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News

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A surgeon who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone and was flown to Nebraska, USA for treatment has died of the virus.

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Nebraska Medical Center said in a news release that Dr. Martin Salia died as a result of the disease.

“Dr. Salia was extremely critical when he arrived here, and unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we weren’t able to save him,” said Dr. Phil Smith, medical director of the biocontainment unit.

Salia arrived Saturday to be treated at the Omaha hospital, where two other Ebola patients have been successfully treated.

Ebola has killed more than 5,000 people in West Africa, mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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A step in the right direction in terms of gender equality, the President & Senate have appointed Nigeria’s First Female Chief Justice,  Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar.

Senate President David Mark had this to say “we hope to improve the public perception of the judiciary and also to ensure that there is steady dispensation of justice. We can only pray that Justice Mukhtar will improve on the condition in which she found the judiciary at the moment. We will work together with the judiciary and the executive arm of government to ensure that there is justice, equity, and fairness and there is progress and discipline in the country.

Justice Muhktar graduated from Gibson and Welder college in law in 1966 and was subsequently called to the English Bar in absentia. She was called to the Bar on June 26, 1967.

At 68 she will replace Justice Dahiru Musdapher who is set to retire as the CJN on 15 of July.

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This comes as somewhat of a surprise as Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the man accused of trying to blow up Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day 2009 with a bomb in his underpants, changed his plea to guilty on all counts before saying he did it “to avenge the killing of my Muslim brothers and sisters.”

After consulting with his lawyer, the “underwear bomber” was once again read the charges against him in a Detroit court today and after each one, he told the judge, “I plead guilty.”

“The Koran allows every Muslim to undertake jihad,” Abdulmutallab told the court after changing his plea. “I carried the device to avenge the killing of my Muslim brothers and sisters… Unfortunately, my actions make me guilty of a crime.”

Abdulmutallab called the failed explosives he had hidden in his underwear a “blessed weapon” and said he attempted to use it “because of the tyranny of the United States.”

Abdulmutallab had originally pleaded not guilty to all charges, including attempted murder and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, but apparently changed his mind since the prosecution completed their opening arguments Tuesday.

Abdulmutallab faces Life In Prison.

Source: Yahoo News

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I was having a discussion with a female friend (subject A) this morning over the ignorance and narrow-mindedness some people display via their BBm status updates. In this case, another friend of mine (subject B) was wondering aloud that “White people are so weird and strange“. I was explaining to subject A that it’s impossible for humans to make progress when we still lump people together based on their ethnicity and actions. Suddenly, subject A gets riled up. About what you may ask? She was peeved by my use of the word ethnicity instead of race. She was highly irritated that I would suggest that being “White” is not a race, but rather an ethnicity and that we should stop “extending these socially constructed social contracts.” I tried to explain that over time, in addition to what my professors taught me in college and what I’ve experienced, I had come to see race as a social construct. I view humanity as the human race consisting of people from various ethnicities, not various races. My friend wanted us to “re-construct” my comment, but I was not in the mood. It was too early for such a discussion. Yet, I obliged. I explained further that the notion of the “White race”, “Black race”, or “purple race” has been used as a divisive tool amongst humans for centuries. We don’t have to look any further than the example of slavery, both past and present, albeit in different forms. As a result, it is not shocking to find supremacists who view the “White race” as being superior or the “Black race” being destined to be poor, lazy, violent and over-religious, which is one reason why I refuse to use the word race in categorizing people.

Rather than my friend calmly expressing her opposition, she proceeds with the following rant. And I quote: “You of all people know better…so because your professors are dumb doesn’t mean you should also act dumb…and if you want to pretend that we are one human race and we are all happy go lucky, then please rethink why you want to read law.” For a split second, I was about to go all “Omarosa” up on her tush, but the calming spirit of the Lord warned me otherwise. So I jejely told her that I stand by my comment and that I did not need to rethink why I wanted to study law. For one, me “viewing race as a social construct” is not correlational to my desire to study law, which entails: developing proficiency in writing and speaking, reading, analyzing, thinking logically, doing research, and redressing wrongs in a just and fair manner, all the while being aware of the complexities of the legal principle. In spite of my ideologies, I am not one of those people who disregards the fact that “given the bias of cultural presumption, we tend to see in the law a reflection of ourselves that only serves to confirm the image we have of ourselves as a diverse people” (www.people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/law.intro.html). It would be foolish of me to think that we still don’t live in a divided world.

Yet I couldn’t help but wonder what gives people the audacity to think they know what your profession should be because they disagree with a comment you make? Granted there are people who when you listen to their beliefs, your heart bleeds that they could possibly end up in a position of leadership. With such people, the most I would tell them is to think critically and go read. I would never assume that I know what their career should be. Just because people don’t agree with your philosophies, does not mean you have to belittle them. I’m just having a hard time understanding what my friend’s problem is. For crying out loud, even some of the numerous government, exam, and job application forms here in the U.S have a section for people to fill in their ETHNICITY or ethnic origin. So what’s the issue?

My Jaguda people, can you help me out here? Do you believe that the notion of  replacing the term race with ethnicity and viewing race as a social construct is foolhardy, naïve and delusional? Or you disagree? What say ye?

Photo credits: http://www.drsharma.ca/tag/ethnicity

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Nigeria's midfielder Sani Kaita hides his face after being handed a red card for kicking Greece's defender Vasilis Torosidis
Nigeria's midfielder Sani Kaita hides his face after being handed a red card for kicking Greece's defender Vasilis Torosidis

The Nigerian team has asked its government to provide security for midfielder Sani Kaita after his red card during a World Cup loss to Greece prompted more than 1,000 death threats.

Nigeria team spokesman Idah Peterside said Kaita has received the death threats via e-mail from Nigeria ever since he was sent off for kicking out at Greece’s Vassilis Torosidis in the 33rd minute of Thursday’s 2-1 loss at Bloemfontein.

“We just hope that the government will treat these threats as a serious matter,” Peterside told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Security has been increased around the Nigerian team’s base in Durban, but Peterside doesn’t believe the team is under any serious threat while in South Africa.

“We have enough security in South Africa and we are not worried about the player’s safety here,” he said.

Nigeria Sports Minister Ibrahim Bio is staying in the team’s hotel in South Africa and has been alerted to the threats, Peterside said.

“I’m confident that they are going to do something about it,” Peterside said. “The minister has told us that these things happen, that they are actions of some overzealous fans and we must not worry about it.”

South Africa police spokesman Vishnu Naidoo said all teams at the World Cup were receiving adequate protection, and he hadn’t received any reports of threats against the Nigerian player.

Nigeria lost its first two matches at the World Cup and can only advance to the next stage if it beats South Korea convincingly and Argentina beats Greece in the last Group B matches. Both matches are Tuesday.

Peterside said the threats were a result of frustration by some fans in the soccer-mad West African nation.

Kaita, who belongs to Monaco but is on loan to Russian club Alania Vladikavkaz, could decide to go to Europe after the World Cup rather than return to Nigeria.

Nigeria lost 1-0 to Argentina in Rustenburg and was leading Greece 1-0 before Kaita was given a straight red card. The Greeks scored their first goals and rallied to capture their first win at a World Cup.

“A lot of people think we are already out of the World Cup, and they are just showing the frustration and pain of having so much hope in the Eagles,” Peterside said. “It’s just a country that’s passionate about football, and it’s showing in the reactions. But we are not taking these threats lightly at all.”

Peterside, a former Nigeria goalkeeper, said he wasn’t sure what protection could be offered to Kaita after the World Cup, but was confident the Nigerian government would handle it adequately. He said the threats hadn’t disrupted the players.

Kaita, “has apologized to his teammates, and they all have forgiven him,” Peterside said. “We are in good spirits ahead of the South Korea game.”

In the most prominent case of an international player being targeted after a World Cup, Colombia defender Andres Escobar was shot and killed in his home country days after his own-goal helped the United States defeat the Colombians 2-1 in 1994.

In a recent case of players being involved in violence in Africa, the Togo national team withdrew from the 2010 African Cup of Nations at Angola in January following an attack by gunmen on its team bus in which two officials died.

Is this what it has gotten to?

Source: ESPN.com

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Worried by the sharp increase in their activities, sex workers in the Federal Capital Territory have been given a 48-hour ultimatum by the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, to leave the nation’s capital or face the wrath of the law.

The minister, who decried the steady rise in the population of prostitutes in Abuja, noted that they constitute a nuisance as their services add no value to the beauty of the city.

He gave them a stern warning to heed the ultimatum, noting that the FCT Special Task Force would be out as from today to arrest them.

The minister, who issued the ultimatum through the FCT Secretary for Social Development, Mrs. Blessing Onuh, while on a visit to the call girls at their respective joints on Saturday night, also warned men who patronise the girls to desist from the act as he promised that anyone caught would be treated like the prostitutes.

He said that to drive home the importance of the assignment to the FCT, the Task Force would commence arrest from today and warned the prostitutes not to take the matter lightly.

At Emprest Hotel, “which is the headquarters” of the commercial sex workers in Wuse District, where over 600 call girls were seen parading the streets waiting for prospective customers, the secretary lamented that most of the girls involved were under-aged.

In her message to the girls she said, “I’m out to instruct the girls that the FCT minister has given them 48 hours to vacate the city and quit the job. They constitute a nuisance in the city and the FCT administration will not tolerate them.

“We are also sending warnings to all those men patronizing them to stop. Some of the girls are under-aged; it is child abuse. If we get you doing that we will get you arrested, lock you up and treat you like the prostitutes are treated.”

A patron of the call girls who spoke to reporters under condition of anonymity gave reason why he patronized call girls, saying it was due to the weather which made it difficult for him to spend the night alone.

“As you can see, it is rainy season now, it is not good for a man to just go home and sleep alone,” he said.

The man argued that the ultimatum given to the girls would lead to an increase in the charges of the girls who presently charge between N5,000 and N7,000 per night.

He said, “This decision now will make them to increase their price. Normally we take them home for N6,000 or N7,000 but now with this decision, they will increase it to N15,000 or more than that.”

The secretary, after addressing the girls at Wuse Zone 4, made a donation of N50,000 to the girls after they complained to her that they had not eaten all day and she advised them to desist from selling their bodies for money but try to go into a more decent occupation.

Source: allAfrica.com

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Seeing these pics of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua kinda sobered me up. The 4th Nigerian president to die in office in 50 years. There is no winner in death, and in all honesty regardless of what opinion we had of him for what he did or did not do, we do have to pay our final respects, and allow him to Rest In Peace. Pictures are courtesy of sahara reporters.

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Officers carrying the Late President's body wrapped in the Nigerian Flag

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Turai Yar'Adua

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Once again, pics are courtesy of Sahara Reporters

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Umaru Yar' Adua
Umaru Yar' Adua

President Yar’ Adua is Dead. According to THISDAY he passed on earlier this night between 9.30 and 10pm.

He has been battling acute pericaditis, an inflammation of the membrane around the heart, since November last year for which he received treatment at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

He was brought back to the country under the cover of darkness in February and since then had been held incommunicado.

He will be buried tomorrow.

Source: This Day Online

Details shortly

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150px-Ahmed_Sani_Yeriman_BakuraThis is an article from the Washington Post. It is damn right gross. What kind of country do we “love”? Nigeria is a beautiful place but there are some disgusting aspects of our country that makes me sick. This is as similar to Utah and Texas cases of grown man marrying small girls. The only difference is that our country thinks it is ok for government officials to do so. Some may argue that their respective parents are 20 years or more apart, understood, but that was during a different era and most of those marriages happened when both parties are of legal age.

Nigeria‘s parliament on Thursday launched an investigation into whether a 49-year-old senator illegally married an underage girl, a crime punishable by up to five years in jail.

Women’s rights groups have demanded the resignation of Senator Ahmed Yerima, accusing him of marrying an Egyptian teenager in violation of the OPEC member’s child rights law.

“If we have a man like Senator Yerima in the senate, what happens to our Act (law) on child abuse?,” said Chinelo Iriele, head of the Global Association of Female Attorneys.

Ethics committees from both chambers of parliament have begun investigations on Yerima, who could not immediately be reached for comment.

In an interview with the local newspaper Daily Trust published on Thursday, Yerima said his wife was not as young as 13-years-old — as reported in the Nigerian media — but refused to give her age, saying it was an invasion of her privacy.

As governor of Nigeria’s northwestern Zamfara state, Yerima introduced the strict enforcement of Islamic law, sharia along with 11 other northern states in 2000.

Under sharia a person is allowed to marry at any age as long as parental consent is provided. But states and the federal government have imposed varying minimum age requirements, ranging from under 14 to 18-years-old.

Africa‘s most populous nation is roughly equally divided between a mainly Muslim north and largely Christian south.

More than 200 ethnic groups generally live peacefully side by side but there have been regular outbreaks of violence, particularly in the “Middle Belt” separating the north and south, where sectarian clashes have killed hundreds this year.

 

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For those that didn’t get a chance to catch CNN’s interview with Nigerian Acting president, Goodluck Jonathan, here are snippets of his interview. He touches on the Niger Delta Crisis, his short period for a turn around, and the history of his name. This is a positive step in the way of Nigerian Presidential Publicity as not a lot of Nigerian leaders have come out on the international scene and project a positive image. Of course as a real politician, he played his political game well, by not giving direct answers to some questions, but regardless it’s better that having nothing to say about anything. I have to respect the fact that he admitted publicly again to not seeing the ailing former president, Yar’Adua. Watch and share your thoughts.

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Finally, former Head of State, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida has confirmed that he would contest the 2011 Presidential election.

The declaration came one week after the retired General who had ruled the country for eight years told newsmen in Lagos that he was still consulting with stakeholders on his political future.

But the former despot confirmed his renewed interest in the nation‘s leadership on Saturday in Benin, Edo State while heading for Asaba, Delta State capital to attend the commissioning of the Women Development Centre in honour of his deceased wife, Mariam.

”The speculation is correct,” Babangida told newsmen at the Benin Airport.

He added, ”I am going to Delta State because of the special love I have for it and courtesy of the Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan”.

Also, the Niger State governor, Dr. Babangida Aliu, who was also on his way to Asaba, disclosed that the governors were very much interested in the implementation of the electoral reforms as that would help usher in a new lease of life in the nation‘s electoral system.

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List of new Ministers and Cabinet Members. For the most part most of these folks are recycled, but there are some new faces like the New Minister of Petroleum, Deziani ALLISON-MADUEKE (First female Minister of Petroleum)

Agriculture……………………….Sheikh Ahmed ABDULLAH
Aviation…………………………………Fidelia NJEZE
Culture and Tourism……………Abubakar Sadiq A. MOHAMMED
Commerce and Industry………………..Jibril Martins KUYE
Defence………………………………Adetokunbo KAYODE
Education……………………………Ruqayyatu A. RUFAI
Environment……………………………..John Ogar ODEY
Finance………………………………..Olusegun AGANGA
Foreign Affairs………………………. Odein AJUMOGOBIA
Health…………………………………………vacant
Information & Communication………………..Dora AKUNYILI
Interior…………………………….Emmanuel IHEANACHO
Justice & Attorney General…………..Mohammed Bello ADOKE
Labour…………………….Chukwuemeka Ngozichineke WOGU
Lands, Housing & Urban Development………….Nduese ESSIEN
Mines & Steel Development……………..Musa Mohammed SADA
Niger Delta Affairs……………………..Godsday ORUBEBE
Petroleum……………………….Deziani ALLISON-MADUEKE
Police Affairs…………………………….Adamu WAZIRI
Power………………………………………….vacant
Science & Technology………………..Muhammed K. ABUBAKAR
Special Duties………………………..Earnest OLUBOLADE
Transportation…………………………..Yusuf SULAIMAN
Women Affairs……………………..Iyom Josephine ANENIH
Works & Housing………………………..Sanusi M. DAGASH
Youth Development…………………..Akinlabi OLASUNKANMI

Ministers in the Presidency
Federal Capital Territory………………….Bala MUHAMMED
National Planning Commission Chairman……Shamsuddeen USMAN
National Sports Commission……………….Ibrahim Isa BIO

Ministers of state
Agriculture & Water Resources………Awodele Najeem ADEWALE
Commerce………………………………Josephine TAPGUN
Defence………………………….Murtala Shehu YAR’ADUA
Finance…………………………….Aderemi W. BABALOLA
Foreign Affairs (1)………………………Aliyu Idi HONG
Health………………………………… Suleiman BELLO
Information & Communications………………..Labaran MAKU
Interior……………………….. Humphrey Enemakwu ABAH
Niger Delta Affairs………………………….Samuel ODE
Power……………………………………Nuhu Somo WYA
Works & Housing………………………..Chris OGIEMWINYI

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WARNING!!!!!! This Video Is Graphic! If you have a weak stomach, please don’t watch.

This video came is from a source in Jos. Speechless is the only word I can use to describe how I felt after seeing this. Below is the message from the source.

Barely 2 months  after the sectarian crisis that engulfed some parts of Jos, The Plateau State Capital there seems to be no end in sight to the reoccurring crisis as residence woke up on sunday morning to news of skirmishes in Dogon NaHawa, a small Settlement in Shen Village Jos South Local Governmen Council.The scene of this attack is best described as Horrific to the scale of which has left most people in this area in the state of shock.

The attack which left over a hundred people most of which were children and women took place at about 2am Sunday Morning and pre planned against a particular tribe. Though the cause of this attacks is still unclear preliminary reports investigations show that this sunday’s attack may not be unconnected with reprisals from Fulani Herds Men who have often said their cattles are always targeted during any unrest in Jos. The Question now is for how long will Jos the supposed “Home Of Peace and Tourism” wil continue to witness incessant Violence and Negative Publicity as seen in recent times.

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If you can, please say a prayer for this thing to end in Jos.

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The SIPA Pan-African Network, the African Business Club, and the African Law Students Association at Columbia University present  the 7th Annual African Economic Forum (AEF).

The African Economic Forum has grown to be the largest Africa-focused event at Columbia University.  Each year, AEF strives to highlight opportunities and challenges through stimulating discussion, insights and strategies for a prosperous Africa.

This event is first class event that features brilliant minds such as Dr. Obi Ezekwesili and Magatte Wade. This year’s theme is: “Africa Turning Golden: How a Continent is Moving Forward”. The event also features a fashion show,  a movie screening, and a gala Online registration is still available until the 24th of March.

colombiaFor More information check out http://africaeconomicforum.com/aef2010

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Renewed violence in jos
Renewed violence in jos

Scores of people are thought to have been killed in clashes between pastoralists from the surrounding hillside region and villagers close to the central Nigerian city of Jos.

Police sources on Sunday put the number of dead at just eight, but witnesses reported many more bodies, with one estimate rising to more than 100 people.

Some of the bodies were reported to be charred and scarred by machete blows and the AFP news agency reported there were many children among the dead.

Yvonne Ndege, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Abuja, said: “There is conflicting information about the number of people who may have been killed.

“Police are saying about eight people have been killed but I have spoken to a number of people in Jos who said the number is higher.”

A reporter with the Reuters news agency counted 100 bodies piled in the street.

Witnesses said that the pastoralists staged an overnight raid in the village of Dogo Nahawa, firing into the air and then attacking those who came out of their houses.

“They came around 3 O’clock in the morning and they started shooting into the air,” Peter Jang, a Dogo Nahawa resident, said.

“The shooting was just meant to bring people from their houses and then when people came out they started cutting them with machetes,” he said.

Ndege reported: “A senior police chief said the perpetrators of this attack came in from Bauchi state. The fighting exploded between herdsmen from Bauchi and villagers.

“The Red Cross, is reporting that as a consequence of this violence at least 5-600 people are leaving the area in fear of their lives.”

Nearby Jos, the capital of Plateau state, was the scene of sectarian violence which killed hundreds of people in January.

The city, which lies at the crossroads of Nigeria’s Muslim north and predominantly Christian south, saw four days of clashes.

Source: Al Jazeera

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Former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, may end up being the beneficiary of the raging political crisis and the seeming rot in governance of Nigeria if the wave of local and international pressures on him to contest the 2011 presidential election is anything to count on.

Rumors have it that some diplomats from the United States and Britain, who were in the country, had met with the former head of state in Minna and Abuja, entreating him to consider featuring in the next presidential election.

If Babangida eventually agrees to the request, he will be doing so on the understanding that he will be representing northern interest in the election amid doubts that President Yar’Adua will be strong enough to withstand the rigors of contesting the next election.

Some of the foreign diplomats were reported to have met Babangida for the first time when they joined sympathizers who trooped to his Hilltop mansion in Minna to condole with him on the death of his wife, Mariam.

The United States, according to findings, was keen on installing a more experienced Nigerian as the next president of the country, as a way of preventing political uncertainty like one currently arising essentially from the incapacitation of President Yar’Adua.

The sudden interest of the international community in IBB for 2011, it was learnt, presupposed that both Britain and US were now prepared to overlook the blunder of the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election made by the military government he headed, and upon which he was declared persona non-grata by the western countries.

The interest of the western powers in the next presidential election may, however, not be unconnected with the judgment of failure that both the US and Britain had passed on the present civilian government, even amid political uncertainty in the country.

It is not certain yet whether Babangida had agreed to the arrangement to draft him into the presidential race.

Source: Tribune NG

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Some members of the cabinet urged the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to caution the Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili, against what they called persistent inflammatory remarks.

In an interview a couple of days ago, Dora went on the record by stating that the Cabal should tell the truth about the health condition of Yar’Adua and “stop lying to the public.” She also made it known that neither herself nor the Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan had seen the President since his return last week. In her words: “No one has seen the president since his arrival, not even the acting president, or any cabinet member….I am the minister of information but if you ask me, I have no information about this matter.”

Two days ago, Members of the House of Representatives from the 19 northern states, under the aegis of the “Northern Members Caucus,” asked the information and communication minister, Dora Akunyili to resign if she was no longer comfortable serving in the government.

“The caucus expresses grave concern over the recent statements credited to the Information minister suggesting systemic undermining of the functioning of the Acting President, regardless of its security implications.

The correct option in the circumstances of her total objection to decision of the Council is to resign,” the caucus added.

In addition, several government officials have come out against the information minister and calling for her resignation in what seems to be a very bizarre stand as most Nigerians feel like Mrs. Akunyili is simply speaking the truth and not conforming to the secrecy that has surrounded the Yar’Adua disappearance fiasco.

Prof. Akunyili is currently in New York, USA as part of Nigeria’s delegation to the 54th Session of the United Nations Special Commission on the Status of Women, popularly known as Beijing Plus 15 currently going on at the UN Headquarters.

Main source: 234next.com

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Over 3 months after leaving Nigeria to receive medical treatment for a heart condition, President Umaru Yar’Adua returned home to Abuja. Mr. Yar’Adua was finally removed from his bed on Tuesday and taken aboard an Abuja bound flight at about 2100 Saudi time.

Two planes, one of them an air ambulance, landed in the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja within ten minutes of each other and it is believed that the president was on board the first one which landed at 0145 hours though there has not been any official statement from the government. Many Nigerians believe he either sneaked in under a cover up, or his body was sneaked in, or it is a decoy to an ever changing story.

A presidential convoy, including the Ford intensive care ambulance, was at the airport waiting to meet him. It is doubtful if the president has recovered from his illness and sources at the airport were unable to confirm what kind of condition he was in when he landed. Soldiers prevented journalists from going anywhere near the aircraft and the homecoming was without ceremony.

An airport employee who works as a ground staff said quite unusually, the planes disembarked at a secluded part of the runway.

“That is not where they normally land even when it is a presidential flight,“ he said. “The place they landed is as if they don’t want anybody to see them at all.”

The floodlights on the tarmac were also dimmed in the section the planes landed which made it difficult to make out the figures that alighted from the planes. It appeared though that Mr. Yar’Adua was moved directly into the ambulance.

There had been some signs that the president was returning to the country. Two of Mr. Yar’Adua’s daughters, Aisha Yar’Adua and Mariam Badamasi Kabir, both returned to Nigeria last weekend and this fuelled speculation that the president would soon be coming back.

Sources within the state house in Aso Rock also revealed that the past two days had seen some increased activity in the presidential quarters. On Tuesday, there was a high level of military presence at both the airport and within the federal capital territory.

Source: 234Next.com

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Can we say something like “Thank God”. Nigeria’s ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua will eventually hand over power to Vice President Goodluck Jonathan by writing an official handover letter.

The letter, formally informing the Senate that Mr Yar’Adua is on “medical vacation”, automatically means his deputy becomes acting president.

The president’s allies have previously resisted calls for him to step aside.

He has been in a hospital in Saudi Arabia since November, prompting fears of a power vacuum and street protests.

The president is suffering from an inflammation of the lining around the heart and has long suffered from kidney problems.

Nigeria’s powerful state governors have said they believe Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan should be acting president.

In what seems to be the best move for the political stability of the country, Yar Adua has finally succumbed to both internal and external pressures.

On tuesday, Prof Dora Akunyili, the Minister of Information, had sent out a letter to the Cabinet insisting Yar’Adua step down from the presidency.

Source: BBC UK

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The Nigerian cabinet has been ordered by the federal court to decide within 14 days if ill President Umaru Yar’Adua who has been out of the country in Saudi Arabia for about 60 days, is fit to lead the country.

The court ruling directed the cabinet to pass a resolution about whether he “is incapable of discharging the functions of his office”.

Ever since the president left the country in November, there have been a lot of concerns and rumors about if he is fit to rule and even worse, if he’s still alive.

The Federal High Court ruled that cabinet should hear testimony from five doctors, one of whom should be the president’s personal physician.

If cabinet decides that the president is not fit to carry out his duties, the vice-president would take over, the court ruled.

President Yar’Adua is being treated for inflammation of the lining around the heart and has a long-standing kidney complaint.

On Thursday, over 1,000 people marched in Lagos to protest against Mr Yar’Adua’s prolonged absence from the country.

The protesters argue that when the president left the country to go to hospital he did not hand executive powers to his deputy, as required by the constitution.

Last week, Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan was granted presidential rights in the country, but some argue that those powers are very limited and more ceremonial than executive.

Source: BBC News