas of saying ok the money we are owing is seven years old it should be waste over percentage will not arise and like I said ion the statement that I read aviation generally is capital intensive if you are expecting modern navigational aids, modern Radar systems and what have you, there must be cost this era of seeing air traffic services as part of social services I mean is gone."

Nosa Osula-Aituamen (Aviationreport)

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10/25/11

Permalink 09:29:00 pm, by amiru adamu Email , 719 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, North West News

*Nigeria: Magatakarda’s Politics of Humanity

By Amiru Adamu

Experience has shown us that at the climax of every election, the behavior of politicians towards the people changes dramatically, while campaigning politicians demonstrate courtesy and goodwill towards the people, they make themselves available at social events invited or otherwise just to win over the people. Some go to the extent of crying on television just to prove their so called love for the masses. The true character of a politician can only be assessed when he wins or losses an election. For the winners they immediately after their inauguration change their phone numbers, surround themselves with tough looking body guards and practically employ all measures to distance themselves from their people whom they now regard as a nuisance. ( Continues below..... )

Nigerians casting their vote

Photo Above: Nigerians casting their vote

Same also applies to those who loose the elections, they abscond from their supporters in some cases they shamelessly blame their followers for their failure and cut all relationships with them till some months to another election when they resurface with another deceitful slogan such as “ga naku ya dawo” which in Hausa means yours is back. It is only in Nigeria that a politician behaves in such a manner and have the audacity to return as a contestant, though I don’t blame our people that much, for poverty is and will continue to be a problem to our people if the present status quo is maintained.

However despite the poor image of our politicians, there are still some of them who are truly committed to the development and happiness of their people. One of such politicians is Alh. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko the Executive Governor of Sokoto State. ( Continues below..... )

Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto State

Photo Above: Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto State

Magatakarda’s open door policy is a pacesetter to all politicians who wish to stay close to their people. Sarkin Yamma has always identified himself with humanitarian causes, and he has maintained this noble commitment throughout his last four years in office. He has left his mark in many aspects of human development and philanthropy, His reputation as a listener is being demonstrated by the open door policy being carried out at his residence, where all visitors irrespective of social class are able to gain audience with him. This is in contrast with the notorious Nigerian culture of guarding government centers, and deploying tough looking, gun carrying security operatives to harass and scare away the masses.

In fact, what many people may not realize is that Magatakarda’s humanitarian sentiment is largely the source of his political strength. It is only in sokoto state that the needy troop to the government house to receive assistance directly from their governor, not from any Aid or assistant. It is only in Sokoto. That the governor apart from financing a Ramadan feeding programme also hosts the masses at his home and sit among them to break his fast from the same plates as everybody present. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states, including Sokoto State and Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)

This open door policy and many other humanitarian policies too numerous to mention has accorded “Sarkin Yamma” the goodwill he is presently enjoying in the Nigerian political arena. To further justify my assertion of his open door policy Magatakarda in an interview described his administrative policy thus: “as a matter of principle, I believe and respect the dignity of mankind. As a leader, I believe one of the best things you can do is to listen –know peoples likes and dislikes; their needs and aspirations and put together your programme as much as possible along those lines. That is what I have been doing since I came into office. I have been guided by that principle and thus, we have a government with a listening ear, one that respects the feelings Yearnings and aspirations of the people.”

Sarkin Yamma has demonstrated that he is not a selfish and fair-weather politician who only needs the people to advance his ambition but abandons them when he gains his desired position. He remains a faithful friend of the masses and he should be a source of inspiration to other politicians.

Amiru Adamu is the publisher of Northern Wind Magazine.

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10/24/11

Permalink 04:42:00 pm, by admin Email , 267 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, World News
*Anambra State Tour - Ultra Modern Fire Service & State Emergency Complex Report
[ Masterweb Team Report On Anambra Ultra Modern Fire Service & State Emergency Project ]

By Masterweb News Desk

Anambra State Ultra Modern Fire Service Headquarters & State Emergency Management Complex, Awka was the second project visited by Masterweb Team during her tour on August 25, 2011 of projects by Governor Peter Obi’s government. The project as observed by our team easily qualifies as one of its kind in the country. The fire trucks and ambulances were all in mint condition and based on operational tests, were found to be above standard. Materials and equipments associated with the trucks and medical emergencies, were also determined to be all above standard.

Our team from on-the-spot assessment, rated the establishment amongst the best in the country, a determination which our statistical comparative analysis supported. Only a handful of states in Nigeria can boast of such modern fire fighting and emergency response facility.

Below are the amazing pictures our team took at the project site:-

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 Ultra Modern Fire Service and State Emergency Complex

Photo Above: Anambra State Ultra Modern Fire Service & State Emergency Complex Building.
Click For Enlarged Photo

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 Fire Trucks

Photo Above: Fire Trucks
Click For Enlarged Photo

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 A FireTruck Side View

Photo Above: A FireTruck – Side View.
Click For Enlarged Photo

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 A FireTruck Side View

Photo Above: A FireTruck – Side View.
Click For Enlarged Photo

CLICK FOR MORE PHOTOS

In a few days, we will publish our report on New Anambra Govt. Secretariat (Twin Building) & Roads by Governor Obi’s government..

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RELATED ARTICLES

Masterweb Team Scores Governor Obi High
Anambra State Tour - Amaku University Teaching Hospital Report

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Permalink 03:51:00 am, by amiru adamu Email , 495 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News

*Unemployment Cause of Social Unrest In Nigeria

By Amiru Adamu

The level of insecurity in Nigeria today is rising at an alarming rate. Bomb blasts, assassinations, and other terror acts have become the order of the day in our once peaceful country. These acts are carried out by no other persons than the youth who are supposed to be the future leaders. The question here is: why will the youths of a country resort to killing and bombing their fellow countrymen and women? ( Continues below….. )

Scene from Abuja MEND Nigeria golden jubilee independence celebration car bombing.

Photo Above: Scene from Abuja MEND Nigeria golden jubilee independence celebration car bombing - Forensic experts comb and examine a blast scene, looking for clues and collecting samples for forensic analysis.

The answer to this question is not farfetched. Injustice, unemployment, deprivation, hopelessness, and the total lack of commitment of the leaders to the plight of the struggling Nigerian youths are some of the answers to this question. An idle mind they say is the devils workshop. Unemployment in Nigeria today has become every youth's nightmare. It is no longer about going to school and graduating or learning a trade, but about how to face the reality of graduating and joining the brigade of the unemployed with no hope of a better tomorrow. ( Continues below….. )

A Nigerian militant levels his machine gun.

Unemployment coupled with the ever widening social gap was what prompted the youth of the Niger Delta to pick up arms in protest. When MEND started vandalizing pipelines and kidnapping, many "truth shy" politicians and other stakeholders condemned their acts and declared war against them without taking time to consider the hardship and deprivations those youths were going through.

Blessed are the peace makers. The late President Umaru Musa Yar'adua. Though initially ill-advised by the war mongers, made a U-turn and took the path of dialogue by declaring an amnesty for youths of the Niger Delta. He also took a step that those before him lacked the morality to take by coming up with a programme to empower the youth of the Delta. The dramatic way Yar'adua's amnesty and empowerment programme brought to the end the Niger Delta saga is a testimony to the saying "A hungry man is an angry man". ( Continues below….. )

Late Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua

Photo Above: Late Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua at a Muslim prayer session in Abuja on September 29, 2009.

The emergence of Boko Haram brought about a new culture of suicide bombing and martyrdom to Nigeria. Our leaders quickly dismissed the group as that of religious extremist who were misguided and brainwashed by their leader, without taking time to look at the facts.

The only solution to the problems is for our leaders to stop dragging their feet and create employment opportunities for our teeming youths, so as to keep their minds busy and off violent thoughts. A stitch in time they say saves nine.

Amiru Adamu is the publisher of Northern Wind Magazine.

RELATED ARTICLE => Terror Alert: Masked Group Gives Nigeria FG 3 Week Ultimatum

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10/21/11

Permalink 11:12:00 pm, by admin Email , 1059 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, World News, African News

*Gaddafi’s Shameful Death: A Red Card To Remaining & Emerging Dictators Says Nigeria’s Intersociety

By Intersociety

(Onitsha Nigeria, 21ST October 2011)-The Leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law-Intersociety welcomes the news of the end of the disastrous era of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in the People’s Republic of Libya, though, we preferred him being captured alive so as to face trials over his regime’s sundry grievous rights violations including mass murder, covert and overt sponsorship of international terrorism and internal political insurrections. The journey to Colonel Gaddafi’s disastrous fall remotely started in the Tunisian city of Bouzid on 17th December 2010, where the 26-year old Mohammed Bouazizi, a street vendor, set himself on fire, over his frustration as per former President Azedine Ben-Ali’s failed leadership and dictatorship. The former President, who ruled his country dictatorially since 1987(23 years), later fled the country on 14th January 2011 as a result of the raging “Jasmine Revolution”.

The “Jasmine Revolution” later spread like a wild fire to Egypt, Algeria, Yemen, Jordan, Oman, Bahrain, Syria and Libya and swept away the dictatorial regime of former President Hussein Mubarak of Egypt, who ruled Egypt since 1981(30 years). The immediate cause of the Libyan revolution started in Benghazi in February 2011, leading to the formation of the Transitional Ruling Council by the opposition forces or armed opposition groups. The Late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi ruled Libya for 42 years and 21 days, having come to power through his “Arab Islamic Jamahiriya Socialist Revolution” in September 1969, otherwise called the “September Revolution”.

The Gaddafi Revolution was very disastrous to humanity by any standard. His ascendance to the Libyan political throne marked a turning point in the international peace and security. He was instrumental to the formation of the leftist and radical Organization of Islamic Conference formed in the late 70s to humiliate and extinguish the 21-member Arab League, formed in March 1945, because of the latter’s reconciliatory approach towards Arab-Israeli age-long conflicts, especially that between Israel and Palestinian Liberation Organization. In November 1978, Colonel Gaddafi spearheaded the setting up of a 3.5Billion US Dollars fund under the aegis of the Arab League for the destruction of the State of Israel. Within the same period, he personally voted 3Billion US Dollars for the propagation of fundamentalist Islamism and overthrowing of the “Western puppet governments” especially in the Middle East and Africa by the Islamic radical elements .This partly led to the emergence of Ruhollah Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran in 1979, Mohammed Zia Ul-Haq in Pakistan in 1977, Omar Hassan el-Bashir in Sudan in 1989, Mullah Mohammed Omar in Afghanistan in the late 1980s, etc.

He recruited, trained, funded and exported thousands of mercenaries to Spain, Northern Ireland, former Yugoslavia, Americas, etc, in furtherance of his anti-west crusade etc. In 1997, he donated a whopping sum of 1Billion US Dollars to the leadership of the Nation of Islam in the USA for the “advancement of Islam in USA”. In Africa, he was believed to be the brain behind the civil wars, insurrections and military take-overs in Chad(1990),Burkina Faso(1987), Gambia(1994), Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, to name but few. He was also accused of being the main mastermind in the bombing of Pan American Airlines over Niger and Canada in 1988 and 1989 respectively, which killed over 400 passengers, though he was exonerated over that of Niger for want of concrete evidence. He spearheaded to its logical conclusion the open campaign for the death of the Late President Anwar El- Sadat of Egypt because of the latter’s favourable disposition towards the Camp David Accord of 1979, between Israel and Egypt. Even in the attempts made on the life of former President Hussein Mubarak of Egypt in 1995 during the OAU (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Colonel Gaddafi was suspected of being involved.

Colonel Gaddafi’s capture and not his death would have gladdened our heart, because his international trials would have been an eye opener to the 6Billion-plus global population over his innumerable crimes against humanity. Colonel Gaddafi’s atrocious era quickly reminds us of the inglorious epoch of the Late “Comrade” Pol Pot of the “People’s Republic of Kampuchea( Cambodia), whose bloody rule of 1975 to 1979 led to the death of more than three million lives. Through his infamous “profound socio-economic changes”, the country’s economy and cultural institutes were destroyed. The prevailing Buddhist religion was banned and the clergy massacred with utter impunity.

The shameful death of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and other members of his household means express issuance of red cards to the world’s remaining and emerging dictators to quit their long held political powers before it becomes too late. In Africa, many dictators still dot the Continent’s political enclaves. Some of these dictators are: Jose Edwardo Dos Santos, Angola (1979)-32 years; Obiang Nguema Mbasago, Equatorial Guinea (1979)-32 years; Robert Gabriel Mugabe, Zimbabwe (1980)-31 years; Paul Biya, Cameroon( 1982)-29 years; Denis Sassou Ngueso, Congo Libreville ( first came in 1979, left in 1992 and returned in 1997)-27 years; Yoweri Musevi, Uganda(1986)-25 years; Blaise Compore, Burkina Faso(1987)-24 years; Omar Hassan el-Bashir, Sudan(1989)-22 years; Idris Derby, Chad(1990)-21 years; Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia(1991)-20 years; Issaias Afwerki, Eritrea(1993)-18 years; and Yahya Jammeh, Gambia(1994)-17 years.

The leaders of Djibouti, Rwanda, Senegal, Algeria, Congo DRC, Kenya, Morocco, Swaziland and Lesotho are emerging African dictators, having stayed in power for over ten years or transformed into absolute monarchies. Internationally, the Castro political hegemony in Cuba remains the world’s longest serving political power having come to power in 1959-52 years. Others are: (absolute) King Haji Hassan al-Borkiah Muizzadin Waddaulah, Brunei (1968)-43 years; (absolute)King Qaboos bin Said Al-Said, Oman(1970)-41 years; Mr. Ali Abdullah Salih, Yemen(1978)-33 years; Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan(1990)-21 years; Nursaltan Nazarbaev, Kazakhstan(1990)-21 years; Emomali Rahman, Tajikistan(1994)-17 years; Alexsandr Lukashenko, Belarus( 1994)-17 years; Kim Jong-iL, North Korea(1994)-17 years. The leaders of Jordan, Syria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain and Venezuela are also emerging dictators in their countries having stayed in power for over ten years or transformed into absolute monarchies. The post Gaddafi Libya must be credibly democratic and respecter of the people’s rights and fundamental freedoms. The ICC and relevant UN bodies must also not rest on their oars until the killers of the thousands of the Libya’s innocent citizens are brought to justice to account for their heinous misdeeds or crimes against humanity.

Signed:

Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, BOT
+234(0)8033601078

Emeka Umeagbalasi

Photo Above: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety, 41, Miss Elems Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.

Gaddafi's bloody dead body on display

Photo Above: Gaddafi's bloody dead body on display
Click For Enlarged Photo

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Permalink 11:14:00 am, by admin Email , 972 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, South East News

*Nigeria: Tapping Anambra Investment Potential

By Esin Suji

One of the enduring features of the development process in Nigeria is the dominance of the public sector [Government]. However, over the years – with growing populations and wider needs – there is increasing awareness that Government can no longer go it alone. This is the raison d’être for local and foreign investments to grow economies. The focus here is Anambra State which enjoys the benefit of a successful industry captain as Governor.

Opportunities for profitable and mutually-beneficial investments abound in virtually all sectors of the economy and society. Highlights of these investment options speak volumes. With its rich flora and fauna, large tracts of arable as well as bodies of water, the State boasts an array of agricultural investments:

• Food Crops – Rice, Cassava, Yams, Cocoyams, Bananas & Plantains, Vegetables, Fruits
• Cash Crops – Palm Produce [Oil, Kernels, Feeds], Forestry resources.
• Livestock/Animal Husbandry – Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Rabbits, Snails, Poultry, Bees and exotic animals [popularly known as ‘Bush Meat’].
• Fishing & Fisheries.
• Agro-allied Industries – Food Processing & Packaging, Fruit Juice, Vegetable Oils, Furniture making, Raffia Palm & Bamboo products, Palm Wine bottling, Gin Distilleries, Honey production, Agro-Inputs [Fertilizers, Pesticides, Animal/Poultry Feeds, etc.].

( Continues below….. )

Map of Anambra State, Nigeria.

Photo Above: Map of Anambra State, Nigeria.

Attractive returns are also available from the exploitation/mining of rich deposits of petroleum crude oil, natural gas, bauxite and iron ore, sand stone, lignite, kaolin, clay and coal. As a matter of fact, the first Nigerian private refinery Orient Petroleum Refinery (OPR) is sited in Nsugbe-Umuleri area, with a proposed capacity of 55,000 barrels per day. A range of other options would embrace manufacturing of domestic and industrial products as well as cultural industries, including arts and crafts; and fabrication of appliances, spares and accessories.

Infrastructural development offers tremendous opportunities as well. Included here are highways, metro line, aerodromes, access/rural roads, power plants, new towns development, modern markets and shopping malls. For a developing economy like Anambra’s, there are also wide-ranging options for investments in support services such as potable water supply schemes; health and veterinary services; educational services [including skill acquisition centres for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises – MSMEs]; information & communication technology [ICT] services; maritime services [inland waterways; haulage and passenger services; cable bus network; machinery and equipment leasing, hire, supplies, maintenance and repairs; waste disposal and management. ( Continues below..... )

Anambra State Governor Peter Obi

Photo Above: Governor Peter Obi (Photo 3)

There are also investment options in the hospitality industry, including tourism [packaged tours, lodges and cabins], resorts, hotels, amusement parks, stadia and other forms of commercial entertainment. The pick is extensive. For starters, the State is widely known as main custodian of Igbo civilization, largely symbolized by Igbo-Ukwu and Nri, even as Nnewi is acknowledged as a technological enclave; Awka the legendary heart of blacksmithing & wood carving; and Onitsha the largest commercial centre in West Africa.

The natural tourism endowments include lakes and other waters with unique features: Agulu Lake whose source is not clear, Amaokpala Lake, Nawfia Lake, Obutu Lake, Otumoye Lake, Okpu Ana Natural Spring [Ukpor]. There are caves with religious, judicial and recreational significance: Ogbunike Cave which hosts a lion, bush python labyrinth of tunnels, several chambers and the source of spring water; Owerre-Ezukala Cave with features to develop a swimming pool, landscapes, gardens and a powerful waterfall; Ajalli Cave. ( Continues below...... )

Ogbunike Cave

Photo Above: Ogbunike Cave. *Ogbunike Cave is one of the greatest wonders of nature. It is located in Ogbunike, a few miles to Onitsha, largest city in Anambra State and one of largest commercial centers in Nigeria.

Public-Private Partnerships and private initiatives are available in the development and improvement of such other hospitality revenue earners as Kenneth Dike Park [Awka], Nkisi Boat Yard [near River Niger, Onitsha], Mamu Forest Reserve [Orumba North LGA], Otuocha Forest Reserve [Anambra East LGA], Otuocha Sand Beach [Anambra East LGA] and Rojenny Tourist Village [Oba].

Procedures and incentives for investments have been liberalized even as investors are assured of international legal protection and returns. And, as attested to by visitors and residents alike, the security situation in the State has improved tremendously. The Obi administration has strengthened grassroots policing through subventions to vigilance services, while regular security agencies get monthly support in funds and equipment.

Under the present dispensation, quite a number of Nigerian and international investors have been demonstrating practical interest in Anambra State. Among these are Wicklove [in partnership to revitalize and run the giant rice mill at Omor]; AMBA Investicorp, Nkwelle-Ezunaka [partnership to resuscitate the State-owned Integrated Livestock Company]; SABMiller Breweries, Onitsha [investing some US$100 million in the first phase]; Dencar Services/Eaglefin Structured Finance Mauritius [building a 260 megawatt capacity plant]; Innoson Motor Manufacturing Company, Nnewi [first of its kind in Nigeria]; Orange Drugs Industrial Complex, Onitsha; Chikason Group of Companies, Nnewi; Neem-Fertilizer Plant [in partnership with the Federal Government]; Juhel Parenteral Drugs Complex, Awka; and Brown Sugar Factory, Omor. Meanwhile, Phase 1 of the Business Park project is fully functional – housing financial institutions, Securities & Exchange Commission, Nigerian Stock Exchange, brokerage firms, among others. Phase 2 is nearing completion; its funding derived from revenue generated from Phase 1.

To strengthen its strategic partnerships and further attract investments to the area, the Government recently hosted an investors’ forum as part of the State’s twentieth anniversary. The platform attracted guests from within and outside Nigeria. Critical issues in focus included investments in medicine [specialist hospitals, technology transfer & capacity building]; potable water supply to the rural communities [micro-grid, etc.]; water treatment; energy from waste technology; combating environmental pollution; fish farming; project [especially infrastructure] financing; vocational & technical education; and housing development.

Indeed, Anambra State is irreversibly on the path of sustainable prosperity and development, which discerning investors could join in a mutually-beneficial relationship. There is always a welcome mat for the genuine investor.

Esin Suji writes from Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.

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