Friday, May 31, 2013

Those Enjoying The Dividends Of President Goodluck Jonathan's Administration

There many people enjoying the dividends of President Goodluck Jonathan's administration.
The "goodluckiest" beneficiaries are in Nollywood.

The $200m Entertainment Fund accessed through the Bank of Industry (BoI) and Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) has co-produced the most expensive film in Nigeria so far "Half of A Yellow Sun", and also "Doctor Bello" and more movie theaters by Film House Cinemas. And also setting up the biggest and largest movie distribution infrastructure for Nollywood costing over N1.6 billion to set 10, 000 sales outlets for Nollywood movies that will create over 100, 000 jobs.

The President Goodluck Jonathan has assigned administrators led by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minster for Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Minister of Tourism, Edem Duke to liaise with the heads of the various guilds in the industry on how best to utilize the N3 billion grant to boost the Nigerian movie industry.


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Eva Soap Gains Traction in Soap Market


Eva Complexion Care Soap was launched on November 21st, 2012 at the prestigious Sheraton Lagos Hotels and Towers in Ikeja, Lagos and has become the first choice of most consumers as noted in the following report by Mr. Ingram Osigwe, the MD/CEO of Fullpage International Communications Ltd.  


 ~ By Ingram Osigwe Eva Soap has continued to grow in popularity and command of mindshare of soap consumers since its recent re-launch, market survey has revealed.

 A market survey of major provision market in Lagos, revealed an increase in patronage of the brand by bathing soap consumers whose confidence in the product were re-enforced with a recent campaign by the brand owners, Evans Industries Limited. The company embarked on a vigorous campaign running on TV, radio, outdoor (including BRT buses) and social media aims at refreshing the brand image and further build consumer awareness around the brand while positioning it as ‘wholly Nigerian’ brand.

Evans industries has also in response to ever-changing tastes of consumers, added three new variants to Eva’s kitty (to make a total of six variants), offering something for every skin type. The six variants ; Eva Classic, Eva Gold, Eva Herbal, Eva Pearl, Eva Ivory and Eva Forever, analysts believe are opening up new windows of choices for new consumers of the product.

The Eva Classic which comes with Vitamin E extract promises the consumer a younger looking skin and helps it to heal faster; Eva Gold which comes with silk protein, moisturizes and conditions the skin; Eva Ivory comes with milk and honey extracts and nourishes the skin and helps maintain elasticity; Eva Herbal comes with Aloe Vera extracts and helps to reduce skin irritation while removing pimples.

Other variants like Eva Pearl comes with sea minerals extracts and revitalizes the skin by removing old cells while Eva Forever which comes with almonds extract promises ‘great treatment for dry skin.’ Eva Soap first entered the Nigerian soap market in the 1990s as an imported soap brand. The marketing of Eva Soap had suffered hiccups when the Federal Government of Nigeria in an effort to encourage local manufacture banned the importation of soap into the country in 2004.

Evans Industries Limited, a subsidiary of Ekulo Group of Companies, took the bull by the horn and went into local production of Eva Soap to fill the gap that was created by the ban. The company joined a few bold indigenous companies like Dangote Group and Orange Drugs which have shifted from just marketing imported products to local manufacturing of consumer goods.

At its maiden launch on November 21st 2012, The General manager of Evans Industries ltd , Engr. Dan Nwaiwu said ‘ Eva soaps are manufactured with one main objective; to fill the gap created by the absence of beauty soap of international standard in the Nigerian market, resulting from the ban on imported soap in the country. Thus the soap was manufactured with all the qualities of imported soap and much more. To add to its brand strength, it also came at a price that was affordable to the Nigerian consumers.

 At the unveiling of Eva soap on November 21, 2012, Sheraton Lagos Hotels and Towers in Ikeja, Lagos.

Over the years, Eva has grown to become one of the leading bathing soap favoured by families. Some months ago, Brand Health, a marketing research company released a market study showed Eva is among the Top 4 on the Most Trusted bathing soap chart in Nigeria. Although targeted at ladies who are desirous of maintaining a glowing natural skin, Eva Soap has won a huge fan base in the men folks who cherish it for its sweet fragrance and smoothening effect on the skin. Consumers who spoke to our correspondent are enthralled by its effect on their skin and the whiff of sweet smell that lingers after each encounter with the soap.

 Mr. Emeka Oramadike, Engineer Dan Nwaiwu, Mr. Gbenga Adepoju and Mr. Kola Subair at the launching of Eva soap.

A consumer, Chima Okafor, revealed that his whole family uses the brand, “Eva is very good. My family and I use Eva. It makes the skin soft and it is economical because it lasts long” Adeola Famiroti prefers the Eva soap because, “I like the soap, it foams well. I like the smell.”

Some loyal consumers also like Umoren Udo say the soap helps to clear stretch marks and heal dry skin. “It smoothes my skin,” he added..

A housewife, Mrs Adaeze Okere said, “My husband and I like the soap. It foams well and has a sweet smell.”
Abdul Mikailu echoed Mrs Okere: “Eva is good. It is strong and foams well.”

 Speaking on the differentiating qualities of Eva Soap, Marketing Manager, Ekulo Group, Emeka Oramadike, noted that Eva soap is made with no fillers contains top quality perfume and mineral extracts which are body conditioners. “A lot of soap manufacturers use fillers such as sodium sulphate to reduce the cost of production, but Eva Soap has zero filler. With Eva soap you have no need of deodorant. It has extracts which are special body conditioners. Eva Soap is made in a unique size that can last a family of six for one week depending on usage,” he said.

~  Ingram Osigwe is the media consultant to Ekulo Group.. 

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Amaechi @ 48: Audacity and Rejection of PDP’s Greek Birthday Gift


~ By Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,, 08038199163

Audacity, according to is defined as one being very bold or daring, especially with confident or arrogant disregard for personal safety, conventional thought, or other restrictions. A “Greek Gift” on the other hand is a gift given with the intention of tricking and causing harm to the recipient. On May 27, 2013 while Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, was celebrating his 48th birthday with youths and children of Rivers State in Government House, a ‘monstrous’ Greek Birthday gift was parcelled to him all the way from Abuja, the nation’s capital by the National Working Committee, NWC of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, a party he and others of like minds, have worked tirelessly to nurture to its present status of a national podium and a party with the largest membership in Africa.

 Governor Amaechi with his award as the Vanguard Newspapers' Man of the Year 2012.

In previous articles, I have said that Amaechi’s tie with the destiny of Rivers State is mysterious and different with that of any other political leader from the State.  He is the only political leader so far who has played a key role in shaping the political future of the State who shares the same birthday with the State. Whilst he was born on 27t May 27, 1965, the State was created two years after on May 27, 1967. This, somehow underscores why his commitment towards the emancipation and development of the State is total and unique.
Another unique aspect of this great leader from Rivers State is that he shares the same date with the day that Nigeria celebrates her children’s Day. Inspired by the United Nations Children efforts, the Federal Government of Nigeria decided in 1964 a year to the birthday of Amaechi to set aside the May 27 every year as Nigeria Children’s day. On this special day the whole Nation celebrates the Nigerian Child and the Federal Government declares a public holiday for public schools across the country. The day is usually marked by fanfare such as dances, singing by children in colourful dresses and youth parades considered by many as the highlights of the day.
To all intents and purposes, his massive investment in Education clearly shows his love for a better tomorrow for children, as there is no gainsaying the fact that education is the bedrock of development of any society. Today, his investment in Education in the State stands out in the country. The State and national awards the State has earned in this regard bears this out.

Governor Amaechi as Chairman of the Governors Forum.
The family of Amaechi in Ubima, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State was blessed with the birth of a son who unbeknownst to all would become a force to reckon with in Nigeria’s political even before his 48th Birthday. He was named Chibuike which means “God is all Powerful” and “Rotimi” an abridged version of “Oluwadurotimi”meaning “the Lord stands by me”, while Amaechi means “who knows tomorrow?”. Remember the popular phrase, what is in a name? One does not need to be prophetic to know that all the meanings embedded in his name are playing out in the acts and arts of politics in Amaechi’s life.
Amaechi, as he himself has overtly said in several occasions was not born into opulence. As a child his family experienced real hardship and the young chap admits that he has gone through several challenges that have helped to shape his perception of life. His determination to ensure equal access to education for every Rivers child and bridge the gap between the privileged and underprivileged children in the state is unprecedented. Whenever the occasion demands, he (Amaechi) would not hesitate to point out that though he came from an underprivileged background; his was a modest family that inculcated in him the virtues of honesty, humility and sheer doggedness to succeed.

 Governor Amaechi as man of the people.
To give an insight into some of the experiences Governor Amaechi had to go through in order to be educated and which perhaps may very well be the reason behind his passion to provide free education for all children in the state, rich and poor as he says in a recent interview. “I don’t know how many people in my cabinet that could have experienced poverty like I did. I grew up at No.18, Chibu Street, I moved from there to Nnamdi Azikwe. Later, I live with one of my friends in one of the creek villages near Port Harcourt. And I knew that my parents suffered a lot. With tears, they were looking for money to pay for my school fees, buy me uniforms, bags and all that. When I was in the university, I used to tell the girls that none of you looked at my face because I was wearing one shirt, one pair of trousers almost every day with a sandal.’ On Fridays, we would wash it and we wouldn’t move out at all on Saturday to enable it dry; Sam Okah and myself. Then it would dry on Saturday, but on Sunday, we were back to life; wearing the same shirt and the same trousers. How many of those in the cabinet passed through that?” This is the pathetic story of the man that is driven with a passion in his drive for a better Rivers State.
He became Governor of Rivers State in October 2007, after his previous position as Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly from1999 to 2007. He successfully sought re-election and won as River State Governor on April 26, 2011.
An alumnus of the University of Port Harcourt and probably due to what he went thorough growing up; today, he is committed to ensuring that education is received without much burden in terms of finance to parents and guardians, as exemplified in the free education policy of his administration, including the provision of free uniforms, free sandals, free books, free hand bags and free tuition in the primary schools, while in the secondary schools, the government offers free uniform, free bags, free books and free boarding and free sandals. This may well be his own special way of living up to his birthday which coincides with the Children’s Day!
Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi has also made massive infrastructural investments around the state, road projects, schools, health centres, rural electrification, ongoing monorail project, rural development, land reclamation, implementation of the Greater Port Harcourt Master Plan and most importantly the sustenance of relative peace and security evident in the continued attraction and influx of foreign investors to the State. Amaechi stands as the only African Leader to have constructed 60 health centres, donated the same to 60 communities in 60, a feat many within and outside the state describe as first of its kind. His astute leadership in striving for financial transparency, accountability and inclusive governance has earned the State a lot of accolades, numerous awards and recognition by international bodies and corporations including the ability to attract a B+/AA Fitch investment rating to the state, boost economic and structural development as well as enhance content development in all sectors of Rivers State.
As Speaker of the State House of Assembly, he was Chairman, conference of speakers of State Houses of Assembly in Nigeria (1999 –2000), Governor of Rivers State (2007 – date) and currently Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, a position he recent re-contested and won. He has received the prestigious national award of the Commander of the Order of the Niger, CON.
Amaechi bagged the Sun Newspaper Man of the Year Award in 2007 and the Compass Newspaper Award for Security in 2008. The Governor of the year 2009 Award was presented to Governor Amaechi at the ‘Leadership Award for Excellence – 2009 and was the Vanguard personality of the Year for 2012.
The issues around the governor’s forum and his desire to seek re-election and the eventual outcome are not new to Nigerians. Speaking manner of fact, Amaechi won the NGF election and the facts are there for all to see. The Rivers State Government plane was grounded in what was obviously a political action. Even after the House of Representatives has indicted both the Ministry of Aviation and its agency, the plane is yet to be released. The Police Commissioner in the State became a law onto himself - he is either threatening or withdrawing police orderlies of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly or that of the Chief of Staff to the Rivers State Government or locking up the Obio-Akpor Local Government Secretariat even against the order of a Court. The two day warning strike called by the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC in the State does not make any meaning to the Police. The duly elected PDP leadership under Chief Godspower Ake was ousted by a High Court in Abuja and the speed in which the Felix Obuh led Executive was inaugurated by the National leadership of the party lives a sour taste in the mouth. Some youths from neighbouring states were mobilised against Governor Amaechi, asking for his resignation for doing nothing not minding all his achievements to improve the lots of the State, while plots to get the Governor impeached by a minority in the State House of Assembly is still being hatched.
One starts to wonder if the Governor is being persecuted for performing as stated by an illustrious son of the State and former Minister of Petroleum Resources Prof. Tam David-West who described the unholy happenings in the State as “orchestrated travails” which is unfortunate in view of the fact that the governor has worked hard enough in restoring the glory of Port-Harcourt, known as the Garden City of Nigeria. To the University Don, Amaechi’s travails is “Nigerian paradox “where excellence is relegated and mediocrity is elevated. “I’m particularly worried about the trend, not only because I am a Rivers State elder, not only because I am a strong supporter of Amaechi without any regret, I am also worried as a Nigerian because what is happening to Amaechi underscores a terrible Nigerian paradox, which I call the paradox of excellence. We support him because those of us who grew up in Port Harcourt as a famous “Garden City” knew how the city changed to a rotten city. And Amaechi, who is also a Port Harcourt boy, returned the city back to its glorious “Garden City” status. Any person that does not realize this is not only blind but terrible.” This great Sage reminded Amaechi’s opponents that he who laughs last, laughs best, stating with emphasis that the governor would laugh last because his first name, Chibuike means “God is strength.”
Commenting on the perceived sins of Governor Amaechi to warrant all these attacks and plots against him; one of his closest allies, former Commissioner of Works and current Chairman of the Petroleum Downstream Committee of the House of Representatives, Hon. Chief Dakuku Peterside in a recent interview said “Some persons also claim that he is too forthright and I don’t know what crime that is called. However, the biggest unsaid problem is the perception by certain persons in the presidency that Governor Amaechi has ambition to aspire to higher office. The attempt to criminalize ambition, if any, is the root cause of the perceived problem in NGF. The second strand is speaking truth to power as can be seen in Governor Amaechi’s comments on sovereign wealth fund, excess crude account, Rivers-Bayelsa oil well issue, fuel subsidy, East-West road, Adamawa PDP amongst others”.
Not minding all the obstacles put on the path of Governor Amaechi even the leadership of the party was mobilised to tour some States to lure their Governors to ensure that Gov. Amaechi was not re-elected and surprisingly to all Nigerians and even the Chief Godswill Akpabio led Campaign Team, could stop the moving train which Amaechi demonstrated by beating their preferred candidate, Governor David Jang 19 to his 16 votes. In a well-documented and videoed election which was democratically conducted by the Director General of the Forum, with Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan the Governor of Delta State acting as the Returning Officer as reported by the Ekiti State Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi and funny enough Dr Uduaghan came out in public to denounce the election and his role as the Returning Officer not knowing that the free and fair election was filmed.
The election exposed to Nigerians the type of stuff some of our leaders are made of. Nigerians are aware how some of these people went about cooking up any known story to discredit the election and by the type of video showing how the election was televised on AIT all of them hid their faces in shame.
In a manner that shows that Chief Akpabio and his cohorts were playing out a script, the NWC of the PDP was summoned to an emergency meeting on the birthday of Governor Amaechi, leading to his suspension from the party and an 11 member Disciplinary Committee headed by Chief Joe Gadzama (SAN) was inaugurated to investigate the Governor. According to the party the Rivers State Governor was being suspended for disobeying the party to recall the Obio-Akpor Local Council earlier suspended by the Rivers State House of Assembly on charges of corruption without the opportunity for fair hearing. But it would be recalled that the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and PDP BOT Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih had in their separate visits to the State said Amaechi is one of the great pillars of the party and is doing very well as Governor.
It seems Charles De Montesquieu had the action of PDP NWC on Amaechi in mind when he stated that there is no crueller tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice. The party according to PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, that the party acted according to its constitution to suspend a man who did not commit any crime or abused the constitution of the party thereby undermining the motto of the party ‘JUSTICE, UNITY AND PROGRESS’ with the relevant sections of the party particularly Article 7 section C subsection iv which states that they should‘promote self-respect, self-reliance and human dignity’ and section vii‘promote an egalitarian society founded on freedom, equality and justice’ just because he contested an election and won in assumed democratic culture. It is sad that this development is contrary to vision of the founding fathers of the party – how a governor could be suspended without fair hearing.
Reacting to his suspension, Amaechi said it was political witch-hunt and I intend to agree with him as he was not invited by the National Working Committee of PDP neither was he given fair hearing. It may interest all to note that contrary to what the Governor was accused of, he did not suspend Obio/Akpor Council (executive) not minding that he has the power to dissolve the Council if the need arises as he said. “I can dissolve Obio/Akpor Council (executive). But I have not done that. What the assembly is doing is that they are investigating corruption. But the party said they should not investigate corruption, is it fair? If they are not guilty, then they will re-instate them, but if they are guilty, then we will ask for the dissolution of the council. We have not even gone half, and the party (PDP) says re-instate them. It means that the party likes corruption. Let the assembly resume and commence investigation, let’s see what goes on. Whether there is corruption or not, it is the business of the assembly. I have been a speaker, and I know the powers of a speaker and the legislature. I used it when I was a speaker”.
He urged the youths and people of the State to pray for God’ s intervention, stating that there is nothing wrong as governor and a PDP member for him to ask for his rights, which the PDP is now describing as anti-party. "I will not leave the PDP. I will go to court.... The plane issue is same politics, pure politics. For one year plus, a minister refused to sign import permit. I’m sure you are aware of the House of Representatives Committee report on the plane issue," he said.
On the NGF election, Amaechi said: "You will see it on the internet when the governors were voting. All the governors were there and you will also see the counting. We (governors) agreed to voting, and all the governors voted, so any governor who said he didn’t vote is lying to the nation because all of us are on oath to govern properly, so we should not lie. Every governor voted, you would see the video. If we leaders of Nigeria today are refusing to accept the results of a properly organised election supervised by the director-general of the governors’ forum, it is bad. And somebody brought a paper that was signed in April. If you check that list, it was signed in April and you brought it on May 24 after the governors have finished voting their chairman into office. That list is not part of our election. There is a rumour that they want to go to court to stop me as NGF chairman. We are ready to meet them in court but they should not go through the back door to get an order”.
Worried by the abnormality of his suspension, Nigerians from all work of life cried foul and wonders what such a scenario portends for her democracy.
Speaking on the axe on Amaechi, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and one of the founding fathers of the party who suffered a similar injustice like Amaechi in the past, when the party leadership ensured that he was deregistered from the party and not minding that for many years he was paying the rent of the National Secretariat of the party said, I am particularly disturbed by the worsening polarisation of the party and internal divisions which might weaken the party structures at the state and deepen the crisis between governors and the president”. He lamented the failure of the National Executive Council (NEC) to meet in line with the provisions of the party’s constitution and the inability of the Board of Trustees (BoT) to arrest what he termed ugly development. He warned that if the crisis was not properly managed, the PDP might find itself weaker and politically vulnerable.
According to the National Chairman of the de-registered Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Alhaji Balarabe Musa described “the suspension of Amaechi as a desperate action. I am not talking as an opposition, but as a politician with greater interest in the democratic dispensation of the country. He said that because of the political future of Nigeria, every politician must see the action as a warning signal which must not be handled with sentiments. PDP has a big problem and as a ruling party, they have to show good example, rather than heating up the system all the time”.
In his reaction, the national secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Mallam Buba Galadima, said the suspension was a minus for the PDP, adding that the party had now polarised itself.
Galadima said the party stood to lose many of its members, stressing that “it is obvious any member, who is loyal to the governor, will go with him and it will be a big minus to PDP.”
A constitutional lawyer, Mr Fred Agbaje, said the PDP had only shot itself in the foot, as the suspension was bound to bolster the popularity of the embattled governor. “PDP has succeeded in cutting its nose to spite its ugly face. The suspension can never demean the political ruggedness, popularity, astuteness and the ‘iroko-ness’ in Amaechi. PDP leadership is jittery and acting politically demagoguery and a clear case of infantile puerility”
Similarly, renowned constitutional lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Professor Itse Sagay, said the action of the anti-Amaechi governors violated democratic norms, because they were trying to upturn an election that was widely believed to be free and fair.
According to Sagay, “What the anti-Amaechi governors are telling Nigerians is that losers should refuse to accept the loss. (Jonah) Jang lost, (Godswill) Akpabio lost. Whatever mandate he was given, he could not defend it, they lost,” he said.
For a member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Sokonte Davies, “It is unfortunate that this is the only time I have heard that somebody is punished for winning”.
According to Hon. Chief Dakuku Peterside a member of the House of Representatives, Governor Amaechi’s Suspension is a bad omen. According to the lawmaker, “this is an inauspicious moment to suspend a popular governor who is not only marking his 48th birthday today but was also a few days ago, re-elected by his colleagues in Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF as Chairman. This news is baffling and a major blow to lovers of democracy because it violates the right of an individual to associate freely, to vote and be voted for in any democratic process. The NGF is not an extension of PDP, thus not governed by the constitution of the PDP. This is also a major impediment to PDP’s future as a party as Governor Amaechi is seen in Nigeria today as one of the most outstanding governors. What would it benefit a political party to suspend its most performing governor,” he asked with awe.
Taking it all round, all these reactions condemning the persecutions and embarrassment Amaechi is currently being subjected to and seeing the bad image such an act is creating for our democracy and great party. The way it is now; only President Goodluck Jonathan, the leader of PDP can call off this bluff and attempt to smear his revered status as a true democrat by wearing the statesman toga and call for a truce before this madness goes too far, particularly going by claims by the presidency that he (Jonathan) has no hand in all these macabre dance. Perhaps Mr. President should read a recent issue of ThisDay editorial which partly read, “Ordinarily, this outcome ought to make the governors themselves proud in the sense that those who supported Amaechi and those who were opposed to his re-election freely cast their votes in a secret ballot and produced a result that is clearly a reflection of the wishes of the majority. However, the response of a handful of them led by Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio is not only disappointing, but disgraceful.
First, the disgruntled governors participated in the election. Second, they fielded a candidate to counter Amaechi. Third, they witnessed the tallying of the ballot and the announcement of the results. Unfortunately, because the outcome did not favour their candidate, the unhappy governors are playing up the existence of some pieces of paper conveying the intention of some governors, and signed before the election, as a more legitimate indication of their electoral choice at the expense of a ballot they themselves designed and participated in. To worsen matters, these renegade governors have continued with their impunity and dis-ingenuity to hold a meeting affirming Jang as the NGF Chairman in a rear guard plot designed to divide and kill the NGF much like the Biblical story of two women claiming one child. One of them, like the Akpabio-led Governors, wanted the child cut into two if she would not have him. President Jonathan -who has shown promise in upholding free and fair elections - must distance himself and his presidency from these bad losers by first congratulating Amaechi, and then going back to the drawing board to heal the deep divisions within his party and putting his house in order. His supporters may have lost this battle, but the political war ahead is even more important”.
In another editorial by one of the most outstanding online media –HUHUONLINE.COM titled, “Governors Forum and Presidential Impunity”said, “It has been said that those whom the gods want to destroy; they first of all drive them mad. This time-worn expression best describes the Presidency in their running battle with Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, who has been ignominiously suspended from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). What began as a disagreement on policies such as the Sovereign Wealth Fund and the location of some oil wells between Bayelsa and Rivers State has now become an ego-tripping battle over who has more powers between Abuja and Port Harcourt. 
This is unacceptable and must stop forthwith. It is not what Nigerians voted for. As president, Goodluck Jonathan must at all times aspire to statesmanship and be presidential. He has a duty; both in his public conduct and private thinking not to act in a manner as to invite odium to his high office, or allow the public to hold him out as anything other than the President of Nigeria. Preserving order, peace and harmony is the highest objective of statecraft. Available accounts indicate that all the 36 governors, except Yobe State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, were in attendance for the election conducted by the NGF Director General, Asishana Bayo Okauru. The election was by open-secret balloting, whereby each governor was handed a ballot on which to write the name of his choice and drop in a box. Amaechi polled 19 votes to Jang’s 16, to win a second term as NGF Chairman. In a bizarre display of political imbecility, the sore losers led by Governor; Akpabio proceeded to create a rival faction with Jang as chairman. This is pig-headed and wrong. To make an already bad situation worse, Amaechi was suspended from the party without good reason. Even with the flagrant display of absurdities assaulting the sensibilities of Nigerians, this unfortunate development in the unfolding NGF saga is one bizarre event too many.
Governor Amaechi in his acceptance speech solicited for the support of his brother and leader of PDP, President Goodluck when he stated, “Today our democracy was tested and proven. Democracy is about participation. The aim of democratic governance is for everyone to partake in winning. Today the governors have spoken with one voice reaffirming our faith in democratic governance as the hope of Nigeria’s future. I must thank my colleagues for their tenacity and determination to ensure the unity of the forum, but more importantly of our nation. We remain committed to supporting our leader, the president and commander in chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to realize the development dream of all Nigerians by reducing tension, uncertainty and insecurity in our beloved country. We want to pledge our steadfastness and resolve working alongside Mr. President to better the lives of our people as we render transparent and accountable stewardship”.
I will like to conclude this treatise by quoting the great Charles Spurgeon who said,A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble”. Mr. President I love you because you are so enlightened and I know you still remember your good old friend,Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, Jr the 26th President of the United States (1901–1909) who was noted for his exuberant personality, range of interestsand particularly his quote, If there is not the war, you don't get the great general; if there is not a great occasion, you don't get a great statesman; if Lincoln had lived in a time of peace, no one would have known his name”.  

My beloved President, the ball is now in your court to seize this day and become the true Statesman that God has destined you to be, by righting the wrongs against an innocent man who wants to exercise his democratic right by ignoring the wise counsel of those who truly love you and continue with an act that will bring odium to all your great efforts to be an exemplary democrat.
To Amaechi, I hope you still remember the great Henry Alfred Kissinger the 56th Secretary of State of the United States from 1973 to 1977 particularly his quote which you have without knowing lived all your life? Listen to what he said about you, “A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone”. My brother, no matter the result, even if it cost you impeachment, which you have said you were not afraid of, or disgraced but bear in mind that you have made your point and with God on your side, you will not be humiliated!

~ Eze Chukwuemeka Eze is a Media Consultant based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Former President Obasanjo Endorses Sule Lamido's Presidential Ambition

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo with his new presidential choice Alhaji Sule Lamido, Governor of Jigawa State. 

“You know you can help somebody to get the job, but you cannot help him to do it. If somebody cannot do the job, we have Sule Lamido who we are confident can do the job,”
 ~ said former President Olusegun Obasanjo Wednesday May29, 2013, to a crowd of would-be investors, dignitaries and ordinary folks in Dutse, capital of Jigawa State at the opening of the First Jigawa State Economic and Investment Summit at the Sir Amadu Bello Hall at the state secretariat.

This is clearly an endorsement of the presidential ambition of Alhaji Sule Lamido, the Governor of Jigawa State from the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP).

The posters of Alhaji Lamido and Rivers State Governor, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi for the 2015 presidential election have been circulating Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. And Chief Obasanjo's statement has only reinforced the rumours of power struggle in the leadership of the PDP with two major factions swayed by their political godfathers.

Chief Oluṣẹgun Mathew Okikiọla Arẹmu Ọbasanjọ, GCFR, a retired general of the Nigerian Army has ruled twice as head of state of Nigeria, first as a military ruler between 13 February 1976 to 1 October 1979 and later as elected President from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007. He is a member of the Club de Madrid, a group of more than 80 former leaders of democratic states who are committed to strengthening democratic leadership and governance and also a member of the Africa Progress Panel (APP), a group of ten distinguished individuals who advocate at the highest levels for equitable and sustainable development in Africa.

Chief Obasanjo remains the most powerful leader of the ruling party and has been instrumental in the selection and election of his successors since he left office. He resigned as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP on April 3, 2012, but still dictates the leadership of the ruling party. And he has openly shown his lack of confidence in President Goodluck Jonathan who has criticized Chief Obasanjo's dictatorial actions as Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during his two terms in office.

 Endorsing Alhaji Sule Lamido is an open opposition to the second term ambition of President Jonathan. But may not augur well for the future of their PDP in the political leadership of Nigeria in view of the increasing threats of the coalition of the opposition parties with the merger of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) led by Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the billionaire Governor of Imo State who has not hidden his own presidential ambition.


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Silima Ofe Returns With Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema

Silima Ofe Returns With Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema

"Silima Ofe" is the Yoruba label for free cinema and was very popular in Lagos and other parts of western Nigeria in the 1970s and 1980s and they were as popular as the commercial movie theatre cinemas in town. Silima Ofe often showed TV commercial on the big screen with public enlightenment clips and then climaxing with western cowboy thrillers and other movies. Then Silima Ofe disappeared around the late 1980s. The following is a vivid description of Silima Ofe as recalled by N. Frank Ukadike in his well researched study on “Anglophone African media” from Jump Cut, no. 36, May 1991, pp. 74-80 copyright Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, 1991, 2006, posted on

The operation begins with the mobile cinema van arriving in the village during the day, announcing through amplified loudspeakers the arrival of Silima Ofe (free cinema), scheduled for that evening. The venue is usually an open field — either a school compound or community ground. When potential customers pack the space, products are advertised (via oral announcements) followed by a film. Halfway through (or at times more than once depending on the length of the film) the film is stopped to enable the merchants to sell their goods to the audience. For most villagers Silima Ofe provided great entertainment and often their first opportunity to watch a moving image on screen.
Since the disappearance of Silima Ofe, outdoor mobile cinemas have been used by Christian missions for their evangelical crusades in both urban and rural areas showing biblical movies to the public and many of the movie theatres were converted to churches until Silverbird Cinemas, Genesis Deluxe Cinemas and recently Film House Cinemas came to town to revive the movie theatre culture and have been attracting thousands of movie lovers.  And Silima Ofe is returning with the new Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema Project launching on Saturday June 22, 2013, at the Freedom Park on Broad Street, Lagos. The launching is sponsored by the Bank of Industry and supported by the Projection Foundation, Goethe-Institut in Nigeria, DVWORX Studios, International Digital Post Network Limited and other partners.

Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema is a nationwide project of Screen Outdoor Open Air Cinema and their mission is to bring cinemas to the masses for mass literacy and empowerment; using infotainment for the benefit of every conducive and receptive community in Nigeria. It will be a popular vehicle using audio visual communication for general public enlightenment and entertainment in most communities in Nigeria where there is no electricity to watch TV.

Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema will also be used for the promotion of democracy and governance, but will not be used for partisan politics to avoid being hijacked by competing politicians in Nigeria.

 Like the Mobile Cinema in East Africa and other parts of the world, Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema is an audio-visual fusion of art, culture and technology to screen educational messages together with international and local films and will also be a distribution vehicle for Nollywood movies, because every venue will also be a sales outlet for Nollywood movies and contribute to the growth of the Nigerian film industry. Only movies approved and authorized by the National Film & Video Censors Board will be accepted for screening.

Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema also comes with immense economic benefits, because the nationwide project will create over 4, 000 direct jobs at the 774 locations with one branch in every local government area in Nigeria.  Each Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema has a management staff 2 audio-visual technicians or projectionists, 2 ticket vendors and 1 bookkeeper.  And every venue of Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema is also an avenue for revenue generation for food vendors selling snacks and soft drinks to the audience from the community. And every venue is a NO ALCOHOL AND NO SMOKING zone.

See the website of Screen Outdoor Open Air Cinema for more details and bookings.

 ~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, Founder/Festival Director of the annual Eko International Film Festival, Founder/CEO of Screen Outdoor Open Air Cinema, a member of the Projection Foundation and Publisher/Editor of NOLLYWOOD MIRROR®, Nigerians Report and other publications.


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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Future of Nollywood is Bright ~ Yewande Sadiku


"I think the future of Nollywood is very bright .... It has demonstrated what is possible .... If you write with a blunt pencil, and you write with a sharp pencil, your handwriting is exactly the same but it looks very different. That's what Nollywood needs to move to - the next level." 

 ~ Yewande Sadiku, Investment Banker and Executive Producer of the film adaptation of "Half of A Yellow Sun" to be released in fall.


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Quote of the Month: Enough is Enough!

Imam Mohamed Magid, left, and Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk, pictured last year when they were named "Washingtonians of the Year" by The Washingtonian magazine, are continuing their effort to promote understanding between Muslims and Jews. Photo Credit: Matthew Worden, courtesy of The Washingtonian magazine.

 “Whether in Europe today or in the Muslim world, my call to humanity: End racism, for God’s sake, end anti-Semitism, for God’s sake, end Islamophobia for God’s sake, end sexism for God’s sake… Enough is enough.” 

 ~ Imam Mohamed Magid, President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), at historic Muslim leaders prayer for peace at Auschwitz, Poland, on Wednesday May 22, 2013.


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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Screen Outdoor Open Air Cinema Presents The Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema

Screen Outdoor Open Air Cinema with the cooperation and support of the Bank of Industry, Projection Foundation, Goethe Institut, DVWORX Studios, Nigerians Report, Eko International Film Festival and other partners is launching the Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema Project at the popular Freedom Park Lagos on Saturday June 22, 2013.
The event is open to the public from 4 pm - 9 pm and it is free.

Expected at the event are over 500 people; including the new brand ambassador of the Bank of Industry Afro hip hop super star Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo, popularly known as D'banj, Nollywood stars, movie buffs, entertainment celebrities and major stakeholders in the Nigerian film industry.

Screen Outdoor Open Air Cinema duly registered to operate outdoor cinema business in Nigeria will launch the Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema Project in every conducive and receptive safe community of all the local government areas (LGAs) in Nigeria starting from Lagos State to boost the Nigerian film industry.

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UNESCO Calls for Investigation Into the Murder of Congolese Radio Presenter

 28 May 2013 00:24 Africa/Lagos


NEW YORK, 27 May 2013 / PRNewswire Africa / - The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today called for an investigation into the murder of a journalist in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Guylain Chanjabo.

"I condemn the murder of Guylain Chanjabo and urge authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo to do their utmost to shed light on his tragic death, and bring those responsible to justice," said the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova.

Mr. Chanjabo presented a Swahili language programme on Radio Canal Revelation, and was reported missing on 5 May. His body was found bearing evidence of neck injuries on 17 May in the Ngezi River, five kilometres from the city of Bunia in the northeastern region of the DRC. "Freedom of expression is an irrevocable right in democratic societies, necessary for the rule of law and allowing citizens to take part in informed debate," Ms. Bokova said.

According to Reporters Without Borders, Mr. Chanjabo had been violently attacked six months ago, and, just before his disappearance, had been beaten in a bar by an unidentified person who criticized the content his programmes.

SOURCE : UN News Centre

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
28 May 2013
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00:33 Freedom of Expression, Association, and Assembly Confiscated by the “Arab Spring” Governments
00:30 African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards 2013
00:21 African Union Commission's Strategic Plan 2014-2017 adopted by Assembly
00:18 FIDH - Iranian lawyer Karim Lahidji elected President of FIDH
00:15 AfDB and its Partners to Focus on Africa's Future at Annual Meetings in Morocco
00:11 AfDB's New Disclosure and Access to Information Policy will Promote AfDB Ten-Year Strategy Objectives
00:08 Readout of the Deputy Secretary-General's meeting with H.E. Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response
00:02 Readout of the Deputy Secretary-General's meeting with H.E. Mr. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission

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