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Friday, December 30, 2011

Boko Haram: The Sultan is right!

IN the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
The need has come to tackle the issue of terrorism with all the strength and might of government since it is the duty of government to protect the lives and property of its citizenry.  The security of man and woman irrespective of religious, tribal and social sentiment is a fundamental responsibility of the government and it must pull all stops to ensure that people live without fear of harassment. 
It is unfortunate that fanatical Muslims (we are made to believe so) do one evil or the other in the name  of Islam. The Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Sa'ad Abubakar has said it, they are not Muslims. But we will continue to say it loud and clear that these people do not represent Islam, neither do their gruesome acts express the ordinance of Allah or betoken the practice of Prophet Muhammad or better still the agreement of most Muslims in a given society.  These actions could be either politically motivated or to pursue  ulterior motives of individuals or group.  Fortunately, the Qur’an is one and no verse of it encourages killing of fellow human being and destruction of properties for admittance into paradise.  The interpretation of the verse(s) which non Muslims are quick to quote is basically for defence justified by the circumstances which the verse was revealed and situation of earliest Muslims at that time.  when the infidels struck to attack the Muslims in an attempt to wipe out Islam.   But today, it has been so misinterpreted to suit the interest of the interpreter. 
The point is that anyone that goes about killing in the name of God does that for his selfish interest and  not of the religion.  It is an ideologue which cannot be made to bear on the faith that discourages it.   Several evidences abound that pontificate 'no compulsion' in religion.  In fact no religion accepts that.  As I was writing this piece, I received news of the arrest of one Emmanuel Ekan for attempting to bomb a Church in Yenagoa. The suspect who was described as an ex-convict was found with some grenades in his bag.  Report says he was stopped by vigilant Church members and handed over to the SSS.  If the suspect had succeeded, who would have believed it was not done by a fanatical Muslim.  It is a pointer to the fact that there is more to the spate of  bombing of places of worship in the country.  It is a challenge for the government and the security operatives to unearth and uncover those who are behind these acts before some people draw illogical conclusion that it is a religious war or on some sects of people.  
In spite of all the condemnation and comments by Muslims scholars in the country and world over on the attacks allegedly said to have been launched by Muslims or groups,  people still adduce their subjective notions about Islam as being supportive of terrorism, irrespective of the obvious teachings of Islam that preaches peace and encourage peaceful co-existence. The matter is made worse by the group (Boko Haram) which many people see as a Islamic sect.
Muslims scholars in the country have continued to condemn the insurgence of Boko Haram in the country.  Sermon, lectures and papers have been delivered and published in the media to elucidate on the position of Islam against terrorism, yet subjective approximations and opinions abound.
Islam has prohibited everything that may pose threat to social harmony, cause breach of peace or may endanger peace and security of the citizenry.  Islamic laws stand for maintenance of peace and prevention of riots and disturbances. Islam strives for elimination of oppression, rioting or anything which adversely affects the culture and civilization of a country.  Terrorism ruptures social peace and Islam forbids it. It desires peace, tranquility and social harmony. Acts of terrorism destroy the moral principles, meant for the welfare of human beings. That is a crime against humanity and God and has no place in a religion like Islam.  Any group or individual who hold different position cannot be said to represent Islam. Chikena!

Several attacks have been carried out in recent time, yet government has not been able to uncover the  perpetrators. It will be interesting to know those who are behind these devilish acts. 
Any terrorist activity, which targets innocent persons, is against the concept of divine compassion and peace in Islam. That point has been elucidated from different angles by different scholars. Islam views any human act that violates divine compassion or peace with great contempt and derision. According to a famous tradition of the Prophet (s.a.w), he described all creatures as the ‘family of Allah’ and has instructed that they should be treated well. ‘He is the most beloved of Allah, who treats His family well. One who is kind to others is qualified for Divine Compassion. The Qur’an makes it very clear, “My Mercy extendeth to all things. “ (Surah Al A ‘raf, verse 156)
A climate of anarchy violates Divine Compassion and blessings of the Prophet (s.a.w).
Islam presents the best practical  model of tolerance. It is therefore a baseless fabrication that Islam is not disposed to tolerating people belonging to other creeds, ideologies and religions or supportive of violence.  The history of Islam offers models of religious tolerance and best treatment of persons belonging to different era.  Go back to history, Islam did not initiate a war against non-Muslims even when they had the opportunity. All the wars led by the prophet were launched by unbelievers against Islam and Muslims.  The prophet led the wars purely in defense and preservation of the faith.  Islam does not teach that  persons holding different creeds and ideas be eliminated. It aims to create suitable atmosphere for the principle “live and let live.”
Suratu-l-Kafiroon  makes it clear, Lakumdinukum, waliyadeen “To you be your Way, and to me mine.” La ikhra fi-deen  “Let there be no compulsion in religion. “ (Suratul- Baqarah, verse 256).
Nobody should be compelled to adopt Islam.   That is the teachings of Islam.  Any thing contrary is untrue about Islam and is unacceptable.

A Pregnant Virgin? 18yr-old-girl sexually assaulted, pregnant, yet a virgin

A teenage girl whose virginity was said to be intact after being tested positive of pregnancy test is in a dilemma between what seems to be a blessing and a curse. Her story thoguh is far from the Biblical narrative of the Virgin Mary, neither is it a satire of some sort but a result of sexual assault by a close relation which allegedly left her hymen intact but caused a pregnancy to occur. Apart from the huge controversy surrounding the possibility of the girl retaining her virginity after the sexual assault that put her in the family way, the deed was said to have been done by her own second cousin. An incest you'd say and abomination according to culture and tradition.
Chinelo, a small, fair-complexioned young girl darting nervously between the floor and her hands as she speaks narrated to Saturday Vanguard how her second cousin, Onyeka, put her in the family way. She said she had gone to her Mother's cousins house in Ihiala, Anambra state for her JAMB exams and had slept on the same bed with her second Onyeka, (her second cousin) woke up late that fateful morning found herself wet with semen. According to her she asked Onyeka who waived it off as nothing important. With naivety, she accepted it and moved on. “I woke very late, very dizzy even his mother noticed and asked me whether I was feeling alright that morning. I told her I was okay but when I went to the bathroom, I discovered I was wet but did not feel any pain. I asked him but he smiled and waived it off. I did not disclose to anybody, I just cleaned up. I finished my mensuration five days before then. I also wrote my NECO there but left after a week I finished my exams. I went back to Onitsha, and on the 27th of July came to Lagos to my sister's house. There I missed my period, I told her and she advised that we should wait for some days saying it might be a shift.” she said.
Chinelo,...Raped and impregnated by her own cousin
After a long wait, the situation remained the same with symptoms of pregnancy manifesting in full force. “A month later, I felt sick, my sister and I thought it was malaria. But what later convinced my sister was when I started vomiting. Our neighbour advised we should go to the hospital, my sister obliged and we went to General Hospital, Aguda. They even gave money for the test. It was on Sunday but the Lab personnel did not come and we returned home and went back the following day. A test was conducted and we waited for about 30 minutes when the result came out. They wrote malaria not seen and pregnancy positive. While waiting, my sister had also taken her sick daughter to see a doctor. I approached a woman sitting close to me to explain the result to me and she looked at me and asked whose result was it, saying it indicates pregnancy. When my sister came I gave it to her and she asked how come I became pregnant. I told her I don't know that I don't have a boyfriend. She took me to a their head nurse who also is a counselor. She tried to convince me but maintained my position knowing it was the truth. They decided to take a virginity test on me with the aid of a machine. The result came out and it was confirmed that I am still virgin,” she narrated.
The pressure became intense on how the pregnancy came about. They medical team and her sister probed further and Chinelo broke the ice saying: “I remembered the incident in my aunt's house and I asked whether if someone is wet without making love can result into pregnancy, they asked me who was with me and I told them how I saw myself wet that morning when I woke up. I further told them how I drank the juice and slept off. I did not know what happened again.
The medical team and her sister concluded that pregnancy could occur without a penetrative intercourse since her virginity is intact. But Chinelo said she had no idea of how it happened as she suspected she must have been drugged with the juice drink she was served which she took after dinner.
Chinelo said in a raspy voice, pausing briefly looking down again, before continuing,: “They asked me to call him and tell him the situation to know his reaction. I did and I threatened I was going to tell everybody what he did if he did not tell me the truth. He rather pleaded that he would call me back. He immediately sent a text massage to me recommending some drugs to terminate the pregnancy asking me to go get it and take it immediately. I called him back asking him if he did not know anything about why he sent such message to me? I later got to know that everybody in the family took him on and he confessed to have done it.
Since then, he stopped picking my call until last two weeks when I called him accusing him causing my problem.”
She stated that it was not the first time she would sleep on the same bed with Onyeka but insisted she did not know how he did it adding that she could have been drugged with the juice he bought because she had never slept the way she did that night.
The young girl who had already gained admission to study Mass communication at Delta State university, Abraka, Delta State would have to suspend her quest for further study at the university pending the delivery of the baby sometime in March 2012, all things being equal.
She however explained that the incident was too painful to contemplate but she had forgiven him, and would relate with him well anytime they meet again. Her words: “Forgiveness is of the Lord, I have already forgiven him. Recently some people were of the view that I should call him with another number and reign curses on him but I said no. So also, when some of my brothers decided to involve the police, my mother also objected saying they should allow the sleeping dog lie. Even if I see him anywhere I will relate with him well, I have forgiven him,” she said as her words fall over each other in a fight to assemble.
The overwhelmed young girl is currently taking refuge at the Tamar Rescue Foundation, Lagos, a non-governmental organisation that sensitizes young girls on the menace of sexual abuse and rape and offers advice to victims, mentors them through lectures, seminars and empowerment programs.
Mrs Ugo Onwuraokoye the founder of the foundation, an Igbo also from Anambra state, said: “In Igboland, such incest is termed as alu (abomination) and I understand the young man who did this is having problems with his business and his whole life just because this is an abomination. This is incest and because it is an abomination, it has its own curses.”
She disclosed that Chinelo would have to be with her pending the delivery of the baby. “They brought her to me and I have to accept the challenge because that is what my ministry Tamar Rescue Foundation is all about. Her story will teach others some lessons because some don't know that playing around even without penetration can result into pregnancy because sperm swims. It is one of the miracle becoming a pregnant virgin. Her admission is through but she cannot go back to school now until she delivers the baby. She will be here with us and after the delivery, Tamar Rescue will adopt the baby and she will continue with her studies,” Onwuraokoye said.
Despite the fact that other people are doing something on rape, it is not enough. Everyday a child is being raped. Since I started I have only been able to go 80 schools to sensitize them. Like the case of this girl, it is as a result of sheer ignorance, she didn't know and it occurred five days after her menstrual period. Again, granted that it happened, immediately there is a drug you can take to prevent pregnancy and of course sexual transmitted diseases within 24 hours. If she had been aware, she would have talked to an adult and immediately, something would have been done and she would not have been in this dilemma.
Right now, she may not understand the full implication, right now, she can't go to school, her admission is out but she cant go until after she delivers the baby and other distractions that will follow it. By January 10, she will be six months gone in this pregnancy and yet she has not started anti-natal classes. She has not started that because there is no money, they just brought her to me. And as it is, the parents are trying to be careful because in Igboland, this is an abomination. This is a shame. You see everyday this is happening and my heart aches because parents and children are acting in ignorance. I cannot allow my daughter to go to my sister's house where I know my sister has a grown up son and sleep in the same room. I cant allow that because I am aware.”
Maintaining that Sexual abuse and rape happen everyday, she advised that parents should always teach their children ways of avoiding this vices, adding that some parents want their daughters to look trendy allowing them to wear cloths that expose their bodies, noting that the heart evil men around is thinking a different thing; they are not looking at the young girl as a child but as a woman.

What experts say about her virginity intact

It is not possible!--- Dr. Akeem Agboola of Life Fountain Clinic, Lagos
We only have one virgin Mary and I don't know about any other. Girls come here with such claim and by the time you test them, you will discover that it is all lies. For me until you confirm from the doctor who tested her virginity, I can't believe the story. If she's pregnant and claims to have been raped, it means that there was penetration. I also don't believe that pregnancy can occur by mere playing around the virgina without penetration because there must have been a penetration before an ejaculation and the sperm will locate where the cervica opening is and locate where the egg is before there can be pregnancy. In the absence of this, sombody claiming that sperm was splashed on the virgin or something, and resulted in preganacy, I wont accept that.

Yes! It's possible --- Prof. Oladapo Ashiru of Medical Art Centre, Maryland, Lagos
It is possible. The Virgina is not a big passage, it is like a hole and anything can go through, sperm can also go through. If she is at the peak, it is possible without penetration though it requires a little bit of penetration and that also can still leave the hymen unbroken. So, it is possible the hymen is still there.

Ugo Onwuraokoye...We'll take care of her and the baby
A further research on the issue revealed that one does not have to get involved into a sexual activity or intercourse, to be precise, for getting pregnant. All that is required is for impregnation is the sperms of a male partner that swim up to the vaginal opening and seek entry. Most sperms are not capable of doing this, since they cannot survive in the atmospheric temperature. But some viable and strong ones do it. Such chances are, of course, slim, yet possible is everything. Also, if there is intentional sexual activity, but without penetration, then the released sperms can find some medium to reach up the female vagina and begin to act. Since, signs of pregnancy are seen in later months after having the impregnating intercourse, there is no way of recognizing that a female has become pregnant without losing her virginity. It is simple. If the ejaculation of a female’s male sexually partner reaches her vagina, though there had no penetration taken place, then she can get pregnant and remain a virgin.

One more reason for appearance of cases of females getting pregnant, without losing their virginity, is the artificial insemination technique. Many females try artificial insemination when their sexual attempts to give birth to a baby are unsuccessful. Some do it before even trying the intercourse because of fear and pain. If artificial insemination can result in pregnancy, then it is possible that pregnancy can occur without penetration. Artificial insemination is nothing but injecting a sperm into a female vagina.
A sperm can live up to 24 hours after it is ejaculated out of the male body and before it begins its action of hatching the female egg. If, within these 24 hours it reaches inside a female vagina and begins its job, then there are quite favorable chances that she would get pregnant, though her virginity is intact. Thus, just being virgin does not guarantee one of a ‘no’ on pregnancy reports. But rather than that, follow the simple rule of never bringing the male genital organs near a female's, if you really do not want to face an unwanted pregnancy, especially a virgin one.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

SocietyGist: Its judgement day! 70 fall as Nigerian Idol presen...

SocietyGist: Its judgement day! 70 fall as Nigerian Idol presen...: It was an unusual blend of fantastic music and nail biting suspense as Nigerian idol aired its group stages in the fantastic Christmas editi...

SocietyGist: Its judgement day! 70 fall as Nigerian Idol presen...

SocietyGist: Its judgement day! 70 fall as Nigerian Idol presen...: It was an unusual blend of fantastic music and nail biting suspense as Nigerian idol aired its group stages in the fantastic Christmas editi...

SocietyGist: Its judgement day! 70 fall as Nigerian Idol presen...

SocietyGist: Its judgement day! 70 fall as Nigerian Idol presen...: It was an unusual blend of fantastic music and nail biting suspense as Nigerian idol aired its group stages in the fantastic Christmas editi...

Its judgement day! 70 fall as Nigerian Idol presents spectacular christmas show

It was an unusual blend of fantastic music and nail biting suspense as Nigerian idol aired its group stages in the fantastic Christmas edition that aired last weekend. Now in its 6th and 7th episodes, the popular show presented to viewers the elimination of the top 100 contestants as they were pruned to 30 in a keenly contested series of performances.
“The group stages are always a mixture of emotions,” explained Director Peter Bode. “It is sad to see a lot of these talents go because they represent the best 100 from around the country, it is however rewarding to see the joy on the faces of those who have made it. In the end, the toughest and the most talented make the top 30 in the competition.”
The competition started with group performances from the top 100 contestants who split up into groups of three and four. After the group performances, the judges had the unenviable task of breaking the bad news to the contestants who had to go home. Judge Yinka Davies was almost in tears as she announced some of the groups that made it into the top 40. But the competition was not over yet; this time, the top 40 had to perform duets in groups of 20. Finally, the judges selected their top 30 while the 10 who did not scale through had to leave. It was a very excited 30 contestants who sang, danced, prayed and shed tears of joy at their achievement.
The 7th episode fell on Christmas day and the talented contestants treated viewers to a very soulful and powerful rendition of popular Christmas carol ‘Jingle Bells’ at the grand Nigerian Idol stage.
This Friday, the battle is on in Nigerian Idol as 30 of Nigeria’s most talented young musicians slug it out in front of a live studio audience. The Nigerian Idol top 30 will take the competition to the next level as they fight for the chance to make it to the next stage as top 10 finalists. The show will end in April 2012 when a new Nigerian Idol is crowned at a glamorous closing gala. Yeka Onka is the season one winner and she joins a bevy of other Idol greats worldwide including Timi Dakolo, Jordin Sparks and Ruben Stoddard.

Christmas Day bombings: Sultan reacts

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan met the country’s main Muslim spiritual leader Tuesday after Christmas Day attacks blamed on Islamists that killed 40, including worshipers as they left church.
Bomb blast sympathisers at the scene of the blast in Madalla, Niger State
The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, made no comment as he entered Jonathan’s official residence on Tuesday afternoon.
Muslim leaders have come under pressure to take a more active role in seeking to stop attacks by Islamist group Boko Haram, which claimed responsibility for the Christmas violence.
The sultan’s Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs issued a statement condemning the attacks.
“Security agencies must fish out the perpetrators of these dastardly acts and make them face the wrath of the law, regardless of their status, so as to serve as deterrent to others,” the statement said.
The council added that authorities “also must take proactive measures to nip in the bud the re-occurrence of such dastardly acts before they happen in order to create a sense of security and safety in the citizenry.”
Nigeria has seen scores of attacks claimed by Boko Haram, but some analysts said the Christmas bombings marked a dangerous escalation in a country divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.
The deadliest of the Christmas violence was a bomb attack at a Roman Catholic church outside the capital Abuja as worshippers were leaving a mass, with at least 35 killed there.
Jonathan, a Christian from the south, has faced major opposition in the north of Africa’s most populous nation.

SocietyGist: Miracle birth woman, 'Mummy P' set for baby no 10

SocietyGist: Miracle birth woman, 'Mummy P' set for baby no 10: Precious Ogbonna a.k.a Mummy P The striking story of Precious Donatus Ogbonna, the miracle birth woman who is yet holding to her claim ...

Miracle birth woman, 'Mummy P' set for baby no 10

Precious Ogbonna  a.k.a Mummy P
The striking story of Precious Donatus Ogbonna, the miracle birth woman who is yet  holding to her claim of delivering eight babies without undergoing the normal gestation period in child bearing is becoming very endless. The newest of the tale is that she said she is ready to deliver another baby making the number 9 in 18 months.  This is coming about three months after she got the eightth baby at Rose native maternity home in Port Harcourt in a manner that failed to prove the veracity of her story.  If she makes do her claim, she would have had nine babies in 18 months nine months after she lost her first baby Amarachi who died five days after she was born.  Precious Ogbonna is currently standing trial on child trafficking and related offenses at the Owerri, Magistrate Court.
Mummy P,  Pastor and General overseer of Christ Salvation Ministry, Owerri, made this revelation while speaking with SocietyGist few days ago. She disclosed that she felt some movement in her stomach and went to a native maternity home where it was said she will soon have a baby. According to her, she stressed that it was detected that the baby in her womb had the umbilical cord round him making normal delivery difficult, adding that she had been placed on drugs and injection to ease the problem while also expecting to deliver the tenth in the series soon. 
“First, I want to correct the error in your last publication that I had delivered baby no 8, it is not the eight baby but the nineth.  You did not count the first one that died few days after she was bon. So, it was the nineth and not the eight.  But now I am about to deliver the tenth.  Like I told you in the previous interview when you asked me whether I will still deliver another one, if you will remember, I said I did not know that I just gave birth.  But I know that God promised me ten babies.
"Shortly after that time I have been having contraction.  I went to another maternity home, and it was discovered not only that I have another baby but also that the baby was carrying his umbilical cord and this could lead to caesarean section which I dont want.”
She added that “They have given me drugs and injection pending another check-up date which is Thursday December 29.” 
When we sought to know why she refused to go to a conventional hospital to prove the veracity of her story especially after the previous ones have failed to convinced majority of people following her story, she said the choice of where to deliver her baby is exclusive hers and careless about  people doubting her story. 
“It is not a conventional hospital but a maternity located in the outskirt of Owerri, There is freedom of choice to go deliver where I want and where I feel the baby and I will be safe.  I’ll give you an instance of my younger sister who was pregnant and had the umbilical cord round the baby making it difficult to deliver the baby the normal way, she had a cesarean section but that also was in United States. I dont want that.” she said.   
You will recall that a DNA was sponsored by Vanguard on her and all the seven babies, and  it was revealed that Precious Ogbonna was not the biological mother of the babies.  In fact, it further revealed that none of the babies had the same maternity.  Further to our investigation, several native  maternity homes where pregnancies were framed and fake deliveries carried out were reported by Saturday Vanguard.  It was established that Precious got her babies from two of these homes, namely, Nurse Blessings’ home located on Ohonda close, in Rukpakulsi, PortHarourt where she got five of the babies and Rose clinic, Oyigbo, Porthacourt, Rivers State, where she got two. At the last purported delivery at Rose clinic on 21-22nd September, no third party was allowed to witnessed the delivery inspite of the controversy trailing the precious deliveries. Note even the female members of her church who followed her to the clinic to witness the delivery was allowed into the labour room in the three bed-room flat clinic.
This time, she hinted that she has chosen another native maternity home in the outskirt of Owerri for the delivery of the baby. “I decided to go to another home because the former home would not accept me having had deliveries there. In fact the publicity this issue has given me is another problem because they don't want to be involved in the controversy.  I did not even tell the new home my real identity for fear of being rejected,” she said.
She continued that this time, she would invite every body to witness the delivery to prove her story, adding that  “I’m going to discuss with the home to allow female journalists into the labour room to witness the delivery,” she said. 

Three babies still missing?
Following Precious Ogbonna arrest last May and taken into police custody over child trafficking and related offences, the seven miracle babies were kept at RedCross orphanage in Owerri. Since then, SocietyGist have been monitoring events in the home.  Few weeks after, one of the babies was alleged dead while three others were taken away from the home to an unknown place, leaving three .  Police have refused to comment on the issue.
When Saturday Vanguard visited the home, only three of the babies were found and the situation remained the same when we visited again recently to see if there was any new development. At the home which has four rows of about 15 baby cots had 10 babies between the age of 0-2years.
Staff of the home declined comment on the whereabouts of other Precious Ogbonna’s babies. But an inside source claimed the Police took them away. Further investigations revealed that they were being kept in another welfare home in Owerri.
Now, where are the babies who were said to have been taken away from RedCross Orphanage about three four months ago? Are they alive? How are they faring? The entire story is becoming unending as issues about the welfare of the babies are revibrating.
Just few days ago, the acclaimed mother of the babies, Precious Ogbonna said the babies Conqueror, 19months; Chizitere, 18months; and Fineseed, 15 months; (females) have not been returned, leaving only Ekpereamaka, 16months; Flourish, 12months; and Ebenezer, 8months (males) in the home. She stressed that security reasons were cited by a police source just as she wonderd why they would have to be kept apart.
When contacted on phone, the ACP State CID, Owerri, Mr. Emmanuel Ojukwu also declined comment. When asked whether the babies are still in their custody, he said: “the case is in court and I can’t comment on it.” But where are the three babies? Why are they being kept apart and why are others still being kept at Redcross orphanage if truly those were the reasons?
The home which has other babies in its care depends largely on donations and gifts by members of the public who ocassionaly visit the home.  Besides, a source maintained that gifts and donations no matter how little are being recorded immediately they acknowledged it. When SocietyGist visited the home with undisclosed identity, few individuals were seen bringing gifts to the home with Matron of the home seen attending to them and three of the babies were seen there playing.
Counsel to Precious Ogbonna, Barrister N.B.E Nwigwe who is also the Chairman of Ethics and Disciplinary Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association, Owerri branch said: “I don’t want to go beyond my brief. I have not gone to the home to see the babies and she has not told me that three of them are missing. I can’t comment on that.” He noted that he cannot seek for the release of the babies until “they formally arraign her and we quash the case; it will appear premature to ask for the release of the babies now,” he stressed.
However, a source who preferred anonymity disclosed to Saturday Vanguard that the babies lack proper care adding that the home did not have enough resources but only rely on gifts by individuals.  “They are not receiving adequate care. How much funds are they getting? They are doing their best,” said a source. We further observed that the environment is another source of concern as there are lots of mosquitoes within the home inspite of window nets in the home. “Recently, two of the three kids there had cold and it is a regular thing which is not good for  babies,” the source said.
Asked whether a formal complaint was lodged on this issue, our source said “the Matron was not available as at the time of the visit but maintained that the police would have to present the babies to the court when the time is right.”

Thursday, November 24, 2011

SocietyGist: Ushering in the new hijri year 1433AH

SocietyGist: Ushering in the new hijri year 1433AH: In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allow...

Ushering in the new hijri year 1433AH

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (s.a.w) is His Messenger and the seal of all His Messengers.

Tomorrow, Muslims all over the world will celebrate the new Hijrah year 1433. There is no better auspicious time to say happy new hijrah to all brothers and sisters.  It another new leaf in the lives of Muslims, another period of reckoning in the history of the religion and another chapter on how we want to propagate  and spread the message.  Though it is only a means of counting which identifies with the religion and assented to by Allah, but we ought to understand that Islam is far more beyound celebrating a date. Islam like I wont to tell those who have little or no understanding about the religion, it predates the era of Prophet Isa or Musa just like the counting of the Hijri year predates the time prophet Muhammad lived.   Unlike the Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named.  It came into place by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter gravissimas after which several countries adopted it, the eventual evolution of Hijri was part of the arrangement of Allah in perfecting the religion of Islam even after the life of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w).  For those who believe in the devine mathematical pattern expressed in the Glorious Quran, it is clear and explicit that Allah had arranged every thing  even before Umar bin Khattab (r.a) decreed the counting of Hijrah.  Much as we believe that Allah sometimes uses literary and mathematical styles to prove the authenticity of His words, a careful look at the Quran will reveal that Allah had planned the dates, months and year well before man was made to contrive them.  Try check out the word “month” (shahr) in the Quran, it occurs 12 times; check out the word “days” (ayyam/yawmayn), it occurs 30 times, and the word “day” (yawm) occurs 365 times.
In 1959, Abdurrazzaq Nawfal, an Egyptian scholar, noticed some mathematical relations between the frequency of certain words. While writing his book “Al-Islamu Deenun wa Dunya” (Islam: both Religion and World), he noticed that the frequency of the word “Dunya” (World) have exactly the same frequency as the word “Akhirah” (hereafter), 115 times each, in the Quran. In 1968, while writing another book titled “Alemul Jinni wal Malayika” (Universe of Jinns and Angels), he noticed that the word “Shaytan” (Satan) have exactly the same frequency as the word “Malak” (Angel), 88 times each. These interesting literary symmetry in the frequency of certain words led him to make a more comprehensive study on the numerical structure of the Quran. Nawfal published his findings in 1983 in a book: “Al-I’cazul Adadiy LilQuranil Kareem” (Numerical Miracle Of the Holy Quran). The book was published by Darul Kitabil Arabiy, Beirut, Lebanon.  He also proves the above calculation of number of times the words day, months appear in the Qur’an.
It only goes to show that the number of days and months culminating into year had already been planned by Allah.   The Qur’an says: “Soon We will show them our signs in the (farthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord doth witness all things?”  (Quran 41:53) But for us Muslims who know that everything including days, months and the year had already been ordained through Islam, and the fact that He had effected His plans by actualising the counting of the days, months and year the way He wanted, we can always praise His Majesty.
People have argued back and forth on the celebration of the new Hijri.  While scholars differ in their opinions that it the practice lacks evidence from the Qur’an and hadiths, others believe that it should be celebrated.  In this crazy world, where a massive wisdom is required to do jihad without going against the bounds of Allah, where we need to show all the goodness of Islam, we owe ourselves a duty to do the right thing with amazing wisdom.  The occasion of Hijrah, no doubt, kindle the light of hope in the hearts of the early Muslims who set a shinning example for all Muslims, in every generation, to emulate. We should remember the great sacrifices that the Prophet (s.a.w)  and his companions paid in order to spread the message of the religion of Islam. It should remind us of the great journey  the Prophet (s.a.w)  and his companions when they migrated from Makkah to Madinah and the pains and threats they encountered on their way to Madinah.  At mosques and Islamic gatherings, we should talk about the Prophet’s Hijrah from Makkah to Madinah that took place in the year 622 CE. We should talk about its meaning and significance and we should also talk about the general concept of Hijrah in Islam.  The Arabic word Hijrah is often translated as “exile, exodus, flight or migration”. Its meaning is, however, much more dynamic and active. It means “to leave, to move, to shun and to quit”.  We can apply it to our daily lives by quiting all kinds of sins, by departing from ignorance and superstitions and move to knowledge and light.  We can shun all kinds of oppression, enslavement, injustices and dwell in the service of Allah.  We can move away from politics of division and ethnocentrism to harmony and unity.  We can depart from the path of hellfire to salvation, we can now migrate to the right path.
As momentous and as crucial as the event of the ‘Hijrah’ or migration of the Prophet (s.a.w) and the believers from Makkah to Madinah, it only reminds us of the need to change our attitude in the service of Allah.

Cocaine Ingestion: Baba Suwe gets N25 million for illegal detention

Baba Suwe
 Following his illegal detention for over three weeks without proof that he
ingested himself with wraps of cocaine, an Ikeja High Court has ordered the
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to pay the sum of N25
million in damages to Nigeria popular comedian, Babatunde Omidina, aka
Baba Suwe.

The comedian, Baba Suwe was on his way to board an Air France flight, to
Paris at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos, on
Wednesday October 12, 2012   when he was arrested for alleged drug

As the saga ensued, the drug agency insisted that the comedian had wraps
of drugs in his system.

However, twenty three days after the arrest and after several excretions plus
bowel cleansing, the drug agency was unable to proof that the comedian had
drug in his system. He was then set free by an Ikeja high court on bail of
N500, 000.

Unhappy with the treatment meted to him and the breach of his freedom  and
human rights, the comedian sued the NDLEA through his lawyer Babatunde
Aturu and was awarded N25 million in damages. Sweet victory!

I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E! Dead body resurrects after 3 days in morgue

Badagry residents of Oremeji in Aradagun near Badagry, Lagos, were on
Sunday thrown into shock when a man presumed dead suddenly resurrected
after three days in the mortuary.

It was learnt that the man, simply identified as Mr Agosu, died of an
undisclosed illness on Friday in a hospital and his remains were deposited at
the morgue of the Badagry General Hospital.

News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the news of his resurrection,
however, broke out on Sunday evening as members of his Mountain of Fire
and Miracle Ministries, MFM, were preparing tents for his wake keep.

NAN learnt that a worker at the morgue suddenly heard that a dead man was
coughing from inside the morgue and contacted the hospital management
who ordered a doctor to carry out a test on the man.

On examination, it was discovered that the man was still breathing and
thereafter directed that he should be admitted for treatment.

Deputy Medical Director, Badagry General Hospital, Dr Tunji Olabuntu,
confirmed the incident, saying: “It is true that the man resurrected after three
days in the mortuary, but he was not originally admitted in our hospital.”

He said the body of the man was brought to the hospital morgue from outside
and not a patient of Badagry General Hospital.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

EFCC Boss Sacked

Mrs Farida Waziri, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has been relieved of her Job.
President Goodluck Jonathan has subsequently appointment Mr. Ibrahim
Lamorde as the Acting Chairman/Chief Executive of the commission.

According to a statement issued by the president spokesman Dr. Reuben
Abati, the appointment takes immediate effect.

Mrs. Waziri was appointed EFCC Chairman by Late President Umaru Musa
Yar’Adua on May 18, 2008 and confirmed by the Senate on May 27, 2008.

Mr. Lamorde, an officer of the Nigeria Police, was, until this appointment the
Director of Operations of the EFCC. He was also Ag. Chairman of the EFCC
before Mrs. Waziri assumed duty at the Commission.
Breaking News: Jonathan sacks EFCC chairman, Mrs Farida
*Approves Lamorde as Acting Chairman

Monday, November 21, 2011

I’ll do everything to ensure unity — HRM Olu Epe

HRM Oba Shefiu Olatunji Adewale, Olu Epe of Epe

The Balogun of Epe paying homage to Olu Epe during the last Ojude Oba
It was really a scintillating occasion as sons and daughters of Epe, Lagos state, trooped out recently to pay homage to HRM Oba Shefiu Olatunji Adewale, Bangbopa Esilokun 1, the Olu-Epe of Epe Kingdom. For the Oba, it was meant to be a low-key event to prepare ground for the forthcoming Kayo-Kayo, another festival known with Epe community but the people immersed in celebration of a popular and amiable traditional leader, they put aside every other thing to pay homage and present their gifts to the palace. Several clans and quarters clad in different Aso-ebi, danced their way to the Oba’s palace in turn to pay their homage. The elated Kabiyesi blessed them and urged unity amongst all.
Speaking with Saturday Vanguard earlier, the Olu-Epe of Epe said he had used the last one year on his throne to foster unity among the Eko-Epe and Ijebu-Epe.  He said: “I’ve been working on bringing unity between the two communities. I’ve not completed it all but up to 70 per cent. The Ijebu Epe attended my coronation. Both communities were well represented and that gives an indication that there is unity. For instance, the two chief Imams of the two communities were present with their officials and very many other members of the communities. In a way it is a big achievement. I am trying relentlessly to bridge whatever dichotomy and differences between the two communities. I know God will do it for us. But I must tell you I am satisfied with what I have done within a year. We will improve on it.”
The Obas stressed that in any place where there is no unity, there can never be progress.
The town which is battling for development in terms of infrastructure and economic activities, according to him will have a fresh breath of developmental strides if every body buries the hatchet. He stated: “What caused this in the past was that one community was trying to lord it over the other and because of that government was not willing to do anything in the area, they would rather take it to another place. But all that is now a thing of the past.
He dismissed the notion that politicians in the area have not been doing enough to fast-track development in the area. He said:  No, they have been doing a lot but because of the disunity, it makes it difficult. In the past, some factories were to be sited between Ikorodu and Epe, four were cited at Ikorodu and only two were cited in Epe, but the two did not work because of the disunity. For example the Lagos State Breweries was sold and now a home for sachet water even the Milling Industry at Shalla, all the equipment were brought to the site but because of lack of unity, it did not survive.”
Advising politicians, sons and daughters of the town, the Olu Epe of Epe stated that politicians in the two communities should unite in order to fast-track development. They should tolerate each other and shed the toga of ‘I’m stronger or wealthier than you’, everybody from Epe should see himself as Epe and not Eko or Ijebu. We should work towards the progress of Epe” he stated.
Each quarter in the community paid homage to the Olu-Epe led by the chief in the quarter. These are Okebaloguns, Bado-Okes, Bado-Isales, Isale-Agoros, Oke-Posus,etc. 
Kabiyesi said: “I wish to emphasis that it is a borrowed culture, it is not our heritage, we did not bring it from Lagos and that is why up till now the Lagos Obas don’t celebrate it. Based on that, I instructed that activities should be scaled down and as the name implies, Ojude-Oba, it must be done in the front of my palace.”
Next month, it will be Kayo-kayo (candle light). This is our real heritage, we brought it from Lagos and we will do it the way it should be done not sparing anything. As a result, I am using this medium to call on all sons and daughters of this town to join hands in making the forthcoming Kayo-Kayo a memorable one. That is why I ordered that activities should be scaled down in order that we may be well prepared for Kayo-kayo coming next month. It is a state festival, we have worked hard for it to be approved and it has so been approved as a state festival. But I want us to improve on it so that the celebration will justify the name Kayo-Kayo.
He noted that Epe, Ibadan, Abeokuta started about the same time, citing that with several communities in Abeokuta and Ibadan development is not stagnan. He advised the people of Epe generally to bury their hatchet, embrace one another, unite so as to usher in development.
The ojude-oba was an evening of good menu, an infectious atmosphere of chumminess by those who waited behind.

I'm mother to my father --- Princess Ebunoluwa Oladunni

Princess Ebunoluwa is the CEO of Starcrest Investment Company, a consultancy firm training individuals, government personnel and corporate bodies on finance, etiquette, protocols, house keeping, carriage and comportment. The daughter and Yeye Oba of Iloba, in Ondo state is always impacting on people within her environment, resulting into winning over one hundred awards from various communities, bodies and organisations. She tells her story of how she was taught to be self reliant including her role as yeye oba which modifies her style of dressing. She is our Role Model
Growing up
I had a nice time growing up. I was surrounded with the people that loved me. I lost my mother at the age of six. But I had a wonderful step-mother who raised us like her own. There was no difference amongst the children.
How you describe yourself to Nigeria?
We have three ruling houses in my family and according to the Yoruba tradition, such position is being rotated. But, in 1993, the three ruling houses decided that I should be their mother and that means, I am the mother to my father, the king, all the princes and princesses. There is a mode of dressing and since I became the queen mother, I don't have any choice other than to dress in such a way depicting the position given to me. When I was working in the bank, I was dressing in a manner that it deformed the tradition. Even when I was going for IMF meetings, my dressing still befitted my outing. My responsibility is to make sure that there is peace within the ruling houses. There are Atiba, Iloda and Ijisin, all in Ekiti. The names were taken all the way from Ife but according to history, there was tussle for chieftaincy title. The younger was given while the elderly lost out. And the elderly said, “wherever I am, I will be reporting to people” and that is where the name came from. They were moving until they got to their destination.
Which ruling house is yours?
And your title is not rotated?
The three ruling houses decide who their queen mother would be and they call her “Yeye Omo Owa”. Owa is king while Omo is princes and princesses. My position to is appear as the mother of the king, princes and princesses and support their tradition. My father was the Eleebi, “leader of the three ruling houses” and whenever we want to meet as a group, he will preside over the meeting of the three ruling houses.
How did your start out in life in terms of chasing your careers?
I started my primary school at an early age. In those days, your hands must touch your ear before you will be allowed to go but I came from a family of teachers. And we were always lingering to go to school on a daily basis, we were using our fingers to write on the ground until we were old enough to start school. I also had an Uncle who was the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Communication, Charles Olatunde Lawson. He became the head of service and secretary to the government of the federation during Gen. Yakubu Gowon's regime.
I grew under my Uncle after leaving Ekiti for Lagos. I was greatly influenced by his philosophy. He denied me some rights as a child saying that he was using that to build my confidence. Even when I wanted to go to the university, he advised me against being a teacher. He refused my scholarship award to study at the university. He said scholarship is meant for the children of the poor. So, I should work while I go to school. I cried and went to Miami, USA. I started my junior college there and I was working and going to school at the same time. I graduated and I thank God for what he did. I learnt self-reliance and that helped greatly in life. I wouldn't have achieved what I have achieved without those values. He taught me how to save money and I live within my means. I was raised to stand on my feet even when it was difficult. My father had never discriminated against any child. Every child is a child, whether male or female. He made sure everybody had school certificate and in those day, it was a lot.
How did you get into CBN?
I graduated from the Iowa State University in 1977. I came back home and I didn't want to live in the America. Although, I was married. I came back home with my children and husband. So, I did my NYSC at the Central Bank of Nigeria. As a Youth Corper, I worked Saturday through Sunday depending on the demand of the job. I could communicate and write in different languages including French, Italy, Spanish. I was working with them serving as an attendant and secretary. By the time, I finished my service year, the company threw a party for me with lots of gifts. During the party, I was given an envelope which contained my appointment letter. I had thought it was money. I was employed in the Human Resources capacity of the Central Bank of Nigeria. I was also transferred to the research Department.
Because of my ability to speak several languages, I was posted to Research department and from there I was redeployed to IMF World Bank and other International Financial Institution Department. I took the job in 1977 and retired in 2005 as deputy Director and by the time, I was leaving, I had covered about 76 countries in the world, without counting one country twice. My schedule included the IMF World Bank, Common Wealth, African Union, AU, Ecowas and so on. I was moving around. It was a fulfilling period.
You have been honoured with some awards, what were those wonderful things that earned you the awards?
I wouldn't say I did it alone but I believe people were appreciating and I have more than four hundred awards from different people. I engage in some community projects in improving the course of the poor in the society. There is a community called Kuchigoro on the way to the airport in Abuja, we got a permission from the education board to start a primary school there. We built three classrooms with mats, one for the teacher and two rooms for the children. Right now, the school has been built to a befitting level. It belongs to the community now. I was also installed as the Yeye Abuja by the Gbayi residents. I have a farm where I used to harvest two thousand five hundred tubers of yam, and whenever I want to harvest I call friends and people around to be part of it.
How do feel doing this without so much money?
I believe in little that is blessed by God. I believe in collective contribution. Most times, the 'big monies' are not spent rightly. It goes to other people's pocket. What is important is to know the needs of the people before commencing any project. Money is important but not the most important. It is your interest to cause a change and develope people that matters.
How would you see fulfillment amidst all that you have achieved?
God has been good to me. He raised my children for me since my husband divorced me. Now, I have an Architect, Medical Doctor and the last child has just made a 2:1 in Cambridge University.
When you know how to plan, everything will fall in place. People should know that too much is a product of confusion just as contentment in life is another condition for success.
Your hairstyle seems to be part of your identity, why do you wear this hairstyle?
During my coronation, the hairstylists spent three days making my hair in Ekiti. It was a special hair. It was the Olori's that were doing it and they were using it to collect money from everybody. I have to keep the look. I am an Ambassador of Odualand. 

$35bn Nigeria’s foreign reserves missing, says Obasanjo

Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday queried the squandering of $35 billion Nigeria foreign reserves that he left in office in 2007, saying the countryÕs leaders and people need to be prudent to get out of its economic woes currently confronting the country. The former President who spoke at his investiture as the First Grand Patron of Nigeria- China Business Council (NCBC) held in Lagos said Nigeria should borrow a leaf from the Chinese economy that is designed for sustainable growth and development.
 He bemoaned the shrink in the nationÕs foreign reserves, saying while China was working assiduously to improve its economy and foreign reserves, Nigeria was busy reducing its own. The elder statesman said, ÒWe left what we call excess crude, letÕs build it for raining day, up to 35billion dollars; within three years, the 35 billion dollars disappeared. Whether the money disappeared or-like the governor said-it was shared, the fact remains that $35 billion disappeared from the foreign reserve I left behind in office.Ó Obasanjo lauded the Chinese government for building its economy and foreign reserves. His words: ÒLet me say without fear or favour and without being diplomatic.
By the middle of the century, China will rule the world. There is nothing anybody can do about it. They have what it takes. They have dedication and population that is becoming more educated, skilled and exposed the more, to technology .They will. Every six to seven years, the economic growth will double again. That is why they are powers to reckon with.
When we left that money, we thought we were leaving it for the raining day. But my brother said the rain is not falling now . But the fact is that when the rain is falling, we will have nothing to cover our heads because we have blown it off. The Chinese do not think that way.Ó The former President, therefore, urged Nigerian leaders and the citizenry to learn to save for the future. He added that the nation has a lot to learn from China, urging Nigerians to be patient to allow for economic growth. He stressed that Nigeria has potentials for economic growth if only the nation's leaders could try and get things right.
What does the Chinese have that we do not have?, he asked rhetorically. ÒWhile Europe is wobbling and fumbling, thank God for that, America since 2008 has not come out of economic recession. I doubt if it will not affect ObamaÕs second tenure Ò. Prominent Nigerians who attended the former PresidentÕs investiture include the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Edem Duke; his Foreign Affairs counterpart, Ambassador Gbenga Ashiru; the Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, his Gombe State counterpart, Ibrahim Dankwabo; a former Minister of Trade, Ambassador Idris Waziri, and a former Nigerian Ambassador to United Nations, Arthur Mbanefo, who served as chairman of the occasion.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Police Nab Two persons in Abia for Beheading 2 Corpses

The Abia Police Command has arrested two persons for allegedly beheading two
corpses kept at a local mortuary in Owerrinta, Isiala Ngwa Local Government Area
of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the corpses, male and female, were
kept at the Might Moon Mortuary in Owerrinta, where the suspects allegedly
beheaded them at about 3.30 a.m. on Nov. 4.
Mr Geoffrey Ogbonna (ASP), the Police spokesman, who confirmed the incident
to the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Umuahia on Thursday, said the suspects
were arrested at Owerrinta.
The spokesman, who described the act as ``ungodly and sacrilegious'', said that
the police were investigating the matter, to unravel the culpability of the suspects.
``How can one behead a dead body, what is he or she going to do with the
head?’’, he queried.
The Proprietor of the morgue, Dr Boniface Ubani had reported the incident to the
police on Nov. 5.
It was gathered that the suspects had attacked the mortuary attendants before
carrying out the act.
A source in the village said although people had noticed movements at the time
the incident happened, the assumption was that a new corpse was being brought
to the morgue.
``We felt the people brought a dead body to the mortuary that night. If was only
after day break that we learnt the some very horrible things took place at the
mortuary’’, he said.

Man who shot at White House charged with attempt to assassinate Obama

An Idaho man accused of firing an assault rifle at the White House believed he was Jesus and thought President Barack Obama was the Antichrist, according to court documents and those who knew him. At one point, he even suggested to an acquaintance the president was planning to implant computer tracking chips into children. Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, 21, was charged Thursday with attempting to assassinate the president or his staff. He is accused of firing nine rounds at the White House last Friday night — one of them cracking a window of the first family’s living quarters — when Obama and the first lady were away. If convicted, Ortega faces up to life in prison.

The Secret Service says the White House shooting suspect has been arrested in Pennsylvania. The AP's Vice President for Global Security Danny Spriggs says the likelihood of an accurate shot on the White House is 'significantly less than 100%.' (Nov. 16)
The Secret Service says the White House shooting suspect has been arrested in Pennsylvania. The AP's Vice President for Global Security Danny Spriggs says the likelihood of an accurate shot on the White House is 'significantly less than 100%.' (Nov. 16)

Ortega was arrested Wednesday at a western Pennsylvania hotel when a desk clerk there recognized him and called police.
Ortega’s public defender, Christopher Brown, declined comment after his first court hearing in Pennsylvania. Ortega’s mother has said he has no history of mental illness, though when authorities were looking for him, they reported he had “mental health issues.”
In Idaho Falls, where Ortega is from, a computer consultant told The Associated Press that the two met July 8 after Ortega asked for help editing a 30-minute infomercial. Monte McCall said that during the meeting at Ortega’s family’s Mexican restaurant, Ortega pulled out worn sheets of yellow paper with handwritten notes and started to talk about his predictions that the world would end in 2012.
“He said, ‘Well, you know the president is getting ready to make an announcement that they’re going to put GPS chips in all the children, so they’re safe,’” McCall said. “... And then he said, ‘That’s just what the Antichrist is going to do to mark everybody.’”
Kimberly Allen, the mother of Ortega’s former fiancée, said he had been well-mannered and kind in the four years she had known him. But he recently began making statements to her daughter that were out of character, including that he believed he was Jesus. Allen said the family was worried when he went to Utah recently, where he said he had business, and didn’t come back. Ortega’s family reported him missing Oct. 31.
Allen said they were flabbergasted to hear he was wanted in Washington.
“I believe that the boy needs help,” said Allen, of Shelley, Idaho.
Her daughter, Jessica Galbraith, was engaged to Ortega and is the mother of their 2-year-old son. She declined to comment Thursday except to say: “I love him, and I’m here for him.”
It was unclear why or when they split.
Reached by the AP on Thursday, Ortega’s mother said she didn’t have anything to say. She earlier told the Post Register in Idaho Falls her son has no history of mental illness.
“He has different ideas than other people, just like everyone, but he was perfectly fine the last time I saw him,” Maria Hernandez told the newspaper. “He might be saying weird stuff that sounds crazy, but that doesn’t mean (he) is crazy. He might be confused and scared.”
At his first appearance in court in Pennsylvania, Ortega sat quietly, his hands free but his feet shackled. He said only, “Yes, ma’am” when he was asked if he understood that he would be going back to Washington to face the charge.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Eid-il-Adha: Allah needs not the blood

Eid-ul-Adha, also known as the festival of sacrifice is celebrated on the tenth day of Dhuj Hijja, the Islamic month world over. The festival is celebrated in the remembrance of prophet Abraham’s readiness to forfeit Ishmael, his son for God. The story tells how Allah told Abraham, to lift up the foundation of Ka'aba that was a holy place in Mecca. God al...so asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, in a dream. Abraham along with his son started moving towards Mina for the sacrifice when Allah stopped him and gave him a sheep to sacrifice instead of sacrificing his son. By Allah’s design, the sacrifice comes at the end of pilgrimage every year. Not only for those who did not make the trip to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage, even those on pilgrimage will have to observe the sacrifice.
The symbolic act finds expression in the benevolence of Allah and showing gratitude for His guidance and mercies for living. It is the duty of every capable Muslim. Once the animal is sacrificed then the meat of the animal is distributed among the friends, relatives, neighbours and poor people. Muslims communities on this day take care that no poor and needy Muslim is missed out to provide the sacrificial food. The Quran says: “Allah is One, He does not delight in flesh or blood but a symbol of thanksgiving to Allah by sharing meat with fellow-men.”
The solemn pronouncement of Allah's name over the sacrifice is an essential part of it, in fact the major act that without it, it renders the whole exercise useless. By the pronouncement, we're reminded that life is sacred, by that singular solemn invocation, we are numbed to the divine message that wanton cruelty is not our character but only for the need for food.
The sacrifice should be performed during the daytime, not at night. The knife to be used to cut the animal's throat should be hidden from the animal and must be very sharp, so much so that the least amount of force or pressure is needed to slice the animal's jugular vein, so it feels the least amount of pain. The Animal should be healthy, fed well and laid down facing the direction of the "Qiblah"
It should be noted that these days when people asked other Muslims to do the slaughtering for them, care should be taken that the person who will perform the sacrifice should not hurt the animal by clumsily jabbing away at its throat with a blunt knife, causing pain and fear. He should say "Bismillah Allahu Akbar" while the owner of the animal should recite as follows: Allahuma, Ini wajjahtu wajjhiya liladhi fatara samawati wal arda alaa milati Ibrahima hanifan, wama ana minal-mushirikin. Inna salati, wa nusukii, wamahyayah, wamamatii, li-Lahi rabil alameen. Lasharika lahu wabizhalika umirtu, wa ana minal-muslimeen. Allahuma azah adha minka wa laka.
"Indeed I turn my face towards The One Who originated the heavens and the earth; upon the way of Abraham, the unswerving one, and I'm not of those who commit shirk [polytheism]. Indeed my salah, my sacrifice, my living and my dying is for Allah, the Sustainer of the worlds. There is no associate with Him, and so I have been commanded, and I am from the ones who submit. O Allah! (This sacrifice) is from me, for You."
After it has been slaughtered, the blood should be allowed to drain completely from its body before it is skinned, disemboweled and chopped. It is absolutely forbidden to start skinning and cutting the animal when it is still alive or writhing. Some butchers, especially the amateur ones, who want to make the maximum amount of money on the day by slaughtering as many animals as possible for people, commit grave errors in the process. They should not be allowed to abuse the animal. Moreover, it is haram for Muslims to consume blood in any form. If the blood has not drained from the animal's body completely before it is cut up, it will remain in the veins inside the meat, thus rendering the meat "haraam" for consumption.
Almighty Allah does not need the blood nor the flesh of the meat. Lan Yanal'Laha luhumuha, wala dimahuha, Walakin yanaluhu takwa minkum, It is not their meat, nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him . What He desires is your piety, period. The meat is skinned, and shared into three. One part for the family, another part for the neighbours, friends, and those who could not afford to make the sacrifice while the last part should be distributed to the need and the poor.

Thursday, September 1, 2011



After a successful and colourful traditional wedding of star actress Mercy Johnson and her heartthrob Odianose Okojie on Friday August 26, the couple further proved to the world that their love has triumphed as they proceeded to Christ Embassy Church on August 27, 2011 to further cement their relationship and the only place everybody in the metropolitan city of Lagos wanted to be on this fateful day, was this eventful wedding ceremony.
The groom looking dapper in an all white suit and dark shade, walked into the Christ Embassy auditorium flagged by his best man Kenneth Kadiri and grooms men. Shortly after, the congregation comprising family members, friends and some members of the press were on their feet as the Bride made a head turning entrance into the church. Mercy Johnson looking beautiful by all definitions in her all white figure accentuating yet flowing wedding gown, was flagged by her chief brides maid, the beautiful Ghanaian actress Yvonne Nelson and a star studded bridal train including Waje, Empress Njamah, Chika Ike, Qween Nwokoye and Goldie.
With Christ Embassy’s Pastor Ton Obiazi officiating, the wedding went on smoothly and saw the exchange of vows, rings and kisses amidst a lot of cheering from the crowd. After a lot of dancing and praising, the church wedding ended and all roads led to 10 Degrees Event Centre, the reception venue.
Once settled in the reception hall elegantly decorated by Royalandmarks, the guests were left in the hands of the MC of the event who happens to be the famous Nigerian comedian AY. He got everyone laughing and relaxed in few minutes after which he welcomed in the newly wedded couple.
The almost endless roll call of stars and dignitaries at Mercy Johnson’s wedding include, Genevieve Nnaji, Emeka Ike, Jim Iyke, Jim Iyke, Segun Arinze, Mike Ezuronye, Kenneth Okonkwo, Patience Ozokwo, Chinedu Ikedieze, Majid Mitchel, Fransis Duru, Dj Jimmy Jatt, Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly and many others.
Mulchies, Villa Sophia and Drinks Plus kept the mouths of the guests busy with mouth watering delicacies and cocktail drinks. The beautifully decorated cake, high enough to be seen from every angle of the hall was made by Cakes n Cream. Guests also could not help dancing as Ebony Band, kept everyone grooving all through the event. The heavy media coverage at the wedding was handled by Bigsam Media.
In a statement by her management firm, Bigsam Media, Mercy says thank you to all her fans, friends and colleagues who stood by her and came for the wedding.
The classy Mercy Johnson’s which left everyone who attended smiling and wishing the couple loads of marital bliss was put together by Royalandmarks.