TAKEMYGIST Wishes You A Happy New Year 2017

TMG

We pray that the last month in 2016 is filled with nothing but peace, blessings and positivity; and you walk in 2017 with bigger faith, financial blessings, good health and peace of mind!

May the year be brighter than the one gone by; enveloped in goodness, well-being, bliss and wealth.

Happy New Year!

TMG

TakeMyGist is an Online Magazine that focuses on Human interest stories. A website which shares personal feelings as *Gist*, it brings interviews and news of Personalities, Professionals, Entrepreneurs to you, while giving information on latest Technology ideas. TMG also provides News, current affairs, Business, Entertainment & Sport stories.

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EFCC Denies Removal Of Boss

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has debunked that its Acting Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu, has been removed from office.

A national newspaper, the Guardian, on Saturday reported that President Muhammadu Buhari removed Magu.

“Not true”, spokesman of the commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said in response to an SMS enquiry by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday morning.

The rumour of Magu’s removal has also hit the social media and some traditional media websites in the early hours of Saturday.

Quoting anonymous sources, The Guardian said that Ibrahim Magu, may have finally been removed from office.

It said a source said Magu’s redeployment back to Nigerian Police Force (NPF) was to pave way for a fresh person to be presented by President Muhammadu Buhari as the nominee to head the anti-graft agency before the Senate.

It said it gathered that to make the situation look like a routine exercise, some senior Police officers would be re-deployed by the Police hierarchy to resume as conventional Police officers.

It was equally reliably gathered yesterday that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has already issued a leter to Magu on the development and directed that he hands over to the Director of Operations in the Commission.

Magu’s nomination was recently rejected by the Senate following allegation of graft levelled against him by the Department of State Security Service (DSS).

The Senate had rejected the nomination of Mr Ibrahim Magu as Substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Chairman of Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi, disclosed this to journalists in Abuja.

Abdullahi said that the rejection of Magu’s nomination was based on security reports available to the senate.

According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari will be communicated accordingly.

“The Senate wishes to inform the general public that based on security reports available to the senate, it cannot proceed and confirm the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as the Executive Chairman of EFCC.

“Accordingly, the Senate hereby rejects the said nomination and has returned it to Mr President for further action,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that nomination of other members of the commission sent for confirmation was also not confirmed at plenary.

The committee chairman declined further comments on the screening of the nominees.

The Senate had at the resumption of plenary gone into a two hour executive session with Magu but the meeting ended in a deadlock.

NAN recalls that the Presidency had in July written the Senate, seeking the screening and confirmation of Magu as Substantive Chairman of EFCC.

Buhari appointed Magu Acting Chairman of the commission after the removal of Mr Ibrahim Lamorde on Nov. 9, 2015.

Before his appointment as the acting chairman, Magu was the Head of Economic Governance Unit of the commission

NAN >>>>>>

Reuben Abati: A Day With Nigeria’s Gays

I was invited to deliver the keynote address at this year’s special event on “Human Rights, Sexuality and the Law”, an annual symposium organized to promote awareness on issues relating to the plight of the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender, Queer and/or Intersex (LGBTQI) Community in Nigeria. When this was announced on social media by the organisers, The Initiative For Equal Rights (TIERS) and @YNaija, hell practically broke loose within the LGBTQI community.

I was dismissed as a wrong choice, and the organizers were accused of being insensitive to the feelings of the community. A broad-based protest was launched on twitter and there were essays on the subject on NoStringsNG.com (the online media advocacy platform for LGBTQI issues in Nigeria), with the most scathing objection written by Bisi Alimi, the Nigerian-born, London-based gay rights activist. Bisi Alimi described me as a “homophobe.” He said the invitation extended to me was an abuse of TIERS, and he was offended that a group he had helped to co-found, would offer its platform to an “oppressor.”

Following a pre-event twitter chat with me on the subject, co-ordinated by @YNaija, the attacks got even more aggressive. Someone wrote that having Reuben Abati as Keynote Speaker was like inviting the “KKK to an NACCP event.” An article written by Kritzmoritz and published by KitoDiaries.com (another Nigerian LGBTQI blog) was titled “Of TIERS, Reuben Abati and all that angst.”

The anonymous author reflected the sentiments of the gay community in the following words: “Let me get this out of the way from the onset so we are clear. I don’t like Mr. Reuben Abati. Over the past five years, I have come to view him as a rather unpleasant human being…” Another commentator, Mandy in a piece titled “There is no engaging with a keynote Speaker” took the additional step of launching an online petition and called for signatures to “drop Reuben Abati” because in his or her view: “you cannot invite the person who killed me to come apologize at my funeral; things are not done that way.”

My offence is that I had participated in a discussion of the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2014 shortly after President Goodluck Jonathan signed it into law. Alimi, in particular, was on an Al-Jazeera panel with me. He argued that I exhibited homophobia, defending the law. The complaints by the gay community were so loud and their objection to the possibility of my being allowed to invade “their space” was so trenchant. I called the organizers to ask if they were considering a change of mind about their choice of Keynote Speaker. Their answer was in the negative.

On December 14, I participated in what turned out to be a lively, engaging, open and inclusive symposium on Human Rights, Sexuality and The Law. I did not see any reason to beat about the bush. I opened my address with a response to Alimi and the critics. The labels used to describe me do not fit me. I am neither a homophobe nor an extremist. My views are liberal and I consider the rights of every man to be ontological, interdependent and indivisible. These rights are well-covered in all the major nine documents on International Human Rights, including the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (1948) and its 30 articles, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979). Nigeria is a signatory to majority of these conventions, protocols and covenants as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (1981). Chapters Two and Four of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999, expressly uphold these rights.

The enactment of certain legislations such as – The Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009, HIV/AIDS (Anti-Discrimination) Act, 2014, Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015, the National Human Rights Commission Act, 2015, the Prohibition Against Domestic Violence Law No 15 of Lagos State, 2007, Gender Based Violation Prohibition Law of Ekiti State, 2011, Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration Act, 2003, the Legal Aid Act, 2011 and the Child Rights Act, 2003 – also point to considerable advancements in human rights legislation in Nigeria since 1999. Human rights are important. They are indeed matters of urgent and high priority because they are at the core of the idea of our humanity. They are indispensable vehicles for achieving peace, stability, justice and development in the world. Every human being is entitled to these rights; to devalue the right of any person is to violate that person’s right to dignity and justice.

Nigeria in spite of acknowledged advancements remains a nightmare where human rights are concerned. The failure of institutional mechanisms and the absence of political will to translate constitutional rights into effective human rights realities has resulted in what is clearly a governance and accountability crisis. The average Nigerian suffers the after-effects in various ways: poverty, lack of access to justice, violence, kidnappings, police brutality, extortion, wanton resort to self-help by both state and non-state actors, and a general regime of lawlessness reminiscent of the brutal days of military rule. Political leaders and state officials are so powerful that they have no regard for the people. They choose when it is convenient for them to respect court orders.

There is a disconnect between Nigeria’s international human rights obligations and what it does at home, creating conflicts and tensions in the implementation of human rights law. Nigeria is a member, for example, of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, but the government routinely ignores the rulings of this strategic regional court. Non-state actors are emboldened by the negligence of state actors to take the law into their hands, as seen in the conflict between Corporate Responsibility and Human Rights in Nigeria. Nigeria is a member of the International Labour Organization, the enabling principles of which are covered in the Labour Act, 2004, but with the unemployment crisis in the country, employers of labour trample on the rights of workers at will. The non-justiciability of the social, economic, cultural and group human rights goals in Chapter Two of the Nigerian Constitution further compounds the nightmare.

It is within this overall context of the human rights situation in Nigeria, that the issue of sexuality is to be located. Section 15 (2) of the 1999 Constitution talks about national integration without discrimination on the grounds of sex, among others. Section 17 states that the social order is founded on the ideals of “freedom, equality and justice”, while Section 17(3) says state policy shall be directed towards “all citizens, without discrimination on any group whatsoever”, a goal that had earlier been covered also in Section 14(2)(b). Section 42 further upholds every Nigerian’s right to freedom from discrimination. Whereas the Constitution talks about sex, and not sexuality or gender orientation, the principle of equality before the law and the right to be human is without exemption of any persons or groups. Article 2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights indeed says sex should be taken to include sexual orientation and gender.

Minority groups are often targets of violence in Nigeria – apart from ethnic and religious minorities, women, children, the girl-child and the physically challenged, perhaps the most targeted and the most violated in recent times are members of the LGBTQI community. Gays in Nigeria have found themselves in a hostile society. There have been reported cases of persons with suspected LGBTQI orientation being subjected to various forms of violence: kidnapping, extortion, rape, assault, inhuman and degrading treatment, denial of access to justice and curtailment of their fundamental rights. The state looks the other way, the rest of society says serves them right.

It is risky to reveal sexual orientation in Nigeria. No political party or politician has formally endorsed LGBTQI rights in Nigeria.

There is no plan or structure in place for protecting gay persons in Nigeria from outright violation even by the police and the state. Section 214 of the Criminal Code criminalizes “any person who has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature”. Section 217 thereof frowns at “gross indecency”. Similarly, Sections 284 and 405-408 of the Penal Code, and the Sharia Law in 12 states of the North make homosexuality a punishable felony. Public hostility towards the LGBTQI is widespread. It is risky to reveal sexual orientation in Nigeria. No political party or politician has formally endorsed LGBTQI rights in Nigeria.

The Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2014, which is a particular source of anxiety and the target of protest by the Nigerian and global LGBTQI community, establishes a legal basis for formal discrimination on the grounds of sexuality. This law forbids any form of gay marriage, or civil union (sections 1-3), the registration of gay clubs, societies and organisations or the holding of gay meetings (section 4(1)) and the display of amorous relationship between two persons of the same sex in Nigeria (section 4(2). Anybody who enters into a same sex marriage contract or runs a gay club or association or group or is seen to be aiding and abetting homosexuality is considered guilty of a felony. The punishment ranges from 10 to 14 years (section 5). Although the SSMPA deals with marriage or civil union, it is a much stronger law than the Criminal and Penal Codes and the Sharia on gay issues. It is a law fraught with ambiguities, which devalue the gay person’s rights to privacy, dignity of the human person, freedoms of expression and freedom from discrimination.

But it remains a popular law with the majority of Nigerians who rely on culture and traditional values, public morality as defined in Section 45 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, and the fact that Nigeria being a sovereign nation should be free to make its own laws and not subject itself to Western notions of sexuality. Research findings accordingly indicate that more than 95% of the Nigerian population considers homosexuality a sin. Religion and culture remain major barriers to human rights expression as seen in the case of Christians quoting such anti-gay Scriptural passages as Leviticus 18:22, 20:23, the poor fortunes of the Child Rights Act in spite of its ratification by 26 out of 36 states, constructive and continuing gender discrimination, and the disgraceful politicking over the Gender Equality and Prohibition of Violence Against Women Bill, 2016 which has now been reduced pathetically, at second reading, to a bill on violence and sexual abuse.

There are specific posers to be raised in relation to the SSMPA 2014. One, culture to the extent of its dynamism should evolve, and must not be erected into a given barrier to human rights expression. Two, human rights and sovereignty should not be antithetical. Three, who should determine what is right and wrong? Is there an objective universal morality in a world of diverse beliefs and practices? And is morality necessarily as determined by the majority? Can the majority possibly be wrong in a democracy?

Where sexuality is concerned, the insistence on basic rights can only be a continuous and inclusive struggle. The debate can only continue to evolve as society itself evolves. The irreducible minimum lies in the need by state and non-state actors to continue to make efforts to dismantle barriers and extend the frontiers of how human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled. Gay persons in Nigeria are subjected to police brutality and assault, targeted killings, hate crime, and sundry forms of discrimination. Their relatives are stigmatized. The jungle justice that is imposed on the community is outside the province of the law. Enforcing the law as it is, until it is amended, revised, or repealed, should be within the province of the rule of law, not the jungle. The right of all persons to freedom, justice and equality should be considered sacrosanct. Any law, which contradicts this principle, in its operation or expression, is to the extent of its inconsistency, questionable.

The more memorable aspect of the 2016 symposium on Human Rights, Sexuality and the Law, attended by both gay and non-gay persons, was the interactive session where further issues were raised and interrogated. One fellow stood up and insisted that I needed to apologise to the LGBTQI community for views I had expressed in the past. My response was that when I defended the SSMPA publicly in 2014, I was doing my duty as the Official Presidential Spokesperson. In that capacity, it was part of my responsibility to explain and promote government policies and decisions. A spokesman’s loyalty is to country, state, government and principal; he or she is essentially a Vuvuzela. Besides, the SSMPA is not a law about my personal views but the values and the choice of the majority of Nigerians. What people do with their private lives is their business as free human beings without interpreting freedom as absolute, however, but as a guarantee for the equality of all persons.

Someone else wanted to know why President Jonathan considered it expedient and urgent to sign a bill that was first proposed in 2006 into law. The chronology is that the National Assembly rejected the bill in 2007. It was passed by the Senate on Nov 29, 2011, by the House of Representatives on May 30, 2013 and signed into law on January 13, 2014. If President Jonathan had withheld assent, the National Assembly could have exercised its power of veto override. What is required, in all of this, to be honest, is not ex post facto hand-wringing and blame games, but continued advocacy and awareness building. Incidentally, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has called on the Nigerian Government to consider a revision of the SSMPA given the manner in which it is being exploited to violate fundamental human rights. A day may well come when this would happen in line with the Yogyakarta Principles on sexual orientation and gender identity, as has been experienced in Mozambique, Nepal and Nicaragua.

A lady stood up and added: “Dr Abati, it is important that you realise you are in our space. This is a very sensitive space and community. My husband is your very good friend, but I still think you owe this community an apology because even when doing your job as a government official, there are certain things you should not say.” I thought I already answered that question. Another lady intervened: “Hi, Dr Abati, I am made to understand you don’t believe we exist in Nigeria. Well, now you know we do. I am a citizen. I work in this country. I pay my taxes. My name is Pamela. And I am a Lesbian.” I have never said any such dumb thing as to insist that the LGBTQI community does not exist either in Nigeria or elsewhere in Africa. Having read Bernadine Evaristo and other writers on the subject, I have a clear understanding.

I left the symposium with two special gifts. The 2016 Human Rights Violations Report Based on Real or Perceived Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Nigeria, a 61-page publication by TIERS Nigeria which was formally presented at the occasion and “Tell Me Where I Can Be Safe”: The Impact of Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, a 108-page publication by Human Rights Watch. Both publications provide detailed and up-to-date information including statistics and the impact of the law with regard to the status of the LGBTQI community in Nigeria, focusing mainly on human rights violations on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. I recommend both publications for general reading and for the benefit of those seeking answers on the subject under review.

Sitting by my side during the interactive sessions was Olumide, the gifted and resourceful activist who runs TIERSNigeria. We reviewed the comments as they flowed forth from the participants in the room. What is clear is that there is a vibrant LGBTQI community in Nigeria led by internationally exposed, media-savvy and knowledgeable young men and women who are determined to insist on their fundamental human rights and their right to be who they want to be. They are aggrieved. They are organized. They have set up platforms for self-expression including the use of technology, publications, movies (re: Hell or High Water, November 2016), the media and other social networking opportunities. Their voice is likely to grow louder as they become more organized. For how much longer can they be ignored?

As the event drew to a close, the microphone got to a young fellow who incoherent at first, still managed to deliver his punch-line killer: “Please, I don’t understand what people are saying. They are saying they are liberal, or that we need to unlearn certain things. Liberal, about what? When you say you are liberal, it is like you are patronising us. Can you talk about rice when you have not even tasted it?”

Culled From NAN

9-Year-Old Malaysian Boy Loses Penis To Circumcision

Lawyers in Kuala Lumpur said on Friday that a 9-year-old Malaysian boy got his penis amputated in the second botched circumcision operation in December.

The Lawyers said was due to negligence on the part of his surgeon.

The doctor accidentally cut off the head of the boy’s penis during the operation on December 15.

He then tried to stitch the penis head back on, but did not align it properly, lawyer P. Uthayakumar told reporters at a press conference outside the main hospital building in Kuala Lumpur.

The child was referred to another hospital for immediate further surgery, but the penis head started turning black, and the whole penis later had to be amputated.

“I am very stressed out I don’t know what to do,’’ the father of the child, who did not want to be named, said.

The boy’s parents are seeking compensation to cover reconstructive surgery and are hoping for their son to be treated at a hospital abroad.

“He asks me: Why are you sad mother? I try to control crying in front of him I can’t help but think how his life will be after this,’’ the boy’s mother added while sobbing.

Neither the unidentified doctor, who carried out the botched operation, nor his clinic has made any comment about the case.

Last week a 10-year-old boy lost the top of his penis in a laser technique circumcision, however, the glans was successfully reattached. (dpa/NAN)

Wizkid, Olamide Soar At MVP Awards

Tekno: takes three awards at Soundcity MVP awards
Tekno: takes three awards at Soundcity MVP awards

Nigerian singers, Wizkid and Tekno were the biggest winners at the Soundcity MVP Awards 2016 held on 29 December at  Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos.

Tekno led all, winning a treble—Digital Artiste of the Year, Song of the Year and the Listeners Choice awards.

Wizkid, arguably the most decorated Nigerian artiste in 2016,  went home with two awards. He was unrivalled  for African Artiste of the year and Best Male artiste.

Wizkid with his award at Soundcity MVP night
Wizkid with his award at Soundcity MVP night

 

Olamide won in a collabo with Phyno as best collaboration. Yemi Alade, won the best female award, edging out other nominees such as Tiwa Savage, Simi, winner at The Headies, Victoria Kimani from Kenya and Vanessa Mdee from Tanzania.

The event on Thursday night  was hosted by Comedian Basket Mouth with Dotun as the co-host. There were also performances by Olamide, Patoranking, Tekno, Niniola, Lil Kesh, Koker, Victoria Kimani.

The full list of winners at SoundcityMVP2016:

BEST MALE

Diamond Platinumz (TANZANIA)
Emtee (SOUTH AFRICA)
Wizkid (NIGERIA) – WINNER
Falz (NIGERIA)
Olamide (NIGERIA)
Patoranking (NIGERIA)
Phyno (NIGERIA)

BEST FEMALE

Tiwa Savage (NIGERIA)
Victoria Kimani (KENYA)
Yemi Alade (NIGERIA) – WINNER
Vanessa Mdee (TANZANIA)
Cynthia Morgan (NIGERIA)
Ms Vee (GHANA)
Simi (NIGERIA)

BEST HIP HOP

Cassper Nyovest (SOUTH AFRICA) – WINNER
Olamide (NIGERIA)
CDQ (NIGERIA)
Emtee (SOUTH AFRICA)
El (GHANA)
Riky Rick (SOUTH AFRICA)
Stanley Enow (CAMEROON)
Phyno (NIGERIA)

BEST POP

Wizkid (NIGERIA)
Kiss Daniel (NIGERIA) – WINNER
Tekno (NIGERIA)
Yemi Alade (NIGERIA)
Adekunle Gold (NIGERIA)
Timaya (NIGERIA)
Tiwa Savage (NIGERIA)

DIGITAL ARTISTE OF THE YEAR
PSquare (NIGERIA)
Wizkid (NIGERIA)
AKA (SOUTH AFRICA)
Tiwa Savage (NIGERIA)
Davido (NIGERIA)
Cassper Nyovest (SOUTH AFRICA)
Tekno (NIGERIA) – WINNER

BEST COLLABORATION

Mr Eazi Ft Efya – Skintight (NIGERIA / GHANA)
Patoranking Ft Sarkodie – No Kissing (NIGERIA / GHANA)
Eddy Kenzo Ft Niniola – Mbilo Mbilo Remix (UGANDA / NIGERIA)
Emtee Ft Wizkid & AKA – Roll Up (SOUTH AFRICA / NIGERIA)
DJ Maphorisa Ft Wizkid & DJ Buckz – Soweto Baby (SOUTH AFRICA / NIGERIA)
Phyno Ft Olamide – Fada Fada (NIGERIA)
Olamide Ft Wande Coal – Who You Epp (NIGERIA) – WINNER
Harrysong Ft Olamide, KCee – Raggae Blues (NIGERIA)
Masterkraft Ft Flavour & Sarkodie – Finally (NIGERIA / GHANA)

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Pana – Tekno Directed by Clarence Peters (NIGERIA)
Alikiba, Directed by Meji (NIGERIA) – WINNER
Babanla – Wizkid, Directed by Sesan (NIGERIA)
One time – AKA, Directed by AKA & Alessio (SOUTH AFRICA)
Sin City – Kiss Daniel, Directed by H2G Films (NIGERIA)
Emergency – D’Banj, Directed by Unlimited L.A (NIGERIA)
Made for you – Banky W, Directed by Banky W (NIGERIA)
Gbagbe Oshi – Davido, Directed by Slash (NIGERIA)
Pray for me – Darey, Directed by MEX (NIGERIA)

BEST GROUP OR DUO

Sauti Sol (KENYA) – WINNER
Mafikizolo (SOUTH AFRICA)
Micasa (SOUTH AFRICA)
Navy Kenzo (TANZANIA)
R2Bees (GHANA)
Toofan (TOGO)
PSquare (NIGERIA)
VVIP (GHANA)

SONG OF THE YEAR

Kwesta ft. Cassper Nyovest – Ngud (SOUTH AFRICA)
Mr Eazi – Hol Up (NIGERIA)
Patoranking ft Sakordie – No Kissing (NIGERIA)
Wizkid – Babanla (NIGERIA)
Tekno – Pana (NIGERIA) – WINNER
Emtee ft Wizkid – Roll Up (SOUTH AFRICA / NIGERIA)
DJ Maphorisa ft Wizkid & DJ Buckz – Soweto Baby (SOUTH AFRICA / NIGERIA)
Olamide ft Wande Coal – Who You Epp (NIGERIA)
D’banj – Emergency (NIGERIA)

BEST NEW ARTISTE

Koker (NIGERIA)
YCee (NIGERIA)
Mr Eazi  (NIGERIA) – WINNER
Emtee (SOUTH AFRICA)
Simi (NIGERIA)
Niniola (NIGERIA)
Tekno (NIGERIA)
Nasty C (SOUTH AFRICA)

VIEWERS CHOICE
Mr Soldier – Falz ft. Simi (NIGERIA) – WINNER
Babanla – Wizkid (NIGERIA)
Osinachi – Humblesmith ft. Davido (NIGERIA)
Pana – Tekno (NIGERIA)
Hollup – Mr Eazi (NIGERIA)
Pick Up – Adekunle Gold (NIGERIA)
Mama – Kiss Daniel

LISTENERS CHOICE

Lagos to Kampala – Runtown ft. Wizkid (NIGERIA)
Babanla – Wizkid (NIGERIA)
Omo Alhaji – YCee (NIGERIA)
Pana – Tekno (NIGERIA) – WINNER
Who You Epp – Olamide ft Wande Coal (NIGERIA)
Oluwa ni – Reekado Banks (NIGERIA)
Pick Up – Adekunle Gold (NIGERIA)
Skintight – Mr Eazi ft Efya  (NIGERIA/GHANA)

AFRICAN ARTISTE OF THE YEAR

Wizkid (NIGERIA) – WINNER
Vanessa Mdee (TANZANIA)
Diamond Platinumz (TANZANIA)
Sarkodie (GHANA)
Yemi Alade (NIGERIA)
Olamide (NIGERIA)

AFRICAN PRODUCER OF THE YEAR

DJ Maphorisa (SOUTH AFRICA) – WINNER
Gospel on the Beat (NIGERIA)
Masterkraft (NIGERIA)
Young John (NIGERIA)
Legendury Beats (NIGERIA)
Sess the problem kid (NIGERIA)

Belgian David Goffin Defeats World Number One Andy Murray

World number one Andy Murray started his new season Friday with a surprise defeat to Belgian David Goffin in the semi-finals of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

Murray, who had not conceded a set in his previous five encounters against the Belgian, was beaten 6-7 (4-7) 4-6.

After losing the opening set at the exhibition tournament, Murray recovered to go 3-2 up in the second set.

But the world number 11 broke back and piled the pressure on the Briton.

Goffin will face either Milos Raonic or Rafael Nadal in Saturday’s final, with Murray up against the loser of the semi-final.

Murray lost just nine matches in his entire 2016 season.

His focus now turns to the Qatar Open in Doha in the first week of 2017 as he builds towards his push for an elusive first Australian Open title next month.

Buhari Urged Army To Ensure Survival Of Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the Army to ensure the survival of Nigeria as a geo-political entity despite what he described as “political madness’’ being exhibited in some parts of the nation.

He tasked the soldiers on Friday night when he was being presented with the flag recovered by the Army from Camp Zero in Sambisa forest.

The flag belonging the Boko Haram terrorists was formally was handed over to the President by the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. -Gen. Lucky Irabor.

The ceremony took place on Friday night when the President was hosted at the Guards Brigade Regimental Dinner.

According to him, it is duty bound for the army to ensure the sustenance of peaceful co-existence among the over 250 ethnic groups across the country.

“We will do our best to build the national institutions in the country.

“All these political madness in the North East, the Niger Delta or in the East should not be allowed to cause division or any form of tension in the country.

“There are 250 ethnic groups, so keeping Nigeria one is a task that must be done, even for your personal reason you must make sure this country remains united and stronger,’’ he said.

President Buhari narrated his early military life in Abeokuta and subsequent redeployment to Zaire (now Congo).

He said he was almost killed while on duty even before enjoying his first salary as an officer.

The president, therefore, stated that he was conversant with the problems of the military having spent over 25 years in the military.

He recalled how his refusal to adhere to an advice from the IMF, World Bank to devalue the naira and increase prices of fuel and flour, as a military Head of State, led to his removal.

He said: “I refused and gave my reasons and the next thing I knew I was removed and detained for three and half years.

“As a civilian president I will do my best and I’m telling you all these because you are part of the leadership of this great country and God willing we will remain great.”

Men of the Operation Lafiya Dole operating in the North East had ‎‎successfully captured ‎the‎ “Camp Zero”, ‎the strongest enclave of Boko Haram terrorists sect, in the Sambisa Forest.‎

Irabor, had disclosed that ‎about 1,240 suspected Boko Haram terrorists were arrested during a mop-up operation by troops inside the Sambisa forest.

In his remarks, the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai urged the officers and men of the Guards Brigade to always maintain the courage and discipline they were known for in 2017 and beyond.

He assured that the military would continue their onslaught in the North East, and would not rest in mopping up of the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents.

Buratai reassured that the Nigerian Army would remain apolitical in carrying out its duties to the nation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the regimental dinner night, was organized to mark the end of drilling year of the Presidential Brigade of Guards.

It afforded the officers of the brigade to socialize with their commanders.

The highlight of the occasion was the ‎inauguration of the PMB (President Muhammadu Buhari) Gymnasium at the Scorpion Mess in W.U. Bassey Cantonment by the President.

The event also witnessed the presentation of Souvenirs, Scorpion Magazine and Compendium of Guards Brigade as well as the conducts of the band by the President.

The Commander, Brigade of Guards, Brig.-Gen. Musa Yusuf, delivered the vote of thanks at the occasion which was attended by notable personalities including the representative of Senate President, ‎Sen. Leader, Ali Ndume and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammed Bello.

Others are the National Security Adviser, Service Chiefs‎, the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris, Presidential aides among others.(NAN)

Army Handed Over Boko Haram’s Flag To President Buhari

The original Boko Haram’s flag recovered from Abubakar Shekau’s Camp Zero in Sambisa Forest by the Nigeria Army has been handed over to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The flag was handed over to the President by the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. -Gen. Lucky Irabor.

The ceremony took place on Friday night when the President hosted to the Guards Brigade Regimental Dinner.

Men of the Operation Lafiya Dole operating in the North East had ‎‎successfully captured ‎the‎ “Camp Zero”, ‎the strongest enclave of Boko Haram terrorists sect, in the Sambisa Forest.‎

Irabor, had disclosed that ‎about 1,240 suspected Boko Haram terrorists were arrested during a mop-up operation by troops inside the Sambisa forest.

While receiving the flag, President Buhari challenged the army forces on the need to continue to ensure the survival of Nigeria as a geo-political entity despite what he described as “political madness’’ being exhibited in some parts of the country.

According to him, it is duty bound for the army to ensure the sustenance of peaceful co-existence among the over 250 ethnic groups across the country.

“We will do our best to build the national institutions in the country.

“All these political madness in the North East, the Niger Delta or in the East should not be allowed to cause division or any form of tension in the country.

“There are 250 ethnic groups, so keeping Nigeria one is a task that must be done, even for your personal reason you must make sure this country remains united and stronger,’’ he said.

President Buhari, who narrated his early military life in Abeokuta and subsequent redeployment to Zaire (now Congo), said he was almost killed while on duty even before enjoying his first salary as an officer.
The president, therefore, stated that he was conversant with the problems of the military having spent over 25 years in the military.

He recalled how his refusal to adhere to an advice from the IMF, World Bank to devalue the naira and increase prices of fuel and flour, as a military Head of State, led to his removal.

He said: “I refused and gave my reasons and the next thing I knew I was removed and detained for three and half years.

“As a civilian president I will do my best and I’m telling you all these because you are part of the leadership of this great country and God willing we will remain great.”

In his remarks, the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai urged the officers and men of the Guards Brigade to always maintain the courage and discipline they were known for in 2017 and beyond.

He assured that the military would continue their onslaught in the North East, and would not rest in mopping up of the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents.

Buratai reassured that the Nigerian Army would remain apolitical in carrying out its duties to the nation.

The regimental dinner night, was organized to mark the end of drilling year of the Presidential Brigade of Guards.

It afforded the officers of the brigade to socialize with their commanders.

The highlight of the occasion was the ‎inauguration of the PMB (President Muhammadu Buhari) Gymnasium at the Scorpion Mess in W.U. Bassey Cantonment by the President.

The event also witnessed the presentation of Souvenirs, Scorpion Magazine and Compendium of Guards Brigade as well as the conducts of the band by the President.

The Commander, Brigade of Guards, Brig.-Gen. Musa Yusuf, delivered the vote of thanks at the occasion which was attended by notable personalities including the representative of Senate President, ‎Sen. Leader, Ali Ndume and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammed Bello.

Others are the National Security Adviser, Service Chiefs‎, the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris, Presidential aides among others. (NAN)

UN Secretary-General Bids Farewell To Staff, Permanent Representatives

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon bade goodbye to staff and Permanent Representatives at UN Headquarters in New York on Friday, being his last official working day as the UN scribe.

Ban, whose 10-year tenure comes to an end on Dec. 31, was full of appreciation for the opportunity to serve.

The outgoing two-term UN Scribe was also full of praise for the UN staff for their hard work and was thankful to those who had gathered to wish him well.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” the outgoing secretary-general, who assumed office on Jan. 1, 2007, said continuously, as he waved to his well-wishers, some of whom were close to tears.

“I thank all of you the staff and the delegations for your hard work and leadership for humanity.

“I have been motivated by this commitment and I am proud to call you my colleagues,” the two-term scribe, whose tenure has been described by many as “eventful”, said.

He re-emphasised that sustainable development, climate change, gender empowerment and youth, among other issues, had been at the top of his agenda in his 10-year tenure.

“It has been a privilege to serve the world’s people.

“And it has been an honour to serve with you and all our partners, including Member States, civil society, and many more,” he stressed.

The eighth UN scribe urged the enthusiastic gathering to “keep believing and working hard” to achieve the noble goals of the UN and to be a “voice for the voiceless”.

Ban’s last day in office will be the culmination of a decade of service at the helm of the UN, during which he sought to mobilise world leaders around a set of new global challenges, his office said.

“The challenges ranged from climate change and economic upheaval to pandemics and increasing pressures involving food, energy and water.

“In addition, he has sought to be a bridge-builder, to give voice to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, and to strengthen the 193-member global organisation itself.”

For his last day in office on Dec. 31, Ban would serve as a special guest on Saturday at the annual New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square, according to his office.

He would join New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to push the Waterford crystal button and lead the 60 seconds countdown to the New Year.

Approximately two million revelers are expected to fill the fabled Square, joined by over 198 million Americans and more than one billion television viewers worldwide.

The revelers would ring in the New Year watching the historic Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, according to the event organisers.

Ban began his first term as Secretary-General on Jan. 1, 2007, and was unanimously re-elected by the General Assembly to a second term on June 21, 2011.

He will be succeeded on Jan. 1, 2017 by António Guterres, of Portugal, who was formally appointed by the UN General Assembly on Oct. 13, 2016.

Chibok Schoolgirls: Robert Smith Sponsoring 24 In American University

An African American billionaire, Robert Smith is sponsoring the education of 24 Chibok schoolgirls in American University, Yola in Adamawa State.

The identity of the good Samaritan was revealed today by Malam Garba Shehu, senior special assistant on the media to President Muhammadu Buhari at an interaction with media men in Abuja.

The billionaire, Shehu also revealed is offering to take responsibility for the 21 girls freed in october and all the others who will hopefully be eventually set free.

Who is Robert Smith?

He is a 54 year-old businessman, who attended good American colleges such as Cornell and Columbia universities.At Cornell, he picked a bachelor of science in chemical engineering and an MBA at Columbia. He lives in Austin, Texas.

According to a short bio written on him by Forbes, he was the son of Ph.D holders and was bussed across town to his school in the early days of desegregation.

“He later convinced Bell Labs when he was in high school to give him an internship typically only available to college upperclassman by calling them weekly for five months.

“Smith quit Goldman Sachs to open his own private equity shop, Vista Equity Partners, in 2000.

The company is worth over $26 billion, according to wikipedia.

“Neuberger Berman bought a stake in the $16.9 billion (assets) Austin, Texas firm, best known for fixing up enterprise software outfits, in July 2015,” Forbes reported.

“That same month, Smith married 2010 Playboy Playmate of the Year Hope Dworaczyk in Italy

Forbes listed him as the 274th richest man in the United States as at 27 December, with a net worth of $2.5 billion. He is ranked 688th in the world.Some other reports put his net worth at $3billion.

He is a self-made man, who made his money in private equity investments.

And before then, he struggled early to get what he wanted.

According to his story, as a junior at Denver’s East High School in the 1970s, he showed a fascination for the geekiest subject there: Computer science.

“The transistor held particular wonder for him. This small device, a crucial valve controlling the flow of electrons within a computer, had been invented at Bell Labs. Bell had a nearby office. Maybe he should work at Bell, too.

“After securing the number, Smith phoned and inquired about a summer internship. Yes, Bell did have one, he learned, but only college upperclassmen could apply. Smith had straight A’s in math and computer science. Would that count? No, Bell said, it would not. Undaunted by this initial rejection, Smith called back every day for two weeks—HR stopped answering after Day 2—and then cut back on how often he called …to every Monday for five months. Eventually, he was rewarded for his doggedness. After an MIT student didn’t show up in June, Bell called Smith. Could he come in for an interview?

“I ran my own race. I knew what I wanted, and my persistence paid off, and I came in and interviewed. They liked me, and I got the internship,” Smith said in a commencement address at American University in 2015.

“In fact, I worked there for the next four years during summer and winter breaks.”

After leaving Cornell, he worked at Kraft General Foods, where he earned two United States and two European patents.

He then attended Columbia Business School, where he graduated with honours. From 1994-2000, he joined Goldman Sachs in tech investment banking, first in New York and then in Silicon Valley.

“As Co-Head of Enterprise Systems and Storage, he executed and advised on over $50B in merger and acquisition activity with companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, eBay and Yahoo. He was the first person at Goldman Sachs to focus solely on Tech M&A and foreign countries.

In 2000, he set up his own company, Vista Equity Partners.

According to a Wikipedia post, Vista has exclusively focused on the enterprise software, data and technology enabled solutions sectors. Among Vista’s portfolio companies are Misys, TIBCO, Solera, Active Network, Bullhorn, Omnitracs, and Newscyle.

In January 2015, based on its performance over the last 10 years, Vista Equity Partners was named the world’s Number One performing private equity firm, according to the HEC-Dow Jones annual ranking conducted by Professor Oliver Gottschalg.

Preqin, a consulting firm that tracks the industry, reported that Vista’s third fund returned $2.46 for every dollar invested, better than every other big fund raised between 2006 and 2010, the boom years for private equity.

In October 2014, Vista closed its Fund V at $5.8 billion, its largest fund to date.

As a successful African-American, Smith has been generous hearted.

In January this year, he announced a $50 million gift to his alma mater Cornell University, which renamed its school of chemical and bio-engineering after him. In June he was named chairman of Carnegie Hall.

In September, he donated $20million to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. His private gift, as reported by Washington Post was the second largest behind Opral Winfrey, the richest African-American, who gave $21 million.

Smith has received the Reginald F. Lewis Achievement Award, the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Robert Toigo Foundation, and the Ripple of Hope Award from Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.

Smith was also awarded an honorary Doctorate of International Affairs from American University’s School of International Service. He founded Project Realize– termed “Free Market Philanthropy”– in order to combine the best elements of the American free enterprise system with the core American ideals of giving back and lifting others up.

No wonder, he is willing to lift the Chibok schoolgirls out of their predicament and give them a dream education.