Sunday, 16 June 2013

3D printing powered by thought

Imagine if you could print objects just by thinking about them. Camila Ruz visits one company to see whether this is far-fetched dream or a real possibility.
It’s definitely not a bird. Nor is it a plane. The garish orange piece of plastic, small enough to hold in the palm of a hand, could pass for a missing limb of a toy tyrannosaurus. It may not look all that impressive, but it’s notable for two reasons. One is that the monster arm has emerged from a 3D printer. The other is that it is, in fact, the first ever object made from thought.
This milestone was reached with little fanfare last month at the Santiago MakerSpace, a technology and design studio in the Chilean capital. The toy limb’s shape was determined according to the wishes of its designer, as gleaned from a headset picking up his brainwaves. The man in question was George Laskowsky, Chief Technical Officer of Thinker Thing, the Chilean start-up developing the mind-controlled 3D printing system.
Engineers and designers have been using 3D printers for more than two decades. More recently, prices have tumbled and desk-top devices are increasingly being pitched at consumers. The touted possibilities appear to be endless – from bones to buildings to burritos – making some observers predict revolutionary consequences like the eventual demise of the factory. Because 3D printers build objects layer by layer from materials such as plastic or metal dust, a key advantage is the comparative freedom they give designers. Yet the design software is not easy to master, especially if you are four-years-old and haven’t yet learnt to hold a pencil properly.
“What is the point of these printers if my son cannot design his own toy?” says Bryan Salt, CEO of Thinker Thing. “I realised that while there were a lot of people talking about the hardware of the printer no-one really seemed to be talking about how to actually use it.” In theory 3D printers could help unleash our inner creativity, freeing us from the constraints of traditional production methods. However, in practice those unwilling or unable to plough through the software instruction manual could be left downloading ready- made models designed by others.
That’s where Emotional Evolutionary Design (EED), the software that allows Thinker Thing to interpret its users’ thoughts, comes in. Its current role is to power the Monster Dreamer Project, which will allow users to design their own fantastical creatures using the power of thought. Chilean children will get the first opportunity to try it out during tour of schools in the country at the end of this month.
When those children sit in front of a computer running Monster Dreamer, they will be presented with a series of different body shapes in bubbles. These will mutate randomly, with built-in rules preventing them becoming too abstract. The children’s reactions to the changes will be picked up by an Emotiv EPOC headset, a $300 electroencephalography (EEG) device designed to pick up the electrical signals from brain cell interactions using fourteen sensors on the scalp. As different brain states such as excitement or boredom generate specific patterns of brain activity, the computer can identify the shapes associated with positive emotional responses. The favoured shapes will grow bigger on the screen, while the others shrink. The biggest shapes are combined to generate a body part, and the process is repeated for different body parts until the monster is complete. The final result should be a unique 3D model that is ready for printing as a solid object.
Second nature
Design steered by emotional responses is based on the notion that most people are better at critiquing a design than they are at thinking of new ideas from scratch, especially if they have no training. “One of the biggest bottlenecks right now with 3D printing is content,” says Professor Hod Lipson, director of the Creative Machines Lab at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York State. “We have iPods with no music. We have machines that can make almost anything but we do not have a lot of things to make with them.”

$100 margarita! America's most expensive cocktails

What makes this marg from Red O Restaurant in Los Angeles worth a C note? Three extra añejo tequilas and an edible-gold-and-kosher-salt rim! What makes this marg from Red O Restaurant in Los Angeles worth a C note? Three extra añejo tequilas and an edible-gold-and-kosher-salt rim!

(CNN) -- Think the $18 martini you ordered at the hotel bar was steep?
That was peanuts.
As in, the little dish of complimentary germ-infested peanuts on the bar.
From California to New York and everywhere in between, ritzy bars are playing a crazy game of "Who Can Make the Costliest Cocktail?" -- and the competition is as stiff as the product.
We scoured the country for examples of the most over-the-top pours we could find, excluding those accompanied by crown jewels or crystal goblets.
Even still, you may need to skip a mortgage payment or two to enjoy a night of these extravagant cocktails.
The World Cocktail (World Bar, New York City)
Price: $50
If you want to grab the attention of The Donald, ordering the priciest drink in all of Trump Tower is a place to start.
That drink would be the World Bar's aptly named World Cocktail, a blend of grape juice, lemon juice, simple syrup, 23k edible liquid gold, Pineau des Charentes and bitters, topped with Veuve Clicquot champagne.
When the cocktail debuted in 2002, it was considered the most expensive in the world.
Oh, how times have changed.
The Benjamin (Red O Restaurant, Los Angeles)
Price: $100
Mexican cuisine master Rick Bayless made noise in 2011 when his L.A. spot Red O debuted its $100 margarita, dubbed The Benjamin.
So what makes a marg worth a C note?
To start, it uses three exquisite, extra añejo (or "ultra-aged") tequilas: Patron Burdelos, Herradura Selection Suprema and Partida Elegante.
Add some Grand Marnier Cuvee du Cent Cinquentanaire, 100% organic agave syrup, fresh lime juice and Louis XIII cognac to float and you're almost there.
Can't forget the blood orange caviar and edible-gold-and-kosher-salt rim!
Daiquiri 1981 from The Breadfruit in Phoenix: Ready for National Daiquiri Day in July.
Daiquiri 1981 from The Breadfruit in Phoenix: Ready for National Daiquiri Day in July.
The Daiquiri 1981 (The Breadfruit, Phoenix)
Price: $150
This decadent daiquiri was created just last year by Breadfruit co-owner Dwayne Allen to commemorate National Daiquiri Day (which is July 19, so mark your calendars).
The key ingredient is English Harbour 1981, a rare rum aged for a minimum of 25 years in old whiskey and bourbon barrels.
The still on which this rum was originally produced is gone, meaning English Harbour 1981 will eventually run out. Get it while you can in this drink, which also includes hand-squeezed key lime juice, demerara syrup and house-made cherry bitters.
St. John (Osteria 177, Annapolis, Maryland)
Price: $200
The baby of the list, the St. John made its debut mere months ago in Maryland's capital.
Osteria 177 mixologist Lucien Smith, riffing on the classic sidecar recipe, mixed up a cocktail consisting of Louis XIII cognac, Grand Marnier Cuvee du Centenaire, Meyer lemon juice, syrup made from Meyer lemon and Grade 1 saffron and 23k edible gold flakes for garnish.
So far, Smith says they've sold two of 'em.
El Series (El Gaucho, Portland, Oregon)
Price: $220
The bar staff at El Gaucho Portland first made its name in the extravagant cocktails game with The Josephine, a $500 cocktail featuring L'Esprit de Courvoisier and Grand Marnier 150.
Once the bar's stash of L'Esprit de Courvoisier ran out, The Josephine was retired, but its siblings in the "El Series" have carried on the mantle.
A collection of four $220 cocktails, the El Series uses Louis XIII cognac as its base. Entries include the Louis Smash (add fresh mint and a splash of soda) and Louis Sidecar (add Grand Marnier, lemon and orange juices).
JW 1800 at Lily Bar & Lounge: no extra charge for the twist
JW 1800 at Lily Bar & Lounge: no extra charge for the twist
The JW 1800 (The Lily Bar & Lounge at The Bellagio, Las Vegas)
Price: $480
You've probably come across some member of the Johnnie Walker family in your lifetime, but have you ever met the Johnnie Walker?
You will if you order The Lily Bar's JW 1800.
This cocktail includes "The John Walker," an incredibly rare vintage whiskey that dates to the 1800s.
When we say incredibly rare, we mean it: only 180 bottles exist and once they run out, that's it.
In case you're interested in sipping this endangered species, the JW 1800 also includes sweet vermouth, whiskey-barrel-aged bitters and a Maraschino cherry.
Drinking the Stars (The Starlight Room, San Francisco)
Price: $735
You could easily buy a whole constellation of stars for the price of The Starlight Room's "Drinking the Stars" cocktail.
Originally created by mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhout, the concoction takes 1979 Chateau de Ravignan Bas Armagnac brandy and infuses it with Madagascar vanilla bean, orange peel and raisins.
It's topped off with Dom Perignon, and they'll even leave the bottle with you.
Order a 750 ml version of this drink for $365, or play high roller with the $735 1.5L.
If vanilla bean isn't your bag, the Starlight Room has three more so-called "million dollar cocktails," ranging from $90 to $200.
The $1K and Over Club
All the flashy cocktails above are built on nothing but booze and edible garnishes, but if you're looking for something that comes with a keepsake, there are plenty of even pricier contenders.
The Kentucky Derby has offered a $1,000 mint julep served in a complimentary sterling silver cup for almost a decade, while $3,000 to $40,000 martinis with actual jewelry have sprung up in places like the Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut and the White Barn Inn of Kennebuck, Maine.
The most cocktail Happy-Meal-heavy city is Las Vegas.
In the last few years, Vegas has seen drinks ranging from the Gotham and High Roller martinis at The Capital Grille (perks: necklace or ring) to the Ono at the XS Nightclub (perks: necklace for ladies, cufflinks for gentlemen).
Then there's the Menage a Trois, $3,000 at the Tryst Nightclub in Wynn Resort. The drink itself consists of Cristal Rose champagne, Hennessey Ellipse, Grand Marnier 150, liquid gold syrup and 23k gold flakes.
But you get to sip it out of a complimentary 24k gold-plated straw with its own diamond, making for a trinket that puts all your crazy straws to shame.
Remember, folks, tip that waitstaff well.

Power cuts hit Mexico City after earthquake

Officials say no damage or casualties reported so far after 5.8-magnitude quake strikes country's central region.


Some restaurants and residential buildings in the capital were evacuated as a precautionary measure [AFP]
Mexico City has been hit by a series of power outages after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck in the centre of Mexico, with officials saying there was no other damage reported.
The quake struck just after midnight local time (0519:GMT), southwest of the city of Huitzuco, in Guerrero state, according to Mexico's National Seismological Service.
Some restaurants and residential buildings in the capital were evacuated as a precautionary measure.
Buildings shuddered in the city, a witness told the Reuters news agency.
Although the earthquake was felt strongly in the capital, "in the preliminary report, Mexico City was not damaged," Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera wrote on his Twitter feed.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) downgraded its initial measurement of the quake to magnitude 5.8 from 6.0.
USGS geophysicist Randy Baldwin told Al Jazeera that the earthquake occured at a depth of about 55km, which would help minimise damage.
Al Jazeera and agencies

Venezuela signs gun control bill

Bill allows prison sentences of up to 20 years for any civilian convicted of illegally carrying or selling a fire arm.

Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela's president, signed the control bill into law [Reuters]
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro signed a gun control bill into law in a bid to rein in the country's runaway violent crime.
"I hereby sign into law this gun control law, for peace in our nation," Maduro said on Friday in an address in Vargas state.
The bill will allow sentences of up to 20 years in prison for any civilian convicted of illegally carrying or selling a firearm.
It also restricts the sale of ammunition to civilians, and bans weapons from being shown in public places.
"Any arm that is confiscated will be destroyed immediately ... the sales of weapons and ammunition also ends," said National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello.
There are some exceptions: people are allowed to use weapons to protect their property and themselves when in danger, and security personnel can use them when transporting valuable items.
The bill was promoted by late president Hugo Chavez, a leftist-populist in power since 1999 who died on March 5.
The ruling socialist party, or PSUV, and two opposition parties approved the bill.
In the first quarter of 2013, there were 3,400 murders. That followed another year of bloodletting that saw about 16,000 homicides nationwide in 2012, according to government data.
There were 15 million firearms - legal and illegal - in a country of 29 million in 2009.

Google expands internet access with balloons

Google reveals plans to send hot air balloons to the edge of space to boost web access.


Google Inc has launched a small network of balloons over the Southern Hemisphere in an experiment it hopes could bring reliable internet access to the world's most remote regions, the company said.
The pilot programme, Project Loon, took off this month from New Zealand's South Island, using solar-powered, high-altitude balloons that ride the wind about 20km - twice as high as airplanes - above the ground, Google said on Friday.
Like the internet search engine for which Google is best known, Project Loon uses algorithms to determine where the balloons need to go, then moves them into winds blowing in the desired direction, the company said.
By moving with the wind, the balloons form a network of airborne hot spots that can deliver internet access over a broad area at speeds comparable to 3G using open radio frequency bands, Google said.
To connect to the balloon network, a special internet antenna is attached to buildings below.
The Mountain View, California-based company announced the project on its official blog and its website.
The 30 balloons deployed in New Zealand this month will beam internet to a small group of pilot testers and be used to refine the technology and shape the next phase of Project Loon, Google said.
Google did not say what it was spending on the pilot project or how much a global network of balloons might cost.
Google has also developed self-driving vehicles, which the company says could significantly increase driving safety.
Those vehicles are beginning to gain support from lawmakers in places like California, where a bill legalising their operation on state roads was signed into law last by Governor Jerry Brown.
Al Jazeera and agencies
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LRA rebels 'kill villagers in Central Africa'

Military source says 16 people dead in clashes between Lord's Resistance Army and villagers in Central African Republic.


The LRA committed many atrocities when they fought in northern Uganda from 1987 to 2005 [EPA]
At least 16 people have been killed during clashes between rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and villagers in the Central African Republic (CAR), a military source from the CAR has said.
LRA fighters - on the run from Uganda where they fought the government for decades before being defeated - attacked two villages in the central mining region of Bria on Thursday, initially killing six people and wounding about 10 others as they looted houses, the source said late on Saturday.
"The rebels were pursued and caught by villagers armed with rifles ... who killed four of them," the source added.
The LRA fighters responded with a fresh attack during which they killed six more people, who they decapitated, placing their heads on tree trunks, he said.
The group committed similar atrocities when they fought in northern Uganda from 1987 to 2005, but have since been forced to flee after suffering a series of defeats.
Joseph Kony, the LRA leader, as well as his senior commanders have been indicted by the International Criminal Court at The Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Kony is said to be holed up in the jungles between Sudan, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and CAR.
After the Seleka rebel coalition ousted Francois Bozize, the president of the CAR, in a March coup, interim leader Michel Djotodia vowed to put an end to LRA incursions.
The LRA has killed more than 100,000 people in Central Africa over the past 25 years, UN leader Ban Ki-moon said last month.
The group is also blamed for the abduction of between 60,000 and 100,000 children, many of whom have been forced to fight as child soldiers, Ban said in a report on the region.
The LRA is notorious for the brutality of its attacks and has been held responsible for the rape, murder and mutilation of civilians.
Children, as well as being forced to fight for the group, have also been used as sex slaves.

Deadly blasts rock southern Iraqi cities

At least 20 people killed in series of explosions as country grapples with surge in sectarian violence.

Sunni groups linked to al-Qaeda have frequently targeted Shias, whom they regard as apostates [AFP]
A wave of car bombs in southern Iraq has killed 20 people as the country grapples with a spike in violence and prolonged political deadlock, sparking fears of a sectarian war.
A totoal of seven vehicles rigged with explosives went off on Sunday in five cities south of Baghdad, the capital, during morning rush hour, leaving 56 people wounded in primarily Shia Muslim areas of Iraq.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Sunni groups linked to al-Qaeda frequently target Shias, whom they regard as apostates, in coordinated attacks.
Car bombs went off in Kut, Aziziyah, Mahmudiyah, Nasiriyah and Basra, officials said.
In Kut, the provincial capital of Wasit located 160km south of Baghdad, a car bomb exploded outside a restaurant in an industrial area packed with vehicle repair garages, killing seven people and wounding 15.
Another car bomb in nearby Aziziyah, in the town's main marketplace and near a Shia mosque, killed five and wounded 10.
Twin blasts in the southern port city of Basra, meanwhile, killed five people, including a bomb disposal expert looking to defuse one of the rigged vehicles.
Three others were killed in bombings in Nasiriyah and Mahmudiyah.
The violence was the latest in a sharp rise in attacks nationwide, with last month registering the highest death toll since 2008, sparking fears of a return to the all-out sectarian war that blighted Iraq in 2006 and 2007.
There has been a heightened level of unrest since the beginning of the year, coinciding with rising discontent among the Sunni Arab minority that erupted into protests in late December.
Analysts say a lack of effort by the Shia-led authorities to address the underlying causes of the demonstrations has given armed groups fuel and room to manoeuvre to carry out their activities.
The outgoing UN envoy to Iraq Martin Kobler has warned the violence is "ready to explode".

Rowhani Wins Iran Presidential Election

Moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani has won Iran’s presidential election, the interior minister announced on Saturday, ending eight years of conservative grip on the nation’s executive.
AFP journalists said crowds marched through Vali-Asr Square in central Tehran carrying pictures of the winner and chanting pro-Rowhani slogans.
In northwest Tehran, people gathered in Kaj Square and cheered as passing cars sounded their horns in approval.
Minister Mohammad Mostafa Najjar said Rowhani won outright with 18.6 million votes, or 50.68 percent.
He said 36.7 million people — 72.7 percent of the electorate — had voted on Friday out of an eligible 50.5 million.
The incumbent, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, had been constitutionally barred from standing again after serving two consecutive terms.
Najjar added that Tehran’s conservative mayor, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, was runner-up with 6.07 million or 16.55 percent of the votes.
Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, who advocated resistance in Tehran’s atomic talks with world powers, came third with 4.16 million (11.35 percent).
Former Revolutionary Guards commander Mohsen Rezai and ex-foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati won 3.88 and 2.26 million votes respectively.

NGF: Amaechi Dares Jang Over Govs’ Meeting

Governors Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and his Plateau State counterpart Jonah Jang, are poised for a fresh test of their claim to the leadership of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) after Jang summoned a meeting of the governors
He wants them to discuss the stalemate over the monthly Federation Account Allocation. State Commissioners for Finance had walked out of the FAAC meeting on Thursday in Abuja. Jang is disputing last month’s election of Amaechi for a second term as chairman of the NGF.
The Rivers governor defeated Jang by 19 to 16 votes. Jang, however, insists that he emerged by consensus having been endorsed by the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF). Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the pro-Jang forces in the presidency are taking advantage of the governors’ desire for cash flow to encourage the Jang faction to summon a meeting of the NGF.
It was gathered that the forces in the presidency designed the plot to prove that Jang is actually in control. The factional meeting is also meant to finally determine the loyalty of the 23 PDP governors by the presidency and deal with the rebellious ones. But pro-Amaechi governors have made up their minds not shun the meeting because Federation Account Allocation Meeting is not within the purview of the NGF.
Findings have also confirmed that President Goodluck Jonathan may receive the Jang faction in audience on Monday under the pretext of seeking the NGF’s position on the revenue sharing crisis. A source said: “The Presidency wants to use Jang faction’s meeting to prove that it is backing this camp.
It is obvious that the meeting is at the instance of the forces in the Presidency. “They are desperately trying to secure the presence of at least 20 governors at the meeting because they were hurt that only 16 governors attended the inauguration of Jang faction’s secretariat of the NGF in spite of the alleged claim that Jang won the election.
“They have not been able to get up to 18 governors as at press time to undermine Amaechi. But they are unrelenting in their plot. They said they are out to seal Amaechi’s fate. “For PDP governors, especially those from the North, it is a booby trap to test their loyalty and determine who they voted for at the NGF election.
“This will enable the PDP leadership to deal with them including the hijack of the party structure from the rebellious governors and their godfathers ahead of 2015 poll.” A governor, who spoke in confidence, said: “As part of the secret agenda of Jang’s meeting, the factional NGF will later be hosted by Jonathan in order to confer legitimacy on Jang’s leadership.
“Already, governors in Jang’s camp are aware of the plot to visit the Villa on Monday for legitimacy. The itinerary is known to only a few strategists of Jang. But the governors loyal to the authentic chairman have vowed not to attend the session convened by Jang.
Another source added: “They are joking, they will fail in their bid to give NGF leadership to Jang through the backdoor. “Most of us will stand by the mandate we have given to Amaechi because he was duly elected. We will make sure they do not have the number. They want to be defeated the third time.”

Battle For Presidency: Why North Should Wait Till 2027, By Ogbemudia

The battle between the North and the South-south over 2015 presidency took a twist as a two-time former governor of the defunct Bendel State, Dr Samuel Ogbemudia, said the North has no claim to power until 2027.
Ogbemudia argued that the North’s right to the presidency would be valid after the South-south would have completed eight years, and the South-east taken its turn of eight years.
He acknowledged that South-west set the precedent when former President Olusegun Obasanjo, from the zone, did eight years at Aso Rock Presidential Villa.
The Professor Ango Abdullahi-led Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has been at the forefront of the agitation for power to return to the North in 2015 on the grounds that the region was short-changed when President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who assumed office in 2007, died midway into his tenure, and President Goodluck Jonathan, his deputy from the South-south, succeeded him.
Jonathan not only completed Yar’Adua’s tenure as president but also secured re-election in 2011.
The bone of contention now is whether he should proceed on second term in 2015 or power should revert to the North. Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State claimed there was a gentleman’s agreement with the North that Jonathan will serve one term only to enable the region return to power in 2015.
“The South-west came in, in 1999 and served for eight years. The South-south should also do eight years. And the truth is that the South-east is also entitled to the presidency when the South-south must have finished its eight years,” Ogbemudia contended.

I Have Forgiven All – Emir Of Kano, Ado Bayero

Alhaji Ado Bayero, the emir of Kano, says he has no cause to harbour grudges against anyone.“I have forgiven all,” the monarch declared Saturday at a durbar to mark the golden jubilee of his ascension to the throne. He was turbanned as the 13th emir of Kano at the age of 33 while serving as the Nigerian ambassador to Senegal.
Bayero escape death last year when his convoy was attacked by gunmen in the ancient city. Thousands of horses took part in the special durbar to mark the emir’s golden jubilee. The colourful ceremony, conducted amidst tight security, saw major roads leading to Bayero’s palace cordoned off by security while only accredited personalities were allowed into the arena.
Bayero, 83, entered the arena to flag-off the durbar amidst chants of Allahu Akbar (God is great). Addressing the audience, Bayero declared that he holds no grudges against any one and has forgiven all those who must have offended him one way or the other.
The octogenarian monarch stressed: “Today marks a special day in my life for attaining unique years of 50 on the throne. It is indeed a day of great happiness for me. I want to use this unique opportunity to seek for forgiveness from all and sundry whom I may have offended directly or indirectly. I have forgiven all”..
Bayero called on his subjects to be God-fearing and abide by religious injunctions in all their activities. In an address delivered at the occasion, President Goodluck Jonathan tasked Nigerians, irrespective of political or religious inclination, to avoid acts capable of causing violence in the country. Jonathan, represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, noted that the call was necessary because it was only in the atmosphere of peace and harmony that any society could achieve economic growth and development.
Jonathan stressed: ‘’Let me at this juncture enjoin each and every one of us to promote peace and peaceful co-existence and eschew any act that can destroy peace and harmony.
“We must also respect the rule of law in whichever situation we find ourselves as it is the only platform for achieving meaningful development”.
The president, who described the emir as “an embodiment of peace and peaceful co-existence”, prayed God to grant him good health to enable him serve his people.
In his remark, Kano State governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, urged the people of the state to continue to pray for long life for Bayero to enable them to continue to tap from his wealth of experience.
The ceremony was witnessed by General Muhammadu Buhari, General Abdulsami Abubakar, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Sultan of Damagaram from Niger Republic, governors of Kaduna, Sokoto and Bauchi States, among others.

Obadare May Be Buried In $25,000 Casket

Barring last-minute changes in plan, the body of late Timothy Obadare, a renowned evangelist and founder of the World Soul Winning Evangelical Mission, WOSEM, who died on March 21 after battling an undisclosed ailment, will be interred in a $25,000 gold casket.
Obadare, the blind Akure-based evangelist, the second officially recognized Apostle by the Christ Apostolic Church, CAC, after Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola noted for his monthly Koseunti Crusade, until his death devoted most of his time teaching the Bible and winning souls for the Kingdom of God. He was in ministry for about six decades, eagerly committed to soul winning.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos during the week, the son of the late evangelist and the general overseer of WOSEM in America and Europe, Pastor Paul Obadare, the WOSEM founder will buried in his hometown, Ilesha, Osun State on August 17 in a 14-karat gold plated coffin like the one used for the burial late popstar, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.
According to the son who had relocated to Nigeria to rebuild the father’s ministry “we want the world to know that the best is given to the one who has done his best for the gospel. If the world can celebrate a carnal man, the world should be able to celebrate a spiritual man better,” adding that “these people have planted seeds into people’s lives and touched lives positively. Not just ordinary lives, but people from the top to the bottom“Why can’t the whole world, our nation Nigeria, put all their resources together and say he (Prophet Oba-dare) is our own, we are going to give him the best?” he asked.
The gold casket used for the burial of late Michael Jackson was manufactured by the Batesville Casket Company of Indiana and it was the same model used for the funeral of Jackson’s hero, James Brown. It was said to have cost $25,000 while that of Whitney Houston was put at between $10,000 and $20,000. As the world’s largest casket maker, Batesville’s products have been used in many celebrity funerals, including those for Farrah Fawcett, Bob Hope, Wilt Chamberlain and Fred Astaire.
Giving details of the burial plan made by the several committees set up by WOSEM, CAC and the sons of the prophet, Pastor Obadare said the ceremonies would commence on August 15 with a service of songs in Ilesha, Akure, Ibadan and Lagos as well as a lying-in-state at Ilesha and an interdenominational wake keep service on August 17 preceding the interment at a mausoleum currently under construction at WOSEM Conference ground along Ilesha-Ife Expressway in Ilesha.
Prophet T.O Obadare He therefore appealed to Christians, governments, public-spirited individuals, church leaders and believers to join hands with the children to give the fallen evangelist a befitting burial.
He acknowledged that the Osun State governor, Ruaf Aregbeshola had promised to accord him a state burial and had actually begun the construction of the road leading to Baba Obadare’s home in Ilesha.
Speaking on his recollection of the fallen Prophet Obadare, the younger Obadare said: “Baba would always say to you, I live my life to save some. He could not save the whole world, he was not perfect. But he reached out to as many as he could. That was his passion. He doesn’t care about life like that. Building houses, to him was nothing, having flashy things to him was nothing. He said to us that I don’t have inheritance here; I’m not giving you one. But I have inheritance there, if you can enter into that kingdom, you have made it.’”
According to him, the late prophet also desired to see the whole Church of God to be one. “You will never see Baba criticizing any minister. He would say they may make mistakes but pray for them and don’t allow anybody to know that they are weak. He wanted especially Christian leaders to come together. He believed that achieving spiritual goals in life cannot be done individually.”
To this end, Pastor Paul Obadare is also committed to the reunifi-cation of CAC and promised to work assi-dously to ensure the manifestation of that dream.
“I foresee it coming with a lot of prize to be paid. Meaning that the present leadership on both sides will have to give way. So the old people will give way to the young ones;” just as he assured that the his late father stood for will kept alive.
“We have been told even before he demise, that we should deviate from the calling, or else ewe want to go under, ‘but if you don’t, you will excel.’ We don’t want to go under, we want to go up and the only way we can do that is to get ourselves away from all the teething problems and face the real call of the ministry,” Obadare stated.
Also speaking at the occasion, founder of Living Waters Ministry, Rev. Ladi Thompson outlined some of the hidden legacies of the late prophet, saying that about “30 years ago I was an enthusiastic but extremely wary Christian and I was extremely skeptical about spiritual communications especially the issue of dreams because I had seen many good Christians destroyed by demonic dreams because they were not cautious to differentiate between the genuine and the counterfeit.
“You could imagine my surprise when I began to have a persistent recurring dream centered on a pastel blue Mercedes (flat booth). The details of the car were so clear and the voice kept telling me it was my car! I kept ignoring this recurrent dream until I drove my Peugeot 305 to Surulere one day and saw the same car live! Out of curiosity, I went to inspect it and was told by the mechanic that it was for sale. I observed a strong unction coming from the car and began to question my sanity until I discovered it belonged to Prophet Timothy Oba-dare!
“By the time I called him by phone to make an offer the prophet told me the car was no longer for sale, however, he threw some unnerving questions at me and mentioned a new church in the UK. He concluded by telling me that the Lord had told him that some young men would be sent to assist him in ministry. This was the beginning of a cherished relationship and I spent many weeks in his Akure home by invitation mostly filled with fasting, prayers and instructions. After a few little errands things moved on in life but I kept his strange instructions in my heart.
“I finally met his eldest son, Pastor Paul Obadare at a convention in the Ukraine in 2009 and we exchanged testimonies about life with his Dad. I did not know that it was all by divine arrangement because the situation that his father had briefed me about almost 30 years before unfolded rapidly. The instructions now made sense after 30 years and I moved swiftly to render the assistance required.
“It involved a trip to the USA where I was hosted by Pastor Obadare and ushered into the Prophet’s presence the very next day. I spoke with Baba as he is fondly called and concluded everything needed to execute his thrifty year old instruction. I spent only four days in the USA and returned to Nigeria to execute the mandate on the prophet’s behalf in a very sensitive issue.
“It is still amazing whenever I consider the ministration that transpired to serve on a mission with a 30-year old instruction. My closeness to the family is based on this prophetic encounter and I have since discovered that there are others like me who were bonded to the prophet by divine instructions. There is still a residue of such prophetic dealings that the modern church hardly understands but experience has taught us how accurate spiritual dealings can be.
“The prophet was larger than life in stature and reach of his ministry continues to amaze me. I believe he was the last of the titans that served under the revival started in the early 1900s with Joseph Babalola and others. The fact that his handicap was no obstacle to his success is also mind-blowing when you consider the African setting,” he stated.

Benin, Kingdom Of The Sky-kings

Benin, once known as Igodomigodo, was the kingdom of rulers who regarded themselves as sky-kings, those whose divine rule is derived from the sky – Ogiso. At the eclipse of this dynasty, there was still no authentic heir to the throne, Owodo; the last of the Ogisos was desperate for a successor. His only heir, Ekaladerhan, being the son of an unfavoured queen (Arukho), had little or no prospect of succeeding his father as he was entrapped in a web of palace intrigues with the sole aim of depriving him succeed his father.
A plot purported to be the wish of the gods was eventually hatched to eliminate him.
The executioners, sensing intrigue and betrayal, spared his life. He secretly sojourned westward into a community the Binis called Uhe (Ife). At Uhe (Ife), he assumed the title of Oduduwa (I have sought my path of prosperity). Back home, the last of the Ogisos died without producing a heir to his throne. During the period of interregnum, a republican called Evian as administrator of the kingdom was succeeded by Ogiamien who became overzealous and ambitious. He wanted to perpetuate Evians hegemony in Benin. In order to sustain the age old tradition of primogeniture, the elders resolved to set up a search party to trace the whereabouts of Ekaladerhan, the only surviving heir of Ogiso Owodo.
The elders, headed by Oliha, who were opposed to the overbearing nature of Ogiamien, were resolute to invite Ekaladerhan home to take over his rightful position as heir apparent. It became evident that the system of succession (father to son) had been the culture of the Binis since inception. It is therefore obvious there was an existing kingdom under the rule of the Ogisos before the establishment of Eweka I dynasty.
It is also beyond doubt that this practice had been with the Binis before the establishment of the present dynasty of which Erediauwa is the 38th Oba in an unbroken succession since Eweka I in 900AD.
A delegation of nobilities, under the leadership of Oliha, eventually arrived at Ile-Ife and implored Ekaladerhan to return to Benin. At the time the emissaries reached him, he yelled in excitement, ‘Ewore ka,’ meaning the nucleus or the source, heart or soul of the flow will never go dry. He was assured of his safety and the hope of making him the ruler of the kingdom. The aged prince refused the invitation and promised that he would rather delegate power to one of his sons.
Oba of Benin Ekaladerhan’s refusal to honour the elders’ invitation could be subject to many interpretations. Firstly, he must have become so old that he felt it unreasonable to move to Benin. Secondly, he had adapted himself to the culture of his new environment that he would prefer to remain.
He was, in fact, the leader of the community as a result of his ingenuity and prowess in all aspects of community enterprise.
Thirdly, he probably wanted to abide by the pledge he made that he would not set his foot on the Benin soil again.
However, Ekaladerhan entrusted his son, Oranmiyan, into the care of Oliha who had promised to ensure his protection. Oranmiyan’s reign in Benin was short-lived. His departure from Benin was dictated by two factors. One, he was greatly embarrassed by the opposition of Ogiamien and his adherents.
Two, Oranmiyan’s cultural background was in conflict with the custom and tradition of Binis.
On his way back to Ile-Ife, Oranmiyan had a short stay at Ego where he impregnated Erhinmwinde, the daughter of the Enogie. This affair resulted in the birth of Eweka 1.
Femi Fani Kayode’s write up in Sunday Vanguard of May 26, 2013 at pages 20-21 entitled, ‘Who are the Yoruba People?,’ was quite interesting.
But while discussing the Ife-Benin relationship, like some others before him, he too fell into a similar error by referring to old Benin Empire as one of the kingdoms established by Oduduwa’s progeny. He also wondered how the name Yoruba came about. Mr. Femi Fani Kayode, a lawyer and former minister, is probably influenced by a vengeful clique of revisionist theorists and court jesters commissioned to deliberately rewrite the history of the Yoruba vis-à-vis Ife/Benin relationship to assuage the hurt ego of some monarchs in search of contemporary political relevance. History has today, therefore, become an intellectual pawn in the pen and armour of ethnocentrics as forerunners of empire builders and irredentist adventurers.
I would, therefore, proceed by avoiding historical pitfalls which has become the lot of some bubbling Afrocentrics who seize every opportunity to re-invent myths as favourable facts of history.
YORUBA is not originally a Yoruba word. Rather, it is a corruption of Iyoya rruoba (I have gone to pay my homage to the Oba). It is a Bini word corrupted into Yoruba which Fani Kayode queried. He wrote “yet the fact of the matter is that the word ‘Yoruba’ has no meaning in our language or any other language that is known to man.… For all we know it could even be a deep and ancient insult….”
Ife sources are founded on a mythology of how Oduduwa descended by the use of a chain from the sky and, dispatched his seven sons to found the various Yoruba kingdoms including that of Benin but they are not able to prove whether they are talking about Orunmila or Oduduwa (Ekaladerhan).Benin was never a kingdom created by Oduduwa; rather, the kingdom had existed long before the coming of Oranmiyan who impregnated ERINMWINDE, the daughter of Enogie of Egor, and gave birth to Eweka 1, the founder of the present dynasty in Benin.
On Erediauwa, Professor Jacob Olupona, in his book, ‘Ile-Ife: City of 201 gods’, launched on Wednesday, December 12, 2012, at the Institute of
International Affairs, Lagos, wrote, in part: “The story established the sacred origin of Benin kingship …a kingship relationship between Benin and Ife kingdoms”. Benin later took on a more radical form of a sacred kingship than that which exists in Ile-Ife. Benin became an obsolete monarchy, with the first son of the reigning Oba named as the heir apparent.
This was not a later development, it was for this purpose a search party went to look for Oduduwa. Benin does not owe its origin to Oranmiyan.
Benin (Beny) is a Portuguese name after which was named the Bight of Benin in view of its political, economic influence and value by the Portuguese on trade missions.
“Ile-ibinu, the land of anger,” that Prof. Olupona claimed had become Benin’s permanent name is in no way applicable.
Oranmiyan was not taken to Benin to change any of the existing traditions. He was in no position by any stretch of imagination to change the name of the kingdom from Igodomigodo to Ile-Ibinu.
However, no parent would abandon a dangerous and turbulent project and request his son to take over.
A transplanted Bini/Yoruba origin in transit, whose grip on the social/cultural life of the people was fragile, could not suddenly assume the position of a magnificent ‘patron saint’ whose imprecate profanity becomes an insignia for a rooted kingdom that flourished centuries before. And what is the existing anthropological support for adaptation of a foreign name for an unconquered people of a different culture who speak a different language? The same concept is applicable in the choice of name by Oranmiyan’s son who later assumed the title of Eweka. Eweka I was now a product of Benin socio-cultural environment which means he was able to speak in his mother tongue. He was never brought up in the Yoruba environment. It was more likely his utterance was in Benin language, EWOREKA, which his father chose for him instead of a foreign word, Owo mika, adulterated as Eweka that is more relevant in meaning to the circumstances of his choice as Oba.
Nevertheless, the Yoruba influence in Benin is more in the areas of worship of deities, Shango, Ogun, Sonpona, Orunmila which filtered into Benin over the years including Ogboni cult which is still very vibrant in Benin. Binis culturally practice ANCESTRAL worship. Worship of deities was borrowed from the Yoruba. Ancestors are the gods they serve.
During the reign of Ewuare the Great in the 13th century, the city was renamed Edo. The Portuguese, during the reign of Esigie in the 15th century, called the city Beny (Benin) (Papiva da Beny) which in Portuguese meant broad road of the city of Benin.
Papiva was corrupted to Akpakpava, the road that once housed the Catholic Cathedral established in the 15th century, now known as Aruosa Church where the Oba occasionally worships.
Professor Olupona raised a pertinent issue when he asserted that “…the institution of sacred kingship ….is part of the royal cult of Benin mysticisms, indeed more than any other kingship system in Nigeria. Benin rituals, art and ideology of kingship demonstrate the importance of sacred power for the preservation of kingship.”
He continued “…part of Benin’s continuing enigma is that the city’s centre cannot be unfolded, especially by outsiders, a dilemma that caused Oranmiyan (an outsider) to vacate the throne and replace himself with a son born of a Benin woman (an insider). The inherent tension in the “insider-outsider” conflict remains part of Benin’s identity today”.
The professor’s remark merely confirms the fact that at no time did the Binis make the mistake of transplanting an outsider for such an important assignment after a long history of the practice of primogeniture (of a son succeeding his father). In actual fact, it was in sustenance of this tradition that a search team was dispatched in search of Ekaladerhan who later assumed the title of Oduduwa.
Still, on the Ife/Benin relationship, the American-based professor of history wrote “…… a kingship relationship between Ife and Benin, although Benin later took on a more radical form of sacred kingship than that which exists in Ile-Ife. … Benin became an absolute monarchy with the son as the heir apparent whereas in Ile-Ife the kingship rotates among its ruling lineages…”
If in Ile-Ife the kingship rotates among its ruling lineages, it means it is still passing through the traditional crucible to attain a later, more acceptable monarchical system where the throne passes from father to son as practiced in Benin and parts of Europe like Britain, Netherlands, Spain etc., as relics of absolute monarchy.
Every system has its checks and balances. Benin system, for example, allows the heir apparent to be one of the seven kingmakers, while the Ezomo is third in the hierarchy after the Oba, and the Iyase, with his kingdom at Uzebu, doubles as the general officer commanding the Benin forces at Obadan. This was a form of a diarchy which Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria’s first president, was proposing in 1974 as a system to curb military incursion into political power.
In my rejoinder to Zik’s proposal for which he was grateful, I reminded him that diarchy had been in our traditional system as far back as the 13th century during the reign of Ewuare and that it was not an innovation. I also reminded him that military incursion had been in our traditional system of governance. I told him of how at the death of Atiba, Alafin of Oyo, in 1859 and was succeeded, contrary to custom, by his son Adelu, the crown prince, the powerful Are Onakankanfo of Ijaye, in defence of the tradition and constitution, rose to defend the constitution as a war general.
In the true sense of it, this was the first attempted military coup in Africa and it was in Yoruba land. The powerful Are of Ijaye refused to recognize Adelu as Alafin for he ought to have committed suicide on the death of his father in accordance with tradition.
This eventually compounded the Yoruba wars similar to the 30 years of the war of Europe of the 17th century.
Africa, indeed the black race, has its history of origin, empires, kingdoms and nation-building before the coming of the white men.
Recently, Professor Wole Soyinka was at the palace of the Oba of Benin in pursuit of his project : The meeting of two empires (powers): Benin and Portugal, in the early 15th century when the pope, by the Papal bull of demarcation, divided the world between Spain and Portugal, the then two world powers. This act enabled them discover other empires and founded new settlements in their imperial and mercantile quest to conquer the world of the astronomers.
Benin, which fell within the axis of the Portuguese, was the first place within what is now Nigeria, in Africa to be visited by any European in 1478.
Ukuakpolokpolo Erediauwa the Oba of Benin in his book: ‘I remain, Sir, Your Obedient Servant’, wrote in chapter 36, at page 205: “…Before the advent of Oranmiyan, the ‘kings’ that ruled the people who became known as Edo or Benin were called ‘Ogiso’ derived from the description Ogie n’ oriso (meaning king in heaven).
This is to confirm that the old Benin Empire had long flourished ever before the recall of Ekaladerhan. This was the situation that led to the relationship between Ife and Benin in which Oduduwa a Benin prince once known as Ekaladerhan had to send his last son Oranmiyan as his successor to the Benin throne, having established fully his roots and tentacles in Ile-Ife … Ife people today perform a ritual festival that re-enacts the events that caused the original settlers including their village head to flee from Ife when Ekaladerhan (or Oduduwa) became the head of the community”
In 1897, the British conquered Benin, dethroned the monarch and exiled him to Calabar. The monarch, Ovonramwen, later settled into normal life. He had additional children partly of Efik descent. If back home there was probably no resilient traditional institution to recapture the past when he died in 1914 and a team was dispatched to search for his children, though of Efik cultural background, would it be correct or proper to record that the Binis had asked the Obong of Calabar to send them a prince to rule over them? This analogy would draw a parallel in Ife/Benin relationship and assist contemporary historians of ethnocentric bias a more acceptable view of the origin of the Benin monarchy.
When Femi traced the Yoruba route of migration from Egypt/Saudi Arabia through Bornu to the present day Western Region of Nigeria, the abode of the Yoruba, little perhaps did he know about the recent discovery of Igbale Aiye. This community, located in Akpotoku Ketu (commune de ketou), Republic of Benin, is said to be 450,000 years old.
It is also projected in significance to host the first inhabitants of the planet earth “where the builders of the pyramid of Egypt came from”.
The success of this project, sooner or later, will reverse all existing Eurocentric views about Africa as the “Black continent”.
The kingdom of the sky-kings was Igodomigodo. During the era of the warrior kings, it became Edo and later Benin Empire expanding as far as Republic of Benin, Lagos to the west and across the Niger to Onitsha in the east. The Oba of Benin starting from Ogiso dynasty was known as Ukuakpolokpolo Omo n’ Ogie, i.e., the anointed, processed and purified.
The subsidiary kings were known simply as Ogie … of this or that.
After the amalgamation and the creation of provinces, the traditional rulers of Western Region generally were referred to as Obas for the administrative convenience of the colonial masters. Bight of Benin was descriptive of Benin’s political and economic influence in pre-colonial Africa. The Oba is still referred to as Omo. Benin pre-historic events are on display every year at the Oba’s yearly Ugie festivals. Since it is a yearly traditional ritual, it is a living history to which all are always invited.

How Yar’Adua Died, By Ex-Military Medical Director

Detailed insights on the death of two former heads of state, General Sani Abacha and former President Musa Yar’Adua were given yesterday by a former medical director of the Military Hospital, Lagos, Brigadier-General Otu Oviemo Ovadje (rtd).
Oviemo, medical doctor and internationally acclaimed Nigeria Army inventor who spoke yesterday in Lagos at a symposium also revealed how a former minister in the former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s cabinet and a former Kwara State governor died due to lack of necessary medical facilities in the country.
“The late Gen Abacha while in office could not undertake medical tourism but imported Filipino doctors to manage his condition. The Filipino’s made a mockery of his management by pumping steroids into him. “The President became bloated and was thought by the un-informed as improving and gaining weight.
The President’s weight gain and puffiness was largely due to fluid retention. I was privileged as a celebrated Nigerian doctor at the time to advise but there were too many uninterested aides of the Head of State. It became too late in the day. He snapped and died,” Oviemo stated. He said it was unfortunate that the late leader could build a specialised centre to cater for his ailment, though there are more and better trained Nigerians who could have handled his case better, noting that it was profitable to bring in foreign doctors to spite the home grown, and for what is in it for them.
Oviemo attributed the death of the late President Yar’Adua from brain damage caused by severe asphyxia to ignorance and poor management. “The presence of a sophisticated Air and Land Ambulance did not prevent him from dying from his condition just as the hospital in Saudi Arabia with all its gadgets could not reverse damage done to his brain during an acute deterioration of his health.
“Imagine what could have happened to our very meek, humble and generally loved president when he suffered an acute relapse of his condition. He was rushed into the ambulance and a face mask was turned on with oxygen flushing over his face.” Oviemo stated that the late Head of State was “hypo-ventilating at the time and by the time he got to Saudi Arabia, he had suffered irreversible brain death. “Because Nigerians believe in the god of mammon and that money answers all things, they expected a miracle from the Saudi hospital.
The truth is that if we had good centres back home in Nigeria, the late Head of State should have been stabilised before been flown out. Our usual first impulse is to fly out the sick and our experiences have shown that many patients die,” he said. He also recalled the death of an unnamed former Military Governor of Kwara State who had pneumonia, and he was called to attend.
However, the said governor was flown abroad without his own knowledge and the said former governor eventually died. According to him, “I met the big man sweaty, restless and confused due to carbon dioxide narcosis from his poor ventilation. I only adjusted his neck and positioned his head to enable him exhale properly and his condition improved. “I advised them not to fly him out immediately to allow him to be stable. I volunteered to fly with him at my own expense to support him on board.
By the time I returned back from Lagos where I went for my passport, the man had been flown out. Early in the morning, I got a call from one of my highly placed mentors that “we lost him”. “I was told that he got to Germany but he died before he could gain admission to a hospital. The General’s condition could have been very well-managed in Nigeria but for the pleasure of medical tourism and the absence of identifiable/recognisable facilities and expertise.
Money has robbed many privileged and affluent Nigerians of sensibility. They never see with you or take advice when money talks,” Oviemo recalled. He added that during the second term of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a former minister died from asthmatic attacks which could have been easily treated if necessary medical facilities were available in the country.
South Africans, including their top government officials according to Oviemo, hardly undertake medical tourism like their Nigerian counterparts, noting that former President Nelson Mandela was still being treated for a heart condition in his country when he could have been flown out for treatment. He said many Nigerians cannot afford the price of management in centres that are well-equipped, while some of the centres are entrusted to mediocre due to nepotism or political consideration.
Oviemo spoke at the symposium organised by Mcnext Intellectual Property in collaboration with the Student Union Government of Yaba College of Technology, Lagos on the topic Where are we in the Global Plan? He also lamented the country’s decline in Defence Technology and Agriculture.

Exclusive: How APC Will Share Key Positions

The leadership of the merging political parties under the auspices of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has agreed on the formula to be adopted in sharing key offices in the higher hierarchy of the party.
Going by the arrangement, each of the merging parties which includes the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and a group from the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) led by Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha will have representation of seven persons in the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and the National Executive Committee (NEC). Already, the position of National Chairman has been zoned to the ACN, National Secretary CPC, National Treasurer ANPP and National Organising Secretary; Okorocha-led group in the APC.
Out of the persons that will be nominated by the concerned parties, 11 members will control the APC National Working Committee. Because of the peculiar nature of APGA, its seven representatives are not coming on board under the toga of a party due to lingering leadership tussle between Chief Victor Umeh and Barr.Maxi Okwu. As part of procedure for registration, the APC had submitted the list that contained the names of the three National Chairmen, National Secretaries (3) and National Treasurers (3) of the merging parties because they are the signatories to the accounts of each of the parties.
They are not only the authorized persons that can sign legal documents representing their parties, but are also going to be signatories to register the new party because they are legal signatories. Reliable sources said the Caretaker Leadership of the APC would be announced after the formal registration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
At present, there has not been any concrete decision on which party will take the chairmanship position of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the APC as it is still under consultation. Last Tuesday, the leadership of the three merging political parties announced that they had finally approached INEC to merge into one, without announcing interim officers as speculated.
Chief Tom Ikimi; spokesperson for the merger committee of the three political parties, who spoke after a meeting in Abuja, said the national chairmen, secretaries and treasurers of the three parties had submitted their letters of intent to merge to INEC penultimate Friday. Ikimi, was flanked at the briefing by both the former Governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau ANPP and a former Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Mohammed Gadi CPC, said they were satisfied with the submission of letters of intent to merge and that the request was already pending before the electoral body.
He said the final document for registration in accordance with INEC regulations has to be signed by the National Chairman, National Secretary and National Treasurer of each of the merging parties, dismissing the insinuations that the merging committee was unable to agree on who should lead the APC in the interim.
He said the names of prospective interim leaders were being discussed and that representatives of each merging party and some sections of APGA and the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) had been mandated to report back to the leaders of their group on the matter. Ikimi said, “That is being discussed and it is being worked out and we need to consult further with our various parties in order to agree with those names.
“There are no disagreements and we as merging parties are working and we had a fruitful meeting this afternoon and we have made fundamental decisions. “One of the decisions is that we should now consult further with our various parties (on the names of those to lead the newly formed party).” He voiced pleasure over the point that the Merging Committee had been able to conclude work on the choice of name, logo, slogan, symbol, constitution and a manifesto of the new party, saying this had made it possible for the merging parties to hold their conventions.
Ikimi also expressed satisfaction that Nigerians were waiting for the final registration of the party so that they could avail themselves the opportunity of joining the APC, assuring them that the new party would be broad-based, open and truly belong to all its members equally. He said, “To this end, we have all subscribed to our new constitution (in the APC) and it defines, quite clearly, the leadership structure of the party. “This principle underscored equality and fair play among party members without prejudice.
“We will therefore strive to guarantee transparency and internal party democracy, particularly at this stage of registration. “We expect all of us involved in the process to also subscribe to and respect the fundamental principles. “Everyone committed to providing our country this platform of change must be prepared to make the necessary sacrifice.”
Spokespersons for the ACN and CPC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Mr Rotimi Fashakin also assured Nigerians that there was no crisis within the ranks of the members of the merging political parties. Mohammed said the leaders of the new party were confident that INEC would soon issue them the letters of registration and that the non-submission of the interim leaders of the party to the electoral body would not have any negative effect on its registration. Asked if the leaders of the merging political parties had agreed on the sharing formula of those that would make the list of the interim committee, Mohammed said, “You will know in due course.
“Let me tell you one thing, nobody would stampede us and no amount of pressure would make us do what we know is not proper.” He said the merger would be the first time such would happen in the country, adding that its promoters would not be distracted with criticisms because “we know we are on the right course.” The meeting was attended by Imo State Governor Okorocha; former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa; and a former National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Audu Ogbeh.

Single Tenure: ‘Presidency Not Losing Sleep Over 2015 Date’

Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Dr. Ahmed Gulak, on Saturday said the Presidency was not losing sleep over the insistence of the Senate Committee on the Amendment of the 1999 Constitution that the single term proposal must begin in 2015.
Gulak, who spoke exclusively to our correspondent, was reacting to an interview the Chairman of the committee, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, granted Saturday PUNCH.
Ekweremadu had said the commencement date would not be changed to 2019 as proposed by the Presidency because President Goodluck Jonathan had not declared his intention to seek a second term.
Ekweremadu said the president’s aide was wrong in his earlier argument that the single term proposal was targeted at the President and first term governors.
But Gulak insisted that the issue at stake was not whether they (the President and governors) had shown interest, but whether it was fair for the Senate to change the rule in the middle of the game.
He however said the Presidency was not bothered because the report of Ekweremadu’s committee remains a proposal, that still needs the input of other lawmakers both at the national and state assemblies.
He said, “We are not losing sleep. Our position has always been that because the Senate committee made a recommendation does not necessarily means that the proposal will scale through.
“The recommendation will still be debated in plenary and it will still go to state Houses of Assembly. So it is not yet an amendment.
“The issue at stake is not whether the President and the governors have declared their interests or not.
“What we are asking is that were these people not elected under a constitution that allows them to run for maximum of two terms? Will it be fair to them if their right to contest a second term is trampled upon? Will it be fair to change the rules in the middle of a game?”

When Dangote And Otedola Party

Billionaire businessmen, Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola might be astute businessmen but this does not stop them from partying.
At the Oghiadomhe/Okeya wedding ceremony, the duo sat on the same table. Their corner was a beehive of activities as many came over to exchange banters.
It was also an occasion for them to prove doubting Thomases that all is indeed well between them.

I Wouldn’t Have Allowed My Sons To Marry White Women — 85-Year-Old Retired Midwife

Eighty five-year-old Taiwo Olaide Johnson narrates how she lived with her husband for 36 years without a disagreement in this interview with Tope Omogbolagun
Where did your parents come from and which school did you attend?
My father was a prominent man from the Olowu family in Idumagbo area of Lagos while my mother came from the Kosoko family of Lagos, so I am a true Lagosian. I was born on September 18, 1928 in Lagos at a time when life was slow and peaceful. There were few schools at the time when I was born and being the daughter of parents who loved education, I was enrolled at the Methodist Primary School and later attended Methodist Secondary School.
When last did you visit the schools?
I don’t even know if the schools still exist. It was a long time ago and many schools have since merged and now exist under new names. What I know is that at the time when I was young, the missionaries were establishing schools in Lagos.
Do you miss your youth?
This is natural but I feel very strong and agile. I still remember events of the past, important dates and my date of birth. My mind is still sound which makes me remember names also. The only problem I have is that my legs are weak but I have a physiotherapist that threats me.
How was the relationship between girls and boys in those days?
We had respect for each other. We met at social events but peer groups were sometimes determined by sex, but not at all times. In school, we discussed and played together. But generally, we maintained the normal gap that existed between opposite sex at the time. Civilisation has bridged that gap now, although it came with its benefits, children of nowadays take undue advantage of the situation.
How did you meet your husband?
I met him when I was living with an aunt called Lady Ademola, who is now late. He visited our house regularly and that was how we became friends before he proposed to marry me.
How did friendship turn to love and later marriage?
It was simple because of the situation we found ourselves. I was a hard working and modest young woman who lived with an aunt I respected so much. The Yoruba tradition and culture were rich in the way a girl transforms to a young woman and it’s just unfortunate that the values are being overlooked now. In those days, these features must be visible, especially when relating with the opposite sex. I am sure that my husband must have noticed these traits in me because he came to our house often. So it was not hard for him to decide to marry me.
Did you immediately accept his proposal?
He was a very hardworking young man like me, who never got intimidated by what other people had. He was always contented with whatever he had and he was also caring. He never walked away from his responsibilities and in those days, he talked a lot about the future. I realised that he was a kind-hearted man who would love his family. We got married on September 14, 1956. It is normal for a couple to disagree on issues, but people still do not believe that I never quarrelled with my husband until he died.
How did you achieve this in your marriage?
I think the reason for this was that we were made for each other. Our thoughts were always one. It’s easy when the two parties understand one another. I did not compete with him over the leadership of the family. I was very submissive and supportive of my husband.
How many children are you blessed with?
We have five male children. They are Olumide, Oluyele, Oluyemi, Dayo and Olufemi. They are all married with children.
Do you have any regrets for not having a female child?
We have no regret at all. My boys are the best any parent would wish to have as children. They are men now living with their families. Girls are known to be emotional towards taking care of their parents. The belief is that they do it better. But my children have risen to the occasion. They do more than most women would do because I trained them to be kind and generous
Although I have no female children, my sons’ wives and their daughters are my children too. I now have five daughters-in-law, so why should I complain that I have no daughters? God has blessed me with what I wanted from Him.
How were you able to cope with training five boys?
When you have five boys to train, you must be ready for a hard time. But I was not alone in it. God stood by me and my husband never left me alone. He was always there to instill discipline. He played the father’s role and I played the mother’s role in the family. Because of the unity that prevailed in our home when we were training these boys, it was not as hard as people thought it was. They listened to us and were excellent in their studies. The most important thing is to ensure that your children have the fear of God. My children were brought up that way.
We encouraged love in the family by eating together from the same plate. When my work was in the way of giving proper training to the boys, I quit my job to concentrate on the family. I became a full-time housewife when they were growing up and returned to work when they became grown-ups. It was a sacrifice that worked and I thank my husband for supporting me.
Where did you work?
I worked as a receptionist in a family planning organisation owned by my father-in-law in Lagos. That was where I got the knowledge of midwifery. Because he did not have a daughter, my father-in-law treated me as his daughter. When I returned to work, I was employed as a midwife.
What was your husband’s occupation?
My husband was a senior staff at the National Electric Power Authority, now Power Holding Company of Nigeria.
He died in an armed robbery attack in 1992. On the day he died, we were at home after dinner when some gunmen came in and attacked us. My children were at the back of the house and they did not know anything was happening.
They hit my husband’s head with the butt of the gun and left him in pain. We took him to the hospital for treatment but he died. My first child was already working at the time so the organisation he worked for took care of the bill.
How have you been coping without your husband?
His death brought sadness and sorrow to me but the family and most especially my children have been supporting me in great ways. I am blessed with great people around me. The vacuum created by my husband’s demise has been filled by my children. Some of them were still young when their father died, but I was able to train them through the help of my husband’s family. Above all, God stands by the family at all times.
One of your sons married a Ghanaian. What was your response when he introduced her to you?
I did not oppose his choice of a woman. I just prayed that God will be with them and bless their union. As a parent, it is my duty to support my sons whenever they take great step in life. My parents-in-law accepted me when their son introduced me to them as his wife. I knew how happy I was on that day.Why should I make a woman my son has chosen to be sad?
Their marriage is blessed with lovely children now, which was my prayer on their wedding day. I love her as my daughter. I have never influenced the choice of my sons’ wives. The only choice that I would oppose was if a white woman was presented by any of them. We are Africans and we should embrace inter-marriage between the tribes on the continent.
How have you coped with a daughter-in-law who does not understand your language?
Love stands in place of every gap that a situation brings. She is now a Nigerian and having stayed in Nigeria for some years, she now understands our culture and language.
Does she prepare Ghanaian food for you?
She prepares a lot of Ghanaian food in the house and I love eating them. She is a great woman who trains her children in God’s way.
What is your favourite food?
I really do not have any special food, just like my late husband. I just love to eat vegetables, with lots of melon, assorted fish, crabs and crayfish. In those days, there was a woman who sold them on our street, but I don’t know where she is now. It was not expensive at the time, but now, with N2,000, you cannot even cook enough food for a whole family. I miss those days.
Would you wish that each of your children have more children than you?
I have no control over the number of children they wish to have. I have five of them but it is left for them to decide how many children they want. You cannot compare the economy in our days with what we have today. Raising children is now expensive, especially the cost of education. They don’t have so many and I think the economic factor might have played a role in their decisions not to have many children.
What do you do to unwind?

I really do not have anything serious that is keeping me busy. But I listen to music every night before going to sleep.

You are a twin and your mother had another set of twins after you. Would you have wished to give birth to twins?

I don’t know. It is God that determines that. Maybe it runs in some families also. But I hope my grandchildren would give birth to twins.

PDP May Suspend Tambuwal Over APC

There are strong indications that the Peoples Democratic Party may soon suspend the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, over his association with the opposition All Progressives Congress.
Investigations on Friday revealed that the party’s National Working Committee had started compiling a list of what a stalwart who spoke to this newspaper described as Tambuwal’s “many sins.”
In addition to compiling the list, the party has placed the Speaker under watch to monitor his “future anti-party activities.”
Our correspondents gathered that senior party officials were displeased with the Speaker’s “open romance with the APC” and his presence at a rally organised by the suspended Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamakko, on Wednesday.
The PDP had recently suspended Wamakko and his Rivers State counterpart, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, for indiscipline.
Wamakko was suspended a forthnight ago for allegedly disrespecting the PDP National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur.
At the rally organised by Wamakko in Sokoto on Wednesday, Tambuwal had described Wamakko’s suspension as unconstitutional.
The Speaker said the suspension was “unconstitutional and (a) self-serving decision taken through undemocratic means.”
The stalwart, who is a member of the PDP NWC, spoke to one of our correspondents in confidence, and said the leadership of the party considered the Speaker’s speech as an act of indiscipline.
He added that Tambuwal’s appearance and the speech at the rally were considered by the PDP hierarchy as the climax of his anti-party activities.
He stated that the party would have overlooked Tambuawal’s “latest sin,” but decided to move against him because of his “growing misdeeds.”
Among the listed anti-party activities, was his emergence as the Speaker of the House of Representatives two years ago.
The party had tipped the current Majority Leader of the House, Mrs. Mulikat Adeola, for the post and had asked Tambuwal to step aside.
But Tambuwal, who had the support of the opposition and some PDP members, went ahead to contest the election and eventually defeated his party’s candidate.
The party source, who spoke to SUNDAY PUNCH, said, “The party leaders were angry with Tambuawal’s presence at Wamakko’s rally.
“He has been placed under watch and any moment from now he may be suspended. His many sins are being compiled. Tambuwal has never hidden his disdain for the party. His emergence as Speaker was against the party’s wish.”
There have been reports that the APC is considering Tambuawal as its presidential candidate in 2015.
The party is also said to be angry with the Speaker because of his presence at the launch of Opon Imo, the initiative of the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, in Osogbo.
Tambuwal was said to have lauded Aregbesola, who is a member of the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria, for his achievements in the last three years.
The Osun State PDP chapter, in its reaction to the Speaker’s comment, had urged Tukur to correct him.
The state PDP Chairman, Mr. Ganiyu Olaoluwa, said Tambuwal’s comment was unbecoming of a national leader of the party.
Olaoluwa, who condemned Tambuwal’s visit to the state, noted that the actions of the Speaker raised posers as to whether he “is a member of the PDP or a supporter of Aregbesola.”
When contacted on the PDP’s moves to suspend Tambuwal, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said that the ruling party would refrain from “washing its dirty linen in public.”
He said it would rely more on its internal mechanisms in dealing with issues.
In an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, Metuh said, “He (Tambuwal) is a product of this party as a matter of fact; he is the number four citizen of this country.
“The Speaker of the House of Representatives is not under investigations and we are not aware of anything like that.
“If there are any issues, we have internal party mechanisms to deal with them.”
On the lingering crisis between the party and the suspended governor of Sokoto State, he said the party’s internal affairs would no longer be the subject of public discuss.
Metuh said, “He (Wamakko) is a governor elected on the platform of the party.
“Having been so privileged to occupy such a position, we cannot be exchanging words with him on the pages of the newspapers.
“If we have any disciplinary problem, we leave it at that. Do not forget that he is a leader of the party in spite of everything.
“It is not for us to be washing our dirty linen in public. Whatever it is, we will handle it the way the party is supposed to handle it.”
When contacted, Tambuwal described any alleged moves by the PDP to suspend him as “speculative.”
His Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Imam Imam, who spoke on his behalf, said that he would not comment on speculations.
He said, “Any talk about the PDP suspending the Speaker is speculative. We won’t react to speculation; this is pure speculation. That is our position.”

Tinubu’s Mother, Abibatu Mogaji, Dies At 96

President-General, Association of Nigerian Market Women and Men, Abibatu Mogaji, on Saturday died at 96.
Mogaji was the mother of former governor of Lagos State and National Leader, Action Congress of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu.
A statement issued said she would be buried on Sunday (today), at the Ikoyi Vaults and Gardens, Lagos.
Mogaji recently received an honorary Doctorate Degree from the Ahmadu Bello University during its 50th anniversary.
Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, described the death of the matriarch as a great loss to millions of people.
In a statement by the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Osun State, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, the governor said Mogaji’s death would leave a big vacuum both in politics and commercial sectors of not only Lagos State but Nigeria at large.
Aregbesola said Mogaji led a life of substance that is worthy of emulation.
He said, “Mama Abibatu Mogaji was a mother in a million. We commiserate with her children, particularly Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for their great loss.
“We commiserate with the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu; the Mogaji family; the people of Lagos, particularly Femi Okunnu; the party; the government of Lagos; and market men and women in Nigeria and Lagos in particular.
“We pray that God gives them the fortitude to bear the loss and we pray God grants her Aljana Firdaus.”
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, said the death was “a great national and personal loss.”
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Hakeem Bello, Fashola said she was a defender of people’s rights.
He said, “She was one of the pioneer traders who ventured into the capital intensive and risky business of importing consumer goods, thereby breaking the monopoly previously enjoyed by foreign tradesmen. Her business acumen attracted the attention of multi-national enterprises operating in Nigeria, then, which had no option but to register her as a business partner and distributor of their consumer goods in Nigeria.”
Also, the state Peoples Democratic Party, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Gani Taofik, described the deceased as a dogged fighter for justice.