NSCDC Parades Suspects Of Illegal Oil Bunkering

nscdcThe Lagos State Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have paraded 23 suspects, including 5 Togolese, allegedly involved in illegal bunkering of petroleum products, between January and February 2015.

The suspects were arrested by the Nigerian Navy at various points on the high sea and within Lagos waters, before they were handed over to the NSCDC.

A total of 378 drums, each of 250 litres, containing petroleum products were recovered during the operations.

Also paraded were 14 suspects involved in vandalism of electrical installations, illegal connections and by-passing of prepaid metres in Isolo, Abule Egba and Oworonsoki areas, belonging to the Ikeja Electric Distribution Company.

The NSCDC is a paramilitary agency of the Government of Nigeria that is commissioned to provide measures against threat and any form of attack or disaster against the nation and its citizenry.

The NSCDC was first introduced in May 1967 during the Nigerian Civil War within the then Federal Capital Territory  for the purpose of sensitization and protection of the civil populace.

Parts of its statutory empowerment includes legal proceedings against any person or persons suspected to have committed an offence, maintain an armed squad in order to bear fire arms among others to strengthen the corps in the discharge of its statutory duties.

Adekunle Among Most Celebrated Military Commanders Of His Generation – Jonathan

AdekunleNigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has extended commiserations to the family of late Brigadier-General Benjamin Adekunle, who passed away on Saturday.

In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, the President joins the family and other Nigerians “in mourning the very courageous soldier who achieved national fame during the Nigerian civil war for his gallant leadership of the 3rd Marine Commandoes in the successful effort to defend the unity and territorial integrity of the country.

President Jonathan believes that General Adekunle’s civil war heroics, which made him easily one of the most celebrated military commanders of his generation, have ensured that he will always be honoured and remembered as a valiant soldier who served his fatherland exceptionally well at a very trying time in its history.

As the Black Scorpion’s soul returns to the Almighty Creator, President Jonathan enjoins his family, friends, former military colleagues and all who mourn his passing to also give thanks to God for blessing the nation with fearless soldiers and patriots of his calibre who stand ready to lay down their lives for the peace, unity and progress of their country.”

President Jonathan prayed that God Almighty would comfort the grieving family and associates of General Adekunle and grant his departed soul eternal rest.

Obasanjo, Amosun Mourn Benjamin Adekunle

ObasanjoFormer President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has has joined other prominent Nigerians describing the death of the late General Benjamin Adekunle as shocking.

In a statement in Abeokuta, Obasanjo said that the contribution of Adekunle during the country’s civil war was a no mean efforts, which would be remembered for so long a time.

According to the former president, “I received with shock the news of the death of my colleague, friend and course-mate, Gen. Benjamin Adekunle today. I can recall with fond memories what he was able to achieve as a course-mate at Teshi, Accra Ghana.”

He added that the late retired General, “made no mean contribution for the Nigerian civil war. His efforts would be forever remembered and May his soul rest in peace. I am very shocked about by this news today,” Obasanjo stated.

He expressed his condolence to the family of the late retired General, affirming that “his vacuum will be difficult to fill in the family, but, I pray for them to have the fortitude to bear this loss.”

The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, is also mourning the demise of one of the Nation’s gallant military officers, describing him as a civil war hero.

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Wakama, Amosun said that he was greatly saddened by the news of the death of the war veteran.

He said that the incident happened at a time the wisdom and knowledge of the likes of General Adekunle is needed to curb the unfortunate acts of insurgents in the nation.

This is so sad. Black Scorpion, as he was fondly called, played a significant role in the unity and search for peace in our country as he fought gallantly in the Nigerian Civil War, principally to preserve its sanctity as a leader of the 3rd Marine Commando.

“History has recorded him well. His name cannot be easily forgotten in the history of modern day Nigeria,” the governor said.

Amosun commiserated with the family of the deceased, the Nigerian Army, as well as his friends and associates, praying that almighty God grants his soul eternal rest and give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

General Benjamin Adekunle: Black Scorpion Dies At 78

Black Scorpion
Pioneer GOC 3 Div, Colonel B.Adekunle (hand on howitzer) watches a gunner during the Nigerian Civil War

The Nigerian Civil War Army veteran, Retired General Benjamin Adekunle, popularly known as Black Scorpion has died.

Retired General Adekunle died Saturday morning in Lagos, Nigeria’s south-west region at the age of 78.

General Adekunle was born in Kaduna. His father was a native of Ogbomosho, while his mother was of the Bachama tribe.

He underwent secondary education at the Government College, Okene, in present day Kogi State.Black Scorpion

He enlisted in the Nigerian Army in 1958 shortly after completing his school certificate examinations. 

He passed the Army selection examinations and thereafter was despatched to the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in the UK, the British Army’s initial officer entry academy.

He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on December 15, 1960.

Insurgency: Rushing Back Democracy In 1998 Was A Fundamental Error – Prof Utomi

Politics Today utomiRenowned Economist and former Nigerian presidential candidate, Professor Pat Utomi, believes that the problems facing Nigeria are those of character, leadership and pride of politicians.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today, he said that the solution to Nigeria’s problems was in rallying the country’s most influential persons to come together and seek solution.

“In most civil wars in the world, not as many people die as die in Nigeria everyday. The blood of innocents are now washing the streets of Nigeria, this is unacceptable, it cannot continue to go on”, he said.

Calling on all statesmen to come together and forget about their political differences to save Nigeria, Prof Utomi noted; “The country is dying; we can pretend all we want but Nigeria is dying.”

There had been dissenting views as regards the strategy with which to deal with the Boko Haram insurgents and Professor Utomi admitted that throughout the world there had been challenges relating to terror and starting out by accepting to trade hostages with terrorists always end up like blackmail as the terrorists would keep coming back, but he also added that the case of Nigeria was bigger.

He explained that the issue was not just about whether or not to negotiate, as it was more complex. According to him, Israelis exchanged prisoners with the Palestinians in times of crisis and the case of Nigeria should not be handled with rigidity as there were needs for ‘below the line’ approaches.

He made reference to the Nigerian Civil War when then military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, called together different leaders from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds to find a solution and the strategy brought the much desired solution.

Speaking about the rallying which was likened to a war cabinet, Utomi said that the makeup of the group should not be seen as another political issue as the concern of Nigerians should be to look for persons of high intellect and political stature who could influence change.

Going down memory lane, tracing the genesis of Nigeria’s problems, Utomi said that there was a fundamental error in 1998 with Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar rushing into the democratic processes which brought the political leadership back in a hasty manner as the political structure in Nigeria was not ready.

He said that the politicians at the time had also not come to terms with the real values of democracy and since then Nigeria has been a mess.

In moving forward, Utomi advised that there was need to seek change without fear and pride.

He referred to former American leader, Abraham Lincoln, as a true example of how leadership should be, as he emphasized the need for Nigerian politicians to shed self-pride and embrace shared values to enable the country move forward.

Bring Back Our Girls

The response of the Presidential delegation to a group of ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ protesters in Abuja, advising them to direct their protests to the terrorists had been drawing negative reactions from many Nigerians and Utomi said that he cried for Nigeria when he heard what was supposedly the response of President Jonathan to the protesters.

He said that the protest was such a great opportunity and he expected the President to wear the colours of the protesters, walk with them and show them that he felt their pains as a leader and parent.

He said that the Nigerian President “was presented on a platter of gold, the opportunity to be the Commander-in-Chief and he blew it.”

Drawing from the example of American President, Barack Obama, who had just paid an unscheduled visit to American troops in Afghanistan, Utomi said that this was the norm for a United States President and for a number of foreign leaders and he expected the Nigerian President to be able to do same.

He said that power was not worth it when ones humanity cannot be expressed as regards the lives of ordinary people. He did not expect the visit of President Jonathan to Chibok to be a matter to publicise, as it was supposed to be a normal thing for the President to show up in places of crisis and encourage the people and the troops.

He also expressed his disgust that until the outcry of the international community, “in more recent times we have seen again and again, dozens of Nigerians killed in this insurgency and there was no acknowledgement from the Government that something was wrong.

“If you have your humanity intact, the death of one Nigerian should diminish those who claim to lead us”, Utomi said.

He said that until the international community holds the African leaders accountable, the African people would not be able to experience true development.

Recommending an International Economic Crimes Court that would hunt leaders who have been found to have underdeveloped their countries due to corruption, he said, “by the time we put a few of our leaders in trial at The Hague, then Africa would start getting better.”

Community Policing

Utomi stated that policing is fundamentally a community based exercise and he believes that this would help to tackle the problem of insurgency in Nigeria.

He said that the corrupt nature of the politicians was the reason why many were opposing the idea.

He noted that it would be easier for someone who belongs to a community to identify troublemakers in that community, rather than the idea of bringing someone from a far distance who knows nothing about the community.

“Politicians are destroying Nigeria and they should be held accountable.”

As electioneering for 2015 gets more into focus with permutations by political parties and preparations by the electoral body, Utomi noted that the future of Nigeria would depend on the people as “the challenge before Nigeria is the Nigerian character.”

 

EN: Critics Sing Praises Of Love And War Movie, “Half Of A Yellow Sun”

half of a yellow sunIf you read Chimamanda Adichie’s award winning novel, Half Of A Yellow Sun, then you are about to get a second dose of awesomeness.

If you haven’t, consider this an exciting second chance as the film adaptation of the book has passed through its first screening, in Lagos, ahead of its much-anticipated April premiere.

Popular movie critic, Shaibu Husseini said “if you had read Chimamanda’s book, you will not expect anything less from this film,” stressing that the movie is “a pointer to the fact that good movies can actually come out from here”.

Another critic, Funsho Arogundade rated the movie ‘A’ in terms of delivery. He mentioned that the Nigerian cast had done justice to their characters, especially Onyeka Onwenu.

On his part, famed movie maker and actor, Kunle Afolayan, commended the overall effort put into re-enacting Nigerian history.

Also, EN is casting its spotlight on African Magic Viewers’ Choice Award winner for best documentary, Stanlee Ohikuare, who bagged a statuette for his documentary entitled ‘Deadwood’. In this interview, Ohikuare tells us the inspiration behind the true-life documentary.

I Can Still Dance On Broken Bottles – Jimoh Aliu

Channels Television’s weekend breakfast programme, Sunrise plays host to a Nigerian Legend of Performing Arts, Jimoh Aliu, popularly known as Aworo from his character in the popular Nigerian TV drama of the 1980s and 90s, Arelu.

Speaking on a special broadcast of the programme from Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, he stated that the most heart warming gift his over 50 year old career has given him was the opportunity to promote Nigeria, the Yoruba culture, and his home town Oke Imesi in Ekiti State.

Jimoh Aliu who spoke the English language appreciably well, noted that he has had only 6 years of education all his life. He left his hometown Oke Imesi for Lagos in 1946 having never had a teacher to guide him from the most elementary level of education.

He learnt his art of performance by joining the legendary Ogunde Theatre Group as an apprentice who could only help to carry equipment in Mushin, Lagos in 1955.

Also unknown to many of his fans, Jimoh Aliu was once in the Nigerian Army during the Nigerian Civil War in 1967, where he worked with some of Nigeria’s most celebrated Generals and war veterans like Theophilus Danjuma and former President, Olusegun Obasanjo.

The twist however, is that he was not a combatant at war, but a performer who travelled all over different regions to entertain the soldiers during the war.

Asked about his main strength in Performing Arts, the 76 year old boasted that he had mastered his trade in dancing, singing and acting. He also claimed to have been among the first generation of dancers who did magical tricks to delight audiences.

Jimoh Aliu, who has been appointed as one of the 16 Cultural Ambassadors of Ekiti State, lauded the State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, for bringing the culture and tourism sector in Ekiti State back to life.

He also spoke on the general belief that there is a lot of black majic known as ‘juju’ in Yoruba films, explaining that there is a difference between practising Juju and appreciating the values of Ifa, a legendary deity of Yoruba land and promoting its legacy of providing direction. He said that people are simply unaware of the differences.

Jimoh Aliu is mostly remembered as the only powerful man who could confront the notorious wicked character on Nigerian Television in the 1990s, Fadeyi Oloro.

Enjoy this exciting interview with the 76 year old man who boasted that he could still dance on broken bottles, as Sunrise celebrates one of Nigeria’s finest legends of Performing Arts.

Three unexploded bombs discovered at Enugu construction site

Three unexploded bombs believed to be remnants of explosives used during the three-year Nigerian civil war were discovered at a construction site in Enugu by construction workers digging a foundation.

The Field Administrator of the Nigerian Mine Action Centre, a department of the Federal Ministry of Defence, Dr. Emeka Uhegbu, told journalists shortly after removing the three unexploded bombs at the site, which is close to the 9th Mile area of Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State, that if the unexploded bombs were not found and defused, they could kill innocent people.

He maintained that over 50, 000 unused explosives were presently scattered across 12 states of the South-East, South-South and North-Central, warning that residents of the affected areas must be careful of such objects.

He disclosed that following the discovery by the workers, the anti-bomb unit of the Enugu State Police Command was alerted, who in turn informed the ministry, leading to the removal of the bombs by their officials.

He said “if the labourers had made mistake of hitting a hard object on the explosives, it had the capacity of killing thousands of people around the area, which was less than a kilometre to the country home of Governor Sullivan Chime”.

“If you tamper with it, it could kill; the least it can do would be to maim you. We are appealing to our people that the war has ended but these things are still continuing the war. We are one in this country; we are going round removing them.”

Genevieve to starr in Chimamanda Adichie’s movie

Top Nollywood actress, Genevieve Nnaji has been selected to feature in the big screen adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel “Half of a Yellow Sun”.

Genevieve will be joined by other stars such as Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dominic Cooper, Anika Noni Rose and Thandie Newton in the eagerly anticipated film.

According to her publicist, the actress cum singer will play the role of Ms Adebayo, a professor who develops a flirtatious relationship with her colleague Mr Odenigbo (Ejiofor).

Half of a Yellow Sun will be produced by  British Academy of Film and Television Arts, BAFTA, winning producer, Andrea Calderwood and directed by Biyi Bandele.

Chimamanda’s half of a yellow sun novel centers on the Nigerian civil war and was published in 2006.