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Showing posts from April, 2014

Knowledge of Abacus will improve performance in Mathematics'

The Proprietress, Heyday Nursery and Primary School, Festac Town, Lagos, Mrs. Suzan Amuta, says the knowledge of Abacus will help to improve pupils’ performance in mathematics. She said this during the award of Abacus certificate to outstanding pupils of the school on Thursday. Abacus is a mathematical learning apparatus in a frame of two segments. The educationist described teaching of Abacus at primary schools as a privilege, adding that it would  prepare the pupils’ brain for future challenges. According to her, the knowledge gathered from it would serve as a motivation in studying mathematics and other related subjects. She said, “This initiative has made the pupils better than their contemporaries in other schools not running the Abacus programme. You know Abacus demystifies the phobia for mathematics in the child. “It sharpens the pupil’s mind and increases mental agility and intelligence 15 times faster in learning mathematics than the conventional methods applied in tea

Lagos College reels under overcrowded hostels, dirty environment

From a distance, the Lagos State Model Junior College, Ojo, looks like an ideal citadel of learning. Its gates and fence are a beauty to behold. Even the “model” attached to the school’s name is an attraction on its own. The college has enough and sizable well-painted classrooms. Also, there are spacious playgrounds for its hundreds of pupils, who are all boarders. Add this to the large number of teachers, one would easily conclude that the institution must be a place to be. But beyond all these, there are still hurdles in actualising qualitative education in the school. In fact, for pupils  of the college, learning and living in a right and healthy environment seems to be a luxury of sorts. There is nothing to cheer, considering the conditions in the boys’ hostels. The hostels are not just overcrowded,they are also unkempt. Besides, there are no standard bathrooms and toilets, as the boys defecate in a makeshift latrine in the premises. The latrine, covered with planks, intere

What does the North want?

This piece is not a response to the North’s position on the National Conference. I believe every individual or group has the right to respond to the conference as they deem necessary. Rather, it seeks to address the crisis of identity which is at the root of the Nigerian tragedy. Who are we? What is Nigeria? The answer to these questions can help us understand the various issues confronting us as a country and what our responses have been, whether it is the politics of oil, religion or geo-political space. There is nothing new about the comments of those who claim to represent the North. If we look at developments in pre-independence Nigeria, the North’s response to the Unification Decree No. 34 of May 24, 1966, by the military junta led by Maj.-Gen. Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, or the introduction of Sharia law in some states in the North, historically, the North has always been in favour of political autonomy and fiscal federalism. It is strange, therefore, that there is so much angst

Building your business with Google online maps

Everyone knows that if you own a business nowadays, you need a website. In fact, people will go further and say you need a website plus other online platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. One of the major reasons it is essential to have some online presence is because you need your business to be found. Where do people go when they need to find something? Online search engines, of course! Personally, when I am looking for a type of business, I usually head to Google Maps and run a search that includes the city and state or even nearest address. Google makes checking out businesses easy with well-detailed listings of all sorts of information. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, try Google Maps ( www.google.com / maps ) and search for a local business. Let us assume that you are running a search for a Nigerian fashion accessories outfit in Google’s search bar. Notice that when you find the business in the search results there is a “more info” link. It also shows you a co

Which president will not smile?

President Goodluck Jonathan went to many places late March. He saw many people too, high calibre people in Africa and in Europe, and all of that in six days. There were issues to those visits. What happened in Namibia, his first place of call, is one. What he said to Nigerians residing in that country is another; and there is yet what he told Nigerians residing in The Netherlands. One other place the President visited stands in a class of its own though; no, the personage he met stands yards apart from others. And if many Nigerians didn’t remember every other person that had hosted the President, they remembered this one: Pope Francis, the Catholic Pontiff. It happens that it’s ever fashionable to visit the pope, and it’s even better for anyone to so do at this time. That’s because Pope Francis is popular around the world. That rubs off on any guest, a reason the Americans who will never do a thing without carefully calculating the benefits for their national interest also came to see

Babangida urges NFF not to distract Keshi

A former Nigeria international, Tijani Babangida, on Thursday urged the Nigeria Football Federation and well meaning individuals to support Stephen Keshi and the Super Eagles ahead of the World Cup. Babangida said in Abuja that by so doing, the team would be spurred to improve on what other African countries had done at the World Cup. “We must avoid any pitfall. I read about the query they gave him (Keshi) in the newspapers. All that is unnecessary at this stage, such distractions, shouldn’t even be made public. It is not good at all. Keshi is someone I’ve known for a long time and I have no doubt that he will do the nation proud if the NFA can give him all the necessary support he needs. I have a good feeling Nigeria will do well at the World Cup,” he told the News Agency of Nigeria . The former winger endorsed the country’s quest for a credible performance at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, adding that he was optimistic that Keshi was the right man for the job. On players’ select

Wenger won't talk

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is refusing to be drawn on whether an FA Cup victory or qualification for next season’s Champions League is top of his priority list, BBC reports. The Frenchman insists he is looking no further than Saturday’s semi-final against FA Cup holders Wigan before setting his sights on the title run-in. And speaking at the pre-match press conference, he is adamant no wholesale changes to his squad will be require this summer, claiming injuries to key players have proved destructive to the club’s ambitions in recent months. Arsenal currently lie fourth, just one point ahead of Everton who have a game in hand over the Londoners following their 3-0 victory at Goodison Park last Sunday.

$510bn GDP: FG has ridiculed itself, says APC

The All Progressives Congress has dismissed Nigeria’s rebased Gross Domestic Product as a public relations gimmick of the Federal Government. The party, in a statement in Washington DC, United States by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the Federal Government had by the rebased GDP only succeeded in ridiculing itself. But the Federal Government insisted that the emergence of Nigeria as Africa’s largest economy   would guarantee prosperous future for Nigerian youths The APC noted in its statement that it was clear that the GDP rebasing was done after a World Bank report declared Nigeria as one of the countries with the largest population of poor people in the world. The party said it was not surprised that the rebasing was government’s response to the World Bank classification. It added, “The Federal Government has only succeeded in opening itself to ridicule. This is because if ever there was a clear play at oxymoron, this is it: The largest econom

Pregnant woman, daughter, three others die of electrocution

Tragedy struck in the early hours of Thursday after a live wire electrocuted a pregnant woman, identified only as Mrs. Ameh, and her three-year-old daughter in front of their home on Onabanjo Street in the Oworonshoki area of Lagos State. PUNCH Metro learnt that another woman, identified as Iya Fatimah, her daughter and one boy, identified only as Basheet, were also electrocuted, bringing the total mortality figure to five. Two vehicles were burnt beyond recognition in the incident that claimed the five lives. Our correspondent, who visited the area, learnt that the incident occurred around 2am when it was raining. An eyewitness, who wished to remain anonymous, said about three other persons were also injured. He said, “Around 2am, I was by the balcony of my house when I saw a wire spark. The wire then fell on some wood and caught fire. The fire spread to the tyre of a Toyota car. “The Toyota car had some jerry cans of petrol inside it and when the fire got to it, the vehicle e

2015: Stay away from Niger Delta, APC tells Jonathan

THE All Progressives Congress has asked President Goodluck Jonathan and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party to stay away from the Niger Delta region ahead of the 2015 general elections. The APC stated that the President and the PDP had no moral right to campaign for re-election in the Niger Delta due to their alleged neglect of the region. Rivers State Interim Chairman of the party, Dr. Ikanya Davies, said in a statement on Thursday that the President should avoid campaigning in the oil-rich region since his kinsmen had rejected him for disappointing them. The statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the state APC chairman, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, recalled that the former Bayelsa Governor, Mr. Timipreye Sylva, had declared that the majority of Bayelsa people were not happy with Jonathan and wanted a change. According to the statement, “Even though they lack shame, President Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party should for once respect themselves and stay away from t

Abuja jailbreak: SSS detains engineer for posting pictures

A Thirty-two-year-old engineer, Isiaka Yusuf, is reportedly being held by the State Security Service for posting pictures of the March 30 jailbreak by some detainees suspected to be members of the Boko Haram on Twitter. Investigations by iPUNCH on Thursday showed that Isiaka — an employee of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company attached to the Aso Villa substation — was picked up from his office by SSS operatives on March 30, a few hours after the incident. The Electrical and Electronics Engineering graduate of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, was allegedly busy at work while the security breach lasted. He had posted six live pictures on his Twitter page, showing how SSS officials and soldiers battled to regain control of the secret service’s headquarters, located behind the Villa, from the detainees. Further checks by iPUNCH on his Twitter page revealed that Isiaka’s last known public communication on the social network was the pictures and the accompanying tweets he

2015: Insecurity, govs plea and INEC's challenge in North-East

The plea by the governors in the North-East, whose states are under emergency rule, that the Independent National Electoral Commission should take its cue from war-ravaged Afghanistan to conduct elections in their states in 2015, seems to have thrown up a new challenge to the electoral umpire, writes JOHN ALECHENU The government and people of war-ravaged Afghanistan won international acclaim for the successful conduct of an election amid threats and intimidation by a recalcitrant terrorist group, the Taliban. Afghans, more than everyone else, know first hand what the alternative could mean. They had been subjected to the whims of religious extremists, who forced their way to power and unleashed a system of government better imagined than experienced. This, perhaps, was the reason behind the decision by many Afghans to step out of the comfort of their homes at great personal risk, to perform their civic duty when an opportunity presented itself. Some members of Nigeria’s main oppo

ICPC nabs nine for operating parallel office

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission has nabbed nine suspects for allegedly running a fake office of the commission in Ibadan. This is contained in a statement by ICPC spokesman, Mr. Folu Olamiti, on Thursday, the News Agency of Nigeria reports. It said the suspects were arrested following a raid carried out by the commission’s operatives at the alleged parallel office. The statement said the office was located at Abonde Road, opposite Elekuro High School, Akanran Road, Olorunshogo, Ibadan, Oyo State. It added that the suspects were being interrogated at the ICPC Ibadan office. The statement read, “The nefarious activities of the impersonators came to light when a female petitioner blew the whistle on their operations. The petitioner alleged that the suspects were in the habit of collecting N2,000 before treating complaints from their victims.” The statement said the suspects were arrested in the act, adding that the alleged office had been i

NSCDC raids stolen fuel distribution centre, arrests three

The Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has arrested three suspected pipeline vandals and also discovered a distribution centre for stolen fuel in the state. The suspects, including a woman, were said to have been arrested in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. The state NSCDC Public Relations Officer, Mr Kareem Olanrewaju, said the suspects were found in possession of large volume of petroleum products in kegs, drums and  water-pots in the suspects’ residential apartment at Lukosi Village in Ogijo,Ogun State. He said, “The three suspects – Rahmon Yusuf,37; Nwoke Chi, 34;  and the female,  Sekinat Yusuf,32, were living in the house. The place serves as a distribution centre where petrol, diesel and other vandalised petroleum products are received, stored and supplied to their customers at cheap prices.” Olanrewaju explained that the NSCDC anti-vandal team had been on the trail of the suspects since December 2013. “Our effort paid off yesterday (Wednes

Boat accident: Family says Isaac divorced first wife

The Akere family has said Isaac Akere, who died in the Ikorodu boat accident along with his fiancee, Foluke, few days to their wedding, was separated from his first wife, Feyi. The family said Isaac, prior to his death in the ill-fated boat, had instituted a divorce suit against Feyi. PUNCH Metro had reported that Isaac and his fiancĂ©e, Foluke, were among the people that died after a commercial boat belonging to Bell Marine Services, capsized on the Majidun River. There has, however, been controversy over Isaac’s proposed marriage to Foluke, after 36-year-old Feyi came out to say she was the legal wife of the deceased. A report of PUNCH Metro on Wednesday had shown the marriage certificate of late Isaac and Feyi, dated 2006, and their engagement picture. However, in a swift reaction, the family said Feyi’s marriage to Isaac had been dissolved. Lawyer to the family, Bamidele Olayemi, showed our correspondent a court document dated April 21, 2011, which was allegedly authored b

Ghana urges restraint over death of Nigerian student

The Ghanaian Consulate General in Lagos Mr. Abdulai Abukari, has called for peace as investigations continue into the death of Godwin Anyogu, a Nigerian student who was murdered in Ghana last month. This appeal was contained in a statement sent by the embassy to the Path of Peace Initiatives, a nongovernmental organisation, in Lagos. The NGO had last month staged a protest at the Ghana Embassy in Lagos. Godwin’s family and other civil rights activists, who were present at the protest, had condemned the attitude of the Ghanaian authorities in handling the case. Prior to his death, 19-year-old Godwin was a 300 level student of Economics at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Godwin was allegedly killed by yet-to-be identified friends for attempting to collect $5300 loan which he gave them. A copy of the statement made available to PUNCH Metro and signed by the Consul-General read, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of the Republic of Ghana, in collaboration

Rainstorm kills three,destroys properties in Kwara

No fewer than three people – two children and a young man – drowned in floods following a downpour and rainstorm in  Ilorin, the Kwara  State capital which started about 11pm on Wednesday. Properties said to worth millions of naira were destroyed. About 25 cars were swept off where they were parked. The flood also swept off a large amount of soil under the rail track of the  Nigeria Railway Corporation, which cut the road into two and made it impossible for trains to move. A section of the rail track behind Kingdom Heritage Secondary school was also affected. Consequently, no fewer than 1,000 passengers on a train travelling from Lagos to the northern part of the country were stranded. One of the passengers, Sofi Mufiu, said they had been stranded for over nine hours. Our correspondent who visited the areas on Thursday observed that relatives of the dead victims were in a mournful mood while other victims that lost their valuables lamented their losses. The worst hit were the Off

Pistorius faces third day of cross-examination

Oscar Pistorius is to face a third day of cross-examination at his murder trial, a day after the prosecution tried to portray him as a selfish liar. On Thursday, prosecutor Gerrie Nel said the South African athlete had an enthusiasm for firearms. He also said the Olympic and Paralympic runner was contemptuous of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius, 27, admits killing Steenkamp but denies murder, saying he mistook her for an intruder. He again insisted in court in Pretoria on Thursday that the shooting on February 14 last year was a terrible accident. Pistorius said he had not intended to pull the trigger, even to fire at an intruder, and could not explain why he fired four shots through a toilet cubicle door. “I didn’t have time to think about it,” he said in a trembling voice. Nel, known as the “bull terrier” in South Africa for his fierce questioning, set out what the prosecution believed happened in the early hours of February 14, 2013 in Pistorius’ Pretoria home. He sa

US health secretary resigns amid Obamacare row

US Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning following the problematic launch of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, US media report. The law – regarded by the president’s supporters as one of his main domestic achievements – has been marked by early technical problems and delays. Sebelius has been health secretary since Obama took office in 2009. The reports say Obama will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the current budget director, to replace her. Sebelius had made the decision to resign herself, the New York Times reported. The US president had resisted calls for the health secretary to stand down after the websites where people could enrol for health insurance ran into problems last October. After the rocky start, the White House now points to the more than seven million people who have signed-up for coverage on federal and state-run marketplaces sites created by the Affordable Care Act. Obama says the programme was “here to stay”. Republicans see it as inappropri

Confab: Nigerians in diaspora want special commission

A delegate at the National Conference, Mr George Anibowel, on Thursday canvassed for the establishment of a Diaspora commission to address challenges faced by Nigerians living in foreign countries. Anibowel, who is based in the US, is representing all Nigerians in the Diaspora at the conference in Abuja. The delegate made the request while contributing to President Goodluck Jonathan’s speech at the plenary. “I am here to canvass and advance issues that are very important to some of us in the Diaspora, including the need for a Diaspora commission,” he said. The delegate also canvassed for true federalism so that states would have the autonomy to govern and control their respective resources. He said, “I want to align myself with those calling for true federalism and fiscal federalism in Nigeria. “This is very important because these are issues that go to the very root of our coexistence. “Although opinions may differ as to what a true federal system is, true federal system is a sy

Nigeria child bride poisons older husband

A 14-year-old girl in the northern Nigerian state of Kano has confessed to killing the man she was forced to marry, police say. Wasilu Umar admitted killing her husband, who was more than twice her age, by concealing rat poison in his food, the police in Kano said. Three other people also died and 10 were taken to hospital apparently after eating the same food. Child marriage is common in Nigeria, especially in the mainly Muslim north. The girl’s father had forced her to marry the 35-year-old man, police said. The marriage took place last week, police superintendent Musa Magaji Majia told the Associated Press news agency. The BBC’s Will Ross in Nigeria says Islamic police are trying to stop parents from forcing children into marriages against their will and the father could be charged. The teenager is likely to be tried in a juvenile court.

Senate summons FCT minister, Julius Berger over airport contract

The Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, on Thursday,  summoned the FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, and Messrs Julius Berger Plc over the state of the multi-billion naira Abuja Airport dual-carriageway. Both parties are expected to appear before the committee immediately after the chamber resumes from the Easter break. Chairman of the committee, Senator Smart Adeyemi, stated this during a tour of the site in company with other members. He expressed concern that in spite of the huge contract sum, the drainages were left open, thereby causing fatal accidents on a daily basis. The contract, categorised into lots I and II, was awarded at the costs of N49bn and N59.2bn, respectively, in 2009. While Lot I would be delivered in December 2014, Lot II, which according to the Director, Engineering, FCT Administration, Abu Alfa, an engineer, is 99.5 percent completed and would be delivered this month. Speaking on the open drainages, Alfa said the construction was based on 1

North East people's security more important than elections - Shekarau

A former Governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, on Thursday urged all stakeholders to thoroughly assess the security situation in the North-East before deciding whether to conduct the 2015 elections in the troubled states in the geo-political zone or not. He said security of lives was more important than any election. Shekarau, who recently defected from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party, spoke with State House correspondents shortly after a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He said, “As a democrat, I always insist that let there be elections to allow people to decide their fate, but this does not necessarily mean we should conduct elections under a volatile situation. “If there are threats to lives, who are you going to govern, even if you win the election? So, it is not safe and I don’t see anybody spitting fire on it. The truth is that let the state governors, the Federal Government, and all concerned join

Borno, Yobe elders demand N300bn

A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, and two others, have asked the Federal Government to raise N300bn emergency special intervention funds for the reconstruction of Yobe and Borno states. This, they said, should be at N60bn a year over a period of five years for reconstruction projects. The two others are Ambassador Baba Kaigama and Ibrahim Bunu, an architect.  They stated this in the memorandum on the security challenges in the two states  the elders submitted on Thursday to the  National Conference, in Abuja. The elders accused security agencies of being responsible for some of the atrocities visited on innocent civilians in the North-East. They recalled how the Boko Haram started its violent activities in 2003. They also explained how the killing of the Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf, had led to “distrust between the public and members of the security agencies who up to now had failed to win the hearts and minds of the people

Corruption: FG summons Zimbabwean envoy over Mugabe's comments

The Federal Government on Thursday summoned the Zimbabwean Head of Chancery, over remarks credited to President Robert Mugabe, which depicted Nigerians as very corrupt people. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Zimbabwean Head of Chancery, Stanley Kunjeku, in Abuja to formally lodge a protest. The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr. Martin Uhomoibhi, described Mugabe’s comment as “vitriolic and denigrating on Nigeria and Nigerians.” “We were very concerned when we read that on the occasion of the 90th birthday of President Mugabe, he took off considerable time to vituperate about Nigeria. He said Mugabe’s comments reflected “what we consider to be a strong aversion of our country, remarks which we consider denigrating and un-statesmanly on Nigeria and Nigerians in general.” He was reported to have said Nigerians are corrupt people when he hosted service chiefs on his 90th birthday. “We want to present the strongest protest in that statement; not only does it not