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Adopted daughter of Billionaire and business tycoon, Alhaji Aliko Dangote died in the UK on the 2nd of October after battling cancer for 2 years.

Fatima Bello Dangote was the daughter of Dangote’s younger brother, Alhaji Bello Dangote, who died in 1996 alongside the son of late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, Ibrahim Abacha, in a plane crash on the 17th of January 1996.

Dangote adopted Fatima Bello and has been her foster father who put her through school. She died in an hospital in which she was being treated and she was buried in London last week according to Islamic rites.

May her soul rest in perfect peace. Read More
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According to reports Nigeria might have an Ebola scare, over a year after we successfully defeated the deadly virus which killed 7 people in Nigeria and thousands across West Africa.

According to Vanguard

    The University of Calabar Teaching Hospital has quarantined ten persons following the death of a patient in the hospital on Wednesday with symptoms suspected to be Ebola virus.

    Dr. Queeneth Kalu, Chairman of  Medical Advisory Committee of the hospital who made the revelation on Thursday in Calabar while addressing pressmen  said blood samples have been sent to the Ebola Diagnosing Centre in Benin Edo State.

On Wednesday, 7thOctober, 2015, we managed a patient who presented with symptoms mimicking viral hemorrhage (Ebola Virus) and have decided to take the necessary measures”.

Dr. Kalu stated that those quarantined are principally nurses who attended to the patient and those who  came in contact with him before his death.
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Nigerian mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has been included in a list of the 50 most influential persons in the world.

The list was compiled by Bloomberg, a United States based Media company.

Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the President of the Dangote Group ranked 41st on the list of the world movers and shakers.

The list of Influential people includes personalities such as the Pope of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis who has acquired a stellar reputation as a “Pope of the poor” .

The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel also makes the list, undoubtedly as one of the key characters in the Euro group.

American President Barack Obama is also on the list alongside Elon Musk, Warren Buffet and a host of other.

Bloomberg explained it’s criteria and method of selecting the list of Influential persons.

“In selecting our influential elite, we favor recent accomplishments over lifetime achievements. Half the people here have never appeared on our list before. Tech executives and entrepreneurs and the venture capitalists who fund them are ascendant of late, and the list reflects that. China, for better or worse, is vital to global markets, and we have a bigger Asia cohort than ever.”
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Dr.Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s immediate past President has denied claims by Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State that his government spent N64 billion to arrange Nigeria’s Independence  celebrations for three years.

According to the El Rufai, Jonathan spent N13 billion in 2011, N15 billion in 2012 and N14 billion in 2013 and N22 billion in 2014, bringing the total to N64 billion.

However, Jonathan has denied the claim, saying the money spent was N332.6 million during the three-year period and reprimanded el-Rufai for deliberately lying to confuse the public and paint his administration badly

As reported by Vanguard, Jonathan responded yesterday in a statement in Abuja, through his former Minister of National Planning, Minister/Deputy Chairman, National Planning Commission, Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, Jonathan said: “For the record, a breakdown of our anniversary spending between 2012 to 2014 amounted to N332.6 million.”

He described the huge figure as a figment of el-Rufai’s imagination and a fabricated lie by a favour-seeker.

“We challenge the Office of the Government of the Federation to publish these details for the consumption of the public.

“A breakdown of our spending for this event between 2012 and 2014 goes thus: 2012, N107.6 million; 2013, N45 million and 2014, 180 million. So, the question here is where did the billions, as claimed by el-Rufai, emanate from?”

He however said he did not have the figures for 2010 and 2011 but that it fell within the threshold of what was spent in the last three years.
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Sadly, a twin bomb explopsion has occurred at Kuje Area Council of the FCT this night. The first one was said to have gone off at the Police Station near First Bank and another one was said to have gone off just few minutes after the first in another location in the Area council. Number of casualties unknown. Details later
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Robbers early Thursday morning invaded streets in Ejigbo community in Lagos State, western Nigeria.

During the three-hour attack, they forced one of their victims to serve them food before they began their operation. They reportedly sat in the sitting room and were served eba (food made from fried cassava paste) and soup which they ate before they started the operation. The armed men stormed Adenuga and Joseph streets at about 1.30 am and carted away money and valuable properties belonging to residents.

According the victims, the operation lasted till 4.30 am. P.M.NEWS gathered that for some weeks now, the residents of Ejigbo have not known peace due to incessant robbery attacks in the area. Many homes in the area have witnessed several attacks by robbers who cart away their money and valuables. P.M.NEWS gathered that some of the streets affected are Fayemi, Surprise Avenue, Oboye, Joseph and others.

At Surprise Avenue, many shops were broken and items looted by the robbers. It was learnt that the robbers also waylay residents in the early morning and evening and force them to part with their valuable items at gun point. At Fayemi and Dorcas streets as well as Idimu road, many residents have lost their valuables such as handsets, necklace, money and others to the robbers. A victim who resides at Joseph street said the robbers stormed their house, forced the door open and tied some people and locked them in one of the rooms before ransacking everywhere.

PM News.
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The Nigerian Army has raised the alarm over the latest antics of Boko Haram, alleging that the insurgents have resorted to poisoning cattle water ponds in the areas where they have been dislodged.

According to TheWill, several cattle, according to the army, have died as a result of this as the insurgents appeared bent to hit back at the authorities and local population through any means.

The Deputy Director Army Public Relations and Spokesman of 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Col. Tukur Gusau disclosed this in a statement in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
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If your yard, street, ward, township, crèche, nursery, primary, secondary or university (or whatever the association you might be in currently) has not put together a “Beauty Pageant” then you my dear reader sit on the rear pews of modern development in Nigerian present contexture. It is so common and with each new Pageant organized, the next is worse than the previous. I just read up an article about “The Alarming Rise of Beauty Pageants in Nigeria” and as I ran through the contents, I couldn’t help but support the writer’s position even though I typed this title long before I read up the article.  But before we look through that, here is a brief history of Beauty Pageants in Nigeria

Daily Times newspaper started beauty pageantry in Nigeria with Miss Nigeria and thus owned the franchise. Miss Nigeria started as a photo contest in 1957. Contestants posted their photographs to the Daily Times headquarters in Lagos, where finalists were shortlisted. Successful candidates were invited to compete in the live finals, which at the time did not include the swimsuit segment at the Lagos Island Club. UAC employee, Grace Oyelude, won the maiden edition of Miss Nigeria. She reportedly used part of her £200 prize money to travel to England and studied Nursing. Contrary to popular belief, Julie Coker was not the first Miss Nigeria – she was Miss Western Nigeria but used the ‘Miss Nigeria’ title during official engagements aboard. However, she competed in the contest the year after Oyelude’s reign, losing out to secretarial student, Helen Anyamaeluna. Former seamstress, Nene Etule remains the only non-Nigerian to have won the contest; she was eligible as Southern Cameroon was under Nigerian constitution in 1959. The following year the contest was briefly renamed ‘Miss Independence’ to commemorate the country’s Independence from Britian, and the winner Rosemary Anieze was crowned. The 60s saw Miss Nigeria competing at international level. Yemi Idowu, who won the contest in 1962, was a semi-finalist at Miss United Nations 1963. Her successor, salesgirl Edna Park, was the first Nigerian at Miss Universe in 1964, and is best remembered for disrupting the show by collapsing after failing to reach the top15 spot. Park was carried away by policemen and contest officials before spending the night in a Miami hospital under sedation, where she was consoled by Nneka Onyegbula, wife of the Nigerian ambassador, who reportedly said: “All the judges are white and they aren’t really competent to judge a dark girl’s beauty”. After Park, no other Miss Nigeria competed in Miss Universe. Rosaline Balogun became the first official Miss Nigeria at Miss World in 1967. 

Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, also known as MBGN, is a pageant organised by Silverbird Group with the aim of sending representatives to international competitions. Originally known as Miss Universe Nigeria, it was renamed Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria after Daily Times lost its license to send delegates from rival contest Miss Nigeria to Miss World and Miss Universe. Silverbird boss, Mr. Ben Murray-Bruce promoted a new pageant known as Miss Universe Nigeria in 1983, but it only gained public attention in 1986 after it changed its name to Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria in 1986, and its maiden winner was model Lynda Chuba. In 2007, Silverbird announced that the pageant would produce four more representatives besides the winner. The original titles were Miss MBGN Universe (to represent at Miss Universe); MBGN Tourism (Miss Tourism International), and MBGN Ecowas (Miss ECOWAS). A fifth title – MBGN Model – which allowed its holder to compete in modelling contests at international level, was dropped and replaced with MBGN Ambassador, with its winner performing ceremonial duties in the country. MBGN winner in 2011, Agbani Darego emerged Miss World in 2011.

Now the article:

 
It is alarming indeed the sudden rise of beauty pageants in Nigeria. Once upon a time, pageants were a thing of pride, beauty and definitely something participants would hold in high esteem and non-participants would long to partake. Now what do we have? We have pageants like Miss Ultimate Nigeria, Miss Dazzle Nigeria, Miss VIP Nigeria, Queen of Trust Nigeria and a host of others. A bunch of irrelevant and inconsequential gatherings of 15 to 20 females where the winner gets a car, cash prize and recognition as the Miss, Face or Queen of whatever the organizers deem fit.

I remember back in University, every weekend someone would come into our hostel and distribute flyers asking us to purchase their pageant forms and stand a chance to win a car and represent Nigeria in an international competition. And all the girls would be ecstatic as soon as they heard “international”.

Some of these forms sold for 3,000 naira others for 5,000 naira and remember a particular one that sold for 10,000 naira – under the guise that if we bought it for that price, we would automatically be placed into the top 5 position at the pageant finale. How ridiculous does that sound? My question is what exactly is the point of these pageants? What morals are they teaching our young girls? I have happened to meet some of these so called “beauty queens” and to be honest; I was quite disappointed at their manner of conduct, dress sense and even manner of speech.

Most of them lack the self confidence and carriage of a Queen and more or less have their managers as their spokesperson. They can barely keep up with a conversation and above all do not even have a goal as to why they even became a beauty queen in the first place.

Funny enough, the winners of these pageants have “Pet projects” where they are supposed to give back to communities. How many of us have actually heard of these projects or benefitted from them? So I ask again, what exactly is the point of the entire pageantry if not to pay it forward?

Rumor has it that most of these girls simply use these means to meet the rich and mighty all in the name of getting “sponsors” for their “pet project”. Apparently, there is usually an agreement between the Queen and the organizers where the organizers link them up with the rich and mighty sponsors and in exchange, they get 20 or 30% of whatever financial benefit is realized from the link up.

I hate to actually imagine what goes on during these supposed “link up” but I think we can all pretty much figure it out. This is probably why becoming a Beauty Queen is now more or less a “career” in Nigeria. As you start off from the bottom and after one or two crowns, you are seen driving the best cars and living the good life. What a shame!

I also remember a particular young and good looking young lady who without a doubt was uneducated (avoidable grammatical blunder). After she struggled to get admission into the University, she decided to contest in the Queen of Aso Beauty Pageant and came out the winner. She later went on to compete in the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) pageant and came out in 5th place as Miss Ambassador Nigeria. She then represented Nigeria in the Miss Ambassador International competition which she also won and ended up getting selected by the Miss Tourism organizers to represent Nigeria in the Miss Tourism International competition.

This young lady in question is about 30 now if not over and despite all the “crowns” she has won, all the cars she has driven, all the countries she has represented Nigeria in, she is still not a graduate of a university and is unfortunately still unable to correctly construct a sentence or have an intellectual conversation that does not revolve around money, cars or pageantry.

If that is the so called “good life” then permit me to say it is a very PATHETIC one! Ladies, I honestly do not know why some of you are so eager to become “Beauty Queens” but if the end goal is a “get rich quick scheme” then it is quite unfortunate and all I can say is good luck to you.

A Queen is selfless; a Queen gives back to her people. A Queen carries herself with grace and accords herself with respect. And except you are ready to act like a Queen then you simply do not deserve to be one.
To the organizers of such ridiculous beauty pageants out there, shame on you for choosing to exploit young girls the way you do and I really hope these girls figure out sooner than later that they are not just some pawn you can use to get whatever you want.

Article culled from A Loco Viva Voce

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Gamaliel Onosode was An elder statesman politician, technocrat and icon of integrity, Gamaliel Onosode OFR, died yesterday at the age of 82.

In a statement made by his son, Ese Onosode, the former presidential candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party of Nigeria died at 8.15 am on Tuesday morning in a Lagos hospital having been flown home on Monday from London after a protracted illness.

May his soul rest in peace.

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Now I got your attention!

I’m sure you are wondering how this story came to be, seeing that nothing in the news recently has been mentioned about the Aso Villa Mosque. As a matter of fact, nothing has ever been mentioned about the Aso Villa Mosque in the news since the advent of democracy in 1999 and the rise of the 4th Republic not minding the fact that there was no Christian leader residing at the Presidential Residence since President Babangida moved there in the early 80s.

There is no question the fact that  should be a mosque to service the Muslim worshippers living and/or working within the Villa even though there seems to be no mention of a budgetary allocation to take care of the management of either the Mosque or Church because if there was, so much noise would have been made about how much was probably allocated to buying new microphones or speakers! Now that would have been a tale!

Here we go again with another uselessly distracting merry-go-round which the average naïve Nigerian is quick to pounce on and spread with reckless abandon. It is given that President Buhari had always been in the spotlight, but most predominantly, since he won the 2015 Presidential Election, there is nothing newsworthy that is newsworthy if it doesn’t carry the name Buhari in it. More recently, the subject of conversation around the President- that is when we are not talking about his reluctance in appointing a cabinet has been more domestic and pedestrian.

As the focus on the President and his popularity increases, it was not new to see that if you paid a listening ear on an investigative visit to the local beer parlors & news-stands, the common senseless chatter peddled about by idle nobodies center mostly around questions like:

Will Aisha Buhari be First Lady or Wife of the President?

Will Buhari Move Into Aso Rock?

Why hasn’t Buhari Moved Into Aso Rock?

Did Witch-Doctors Visit Aso Rock for Prayers & Cleansing?

Why Did Osibanjo Move Into Aso Rock Before Buhari?

Who will Protect Buhari? SSS or The Military?

Na wa ooh! Kini Big Deal sef? (What’s the Big Deal?)

Personally, I don’t give two flying frogs as to where the President takes a piss or if the toilet seat is golden, it doesn’t have anything to do with me. Conversely, what really ticks me off is the mind-numbing chatter about where the Aso Rock Villa Chapel is located (Near the President’s Window or Close to the Gate) or if the Chapel will be removed or moved. Apparently, someone is trying to whip up religious sentiments and cause disharmony among the gradually settling polity, which prior to today as at then (pre & post-election) as a heavy weight positioned slightly above the gradually forming skull of a new born baby.

What really is the purported bone of contention? That the noise of worship is affecting the President’s sleep? Since when? What is the distance between the Chapel and the Presidents window? How do we even know where the Chapel is located when Nigerians don’t even have an idea about how the entire grounds look like or what buildings sit where or where the Office of the President is sited in the building/buildings like is obtainable in the White House which by the way is located on a street called Pennsylvania Avenue not like the “town” where Aso Rock is sited! Selah

What is my business if the “Wife of the President” chooses to use the Children’s Church as a Spa? Up till today, did the average Nigerian know there was a Children’s Church? What else are we in the dark of about the Chapel? Is there a Teenagers Church there too? Does it belong to a particular denomination or what? What kind of church programmes/events are run there? Night Vigils? Prayer Fest? Miracle Cantata or What? Does the Chapel host crusades like Pastor XYZ STORMS ASO ROCK? Or any other “mega/power packed programme” of that sort that require a lot of noise? Cynically though, I tend to wonder what the attendees will be praying so loudly about if they work and perhaps live in unarguably the most powerful address in the Country.

As is collective in 3rd World countries - Nigeria’s Presidential Villa is regarded as the Fountain of Wealth, the Rehoboth of Money, Power & Fame; the Canaan of every politician, businessman or civil servant. So why the alleged loud noise pervading the President’s Bedroom? Was this the same attitude the Chapel attendees meted out to Late President Yar’Adua? How come we didn’t hear of it in the news? Or maybe  was another bedroom he slept in at the time and President Buhari just prefers a room that may coincidentally be in earshot of the Chapel. Or did President Obasanjo – the founder of the Chapel deliberately choose to have the Chapel in earshot to enable him enjoy regular“Services-In-Bed”? Who knows? Now, the Vice President has to debunk this and that in defense of his principal and wife.

Much Ado about Nothing! In my own opinion, the presence or otherwise of a Chapel in the Presidential Office/Residence will not make Nigeria a great land to live in overnight. The Aso Villa Chapel or its presence at its present location is not as a symbol of Christianity as much as the people using it are! Even with a Christian President residing and worshipping there, corruption and disorder will still prevail. God has never been confined to a space or a geographical location even in the days of the Ark of Covenant. God resides in our hearts through his spirit and it is his presence working in us that makes us live godly lives and NOT A CHAPEL. Even if the rumors of relocating the Chapel rings true or the conversion of the Children’s Church to a Spa is confirmed, it changes nothing! All members hereto should seek churches to worship on Sundays and week days and come practice God’s Word in the Villa where they work and perhaps live also.

Let’s not be fooled by the humdrum generated by doomsday or naysayers trying to create news by deflecting attention from the germane issues and problems of the day which are too numerous to gossip-centric fleecing subjects irrelevant to the present price of a basket of tomato at Ogbete Market. As the title of my convo today reads: How Much Does the Aso Villa Mosque Actually Cost?

Food for thought!

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