Saturday

CORONAVIRUS: How an Italian migrant imported the disease into Nigeria and the race to curtail its spread

CC™ Global Health News

In a near replay of the July 20, 2014 Ebola Virus Disease episode when Liberian Patrick Sawyer imported the Ebola virus into the country undetected through the Muritala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, an Italian national has imported the COVID-19 virus into the country through the same airport on February 25th 2020.

The Federal Ministry of Health and the Lagos State Ministry of Health had, in early hours of Friday February 28th, confirmed the case in Lagos. It is the first case of COVID-19 to be reported in Nigeria and in sub-Sahara Africa and the third in Africa after Egypt and Algeria since the outbreak occurred in China in December 2019.

Lagos state Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, told reporters during an emergency press briefing in Lagos on Friday, that the index case – a consultant with Larfarge Cement Company, Ewekoro, Ogun State - came into Nigeria on the 25th of February from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit.

According to Abayomi, the patient, a traveller, initiated his journey from Milan, Italy, on Monday, 24th February, transited through Istanbul on-board a Turkish Airline aircraft and arrived Lagos on Tuesday night, spent the night in an hotel near the airport and on Tuesday morning, he moved on to his business in Ogun State, a corporate entity.

"He carried out his business within Ogun State within the confines of the company. And on Wednesday he spent the night in their accommodation, a guest house. By the afternoon, he started to develop symptoms of high fever and body pains. He presented through the company medical facility, where investigation began. He gave a history of his origin of Italy, where we know there is a young outbreak."

Abayomi said it was astute of the medical personnel to keep him over night in an isolated environment.

"They contacted us at the biosecurity unit in Lagos for assistance and we immediately asked them to transfer the case to Lagos. He was brought to our high containment facility in Yaba on Thursday morning. Immediately, he arrived, he was put in strict isolation and appropriate tests were ordered.
Lagos responds promptly, begins contact tracing - Prof Akin Abayomi

"Within hours we received signals that the test in the laboratory was showing signs of positivity. At that point, we informed the Federal Minister of Health, the incident commander in the state, Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Minister informed higher authorities in Abuja.

Noting that it was self important at that time to put together information for the public, Abayomi stated that the patient remains in strict isolation at the containment facility in Yaba and was doing well with supportive therapy.

In response to the development, the Lagos state government immediately started tracing persons that might have had contact with the index case from the airport through Lagos to Ogun State. According to Abayomi, this is important in order to start the isolation and containment of exercise that will break the cycle of transmission of the disease. He said Lagos has set in motion efforts to expand its isolation capacity.

"The important thing to know is that the patient is confined and we have started to identify his contacts all the way to the airline. That process started about 3.00am this morning. We would like to assure everybody that we are on this case to ensure that we can identify everybody that he must have come into contact with.

"His symptoms are subsiding and he does not have signs of respiratory disease which is a good thing, but he does have fever and body pains. If he had respiratory illness it is probably like that he may be more contagious than he is at the moment.

"At our infectious disease facility, we have ramped up capacity to isolate suspected cases. We are now sitting on an about 80-bed isolation facility because of the emergency funds that have been released by the incident commander. We need more capacity in case we have an increased number of cases in Lagos."

Abayomi said Lagos has a very aggressive public awareness campaign going on and has engaged in extensive training across the hierarchy of health professionals in Lagos.

"In addition we are building capacity to diagnose in Lagos and right now we can run the test in two centres in Lagos, one is in the biosecurity facility and the other at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH. We are in constant contact with the Nigeria centre for Diseases Control, NCDC, and Minister of Health in Abuja."

Officials of the Port health services on ground at the airport were unable to detect that the Italian was carrying the virus because he manifested no symptoms. The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, explained that it was not a failure of screening. At an emergency press briefing in Abuja on Friday morning, he told journalists that most people who are infected with the coronavirus, may experience only mild illness and recover easily.

"It is not a failure of screening because coronavirus symptoms may not manifest within the first several days, so the person that is infected may not show any signs at all within the first few days or five days and then the symptoms begin. So if that person has traveled within that window, that person gets through anywhere and may not be noticed.

According to Ehanire: " The Italian went through the screening without symptoms and by the time he got to his house, I think a day or two after, he started to feel unwell and wisely enough he went to a hospital and there the doctors examined him and I believe they found that malaria was negative and they knew his travel history and they immediately referred him for a test in Lagos at LUTH testing centre and there it was discovered that he was positive for coronavirus and immediately put under isolation. In fact he has been put on isolation from the referral hospital in a special ambulance.

"As a matter of fact we need to commend the hospital for thinking ahead, not wasting time and taking necessary measures and commend Lagos state government for responding very appropriately. There was free thinking on the side of the hospital and on the side of the driver to transport him under those special conditions to the Federal infectious disease hospital in Lagos. He has immediately been put under very strict isolation, receiving treatment and the information I have this very morning is that he is stable.

"The symptoms for people will not be equally severe. And in fact there are speculations that up to 80 percent of people who get the coronavirus infection may show only mild symptoms or none and 20 percent will get very severe symptoms but all this is still under investigation. As we know this novel coronavirus even if it is new, it's behaviour is not very clear and there is a rapid flow of information coming up about it which is just beginning to enlighten the public. The scientists are working very hard to know more about it".

On tracing of the contacts, Ehanire said; "We are looking at all those people whom this man has been in touch with backwards from the day he was admitted. The first point of call whenever anybody enters the country is the Port Health services.

The Port Health services will be working with the airline to get the passengers manifest and find out where this gentleman was, and also where he sat and also those who sat around him and set up a monitoring system for all passengers and the crew members of that particular flight in order to get information to monitor their state of health within the next 14 days.

And further questioning of the gentleman will also reveal to us where he was and all the places he went. All we know now is that he came from Milan where he was before' it doesn't seem that he ever was in China. So he may have acquired it as a form of community infection from his own country."

Speaking on the issue of quarantining of travelers, Ehanire recalled that the World Health Organisation, WHO, has advised all countries that there is no need to put every single traveler into quarantine.

"There are some other countries who choose to do differently but we follow the guidelines of the WHO which say that screen all persons who are entering your country, check their travel history, if they are coming from a country that has a high rate of coronavirus, invite them for further questioning, give them a phone number to call and take their phone number and advise them in the interest of their own families and friends to stay in self isolation for 14 days and report any symptoms immediately.

"Not only that, if you do not call, we call you and find out how you are and if you have any suspicious symptoms we send an ambulance to get you. Our focus is on the multifunctional international airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Kano. Enugu Airport has been closed and I understand it will be opened very soon but we are also preparing for that possibility.

According to the Minister, the level of preparedness continues to improve in Nigeria every day. "Training is going on, the people that we call the port health workers are receiving training, they are visited by the NCDC to continue to sharpen their skills, preparedness, and knowledge. We are constantly looking at where there are weaknesses. Even the forms the passengers fill when they arrive we continue upgrading, immediately we discover that there is a gap some where we upgrade it and repair the gaps that are in there. So everything is been done to improve preparedness and improve ability to respond rapidly.

VANGUARD

Friday

CC™ Flashback: Every bad encounter with a white person does not constitute racism.....

Dr. Akabogu-Collins
By Dr. Akabogu-Collins

..... But as they add up, run-ins become harder to see past. 

Before delving into this sumptuous piece by Dr. May Akabogu-Collins, a Nigerian-American economics professor as well as freelance writer, it is rather timely to note that while the afore-headlined article will be the main crux of my piece, in reading her entries, she also talks about the "prejudices" harbored by African immigrants against African-Americans and how over time, she has come to realize that the majority culture does not necessarily view blacks from a nationality perspective, but essentially as one-in-and-of-the-same. 


In her piece "Coming to Black America" she states with regard to her initial prejudiced opinions about African-Americans....


"My sister Agnes was visiting from Harvard Law School in 1989. At that time, I was a doctoral student of economics at USC and we were strolling through the streets of Korea-town that summer of 1989. We entered a video store and were excited to find a copy of the movie "Coming to America". What do we need to rent a movie? Agnes asked the cashier. The Korean cashier then told us to hold on for a minute while she disappeared to the backroom to ostensibly ask what it would take to get this done. Moments later, she emerged from the backroom and said in a thick accent.... Sorry, only Koreans. Not even the owner of the store could accede to our desire to rent the movie in question as he declared: One hundred dollars cash deposit and you leave license here."
This experience made her realize that the Korean, much like the Caucasian did not exactly see her as different from the African-American as her equally ignorant (much like the Korean store owner and attendant) father had told would be the case as she prepared to come to the United States in the early eighties, saying:

"If you look for racism in America, you'll find it. But prove to them that you are a tribal African, not one of those addle-brained former slaves. And do steer away from them; they're nothing but trouble."
"But the Korean video store was a turning point. As a target of old-fashioned explicit racism, for the first time I felt the rage and frustration of black Americans. As I watched Korea-town go up in flames during the L.A. riots of 1992, I understood the motivation."

You can read more on her piece "Coming to Black America" on her page, it is quite a read and shows how we all have a prejudiced bone in our bodies, and it is only to the extent that we either nurture or regulate it that determines through which prism we view not only our world, but the world around us.
Now to the original piece I wanted to talk about, Dr. Collins talks about her aggregate experiences in the United States as both an intellectual and a black person. She talks about how the same father who had a well nurtured but debilitatingly ignorant opinion of African-Americans was the first to intimate her of the need to not view every encounter with a white person in America as racism. Quite an irony and the various twists and turns in her piece (reproduced with permission) below would go to show, it is not really quite as simple as that.
"Vista, Calif. – I was about to kick my white neighbor out of my house. Then the memory of my dad's voice intercepted me.
In 1980, when I was coming to America from Nigeria to attend grad school, my father told me, "Not every unpleasant encounter with a Caucasian constitutes racism. It might just be ignorance – stupidity, in fact."
When I arrived at the University of Southern California, the dynamics of black-white politics were still alien. That first semester, I received the highest score on a test. As he handed back my paper, the professor publicly announced, : "You surprised me; I kept slowing down for you, thinking you were lost." A compliment, I thought.
"An insult," said a classmate later. "The professor had presumed you were dumb because you're black." I wasn't convinced. But events moved on. Sometimes preposterously.
A year later, I was walking back to my hotel room in Baltimore when another hotel guest stuck her head out her room and addressed me: "I need extra soap and a towel." I smiled and replied, "Me, too." At that point, she flushed and disappeared. I chalked it up to rational discrimination.
Soon after grad school, I arrived at a college for an interview and introduced myself as "Dr. Collins." The secretary replied, "And I'm the president." She later apologized profusely, adding, "You look too young to be a PhD." "It's the melanin," I deadpanned, adding with a wink, "Black don't crack." She cracked up.
Never having been a target of old-fashioned, explicit racism, I still couldn't distinguish between imaginary and real racism. That changed when my sister and I entered a video store in Korea Town in Los Angeles. We were excited to find the Eddie Murphy comedy, "Coming to America." The clerk, without batting an eye, announced unequivocally, "Only Koreans." That was the turning point in my assimilation to my new environment.
For the first time, I felt the frustration of being black in America. "It's an Asian thing," a friend explained later. "They tend to be clannish." For a while I shunned Asians – and consorted with Caucasians.
In Africa we attended the same schools as the Caucasians. There was no built-up animosity and, I suppose, the Caucasians in West Africa never had a reason to draw racial lines or feel superior. Hence, I had no self-consciousness among Caucasians. The O.J. Simpson verdict in 1995, however, changed all that.
I was the only black professor at a small college in Pennsylvania. When I heard my all-white colleagues denouncing the verdict at the department lounge, I stepped outside my office to join them. The lounge immediately went silent. Everyone froze, like a still frame in a movie, and the tableau resonated with the unspoken, "You're black, therefore..." I spun on my heel and fled campus.
I'd spent 15 years in America resisting racializing my feelings, but that incident at the faculty lounge gave me a new pair of glasses.
In San Diego 10 years later, as I was walking my dogs (Akitas) one Monday morning, I encountered an elderly white woman. "They are absolutely gorgeous!" she declared. Before I could thank her, she added, "Are they yours?"
Here's the thing: After 25 years in America, as such encounters accumulate, subconsciously, resentments also accumulate. "Fat chance," I replied, "I'm dog-sitting for a rich white family." And I strode away wondering if I was becoming racially paranoid.
I was still wondering that when my white neighbor knocked on my door that same day. She was having an off day, so she took the day off and came over to vent. "It's like," she began, tears welling. "How can I put it? I feel like I've little black people inside my stomach."
Huh? I'd had three little black people inside my belly and those were the happiest months of my life. So what could I say?
"What do you mean?"
A litany of woes ensued: hubby's worsening Alzheimer's, facing foreclosure, teenage turmoil – my mind strayed.
Black market, black sheep, Black October, Black Sunday, black Monday, black weekend, the blackest day in history (9/11). Granted, those held no racial connotations – they were just terms for bad things.
People having a bad day often say they're having a black day. But little black people in her stomach? Why, that's racist! I should just kick her out, I thought. Then I heard my father's voice: "It might just be ignorance...."
"Hel-lo-o?" my neighbor reeled in my attention. "Yeah, I'm listening," I said.
She continued, but my mind kept wandering: Had I just been insulted? Should I demand an apology at least? Or was I becoming one of those "overly sensitive blacks" – you know, the ones who criticized David Howard, a former Washington, D.C., mayoral aide, for saying "niggardly" (which means "miserly") at a budget discussion in 1999?
I still can't, be certain, of course. And I'm still not convinced that kicking my neighbor out would've been wrong. Yet, I'm bothered that my feelings are now colored by race.
I now empathize with blacks born here who, due to the country's history, are sensitive to these issues. But at the same time, I sympathize with the uninformed whites who must watch their language lest they inadvertently offend our sensibilities.
That's where America is. And until whites make the extra effort to understand the source of "black rage," that's where America will remain.
Why didn't I approach my neighbor later to tell her that I felt insulted by her metaphor?
I was afraid she would consider me "overly sensitive," and that it might cause a strain between us. Race discussion is uncomfortable. And that's exactly the problem in America – the lack of trust between blacks and whites and hence the inability to engage in an open and frank discussion about the causes and effects of racism that can clarify our different reactions to the same racial landscape.
As President Obama has said, for America to progress, both blacks and whites must listen to one another with an open mind. Only then can we understand where the other is coming from. Yet it has to come from our hearts. And that requires mutual trust.
Blacks must be able to talk to whites about their fears and resentments without presuming that whites would consider them racially paranoid.
Whites must trust that blacks won't label them racists for expressing their frustrations. This is the way toward a more racially tolerant America. And in order to get there, we must be open with ourselves and compassionate with others.
Until then, these incidents will proceed with black – oops – bleak predictability: Ignorant white says something racially insensitive. Sensitive blacks overreact. And we're all tired of that broken record."

Tuesday

Amọtẹkun: Tinubu's atavistic balderdash and the suspension of good governance into the abyss of tyranny

Bola Ahmed Tinubu
CC™ Viewpoint - By Editor-in-Chief

It was not only inevitable, but also predictable that the purported heir to the legacy of the legendary Yoruba and African sage (Chief Obafemi Awolowo) would speak at some point on the establishment of Amọtẹkun, the Western Nigeria Security Network. 

Many in Western Nigeria had been clamouring for him to state his position on the establishment of the regional community security outfit, but this writer never held his breath as I knew it would be a waste of time.

Why? Some would ask and the answer is quite clear. Bola Ahmed Tinubu's agenda is and has always been his own; inordinate, self-centered, lacking in vision and essentially subject to myopic revision, including sacrificing the future of the Yoruba race on the altar of personal ambition and self aggrandizement.

When the response finally came, I and others with a more realistic outlook on things were not disappointed. Instead, we were vindicated in our expectation that it would be exactly the way it came out. Steeped in self absorption, flippantly disregarding arrogance, and light on veritable substance and decisive cogency.

For anyone to have expected anything less than the jaundiced chattercrawl offered by the self proclaimed Asiwaju, would amount to suspending the genetically predisposed spectre of muted expectations when dealing with the likes of Tinubu, into the abyss of great expectations.

For those who continue to hope above all hope and continue to be disappointed, please note this cautionary tale; Bola Tinubu is no Obafemi Awolowo and would never qualify for the singular honor of sagehood, even if satan himself was the arbiter of that designation.

The current APC regime under the rudderless stewardship of the Fulani irredentist, Muhammadu Buhari, is the most evil regime in the contentious history of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Amọtẹkun is the perfect checkmate to the clandestine designs of the three headed Fulani jihadist insurgency presided over by the Sultan of Sokoto, Nasir El Rufai and President Muhammadu Buhari.

That the so-called Asiwaju preferred to punt (in American football parlance) rather than affirm a commitment to the true ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) is emblematic of the leadership dearth that has not only befallen the Yoruba nation, but the national landscape as a whole.

For the avoidance of doubt, this current mal-administration is the most corrupt, blood-thirsty and inhumane in Nigeria's history and unless there is a formidable resistance against the draconian proclivities of Buhari's murderous marauders, the future of Nigeria's corporate existence as a nation hangs perilously in a balance.

That any Northern figure would even utter the sligtest semblance of opposition to the formation of Amọtẹkun should tell you that they have lost their collective minds and do not wish well for the Yoruba race and Nigeria as a whole. With the formation of the Hisbah Corps, among other supposed regional and state security outfits in Northern Nigeria, not to mention the adoption of full fledged Sharia law (against the letter of the Nigerian Constitution in response to a Christian President at the time), one wonders where these rabid dogs and ethno-religious bigots got the gall and untoward temerity to deprive others of the right to self defense!

One has never witnessed the level of insecurity we see in Nigeria today and the trurh remains that President Muhammadu Buhari has been unresponsive (by design) to the murderous activities of his kinsmen, the Fulani Herdsmen. Worse still, the continued release of Boko Haram fighters for supposed reabilitation constitutes a slap in the face to the families of soldiers and civilians who have lost their loved ones to the animals claiming religion as justification for their heinous crimes. 

Buhari has not only failed to address the growing insecurity in the nation, his administration has also championed the activities of corrupt politicians, provided they are members of the ruling APC.

The United States government recently kicked against the possible release of soon-to-be repatriated stolen Abacha loot to one of the most corrupt leaders in Northern Nigeria, Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State. 

According to Bloomberg News, the U.S. Department of Justice says Bagudu was involved in corruption with Abacha. The DoJ also contends that the Nigerian government is hindering U.S. efforts to recover allegedly laundered money it says it’s traced to Bagudu. The DoJ said in a Feb. 3 statement that Bagudu, 58, was part of a network controlled by Abacha that “embezzled, misappropriated and extorted billions from the government of Nigeria.” Bagudu is the chairman of an influential body of governors representing the ruling All Progressives Congress.

So much then for the so-called anti-corruption crusade as Nigeria's case has become that of having the thieves watch themselves. 

The Southwest Governors must not back down in this fight to secure the future and prosperity of the Yoruba race against the clandestine plots of its enemies, including those from within. The Governors will be held accountable by the Yoruba masses and they will have no place under the sun to hide from, should they sell the Yoruba race to Tinubu and his co-horts. 

Buhari has always been a failure. He was redeployed during the Nigerian Civil War after the group he oversaw suffered serious casualties in the 4 Sector (Onitsha region) at the hands of Biafran forces. As a soldier and a person, he has always been a fraud and has masked his incompetence, bigotry and wickedness with polymeric platitudes that only the truly discerning can see. Even this writer was fooled but fool me twice, shame on me!

The die is cast and Nigeria is at a crossroads. Muhammadu Buhari may indeed be the last President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Enough is enough!

Monday

Former Nigerian Minister: Obama and Hillary have blood on their hands for 'helping Boko Haram'.....

CC™ Viewpoint - By Anthony Murdoch

A former Nigerian Minister has called out former U.S. President Barack Obama along with Hillary Clinton for their “sheer wickedness” in helping terrorist group Boko Haram by “funding and supporting” the 2015 election of the country’s current leader who, after being elected, canceled contracts to eradicate the terrorists.


Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Nigerian Minister of Culture and Tourism, and Aviation, said that Obama and Clinton, along with John Kerry have “blood...on their hands.” 
“What Obama, John Kerry and Hilary [sic] Clinton did to Nigeria by funding and supporting [Muhammadu] Buhari in the 2015 presidential election and helping Boko Haram in 2014/2015 was sheer wickedness and the blood of all those killed by the Buhari administration, his Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram over the last 5 years are on their hands,” Fani-Kayode stated in a Feb. 12 Facebook post. Fani-Kayode does not clarify what part Clinton, who was U.S. Secretary of State only until 2013, may have played in Buhari’s election. 
Local Catholic archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze recently sounded the alarm that much of the blood being spilled comes in the form of religious persecution against Christians. 
Fani-Kayode stated that had Donald Trump been president of America in 2015, matters “would have been very different.”
“Boko Haram would have been history and the Fulani herdsmen would never have seen the light of day,” he said.
Fani-Kayode backed up his claims by highlighting a recent interview from a former military contractor Eeben Barlow whose company was hired to eradicate Muslim terrorists from Nigeria. 
Barlow, chairman of a private army group called “Specialised Tasks, Training, Equipment and Protection International,” said in a Jan. 5 interview with Aljazeera that he was subcontracted in 2014 with assisting the Nigerian government under then-president Goodluck Jonathan to help eradicate the Boko Haram threat. 
In the interview, Barlow says that one of the first acts of the then-new President Buhari in 2015 was to terminate his contract.  He also said that Buhari’s presidential campaign was funded by the US government under President Barack Obama.
“In one month, we took back terrain larger than Belgium from Boko Haram. We were not allowed to finish because it came at a time when governments were in the process of changing, said Barlow. 
“The incoming President, President Buhari was heavily supported by a foreign government, and one of the first missions was to terminate our contract.”
When asked by the interviewer to name who the foreign government was, Barlow responded: “Yes, we were told it was the United States, and they had actually funded President Buhari’s campaign. The campaign manager for President Buhari came from the US, and I am not saying the United States is bad, I understand foreign interests, but I would have thought that a threat such as Boko Haram on the integrity of the state of Nigeria ought to be actually a priority. It wasn't.”
Fani-Kayode interpreted Barlow’s comments as an affirmation that Obama and Clinton share responsibility for the terrorism and bloodshed taking place in Nigeria today. 
“This man (the military contractor) has spoken the bitter truth. I said it at the time and throughout the 2015 presidential campaign but Nigerians would not listen,” said Fani-Kayode
“Those of you that still love the evil called Barack Obama should listen to this and tell me if you still do,” added Fani-Kayode.
Fani-Kayode worked as the campaign chief for the former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, in his failed bid to get re-elected as President in 2015. Jonathan was President from 2010 to 2015. Muhammandu Buhari won the 2015 Nigerian election and was recently re-elected in 2019 to a second term. He also served as the head of the Supreme Military Council (military government) of Nigeria from 1983 to 1985, after grabbing power in a military coup d'état. 
Terrorism, which includes the persecution of Christians, has been on-going in Nigeria for years. The Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram has wreaked havoc in the country’s northern and middle belt region. Earlier in the month, about 5 million Christians across Nigeria protested the recent murder of well-known Pastor, Lawan Andimi. He was kidnapped and then murdered by Boko Haram on January 20.  
One of Boko Haram’s most well-known acts of terrorism in Nigeria was the 2014 kidnapping of the Chibok schoolgirls. Boko Haram kidnapped over 250 girls ranging in age from 16-18 from a Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok. The kidnappers forced the girls to convert to Islam and took them hostage as sex slaves. As of today, only 112 of the girls taken have been freed. 
The Muslim Fulani herders are also responsible for attacks against mostly Christians in other regions of the African nation. According to Open Doors USA’s 2019 World Watch List, Nigeria places as the 12th worst country in the world for the persecution of Christians. 
Recently, the president of the Nigerian Catholic bishops’ conference, Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze, called on western nations to do more to make people aware of the persecution of Christians and others taking place in Nigeria. 
In his interview, Barlow notes that he finds it inexplicable that the United Nations, “has sat and watched people get slaughtered and not gone to their rescue.” 
He also added that he finds it hard to buy the argument that securing peace in an area the size of Africa is impossible, saying: “I cannot understand how people can claim that they want to secure peace and bring about peace when they watch people being slaughtered. People cannot tell me that the area is too big to control, that is absolute nonsense. And if people say that, they are really trying to cover their real inability to do their jobs.” 
Barlow later added the reason for the need for private armies is due to the United Nations not doing their job, saying: “Private Military companies would not be necessary if national armies and the United Nations were actually able to, actually fulfill their mandates. So, I don’t think the world should lay the blame before us. They should go and look why we exist.” 
In 2015, then former U.S. Congressman Steve Stockman said that Obama was deliberately holding back helping the Nigerian government from defeating Boko Haram, because of Nigeria’s opposition to same-sex “marriage.” 
When Goodluck Jonathan was President of Nigeria, he signed into law the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, in early 2014. It was met with an outcry from the Obama administration. Nigeria’s bishops gave their support for the law. 
The law enacts a 14-year prison term to anyone who joins a “same-sex marriage contract or civil union”, as well as those who aid or help such actions. It also bans gay clubs and organizations, as well as any public demonstrations of fondness between homosexuals. 
The Nigerian Bishops have also been critical of the Buhari government, saying they are not doing anything to aid the affected regions that are under attack from the terrorist groups. One Bishop, Matthew Hassan Kukah, recently said that the government of Nigeria is, “using the levers of power to secure the supremacy of Islam.” 
In April of 2019, Archbishop Matthew Man-oso Ndagoso from northwest Nigeria warned about the on-going persecution of Christians. He said that “Christians are being killed like chickens,” and that there was little time to act to help stop the atrocities. 
At the time, Archbishop Ndagoso appealed to the Trump administration, as well as to the world in general for help, saying: “Any person, any organization, any institution that has influence: let this influence be used for the common good. And right now, let that influence be used for the common good of so that peace may reign in our country. This is my call.” 
Buhari met with Trump in 2018, a meeting at which Trump promised his government would work to end the massacre of Christians in Nigeria. 
In a Feb. 15 open letter to Buhari, Fani-Kayode urged him to take the situation in Nigeria seriously, calling him out directly for what he says is inaction in fighting Boko Haram.  
“I have written it because our nation is entering into dangerous and precarious waters and I sense that something will give very soon,” said Fani-Kayode in the letter. 
“Over the last 5 years hundreds of thousands have died under your watch and virtually all have been killed by those from your core northern region. You turned a blind eye to it and even encouraged it. Today belongs to you but let me assure you that tomorrow belongs to those of us that you have killed, persecuted, oppressed and treated with disdain and contempt,” the letter states. 
Source - Lifesite News
Contact information:
Pete Baklinski contributed to this report

Sunday

The Gypsy King eviscerates the Bronze Bomber as the bully gets bullied by the crafty pugilist

Fury (L) dominated the fight and bullied the bully
CC™ Breaking Sportswire

It was bound to happen eventually. At some point, Deontay Wilder's lack of true boxing pedigree and his penchant for depending on his only potent arsenal, the 'big right hand', was bound to catch up with him. 

Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, it did, and in being exposed as raw, unpolished and seriously deficient in the rudimentary attributes of the sweet science, Wilder lost something even more critical than his WBC title belt; he lost the aura of invincibility that had aided him in his assault on the heavyweight division. 

That aura of invincibiity and intimidation, he may never get back and if he thinks I am full of hot air, he may want to ask someone who was better skilled than him by eons about that, yes, the legendary Mike Tyson. Tyson was never the same after the shock loss to Buster Douglas, also in February, 30 years ago in Tokyo.

Unlike the Tyson loss that was a shocker, this actually was not as any true student of the sweet science of boxing familiar with Fury's skill set, would have seen this coming, particularly after watching what Fury did to Wilder in the last fight, with little or no preparation. This time, not only did Fury have enough time to prepare, but he also changed trainers and came in with the right tactical approach and weight that ensured the total dominance he had on this night. 

In the end, Fury taught Wilder a lesson, one I hope Wilder learns from and ultimately motivates him to go back to the basics and become a true student of the sport. Boxing is not MMA. In the sweet science of boxing, the true artist eventually owns the canvas and ultimately decides what the finished piece looks like. The finished piece on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena was not pleasing to the eye for the fans of Deontay Wilder, but it was for the sport of boxing. 

Wilder may want to think twice about triggering that rematch clause as Fury is essentially a bad match-up for him. 

Saturday

Oluwo of Iwo suspended by Osun Monarchs' council for six months.....

Osun State Governor A. Oyetola
CC™ Nigeria News

.....he should have been suspended for much longer and the Osun State Governor should look into deposing this thug masquerading as a royal father. 

The Osun State Traditional Rulers' Council, yesterday, suspended the Oluwo of Iwo Kingdom, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, for six months for allegedly assaulting a fellow monarch, Agbowu of Ogbaagbaa, Oba Dhikrulahi Akinropo. The council also constituted a committee headed by Orangun of Ila, Oba Wahab Adedotun, to further investigate the tussle involving Oluwo and Obas in Iwo land.

The royal fathers at their emergency meeting held at the Osun State Government Secretariat, Abeere, presided over by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, arrived at the decision to suspend Oba Akanbi.Oba Akanbi has, however, declared his suspension by the council as porous and lacking logic. 

He accused the council of toeing a political line during the meeting. Speaking on the development on behalf of the 15 aggrieved monarchs in Iwo land, the Onigege of Igege, Oba Kazeem Adio Orioye, lauded the resolve of the council, saying more proactive steps needed to be taken by the state government toinstill discipline in the traditional institution in the state.

Oba Oriye urged the state government to even sack Oluwo for the alleged offence, adding: "Iwo is a prominent town and it doesn't speak well for the town to parade such an Oba like Oluwo. While we appreciate the decision of the Osun Traditional Rulers Council to suspend him, we want the state government to sack Oluwo.

"Oluwo will assault us more if he continues to be king. He has once abused some prominent Obas in Yoruba land and if nothing is done to stop his behavior, he will cause further damage to Yoruba monarchy."

Reacting through a statement issued by his press secretary, Alli Ibraheem, Oba Akanbi said the resolution of the Obas does not portray the council in good light as they refused to address the allegation that he punched a monarch, which was the reason for the meeting.

He noted that any suspension from council was subject to the approval of the state government.

Describing the suspension as audio, he said the council was wrong to have announced his suspension without the approval of the state government. "The highest level of injustice is for the council to say I was rude to the same Ooni who presided over a meeting where they said I was suspended. I was never suspended. The suspension reported by the media is just from the monthly Osun State Traditional Council meeting, which is subject to the approval of the state government. "It is sad to note that Osun State Traditional Council could be so political.

They said I was rude to Alake, Ooni and Alaafin and the same Ooni presided over the same meeting that purportedly pronounced my suspension from the council's meeting. If this should stand, many monarchs will not be encouraged to regard the council. It is just an audio pronouncement and an insult to the state government without consultation by the council.

"We were invited to address the allegation that I punched another Oba. The AIG and government officials came to the meeting as witnesses and gave account that I didn't beat any Oba. May be because the truth from the witnesses didn't go with their expectation, they hatched unfounded excuse to make an audio suspension."It is purely political and there are many things attached but we keep mute to see how far this will stand," Oluwo said.

Thursday

Report: Bloomberg would sell business interests if elected U.S. president

CC™ Politico

Mike Bloomberg would sell the financial data and media company he created in the 1980s - which bears his name and made him a multibillionaire - if he is elected U.S. president, a top adviser said this week.

Bloomberg would put Bloomberg LP into a blind trust, and the trustee would then sell the company, adviser Tim O'Brien said. Proceeds from the sale would go to Bloomberg Philanthropies, a charitable giving arm that funds causes from climate change to public health and grants for American cities.

The only restriction Bloomberg would put on the sale is that it not be sold to a foreign buyer or a private equity company, O'Brien said. Bloomberg, a Democrat, is currently chief executive of the company.

"We want to be 180 degrees apart from Donald Trump around financial conflicts of interest," O'Brien told The Associated Press. "We think it's one of the biggest stains on the presidency, and Trump's record is his refusal to disengage himself in his own financial interests. And we want to be very transparent and clean and clear with voters about where Mike is on these things."

Indeed, as one of the world's wealthiest people, Bloomberg would have an extraordinarily complicated financial picture to untangle if he wins the presidency. His commitment to selling the company stands in stark contrast to the Republican Trump, who refused to fully divest from his business, instead putting his assets in a trust controlled by his two adult sons and a senior company executive. He has continued to make money from his properties.

Bloomberg said in 2018, when he was considering a presidential run, that he would consider selling his business if elected. The company is not currently for sale. He retained ownership in the company when he served as New York City mayor from 2002 to 2013, but gave up his title of chief executive.
O'Brien's comment comes amid increasing scrutiny of Bloomberg's wealth and business holdings from his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination.

If he won the White House, the exact timeline for a sale isn't clear, O'Brien said. There's also been no decision on what would happen to Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics, said such an action would need to follow complex rules and be approved by the ethics office. The administer of the blind trust would need to be an institution, not a person, and it's not clear how a trustee would navigate confidentiality requirements when trying to sell off a private company, Shaub said. There are no comparable examples of any executive branch official putting a large private company into a blind trust and up for sale, he said.

He said it would be smart for every candidate to set up meetings with the office now to begin discussing potential conflicts of interest.

"Bottom line: It could be a costly mistake for any candidates to make firm commitments to establish qualified blind trusts without first having their attorneys meet with OGE's Director and legal staff," Shaub tweeted.

Bloomberg created his own company in 1981, after he was fired from the investment bank Salomon Brothers with a $10 million severance payment. His new venture created the Bloomberg Terminal, a dedicated computer system with proprietary software that allowed Wall Street traders, buyers and sellers to see financial transaction data in real time. The terminal quickly became a must-have product around the financial world and has been used by entities including the World Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank.

Bloomberg then grew the business to include a financial news arm, which has morphed into a major news wire service. The outlet has faced criticism for allowing its reporters to cover the campaign butblocking them from reporting in-depth investigations into Bloomberg or his Democratic rivals.

Newsroom leaders didn't impose similar restrictions on reporting regarding Trump. Bloomberg has also faced renewed scrutiny over lawsuits filed by women at his company alleging discrimination or hostile treatment. Bloomberg has said he won't release women from any nondisclosure agreements they've signed with the company.

Bloomberg entered the presidential race in Novemberand has been steadily climbing in national polls, buoyed by $400 million in advertising. Worth an estimated $60 billion, he is entirely self-funding his campaign.

Associated Press [AP]

Wednesday

Fareed Zakaria: The absence of meritocracy in Trump's Nigeria travel ban

CC™ Introspective - By Fareed Zakaria PhD 

A report by Zakaria on the immigrant visa ban imposed on Nigeria by the Donald Trump administration trended recently on social media.

The Trump administration had justified the restriction on the basis of national security concerns, claiming that the affected countries have gaps in their security protocols surrounding travel which exposed the U.S. to terror threats.


A report by Zakaria on the immigrant visa ban imposed on Nigeria by the Donald Trump administration trended yesterday on social media. The presenter of a weekly programme on CNN, "Fareed Zakaria GPS", made a case for Nigeria, saying U.S. authorities justified the ban with national security concerns but data available proved otherwise.

Citing CATO institute, Zakaria said four of the six countries listed in the ban - Nigeria, Myanmar, Tanzania, and Eritrea - had no records on terror-related deaths caused by foreign-born attackers between 1975 and 2017. "The argument does not really make sense”, he said.

He added that Nigerians are the most educated immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa in the U.S. of which 59 per cent aged 25 and older have at least a bachelor's degree, according to migration policy institute, which is nearly doubled the proportion of the Americans born in the U.S. (33 per cent).

Zakaria argued that if the government was truly worried about security from the countries, it would ban all visas, not just immigrant visas. He said the government’s decision to target only permanent visas, leaving the temporary visas, suggests something else is going on. 

According to him, when Trump unveiled the new immigration plan in 2019, he said he wants English speaking immigrants who could assimilate easily and give back to the country.

Zakaria said if that is what Trump wants, Nigerian immigrants who make up the largest group of Sub-Saharan Africans in the U.S. as of 2017 “check all those boxes. They are some of the most educated immigrants in America.

Nigerian immigrants tend to work high skilled jobs, 54 per cent are in largely white-collar positions in business, management, science, and the arts compared to the 39 per cent of people born in the U.S.,” he added.

This, according to Zakaria’s analysis, means that Nigerian immigrants have significant spending power.

The American journalist also cited a new report by the New American Economy, which states that Nigerian immigrants in the U.S. in 2018 made more than $14 billion and paid more than $4 billion in taxes. The report also states that Nigerian diaspora around the world sent back almost $24 billion in remittances, contributing to the Nigerian economy that is “more dynamic than many people, including Trump himself realize”.

According to the journalist, the Centre for Global Development reported that Nigeria is a country where the middle-class is increasing in education and aspiration. It is also America's second-largest trade partner and the U.S. wants to double its investments and trading in Africa.

President Donald Trump had some weeks ago extended the country's controversial travel ban list to impose visa restrictions on six more countries. Nigeria, which happens to be the largest economy in Africa and the most populous nation on the continent, was included in the list.

While the Trump administration included Nigeria on the travel ban list to keep America safe from terrorists, CNN report concluded that the decision was not smart.

Source: CNN

Monday

Muhammadu Buhari: From tyranny to democracy and back again to tyranny

Are Nigerian soldiers being buried in secret graves?
CC™ Viewpoint - By Editor-in-Chief 

It is becoming increasingly difficult to defend President Muhammadu Buhari.

As news of a general descent into lawlessness permeates the Nigerian and indeed global airwaves, the neutral among those that supported Muhammadu Buhari's aspirations for the highest office in Africa, as well as one of the most influential in the world in 2015, have been left rather disappointed and almost embarrassed at the turn of events in the country.

The recent proscription of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) the Shiite Muslim sect in Northern Nigeria by a Fulani president of the Sunni faith, is further proof that PMB's propensity for tyranny was indeed a valid fear harbored by millions of Nigerians before the 2015 elections. This move could not have come at a worse time and adds to the litany of missteps by a man reputed by his military peers for being impatient and reactionary, two traits not conducive to ensuring good judgement as a leader.

When the same Buhari came into power in 2015, this time through the ballot as opposed to the bullet (as he had done in 1983 in overthrowing the late Shehu Shagari), most Nigerians were hopeful that he had learned his lessons and was a more mature, open-minded and cerebral leader. Unfortunately, the decisions that have been made by this administration, from the Fulani herdsmen terror of the Nigerian people that still rages on, to the recent proscription of a religious sect that was demanding the release of their leader (as has been already ordered by the highest court in the land), have left a lot to be desired and the environment is becoming even more fertile for a potential conflict of civil war proportions, if things continue the way they are going.

President Muhammadu Buhari rode the wave of a popular democratic uprising at the polls like has never been seen before in the history of Nigeria and indeed Africa. For the first time ever, an incumbent democratically elected president was defeated at the polls, and Buhari assumed office without a single shot being fired! 

The previous administration under the abjectly clueless Goodluck Jonathan, was an absolute train-wreck and had in fact ceded some Nigerian real estate to the Boko Haram terror group. PMB promised to deliver on security as he was a retired General who had also fought in the Nigerian civil war.

To date, the president has not delivered on that singular promise and if recent reports by the Wall Street Journal are anything to go by, the war is anything but won as PMB recently declared. Things are actually getting worse in the brutal war being waged by Boko Haram and its affiliates, with Nigerian soldiers reportedly being buried in unmarked secret graves. Thus, family members and indeed Nigerians (and possibly the president himself) are being lied to by the military with regard to the true state of things on the war front.

Whether it's the continued detention of the only Christian among the kidnapped Chibok female students - Leah Sharibu (with reports now saying she may have been killed by her captors), while her Muslim peers were all released, the heavy-handed response to IPOB, the selective prosecution of supposed corrupt individuals (while Buhari himself remains surrounded by corrupt benefactors), the equally heavy-handed response to the Shiites in Nigeria (which risks another Boko Haram-like insurgency) while turning a blind eye to the murderous escapades of the Fulani herdsmen, the president has shown a propensity for jaundiced ethno-religious and parochial malfeasance. 

At the last elections in 2019, given the President's vulnerability as a result of his political missteps, if the PDP or any of the opposition parties had fielded a credible candidate, Buhari would have had to resort to massive rigging to stay in office. Some may say he did but Atiku, his main rival lacked the moral fabric or political cache to move the needle across the Nigerian landscape. 

In closing, President Buhari must do better as history will judge him as a man that was given so much but gave back so little, if anything. There needs to be an inquiry by the legislative arm of the government into the report by the Wall Street Journal of Nigerian soldiers being buried in secret graves. There is a good chance that most, if not all of the soldiers being given such a horrendous treatment, are probably from the South or the Middle-Belt (my reliable sources tell me). Nigeria will not survive at this rate and no amount of intimidation by the security forces can stop the impending revolution that will surely follow, if the status quo remains. 

Nigeria as presently constituted, is unsustainable and it is incumbent upon those that truly have the best interest of the nation at heart to stand up and be counted. There is currently a Jihad being waged by the Fulani hegemony in Nigeria (please do not be fooled by the appeals of the Sultan of Sokoto - as he is the third arm of Nigeria's own Third Reich), but it has already failed as these are different times and the people are prepared. If the genocide currently being perpetrated against Christians, Middle-Belters and Southerners continues, not only will Nigeria collapse, but President Buhari and Nasir El-Rufai may end up having a case to answer at the Hague. 

Nigeria must not only survive, but also flourish (as it should) for the good of Africa. 

Saturday

Finidi George: Gernot Rohr can't take Super Eagles to the next level

Gernot Rohr celebrates 'Golden Bronze' at AFCON 2019
CC™ Sportscope

Super Eagles legend, Finidi George has carpeted the current coach of the Super Eagles and declared that the former Bordeaux manager is not the right head coach to lead Nigeria’s latest golden generation to glory. 

George has also called for Gernot Rohr to be held responsible for the Super Eagles’ poor showing at major tournaments, and hence a better replacement should be hired.

Rohr has been in charge of the Super Eagles since August 2016, leading the team to the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
However, his team failed to make it past the group stages at the Mundial. Nigeria also settled for a third-place finish at the AFCON (a tournament they could easily have won) after losing a semifinal tie to a Riyad Mahrez-inspired Algeria.
Finidi believes he has seen enough of the German coach to conclude that he is not the best for the Super Eagles job.
Finidi was a member of the Clemens Westerhof-led Nigeria side that conquered Africa in 1994 and also caught the attention of the world at the USA ’94.  The former international is convinced that Rohr does not have the quality of the Dutch manager.
“After Westerhof, I have not seen any other good foreign coach that we have had. Look at what happened in Russia. The team that Rohr took to Russia, individually were better than the team Keshi took to Brazil and got to the second round. But Rohr didn’t take us anywhere,” Finidi asserted.
The former Real Betis winger is convinced that one of the problems Rohr has is that his Super Eagles team does not have a distinct playing style.
“In the first place, I don’t know what kind of football we want to play. Sometimes when I look at the team, I don’t know if we want to play counter-attack, or we want to play the passing football like Barcelona or Man City, I never know.
“During the Nations Cup I was watching, but I couldn’t see any discernible pattern. I could not see the strength in that team, where you can say if Musa, Chukwueze, or any other person has the ball, something is going to happen.
“A team must have that culture, must-have game-changers.”
Rohr is keen to extend his current coaching contract with the Super Eagles beyond the summer when it expires. 
Source: Soccernet