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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.