Sunday, April 29, 2012

Africa’s Youth Should Rebel Says Former South African President Thabo Mbeki

Thabo Mbeki 300x180 Africas Youth Should Rebel Says Former South African President Thabo Mbeki

The youth of the African continent should prepare themselves for a rebellion against their older generation and claim their leadership role Thabo Mbeki said on Saturday.
Mbeki who was addressing the Youth 21 global leadership forum in Nairobi, Kenya said two thirds of the continent’s population was the youth and that in 2045 they would be the leaders responsible for the two billion projected continental population.
“To ensure that [the youth] actually exercises the leadership everybody rhetorically accepts and proclaims is its due, the youth must organise and ready itself to rebel, so to speak!”
“It would obviously be unnatural that I, a member of the older generation, would easily and willingly accept that younger people, my own children, should, at best, sit side-by-side with me as co-leaders, fully empowered to help determine the future of our people,” he said.
He said the new generation should define its unique and historic contribution to their societies’ development, otherwise it ran the risk of betraying its mission which would condemn the continent to “the out-dated views and prejudices of the older generations.”
He said the continent’s future depended on achieving the objectives in African Youth Charter of “peace and security, democracy and good governance, economic growth and development and gender equality” to which all African Union member states were bound to.
For the youth to take up their leadership role, it was imperative that Youth 21 global forum establish how the older generation should enable them to “discharge their obligation to exercise leadership” and “organise itself to play this role…in the in struggle for the realisation of its goals,” said Mbeki.

Explosion Rocks Bayero Versity, Kano

290412N.University-of--Kano.jpg - 290412N.University-of--Kano.jpg

Bayero University, Kano
By Ibrahim Shuaibu
A powerful explosion rocked the Old Campus of the Bayero University, Kano (BUK), Sunday morning.
Although details are still sketchy, reports indicate that the explosion occurred in the vicinity of the campus Christian students hold their services on Sundays.
The blast is coming barely 48 hours after an explosion hit the Senate building of the Gombe State University and three days after bombers attacked Thisday offices in Abuja and Kaduna, claiming nine lives.
Details to follow...

Jonathan Warns NSA Azazi Over Anti-PDP Comment

Jonathan and Nduka Obaigbena at the Thisday Abuja office 
bombed last week- REUTERS Photo/Afolabi Sotunde
By SaharaReporters, New York

Posted: April 29, 2012 - 01:46

President Goodluck Jonathan has advised his National Security Adviser, General Andrew Owoye Azazi, to be careful about how he speaks in public because words can be dangerous.
Mr. Jonathan was speaking in Abuja today during a sympathy visit to the Abuja offices of ThisDay, which were destroyed in a Boko Haram bomb attack on Thursday, with several losses of life.   He was responding to a comment by the NSA in Asaba on Friday that the struggle for power within ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is responsible for the rise of terrorism in the country, and Mr. Jonathan said public officers are extremely careful because words are “extremely elastic.”

“Sometimes you have something in your mind that you want to communicate but the way you communicate it, different people will give different interpretation,” Jonathan said.  “So until I read it. I don't believe that the National Security Adviser means that the practice in PDP are anti democratic...I still see that the PDP is one of the most democratic parties. So I don't believe that it is undemocratic practice in PDP that could give rise to Boko Haram or any other groups. Probably people need to ask NSA to maybe explain what he really mean.”
He maintained that Nigeria will conquer the terrorists because that is the trend in the world.   His comment ran as follows:

“From the beginning of this terrorist attack, I have always maintained that terror attack in any part of the country is terror attack on all of us and indeed the whole world because terrorist method is to ensure they have maximum damage that the whole world will begin to look at their direction for relevance. You can see that this is a media house. 

Its not a government establishment. Media has to inform all of us about what is happening. And of course the media is now also a victim. And that is why we all as Nigerians, no matter what we do, where we come from, we must join hands in fighting this terror. I can assure you that we will get over it. Other nations have passed through it....and they were able to conquer it. We are working very hard. The security services are working very hard. So we will conquer it.”

Asked his views about the suggestion of some people who say that dialogue with Boko Haram may be the best option, Mr. Jonathan was ambivalent:  “Yes they are correct to say we should dialogue and those who are saying we should not dialogue are also correct. When you have a terror situation, you also look at the global best practice all over the world. Most countries pass through that. Just like a war situation. You may dialogue. You may not dialogue depending on the circumstances. But we will exploit every means possible to bring this to an end.”
Also speaking at the event, the publisher of ThisDay Newspapers, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, described the attack on 

ThisDay as an attack on everyone, and that his organization will continue to publish the truth and defend free speech because it is worth dying for.
“It’s an attack on all of us,” he said of the events of Thursday.  “It’s an attack on the country. It’s an attack on free speech. It’s an attack on the media.  But be rest assured that we will never surrender...As I said before, what is not worth dying for is not worth living for. We will defend free speech. We will defend the conversation. We will publish the truth no matter what. We will never surrender.

Jonathan Warns NSA Azazi Over Anti-PDP Comment | Sahara Reporters

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Undemocratic Practices by Political Parties During Elections: Cause of Current Escalation of Insecurity in Nigeria – Azazi

APRIL 27, 2012
The National Security Adviser, Owoye Azazi, says the current escalation of insecurity in the country, particularly the rampaging activities of the dreaded extremist sect, Boko Haram, is traceable to some undemocratic practices by the political parties during elections, especially the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Mr. Azazi, who was speaking at the on-going South-South Economic Summit in Asaba, Delta State, said the festering insecurity in the north eastern part of the country, which has been exacerbated by the frequent and deadly attacks of the extremist Boko Haram sect across the country, could be traced to the politics of exclusion of the PDP in the region.

“In discussing the relationship between national security and development, let me say that one cannot do without the other,” the NSA said.

“The issue of violence did not increase in Nigeria until when there was a declaration by the current president that he was going to contest. PDP got it wrong from the beginning. The party started by saying Mr. A can rule, and Mr. B cannot rule, according to PDP conventions, rules and regulations and not according to the constitution. That created the climate for what is happening or manifesting itself in country. Is it possible that somebody was thinking that only Mr. A could win, and if he did not win, he could cause a problem in the society.

“Let’s examine all these issues to see whether the level of violence in the North East just escalated because Boko Haram suddenly became better trained, better equipped and better funded, or something else was responsible.”

Mr. Azazi, whose views were supported by the Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, said the Boko Haram problem would be difficult to resolve without the various stakeholders coming together to address, holistically, the issues that gave fillip to its existence.
“It takes very long for somebody to be a sniper,” Mr. Azazi said.

Listen to Azazi below
“But, I can assure you that Boko Haram can garner that level of sophistication over time, if it has not got it already. There are a lot we know that they are doing, and there are a lot that could be done to address the problem.

“But, then I must also be quick to point out that today, even if all the leaders that we know in Boko Haram are arrested, I don’t think the problem would end, because there are tentacles. I don’t think that people would be satisfied, because the situations that created the problems are not just about the religion, poverty or the desire to rule Nigeria. I think it’s a combination of everything. Except you address all those things comprehensively, it would not work.

“It is not enough for us to have a problem in 2009 and you send soldiers to stop the situation, then tomorrow you drive everybody underground. You must look at what structures you need to put in place to address the problem holistically. There are economic problems in the North, which are not the exclusive prerogative of the Northerners. We must solve our problems as a country.”

Mr. Oshiomhole, who agreed with the NSA, said some of the security situations the country is currently facing could be traced to attempts by a section of the political elite at various levels to manipulate the electoral system and impose themselves on the electorate during election.

“Where did Boko Haram start from and who were behind it,” the governor queried.
“Who used them to win elections and for how long was he able to do so? Who were the victims and the beneficiaries? My experience has been that politicians, who are unelectable, but have access to state treasury at various levels, often appropriate funds and procure arms to arm the unemployed, who they deploy on election day to manipulate and intimidated voters.

“If one comes to the South, some politicians have tried to cash in on the issue of pollution and the gap between the natural resources and the poverty of the people by arming people to manipulate elections, and after elections they use those instruments for some other ends.

“When one looks at why these people have not been stopped and call them to justice, one would find that they involve big time players in society and very top sections of the political elite.

“To solve the problem, we must have the political will to deal with whoever is using resource of state to procure arms for the unemployed to use them for all kind of purposes, including the manipulation of elections.

“We must resolve to allow the peoples will to prevail during elections, whether as governors, presidents, ministers and council chairmen to use fund at their disposal to procure arms for unemployed youths in order to harm the electorate on Election Day,” Mr. Oshiomhole said.

But the Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio, who noted that security and development are inter-linked, traced the current state of insecurity in the country to the structural defects in the polity, placing so much responsibility on the shoulders of the Federal Government.

Mr. Akpabio said the federal government had failed to deliver, rating its performance at 10 per cent.
“Beginning from the present administration, the Federal Government should begin to unbundle the weight on it shoulders and try to decentralise and give more duties relating to other aspects of development, like creating jobs, to the states and local governments, and focus more on providing security for the country, since the states and local government do not control the apparatus of security,” he said.

According to Mr. Akpabio, this calls for the readjustment of the revenue formula to enable the other states and local governments carry the challenge of grassroots development, pointing out that the menace the country has found itself in the last 50 years would remain if the Federal Government continues to make politics at the centre more attractive for people.

“We must unbundle the federal government, make a new revenue allocation formula that gives more monies to the states and local governments to face development at the grassroots while the federal government would be allowed to face security, to guarantee sustainable development” he said.

On Boko Haram, Mr Akpabio said the rising insecurity in the North is due to the failure of political leadership in the region, saying the attacks were a result of frustration of the majority of the people who appear not to see any visible benefit for years the political leadership of the country has remained in the control of the elite from the region.

“The reactions in some of the regions in the country are as a result of poor leadership and not caused from the present administration,” he said.

“People are complaining in the North, yet for more than 35 years, the leadership of this country came from there. People are reacting as a result of pent up frustration, due to lack of empowerment and essential amenities,” Mr. Akpabio said.
Culled from Premium Times of Friday 27th April 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola steps down

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola will not continue as coach of the Spanish club after this season, and his assistant Tito Vilanova will take over.
Guardiola's contract ends at the close of the season and the former player rejected Barcelona's offer to extend his deal. His last game in charge will be the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao on May 25.
"The reason is simple, four years are long and they wear you down," Guardiola said Friday after president Sandro Rosell announced he would not continue. "I think that sincerely that the next person will have things to bring that can't.
"Every day during four years, the demands are very high, the pressure, the necessary energy to push the players and enjoy it. I need to rest and move away."
Rosell said Vilanova, who has served as Guardiola's assistant since he was promoted from B-team manager, would take over the coaching duties.
The 41-year-old coach has led Barcelona to 13 trophies since replacing Frank Rijkaard at the beginning of the 2008-09 season, including two Champions Leaguecrowns and three Spanish league titles.
Guardiola's decision ends a difficult week for the team that saw it exit the Champions League semifinals to Chelsea following a loss to Real Madrid which will likely cost it a fourth straight Spanish title.
"I'm very sorry for all of the uncertainty I created over this time over my future, maybe that was an error of mine," Guardiola said. "I didn't mean to create this kind of mood."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

40 Die in Bombing of Nigeria’s Thisday Offices

Nigeria’s emergency agencies and medics are still counting the dead in the suicide bombing of the Abuja office of Leaders and Company, publishers of ThisDay Newspapers at about 11 a.m. today.

Another blast also occurred at about noon at the Kaduna State offices of ThisDay and other newspaper outfits.

Death toll arising from the two attacks is said to be higher than 40 and still counting, said emergency and rescue officials.

The blasts are suspected to have been carried out by the Boko Haram, a terrorist group in Nigeria.

In Abuja, a loud explosion reverberated around the Nigerian capital when a bomb laden vehicle rammed through the back entrance into the printing press section of the office complex, exploding and destroying everything within the press section.

Adjoining buildings around the expansive premises were equally affected by the blast.
Following a recent threat by the dreaded Boko Haram sect to attack media houses over the negative publications the sect had been receiving, Management of ThisDay had barred staff and visitors alike from accessing the office complex from the main entrance and had resorted to the use of the back entrance.

The bomb laden vehicle, whose driver is yet to be identified, was said to have driven fast through a Mechanic workshop close to the back entrance and knocked down the securely locked gates and forcefully gained entrance before ramming into the printing press section where the bomb exploded.

Burnt and smoking flesh belonging to apprentices working at the Mechanic workshop were being collected by officials of Civil Defence and Security Corps, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA and other security officials at the time our correspondent visited the scene of the blast.

The United States of America Embassy recently attracted knocks from the Federal Government over series of warnings to it’s nationals to avoid Abuja hotels which their intelligence reports indicated would be attacked by the terrorist group.

Security and medical personnel at work at the blast site refused to release any figure of casualties saying they have to complete their assignment to ascertain the level of casualties recorded in the blast.
AFP quoting emergency officials, said at least six persons, have died from the blasts in Abuja and Kaduna.

A local emergency management spokesman in Kaduna confirmed at least three dead there, while a rescue official said at least the same number were killed in the Abuja explosion.

In Kaduna, an office block housing Thisday, The Sun and The Moment Newspapers at Ahmadu Bello Way, by Bayajida Street, Kaduna in Kaduna state, northwest Nigeria was bombed at about 12.05pm.

The Northern Bureau Chief of The Sun Newspaper, Ismail Omipidan confirmed the bombing, adding that the zonal offices of the three newspapers were affected but no journalist lost his life or was injured.
Similarly, the Northern Bureau Chief of The Moment Newspaper, Garba Mohammed confirmed the incident.

However, a member of Red Cross Society at the scene confirmed that his group rescued three persons from the area and they were rushed to the hospital almost at the point of death.
State Emergency Agency Public Relations Officer, Zakare Mohammed said they had taken several people to Barao Dikko General Hospital, Yusuf Damso General Hospital and another hospital in Kaduna for treatment.

Meanwhile, the area has been cordoned off by security agents comprising armed soldiers and policemen. Rescue operation was ongoing as at press time.

Boko Haram militants also last night raided the Nigerian northeastern town of Bajoga in Gombe state, attacking the police station. The casualty figures were sketchy up till this morning. Witnesses said the militants attacked the station with bombs. A nearby bank was said to have been robbed.
—Oluokun Ayorinde, Nnamdi Felix / Abuja & Femi Adi/Kaduna

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Comedian Jon Lovitz and Other Stars with No Love for President Obama

Former "Saturday Night Live" comedian Jon Lovitz doesn't like President Obama. No, we mean he really, really doesn't like him. The comedian was talking to Kevin Smith on the "ABC's of SNL" podcast when he made the remarks.
"This whole thing with Obama saying the rich don't pay their taxes is f*****g b*******t," he said. "And I voted for the guy and I'm a Democrat. What a f******g a*****e."
Hey Jon, tell us how you really feel.
While many in Hollywood love Obama, there's a vocal - and we mean vocal - group who doesn't. Who else has spoken out against our President?
Ted Nugent
The Motor City Madman Ted Nugent attracted a lot of attention - including some from the Secret Service - when he made some comments about the President. People were up in arms about the rhetoric they said called for violence.
"I'll tell you this right now: If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year," Nugent said. "We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November. Any questions?"
However, The Nuge said he was only talking about making changes at the ballot box.
Victoria Jackson
Another "SNL" alum, Victoria Jackson, spoke out against Obama last year during an appearance at Occupy Wall Street in Manhattan. The die-hard Tea Partier didn't mince her words, either.
"Right now, 50% of people pay taxes and 50% do not. So if everyone gets free stuff who is going to pay for it?" Jackson asked a protestor. The man responded that the U.S. "should end the wars and tax the super rich" to shore up the country's money issues.
"Class warfare is Marxist," she replied. "So you don't think Obama is stirring up racial and class warfare and it's straight out of 'Rules for Radicals' written by Saul Alinsky?"
Matt Damon
Once an Obama supporter, actor Matt Damon came out against the president during an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, saying he no longer had the same hope he once had. His biggest gripe with the prez? Education.
"I really think he misinterpreted his mandate and has doubled down on a lot of things. The idea that we're testing kids and we're tying teachers salaries to how kids are performing on tests, that kind of mechanized thinking has nothing to do with higher order," he said. "We're training them, not teaching them."
Jane Lynch
Openly gay "Glee" star Jane Lynch criticized President Obama for being too nice about equality for homosexuals.
"We thought the great hope of Obama was going to magically change all that," she said. "He's just nicely walking the middle."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

World Bank removes Nigeria, others from aids' list