Friday, 15 February 2013

Nigerian Entertainment Tit-Bits  

Elizabeth Elohor
Search For Miss Nigeria 2013 Begins

Elizabeth Elohor
The 38th edition of Miss Nigeria 2013 is underway, and young ladies between the ages of 18 and 25 are expected to battle for the coveted crown.
Auditions for the pageant, which is organised by  DAAR Communications in collaboration with Beth Management Limited, will commence tomorrow and end on 30 March.
The auditions will be held in places like Port Harcourt, Enugu, Benin and Abuja, while the final casting will take place in Lagos.
At the end of the auditions, 36 contestants will emerge to partake in a two-week reality TV show, “THE MAKING OF A QUEEN”.
Eliminations will take place, after which 21 ladies will compete for one crown at the grand finale.
Elizabeth Elohor, the Managing Director of Beth said: “Our ultimate goal is to choose a queen based on elegance, poise, talent, intelligence and beauty. The winner will take home N3 million, a luxury car, full academic scholarship in Nigeria, an all expense paid trip and one year modeling contract.”
—Edwin Usoboh

Judges Pick Final 12 For Nigerian Idol 3
Femi Kuti, Yinka Davies and Jeffery Daniels, all judges of the Nigerian Idol reality television show gave their blessings to Moses and Dan while Abasiakan was the voter’s choice. Moses, Dan, Oweck, Modele, Abasiakan, Micheal and Okey Jazz were the seven contestants vying for the final three spots but only three really impressed the judges.
The final 3, Moses, Dani and Abasiakan
The final 3, Moses, Dani and Abasiakan
Having been eliminated previously, the seven contestants were given a second chance to redeem themselves in the Wild Card round. The Season 3 of Nigerian Idol has been intriguing so far, from dramatic splits to disastrous onstage melt-downs; it has been the most exciting season of the show.
As the lights dimmed, seven contestants stood on the stage knowing the next few minutes would decide whether their dreams would come true, or their hopes dashed. And with what was probably the biggest surprise of the evening, Abasiakan proved himself to be a quiet stunner as he won the voters pick. “I feel so big right now. I’m not going to let you down,” said an elated Abasiakan, who accompanied his good news with a nimble victory dance. Despite the joy, the mood dimmed as it fell to the host of the show Ill Rhymz, to hand out the bad news to the contestants  including, shockingly, Oweck, who had looked like a shoo-in after his last performance.
— Seun Bisuga

 ‘WED Expo’ll Be The Largest In West Africa’
Akin Eso
Akin Eso
Having successfully pulled together all the best and brightest brains in the wedding industry under one roof last year, WED, Nigeria’s foremost wedding magazine, and organisers of WED Expo is set to stage a grand exhibition billed to be the largest exhibition in West Africa.
Speaking with P.M.NEWS Entertainment CafĂ© in Lagos, Akin Eso, publisher, WED and executive producer of the WED Expo, said they are leaving no stone unturned, as vital ingredients to pull a show stopping event that will linger in the memories of participants and visitors for a long time to come are  being put in place. “When you have an event as big as WED Expo you do not plan overnight. Our goal is to create a wedding city in those four days that the exhibitions will run, so we need proper planning. And I can guarantee you it will be a total experience,” Eso said.
Eso said the event holding between 21 and 24 March at the Landmark Village, Victoria Island, Lagos, will feature WED Awards designed to appreciate creative talents in the Nigerian wedding industry, Best of cakes competition for those into cake baking and decorations, and wedding fashion show, to showcase  different wedding designs.
It is also strategically designed to produce budding talents and professionals in the wedding industry, with educational and mentoring sessions by the industry bests including Tosan Jemide, Banke Meshida Lawal and Tsoule.
— Funsho Arogundade

Nigerian Broadcasters’ Night Berths
Denrele Edun
Denrele Edun
Organisers of Nigerian Broadcasters Merit Awards (NBMA) have concluded plans to hold the Broadcasters’ Nite aimed at celebrating the winners of the awards.
Kazeem Popoola, NBMA founder, said the new event is expected to further celebrate the achievements of the Nigerian broadcast industry as well as its brightest stars.
On the last Thursday of the month, he explained, one of the winners of NBMA will be hosted at one of the biggest clubs in the country. Popoola noted that beyond the celebration of the winner with music and comedy, the event will also have a red carpet reception and presentation of certificate to the winner.
“We are giving this monthly gig a national appeal by taking it round all the states so that NBMA winners from other states would have the opportunity to be celebrated right in the cities where they are popular. The Nigerian Broadcasters’ Nite will be loaded with surprises and an elaborate coverage by the media.”
The maiden edition of the event will hold on 23 February 2013.
— Bayo Adetu

BET Celebrate Chaka Khan, Others
Chaka Khan
Chaka Khan
An awards ceremony celebrating the achievements of distinguished African-Americans, The BET Honours will be aired on 16 February. BET Honours celebratesAfro-Americans in literature, entertainment, media, public service and education. Past honourees include Maya Angelou, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Spike Lee, Jamie Foxx, Iman, Herbie Hancock, Whitney Houston, Queen Latifah and Sean “Diddy” Combs.
The event, to be co-hosted by Bad Boys II and City of Angels actress Gabrielle Union, will be aired at 11p.m on DStv Channel 135 and on GOtv Channel 22. This year’s awards recipients include Academy Award winning actress, Halle Berry, and ten-time Grammy award winner, Chaka Khan, who will be celebrating 40 years in music and entertainment this year.  Other honorees include music executive, film producer and entrepreneur, Clarence Avant, known to many as the “Godfather of Black Music”; four-time Olympic women’s basketball gold medalist, Lisa Leslie; and preacher/author, T.D. Jakes.
— Daniels Ekugo

U-Rap Competition Gets Underway
The first rap music reality television show is upon us. It is online/Youtube rap competition that would produce the best unsung rap star in Nigeria. The rap competition, U-Rap is open to all Nigerian rap artistes at home and abroad. With no age limit and sex discrimination, the competition will most likely be the most keenly contested music show.
The competition is powered and promoted by Ultima Limited, the content developer and producers of Project Fame West Africa that have discovered talents such as Iyanya, Chidinma, Myke, Praiz, and several others.
The promoters of U-Rap have identified that rap music is on a downward spin and have decided to resurrect it again in Nigeria. The objective of the show is to give talented Nigerians everywhere a platform to showcase their creativity, style and uniqueness.
The requirement for getting on the show is simple. A two minute video of the prospective rapper should be uploaded on video sharing website, Youtube. Participants can upload videos using iphone, GalaxyTab, Android and any other smartphones. Camcoders and other video sharing devices could be used as well. Videos must be uploaded to but participants must first register on

South Africa: Murder so shocking on Val day  

Reeva and Pistorius: a shocking murder
PRETORIA (AFP) – Olympic star Oscar Pistorius broke down in tears in the dock Friday as he was charged with the Valentine’s Day murder of his model girlfriend, a charge he denied “in the strongest terms.”
Reeva and Pistorius: a shocking murder
Reeva and Pistorius: a shocking murder
The 26-year-old South African Paralympian gold medallist sobbed inconsolably as Pretoria magistrate Desmond Nair announced a single charge of killing his lover, blonde covergirl Reeva Steenkamp.
The double amputee was an inspirational hero of last year’s London Olympics.
But on Friday he sat hunched and silent except for audible weeping as the court heard that prosecutors will argue the murder was premeditated, a weightier charge that would carry a life sentence.
A bail hearing was delayed until Tuesday to allow the defence more time to prepare.
He will be kept in police custody until then.
Pistorius, hooded being taken away by  cops
Pistorius, hooded being taken away by cops
In a statement issued by Pistorius’s family and management company after the court appearance the fallen star said “the alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms.”
He also offered his condolences to the those close to his former lover.
“Our thoughts and prayers today should be for Reeva and her family — regardless of the circumstances of this terrible, terrible tragedy.”
Twenty-nine-year-old Steenkamp, who was due to appear in a celebrity reality show from this weekend, was shot four times at Pistorius’s upmarket Pretoria home in the early hours of Thursday.
The pre-recorded show filmed in an exotic location in Jamaica features the model and several local personalities competing for one million rand ($113,500) prize money.
Trailers for the series show a beaming Steenkamp clad in a bikini and other skimpy clothing.
Producers said they had decided not to shelve the show, which will premiere two days after she was shot dead at Pistorius’s home.
“As we grieve today with Reeva’s family and friends and struggle to make sense of this shocking tragedy, it has taken much deliberation to come to the decision to continue screening Tropika Island of Treasure 5 as planned,” executive producer Samantha Moon said in a statement.
“This week’s episode will be dedicated to Reeva’s memory.”
Pistorius house in Pretorai: scene of the murder
Pistorius house in Pretorai: scene of the murder
She was killed with his 9mm pistol, suffering wounds to the head and hand and died at the scene.
The Beeld newspaper, which first broke the dramatic news of his arrest, said Friday the shots that killed Steenkamp were fired through a bathroom door but there has been no police confirmation.
After the shooting Pistorius’s apparent fall from grace has captured the attention of millions, with press from around the world cramming the courtroom to cover events.
Better-known as “Blade Runner” because of his carbon fibre prostheses, Pistorius has inspired millions by becoming the first double-amputee to compete alongside able-bodied athletes at the Olympics.
“Oscar’s Bloody Valentine” was the headline in South Africa’s most popular tabloid, the Daily Sun.
Police were called to Pistorius’s home at around 4:00 am by neighbours who heard gunshots.
But they poured cold water on initial reports that Pistorius had shot Steenkamp, his girlfriend since late last year, after mistaking her for a burglar.
Pistorius was publicly adored in his native South Africa, but questions had been raised about his colourful private life that was replete with glamorous girlfriends, guns and fast cars.
“Obviously we are shocked,” his father Henke Pistorius told AFP.
Steenkamp, once an FHM cover girl, was described as “the kindest, sweetest human being; an angel on earth,” by Sarit Tomlins of her management agency.
Born in Cape Town, she grew up in Port Elizabeth where she graduated with a degree in law from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
Police have revealed there had been previous allegations of domestic disputes at Pistorius’s home.
In 2009, Pistorius spent a night in jail after allegedly assaulting a 19-year-old woman at a party.
He has often spoken publicly about his fondness for guns. Last year he told a newspaper he sleeps with a pistol, machine gun, cricket bat and baseball bat for fear of burglars.
There are an estimated 1.5 million gun owners in South Africa, where crime remains a major problem.
Many residents keep weapons at home and equip their houses with electric fences and panic buttons that summon heavily armed guards within minutes.
In November, Pistorius tweeted about arriving home and hearing the washing machine on “and thinking it’s an intruder to go into full combat recon mode into the pantry! waa.”
Pistorius is also known as an adrenaline junkie, with a love of speed reflected in a passion for motorbikes. Four years ago he crashed his boat in a river south of Johannesburg, breaking two ribs, an eye socket and his jaw.
Empty alcohol bottles were found in the boat, but his blood alcohol content was not tested.
Until now his problems off the track had been eclipsed by his athletics success.
The Johannesburg-born athlete won gold in the 4x100m relay and the 400m individual at the Paralympic Games in London. He was triple gold medallist in the Beijing games in 2008.
He was named by Time Magazine last year as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.
Pistorius had both legs amputated below the knee when he was 11-months-old after being born without lower leg bones.

ACN Salutes APC Leaders, Urges Massive Support  

The Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has affirmed that the All Progressives Congress, APC, has come to stay and salutes the dexterity with which the leaders of the new party are handling the task of midwifing the party.
In a release in Lagos, signed by the Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Joe Igbokwe, the party said that for Nigeria to make meaningful progress and for the present democracy to survive the many challenges it is facing at present, Nigerians must rally round APC to reposition the country for progress.
The party expressed its pleasure at the progress made so far by the merger committee, which it says portends that the country can weather its present tortuous challenges if sincerity of purpose is employed. It urges the commiitee to go the whole hog and come out with beautiful, practicable and cost effective ways of rescuing the country from the pith of decay the PDP has ran it into.
“We are particularly pleased that the leaders of the APC have worked with an uncommon spirit of sacrifice and secriousness so far and the early results of their efforts are already running PDP and its allies ragged as all their efforts to sow discord and strife among the component parties have come to naught.
“We salute them and also salute the mass acceptance that has trailed the formation of APC. We see it as enough proof that the country is tired of the burden the PDP has been for the past fourteen inglorious years. We see the massive endorsement the APC is receiving through the length and breadth of the country as proof that Nigerians urgently want change from the rotten and decadent order that has weighed them down for the past fourteen years. We see these as an endorsement of the efforts of the leaders of the APC and urge them to do more,” ACN said.
According to ACN, “APC is an idea whose time has come. We retstate that no amount of desperation by a fading and decadent order can stop it. APC is a child of history and history has taught us that nothing stymies a move that is historically correct. The rightness and historical correctness of the APC find meaning in the continued state of sleaze Nigeria has been under the PDP since 1999. We believe that the continued regression of the nation under the corrupt and incompetent watch of the PDP assisted tremendously to midwife the APC. APC will fulfil its historical mission of redirecting the sinking ship of the Nigerian state and steer it to safety from 2015.
“Lagos ACN notes the unsettled and clearly disoriented state the PDP had been thrown into since APC emerged. We note that the PDP is in great disarray on how to handle the present challenge thrown by the APC and this dishevelled state could be gleaned from the way and manner the party has so far reacted to the emergence of the APC. The rank and file of the PDP are caught on a crisis engendered by its well known notorious value to the present democracy where it has excelled in looting, impunity, incompetence and all other forms of inneficiency. We note that since PDP found out that it could not stop the formation of APC, it has been mobilizing its members and allies to sow falsehood, rumours and gossips with a view to engendering bad blood among the leaders of APC. That they have failed woefully in distracting APC shows that Nigerians are determined to do away with the nuisance the PDP has constituted in Nigeria for fourteen years.”
The party says it believes that “Nigeria is worth dying for and this worthiness obtains in the prospects of future responsible governance, which the APC is poised to give. We urge Nigerians who desire change from this prolonged state of rot to mobilise themselves in their immediate communiittes and neighbourhoods and align with APC as its braces itself for the task of salvaging the state of decadence the PDP has levied on Nigeria for fourteen awful years.”

Fashola Decries Violence Against Women, Children

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola,  has played host to the Vice President of the International Association of Lions Clubs, Mr. Barry Palmer, advocating a world devoid of violence and brutality especially against women and children.
Addressing a large delegation of Lions Club members from across the state, including Air Vice-Marshal Anthony Okpere (retd.), who accompanied Palmer at the Lagos House Marina, Fashola said such a world was possible if only humanity could work hard to embrace peace.
“I wish that we could have a world where there are no guns; I wish we could have a world where there is peace; I wish we could have a world where women are not brutalized, where children are not kidnapped,“ he said adding, “I think that all this is possible if only we can all work hard to embrace peace.”
Commending the Lions Club International for the tremendous work it is doing all over the world to bring succour to suffering humanity, Fashola added: “These are my wishes for my state; these are my wishes for the world in which I live and I am ready to embrace partnerships like the Lions Club to bring them to reality.
“The responsibility that we bear as a people, but more so, as a Government, is essentially to bring out the best from God’s greatest creation– humanity -, first by preserving their lives, by making them healthy and by giving them education that gives them skills to unleash the real potential that is in every human being.”
He thanked the Lions Family in Nigeria and in Lagos for the tremendous support they are giving to the people of Nigeria and particularly to the government and people of Lagos State, saying such support has been visible especially in the areas of disease eradication and prevention.
Fashola, who said he had to give up a previously scheduled trip to Abuja in order to receive the delegation personally, described the Lions Club International as ”very worthy and laudable partners in the worthy cause to save humanity from abject poverty and disease”.
He lauded the Lagos Districts of the Club for their commitment towards the eradication and prevention of polio, expressing joy that the state government has effectively kept the disease out of the state for four years “in spite of the challenges arising from immigration and from behavioural patterns which we are using advocacy to deepen.”
He also thanked Lion Air Vice-Marshal Anthony Okpere (retd.) “for the untiring work that he has done in promoting the Lions Family here”, adding that his commitment to the cause of the Club could be detected from contributions of council members and past District Governors towards the welfare of the people. He said his government has been at the forefront of the battle to eradicate poverty and disease among the people through prevention and eradication of diseases and education to give skills to the people with which to engage in enterprise and prosper.
“You will see that among the small team that is with me, there are three doctors and this speaks to our commitment to health and welfare of our people. One of them is an educationist because we understand the importance of skills to battle the greatest challenge, perhaps, that has beset humanity – poverty – and with skills you can go into enterprise and that is why the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry is here because we all have the commercial aspiration to do business and prosper”, he said.
Describing the Lions Family in Lagos as “very worthy and salutary partners”, Governor Fashola thanked Palmer for his visit and for his commitment to the cause of humanity adding that his administration would always be found ready partners in the Club’s endeavour to make the world a better place for humanity.
In his opening remarks, Palmer said the Lion Club has undertaken to eradicate measles in Nigeria as well as assist in basic educational programmes so that more young people could learn to read and write at the rudimentary stages.
“We realize that government cannot do it all alone neither can we do it alone. We need the cooperation and collaboration of each other to achieve the required goal,” he said, and thanked Fashola for “all the support you are giving to the club here.”

Nigerian chains daughter for 7 days without food 

The Nigerian police have arrested a man, Mr. Godstime Esonoye, for chaining his daughter’s legs at Idimu, a suburb of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital for one week and denying her of food.
Esonoye allegedly chained and tortured his 10-year old daughter at their 5, Olorunlori street, for one week without food and water.
The little girl, who is living with Esonoye  and her step-mother, lost her own mother two years ago.
The father allegedly chained her to compel her to confess to witchcraft.
The victim has been taken to the Emergency ward at Igando General Hospital for treatment of the injuries she sustained while she was chained.
Angry neighbours have called on relevant authorities to ensure that the man is punished for subjecting the little girl to such inhuman treatment, and that the girl should not be left with the man after her treatment in the hospital.

Oba Sent To Prison For Contempt  

An Ota High Court, Ogun State, southWest Nigeria has sentenced Lasisi Kolapo Ogunseye to two months imprisonment for contempt.
Chief Fatai Alani Matanmi, the Onijoko of Ijoko-Ota filed the contempt charge against the convict on 17 May, 2012 at the Ota High Court.
In his application, Oba Matanmi alleged that after he had won several cases against the convict at the high court on the tussle for the stool of Onijoko of Ijoko-Ota, Ogunseye continued to ignore the judgments of the court and has been parading himself as Onijoko of Ijoko by attending public functions with the full regalia of an Oba.
Barrister S. O. Ola, the leading counsel for Oba Matanmi while moving the motion for the committal to prison of Ogunseye told the court that Ogunseye has been behaving as if he is above the law and has continued to flout court orders with impunity without regard to the rule of law, moreso, when he was properly served with all the court processes.
“He has refused to show up in court to answer to the contempt charge against him or send a representative,” he added.
Ruling on the motion, the presiding judge, Justice Mobolaji .A. Ojo frowned at the attitude of Ogunseye, saying he thinks that he is above the law but the fact remains that the law is above everyone.
“I  hold that this is an appropriate situation in which the court may punish the contemnor for his contempt.
“This application therefore succeeds and it is granted as prayed. The respondent/party cited is guilty of the orders of this court. I hereby order that the respondent, Lasisi Kolapo Ogunseye, be arrested forthwith and remanded in prison custody for a period of 60 days in the first instance until he purges himself of his contempt of this court,” the judge ruled.
Justice Ojo also ordered that a copy of the order should be served on the Area Commander, Nigeria Police, Ota, the Commissioner of Police, Ogun State Command, the Attorney-General of Ogun State and the Governor of Ogun State.
He concluded by saying “each and everyone of the above mentioned shall exercise his constitutional and statutory powers and authority to execute this order without delay.”

No Hiding Place For Beggars —Fashola  

The war against begging in Lagos rages on as Governor Babatunde Fashola has vowed to eradicate all forms of begging in the state.
The governor stated that the law against begging must be enforced to ensure that beggars were stamped out of the streets of Lagos as their activities constituted nuisance to the public and the government.

Gov. Babatunde Raji, rages war against begging in the state
Gov. Babatunde Raji, rages war against begging in the state
Fashola, who spoke after he visited the State Remand Home and Skill Acquisition Centre, Isheri, and the premises of Eko Transport in Oshodi on Thursday, said there was no reason why people should beg for alms on the streets of Lagos when they could easily learn some vocational skills.
“When we say people shouldn’t beg on our street, we mean it. The reason is that begging is not an option here. Everyone must contribute to this economy and those who have drug problem or illness have the choice to visit our remand homes where we feed them, rehabilitate and treat them.
“So, we have provided a choice and there is a law against street begging and we will enforce it,” he stated.
The governor added that several people had been trained at the vocational centres and had become very useful to the society, stressing that those begging for alms could also make themselves available for training in order to become useful to the society as well.
He explained that the Lagos State Remand Home and Skill Acquisition Centre, Isheri was developed over the last years essentially out of nothing. This, he attributed to the hard work by the deputy governor and her team.
The governor said the Wood Work section at the centre was where a lot of the state’s school furniture and stuff were being made currently, adding that the boots worn by officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority and Neighbourhood Watch were being made at the footwear centre.
“We have been to the refrigeration unit of the centre where they teach them basic refrigeration, maintenance, operational and management skills. We also saw the centre where the young ladies were making foot mats, dresses and all of that. They would move on as they finish to the African Growth Opportunities Act Centre (AGOA) in collaboration with the US Government where they can begin to export some of their work,” he said.
Fashola explained how the centre played a key role in developing skilled manpower even from among the indigent, saying that, “clearly, they are products of our technical colleges and also destitute and people with drug problems taken through rehabilitation and introduced to the Centres to learn a skill and go back and become useful members of the society.”

Goldie Died Of Drugs— Sources  

Nigeria’s music diva, Susan Oluwabimpe Harvey, popularly known as Goldie, who died Thursday night may have died as a result of doping complications, close sources to her said.
She died last night at Reddington Hospital, Victoria Island, Lagos, and barely few hours after she arrived from Los Angeles, United States of America.
Goldie: shocking death
Goldie: shocking death
Goldie’s death was confirmed yesterday by her management via her Facebook Page and Twitter handle. The post reads: “It is with heavy heart that I have to announce to you all that Goldie passed on this night (last night) shortly after arriving Lagos from Los Angeles. May her soul rest in the eternal peace of the Lord… Amin.”
The main cause of her death is still sketchy as at time of filing this report. Goldie was said to have been rushed to Reddington Hospital by close friend, Denrele Edun from her Park View residence after she complained of headache.
But a source close to the music star confided in P.M.NEWS that Goldie died of complications from the use of drugs. “She had complications from the use of dope. I guess things went wrong this time around.”
Another source also told P.M.NEWS this morning that “she had been into this drug stuff for some time now. I believe that contributed to her death.” Goldie, who represented Nigeria at last year’s Big Brother Amplified (BBA) in South Africa, is signed to Kennis Music.
Keke Ogungbe, the President of Kennis Music, confirmed the death of the songstress in a statement this morning. “On behalf of Kennis Music, I’m sad to officially confirm the shocking and untimely passage of Nigeria’s pop star, Goldie Harvey. With a deep sense of loss, we announce the shocking death of our darling music star, Goldie Harvey. Goldie, 31, died on Thursday after she complained of a severe headache at her Park View residence shortly after her arrival from the United States where she went to witness the Grammy Award.
“She was rushed to her official hospital, Reddington, Victoria Island, Lagos, where doctors pronounced her dead on arrival. We consider this period a gloomy moment for us and the entire Nigerian music industry in view of the circumstance Goldie passed away, the abundance of talent she has exhibited in her but eventful music career and the various opportunities her trip to the United States of America would have availed her. She is survived by her father, step- mother, brothers and sisters.”
The remains of Goldie, who hails from Ekiti State have been deposited at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital mortuary.
The deceased attended Green Springs Montessori Primary School and St. John’s College, Palm Grove before moving on to the University of Sunderland where she studied Business Management.
She joined Kennis Music in 2010 and had her debut album, Gold. Some of her hit songs are “You Know It”, “JawoJawo” and DTMB (Don’t Touch My Body).
In her music career, Goldie received 10 awards, including Exquisite Lady of the year, Best Female Artiste award and City People Best Female Artiste of the year.
Goldie became the final celebrity to exit the BBA7 star game house in 2012 as the 3rd runner up.

Panic in Russia as collapsed meteor rains debris

A meteor shower rained down on central Russia on Friday, sowing panic as the hurtling space debris exploded in the air, blew out windows and left several people injured, officials and agencies reported.
“A meteorite disintegrated above the Urals (mountain range in central Russia), partially burning up in the lower atmosphere,” the local office of the national emergencies ministry said in a satement.
“Fragments of the meteorite reached Earth, falling in sparsely populated areas in the Chelyabinsk region,” it said.
“According to preliminary information, four people have been injured by flying glass,” it said.
“At 11:00 am local time (0500 GMT) we received numerous calls of panic, power cuts and contusions,” Interfax cited the local government as saying.

Obasanjo makes case for women 

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo Thursday, said in Benin that the achievement of the desired economic and political growth by governments at all levels would be difficult if the challenges facing women in the country are not addressed.
Obasanjo made this declaration while delivering the first Dr. Abel Guobadia Memorial lecture, with the title “The Role of Women in Safe Guiding the Nation’s Health,” organized by the Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC).
He said affirmative action must be designed and implemented to give women an opportunity to acquire and exercise their knowledge not just in national health issues but also in many national issues. They must be part of decision making body, adding that contribution to our national life by women cannot be over emphasized.
“If they are shut out, national development in health and other sectors will be hard to realize. Majority of Nigerians particularly women are poor and they are susceptible to diseases and that is bad for any nation,” Obasanjo said.
He lamented that women have continued to be marginalised in the country despite their numerous contributions to the growth of the nation.
“If about 50 per cent of our population are women, any thing that affects the bulk of that population affects the nation directly and this is in addition to the issue of direct effect on women’s health and children and the family. The issue of women’s health must be treated within the other issue of power, control and decision making.
“It must be clearly understood that in the extent that women are disadvantaged in essential political and economic roles, to that extent will all affect the women’s life living her health inadequately addressed. What ever statistics we may choose to use, maternal mortality, infant mortality, what is generally revealed is problem for the female population and which reflects on the national health situation.
“The issue is not only that of access to medical care and facilities but the issue is also political and economic. We have 36 governors and not one of them is a woman. We have at the national level 109 senators but only 8 are women. And we have only 360 members in the House of Representatives only 24 of them are women. I am taking the issue of women health further, we are taking it beyond the medical, the political and the economic. And until we are able to eliminate and abate this problem, we will not find solution to women problem,” he stated.
Obasanjo who described the late Dr Guobadia, as “an intelligent man who helped in the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria,” added that the former INEC Chairman’s role in finding solution to women’s health is exemplary, which he said was reason why he served as chairman Board of WHARC until his death.
Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, stressed the need for girl-child education, declaring that “in Edo, the girl-child has access to free education, though there are difficulties.”
“For us to fasten the pace of development and make the right level of investment that will deliver not only on the girl child education, but also to create opportunities for those who have been so educated, then we do need to revisit the way in which our natural income is being distributed and managed,” Oshiomhole stated.
He however regretted that women are being marginalized despite the fact that “they vote more than men during elections. I think the challenge is basically for INEC and the Federal Government to create a truly woman friendly environment where politics cannot be a hindrance so that intelligent women can afford on the basis of a well refined platform against the male to find out who has better idea about the development option that are available.”

Union vows to shut Nigeria’s universities

The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), will on 22 February determine its next line of action after mobilising its members to prepare for a possible industrial action, a unionist says.
Mr Alfred Jimoh, the National Vice President of the South-West Zone of the union, spoke in Lagos on the possible strike in a telephone interview on Thursday.
“The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the union will be meeting next week Friday and after then, we shall come out with the next line of action,” he said.
The body had earlier mobilised its members to prepare for a possible industrial action as a means of pressing home their demand for the Federal Government’s full implementation of a 2009 agreement it entered into with SSANU.
The body urged the government to jettison a report submitted by the NEEDS Assessment of Nigerian Public Universities Committee, saying, “is unfavourable’’.
According to Jimoh, the committee report recommended that non-teaching staff in Nigerian universities should be transferred to either the state ministries of education or the Federal Ministry of Education.
Jimoh said that the report recommended a stop in the employment of non-teaching staff in the Nigerian university system for the next five years.
He described the report as cruel and untenable and called on the Federal Government to jettison it, noting that non-teaching staff were vital to the running of the university system.
“We have been patient enough on these issues but government does not seem to take us seriously.
“We will therefore cripple the entire university system in the country if government does not accede to our demands,’’ Jimoh said.
The union had on 11 December last year , embarked on a week’s warning strike over the non implementation of the 2009 agreement.
The Presidential Review Committee on the Report of the NEEDS Assessment in the Nigerian public universities, last month raised a Technical Committee that will review the recommendations and come out with workable solutions.

Polio campaign to go on despite attacks  

Nigerian officials vowed to push ahead with polio vaccination campaigns on Thursday after last week’s deadly attacks on two polio clinics, while the brother of a victim also urged action.
Junior health minister Muhammad Ali Pate told officials and traditional chiefs in the northern city of Kano, where the attacks which killed at least 10 people occurred, that the government would not be deterred.
“For the cause that they were killed, helping children by protecting them from a disease that can be prevented, we will continue,” Pate, who has spearheaded Nigeria’s anti-polio efforts, told a gathering at the office for the governor of Kano state.
The younger brother of Hauwa Abdulazeez, a 50-year-old mother of seven who was one of the vaccinators killed, said her death would be in vain if polio campaigns stopped.
A polio vaccinator: 9 killed in Kano
A polio vaccinator: 9 killed in Kano
“This should not end the eradication project,” Mairiga Abdulazeez told AFP outside the palace of the local emir, where Pate also spoke.
“My sister died serving her community and I’m proud of that, although her death is shocking and painful.”
Gunmen stormed two clinics where polio vaccination workers had gathered on February 8, killing at least 10 people.
The attacks came after a radio programme reported on claims of forced vaccinations and allegedly revived conspiracy theories about the vaccines.
Claims that polio vaccinations are used to render Muslims infertile have long spread in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north, often stoked by local politicians and clerics, dealing setbacks to efforts to eradicate the crippling disease.
Two journalists and a cleric involved in the programme were granted bail on Thursday after being charged earlier this week for incitement, among other charges.
Nigeria is one of only three countries still considered to have endemic polio, along with Pakistan and Afghanistan.
It is not yet clear who was responsible for the attacks at the clinics and there was no evidence linking the radio programme to the violence.
Islamist extremist group Boko Haram has carried out attacks in Kano, though gangs linked to local politics also operate.
Kano’s Deputy Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said the state would not be discouraged by the attacks in its commitment to stamp out polio.
“This unfortunate incidence cannot deter us from our continued journey to eradicate polio not only in Kano state but in the whole country,” Ganduje said.
The state would further strengthen routine polio immunisation to speed up eradication of the crippling disease, he said.
Meanwhile, government and private donors have made some cash offers to families of the killed polio vaccinators.
The Federal Government, Kano state government and the Dangote Organizations have at different times paid condolence visit to the families and relations of the victims of last Friday’s shootings at two polio centres in Kano northwest Nigeria which left about 10 people dead while several others were wounded.
They made monetary donations to representatives of the families to the tune of N24.45 million on the whole.
Kano state government donated the sum of N500, 000 each to families of the 10 killed health workers, while N250, 000 was awarded to four others that sustained injuries to during the attack.
The state governor, Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso announced this during a meeting with the family members of the victims at the Government House in Kano.
He also announced that the chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote donated N500, 000 to each of the bereaved families and N250, 000 to each of the wounded.
The Federal Government donated N1 million each to the 10 family members, with N200, 000 each for the seven injured victims.

King Sunny Ade honored by Nigeria’s premier university

UI DVC, Prof Sanya presenting the award to King Sunny Ade
UI honours King Sunny Ade
Nigeria’s Juju maestro, Chief Sunday Ishola Adeniyi Adegeye alias King Sunny Ade has been described as the Nigeria’s ambassador-at-large, who has taken the nation’s name to the length and breadth of the world.
Professor Isaac Adewole, the Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan (UI) said this Thursday during the Distinguished Personality colloquium organized by the Institute of African Studies of the premier university in honour of King Sunny Ade for his contribution to the music world.
UI DVC, Prof Sanya presenting the award to King Sunny Ade
UI DVC, Prof Sanya presenting the award to King Sunny Ade
Adewole who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Arinola Olasumbo Sanya said, “Africa cannot thank him enough for doing us so proud. Nigeria cannot thank him enough and our own little way to thanking him for making us so proud is partly by organizing the kind of event we have today in which eminent scholars have gathered to subject Sunny Ade and his creativity to academic analyses”.
The VC noted that his past works make him a golden fish that cannot be hidden adding that he is also such a prolific artiste that never rests on his oars.
He noted that King Sunny Ade would forever be celebrated.
The chairperson of the occasion, Professor Bolanle Awe in her speech noted that King Sunny Ade was being honoured because the university has decided to appreciate the African treasures and heritage.
King Sunny Ade having chat with Oni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade with Olori listening in admiration
King Sunny Ade having chat with Oni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade with Olori listening in admiration
She said, “It is important to us in Africa to focus attention not only on those things which have come from outside, but on those that have evolved from within our own African environment and whom our society has acknowledged as a source of pride to us. It is within this context that the university today has identified King Sunny Ade”.
Continuing, “Whosoever has not heard of Sunny Ade, listened or danced to his music, is obviously to be pitied as he is obviously living only on the fringes of our society in Nigeria”.
Professor Tunji Vidal, Professor Isaac Olawale Albert, Dr. Sola Olorunyomi, Dr. Kayode Samuel and Oloye Lekan Alabi revealed the life of the great musician through their different presentations which would be collated into a book latest by August.
They all described him as a gentle, humble creative, generous, humorous and disciplined man.
Reacting, King Sunny Ade said that he would never forget the honour done him by the premier university.
Also in attendance to grace the occasion was Oni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade in the company of his wife, Olori Moniola. About 30 other Yoruba kings attended the event.
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