In a press release signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mrs Funmi Wakama, Senator Amosun described the death of Iyetade as “most unfortunate and regrettable.”
“It is most unfortunate that the cold hands of death has snatched away Dr. Iyetade Soyinka at the prime of her life, when her knowledge and expertise would have been invaluable to her immediate family and the society at large. Our heartfelt sympathy goes to Professor Wole Soyinka and his family at this trying period, although we know that only God can comfort him”, the governor said.
Amosun, who also extended his heartfelt condolences to the mother, children and other family members of the deceased, prayed to almighty God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
The death was disclosed in a statement signed by Jahman Anikulapo, an aide to Mr. Soyinka, one of the world’s foremost dramatists and winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in literature. The statement noted that the late Iyetade Soyinka was a student at the Staff School and Queens School, Ibadan before she studied Medicine at the University of Ibadan.
Mr. Anikulapo’s statement described the deceased as “affable, intelligent and sometimes capricious,” adding that she “struggled with her health in recent years.” Despite her health woes, the late Iyetade Soyinka “greeted every day with a smile and doted on her two children.”
The statement, which was issued on behalf of the deceased’s family, revealed that Ms. Soyinka “took ill quite suddenly and passed away while being treated at UCH, Ibadan.
“Iyetade leaves behind two children, both parents, numerous siblings, nieces and nephews.”
No funeral arrangements were announced in the statement. SaharaReporters was unable to reach Professor Soyinka before press time.
The Social Security Administration doesn’t verify all its death reports, a new government report says, leading to problems when it comes to paying survivors’ benefits.
“SSA’s methods for processing death reports may result in inaccurate, incomplete or untimely information for users of its death data,” says the Government Accountability Office in its report.
“Consequently, this could lead to improper payments if benefit-paying agencies rely on this data.”
The SSA is responsible for cross-matching data on dead people, so that federal agencies can avoid paying out benefits to people who are no longer alive, reports The Washington Times, and so that they can pay accurate benefits for surviving family members.
The agency also maintains a “Death Master File” that is available to the public, but the data may not be entirely accurate, the GAO report indicates.
Auditors said SSA verifies death reports from several places, including state records, families, funeral directors, the post office, banks, and other places it considers accurate.
“Because SSA does not verify death reports from sources it considers most accurate, the agency risks having erroneous information in its death data, such as including living individuals or not including deceased individuals,” the GAO report said.
The SSA is also inconsistent in how it shares its data, the auditors revealed. Some agencies share with the SSA, but it does not always share back.
The GAO recommended that SSA develop better plans for verifying death reports and sharing them with other government agencies.
“Only with more accurate and complete data can these agencies reduce the risk of paying deceased beneficiaries,” auditors said. “However, because SSA has never analyzed the risk posed by errors or processes that could result in errors, it is not fully aware of steps that would be needed to address them.”
The government pays out billions in improper death benefits, according to the Office of Management and Budget. In fiscal year 2012 alone, agencies paid out $108 billion in improper payments, including millions of dollars a year in subsidies to dead farmers after the Agriculture Department did not verify where the money was going, the GAO said.
The four men will killed by Nigerian Police officers in the Edo State Command in the Ute Community on the Benin by-pass in November. The police argued the four men were robbers.
The story was reported by SaharaReporters on December 7th 2013
Counsel for the deceased, Benjamin Iluobe Esq who, told reporters it was a landmark judgement, “The order was a proper one because we are tired of the arrogant use of power by the Nigerian Police on citizens. They killed the Ute 4 to make the public believe they were fighting crime. This is bad for a democratic society, and a flagrant violation of the right to life and a right to a fair hearing.”
During the hearing, the Nigerian Police Prosecutor, Inspector Adah John requested more time for the police to prepare for the case. The deceased counsel argued the police were served notices of summons but the human bodies were subject to decomposition, and that was the matter before the Judge.
The African Network for Environment and Economic Justice, Executive Director, Rev. David Ugolor told SaharaReporters, “We’ve been advocating for the end of extra-judicial killing with impunity by the Nigerian Police Force. It was confirmed in court the police didn’t even obtain the necessary documentation to bury the so-called suspects, yet they hurriedly buried them.”
“We urge Nigerians to join the struggle to sanitize the Nigerian Police; if this does not concern you today it will tomorrow when your household, friend or relation is affected.”
In August 2013, the Deji of Akure , Oba Adebiyi Adegboyega Adesida, his family, and well-wishers paraded the streets of Akure to dispel death rumors.
The city was agog with the Deji carried shoulder high by palace guards in a show of happiness that he was hale and hearty, ironically, death was lurking in the corner as the traditional ruler of Akure kingdom died yesterday at the palace a week after he had a high profile wedding for his son in Nigeria.
This weekend, it was a time of bashing for churches, both orthodox and Pentecostal, over the commercialisation of funerals, which ordinarily should be a time of sorrow and the offering of condolences to the bereaved.
Writing on her Facebook wall, Maero Ozako, a Lagos-based writer and newspaper columnist, expressed shock over the new practice by some orthodox churches to charge as much as half a million naira before they agree to bury a dead member.
“I have asked…Oh, it is true that when you lose any parent or relative who were members of the orthodox churches, you are called to a meeting where you are given a levy, as low as 500k…No pay, no burial. We really should be ashamed,” she wrote yesterday.
Elsewhere on some of the Yahoo! communities, members were expressing outrage over the commercialisation of funerals by the Pentecostal churches. The issue became topical due to what happened during the funeral of Nigeria‘s late number two man, Rear Admiral Mike Akhigbe (retd.).
Vin Modebelu, writing from email@example.com, brought the issue before members of firstname.lastname@example.org, writing:
“I do not think that I am the only person who saw this dismay.
“This is more than a state funeral and the Bishop saw the window to collect monies from mourners ..!!!!
“This is very sad.
“They say that they need the monies to expand.
“They buy jets to do it.
“they build houses and buy great ones in places were the poor are contributing to their riches.
“We should stop contributing that much.”
Responding to the post, Ezeana Igirigi Achusim, wrote from email@example.com, saying: “But who are the guys unloading the cash? Their conscience could be bothering them. And they really believe that the good Lord will forgive them all their sins if they unloaded part of their loot the first chance they get to be in any church under any circumstances. In other words, they were performing sacrifices and the church cannot stop them.
“Under some domestic religious practices I know of, the priest will not accept a sacrifice unless the sucker explained why. And the first demand by the priest would be how to make full restitution to the victim. But the imported religion? They grab the loot and bless the looter and forget the victims. And the looter goes out to loot some more so he can give more to the bishop so all can be forgiven so he can loot some more. It is a mind game.”
On his part, Abraham Madu (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote: “I mourn for what we as a race have become. I mourn the slow manner we love money than giving respect to the dead in our society. But then I stop mourning because death is equalizer, their days will come. What goes up, must come down.”
The story from Belgium was absolutely tragic. A 44-year-old woman disappointed by her female-to-male surgery decided to die by euthanasia, feeling that the surgery had left her a monster. But the story behind the story is even more tragic.
Of course, if we simply believed the glowing reports in the media, you would think that everyone who has sex-change surgery is perfectly happy with the results. In keeping with that mentality, there’s a new term we are supposed to use—namely, gender-realignment surgery. This replaces the previous new term, sex-reassignment surgery, which replaced the more graphic term, sex-change surgery.
And make no mistake about it: This is a radical surgery involving removing and changing perfectly healthy organs and body parts simply because the person is convinced in his or her mind that the parts shouldn’t be there.
In the case of Belgian Nathan Verhelst, born Nancy Verhelst, she was allowed to die by lethal injection on the grounds of “unbearable psychological suffering.” (It should be noted that one in 50 deaths in Belgium today is the result of euthanasia, but that’s yet another tragic story.)
As reported in Belgian news, Verhelst said after the surgery, “I was ready to celebrate my new birth. But when I looked in the mirror, I was disgusted with myself.
“My new breasts did not match my expectations and my new penis had symptoms of rejection. I do not want to be … a monster.”
All that is sad enough to read, but the story behind the story is worse still, pointing to the deeper issues involved in Verhelst’s life. Her mother rejected her from birth, having this to say after she received news of her daughter’s death: “When I first saw ‘Nancy,’ my dream was shattered. She was so ugly. I had a ghost birth. Her death does not bother me.”
Have you read anything more cruel from a child’s own mother?
She continues, “For me, this chapter closed. Her death does not bother me. I feel no sorrow, no doubt or remorse. We never had a bond which could therefore not be broken.”
And Nancy/Nathan struggled with this pain of rejection right until the time of her death, as the article reports: “Hours before his [sic] death Mr. Verhelst had spoken of how, as a child, he ‘was the girl that nobody wanted,’ describing how his mother had complained that she’d wished he’d been born a boy.”
Does it take a psychologist to recognize that this was the real root of Verhelst’s problems? That being rejected from birth by her own mother as “so ugly” and as a “ghost birth” and as not being the son her mother wanted was the real cause of her gender confusion? (I’m not saying this is always the case, but it was obviously the case here.)
Walt Heyer is a man who lived through this himself, first with his grandmother dressing him up as girl when he was just a few years old (and praising him for his looks after dressing him up), then some years later suffering repeated sexual abuse at the hands of another man.
As a married man with children, Heyer concluded he really was a woman, going through years of hormone therapy and then having sex-change surgery and becoming Laura, an identity he kept for years, only to realize his deeper problems were never resolved. Not surprisingly, the sex-change doctor he saw also failed to explore Heyer’s other issues.
Heyer’s website also links to a story from England last October, which says, “‘I was born a boy, became a girl, and now I want to be a boy again’: Britain’s youngest sex swap patient to reverse her sex change treatment.”
It’s for reasons like these that the John Hopkins University hospital, under the leadership of the famed psychiatrist Dr. Paul McHugh, discontinued sex-change surgery years ago.
As McHugh observed (speaking of male-to-female surgery), “It is not obvious how this patient’s feeling that he is a woman trapped in a man’s body differs from the feeling of a patient with anorexia nervosa that she is obese despite her emaciated, cachectic state. We don’t do liposuction on anorexics. Why amputate the genitals of these poor men? Surely, the fault is in the mind not the member.”
Yet whenever I and others suggest that we should invest our energies in getting into the deeper issues troubling these individuals—whatever their age, helping them from the inside out—we are reviled as being hateful and insensitive.
As for McHugh, the university distinguished service professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins who also served on President George W. Bush’s presidential council on bioethics, he is reviled on transgender websites as being out of step with the times.
And if you wonder where all this is going, then just look at this news from Argentina: “A six-year-old girl, who was born a boy, has become the first transgender child in Argentina to have her new name officially changed on her identity documents.”
Six years old! That’s a time when children can barely tell the difference between reality and fantasy, and yet this little boy, who identified as a girl since he started talking, is now legally (but, of course, not biologically) a girl.
For believers, this much is clear: While having compassion on those who are struggling and pursuing divine strategies for their wholeness, we must celebrate male-female gender distinctions, recognizing the beauty and wisdom of Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Michael Brown is author of The Real Kosher Jesusand host of the nationally syndicated talk radio showThe Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebookor at@drmichaellbrownon Twitter.
“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.” -John 5:21
In all of our lives, we experience real loss and change – in our relationships, in our jobs, in our plans. I wrote in my journal last week that all deaths are woven together like a crown of thorns, that when we’re pricked by one thorn, we remember all the other thorns. We remember all the bad things that have happen.
So, how do we respond to these deaths, these losses, and these pains that come?
So often, when we face loss in life, we try to grip or hold onto it, or pretend as if it is still there. That is not what we as Christians are meant to do. When death comes in life, we are meant to mourn it, to weep for the loss, and not to pretend. In the midst of our mourning and our weeping, the power of God enters into our minds and our souls to remind us that something greater is coming.
Something very special is coming soon.
Prayer: Dear Lord, as I have mourned so many losses in my life, I thank you that I could always depend on you to heal my heart and then bless me with something even greater. Amen.
Reflection: What is the greatest loss that you have ever experienced? How did God redeem that loss?
Be on the alert for the word Molly. It’s the name for a recreational drug popular in today’s club scene.
It’s glorified by some high-profile entertainers. Miley Cyrus references the drug in her song “We Can’t Stop”: “We like to party, dancing with Molly, doing whatever we want.”
The singer Madonna asked at a recent concert audience, “How many of you have seen Molly?” (Although when questioned about it she denied she was speaking about the drug and was instead referring to an actual person.)
Molly, short for molecule, is the newest form of the recreational drug Ecstasy. It creates a feeling of euphoria and is very popular at techno clubs, raves and other concert-type events. Most users foolishly believe it is safe, non-addictive and without side effects.
But that is not true. It’s being linked to a string of overdoses, even deaths.
Over the Labor Day weekend, a dance music festival in New York City ended early after the deaths of two young people, 23-year-old Jeffery Russ and 20-year-old Olivia Rotondo.
“I just took six hits of molly,” Rotondo reportedly told an EMS worker before collapsing in a seizure and dying.
Molly causes the body temperature to skyrocket to 105-106 and makes individuals more prone to heat stroke.
The huge multi-day “Electric Zoo Music Festival” was shut down after concert organizers learned the victims died after taking the drug Molly.
Concert-goers were surprised to learn of the deaths. One unidentified audience member was quoted as saying, “Musta got a bad batch, or something happened bad, you know, you don’t usually hear stuff about people dying over that kind of stuff.”
The most recent government statistics about Molly date back to 2009, and its popularity has exploded since then. But even four years ago, government data reported nearly 23,000 emergency room visits due to Molly overdoses, which was a 123 percent increase from 2005.
In addition to the two deaths at the Labor Day concert, four others were rushed to the hospital for overdosing on Molly. They are expected to survive.
A week earlier, in Boston, a 19-year-old girl died of a suspected overdose following a concert. In June, a man died and dozens more were treated for overdosing on molly at a music festival in Washington state.
According to Dr. Jayson Calton, “While the drug makes you love life, it can also make you lose life.”