Saturday, 27 July 2013

Minister’s plea to bosses

A GOVERNMENT minister last night told UK bosses they should hire British workers before immigrants.

Hancock, immigration, economy, UK, work, force, cameronThe Business and Education Minister said taking on British employees was better for UK companies and the wider economy
MP Matthew Hancock urged firms to avoid the “easy option” of filling jobs with foreign workers when they could train local recruits.
The Business and Education Minister said taking on British employees was better for UK companies and the wider economy.
The Coalition’s immigration clampdown means foreigners now fill 55% of job vacancies, compared with 74% under Labour.
But Mr Hancock believes firms could still hire a larger proportion of British workers.
“To build a strong, long-term economy we have got to play our part in government, and businesses need to take their responsibility.”
MP Matthew Hancock
He said: “As vacancies rise and unemployment falls further, it is the duty of companies, especially big business, to take on local young people – not immediately take the easy option of recruiting from abroad.”
Mr Hancock, who is a close ally of Chancellor George Osborne, said he understood why so many firms took on foreigners.
But he added: “To build a strong, long-term economy we have got to play our part in government, and businesses need to take their responsibility.

UK teenager feared drowned in France is named

A BRITISH TEENAGER feared drowned has been named as Kieran Knight.

Messanges, Landes, is known for its beaches
The 16-year-old, who went missing off the south-west coast of France on Wednesday, was "caught by a strong undercurrent and was unable to make his way back to shore," a Foreign Office statement said.
The Foreign Office are providing consular assistance to the family of the boy.
The statement added the family needed privacy "to come to terms with this tragic event concerning their much loved son."
Rescue workers were told on Wednesday afternoon of the boy's disappearance near the town of Messanges, in the region of Landes, French officials have confirmed.
Three helicopters and a patrol boat were used in the search for the boy, without any success.
The Foreign Office statement said: "Despite extensive ongoing searches by the French authorities, Kieran has not been located."

Holly Willoughby's passion for fashion stems from Dita Von Teese

WITH her sexy curves and spark-ling personality, it’s no wonder Holly Willoughby has the country hooked.

Holly Willoughby, boobs, bbc, the voice, dita von teese, tits, nakedHolly Willoughby loves to look gorgeous at all times
Now the sizzling telly babe has revealed her inspiration – burlesque babe Dita Von Teese.
Holly, who conquered the TV world on This Morning, The Voice and Celebrity Juice, has been leading the fashion pack with her collection for Very.co.uk.
The 32-year-old, nicknamed Holly Willoughbooby thanks to her ample cleavage, says: “There are so many gorgeous women out there.
“I look at Dita Von Teese and think she is a mysterious, dark sex goddess and a beautiful woman who is committed to her look.
“She looks so feminine and striking so I admire her for that.”
The mum-of-two from Brighton is said to have netted a fortune of £10million thanks to her many jobs.
And she’s no stranger to awards success either.
She won a Bafta for her time working on children’s TV and earlier this year Holly bagged the National Television Award with co-host Phillip Schofield, 51, for best factual programme on This Morning.
And last year on National Cleavage Day, Holly was awarded Best Celebrity Cleavage.
It was based on a poll of 1,000 women who chose her as the first star to get into the Wonderbra Cleavage Hall of Fame.
But as well as super-sexy Dita, 40, she admits she sometimes prefers more natural glamour.
Holly explains: “I love the look of someone like Heidi Klum, who probably looks gorgeous when she gets out of bed in the morning.
“She probably doesn’t have to put any make-up on and she has this really fresh, beautiful face and is just effortlessly natural.”
Even a wonder woman like Holly can have bad days, so how does she manage to keep smiling on TV?
She says: “Everyone has off days, that’s part of being human.
“My piece of advice would be to think about what makes you smile and keep it at the front of your mind for the whole day.”
And as well as writing a children’s book with her sister recently, Holly has other work plans in the pipeline.
Holly Willoughby with her TV partner Phillip SchofieldHolly Willoughby with her TV partner Phillip Schofield
“I love the look of someone like Heidi Klum, who probably looks gorgeous when she gets out of bed in the morning.”
Holly Willoughby
She tells us: “I get asked quite a lot if I would ever bring out my own range of beauty products.
“Maybe – I do have an interest in it. I really love that side of things.
“I love getting a new product and thinking: ‘Ooh, how does this one work?’
“I think it’s more down to a time issue with me.
“I have enough on my plate as it is and I want to do the things I’m committed to as well as I possibly can. So maybe in the future.”
Her own beauty regime is much more streamlined, with Holly relying on products to make her look fab.
She says: “I’m not a natural blonde. I have highlights, then I have a tint, and I’m always having my hair blow-dried.
“So I put my hair under quite a lot of stress, which means I really have to look after it.
“There’s a bit of a theme when it comes to my beauty regime – I like one product to do an awful lot of things. I expect a lot from them.”
Holly Willoughby is the face of Oral-B 3D White Luxe, out now.

Liam Gallagher gets some family support over marriage fears

LIAM Gallagher received a little brotherly love yesterday after ditching his wedding ring.

Liam Gallagher, kid, nicole appleton, affair, sexLiam Gallagher got a visit from brother Paul after his five-year marriage singer Nicole Appleton appears to have hit the rocks
The rocker got a visit from Paul after his five-year marriage to ex-All Saints singer Nicole Appleton appeared to have hit the rocks.
He and Paul, 47, had a heart-to-heart at Liam’s home. After their chat, Liam went running with a rucksack full of weights strapped to his back.
The Beady Eye frontman, 40, bolted across Hampstead Heath, north London, out-pacing some fans who had jogged alongside him, and disappeared into the distance.
One witness said: “It looked like he was preparing for Nicole’s return. He might have to flee for his life then.”
Liam has been home alone since returning from a bender in Ibiza with his Beady Eye bandmates.
His trip came as American journalist Liza Ghorbani, 39, claimed he was the father of her baby daughter Gemma.
Following the bombshell revelation Nicole, 38, remained on holiday in Orlando, Florida, with their 12-year-old son Gene and other relatives.
She was also pictured without her wedding ring.
Paul recently house-sat for Liam and Nicole at the five-storey home in Hampstead while the couple were on holiday together.
Pals said he has been supporting his brother through his marriage woes.
The ex-Oasis frontman goes for a runThe ex-Oasis frontman goes for a run
“It looked like he was preparing for Nicole’s return. He might have to flee for his life then.”
A witness
Liam and Nicole’s relationship appears to have ended since news broke that Liza filed a paternity suit in New York asking Liam to stump up cash to support her daughter.
They met when she interviewed him for the New York Times last year.
The rocker’s management is also said to have sacked his PA Debbie Gwyther, 31, for becoming “too close” to him.
The pair were pictured sharing sun cream, lounging by a pool and sipping cocktails together in before a recent festival gig in Ibiza.
Liam reportedly told pals he does not believe his marriage is worth saving.
On Monday he released a video for Beady Eye’s new single Shine A Light showing him surrounded by a bevy of naked models.
Instead of dashing to the US to try to smooth things over with his missus, a photo appeared on the group’s Instagram page showing him “moon-bathing” on a beach with bandmates and a beer.

Daley back in Big Brother

BIG Brother hunk Daley Ojuederie wants to make a sensational return to the house 12 days after he was kicked out for a “sex attack”.

Daley Ojuederie, Big Brother, suicide, boxer, sex, scandal, Channel 5Daley wants to return to the house to tell Hazel his true feelings
The distraught boxer has demanded to return so he can tell supposed victim Hazel O’Sullivan: “I love you.”
And he is also convinced that he can persuade the lingerie model to prove his innocence by admitting the “assault” was only a play fight.
Daley – who is being investigated by police – was removed from the Channel 5 show after grabbing Hazel, 24, by the throat.
He also smacked the Irish beauty twice on the buttocks and threatened to “nut her’’ after she tried to pull down his shorts.
The Dubliner later claimed to BB bosses she felt “in danger” and as a result stunned Daley was kicked out.
BB fans have since turned on Hazel, claiming that she deliberately sealed the Watford lad’s fate and they have branded her “a bitch” and “a snake’’ on internet forums and the BB website.
Now Daley, 28, wants to go back in the house and make her tell the other housemates what happened.
He said last night: “I want to go back in. I would say ‘Hello Hazel. I love you – but please tell the truth!’
“That was a big play fight. I want to go back in to see the look on their faces.”
Daley was thrown off the Channel 5 show on July 15, less than a week after his girlfriend Katie Cotterie broke down in tears on spin-off show Big Brother’s Bit On The Side.
Katie told host Emma Willis she was shocked by his antics with Hazel – and she has now dumped him.
Daley admits there was a spark between him and the Irish lass and that they got very close.
Now they’re set to reunite when she leaves the house – and maybe reignite the passion as well.
He hinted that they had enjoyed full sex and said: “When you are in that house, you lose all sense of reality.
“What happened between Hazel and I? That’s between me and her. I’d like to keep that private.”
Daley is being investigated by the police over an alleged 'sex attack' on HazelDaley is being investigated by the police over an alleged 'sex attack' on Hazel
“What happened between Hazel and I? That’s between me and her. I’d like to keep that private.”
Daley Ojuederie
Daley was last night heartened to learn that Hazel has started to open up more about the throat-grabbing episode, and hopes she will tell the truth.
Although she has not spoken in detail about it, she yesterday admitted that she never wanted him thrown out.
She said: “I don’t know whether people think it was my decision he left but I didn’t want him to go.”
The model now hopes viewers will change their view of her.
She added: “I really don’t think I’ve been the ultimate bitch in here.
“I’m really worried about my work and my job now. Maybe I’ll just have to slither back to Ireland. They don’t have any snakes there.”
Gina Rio, 24, has no sympathy for her. She hissed: “It’s no-one’s fault but hers. I will never trust her.”

ASUU May Call Off Strike Next Thursday

There are indications that the on-going strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities might be called off next Thursday.

Governor of Benue State, Mr Gabriel Suswam who dropped this hint Friday said ASUU and the Federal Government had reached agreements on all the contentious issues that led to the industrial action except two.
Suswam who was appointed as Chairman of the Needs Assessment Implementation Committee of the Federal Government said after next Thursday’s deliberations between his Committee and the various agencies of government funding tertiary education, all the contentious issues would likely be resolved.
Speaking to news men in Abuja after attending a meeting between the Federal Government’s delegation and ASUU, Suswam said that agreements had been reached by both parties on all issues except two. Said he: “We reached agreements on all issues except two. These two issues are those of earned allowances of lecturers and intervention for the federal universities. These are the only issues that are still outstanding.”
The Benue Governor further said he believed that by next week after his Committee would have arrived at an agreement on all the issues, ASUU would call off the strike. He continued: ”The SGF would meet with the leadership of ASUU on the issue of earned allowances by next Monday.
Then my committee which is dealing with the issue of the needs assessment of the universities would meet again next Thursday and take another look at all the infrastructural deficits which the federal universities are facing. If you go to our universities, you would agree that they are facing infrastructural deficits and that is why my committee would meet with all the funding agencies next Thursday for the purpose of prioritizing all the projects that need to be executed.
We are going to invite all the agencies that are involved in the funding of the universities including the Central Bank of Nigeria.” Suswam further stated that the issues on agreements have been reached include: those of retirement age for university lecturers- which has now been increased from 65 to 70 years; the constitution of the governing councils of the universities which has already been done by the Government; the setting up of a pension administrator and the issue of persuading companies operating in the country to set up research centers in the universities.
Said he: “As far as I am concerned, if the issues concerning intervention and earned allowances are resolved next week, then the strike could be called off” Among those who attended the meeting were Secretary to the Government of the Federation Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Minister of Labour, Hon. Emeka Wogu, Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayatu Rufai and President of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr Nasir Fagge.

2015: Northern Elders, Youths Endorse Jonathan


AHEAD of the 2015 Presidential election, Northern elders and youths yesterday stormed the National Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Abuja to endorse President Goodluck Jonathan for the exalted position, just as they pleaded with him to make himself available and vie.

photo AHEAD the 2015 Presidential election, Northern elders and youths yesterday stormed the National Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Abuja to endorse President Goodluck Jonathan for the exalted position, just as they pleaded with him to make himself available and vie.
The elders and youths came under the aegis of three groups, Northern Elders Forum,  North/South New Nigeria Forum, Fresh Air Continuity Group of North West and Northern PDP Youth.

The groups – led by a former Education Minister under the  late Gen Abacha’s regime and former Presidential Aspirant of All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP, Dr Dauda Birmah,  on a solidarity visit to the PDP national Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur – declared that the North would ever be grateful to the PDP led Government of President Jonathan for creating a conducive atmosphere that made the release of the former Chief Security Adviser to late Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha possible after over 14 years of incarceration.

They however hailed Jonathan over the release from prison of Major Hamza al-Mustapha, just as they promised to get most voters in the north, especially North West to support and vote for him.

Dauda Birma, said “Goodluck Jonathan’s leadership has been rated as the best administration so far. With what Jonathan has done in Maiduguri, I can affirm that the city is now safer than most parts of the country”.

According to him, Major Mustapha’s release would not have been possible by the ordinary fiat of the court if not for the underground work of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and the consent of the executive of the President Jonathan led administration, adding that the Groups decided to come out openly to appreciate the exemplary leadership qualities of the President Jonathan since assumption of office which had been unprecedented in the anal of Nigeria.

He said they were also at the PDP National Secretariat to correct insinuations that the People of the  North especially the North- West Zone were against his  Presidential ambition come 2015, adding that the release of Major Al-Mustapha had further fuelled the supports of the North for the re election of President Jonathan come 2015.

The leaders of the three Groups, Hajia Nana Abdulkadri, Mallam Mohammed Omeri and Ibrahim Mohammed in their remarks expressed their appreciation for the release of the former CSO and acknowledged the roles of the leadership of the Party and the President and as  well dismissed the wrong notion that the  North in general was against the Presidential ambition of Dr Jonathan come 2015.

Responding, Alhaji Tukur said that it was a thing of joy for him for three different Groups to come at the same time to appreciate openly the achievements of the PDP led administration of President Jonathan at this point in time when wrong impressions were being created that all was not well in the country.

According to him, “to me, this is democracy in action, people will agree with you,people will also  disagree with you, we can not see things the same way at all times, when we see good things we should celebrate like these groups are doing now, celebrate good things, celebrate democracy, celebrate justice, don’t be intimidated by others, this is your country, hold it firmly”.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Charity Uzoechina, daughter of Redeem Pastor Raymond Uzoechina Converts To Islam

The conversion to Islam of 25-year-old Charity Uzoechina, daughter of Pastor Raymond Uzoechina of Redeem Christian Church of God, Kwankwashe, Suleja, continues to generate controversy.

Her father accused the Estu Nupe Alhaji Yahaya Abubukar, of hypnotizing his daughter, who has since changed her name to A’isha, to embrace Islam. A’isha, who hails from Asaba, Delta State, came to Abuja at the age of 10 when her father relocated from Lagos.
After her secondary school education at Army Day Secondary School Asokoro, Abuja she got admission into Federal Polytechnic, Bida to read Public Administration. She, however, withdrew from the course in her first year. She embraced Islam on February 15, 2013. A’isha said since her family relocated to Suleja, Niger State, she has been in the midst of Muslims, which accorded her the opportunity to have several Muslims friends and learnt a lot about Islam.
The travails of A’isha began when she ran to the Estu Nupe’s palace in Bida on March 1, this year to seek protection against any aggression she may face should her family know about her conversion to Islam. This led to a controversy that is still ongoing, with her father accusing the traditional ruler of kidnapping his daughter. Along the line, several meetings were organized between A’isha and her father Pastor Uzoechina and his daughter at the instance of the Estu Nupe, who also involved some members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
But despite that, A’isha refused to follow her father, alleging that he has threatened to deal with her by taking her away to a place that she will not be able to practice her new religion. A’isha has taken the matter to a Shariah court in Bida and the court is expected to rule on August 1, 2013 whether or not the 25-year-old should be released to her parents or not. She speaks exclusively to Weekly Trust.
Excerpts: Weekly Trust: What is your name?
Aisha Uzoechina: I was formerly known as Charity Uzoechina and now A’isha Uzoechina. Why the change of name? I changed my name because I have accepted Islam.
What brought you to Bida?
I came to Bida in 2012 to read Public Administration at the Federal Polytechnic, Bida.
Are you still a student of Federal Polytechnic Bida?
No, I am not. I have withdrawn from the school.
Did you go back home?
No, I did not go home. At the beginning I was planning to go back home, because I wanted to tell my father that I have converted to Islam. When I converted, I was afraid to tell my parents, because of the way my father would behave. I know he will not take it lightly with me. So, for that I refused to go back home.
Did anybody force or enticed you to join Islam?

How To Make Love To The Same Spouse For The Rest Of Your Life

A desired marriage is not complete without adequate plan for a better and fulfilled sex life. Sex remains a potent tool to forge lasting relationships among couples and a good sex life, no doubt, will certainly help prepare couples to face challenges.

For couples whose sex life has taken a dip, they can still make love for the rest of their life and still love it. The major tool is rediscovering opportunities to revive the magic that once kept your hearts fluttering with joy. The funny update is that great sex is still attainable.
Think of how you can make sex hot; don’t undermine the fact that the hotter the passion, the better the sex. There are different ways to tell your partner how much you enjoy sleeping with him or her. Sometimes, the way you talk about sex or demand for it; the way you respond to your partner’s advances or the things you do to your body in order to look good, could go a long way into keeping the passion in your relationship hot and sizzling. When there is a mutual desire to jump into each other’s arms, couple would always be willing to go the extra mile to have best of sex.
Flirting with your spouse will spice up your sex life. If you are the wife, you should form a habit of flirting with your husband at all the time. When you put on your alluring airs, you are indirectly telling your husband that you are always interested in his sexual prowess; men often react positively to this kind of attitude.
The looks you give your spouse speaks volumes and seductive glances generate sexual energy. Seductive attire, dressing to kill get your husband fired up sexually, even though he may pretend initially not to notice. Any woman that is serious about making love to the same man for the rest of her life and still love it ought to keep a sexy kit handy and make sure that all the items are available anytime, anywhere and at strategic points in the car, kitchen, and bedsides.
Men are habitually under sexual pressure; it does not matter whether you are newlywed, nursing mother, or menopausal bride. What matters is that you must treat the nuptial bed like a bona fide business or make it one. You can even be a little mysterious sexually. The fact is that if a wife arouses her husband’s curiosity, it is guaranteed that the man will always be back against all odds. Statistically, an average man gets bored easily sexually. Voice your sexual fantasy and experiment it on him.
Husbands, turn your wife into your idea sex girl. Men have a catalogue of sexual imaginations and the best way to relive these scenarios is to share it with their wives. Ask your wife of the possibilities of experimentation with good dividend. Experts say all living beings have sexual fantasies, in which an individual imagines himself enjoying erotic moments with his or her spouse in strange places at strange times with strange posture and positions. Sharing sexual fantasies with your partner is a way of heightening and intensifying erotic potential by showing your spouse possibilities that he or she has never considered before. In turn, this will open the door to a lifetime of sexual ecstasy.
Most times, spouses underestimate how powerful they become if they can fulfil their partner’s unrequited fantasy. The point is that if your partner has been dreaming about something all of his/her life and then you help make it a reality for him, the chances are that you will definitely inspire him to display incredible loyalty and devotion to you. The advantage of these fantasies is that they give room to assertiveness, unpredictability and an impulsiveness that creates fun, excitement and expectations; which in turn eliminates boredom. Before you know it, you are actually making love to the same spouse and loving it.
Make giving your spouse great sex a priority. This is like pledging your eternal allegiance to him or her. Although most men dislike longish foreplay, when you are aware of the fact that control is essential during lovemaking and that most women think wonderful sex should be full of slow foreplay, you just got yourself a sex life partner. Remember that the best sex lasts between thirteen and twenty five minutes. According to a study published in a journal, medical researchers who surveyed people bedroom preferences says two to five minutes is too short, seven to twenty minutes is acceptable and 30 minutes and above may be unattainable by some.

CHILD MARRIAGE: Pay Her School Fees, Not Her Bride Price


photo
For as long as I can remember, delusion, self-interest and greed have motivated not only the Nigerian government but the Nigerian people who often respond to the calculating, preying actions of their leaders not with outrage, but with the cunning of those who will profit by supporting what we all know to be wrong.
However, today I am proud of the outpouring of reactions following the passage of the Senate’s Bill making the age of consent in Nigeria 13 (in most European countries it is 16 and even in Spain, where it is still 13, activists, public figures, fight tirelessly to have it raised).
Child marriage has been legalised in Nigeria, everything our mothers and grand mothers have fought for, to guarantee us a right to education, a right to determine and decide for ourselves our path in life, has been swiftly destroyed. One question remains: Where are the female members of the Senate?
Nigerian women need to know they deserve better. When a female House of Representatives member is interviewed, she is often happy to answer banal questions on her favourite colour, the number of Chanel bags she owns, her favourite holiday spot.
Even film stars are more intellectually challenged by the media. Mothers, sisters, daughters in every walk of life, we all need to recognise that we deserve better, that we should be valued more than the amount we can fetch by being sold at the altar, that we are more than our fashion choices, no matter how elaborate, that we are more than the incredible pressure society puts on women to seek existence and outright fulfilment in marriage.
Our lives as women are worth something. It might seem like a moot point. But believe me when I say that there are women, even powerful women in Nigeria and Africa today, who need to realise this because they are the only ones who can truly champion the rights of the girl-child. I ask the female members of both Houses today, how many of their daughters marry at 13.
I ask the wealthy, carefree politicians in Abuja today, how many have given away their precious brood to men three or four times their age who would be free to use them as they see fit. Most host lavish weddings which fill the society pages of our magazines and the pictures tell an interesting story: one of political and business marriages to secure benefits and further hoard economic opportunities by concentrating them in the hands of the few at the expense of the many.
It is the daughters of the poor and the uneducated that we expect to marry at 13 because they have no voice and more so because their families are in desperate need of money. So their innocence, their right to dream is butchered on the altar of some of our lawmaker’s perversities, who seek out poor young girls and turn them into playthings.
We hide behind religion to excuse horrific deeds. Both Christians and Muslims are guilty of this in the Nigeria of today. The legalisation of child brides will open the road towards abusers marrying their victims and therefore being excused. In fact, we are tacitly changing the very definition of rape or of any kind of abuse in a society where the rights of women and children are already so difficult to uphold.
On whose side is our government? Whose will are our legislators serving? If their goal is to tear this country apart then they are doing a fine job by giving Islam a bad name. Christians, this is not Islam. Nor is it another attempt at the islamisation of Nigeria, unlike what I have heard.
Nor is this symptomatic of the North’s refusal to modernise or due to the unhealthy influence of Boko Haram on Muslim communities. Simply put, it is yet another example of government’s blatant attempt to legalise gluttony, self-indulgence and covetousness under every and any form. It is right to steal pensions.
It is right to treat those without a rich father or a Mercedes Benz like second class citizens, to deny them a voice because they are unable to buy votes or pay for the hard earned right to preach hate, divisive falsehoods and general misunderstanding between ethnic groups and religious communities. It is right and acceptable to rob children of their innocence.
Child brides are not Muslim culture. Nor are they an inherent part of Hausa culture. Rather, the perpetuation of this practice is based on debatable interpretations of the Quran. History shows that sex with pre-pubescent girls pre-dates Islam and can thus not be considered typical of Islamic belief. As such, we must recognise, due to the availability of modern science and technology, the health implications of children becoming pregnant, which your average Nigerian who might be in favour of child marriages, might not fully understand.
Then, it is the duty of the Senate to educate its constituents rather than to pass controversial, misogynistic bills, which criminals will see as a path to the legalisation of sexual slavery and paedophilia across the board. Our lawmakers never seem to consider the possible unintended consequences of their actions. Child trafficking, rape, the brutality many young girls face in Nigeria today, are sore topics many would rather not address.
Every day life in Nigeria devalues women. In offices, crude, extremely lewd jokes are made about women who also laugh at them like it means nothing.
We suffer unwanted advances, which are difficult to report. Female heads of human resources tell interns it is their provocative dressing which attracts men and that they must pray for guidance. So, to those Southerners who will see this as an opportunity for more Northern bashing, look long and hard at yourselves. Women in Nigeria are commodities, property. No more than cattle in fancy clothing.
The Quran condemns non-consensual marriages. How many of us believe that it is a 13-year- old’s dream to be married to an old man? Men and women in Islam have equal status before God. Ironically, in practice, men who are greedy for money and power turn the writings upside down and excuse behaviour whose sole intent is to keep women down.
I am a Christian, a Southerner and many I am sure will say I don’t know or understand Islam. One thing I do know is that I believe in one Nigeria and I feel akin to every young girl up North (and who is to say it won’t happen down South now that it is legal) who will be sold to an old man to settle debts or simply given as a gift. Let us all remember the little girls we once were, picture our daughters, our nieces, our sisters and our friends when we think of the nameless, faceless young girls who are being robbed of their childhood.
I am writing this because I want the world to know our Senate’s shame, especially that of our female Senators, with their expensive salaries (let us remember that the members of our upper and lower chambers earn more than the US president), their diamonds and properties purchased with the blood and tears of Nigerian children.
But we the youth of Nigeria will never cease to believe in progress and progressive religion. We will never cease to believe in one Nigeria, we are bigger than our differences and stronger than our disagreements. We are a country destined for greatness, inspite of our leaders who choose not to allow it. I am every Nigerian the government chooses to sacrifice.
I am every child who goes to bed hungry. I am every jobless graduate. I am every young person who dies in a plane crash due to negligence. I am every person who dies on our bad roads or in our poorly equipped hospitals. I am every Nigerian who despite all this believes in change. It’s called the Audacity of Hope.
By TABIA PRINCEWILL

CHILD MARRIAGE: Pay Her School Fees, Not Her Bride Price


photo
For as long as I can remember, delusion, self-interest and greed have motivated not only the Nigerian government but the Nigerian people who often respond to the calculating, preying actions of their leaders not with outrage, but with the cunning of those who will profit by supporting what we all know to be wrong.
However, today I am proud of the outpouring of reactions following the passage of the Senate’s Bill making the age of consent in Nigeria 13 (in most European countries it is 16 and even in Spain, where it is still 13, activists, public figures, fight tirelessly to have it raised).
Child marriage has been legalised in Nigeria, everything our mothers and grand mothers have fought for, to guarantee us a right to education, a right to determine and decide for ourselves our path in life, has been swiftly destroyed. One question remains: Where are the female members of the Senate?
Nigerian women need to know they deserve better. When a female House of Representatives member is interviewed, she is often happy to answer banal questions on her favourite colour, the number of Chanel bags she owns, her favourite holiday spot.
Even film stars are more intellectually challenged by the media. Mothers, sisters, daughters in every walk of life, we all need to recognise that we deserve better, that we should be valued more than the amount we can fetch by being sold at the altar, that we are more than our fashion choices, no matter how elaborate, that we are more than the incredible pressure society puts on women to seek existence and outright fulfilment in marriage.
Our lives as women are worth something. It might seem like a moot point. But believe me when I say that there are women, even powerful women in Nigeria and Africa today, who need to realise this because they are the only ones who can truly champion the rights of the girl-child. I ask the female members of both Houses today, how many of their daughters marry at 13.
I ask the wealthy, carefree politicians in Abuja today, how many have given away their precious brood to men three or four times their age who would be free to use them as they see fit. Most host lavish weddings which fill the society pages of our magazines and the pictures tell an interesting story: one of political and business marriages to secure benefits and further hoard economic opportunities by concentrating them in the hands of the few at the expense of the many.
It is the daughters of the poor and the uneducated that we expect to marry at 13 because they have no voice and more so because their families are in desperate need of money. So their innocence, their right to dream is butchered on the altar of some of our lawmaker’s perversities, who seek out poor young girls and turn them into playthings.
We hide behind religion to excuse horrific deeds. Both Christians and Muslims are guilty of this in the Nigeria of today. The legalisation of child brides will open the road towards abusers marrying their victims and therefore being excused. In fact, we are tacitly changing the very definition of rape or of any kind of abuse in a society where the rights of women and children are already so difficult to uphold.
On whose side is our government? Whose will are our legislators serving? If their goal is to tear this country apart then they are doing a fine job by giving Islam a bad name. Christians, this is not Islam. Nor is it another attempt at the islamisation of Nigeria, unlike what I have heard.
Nor is this symptomatic of the North’s refusal to modernise or due to the unhealthy influence of Boko Haram on Muslim communities. Simply put, it is yet another example of government’s blatant attempt to legalise gluttony, self-indulgence and covetousness under every and any form. It is right to steal pensions.
It is right to treat those without a rich father or a Mercedes Benz like second class citizens, to deny them a voice because they are unable to buy votes or pay for the hard earned right to preach hate, divisive falsehoods and general misunderstanding between ethnic groups and religious communities. It is right and acceptable to rob children of their innocence.
Child brides are not Muslim culture. Nor are they an inherent part of Hausa culture. Rather, the perpetuation of this practice is based on debatable interpretations of the Quran. History shows that sex with pre-pubescent girls pre-dates Islam and can thus not be considered typical of Islamic belief. As such, we must recognise, due to the availability of modern science and technology, the health implications of children becoming pregnant, which your average Nigerian who might be in favour of child marriages, might not fully understand.
Then, it is the duty of the Senate to educate its constituents rather than to pass controversial, misogynistic bills, which criminals will see as a path to the legalisation of sexual slavery and paedophilia across the board. Our lawmakers never seem to consider the possible unintended consequences of their actions. Child trafficking, rape, the brutality many young girls face in Nigeria today, are sore topics many would rather not address.
Every day life in Nigeria devalues women. In offices, crude, extremely lewd jokes are made about women who also laugh at them like it means nothing.
We suffer unwanted advances, which are difficult to report. Female heads of human resources tell interns it is their provocative dressing which attracts men and that they must pray for guidance. So, to those Southerners who will see this as an opportunity for more Northern bashing, look long and hard at yourselves. Women in Nigeria are commodities, property. No more than cattle in fancy clothing.
The Quran condemns non-consensual marriages. How many of us believe that it is a 13-year- old’s dream to be married to an old man? Men and women in Islam have equal status before God. Ironically, in practice, men who are greedy for money and power turn the writings upside down and excuse behaviour whose sole intent is to keep women down.
I am a Christian, a Southerner and many I am sure will say I don’t know or understand Islam. One thing I do know is that I believe in one Nigeria and I feel akin to every young girl up North (and who is to say it won’t happen down South now that it is legal) who will be sold to an old man to settle debts or simply given as a gift. Let us all remember the little girls we once were, picture our daughters, our nieces, our sisters and our friends when we think of the nameless, faceless young girls who are being robbed of their childhood.
I am writing this because I want the world to know our Senate’s shame, especially that of our female Senators, with their expensive salaries (let us remember that the members of our upper and lower chambers earn more than the US president), their diamonds and properties purchased with the blood and tears of Nigerian children.
But we the youth of Nigeria will never cease to believe in progress and progressive religion. We will never cease to believe in one Nigeria, we are bigger than our differences and stronger than our disagreements. We are a country destined for greatness, inspite of our leaders who choose not to allow it. I am every Nigerian the government chooses to sacrifice.
I am every child who goes to bed hungry. I am every jobless graduate. I am every young person who dies in a plane crash due to negligence. I am every person who dies on our bad roads or in our poorly equipped hospitals. I am every Nigerian who despite all this believes in change. It’s called the Audacity of Hope.
By TABIA PRINCEWILL

CHILD MARRIAGE: Pay Her School Fees, Not Her Bride Price

26 July, 2013
Local
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For as long as I can remember, delusion, self-interest and greed have motivated not only the Nigerian government but the Nigerian people who often respond to the calculating, preying actions of their leaders not with outrage, but with the cunning of those who will profit by supporting what we all know to be wrong.
However, today I am proud of the outpouring of reactions following the passage of the Senate’s Bill making the age of consent in Nigeria 13 (in most European countries it is 16 and even in Spain, where it is still 13, activists, public figures, fight tirelessly to have it raised).
Child marriage has been legalised in Nigeria, everything our mothers and grand mothers have fought for, to guarantee us a right to education, a right to determine and decide for ourselves our path in life, has been swiftly destroyed. One question remains: Where are the female members of the Senate?
Nigerian women need to know they deserve better. When a female House of Representatives member is interviewed, she is often happy to answer banal questions on her favourite colour, the number of Chanel bags she owns, her favourite holiday spot.
Even film stars are more intellectually challenged by the media. Mothers, sisters, daughters in every walk of life, we all need to recognise that we deserve better, that we should be valued more than the amount we can fetch by being sold at the altar, that we are more than our fashion choices, no matter how elaborate, that we are more than the incredible pressure society puts on women to seek existence and outright fulfilment in marriage.
Our lives as women are worth something. It might seem like a moot point. But believe me when I say that there are women, even powerful women in Nigeria and Africa today, who need to realise this because they are the only ones who can truly champion the rights of the girl-child. I ask the female members of both Houses today, how many of their daughters marry at 13.
I ask the wealthy, carefree politicians in Abuja today, how many have given away their precious brood to men three or four times their age who would be free to use them as they see fit. Most host lavish weddings which fill the society pages of our magazines and the pictures tell an interesting story: one of political and business marriages to secure benefits and further hoard economic opportunities by concentrating them in the hands of the few at the expense of the many.
It is the daughters of the poor and the uneducated that we expect to marry at 13 because they have no voice and more so because their families are in desperate need of money. So their innocence, their right to dream is butchered on the altar of some of our lawmaker’s perversities, who seek out poor young girls and turn them into playthings.
We hide behind religion to excuse horrific deeds. Both Christians and Muslims are guilty of this in the Nigeria of today. The legalisation of child brides will open the road towards abusers marrying their victims and therefore being excused. In fact, we are tacitly changing the very definition of rape or of any kind of abuse in a society where the rights of women and children are already so difficult to uphold.
On whose side is our government? Whose will are our legislators serving? If their goal is to tear this country apart then they are doing a fine job by giving Islam a bad name. Christians, this is not Islam. Nor is it another attempt at the islamisation of Nigeria, unlike what I have heard.
Nor is this symptomatic of the North’s refusal to modernise or due to the unhealthy influence of Boko Haram on Muslim communities. Simply put, it is yet another example of government’s blatant attempt to legalise gluttony, self-indulgence and covetousness under every and any form. It is right to steal pensions.
It is right to treat those without a rich father or a Mercedes Benz like second class citizens, to deny them a voice because they are unable to buy votes or pay for the hard earned right to preach hate, divisive falsehoods and general misunderstanding between ethnic groups and religious communities. It is right and acceptable to rob children of their innocence.
Child brides are not Muslim culture. Nor are they an inherent part of Hausa culture. Rather, the perpetuation of this practice is based on debatable interpretations of the Quran. History shows that sex with pre-pubescent girls pre-dates Islam and can thus not be considered typical of Islamic belief. As such, we must recognise, due to the availability of modern science and technology, the health implications of children becoming pregnant, which your average Nigerian who might be in favour of child marriages, might not fully understand.
Then, it is the duty of the Senate to educate its constituents rather than to pass controversial, misogynistic bills, which criminals will see as a path to the legalisation of sexual slavery and paedophilia across the board. Our lawmakers never seem to consider the possible unintended consequences of their actions. Child trafficking, rape, the brutality many young girls face in Nigeria today, are sore topics many would rather not address.
Every day life in Nigeria devalues women. In offices, crude, extremely lewd jokes are made about women who also laugh at them like it means nothing.
We suffer unwanted advances, which are difficult to report. Female heads of human resources tell interns it is their provocative dressing which attracts men and that they must pray for guidance. So, to those Southerners who will see this as an opportunity for more Northern bashing, look long and hard at yourselves. Women in Nigeria are commodities, property. No more than cattle in fancy clothing.
The Quran condemns non-consensual marriages. How many of us believe that it is a 13-year- old’s dream to be married to an old man? Men and women in Islam have equal status before God. Ironically, in practice, men who are greedy for money and power turn the writings upside down and excuse behaviour whose sole intent is to keep women down.
I am a Christian, a Southerner and many I am sure will say I don’t know or understand Islam. One thing I do know is that I believe in one Nigeria and I feel akin to every young girl up North (and who is to say it won’t happen down South now that it is legal) who will be sold to an old man to settle debts or simply given as a gift. Let us all remember the little girls we once were, picture our daughters, our nieces, our sisters and our friends when we think of the nameless, faceless young girls who are being robbed of their childhood.
I am writing this because I want the world to know our Senate’s shame, especially that of our female Senators, with their expensive salaries (let us remember that the members of our upper and lower chambers earn more than the US president), their diamonds and properties purchased with the blood and tears of Nigerian children.
But we the youth of Nigeria will never cease to believe in progress and progressive religion. We will never cease to believe in one Nigeria, we are bigger than our differences and stronger than our disagreements. We are a country destined for greatness, inspite of our leaders who choose not to allow it. I am every Nigerian the government chooses to sacrifice.
I am every child who goes to bed hungry. I am every jobless graduate. I am every young person who dies in a plane crash due to negligence. I am every person who dies on our bad roads or in our poorly equipped hospitals. I am every Nigerian who despite all this believes in change. It’s called the Audacity of Hope.
By TABIA PRINCEWILL

FG And ASUU Meet Today Over Strike

The Federal Government will meet the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, today on the ongoing strike embarked on by university lecturers over the non- implementation of the 2009 FG/ASUU agreement, which has been on for weeks.

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The meeting comes following the denial of Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu of a newspaper report that the Federal Government agreement with ASUU could not work.
The minister said he never made such a statement and that he only appealed to the union to return to the classrooms while negotiations continued.
Last week’s meeting of the two sides with the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Education had ended in deadlock as both sides seems to be ready to compromise their stands. The two groups were told by the lawmakers, to go back and review their positions, while they choose a later date to reconvene.
Fielding questions from journalists, yesterday, Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufa’I, said that the Federal Government had no other option than to meet with the union to resolve the crisis, so students can return to school.
“Government has no option but to make efforts to resolve ASUU crisis. Mr. President is concerned, everybody is concerned, definitely, efforts will have to be made to have students back in classrooms.
“So we are pleading with our colleagues in ASUU to call off the strike but we are meeting with them, we are meeting tomorrow (today).
Lamenting the state of Nigeria’s economy, President of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Dr. Nasir Fagge, said Nigeria’s economy had been taken over by Chinese, as leaders in Nigeria have refused to provide quality education to the people, while the Chinese government trained its people in all sectors with the necessary facilities.
Fagge said Nigeria’s economy will continue going down the sorry path it is on now, except leaders of the country provided universities with adequate facilities to give qualitative education to the youths. 
“The thing about it is that, if other countries are investing about 28-30 per cent of their annual budget in education, typically Ghana–even this year, Ghana has committed 28 per cent of its total budget to education, if they can do it, why not Nigeria.
“Even now, what is happening is that the Chinese have taken over our economy simply because they have trained their people, they have educated their people and their people can compete any where in the World that is why our President is going to China to go and sign MoU (Memorandum of Understanding).
“Why cant we do the same, why cant we train our people and give them quality education so that we will also be exporting them to go and carry out assignments in other countries and then bring foreign exchange for our country and then we will not need to be importing people to come and do some sundry projects in our country."
He however expressed optimism that the agreement the union entered into with the federal government would be implemented.
“This thing that they are saying agreement cannot be implemented, we have heard it before. Prof. Ben Nwabueze was always in the media when he was the Minister of Education saying that it was an agreement of imperfect obligation,” he said.
The outcome of today’s meeting will determine the fate of students who bear the brunt of strike actions like this.

FG And ASUU Meet Today Over Strike

26 July, 2013
Education
The Federal Government will meet the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, today on the ongoing strike embarked on by university lecturers over the non- implementation of the 2009 FG/ASUU agreement, which has been on for weeks.
photo
The meeting comes following the denial of Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu of a newspaper report that the Federal Government agreement with ASUU could not work.
The minister said he never made such a statement and that he only appealed to the union to return to the classrooms while negotiations continued.
Last week’s meeting of the two sides with the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Education had ended in deadlock as both sides seems to be ready to compromise their stands. The two groups were told by the lawmakers, to go back and review their positions, while they choose a later date to reconvene.
Fielding questions from journalists, yesterday, Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufa’I, said that the Federal Government had no other option than to meet with the union to resolve the crisis, so students can return to school.
“Government has no option but to make efforts to resolve ASUU crisis. Mr. President is concerned, everybody is concerned, definitely, efforts will have to be made to have students back in classrooms.
“So we are pleading with our colleagues in ASUU to call off the strike but we are meeting with them, we are meeting tomorrow (today).
Lamenting the state of Nigeria’s economy, President of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Dr. Nasir Fagge, said Nigeria’s economy had been taken over by Chinese, as leaders in Nigeria have refused to provide quality education to the people, while the Chinese government trained its people in all sectors with the necessary facilities.
Fagge said Nigeria’s economy will continue going down the sorry path it is on now, except leaders of the country provided universities with adequate facilities to give qualitative education to the youths. 
“The thing about it is that, if other countries are investing about 28-30 per cent of their annual budget in education, typically Ghana–even this year, Ghana has committed 28 per cent of its total budget to education, if they can do it, why not Nigeria.
“Even now, what is happening is that the Chinese have taken over our economy simply because they have trained their people, they have educated their people and their people can compete any where in the World that is why our President is going to China to go and sign MoU (Memorandum of Understanding).
“Why cant we do the same, why cant we train our people and give them quality education so that we will also be exporting them to go and carry out assignments in other countries and then bring foreign exchange for our country and then we will not need to be importing people to come and do some sundry projects in our country."
He however expressed optimism that the agreement the union entered into with the federal government would be implemented.
“This thing that they are saying agreement cannot be implemented, we have heard it before. Prof. Ben Nwabueze was always in the media when he was the Minister of Education saying that it was an agreement of imperfect obligation,” he said.
The outcome of today’s meeting will determine the fate of students who bear the brunt of strike actions like this.

Nigeria On Right Track To Economic Recovery — Jonathan

26 July, 2013
Business and Economy
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said that in spite of worrying insecurity confronting the country and the global economic instability that the nation's economy is witnessing a boom.
“At a time many advanced and emerging markets are being downgraded, our sovereign credit ratings have been steadily upgraded,” Jonathan said in Abuja while declaring open the sixth Diaspora Day celebration
He revealed that his administration is hard at work to make the nation's democratic institutions stronger and adding that issues of governance and corruption were also being vigorously tackled on all fronts.
According to him, the country has been able to further reduce the fiscal deficit in 2013 Budget to 1.81 per cent of GDP, and significantly cut domestic borrowing.
He said: “We have rebalanced our spending in favour of capital expenditure. The rate of inflation also dropped to single digit territory at the beginning of this year.”
President Jonathan, who was represented by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, appealed to Nigerians in the Diaspora to bring their experience, expertise and contacts to bear on all facets of national life.

He added that the Diaspora conference should now “constitute a viable and proactive platform for marshalling Nigerians abroad to transfer their competences and technical skills as a means of strengthening our technological base and in furtherance of profitable investments, which will in turn create jobs here.”

Nigeria On Right Track To Economic Recovery — Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said that in spite of worrying insecurity confronting the country and the global economic instability that the nation's economy is witnessing a boom.

“At a time many advanced and emerging markets are being downgraded, our sovereign credit ratings have been steadily upgraded,” Jonathan said in Abuja while declaring open the sixth Diaspora Day celebration
He revealed that his administration is hard at work to make the nation's democratic institutions stronger and adding that issues of governance and corruption were also being vigorously tackled on all fronts.
According to him, the country has been able to further reduce the fiscal deficit in 2013 Budget to 1.81 per cent of GDP, and significantly cut domestic borrowing.
He said: “We have rebalanced our spending in favour of capital expenditure. The rate of inflation also dropped to single digit territory at the beginning of this year.”
President Jonathan, who was represented by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, appealed to Nigerians in the Diaspora to bring their experience, expertise and contacts to bear on all facets of national life.

He added that the Diaspora conference should now “constitute a viable and proactive platform for marshalling Nigerians abroad to transfer their competences and technical skills as a means of strengthening our technological base and in furtherance of profitable investments, which will in turn create jobs here.”
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