Sunday, 24 January 2016

babies are funny oh......

'I'll date a younger man if he is mature minded & experienced ' - Shan George opens up to LIB about her career, life & experiences

She's one of Nigerian actresses who has been in the film Industry before it even had an official name. She has had her fair share of success, a face popular in many households but has also faced misguided controversies about her personal life. LIB reached out to Shan George for an exclusive, in order to enlighten her fans and others, about who she really is & she gracefully responded. Read after the cut...

She opens up to Linda Ikeji Blog in this exclusive Interview about her Background, Personal life, Career and more.

LIB: Tell us about yourself. (Full Name, Age, where you're from, family background - silver spoon or otherwise, educational qualifications.)
• I'm Shan Walker George, was born in Abakaliki. In my late 40s. My mother is from cross river state while my father is Scottish. (so my mother says, i never met him), | kpako spoon background | Did my primary and secondary schools in Ediba, Abi LGA, Cross river state - my mother's village. I read Mass communication in the University of Lagos
LIB: How did you get involved in acting, How did you discover the Industry?
• When i gained admission into Unilag in 1996, i was looking for a part time job to be able to pay my way through school. I met an actress called Blessing Eremi (now Mrs Blessing Stevens) who introduced me to the Late Jeniffa Okere and Emeka Osai. They were about to produce a movie at that time tittled 'Thorns of Rose'. I was given a role and that's how the trip started.
LIB: Has anything changed about you since you came into the limelight?
• I don't think much has changed about me besides my age and the size of my bank account.... (Laughs)
LIB: When was your first role as an actress & How many movies have you done till date?
• First role, as mentioned earlier, was in 1996. I've done well over 200 films since then, out of which I have written and produced over 20.
LIB: Who is your favorite Actor/Actress?
• Every actor who carries and plays a role very well, is my favourite.
LIB: What else do you do professionally apart from acting?
• I write movie scripts and i also produce movies, besides acting.
LIB: If contracted to act in a semi nude way in a movie, would you take it up?
• I can act semi nude if the script is a corrective story. It has to be a story that will change people's life for good.
LIB: What is the most extreme change to your personality, hair, body weight, etc etc, that you have done to land a role?
• I have never changed anything to land a role. But I've had to make changes after landing d role, like having my hair cut, etc
LIB: Tell me about a time where you had difficulty with a character. What was the character and why was it challenging?
• Every character is challenging. I have had to play characters, portray people who i'm not. Roles of a prostitute, mermaid, robber, etc.

LIB: What is the hardest part of being a celeb?
• The hardest part of being a celebrity is that part where people think you are a rich person and once they meet you, even on the street, you have to solve all their financial issues instantly. And the part where some people show you hatred when they meet you, just because they didn't like your evil character/role in a film.
LIB: Are you in a relationship?
• No
LIB: Can you date someone younger than you?
• Maybe. If he is mature minded and experienced.
LIB: Does your relationship status affect your career?
• No.
LIB: Would your sons have an issue with you remarrying?
• No.
LIB: Is it true what they say about sexual harassment & exploitation of upcoming actors/actresses in Nollywood?
• I believe sexual harassment and extortion exists in every profession. That's why we all need to shine our eyes and believe in ourselves, so that we don't become a victim.
LIB: Tell us something about you that most people don’t know.
• I am a movie junky! I would rather be home watching a movie than attending an event.
LIB: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
• I have nothing about myself i desire to change for now.
LIB: What has kept you going all these years, your biggest achievement in the field of acting?
So far i don't think I've achieved anything. Though i am working hard at it. The love of God, Family and Friends have kept me going all these years.
LIB: Are you working on any current projects?
• Yes. I'm currently working on my new film 'ONE GOOD MAN', which is premiering soon.
LIB: What future plans do you have for yourself?
• I just want to continue to help people in any little way i can, work & pray, while i leave the rest to God.
LIB: Any advice for someone aspiring to become an actor?
• If u want to become an actor or anything in this life. READ ABOUT IT. GET AN EDUCATION!
And that's a wrap... Thanks to Shan George for opening up exclusively to LIB.

STAMP DUTIES: Policy will stunt financial institutions patronage — Expert

As the Federal Government continues to put measures in place to prevent Nigeria’s economy from sliding into a recession in 2016, the system faces numerous challenges with a telling effect on the citizens. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all commercial banks to charge customers N50 on deposits from N1,000 and above, as part of Nigeria’s stamp duties law on financial transactions.  The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) wants to increase electricity tariff by next month. The CBN said no more sale of dollars to Bureau De Change (BDC) due to scarcity of forex. The naira is depreciating beyond the control of the apex bank, despite monetary policies formulated to shore up the  currency. A financial expert and the National President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Shehu Mikail, speaks on issues in the economy and how government can prevent Nigeria’s economy from going bankrupt.
The CBN has directed banks to charge N50 for deposits of N1.000 and above, in  line with the Nigeria’s stamp duties law on financial transactions. What is your take on this?
I do not like this type of policy because it will discourage people from keeping money in the banks. At present, Nigeria is largely un-banked, especially the rural areas. So, this type of policy will worsen the situation, in particular for traders doing business in the rural areas. It will have negative effect on the cashless monetary policy that is already in place. It is also another way of imposing extra tax on the poor masses. The CBN should jettison this method of taxation and come up with a monetary policy that will strengthen the naira to grow the economy, instead of putting another tax burden on the people.
NERC wants to increase electricity tariff by next month. How does this affect low income earners in the country?
BANKNERC must not increase power tariff without giving consumers pre-paid meters. Currently, about 80 percent Nigerians do not have pr-paid meters. Aside from that, what is the justification for increase in power tariff? Is it that power supply has improved better that before, and for that reason they want to increase the tariff? These are things NERC should make clear to us before talking about increase in tariff. Is NERC trying to make us pay more for what we are not consuming? Is this another way of taxing the people? If at all, NERC wants to increase power tariff, the amount must not be more than N4 per unit, because now we are paying over N2 per unit.
What is the economic implication of the purported  missing  budget 2016?
In the history of Nigeria, this is the first time we heard that a budget was missing. This is not  good for our economy, because investors will look at us as people who are not serious. If government altered the budget after it was presented to the Senate, it means they do not have a good economic team. Before the budget came out, they ought to have mapped out a good economic plan on how to  implement it, in order to rejuvenate the economy.  A budget is very important, because that is what investors look at in making decision on whether to put their money in any economy or not. So, for us to hear that the budget was missing, is ridiculous.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), advised government to restructure the tax system to curtail excessive borrowing from external source. Do you share such opinion?
Borrowing is a way of accumulating more debts for our economy, and at the same time, we spend so much to service debts. For instance, about N1.47trillion is allocated for debts servicing in the purported missing appropriation bill for 2016. But if we have good reasons to borrow to develop our infrastructure, I think we can borrow. The implication is that, continuous borrowing will make our currency to depreciate the more.
The exchange rate now is about N309 per dollar, which is the first time in the last 43years that the naira depreciated so low.
What is the way out?
Government should come up with a good economic blue print on how to restructure the economy. The immediate past minister of agriculture during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, did a lot to develop the sector. Let President Muhammadu Buhari look at some of his policies and see how he can build on them.  We need to revamp agriculture and the manufacturing sectors, so that we can start producing goods for domestic consumption and export.  Continuous depreciation of the naira shows that the economy generally is in serious stress. If nothing is done to strengthen the system, our economy will slide into a recession. Look at the capital market, since the second quarter of last year till 2016, the market has been experiencing huge investments outflow.
The CBN said no more forex for Bureau de Change from its official window.   Do you think the forex policy of the apex bank will strengthen  the naira?
The CBN is trying to manage the financial system, but the implication of restricting BDC from getting forex can give way to black market situation, because importers will look for other means of getting forex. At the end, the masses will suffer the outcome, because  prices of goods and services will increase due to high cost of foreign exchange. As such, there will be inflation in the system.
What can be done to reposition the economy at this point?
As I said earlier, let us come up with a good economic blue print on how to resuscitate the economy to prevent the economy from going bankrupt. Let us look inward to revamp the industrial sector for businesses to thrive and create wealth. The living condition of the people should be improved upon. Let President Buhari get experienced economic team to work with him. He is doing well on tackling insecurity, but he is not doing enough to revamp the economy.

Nigerians protest alleged extra-judicial killing by South African police

 Nigerians resident in Gauteng Province of South Africa have protested against the alleged extra-judicial killing of a 34- year-old man, Timothy Chinedu, by the police.
Mr Mathew Okafor, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union in Gauteng Province,  said on phone from Johannesburg that Chinedu was allegedly suffocated to death by the police after his arrest at 9.00 a.m. on Saturday.
Chinedu is a native of Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo. He claimed that another Nigerian, who witnessed the incident at Kempton Park in Ekulurheni Municipality, Gauteng Province, saw the South African police arrest the deceased, tie his hands and cover his face with a cellophane bag. “
We suspect that Chinedu died of suffocation. “ That is why Nigerians in the province mobilised and staged a protest against this extra-judicial killing . “ The South African police is alleging that he died after ingesting drugs but a Nigerian witnessed the entire incident and reported it to us. “
The case has been handed over to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) that investigates police misconduct in South Africa.
“ We have been given the contacts of key persons that we need to be talking to as this investigation proceeds so that we can monitor the development. “ An autopsy is being carried out and we are waiting for the coroner’s report. “ We have also reported this incident to the national body of Nigeria Union and Nigerian Mission in South Africa.
“ We have also gotten the contacts of the relatives of the deceased and we have duly informed them of the tragedy,“ Okafor said The President of Nigeria Union in South Africa, Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, said the body had received the report of the incident.
“ We take exception to the continued torture of Nigerians by the South African police. “ The union believes that there is the due process to follow after a suspect is arrested instead of resorting to torture,“ he said.
Anyene urged the Federal Government to intervene by persuading the South African government to look into the continued killings of Nigerians by the police. “ We also want to state that the Nigerian did not die of drug ingestion as being alleged by the South African police,“ he said. Nigeria`s Consul General to South Africa, Amb. Uche Ajulu-Okeke, said that the mission had received the report of the killing of the Nigerian. She said the mission would investigate the incident and present a report to the Federal Government. Ajulu-Okeke, however, appealed to Nigerians to remain law abiding and report any incident to the union and the mission. (NAN)

Australian Open: Serena serves up glamour clash with Sharapova

Serena Williams served up a glamour Australian Open quarter-final against arch-rival Maria Sharapova on Sunday as she looks to extend her iron grip over the Russian star.
The world number one and defending champion smacked down Margarita Gasparyan 6-2, 6-1 in just 55 minutes on Rod Laver Arena to ensure the mouth-watering showdown.
Sharapova holds the dismal record of never beating her nemesis in 17 contests dating back 12 years. The last time she managed a win was at the WTA Tour Championships in 2004.
She now has another chance to finally get the monkey off her back after coming through a 7-5, 7-5 thriller against fast-rising Swiss teen Belinda Bencic.
File: Serena                           File: Serena
The Russian world number five, who lost to Williams in the Melbourne Park final last year, said she was always looking to improve and used the losses against the mighty American to examine what she could do better.
“Absolutely. It’s not like I think about what I can do worse!” she said.
“You’re always trying to — always trying to improve. I got myself into the quarter-final of a Grand Slam.
“There is no reason I shouldn’t be looking to improve and to getting my game in a better position than any other previous round. It’s only going to be tougher, especially against Serena.”
A nonchalant Williams, who rarely looks beyond her next opponent in the draw, claimed she didn’t know Sharapova was now in the way of her bid to win a 22nd Grand Slam and equally Steffi Graf’s Open-era record.
“I’ll be ready, she had a really good match — I had no idea I was playing her (Sharapova) next,” she told the courtside interviewer after taming Gasparyan.
“That will be a good match, I have nothing to lose. We are both doing the best we can. It’ll be fun.”
Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska will face Spain’s 10th seed Carla Suarez in the other quarter-final on Tuesday after both players came through testing three-setters.
Radwanska was pushed to the limit by unseeded Anna-Lena Friedsam, winning 6-7 (6/8), 6-1, 7-5 with the German, who struggled with injury and cramp, leaving the court in tears.
“I had no choice, just to fight till the end for each point. That’s what I did,” said the composed Radwanska, who kept her cool as Friedsam wilted.
Suarez ended the dream run of local hope Daria Gavrilova 0-6, 6-3, 6-2 to make the last eight for the first time since her tournament debut in 2009.
– Real deal –
Williams has been in ominous form this year at Melbourne Park and easily swatted aside Gasparyan.
It wasn’t vintage Serena but even operating at 50 percent she was too good for the world number 58 and a rout was always on the cards.
Williams won three majors — the Australian and French Op
and Wimbledon — in 2015 which took her to within one of Graf’s long-time record of 22.
Margaret Court, who was in the stadium to watch Williams play, holds the all-time Grand Slam record of 24.
Sharapova had a much harder task against Bencic, the WTA’s highest ranked teenager, who has gone from rising star to the real deal over the past year, having already claimed 10 top-10 wins in her career.
Coached by Melanie Molitor, mother of Martina Hingis, she won tournaments in Eastbourne and Toronto in a breakout 2015 and was a major hurdle for the Russian.
But Sharapova — the last teen to win a Grand Slam title, aged 19 at the 2006 US Open — has also been in good touch in Melbourne, where she won in 2008, and ultimately her experience proved decisive.
“These are the players that will ultimately take our spot,” she said of the talented Bencic. “But not just yet.”

Falana drags all those indicted in arms deal scandal before ICC

Human Rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has dragged all those indicted in the $2.1 billion arms deal before the International Court of Justice. In a petition dated January 19th, Falana asked the court to investigate allegations of crimes against humanity committed against the Nigerian people by some former and serving military officers as well public officials and private persons who engaged in the criminal diversion of $8 billion earmarked to procure equipment for the armed forces to fight insurgency. The petition reads;

 “We are a firm of civil rights lawyers based in Lagos, Nigeria. We are the defence counsel for the majority of the members of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Nigeria who were charged with mutiny, cowardly behaviour and sundry offences before the courts-martial instituted by the former military authorities. As we shall demonstrate anon, the only “offence” proved against our clients in the military courts was that they had the temerity to demand for weapons to fight the well equipped troops of the Boko Haram sect. On account of the deliberate refusal of the former military authorities to equip and motivate the members of the armed forces involved in combat operations the insurgents have killed about 25,000 soldiers and civilians including children and displaced over 2,000,000 people. Having compromised the security of the people of Nigeria by collaborating with the terrorists the former military authorities deliberately encouraged the brutal killing of innocent people including ill-equipped officers and soldiers. During a visit to Borno state in 2014, former President Jonathan revealed to some selected leaders of the community that it was when Alhaji Modu Ali Sheriff caused the extra judicial killing of the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Mohammed Yusuf that the group declared war on the Nigerian people. Even though President Jonathan knew that Alhaji Sheriff was a major sponsor of the terrorist group the government did not charge him to court under the Terrorism Act applicable in Nigeria. In order to divert the attention of the Nigerian people and the international community from the afore mentioned crimes against humanity, scores of soldiers were put on trial before courts-martial for demanding for equipment to fight the well-armed members of the Boko Haram sect. The military courts convicted the soldiers and sentenced them to various terms of imprisonment while 70 were sentenced to death. Over 3,000 others were dismissed from the Nigerian Army in similar circumstances. Having investigated and confirmed that the said soldiers were sacrificed to cover up the criminal negligence of the former military authorities the current Army leadership has ordered the recall and reinstatement of the 3,000 dismissed soldiers and commuted the death sentence of 66 out of 70 convicts on death row to 10 years’ imprisonment. The inquiry conducted by the Presidential Panel on arms procurement has established that the bulk of the sum of $2.1 billion and N643 billion ($4 billion) earmarked for the purchase of military hardware to fight terrorism was criminally diverted by the former government through the office of the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd). It has also been confirmed that the said Col. Dasuki colluded with some serving and retired military officers and civilians to divert the sum of $2 billion and N29 billion set aside for the procurement of fighter jets and other equipment for the Nigeria Air Force. As if that was not enough, the sum of $322 million and £5.5 million from the Abacha loot which was illegally transferred to Col. Dasuki by a former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for prosecuting the war on terror has also been criminally diverted. Part of the stolen fund was used to fund the campaign for the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 general elections. Apart from diverting the fund for acquiring military equipment some corrupt public officers also stole money set aside for acquiring the necessary gadgets and equipment for securing the Nigerian people. For instance, the $470 million contract awarded in 2009 for the installation of CCTV cameras in Abuja, the seat of the federal government, was poorly executed due to corrupt practices. Thus, the identification of terrorists who launched bomb attacks in public places in Abuja has been frustrated by the government officials who stole the contract sum. Notwithstanding the deliberate refusal of the military authorities to purchase arms and armament due to the criminal diversion of the security fund, Col. Dasuki gave a lecture at Chatham House in London on February 8, 2015 where he claimed that Nigeria had acquired adequate equipment to prosecute the war on terror. At the time he was addressing his London audience Col Dasuki was well aware that the fund for procurement of weapons had been stolen by himself and his cohorts. However, out of the fear that he could be made to account for his role in the diversion of the security fund the then Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Barde disclosed, while he was retiring from the service on July 30, 2015, that the armed forces led by him lacked the equipment to fight the terrorists. In his reaction to the disclosure Col. Dasuki stated sometime in August 2015 that the equipment ordered by the Jonathan Administration had not arrived the country! It is submitted that the former public officials, serving and military officers as well as civilian collaborators who engaged in the criminal diversion of the security fund are liable to bear full responsibility for the death of about 25,000 people who were killed by the Boko Haram sect and the over 2,000,000 people displaced by the terrorist organisation. Nigeria is a state party to the Rome Statute and deposited its instrument of ratification on 27 September 2001. The preamble to the 2003 United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which Nigeria has also ratified states that corruption “is no longer a local matter but a transnational phenomenon that affects all societies and economies. We strongly believe that allegations of corruption so far made against Col. Sambo Dasuki and other public officers have had catastrophic effects on the lives of over 25,000 Nigerian soldiers and civilians including children akin to crimes against humanity as contemplated under the Rome Statute and within the jurisdiction of the Court. The Rome Statute in article 7 defines “crime against humanity” to include “inhumane acts causing great suffering or injury,” committed in a widespread or systematic manner against a civilian population. The common denominator of crimes against humanity is that they are grave affronts to human security and dignity. We believe that the staggering amount of public funds alleged to have been stolen create just these consequences. Crimes against humanity are not only physical violence; allegations of corruption highlighted above hold a comparable gravity, which the Prosecutor should examine and thoroughly investigate. The elements that need to be established to prove a “crime against humanity “under article 7(1)(k) of the Rome Statute are that, the perpetrator inflicted great suffering or serious injury by means of an inhumane act; that the perpetrator was aware of the circumstances, and that the act was committed within a widespread or systematic attack on a civilian population; and that the perpetrator knew of that link. The consequences of allegations of corruption highlighted above are similar to those of the offences in article 7(1). Corrupt officials in the government know well that their conduct is criminal and injurious, and that their ostentatious lives, built on a radical breach of solemn trust, aggravate their crime against humanity. We believe that these allegations of widespread and systematic corruption amount to crimes against humanity and therefore clear violations of the provisions of the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court. These allegations have given rise to individual criminal responsibility of those suspected of perpetrating corruption, as entrenched in the Rome Statute. Although the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has so far shown some political will to fight corruption and recover stolen assets, we believe that an international investigation by the ICC from the perspective of crimes against humanity would complement the anti-corruption initiatives by the current government and contribute to ending a culture of impunity of perpetrators. We submit that substantial grounds exist to warrant the intervention of the Prosecutor in this case. Under Article 30(2)(b) of the Rome Statute, a person has intent “in relation to a consequence, [where] that person means to cause that consequence or is aware that it will occur in the ordinary course of events. We therefore submit that this is sufficient to hold Col Dasuki and others that have been indicted in the arms theft scandal responsible for crimes against humanity perpetrated against Nigerians. The failure of a former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to prevent widespread and systematic corruption including the re-looting of the Abacha loot amounts to complicity under the Rome Statute, and therefore fits the legal requirements of a crime against humanity.".

He asked the court to among other things
 1. Urgently commence an investigation proprio motu on the allegations of the criminal diversion of the security fund of $2.1 billion and N643 billion earmarked by suspected perpetrators, with a view to determining whether these amount to crimes against humanity within the Court’s jurisdiction. In this respect, I also urge you to invite representatives of the Nigerian government to provide written or oral testimony at the seat of the Court, so that the Prosecutor is able to conclude on the basis of available information whether there is a reasonable basis for an investigation, and to submit a request to the Pre-Trial Chamber for authorization of an investigation.
‎2. Bring to justice those suspected to bear full responsibility for deliberate under funding of the armed forces through widespread and systematic corruption in Nigeria; and
3. Urge the Nigerian government to fulfil its obligations under the Rome Statute to cooperate with the ICC; including complying with your requests to arrest and surrender suspected perpetrators of the criminal diversion of security fund, testimony, and provide other support to the ICC.

65 year old woman burnt to death during a cult fight in Lagos

A 65 year old woman identified as Adejoke Adefuye was burnt to death in her home at number 19, Oshinfolarin street in the Bariga area of Lagos, during a fight that broke out between two cult groups in Bariga yesterday January 23rd.

According to a statement by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), the incident was a reprisal attack from one of the cult groups after a fight that began on Friday

No one knows why the building where the aged woman lived in was burnt down

“Information revealed that the cultist had been terrorizing the area since yesterday before attacking the affected building this morning, trapped the occupants inside and set the building on Fire. A 65-year-old woman was burnt beyond recognition in one of the rooms. She was the only mortality recorded and has been taken to morgue by SEHMU. Other occupants of the building sustained minor injuries that have been treated by LASAMBUS.” ‎the statement said

Al-Shabaab commander killed in Mogadishu is a Nigerian? (photo)

Somali Freelance Journalist @Daudoo shared this photo on twitter. According to him, a video released by Al-Shabaab jihadi group shows Moalim Okash, a Nigerian commander who was killed during a fight with African Union Mission In Somalia (AMISOM)

"New #AlShabaab video shows Moalim Okash, a #Nigeria-n commander killed fighting against #AMISOM in Mogadishu" he wrote.

Photo: Pakistan arrests Bacha Khan University attack masterminds

Pakistani security agencies on Saturday, January 23, arrested five out of six men accused of being the masterminds behind the attack on a Bacha Khan university that killed 21 people.

"The five facilitators have been arrested and the another one, whom I will call terrorist-A is still at large," military spokesman Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa told a televised press conference in Peshawar.
According to the officer, "terrorist-A" arranged transportation for the four gunmen who travelled from Torkhum town, which borders Afghanistan. The suspects also secured accommodation for the assailants and provided them with a rickshaw that they used on the day of the attack. They also helped purchase their weapons in the country's tribal belt and relied on women close to the accused to help smuggle guns.

"Women wearing traditional veils do not usually undergo a routine body search at the checkpoints," said Bajwa.

He went on to confirm that authorities suspect the assault on the university was planned and directed by militant groups residing in Afghanistan, adding that one of the organisers had made as many as 10 calls to the attackers on a mobile phone that had an Afghan SIM card.

On Wednesday January 20, four gunmen armed with suicide bomb vests attacked the university located 21 miles outside the city of Peshawar. Under a thick fog, the militants scaled the wall of the university, entered a classroom and opened fire on students and teachers.

The assault was later claimed by a faction of the Pakistani Taleban and bore a chilling resemblance to a December 2014 massacre at a school in Peshawar that killed more than 150 people, mostly children.

On Friday, the Taliban faction behind the massacre at Bacha Khan university posted a video message vowing to target schools throughout the country, calling them "nurseries" for people who challenge Allah's law.

21 lies Nigerian ladies and guys tell

According to this list put together Psychologist Joro Olumofin, these are the 21 lies Nigerian ladies and guys tell. above is the lies ladies tell...see the one men tell after the cut and tell us what you think

Oh my! E.J Johnson has really lost a lot of weight...(photos)

Son of basketball great and reality star, EJ Johnson, 23, stepped out in Beverly hills for the filming of an episode of Rich Kids of Beverly Hills and he looked fab in a tight all white outfit, brown fur coat and boots to match. More photos after the cut...

Amara Kanu gives her baby girl loving kisses (photos)

Kanu Nwankwo's wife Amara Kanu and her beautiful daughter having a lovely mother-daughter moment. See another photo after the cut...

10 things you don’t know about Ella Martins

Beninese Singer, Ella Martins is an ebony beauty that can never be missed in a crowd. She has her talents going and making ways for her, but her bum? Hey, that will make any man pee in their pants. She has been accused of having worked on it because they are so shapely and so proportionately captivating it is hard to imagine it is real.
ELLAMARTINSBut Ella has told anyone who cares to listen it is real.  She is something of an enigma. Behind those lovely eyes, smashing figure and cute bum lies a person you can never get to know too well. Here are ten things you never knew about her:
  1. She got married at the age of 14 to a German whom she plans to divorce soon.
  2. She’s really a Yoruba girl, both her father and mother are Yorubas; Father is Olayinka Martins and mum is Wulemat Fagbemi
  3. She grew up in Abidjan and France
  4. Apart from being a singer and an actress, she is also a visual artist.
  5. She has at one time dated an African President and Congolese singer, Fally Ipupa
  6. She has released four studio albums; First one is Shut Up, second one Electric, third one Rich Attitude and the fourth one is Success.
  7. Her major influence is Rihanna; she once said she inspires her. “We have a lot in common; she has talents, beauty and also possesses delightful sex appeals” she said
  8. Though she’s a very curvaceous woman with what you would call ‘bomb bum’, but she hates to have her boobs touched. ‘I can only show off my hips not my breasts’ she once said
  9. The only man she would love to be trapped in a desert with is Bill Gates
  10. What she can never do: “I cannot   go nude in a movie and   I won’t allow an actor touch my breast” she declared

OMOLUABI:The trustworthy and much more

The Alafin of Oyo Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, not too long ago, conferred the title of OMOLUABI, meaning the trustworthy, on Ogbeni Abdulrauf Adesoji Aregbesola. Rauf happens to be the Governor of State of Osun. Up to now, I am not privy to all the good things the good king said about him. But it must have been plenty.
There seems to have been many trustworthy personages among Nigerians. But it seems the rank is diminishing in all the ranks.
The subject of being trustworthy seems to have occupied the space in this country in the last many months. What of the many who have been trusted and lost the trust.
What of those who trusted that their beloved husbands and/or sons would have been able to wade through the Nigerian jungle but were unable to do so. Because they were unable to get the weapons to wage the war. Someone the Nigerian state let them down very badly. They have all eaten the money and looked the other way. But no way!
Suddenly, the man who should be our keeper on the strength of his age and experience, has agreed to keep something on the side – not from his own hard-earned money – but from the commonwealth till. And he says, I have been spending my own money to win “your” elections. And don’t ask how much that has been,  because it is just  a matter of a couple of a miserable  250 or 280 million naira .
Even the man whose tongue races in his mouth could not keep his hand from the till. And we are talking of a couple of 400 million naira or so.
Whatever uniform he wears the Nigerian legion would do you (the country) in. Be he in the military! In the customs and I will be surprised if he is not found in the police – in or out of the uniform – in good numbers! No wonder many well-heelled Nigerias are missing. Not in battle but AWOL and many more will do the same as times goes on.
My brother once – many, many years ago – named me like Abdulrauf Omoluabi. Then my brother was in Alagbon – under watch – with a good number of good people. Then I thought it was not on. But I am not sure what my brother will think of it now.
After SAP Government Minister and Secretary Government and the mess!  Except it was not a farce that the money being bandied was not fake money. They were true money and were being spent like fish and like nobody’s business – in 100,000 million here; 400 billion there. For once, I think money was getting out of fashion. It was the fashionable to see father and son in a company. Another reminds me of “IKEJIANI” and “IKETAANI”. You may not remember late Dr IKEJIANI, a well-known Medical doctor in Abeokuta and of the Nigeria Railways.
Every nationality was involved. You find a Yoruba man here; a Hausa one there and Igbo holding court at the centre stage! Don’t say you did not see the Itsekiri or an Urhobo among the revellers.
Now that the come as how to become, to borrow K.O Mbadiwe’s brogue we all must stew for it. That means all of us have a stake in making this country something worthwhile. Especially the members of the fourth estate of the realm.
We have not been pulling our weight. In fact, we have been degenerating as the other estates we have not looked at the areas we should; rather our attention has been on what we all benefit us. We have not asked what we should do for Nigeria. It has been what has been in it for us.
IKU BABA YEYE, the Alafin of Oyo, has again reminded us of what we should be: Omoluabi , Trustworthy, Selfless.
Kola Animasaun
Writes from Lagos.    

Wanted: A new national political party (3)

Marriage is always a great risk.” Henry James, 1843-1916.
Political marriages variously called alliances, coalitions or accords are invariably the greatest risks of all. The “marriage” between the CPC and ACN which formed the nucleus of the APC reminds me of what happened to another marriage in Dorchester, Boston, USA in 1974. The two “lovers” desperate for marital bliss, but not financially strong individually agreed to pool their resources to make a go of their wedlock.
PDP-APC-logoOne Tuesday, after several years of living in penury, the two love-birds decided to play the State Lottery, but only the husband had money. Not really believing that they could win, he asked that the ticket be registered in the wife’s name.
On Saturday, the result was announced. The ticket had won the jackpot prize of several million dollars. Thereafter, the relationship in the household changed. The formerly submissive wife became the dominant partner – notwithstanding the fact that it was the husband’s dollar which brought the great fortune.
Former members of the ACN have my sympathies like that husband in 1974. Everybody knows that it was mostly ACN money, organization, media, publicity etc which formed the back bone of the APC campaign effort. But, the roles changed the minute Professor Jega pronounced Buhari elected. Into his laps and CPC’s have fallen all the benefits of the campaign. That explained why the first ten important appointments were unknown in ACN circles. Thereafter, ACN members can only accept whatever they are given. It is a matter of “take it or leave it”. It is not easy to eat humble pie. And, I knew it is only a matter of time before the frustration boils over. Furthermore, they know, and I know, that their position can only get worse within the alliance.
Defections from other political parties are swelling the ranks of APC; most of them on arrival will swear absolute loyalty to Buhari. The bank-rollers of the 2015 elections will not be needed in 2019. Incidentally, those who financed the APC campaign were not altruistic. They made an investment which they expected to yield positive returns. At the moment, they risk losing their investments after winning the election the way Buhari is going about running the government – like a religion. To win an election and lose your money at the same time is enough to make grown men cry. Let nobody tell us that the “investors” don’t want their money back. At least one APC Governor (name withheld) wants his.
In 2011, when it was clear that Malam Ribadu was going to lose the presidential election, a deal was struck and the allegation is that investors in ACN were refunded a cool N17 billion to allow Jonathan win in the South West. Surely, nobody asked or cared where the money came from in 2011. Hypocrisy has no better definition going by the self-righteousness demonstrated by some people today; as Buhari harasses the PDP.
I have an idea what will happen next; but let me keep it for now. But, the APC as we know it today will not be the same one contesting the 2019 elections. For that matter the PDP as we know it will not be a viable opposition party. PDP has been decapitated. They can’t even call a meeting anymore. Only a third political party will serve the purpose of providing the emerging APC a run for its money.
“All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.”
George Orwell, 1903-1950.
General Obasanjo (rtd) from 1999 to 2007 collected $13-16 billion from the Central Bank for power project. No power to show for it. They want Nigerians to forget their $13-16 billions. In addition, close to N8trillion was missing during the same period. Read my book PDP: CORRUPTION INCORPORATED. You’ll be shocked.
GEJ, a bloody civilian, is daily insulted on account of alleged $2 billion arms deal. It serves Jonathan right. I asked and even begged him to probe Obasanjo. He lacked the guts to conduct an investigation which could have strengthened his hands as President, immortalize him and yielded trillions of loot. “I dey laugh O!”

Now that the budget has been found, what next?

When journalists claim that it is  their exclusive preserve to set the national agenda of a nation, not many people fully appreciate the weight and significance of their claim. One politician said the other day that the agenda setting theory of the media is unrealistic in Nigeria because it is not the media but the political class that initiates and directs the course of the nation’s agenda. If indeed, national agenda refers to the predominant topic of discuss, then the politician is correct because what Nigerians are forced to discuss is set everyday by politicians. For example for the better part of last year, Nigerians were manipulated to discuss election campaigns in place of the abduction of over 200 of their young compatriots.
File: Buhari during the 2016 budget presentation to the National Assembly.
To make matters worse, the media, as if to confirm that their agenda function has been lost to politicians merely help to publicise what our politicians want us all to discuss. Otherwise, what would have made Nigerians to busy themselves through a whole week on a frivolous matter like an alleged missing budget which can reproduce a million times? We submit that the type of national agenda that the media are supposed to set concern not just a determination of what people discuss but issues that should positively impact on the people.
Against this backdrop, it is important to draw the attention of media correspondents at the National Assembly that to merely publicise whatever happens in their location amounts to post-office journalism just the same way a post office delivers a letter untouched as it was sent.
Media professionals are not supposed to so serve as repeater mechanism for what politicians say; they are rather obliged to go beyond telling a story of where when and how an event took place, by undertaking the interpretative dimension of a news report which enables society to understand the implications to their lives of the event being reported.
To hype irrelevant alarms such as a missing budget only to downplay the substantive issues of governance such as the exact use, into which a budget is put, amounts to blowing cosmetic matters out of proportion just to manipulate the people. Unfortunately, that has been the fate of our national budget for long. Indeed, since 1999 when democracy was resurrected in Nigeria, we have never had a budget, what we have always had is a communiqué of political negotiations in which the polity is usually overheated in a cat and rat game between the Presidency and the National Assembly which always short changes the citizenry.
So it is always a tale of delayed budgets influenced by multifarious antics.  There was even a time when the budget could not be presented because the two chambers of the National Assembly suddenly feigned a disagreement over the appropriate venue of a joint session for the event. Painfully, the public can hardly comprehend what fuels the contrived controversies. Could it be “constituency project”. If so what does it mean? How much does it cost? Is it ever executed? How many times is it recycled? Which contractors are involved? What is the difference between a “constituency project” and other projects captured in the budget? Are the latter not located in constituencies? One analyst answered all these questions the other day when he said a “constituency projects vote” in the legislature is the same as “security vote” in the executive while some judges try to create one for the judiciary through election petitions. The summary is that all the antics normally lead to delayed budgets yearly. In 2012, for example, it took four months for the budget to be passed. Thereafter, it took the President’s aides a whole month to study the distortions introduced to jack up the budgets of some sectors.
While signing the budget on Friday April 13, 2012, an angry President Jonathan threatened to sack heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) who lobbied to get their budgets increased by the legislature. Jonathan was probably alone. In 2004, government had uncovered a- N55million “public relations lobby fund” used by the Ministry of Education to influence the legislature to increase its budget. The issue led to the removal from office of the Senate President as well as the Minister of Education. The threat by President Obasanjo to deal with other MDAs found to have also ‘bribed’ legislators yielded nothing thereafter except that the MDAs that got scared of the threat and avoided lobbying lost out.
So, lobbying to distort the budget continued. It cannot change because budgeting in Nigeria is an annual ritual with static processes and procedures. To start with, an organization prepares a budget proposal; several months later, without reference to what informed the proposal it is temperamentally moderated. Thereafter, another authority makes a decision on what fraction of the approved budget to be released; yet another authority decides on whether or not due process has been followed in the award of the contracts for the proposed projects; all of this takes no less than three quarters of a year leaving the public bodies with exceedingly short period to implement the budget; and then while all hands are on deck to rush a few assignments at the tail end of the year, a circular emerges with a directive that all unspent funds be returned to the treasury!
Can the 2016 budget change our fate? We hope it does. Anyway, now that the alleged missing document has been found along with the thief, there is no need for prosecution; instead let us merely use its content for the benefit of Nigerians. We are not even sure if the theft would not be beneficial in due course. In this regard, the rumour that the Presidency has reduced the allocation for exotic cars by N7billion is heart warming. So is the other story that the allocation to the State House Medical Centre has also been rationalized. But who uses the centre – is it the same people who fly abroad to treat headache or is that one of changes we should look out for?

Buhari is not Nigeria’s messiah, declares Bishop Kwakpovwe

PUBLISHER of the daily devotional booklet, Our Daily Manna, ODM, Bishop Chris Kwakpovwe has cautioned Nigerians especially those who believe that President Muhammadu Buhari is Nigeria’s messiah, pointing out that God’s promised messiah is yet to come.
The cleric noted that Buhari is the forerunner of the messiah who will bring some changes if only he maintained his integrity and do the right things, just as he condemned recent agitations for a sovereign state of Biafra, saying “Biafra is like thick cloud without water or rain.”
The bishop, who is also the General Overseer of Manna Prayer Mountain, made these declarations at an interview session ahead of his ministry’s annual world anointing service scheduled for next Friday at the Tafawa Balewa Square TBS, Lagos. The theme of this year’s programme is: “Jehovah Ebenezer – Lord wipe my tears”.
“President Buhari is not the messiah; he is only preparing the way for the messiah who will eventually emerge. Buhari is like the John the Baptist. As a politician, Buhari will bring about some changes if he maintain his integrity and genuinely probe those he ought to probe,” he stated.
Accprding to the bishop, there are certain persons who assisted the president to get to power who he would not be able to probe even when he knows that they are not innocent.
“The messiah who will genuinely transform our country will emerge. Buhari is not the messiah but we should be hopeful that one day, we will sing a new song,” he stated.
Pledging his unwavering believe in the unity of Nigeria, the cleric argued that the peace the country has enjoyed since after the Nigerian Civil War should not be broken by digging up residues of hate for the selfish interest of certain individuals seeking to balkanize the nation.
He therefore enjoined all the pro-Biafra protesters to tread with caution, sheathe their swords and dialogue with constituted authorities on issues that would bring about unity, peace and progress of the country.
In his words: “There is nothing like Biafra. Biafra is like thick cloud without water or rain. There will be no civil war, our brothers in the South East will enjoy President Muhammadu Buhari. They should just allow peace to reign. Whatever challenges, disagreements that may have re-surfaced, are not beyond our collective ability to resolve.”
On the world anointing night, Bishop Kwakpovwe said the annual programme has attracted millions since its inception 11 years ago, adding that this year’s edition will mark the end of a 21-day fasting and prayer, which began on January 9.
He said: “It is a night of 12 mantles and there will be series of testimonies, instant healing from God because God is going to visit His people. God has promised to wipe all tears and He asked me to tell the people to bring 12 mantles and these mantles are prophetic in nature.”

How Fulani herdsmen abducted, killed Delta monarch

UBULU-UKU – DESPICABLE, abominable, horrible, detestable, repugnant, name it. But words are not enough to express the act that has caused agony for the people of Ubulu-Uku Kingdom in Aniocha South Local Government Area of the State.
DELTA MONACHTheir monarch, HRM Akaeze Edward Ofulue III, abducted 19 days ago at about 4.00 pm, on January 5, 2016, by suspected Fulani herdsmen, was discovered stone dead 15 days after the creepy incident.
In Ubulu-Uku and other kingdoms, it is a taboo to kidnap a king, not to talk of killing him. Vigilante group members found his decomposing remains at the stomp of a tree in the bush at Umunede, Ika North East local government area, the boundary between Delta and Edo States.
Ofulue III, a lawyer, businessperson and an ardent Christian of the Deeper Life Bible ministry was driving with a young pastor of the church, who also served as one of his aides in his Land Cruiser Jeep, along the notorious Obior/Igbodo Road when the abductors struck at a disgracefully bad spot.  The bad spot, about 40 kilometers from his country home, has been a flash-point in recent times – many persons,   including two Catholic Priests were kidnapped at the spot by   suspected Fulani herdsmen, who more often than not lay siege there.
How we identified his remains
A vigilante group member, who pleaded anonymity, said they discovered two decomposing corpses in the bush but were able to identify the monarch “because of his beads and apparel,” adding, “The king’s corpse was found resting at the bottom of a palm tree.” The source, who was cornered by our correspondent in the community, said; “We could not identify the second body but the fellow had Hausa shoes on. This is a very challenging period for us in this kingdom. I was one of those who went in search of the king.”
Robbery in the palace
Independent investigation by Sunday Vanguard showed that HRM Ofulue III, who was 10 years on the throne this year just marked the anniversary and was duped of some money running into millions of naira and items, including royal beads by one of his houseboys from the northern part of the country.
A dependable source said, “He kept N2million in the palace but his houseboy allegedly stole the money and ran away with the items.”
He added, “I learned that some days after, unknown persons suspected to be the Fulani herdsmen called the king, claiming that they saw his beads and money and that he should come to collect them. They told him to drive to the notorious road and the king not knowing that it was a set-up, set out to meet with them. His fleeing houseboy linked up with the herdsmen, who talked him into arranging the monarch for ransom.
However, Sunday Vanguard could not confirm whether the pastor that went with him and his driver knew that anybody invited the king or that he was on a mission to meet the kidnappers, who pretended to have found his beads.
However, while a version said only he and the pastor were in the car, another said they were three, including his driver.
“At the bad spot, the herdsmen, who laid ambush, came out shooting sporadically. It was obvious they were old in the game, as they led him into the bush immediately leaving his SUV on the roadside.
From available information, the fleeing houseboy did not show up, but it was through him they got the monarch’s phone number with which they established contact.
Deadly escape
Miraculously, both the king and the pastor, managed to break out from the kidnappers’ grip a day after their abduction, but while the pastor was able to make it to Ubulu-Uku, the king could not.
A villager said, the pastor told the story of how he and the monarch broke loose from their abductors, but while he, being younger was able to run with more energy, the monarch, due to his age, could not make it because of exhaustion.
The king reportedly complained that he was tired and needed to rest, but the pastor ran to the community to inform the people. He gave a graphic description of the area in the bush where they took them to, but before any of the search parties could get there, the Fulani herdsmen found the king and took him away.
The escape of the pastor actually raised the villagers’ hope that they could find their king alive and gave them more impetus to comb the forest in search of him, but that was not to be.
The police confirmed the story of the pastor’s escape from the kidnappers den. The pastor, according to our sources, narrated how the herdsmen beat him mercilessly in the bush but spared the king because they know his status.
He disclosed that they took them inside the forest in Mbiri area, closer to Umunede and that their abductors came out when the monarch’s driver slowed down the Jeep at the bad spot. 
Contact with palace
Inside the bush, just like the recent kidnap of the former Secretary to the Federal Government, SFG, Chief Olu Falae, by Fulani herdsmen in the Southwest region, they asked the king for the names and phone numbers of his trusted family member that would pay ransom for his release.
The suspected kidnappers established contact with the palace after about three days that they had taken the king hostage and made a demand of N100 million ransom, but later settled for N30 million after much negotiation.
They reportedly requested to speak with one of the monarch’s brothers, Nzekwue Don Ofulue, and warned him never to inform the police about the matter. It was not clear if he hinted the police but the kidnappers subsequently asked the family to bring the ransom to Auchi. On getting to Auchi in Edo State, they instructed him to move to Benin and later to Kwale in Delta State.                                      Frustration
With the escape of the pastor, the abductors became quite perturbed and panicky. They knew that the game had become more dangerous with the police and the community people looking for them, but they were still desperate to collect the ransom. “It was to divert the attention of the police and people hunting for them that they asked the family to bring the ransom to Auchi in Edo State and when they got there, they told them to come to Benin and later Kwale,” a source said. However, they were very suspicious that the family had contacted security agents and that they would be arrested once they come out to collect the ransom.
Murder of a king
Our source was not certain whether the houseboy met with the monarch in the kidnappers den after the escape of the pastor or whether the king tried another escape, but the herdsmen took a decision that it was in their best interest to kill the king.   They fled after killing him and ceased further communication with the family. Unknown to family members and elders, who thought the king was still alive and furtively discussing how to pay the kidnappers the ransom, but wondering at the same time why the abductors had cut-off communication, the Fulani herdsmen had abandoned the remains of the monarch in the forest and fled.
Dashed expectation
Not many believed the saga would end tragically for the king. In fact, the police in the state kept telling journalists that the monarch was not dead and that it was closing-in on the kidnappers.
From the comments of the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Baba Alkali Usman, it was obvious, however, that the police knew about the kidnappers’ contact with the family and demand for ransom.
Speaking at Udu in Udu local government area of the state at a meeting with the Police Community Relations Committee, PCRC days before villagers found the remains of the monarch, he said the police was trying to rescue them alive.
He said the police was aware of the location of the monarch and another kidnap-victim, a neurologist with the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, DELSUTH, Oghara, abducted before the New Year.
The police commissioners said the police was aware of the location where the kidnappers were holding the two victims but would not disclose plans to rescue the monarch in the media.
He said, “The kidnappers have made calls. We have been able to close-in on their location. We have not been able to rescue them because we are doing a lot of planning. The process of rescuing is delicate so you must be very cautious so that you do not harm the victims”.
Fresh clue!
However, a source close to the palace hinted that security agents arrested a young Hausa man found with the king’s GSM handset, five days ago by the Police.
As at yesterday, Sunday Vanguard could not confirm the identity of the second person whose remains the vigilante members also found alongside the king. A source said the other victim wore a Hausa shoe. It has not been established whether he was an aide of the king or one of the kidnappers eliminated to cover their tracks.
Controversy over
his tenure
Obi Ofulue, who ascended the throne of his ancestors at the age of 44 in 2006, spent most of his life in the United Kingdom and married a foreigner. His people loved him but his reign was not without disagreement. He had a running dispute with his elder brother born of a white woman from the United Kingdom and a section of the community over his kingship.
While some said it was a taboo to have someone born of a foreigner as their king, others stood their ground that the first son should be crowned, his maternal affiliation notwithstanding. However, those in support of the late king, the second son of the royal family, overwhelmed the other group, hence his successful installation as king about 10 years ago. As the kingdom is mourning, some persons are linking the killing of the monarch to the storm over his coronation, expressing worry that the kingship dispute may arise again with his demise.
An informed native, who was not pleased with the monarch’s Christianity, blamed him for what happened. He said, “The monarch distanced himself from the tradition of the people and unguardedly gave his life away. If he was consulting with the traditional priests, there was no way he would have left his palace that day without knowing that there was going to be danger.
“The oracles would have warned him, but he refused to associate with them describing it as idol worship, now, look at what has happened,” he said.
On the other hand, a pastor, who is a non-indigene, was shocked that some people were accusing the king of being responsible for his death because he refused to have anything to do with idols.
He said, “The king did the right thing by giving his life to Christ and worshiping God in the prescribed way.
“The monarch told his people when he assumed the throne that he would not participate in anything that is not in conformity with his faith and many of them rejected his reforms when he came, but they later came to understand that he meant well,” he said. To some people in the monarchy, however, what happened was a palace coup by some power brokers in the community.
How he finally assumed leadership
Before his death, Obi Ofulue told a national newspaper of his reaction when his people called him to take up the kingship.
“Well, it was very shocking, I must say. I am married to a foreigner, so the first thing I did was to call my wife, to tell her everything in details, about what was coming up. The following day, because I am a practicing Christian, we went together to see our pastor, but we have a man we call the G.O., the General Overseer who is in charge   of our church in the whole of Western Europe, so, we went to see him.
’When we got to the office, I told him everything. I wanted to find out whether my coming home to become a traditional ruler and the issue of playing my traditional roles would conflict with my Christian belief; I told him everything. At the end of the day, he advised me to go and take up my new responsibilities and that my coming back would be to the glory of God. He said that my return will bring light to my people, and that God was going to use me as an instrument.
“So what he did was to write a letter for me, because I am a member of the Deeper Life Bible Ministries, that I should go to our headquarters and give it to our pastor, but unfortunately, when I got to Lagos, the Pastor was in Italy, but I met the second-in-command, so I gave him the letter.
“The second-in-command also wrote a letter for me to give to the man in charge of Asaba District. Therefore, when I came in, I invited my church people again, but the first thing that struck me was the level of development; you know when I came and I saw the state of our basic infrastructure, I was a bit apprehensive. That was when I  realized the magnitude of the job ahead.”
He confessed that it was not easy to lead people because human beings were the most difficult to handle.
The monarch explained, “The courage came from a pastor friend of mine. He came and started talking to me so I told him of my fears and challenges, and he told me that God is going to take charge of everything and the affairs of the land. I came back after meeting with him to understand the big picture. I said God I hand over this land to you.”
‘I’m not against tradition’
He said the fact that he did not engage in fetish traditional practices did not mean that he was against the tradition of his people, saying that at a time, he called meeting of his immediate family members to explain his position.
Obi Ofulue recalled in that interview, an instance of a festival called Igbamechi in his community. He said, “It lasts about three or four days. My subjects will come with yam, palm wine, kolanuts and, even money, whatever pleases them to bring, and the chief priest puts a table right there and sits behind it while I sit next to him. “When I was born, my grandfather called his chiefs and people together and had a lavish celebration for three days to herald the birth of another king. When the people come, he would use the white chalk to bless them and pray for them, but they do not call the name of Jesus Christ; they call other names.
“So when I came, I called them and told them that I was not against that tradition, but that we are going to change it. Instead of using the white chalk and praying in the names of deceased people, we will be using the word –the Bible. I will be praying, while he sits around there, that is the chief priest. “I did not take his position. However, when people come, they would call me and I would pray for them using the Bible and anointing oil. So I am not against tradition, instead, let us do away with the ones we find wanting,” he had said.
Okowa hollers
The governor of the state, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who became dumbfounded upon hearing the news of the   death of the monarch, said, Friday evening, that   his death had opened a sacrilegious chapter in the history of the state and vowed that the state, under his watch, would ensure that his abduction and subsequent death would be thoroughly investigated.
His words, “It was sad that a reigning king was abducted but an unheard of fact was his  murder  in the most dehumanising circumstances by his abductors in the forest. I have directed an inquiry into this abominable act and call on Deltans, particularly the kingdom and the security agencies to work harmoniously to unearth the culprits”.
In a statement by his chief press secretary, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, commiserating with the families of late monarch and people of Ubulu Uku kingdom, the governor said   “I have directed an inquiry into this abominable act and call on Deltans; particularly the Kingdom and the security agencies to work harmoniously to unearth the culprits”
Governor Okowa lamented that he received with shock the news of the Obi’s abduction about 19 days ago and enjoined the people of Ubulu-Uku to close ranks in the course of this investigation.
He said that King Edward’s death “will mark a new vista in the battle against kidnapping and other violent crimes in the state and called on parents to warn their wards about the companies they keep as the state was out to make a guinea pig of anybody found to be culpable in related crimes.”
The governor, who underscored the place of security for peaceful and investor friendly environment, observed that it was against this background that his administration set up the  committees on peace and security    with prominent community leaders as members.
Senator Okowa noted that as part of enlightenment on the dangers of these violent crimes, the government has been sponsoring seminars in higher institutions across the state to sensitize the youths    on the dangers and implications    of these crimes to their career and the security of the state.
Maddening affront
For the people of Ubulu-Uku kingdom, it was strange and an insult that Fulani herdsmen kidnapped their king and the natives, local vigilante members, hunters and herbalists raised different search parties searching for him.  As soon the people confirmed the death of the monarch, the town erupted in a protest on Friday with irate villagers marching about the streets in anger.
Police confirm death
Police Public Relations Officer for the Delta State Command, DSP Celestina Kalu, in a statement confirming the death and recovery of the remains of the monarch, Friday, said, “On 5/1/2016, the DPO Igbodo Division received information that the Obi of Ubulu-Uku, HRM Edward Akaeze Ofulue III, was kidnapped alongside a friend. Sequel to the report, detectives were mobilized in search of the Obi and possible arrest of the hoodlums. The Jeep in which both victims were travelling in was found abandoned in the bush around Igbodo area.”
“Following information from passersby that they saw suspected hoodlums entering the bush where the Jeep was recovered, vigilante men and local hunters were mobilized to join hands with the police in ensuring the rescue of the Obi and apprehension of the kidnappers. The other victim later escaped from their abductors, while efforts have been on to rescue the Obi of Ubulu-Uku.
“However, on 20/1/2016 information was received by the DPO Umunede Division that two unidentified male corpses in decomposing state were found in a bush within Umunede at the boundary between Delta and Edo states. Consequently, detectives moved to the scene and photographed the corpses while efforts are on to evacuate the corpses to hospital for autopsy,” she said.
Kalu added, “Meanwhile, one of the corpses has been identified as that of the Obi of Ubulu-Uku by his family members.   The Command wishes to commiserate with the people of Ubulu-Uku kingdom over the unfortunate incident and hereby urged them to remain calm, while assuring them that efforts are being made to fish out the perpetrators of this heinous act.”
Fury in the land
When Sunday Vanguard visited the community on Friday, there was uneasy calm, as  armed soldiers stationed at the Ogwashi-Uku road end of the town to forestall the breakdown of law and order, whereas youths of the area barricaded the Issele-Uku road end with woods and bonfire. The youths in their numbers took advantage of the situation to make brisk business by extorting money from motorists and ‘Okada’ riders before they allowed them access to the community.
One of our correspondents, who drove round the community, reported that the news of the unexpected death of the 52 -year-old monarch crippled economic activities in the town, adding that residents closed their shops.
Some persons approached in the community declined comments, saying they were not in the mood to talk. “As you can see, everybody is mourning, including children. These Fulani herdsmen have dealt with us. We have not been ourselves since we got the news of the death of our revered king,” one of them said.
Later on Friday, angry youths, who prevented some conventional media from gaining access into the community, chased away the police. It was only when soldiers came that they dismantled the roadblocks, which the youths mounted.
There was allegation that some persons were sustained injuries from stray bullets fired by security operatives.
Fish out his killers-   Hon Mrakpor
Reacting to the death of the king, the member representing Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Mrs Joan Mrakpor described the passage of the monarch as catastrophic. Mrakpor, who is also a cousin to the late king, said amid sobs, “What a waste,” calling for drastic solution to the harassment of the civil population in Delta North by nomadic kidnappers.
“What have we done to deserve this? They keep on brutalizing our people,” she asked.   She appealed to the police and other security agents to go after those behind the dastardly act with a view to bringing them to book.