For the "must have a soda addicts" - What happens to your body when you drink a Coke? Watch.....

CC Healthwatch

In a nutshell, If you can’t completely remove "soft drinks" from your diet then make sure you drink it in moderation. And if you’re trying to get your kids off this stuff, have them try this cool experiment.

Former Abacha death squad leader challenges Obasanjo to public debate

Two peas in a pod - Abacha (left) and Al-Mustapha
CC Nigeria News

Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to late dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, has challenged ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, to a public debate on any issue concerning Nigeria. 

The former leader of the dreaded strike force unit of the late military dictator, was reacting to news reports about portions of a letter written by Obasanjo to President Goodluck Jonathan, alleging that snipers were being trained in North Korea.

He explained that he was not around when Obasanjo’s letter became public, but read about it in the media.

The former military officer said ex-President Obasanjo knows that he knows Nigeria as much as he (Obasanjo) knows the country. As such, he was ready to face the former President anywhere in the world to discuss Nigeria.

Al-Mustapha said “first of all, he (Obasanjo) did not mention me by name in his letter. Secondly, he knows that “I know Nigeria as much as he does, if he has something to tell me, I want him to come out and tell me straight.

“He should ask me or challenge me, I challenge him to (discuss) anything about Nigeria that he wants to talk about even long before he became Head-of-State (1976-1979), I am ready to meet him in public anywhere in the world”.

Responding to a specific question on allegations that he was privy to the on-going training of snipers, Al-Mustapha swore that there was nothing of the sort.

The former CSO said he is a Muslim and has over the years facilitated the recruitment of northerners into security agencies and has never been involved in anything to betray the north. But we would suppose that going by his antecedents and this uninformed statement, he has no qualms betraying Nigeria as he has shown in the past.

Al-Mustapha also said he has forgiven all those who harmed him during his travails. Interesting statement coming from someone who should actually be hauled before the International Criminal Court.

He observed that people who did not fear God find it difficult to understand how sincere he is when he said he has forgiven all.  

He accused an unnamed individual based in Kaduna, for spreading falsehood about his person and his activities.

According to him, from 1974 till date, there have been so many secrets that encouraged lies to cover the truth. This, he said could be cleared up if Obasanjo takes up the challenge to face him in public.


Jesse Owens' Nazi conquering gold medal sells for record amount at auction

CC Informational

A gold medal won by the legendary American Olympic athlete, Jesse Owens has sold at an auction for a record $1.5 million. 

Owens symbolically won the Gold at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin much to the chagrin of Adolf Hitler who had hoped to use the games to further promote his Nazi propaganda of Aryan supremacy. 

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions on antibacterial soaps.....

CC Healthwatch

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that antibacterial chemicals in soaps and body washes may pose health risks.

It proposed a rule requiring manufacturers to prove such soaps are safe and more effective against infection than plain soap and water.

Recent studies indicate an ingredient in such products could scramble hormone levels and boost drug-proof bacteria. 

The proposal rule does not apply to alcohol-based hand sanitizers and products used in healthcare settings.

Manufacturers have until the end of 2014 to submit the results of clinical trials on their products, the FDA said. The new regulations would be finalized in 2016.
"New data suggest that the risks associated with long-term, daily use of antibacterial soaps may outweigh the benefits," Colleen Rogers, an FDA microbiologist, wrote in a statement.
Certain ingredients in such products - such as triclosan in liquid soaps and triclocarban in bar soaps - may contribute to bacterial resistance to antibiotics, the agency added.
Such products may also have "unanticipated hormonal effects that are of concern", according to the statement.
Recent studies of such chemicals on animals have shown they may alter hormones, the FDA said, but such results have not yet been proven in humans.
"Because so many consumers use them, FDA believes that there should be clearly demonstrated benefits to balance any potential risks," the statement added.
If the FDA's proposed rule is finalized, companies would be required to provide data to support their product's health claims.
If they cannot, the products would be reformulated or relabeled in order to remain on the market.
In March of this year, a federal appeals court approved a lawsuit by the non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council, aimed at forcing the FDA to review the health impacts of triclosan.


Former WWE publicist fired from IAC after racist Tweet

CC Newsreel 

Former WWE publicist, Justine Sacco has been fired from her job as a publicist with IAC following a racist tweet (see below).

Justine Sacco Racist AIDS Joke On Her Way To Africa Angers Twitter

Sacco’s post remained on Twitter most of the day Friday because she was on a flight from London to South Africa. The response on the social media website was swift — the tweet generated the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet, which became a trending topic Friday night. Not only that, but someone purchased the domain, which redirects to the Aid for Africa website.
Upon landing, Sacco, who was IAC’s senior director of corporate communications, first deleted the tweet and then her entire Twitter account.
IAC, which owns over 150 Internet brands, released a statement Saturday confirming that Justine Sacco had been fired. The company also removed Sacco’s name from its website.
“The offensive comment does not reflect the views and values of IAC. We take this issue very seriously, and we have parted ways with the employee in question,” the statement read.
“There is no excuse for the hateful statements that have been made and we condemn them unequivocally. We hope, however, that time and action, and the forgiving human spirit, will not result in the wholesale condemnation of an individual who we have otherwise known to be a decent person at core.”
Justine Sacco joined IAC in September 2011 after working as a publicist at WWE. Twitter user @Zac_R said he was at the airport when Sacco landed and spoke to her father, who is a wealthy South African businessman. 
Her father said he decided to raise his daughter in the United States because South Africa was too racist.”


George Zimmerman, his painting and blood money on eBay....

A very young Trayvon Martin (Trayvon Martin Family)
By Israel O. Jemibewon

Bidding on eBay for a painting by George Zimmerman, whose 2012 murder of a black teenager, Trayvon Martin sparked both national and global outrage, neared $100,000 on Tuesday in an online auction that ends Sunday.

The signed patriotic blue-hued portrayal of the Stars and Stripes flag is overlapped with the words "God, One Country, with Liberty and Justice for All" in typewriter font.

Think for a moment in the irony of the latter "Liberty and Justice" for all considering he has permanently denied that to Trayvon Martin. That he even mentions the name of an "All Knowing God" who despises "those that shed innocent blood" should further make anyone with even the slightest ounce of human decency, shudder at the thought of such an intellectual/moral misadventure.

Zimmerman, 30, a Neighborhood Watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida, fatally shot Martin on February 26, 2012 as the 17-year-old unarmed high school student was walking home with iced tea and candy.

More recently he faced arraignment next month for allegedly pointing a gun at his girlfriend, before she dropped the charges.
Said by his lawyers to be deep in debt, Zimmerman noted on his eBay listing that he created his debut canvas using house paint donated by a friend.
Good thing he did not use the blood of his victim as a canvas overlay, but then again, he is looking forward to a huge payday drenched in same.
CC, as a matter of policy, will not provide a link or any imagery that supports this despicable activity and even more telling is the support for the exercise, by those who have contributed financially to it. 


Jaguar's retort to Mercedes-Benz's new unofficial mascot.....

CC Video Highlight

Pretty sure Mercedes-Benz saw this coming as would not expect such a savvy brand to walk right into such a predictable rebuttal.

While Jaguar is a class brand, it might want to work on shedding its "scheduled breakdown" reputation before taking pot shots at its rivals.

See the videos (below) beginning with the one from Mercedes that led to the Jaguar jab. Just love it when "snubs" argue with one another.


Africa, the International Criminal Court and the West.....

U.S. President Barack Obama (not a party to Rome Statute)
By Lazarus Danjuma, Deputy Editor-in-Chief

Leaders of the African Union (AU) are meeting in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia and the seat of the AU Headquarters, to discuss Africa's relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC), among other issues of importance.

The ICC was created by the Rome Statute which came into effect on July 1, 2002. It's birth was in response to a growing need (purportedly at the time) to complement existing national judicial systems. The ICC may only exercise its jurisdiction when the said national courts (of member and non-member nations ostensibly) are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute alleged war crimes, genocide or crimes against humanity.

There are currently 122 member states (including 34 African countries) that are party to the ICC statute while the United States, Israel, Sudan, Egypt, Libya, China and India have refused to sign on, much less ratify the statute.

Russia has however signed on but refused to ratify the Rome Statute.

In the history of the ICC since its inception in 2002, the crux of the ICC's activities has focused on Africa.

Currently, the Prosecutor has opened investigations into eight situations in Africa - the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, the Central African Republic, Darfur in Sudan, the Republic of Kenya, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya; the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire and Mali. 

Of these eight, four were referred to the Court by the concerned states parties themselves (Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic and Mali), two were referred by the United Nations Security Council (Darfur and Libya) and two were begun proprio motu by the Prosecutor (Kenya and Côte d'Ivoire). 

Additionally, by Power of Attorney from the Union of the Comoros, a law firm referred the situation on the Comorian - flagged MV Mavi Marmara vessel to the Court, prompting the Prosecutor to initiate a preliminary examination.

The Court has publicly indicted 32 people (all African) and while 
four have had the charges against them dismissed, three of those indicted have died before trial (including the former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi who was tortured and then summarily executed by Al Qaeda-backed Libyan rebels).  

A close look at these clearly explains why Africans and African leaders are increasingly wary of the current motives of the ICC. 

There is the belief that it has been hijacked by the United States and Western European nations (namely France and Great Britain) with the egregious acquiescence of an increasingly discredited United Nations (through its Security Council) to ensure developing countries (mostly African countries) toe the line of their (Western) socio-economic and political agenda.

A graphic breakdown of who pays the piper (below) serves to further buttress the point being made by African opponents of the Court.

The European Union accounts for 60% of ICC contributions
According to a recent publication in a journal by the Parliament of Canada, "one recent concern of some significance is the ICC prosecutor’s exclusive focus on sub-Saharan Africa. A number of critics have expressed serious reservations about this practice, and voice fear about bias and the perception that the ICC is yet another instrument of foreign intervention in a long history of Western/Northern interference in African affairs.

Even if various geopolitical pressures have simply made it easier for the prosecutor to begin investigations in Africa rather than elsewhere, commentators contend that this sends a negative signal about how the ICC may continue to work, and they maintain that the ICC cannot investigate African crises alone."

The response by the ICC Prosecutor that some of these cases were actually referred to the Court by the countries in question does not hide the fact that there seems to be a systematic design to humiliate, discredit and embarrass the continent and its leaders, as if Africa is the only place where atrocities are being committed.

Furthermore that the same ICC would argue that Kenya (a country with one of the most sophisticated legal systems in Africa) would be seen as unable to handle the trial of its democratically elected leaders, while Libya (a country where the Premier was recently abducted and armed gangs essentially run the country) is seen as "able to handle" the trial of Qaddafi's former security chief, is at best comical and shows once again the blatant bias of the ICC and its adjacency towards Africa and Africans, south of the Sahara. 

Furthermore that the likes of Kofi Annan and Desmond Dutu were essentially recruited to speak against the legitimate concerns of Africans about the ICC and its imperial backers, is telling, giving the unflattering antecedents of those men.

Kofi Annan should be the one to "wear a badge of shame" for his inglorious and grossly incompetent reign as UN Secretary-General. The once-revered Desmond Tutu, on his part, continues to espouse doctrines and ideas that have no "logical" standing and increasingly portrays himself as a senile and out-of-touch rabble-rouser. 

The ICC has the option of either evolving into the real paragon of law and fairness it was intended to be or face increasing scrutiny and challenges from not just Africans, but people who believe in the true values and ideals of justice and equal treatment, under the law. 

That the United States and at least two other members of the U.N. Security Council are not signatories to the Rome Statute raises serious red flags, more-so when one of the latter (the United States) has had a recent history of leaders (George W. Bush and Barack Obama) who have acted with arrogant impunity and utter disregard for international law, to suit their own agenda. 

Africa's leaders must learn to speak and speak clearly with one voice. It's the only way to ensure that their voices are heard and they must do so with indisputable conviction.

The truth is that the ICC and its sister body, the United Nations, have become caustic tools of imperialism and neo-colonialism of declining and desperate imperial powers hell-bent on imposing their "own way of life" on others. 

That will simply not stand.

Western-backed Syrian rebels accused of war crimes.....

Body of executed government soldier found in mass grave
CC Headliner

A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on the killings of Alawite villagers has pointed accusatory fingers of war crimes at the Syrian rebels backed by the United States and its western allies. 
The vast majority of victims were women and children the rights group asserts and after being taken hostage, most (if not all) were summarily executed.
The report also urged an arms embargo on groups suspected of war crimes or crimes against humanity and calls for an end to the "unlawful" killings in the war, particularly from the rebels.
It comes as NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he sees no military solution to the 31-month conflict which has killed more than 115,000 people.
HRW said the killings began on August 4, the first day of the Eid Al-Fitr holiday ending the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in provincial Latakia villages, a stronghold of the Alawites whose faith is an offshoot of Shia Islam.
"These abuses were not the actions of rogue fighters," said HRW's Joe Stork. "This operation was a coordinated, planned attack on the civilian population."
The 105-page report, based on interviews with 35 survivors, emergency personnel and fighters on both sides, said at least 20 groups were involved, but that five "are responsible for specific incidents that amount to war crimes".
It named them as Ahrar al-Sham, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Al-Nusra Front, Jaish al-Muhajireen Wal-Ansar and Suqur al-Ezz.
HRW said that, in some cases, opposition fighters who are mostly Sunni Muslims executed or gunned down entire families, or killed the elderly or infirm who had been left behind by those who fled.
It also said "some of the opposition atrocities... had clear sectarian motivation".
In one village, it said fighters intentionally damaged an Alawite maqam, a site where a religious figure is buried, and "appear to have intentionally damaged and dug up the grave".
It said they had also abducted and executed the area's Alawite religious leader, quoting Al-Nusra as saying he had been executed because he supported the regime.



Nigeria's past leaders
CC Insight

Nigeria recently celebrated her 53rd Independence anniversary on October 1st, 2013. Here are 53 unique things you may not have known about this giant of Africa.....

1. The most commonly spoken phrase in Nigeria is "How far?”

2. Nigeria is home to seven percent (7%) of the total languages spoken on earth. Taraba State alone has more languages than 30 African countries.

3. The Walls of Benin (800-1400AD), in present day Edo State, are the longest ancient earthworks in the world.

4. The Yoruba tribe has the highest rate of twin births in the world. Igbo-Ora, a little town in Oyo state, has been nicknamed ‘Twin capital of the World’ because of its unusually high rate of twins that is put as high as 158 twins per 1000 births.

5. Sarki Muhammad Kanta The Great of Kebbi, was the only ruler who resisted control by Songhai, West Africa’s greatest empire at that time. He founded and ruled the Hausa city-state of Kebbi around 1600 A.D.

6. Africa’s oldest known boat is The Dufuna canoe, which was discovered in Dufuna village, Yobe State, by a Fulani Herdsman in May 1987, while he dug a well.

7. Sungbo’s Eredo, a 160 km (99.41 miles) rampart equipped with guard houses and moats, is reputed to be the largest single pre-colonial monument (or ancient fortification if you like) in Africa. It is located in present-day Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State

8. The Jos Plateau Indigobird, a small reddish-brown bird, is found nowhere else on the planet but Plateau State.

9. The Anambra waxbill, a small bird of many beautiful colors  is found only in Southern Nigeria and nowhere else on earth.

10. The Niger Delta (which is the second largest delta on the planet), has the highest concentration of monotypic fish families in the world, and is also home to 60 percent of Nigeria’s mangrove forests.

11. Nigeria’s mangrove forests are the largest in Africa and third largest on earth.

12. According to the World Resources Institute, Nigeria is home to 4,715 different types of plant species, and over 550 species of breeding birds and mammals, making it one of the most ecologically vibrant places on the planet.

13. Ile-Ife, in present day Osun State, was paved as early as 1000AD, with decorations that originated from ancient America.

14. Though the country has three dominant tribes, Hausa- Fulani, Yoruba and the Ibo (Igbo), there are over 250 ethnic groups.

15. Nigeria derives her name from the Niger River which is the largest and the longest river in West Africa and is about 4,180 kilometers (2598 miles) long.

16. The Nigerian movie industry which produces between 150-200 movies every week is known as Nollywood – it is ranked as the world’s second-largest producer of movies and trails just behind the Indian Bollywood industry.

17. Areas surrounding Cross State River and Calabar towards the south of Nigeria are home to the largest diversity of butterflies in the world.

18. Sarki Abdullah Burja of Kano (ruled 1438-1452 AD), the 18th ruler of Ancient Kano, created the first Golden Age in Northern Nigeria and ushered in a period of great prosperity. During his reign, Hausa became the biggest indigenous language spoken in Africa after Swahili.

19. Two of the world’s rarest species of animals live in the mysterious Nigerian forests - the Drill monkey that lives in the Afi Mountain ranges and the lowland Gorilla.

20. Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets became the first team from Africa to win a FIFA competition when they won the U-16 (now U-17) World Cup in China in 1985.

21. Nigeria is the first African nation to have won the football gold medal of an Olympics achieving this feat at Atlanta’96.

22. The 50,000-seater ‘Faith Tabernacle” of Winners Chapel Churches is the largest church auditorium in the world. Its 2008 Guinness Book world record has not been broken even in 2013.

23. The University of Nigeria was the first full-fledged indigenous and first autonomous university in Nigeria. The origins of the university are in Yaba College, founded in 1932 in Yaba, Lagos as the first tertiary educational institute in Nigeria.

24.  Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Finance Minister is Forbes’ 83rd Most Powerful Woman in the World.

25. Nigeria’s Mrs Esther Taiwo Olukoya and Mrs Emily Kehinde Olukoga-Ogunde, who looked almost identical, are probably the third set of twins in the world to hit the century age and perhaps the first in Africa.

26. A Nigerian man, Aliko Dangote – founder of Dangote Group, is the richest man in Africa and richest black man in the world.

27. The richest woman in Africa, Folorunsho Alakija, is a Nigerian. She is worth about $600 million (N97 billion).

28. Iwe–Irohin, Nigeria's first newspaper was established by a missionary, Henry Townsend in 1859.

29. One in every four Africans is a Nigerian.

30. Nigerian terror sect, Boko Haram carried out its first known attack in Borno in January 2011.

31. A Nigerian university, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State has the most beautiful campus in Africa. It was founded in 1962.

32. The Igbos of Eastern Nigeria launched a series of massive riots that put paid to Colonialism in Nigeria. This was led by the women of Aba, protesting the heavy taxation of the colonial lords. They marched on the colonial offices and chased the administrators away

33. President Musa Yar'Adua was the first democratically elected president to die in office.

34. Okobaba Sawmil, situated at Ebute Meta Lagos, Nigeria is the largest sawmill in Africa.

35. The largest Christian gatherings in the world have been held in Nigeria - (Holy Ghost Festivals; Redeemed Christian Church of God; 5 to 12 million People).

36. If you go to some areas in the Niger-Delta and step firmly on the soil, crude oil will gush out.

37. Goodluck Jonathan is the first democratic president that was not elected after assuming the mantel of leadership with the death of President Musa Yar’Adua in 2010. He went on to win the Presidential election a year later.

38. Late Musa Yar'dua was the first president to declare his assets according to the provision of 1999 constitution of Nigeria.

39. The pastor of the largest church in the United Kingdom is a Nigerian; Matthew Ashimolowo of the Kingsway International Christian Centre.

40. Since Nigeria made her first FIFA World Cup finals appearance at USA’94; she has gone on to appear in three other finals but has never gone beyond the second round.

41. Liberty Stadium Ibadan Oyo State, Nigeria is the first stadium to be built in Africa. The stadium was opened in 1960 during the tenure of Chief Obafemi Awolowo as the Premier of the Western Region.

42. Hubert Ogunde was the first professional theatre man in Nigeria who lived entirely by the art.

43. According to reports, the late MKO Abiola sent $10 million to Youeri Museveni to help topple the despot, Idi Amin Dada.

44. Nigerian pidgin (which uses a primary English lexicon) is also a common lingua franca. Roughly a third of Nigeria's population speak Pidgin English which is a simplified form of the language.

45. Some traditional cultural expressions are found in the various masquerades of Nigeria, such as the Eyo masquerades, the Ekpe and Ekpo Masquerades of the Efik/Ibibio/Annang/Igbo peoples of coastal south-eastern Nigeria, and the Northern Edo Masquerades. The most popular Yoruba wooden masks are the Gelede masquerades.

46. The country is listed among the "Next Eleven" economies, and is one of the fastest growing in the world with the International Monetary Fund projecting growth of 9 per cent in 2008 and 8.3 per cent in 2009.

47.In Intercontinental Hotel, Nigeria has the tallest hotel in West Africa built at a cost of N30 billion ($185 billion) located in Lagos, with a 23-storey building containing 358 rooms and 37 suites and a Presidential suite.

48. Lagos is the second fastest growing city in Africa and the seventh fastest growing city in the world. The newest reports of the Nigeria Census estimate the population is now 21 million, making Lagos the largest city in Africa.

49. Nigeria has the highest maternal mortality rate in Africa.  Nigeria accounts for 10 per cent of maternal deaths in the world, ranking the second highest after India

50. The Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) generates only 3,200 megawatts while the nation needs at least 8, 000 megawatts.

51. Nigeria has more writers and authors than the rest of West African combined. And in Professor Wole Soyinka has the region’s first Nobel Prize winner

52. Nigeria has the 4th largest number of physicians in the world.

53. There are more Muslims in Nigeria than there are in Saudi Arabia - 60 million v 20 million. In fact, there are more Muslims in Nigeria than there are in any other country in Africa.

Shocking: Half-Nigerian whose grandfather was a Nazi.....

Amon Leopold Goeth 
CC Insight

Jennifer Teege was shocked to discover her grandfather was the Nazi commandant of Plaszow concentration camp, Amon Leopold Goeth

Teege was born after her mother, Goeth's daughter, had a brief affair with a Nigerian student. She has just published a book, "Amon My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me." This is her story. 

Five years ago in northern Germany, in Hamburg, I was in the central library and I came across a book. It was wrapped in a red cover and for some reason I was immediately drawn to it.
The title, translated into English, was "I Have to Love My Father, Right?" and it had a small picture of a woman on the front who looked faintly familiar.
So I took the book and quickly went through it. There were a lot of photos and as I looked at the book I felt something was wrong.
At the end, the author summed up some details about the woman on the cover and her family, and I realized they were a perfect match with what I knew about my own biological family.
So at that point I understood that this was a book about my family history.
The woman in the picture was my mother, and her father was Amon Goeth, the commandant of Plaszow concentration camp near Krakow.
My mother had told me nothing, but I did not grow up with my mother - she gave me up as a very small child.
A few weeks after I was born I was put in a children's home where I sometimes saw my mother. Then I grew up in a foster family that adopted me when I was seven years old. So I saw my mother until the age of seven but after that we had no contact - except for once.
This was when I was in my 20s and she probably did not tell me anything at this point because she wanted to protect me - she thought it would be better if I did not know about my real past, about the truth, about my family, about my grandfather.
I was completely shocked when I found out - it was like the carpet was ripped from under my feet.
I couldn't do anything. I went home, I took the book with me, and at home I read it cover to cover. There were details about my mother, my grandmother and my grandfather, Amon Goeth.
I slowly started to understand the impact of what I had read. Growing up as an adopted child I did not know anything about my past, or only very very little. Then to be confronted with information like this was so overwhelming.
It was weeks, a month, until I really started to recover.
I think if I had known all of this when I was younger, it would have been easier because I would have had a chance to integrate it into my life. Getting the information so spontaneously, so out of the blue, it was almost impossible to make it fit in with my understanding of who I am.
It was very distressing to know that Amon Goeth and I are genetically linked. I feel part of it, but still there is a distance - which is a difference between me and my mother, because she grew up with her own mother (with my grandmother) and for her it was difficult to leave the past behind.
I have tried not to leave the past behind but put it in a place where it belongs, which means not to ignore it, but not to let it overshadow my life.
I am not a reflection of this part of my family story but I am still very connected to it. I try to find a way to integrate it into my life.
It is a story that is very unique and very unusual, and a story that has a deeper meaning. It is more about the universal question of how to deal with the weight of the past on the present - and it should show that it is possible to gain personal freedom from the past.


Politics as usual: President Obama blames GOP for government shutdown.....

CC Video Highlight

Nigeria: How far we've come at 53.....

President Goodluck Jonathan
CC Headliner

Exactly 53 years today, Nigeria gained independence from Britain thus "ending" 46 years of colonial rule. 

Nigeria was born on January 1, 1914, following the amalgamation of the then Southern and Northern Protectorates by Lord Fredrick Lugard.

The country owes its independence to the struggles of late nationalists such as Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, among others. These great men of vision spearheaded the movement for Nigeria's independence from the shackles of colonialism and imperialism.

Another prominent figure, the late Chief Anthony Enahoro moved the motion for Nigerian's independence on the floor of the House of Representatives. Though he had proposed independence for Nigeria in 1959, the Northern members of the House were opposed to the motion on the grounds that the North was not ready. The clause, stipulating a date for independence was later substituted with another clause: "As soon as possible."

Eventually, the country gained independence from colonial rule on October 1, 1960 after about 15 years of agitation for self-rule.

Nigeria started off as a federation with three regions: East, West and North, as the federating units and a parliamentary system of government. Today, it is a presidential democracy with 36 States in the existing structure of the democratic dispensation.

Blessed with an abundance of human and material resources, Nigeria showed so much promise at independence. It was taken for granted that within a few years, the country would become a global leader, both politically and economically. 

But that is one hope that has seemingly failed to materialize thus far. The country never truly took off before various crises started dogging its path soon after independence. And since independence, it has been a tortuous ride.

In its 53 years of existence since independence from Great Britain on October 1st, 1960, the nation has weathered nine military coups (including Abacha's palace coup that overthrew Sonekan's interim government), three alleged coups, countless assassinations of its leaders, individual personalities (human rights proponents) and key political figures, debilitating corruption (that has resulted in the loss of over $500 billion between 1966 and 2013) and an ever increasing general state of insecurity and lawlessness from the highest levels of government to various factional (ethnic) groups, ostensibly being used by corrupt regional leaders to advance their incendiary interests.  

As a norm, elections have been massively rigged by political groups, to the disconcerting dismay of both local and foreign observers, the Nigerian masses included. Furthermore, besides the absence of strong institutions, the country's lack of requisite infrastructure needed to engender positive development, has been an enduring problem.

It is therefore little wonder that many (including foreign interests) continue to view the nation as an underachieving edifice, what with its abundant natural and human resources, the latter resorting to exporting their technical and other unique abilities overseas, to the benefit of mostly western nations, including the United States.

While one needs to remain hopeful that somehow, the tide surely must turn in the right direction; the current political landscape remains a source of disturbing concern as Nigeria's current leadership has shown itself not only grossly inept at the most basic function of leadership, but also extremely bereft of innovative and industrious ideas, needed to move the nation and its over 170 million people forward.

Nigerians, from all works of life and all corners of the earth must therefore resolve (regardless of ethnic, religious and other politically created "differences") to truly stand up and be counted.

Failure to do so can only lead to the ultimate death of a promise and a future that seemed so glorious and definitive, just over half-a-century ago.


Sanusi Lamido's tenure as Central Bank Governor and monetary policy

CC Introspective

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will vacate his position as the chieftain of the country’s apex bank, within the next year. He showed no interest in asking for the renewal of his job when the first term elapses in 2014. 
Sanusi's policies have without doubt contributed to the macro-economic stability of Nigeria's economy. But his tenure has been a contentious one as some of his undertakings have not gone down well with the "establishment."

However, with the monetary tool at his disposal, he has managed to maintain a fairly stable monetary policy. By lowering inflation, Sanusi established and was able to maintain much-needed price stability. A reasonable price stability will of course be taken for what it is within the context of Nigeria’s reality; considering the economy is largely an import-oriented economy with oil still a major source of foreign exchange. 
When Sanusi came in, there was financial instability and liquidity crunch, which was  triggered by poor management especially within the banking system (much of which was over-laden with toxic debts). He was able to reform the failed banks and re-capitalized them.  Sanusi performed a delicate task of infusing capital into the banking sector without overheating the economy. 
Although he was successful with the fixing of the banks, the inflation rate was not immediately suppressed.
He promised to reduce inflation (a rather tall order in light of the pervading economic climate) but this was eventually accomplished with inflation rates ultimately at less than ten percent.
The tightening of monetary tools may have brought down the inflation rate, but the downside was the high interest rate that stood at over 12 percent. While high interest rates may be attractive to investors in the capital market, it is not conducive to sustainable economic growth as it tends to discourage borrowing and dampen over-all economic growth. 
In reality, with regard to an import-oriented and oil-based economy, the power of monetary policy may be limited and even unsustainable. The best possible paradigm is to get the monetary and fiscal policies to be at worst, complimentary. This is where the intervention of the executive and legislative branches becomes imperative. The complementary objective is to fashion out a pro-growth tax policy while building requisite infrastructure, in order to engender economic growth and achieve desired macro-economic stability. 
The answer to the economic problems may be found in the fiscal policy. The executive and law makers must work together to implement policies that help stimulate the economy and encourage investors to infuse capital into the economy. The tax policy that is favorable for investment and repatriation of capital are necessary to make the economy grow faster and maintain momentum. Lower taxes and meaningful regulations are also needed to help guard against economic regression.
Moderation in taxes and logical regulations with regard to fiscal policy may open the door to a steady and faster economic growth. The provision of durable infrastructure, especially electricity and security, also hold the key to sustainable economic growth.
Sanusi’s tenure was not all rosy; as some of his signature achievements including the introduction of Islamic banking were downright controversial. The opponents of Islamic banking argued that Nigeria's constitution is secular, hence the introduction of Islamic banking only serves to reinforce sectarian politics. But Sanusi stood his ground and judiciously defended the premise of Islamic banking in Nigeria.
Furthermore, Sanusi's support for the removal of fuel subsidies did not go down well with most Nigerians especially the large chunk of the country's poor who subsist on less than two dollars a day. The danger they perceived with the removal of the subsidies were confirmed when the removal was partially implemented. 

The prices of household products went up, transportation fares and prices of petroleum products went even further beyond the reach of the average Nigerian. Even inflation rates were briefly higher than anticipated and all these slowed down, if not muted  the full implementation of fuel subsidies removal. 
Sanusi will hope to leave behind a stable monetary policy although the work of macro-economic stability is beyond the limited function of the Central Bank Governor. When fiscal and monetary policy becomes complimentary, a more stable, successful and sustainable economy becomes the result.

The next few months of Sanusi's tenure as Central Bank Governor will ostensibly further solidify his legacy as he has always been his own person with a resolve and principled consistency never seen from someone in that position, however "controversial" some of his actions might be.


President Goodluck Jonathan misses his speaking slot at AU 50th Anniversary event.....

CC Video Insight

With over 50 African heads of states and other international dignitaries in attendance, a call went out for President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria to address the special session of the African Union. 

You must have heard that President Goodluck Jonathan missed his speaking slot at the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in Addis Ababa. But do you know what the president was doing when he missed his slot? Dr. Damages brings you video clips of what "actually happened".....

Hint: Lighthearted Comedy

Oputa Panel Moment: Major Hamza al-Mustapha talks about the death of Chief M.K.O. Abiola

CC Video Insight

Major Hamza al-Mustapha was cross examined at the Human Right Violation Investigation Commission (HRVIC) - Oputa Panel on the death of Chief MKO Abiola. He aggressively responded to the counsel. 

Major Hamza al-Mustapha was the Chief Security Officer of General Sani Abacha, military dictator from November 1993 to June 1998. After Abacha's death he was arrested and tried for murder and attempted murder.


Former IMF Chief and alleged "pimp" now head of investment firm.....

Disgraced Former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn
CC Insight

Former IMF Chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has been named head of an investment firm, marking another step in the business comeback of a man whose career and French Presidential hopes were ruined by a sex scandal.

The 64-year-old economist, who fronted IMF rescue of debt-crushed countries in his time at the helm, was forced to quit the Washington-based public lender in 2011, after a New York hotel maid accused him of sexual assault.

He has since settled a civil case instituted by the maid, after criminal charges were dropped, but now awaits trial in France over a separate affair– where he faces pimping charges over sex parties he attended.

He denies any wrongdoing.

In a statement published by his public relations aide, the man known to many as DSK said he had been appointed President of an investment firm with operations in finance centers  including Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Belgium, Israel and Romania.

It said that the firm, founded by French banker, Thierry Leyne, in 1994, will undergo a name change from the current Anatevka to LSK - Leyne, Strauss-Kahn and Partners (hopefully not pimping partners).

Strauss-Kahn will develop its investment banking and debt-restructuring activities.

Strauss-Kahn has used his IMF experience and reputation as a talented economist to rebuild a career in finance, as an adviser to the governments of Serbia and South Sudan, as well as Russian and Moroccan banks.