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Why We Must All Do Our Bits To Make Nigeria A Functional Country By Tony Ishiekwene.

“Mrs. Goodluck Jonathan’s mum was in Germany earlier this year for a medical checkup. She died a few months later in a car accident on a bad road in Port Harcourt. Ironically, the same road that killed her was then repaired for her
funeral.”****** Yemi Adamolekun  (The Punch online: Accessed 20/11/2013)

The above quote was part of a write up by Ms. Yemi Adamolekun, in the Nigerian Punch newspaper of November 20, 2013, titled “A wake up call for Nigerian Elites, and I wish Nigerians of all walks of life- elites, the political leadership and the follower ship read Ms Adamolekun and wake up from their slumber, literally and metaphorically.

There are great lessons to be learnt from her write-up and I hope Punch newspaper should re-publish it so more Nigerians, particularly the gluttonous, greedy and selfish Nigerian elites would see some reason to stop the destruction of the only Country we can call our own- a very blessed country, but for its leadership and it’s over-pampered political and economic elites.  If only the people would listen to the type of candid admonition offered by Yemi! Look at that lady (Will never learn any lesson, because she is dumb) who just buried her mum flying all over the place with chains of wasteful presidential jets with her coterie of “hangers-on” and free-loaders- men and women wasting state resources in Bangkok, Thailand; three weeks ago she flew a hundred women praise-singers to South Korea, in cash-for-PhD award ceremony. The husband developed self-inflicted tummy cramp and almost avoided “Nigeria Investment Lecture (HICC)” in far away London, after over-indulging with “fine Wine, “Alcohol and choice food also using Nigerian tax-payers money, with a crowd of another 100 or more free-loaders at London high brow “Intercontinental Hotel,” including Ruben Abati- yes, “confused” Abati!

Nigerians, particularly the elites don’t understand that these “robbing Peter to pay Paul” mentality amounts to a “Zero-sum game.” no winners, as a dysfunctional system is the end game, and we are all losers, ultimately. When you steal too much from the poor, the ills and consequences of poverty haunt you at the end, no matter how crafty you think you are. In more decent climes, thieves hardly get away with their crime; but the few who do, give enormously to charity; our Nigerian, and most African system gluttons and Kleptomaniacs hardly give back to the weak and vulnerable members of their society; we dehumanise the poor with obscene celebration of ill-gotten wealth- how many big cars I have, how many imposing mansions I have at high brow areas in Nigeria and Europe and US, even “my generator is better than yours” syndrome! Achieving personal economic and financial “success” at the expense of the overall system you belong will never guarantee you peace or wellbeing, as the Nigerian rogues have found to their chagrin, as they build high “prison” walls to avoid dare devil robbers; and some die in the sky on their way to Europe and American hospitals.

Only God saved my life in 1996 when I lost my best Nigerian friend and brother, Clement Ojie in April, 1996 in a Road Traffic Accident between Ijebu-Ode and Shagamu. I was laying on the road unconscious, with Clem’s body lying right by me in that dual carriage-way on the hot afternoon of that day, unknowing to me. No Ambulance to pick me, and thankfully Jude Ojie (now a medical Doctor in the US) was unhurt from the same car accident, and he dragged me to the road side, before a mad driver crushed me to pieces. Everyone was driving past a panting Tony by the wayside, unconcernedly, until a a good guy-whom I don’t know till this day- but God will continue to bless him, wherever he may be- and driving on the opposite direction of the dual carriage way drove all the way to the next exit, reversed and came to take me to Ogun State University Teaching Hospital, Shagamu. What a good Samaritan that guy was (Super good Nigerian man), and may I also say a big thank you to Messrs Fidelis Okenmor Tilije, Alhaji Sam Oku, etal who drove down from Lagos after I regained some consciousness to take me to Igbobi Orthopaedic hospital for further treatment- not forgetting the help with mobility equipments from my good friend, Pastor Joe Attueyi, especially en-route my flight back to a London hospital.

Friends and relations sometimes ask me to return to Nigeria, because I could do better in terms of making big money; but there are certain things money can’t buy and they are too many because the place (Nigeria) is dysfunctional- A system where there are no rules, or where there are different rules for different folks breeds anarchy! And then you wonder why the people think that a 24 hour supply of electricity is “rocket science!” These are the things I am used to in the past 27 years or so; No, it doesn’t go off 24/7, 365 days a year it is constant. And they are human beings not Angels or Pastors running the show here. A friend from Nigeria came to cook in my kitchen and she was asking about the “Gas Cylinder,” or something like that; I told her I have never seen one in 27+ years, and she wondered how the gas comes 24/7 non-stop. I told her I don’t know where the gas comes from, including the one I use to heat the flat in winter; I just pay my bills to EDF and I let their MD worry about how Tony Ishiekwene gets his cooking gas. He fiddles or mucks about with my gas, and I’d meet them in court, simple! The warehouse could be in Timbuktu, Acapulco or in the Cloud or underground bunker for all I care!

Anyway let us all try and do our bits to get Nigeria back-on-track. The follower ships have shown too much “mumurity” in taking all the shenanigans of our political elites. The political office holders rape and commit “murder” in the name of their peoples,whom they impose themselves on, but pretend to be “elected by my people.” Elections in Nigeria since 1999 have been largely farcical, to say the least. Stop aiding and abetting the rigging of elections,” so the best man/woman for the job gets it. Yaa, in half-decent countries of the world, practicing true democracies, individual’s capacity, ability and integrity are vetted before granting political leadership role to them. That way their first-rate run their affairs, not third-rate like we have currently in Nigeria. It’s either true democracy or dictatorship, no half-way or in-between kind of democracy; I don’t buy this idea of “nascent” democracy therefore electoral fraud should be condoned. Electoral fraud and the imposition of charlatans as political leaders is at the heart of all the problems buffeting Nigeria.

Tony Ishiekwene


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Thai police seize methamphetamine pills haul worth $6m.

Thai policemen guard bags of methamphetamine pillsThe Golden Triangle has seen a surge in methamphetamine in the past decade

Police in Thailand say they have seized methamphetamine pills worth almost $6m (4.5m euros, £3.8m) thought to be en route to the capital Bangkok.

The haul of nearly one million pills was discovered at a checkpoint in northern Chiang Rai province in the Golden Triangle region.

Packs of the drug, also known as crystal meth, were hidden in the roof of a pick-up truck.

The Golden Triangle is notorious for drug smuggling, particularly of opium.

Deputy provincial police chief Virat Sumanaphan told AFP news agency that the seized drugs had an estimated value of up to $6 (4.50 euros, £3.8) per pill.

Three men and a woman, all from neighbouring Chiang Mai province, were arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling.

Source: NEWS ASIA.

Newsmax Exclusive: NPR Host Likens Chick-fil-A to Hitler.

A publicly funded radio host likened Chick-fil-A to Adolf Hitler Saturday in a warped attempt at humor.

Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s “Wait, Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me,” made the off-color remark during the weekly news quiz’s “Lightning Fill in the Blank” segment.

Story continues below video.

He asked guest Amy Dickinson: “KFC is considering suing a restaurant in Thailand for using its logo and replacing Col. Sanders with blank?” The advice columnist guessed the Buddha, but the correct answer was Hitler.

Dickinson gasped when she heard about the true story. However Sagal, who is Jewish, continued. “Yum Brands which owns KFC was pretty ticked off when it noticed the Hitler restaurant in Bangkok was using the Col. Sanders logo with Hitler’s head Photoshopped in.

“Yum Brands is planning legal action,” continued Sagal. “But the owners of the Hitler restaurant say they are very sorry for insulting a chicken restaurant by associating it with a symbol of intolerance — and next time they will just go with Chick-fil-A.”

Sagal was referring to last year’s controversy when Chick-fil-A’s president Dan Cathy came out against gay marriage, saying “We are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.'”

It was later revealed that the company’s foundation had donated heavily to groups opposing same sex unions.

The amount that NPR receives from the taxpayer has long been a subject of debate. The broadcaster says it receives only around 3 percent of its budget direct from the federal government, however, according to The Wall Street Journal a 2010 study by The American Thinker‘s Mark Browning found that the figure in direct and indirect payments from the public purse could be as high as 25 percent. At the time the total annual NPR budget was put at $166 million.

“Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me” is a joint production of NPR and WBEZ, a public radio station in Chicago.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Martin Gould

Pill Prevents HIV Among Drug Users: Study.

Image: Pill Prevents HIV Among Drug Users: Study

Dr. Lisa Sterman holds up a Truvada pill at her office in San Francisco.


Doctors should consider giving a daily AIDS drug to people who shoot heroin, methamphetamines, or other injection drugs, U.S. health officials said Wednesday.
A similar recommendation is already in place for gay men and heterosexual couples at high risk of catching HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The latest advice was triggered by the results of a study done in Thailand that showed the AIDS drug tenofovir protected many drug users. Volunteers who took the daily pill were about 50 percent less likely to become infected than those given a dummy pill.
“This study completes the story” telling how HIV drugs can protect people at highest risk of infection, said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of AIDS prevention for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The research by the CDC and the Thailand government was published online Wednesday by the journal Lancet.
Based on the findings, the CDC recommended that doctors consider prescribing tenofovir to those who inject drugs. It blocks the virus from making copies and spreading through the body. In the U.S., tenofovir is included in an AIDS drug called Truvada.
HIV infections in drug users is a bigger problem worldwide, where they account for about 1 in 10 new cases each year and the vast majority of infections in some places in Eastern Europe and central Asia. In the U.S., they represent about 1 in 13 new cases. People who inject drugs can spread the AIDS virus to others through sharing tainted needles or sex.
How many people already take the drug in the U.S. to protect against infection isn’t known; the CDC only began recommending it for that purpose the last two years. And health officials acknowledge it’s not clear how many of the nation’s 1 million injection drug users would have the money or insurance to pay for it.
The only approved version in the U.S. is Truvada, made by Gilead Sciences Inc. It costs more than $14,000 a year. In Thailand, the tenofovir used in the study costs about $360.
Truvada came on the market in 2004 to treat people who already have the AIDS virus.

Since then, six studies have been done in different high risk groups to see if it could prevent infections. Two failed but health officials believe those results were skewed because many participants did not take the drugs faithfully.

The latest study was the first in people who inject drugs. It looked at about 2,400 uninfected patients at 17 drug treatment clinics in Bangkok, Thailand‘s capital and largest city. Half the participants received daily tenofovir and half got a dummy pill; all got condoms and counseling to discourage the spread of HIV.
Over the next four years, risky behaviors – like sharing needles and having multiple sex partners – fell at equal rates in both groups. There were 17 HIV infections in the tenofovir group compared to 33 in the group given dummy pills. That meant the treated group’s risk was reduced by 49 percent.
“It does not completely eliminate your risk of HIV,” said Jennifer Kates, director of global health and HIV policy for the Kaiser Family Foundation, a research and policy organization in Washington, D.C.
But she voiced relief about the findings, saying: “We were waiting for the results of this trial.”
International health officials celebrated the findings as an important advance.
“Piece by piece, scientific advances are paving the way to the end of the AIDS epidemic,” Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, said in a statement.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Oil rises ahead of US industrial production data.

Oil near $94 a barrel in Europe before the release of US industrial production, inflation data

The price of oil rose to near $94 on Friday ahead of the release of U.S. industrial production and manufacturing figures that analysts expect to show an improving economy.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for April delivery was up 60 cents to $93.63 a barrel inelectronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 51 cents to close at $93.03 per barrel on the Nymex on Thursday.

Traders expect to see improvement in U.S. industrial production for February when the Federal Reserve releases the details later Friday. Analysts at Capital Economics said in a market commentary that they expect a month-on-month increase of 0.6 percent.

“February’s employment and hours worked data suggest that manufacturing output also increased,” the analysts said, “so we wouldn’t be surprised to see something of a rebound in February.”

Oil’s rise on Thursday was attributed to favorable U.S. employment data, offsetting news about ample crude supplies and worries about the eurozone economy. Weekly U.S. jobless claims fell by a greater-than-anticipated 10,000 to 332,000, helping to sustain hopes over the U.S. labor market.

Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by U.S. refineries, was up $1.14 to $110.10 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

Experts said Brent’s rise was due partly to reports of decreasing oil exports from Iran — which is enduring sanctions from Western powers because of its nuclear program — and expectations about aggravated geopolitical tensions in the Middle East related to the upcoming visit to Israel by U.S. President Barack Obama.

A weaker dollar was also supporting oil prices, making crude cheaper for traders using other currencies. On Friday, the euro was up at $1.3090 from $1.3010 late Thursday in new York.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline added 2.64 cents to $3.1561 a gallon.

— Heating oil rose 3.13 cents to $3.0444 a gallon.

— Natural gas climbed 7.7 cents to $3.889 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.


By Pablo Gorondi, Associated Press | Associated Press

Oil down on rising US supplies, Europe data.

BANGKOK (AP) — Oil prices were pushed lower Thursday by higher-than-expected U.S. crude inventories and disappointing industrial production in Europe.

Benchmark oil for April delivery was down 24 cents to $92.28 per barrel at midday Bangkok time inelectronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 2 cents to close $92.52 on the Nymex on Wednesday.

The U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report Wednesday that crude supplies rose by 2.6 million barrels to 384 million barrels. Analysts had expected an increase of 2.3 million barrels for the week ended March 8. The increase puts oil in storage 10.5 percent higher than levels one year earlier.

Sickly European economies are also keeping oil prices down.

Official statistics released Wednesday showed that industrial production across the 17 euro countries fell by a worse-than-expected 0.4 percent in January. Both Germany and France, the two industrial powerhouses in the region, registered drops in production.

Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by U.S. refineries, fell 19 cents to $108.05 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline lost 2.5 cents to $3.107 a gallon.

— Heating oil fell 1.1 cent to $3.00 a gallon.

— Natural gas added 1.2 cent to $3.692 per 1,000 cubic feet.


By PAMELA SAMPSON | Associated Press

Oil up for 5th day as traders await US supply data.

Oil up for 5th day in a row, to near $93 a barrel, ahead of new US supply, retail sales data

Oil prices rose slightly for a fifth straight session Wednesday despite a forecast for weaker globaldemand growth and expectations of rising U.S. crude stocks.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for April delivery was up 15 cents to $92.69 a barrel inelectronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contact rose 48 cents to finish at $92.54 per barrel on the Nymex on Tuesday.

The Energy Information Administration‘s supply report will be out later Wednesday. Last week it said the nation’s supply of crude was 10.3 percent above year-earlier levels. And U.S. oil production, at more than 7 million barrels a day, is at its highest level since the late 1990s.

Data for the week ending March 8 is expected to show an increase of 2.3 million barrels in crude oil stocks and a drawdown of 1.5 million barrels in gasoline stocks, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Also on Wednesday, the U.S. government releases its latest monthly tally for retail sales. Analysts estimate that retail sales rose slightly in February.

“Housing is the one sector of the economy that seems to be faring well and one would have expected to see this reflected in the retail sales data,” analysts at DBS Bank Ltd. in Singapore said in a market commentary.

Sustained concerns about the global economy — highlighted in the latest monthly oil market report from the International Energy Agency — helped keep a lid on crude prices in recent weeks.

The Paris-based IEA lowered its expectations for global oil demand growth in 2013 by 20,000 barrels a day from its prediction last month. It now sees global appetite for crude this year at 90.6 million barrels a day.

“Continued deterioration in the European economic environment, signs of a potential slowdown in China and automatic U.S. government spending cuts combined to suggest that oil demand growth might remain relatively weak in 2013,” the IEA said. “Together, these three economic ‘hits,’ affecting as they do the world’s three largest economies and oil consumers, appear to further delay an elusive turnaround in global economic, and in turn oil demand, growth.”

Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by U.S. refineries, was down 25 cents to $109.40 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline lost 0.11 cent to $3.137 a gallon.

— Heating oil fell 0.51 cent to $3.0375 a gallon.

— Natural gas added 1.3 cents to $3.658 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.


By Pablo Gorondi, Associated Press | Associated Press

Oil falls below $92 a barrel on weak China data.

BANGKOK (AP) — The price of oil fell below $92 per barrel Tuesday as traders absorbed choppyeconomic data from China and stock markets showed signs of fatigue after big gains.

Benchmark oil for April delivery was down 20 cents to $91.86 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 11 cents to end at $92.06 a barrel on the Nymex on Monday.

Disappointing French industrial production data coupled with weaker indicators from China over the weekend on retail sales and industrial production, weighed on oil markets.

Michael Hewson of CMC Markets said that prices “continue to remain under pressure, largely on the back of the disappointing Chinese data, as well as the poor French numbers.”

Hewson said that a “slightly stronger US dollar” is also checking oil prices in check. A stronger dollar makes oil a less enticing investment for traders using other currencies, since oil is traded in dollars.

Many traders believe the large supply of oil in the U.S. is keeping a lid on prices. Last week, the Energy Department said that the nation’s supply of crude is 10.3 percent above year-ago levels. And U.S. oil production, at more than 7 million barrels a day, is at the highest level since the late 1990s.

Stock markets wilted Tuesday in Asia, following a slide in European shares Monday. The Dow, though, added one more session of gains for a seven-day streak.

Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by U.S. refineries, fell 39 cents to $109.83 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.6 cent to $3.147 a gallon.

— Heating oil slipped 1.1 cents to $2.958 a gallon.

— Natural gas rose 1.6 cents to $3.665 per 1,000 cubic feet.


By PAMELA SAMPSON | Associated Press

Oil price down on Fed policy concerns.

The price of oil fell slightly Monday after strong jobs growth in the U.S. sparked speculation of an earlier end to the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy.

By early afternoon in Europe, the benchmark oil contract for April delivery was down 11 cents to $91.84 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The contract rose 39 cents on Friday after the U.S. government said employers added 236,000 jobs in February, far exceeding predictions. The unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent.

While the improved jobs picture bodes well for growth, analysts said it could also signal an earlier end to the Fed’s bond-buying program, dubbed quantitative easing, which has been instrumental in propping up the U.S. economy since the 2008 global financial crisis.

Caroline Bain, commodities analyst at Economist Intelligence Unit, said that if U.S. economic data continues to be strong, investors might anticipate that quantitative easing would be wound down “sooner rather than later and this would be negative for oil prices as it suggests lower investor inflows.”

The Fed’s policy of keeping interest rates near record lows and pumping new money into the economy is meant to boost lending and investment. But it also serves to draw money away from bonds and into stocks and commodities.

Recent gains by the dollar against the Japanese yen and the euro also put pressure on oil prices. A stronger dollar makes oil a less enticing investment for traders using those other currencies, since oil is traded in dollars.

“Rather than benefiting like the equity markets from the positive U.S. labor market data and the resulting rosier demand prospects in the world’s largest oil consumer, oil prices are under pressure from a firmer U.S. dollar and speculation about a premature end to the Fed’s bond purchasing program,” said a report from Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by U.S. refineries, was down 52 cents to $110.33 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline added 3.85 cents to $3.242 a gallon.

— Heating oil gained 0.26 cent to $2.9775 a gallon.

— Natural gas lost 0.9 cent to $3.62 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.


By PABLO GORONDI | Associated Press

Oil gains, shrugs off weak China manufacturing.

Oil extends gains above $93, shrugs off weak China manufacturing report

.BANGKOK (AP) — The price of oil rose Monday, shrugging off a decline in China’s manufacturing that was likely partly due to Lunar New Holiday distortions.

Benchmark crude for April delivery was up 31 cents to $93.44 a barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 29 cents to settle at $93.13 in New York on Friday.

Oil dived last week on ample supplies and the possibility of a stronger dollar if the U.S. Federal Reserve started to withdraw monetary stimulus which its most recently released minutes suggested was possible.

The price of crude stabilized Friday, helped by the European Commission‘s prediction that the recession afflicting the economy of the 17 countries sharing the euro to bottom out during the first half of the year.

In China, a survey released Monday showed manufacturing declined to a four-month low in February, a reminder of possible threats to recovery in the world’s second biggest economy.

However, some analysts said the result may not be as bad as it seems because of the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in mid-February this year.

Brent crude was up 52 cents on the ICE futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline was up 3.1 cents at $3.297 a gallon.

— Heating oil added 1.5 cents to $3.117 a gallon.

— Natural gas rose 6.3 cents to $3.354 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Associated Press

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