Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Sex workers are staging an opera that confronts how you view them

In a dressing room littered with towering high heels and black cutout underwear, an actor is getting ready for the evening's performance, but there's a big difference between this show and productions in London's West End  — the actor also happens to be a sex worker.

Night after night, a group of sex workers and their friends gather on stage in a fringe theatre in north London, baring their bodies and souls before an audience. Money is changing hands, but this time, people are paying to hear sex workers' stories told through the medium of opera.

The Sex Workers' Opera isn't designed to make the audience feel sorry for sex workers, but rather to challenge people's perceptions of those who do sex work and acknowledge that while some sex workers are coerced, others have made a choice. '

The position of the apostrophe in the opera's title is key, according to directors Siobhan Knox and Alex Etchart; it's "an opera that belongs to sex workers." Who is and isn't a sex worker in the production is something Knox and Etchart have worked hard to safeguard to ensure people can be involved without compromising their safety.

Mashable spoke with one of the actors — a sex worker who asked not to be publicly identified. "For me, the primary value in the play is in telling sex workers' stories, which the general public, and even the sex worker community, are going to be unaware of," says the actor.

The stories told during the performance don't necessarily belong to the cast you see on stage. As part of the production's creative process, Knox and Etchart did a callout asking for people to send in their experiences of sex work; be they good, bad or mundane. They amassed 63 stories from sex workers in 17 different countries; something which proved essential in ensuring the production doesn't focus on just one representation of sex work, or sex workers.

The creators of Sex Workers' Opera describe it as a social project, the members of which are "part of a marginalised community," comprising people who identify as female, male, genderqueer and trans; people of diverse sexualities; differently abled people; migrants; and people of many different nationalities.

Read more here.

Militants threaten ‘bloody’ attacks on oil firms, military

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) on Tuesday threatened to begin bloody attacks against oil companies, their personnel and the Nigerian military, The Nation reports. The militant group in a statement signed by its Spokesperson, ‘Brig.Gen’ Murdock Agbinibo, also taunted the wanted ex-militant leader, Government Ekpumpolo aka Tompolo over the military siege in his Gbaramatu community in Delta State.

Murdock claimed that instead of going after the avengers, the military was looking for soft targets through its siege in Gbaramatu. He added that the group intelligence revealed that Capt. Okunbor Idahosa, Brigadier Commander, Benin, Maj. Farouk Yahaya and the Officer Commanding, Army Gunboat, JTF, Major M.B. Yahaya in collaboration with Ayiri Emami, were behind the travails in Gbaramatu.

Murdock said: “It is not our business what goes on in Gbaramatu Kingdom but our concern is the innocent children, women and aged people whom the Nigerian military has chased away from their homes and now taking refuge in the forest. We warned you before hand that the Nigerian Government can never be trusted.

“The questions are – why the innocent people of Gbaramatu? Why the innocent pregnant women? Why making the innocent people of Gbaramatu suffer? This act of the Nigerian Army to us is the greatest act of cowardice. This fight we believe is against the avengers and not the innocent villagers of Gbaramatu Kingdom.

“Where is the international community and the United Nations when all these unspeakable injustice, is served the people of Gbaramatu Kingdom by the very unprofessional Nigerian Military? Are they not aware of the raping of young girls, looting and destruction of properties by the Nigeria military in Gbaranmatu kingdom?

“As for you Tompolo, what do you have to say about the horrible treatment meted on your people by Nigerian Military?  We respect the love you have for your people the Niger Delta. What is really happening to you when the likes of Mr. Ayiri, Capt. Hosa and Co are unleashing this kind of atrocities on your people? Has the wealth you acquire made you soft that you don’t know what to do anymore?”

IPOB members will be arraigned for murder – Arase

Inspector General of Police: Solomon Arase
The Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, has directed that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who were arrested in connection with the killing of three policemen on Monday be charged for murder. He also ordered the Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIG) and the Commissioners of Police in the affected areas to immediately disarm members of the group, The Nation reports.

Arase while condemning the killing by IPOB members also directed that any member found in possession of firearm be arrested and brought to justice. The Force Spokesperson, Olabisi Kolawole, stated these in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday.

The statement said: “IGP Arase also directed the arrest of any member of the group found in possession of firearm and bring him or her to deserved justice, while all IPOB activists arrested in connection with the killing of the policemen should be charged to court for murder.”

Four killed in Niger riots over alleged blasphemy

Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase

At least four people were killed in central Nigeria in two days of violence over an alleged blasphemy by a Christian trader against Prophet Mohammed, residents told media today. Abdullahi Sallau said a Muslim mob killed one person on Sunday and three yesterday in the town of Pandogari in Niger state "following blasphemous remarks by a Christian against the Prophet".

According to business-standard.com, one of those killed was Methodus Chimaije Emmanuel, the 24-year-old who posted comments on his Facebook page, said Sallau, who lives in the town. His account was supported by another local. Emmanuel, whose parents were from Nigeria's mainly Christian south but who was born and raised in Pandogari, had gone into hiding following the post but was found.

"The crowd took the law into their hands and mobbed him to death despite the revulsion expressed by his parents over the online comments," Misbahu Malami, who lives locally, told AFP. Soldiers and police have made arrests and imposed an overnight curfew to restore calm after crowds went on the rampage, looting shops, burning a church and demanding the suspects' release.

Sallau said soldiers opened fire and killed three while three others were injured. The military said one of the dead was a member of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps. Army spokesman Major NC Agwu confirmed that Emmanuel was killed by a mob "on (the) allegation of posting a blasphemous statement about Prophet Mohammad on the social media".

Soldiers "quickly intervened and restored law and order while a dusk-to-dawn curfew was imposed in the town" but the mob yesterday took over a major road, prompting further deployments, he said. "Regrettably, one church, one house and a shop were burnt while 25 other shops were looted following the violence," added Agwu.

Prophet Mohammed is the most revered figure in Islam and blasphemy against him is punishable with death under Islamic law. Previous allegations of blasphemy against the Prophet have seen deadly sectarian clashes before in Nigeria, which is almost evenly split between Muslims in the north and Christians in the south.

In 2002 riots broke out in the northern city of Kaduna between Muslim and Christian residents over a planned Miss World pageant to which many Muslims were opposed. The riots were fuelled by comments in a Nigerian newspaper article. Days of violence left more than 200 people dead.

In 1987, hundreds were killed in the town of Kafanchan, also in Kaduna, following an alleged blasphemy by a Christian evangelist. In January this year, an Islamic court in the northern city of Kano sentenced a Muslim cleric to death for blasphemy after comments he made last year sparked violent protests.

Monday, May 30, 2016

1, 000 Snipers: Al-Mustapha dares Obasanjo to substantiate allegations in open debate

Former Chief Security Officer, CSO to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, has reiterated his call for a public debate, where former President Olusegun Obasanjo would come to substantiate claims in his infamous 18-page letter that he (Al-Mustapha) was contracted to head a killer squad of 1, 000 snipers for President Goodluck Jonathan, ahead of the 2015 general elections, Vanguard reports.

Al-Mustapha, who addressed some select journalists in Lagos, on Monday, on some number of issues relating to his 15 years travails in detention, also debunked insinuations that ex-President Jonathan interfered with court process to facilitate his release from prisons, to enable him (Al-Mustapha) help train the ‘killer squad’ or procure Jonathan’s success in the North during the last election. Al-Mustapha said ab initio, he had no case to answer but for the plots of his persecutors to see him eliminated because he stepped on their toes while he served as the CSO to the late Head of State, Sanni Abacha, adding that the Appellate Court acquitted him when it determined that he had no case to answer of all the charges leveled against him.

He said: “Firstly, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan was not the one that facilitated my release. Rather, my release was facilitated by the content of the case as determined by the Court of Appeal. We were not even supposed to have been arrested in the first place. After all, witnesses were induced and contracted to implicate us. At the end of the day, we were subjected to all manner of torture and abuses of our human rights. Today, despite the fact that we were convicted on grounds that were baseless without evidence and even against the submissions of their witnesses, they did the contrary outside what was before the court of law. “So, when the Appellate Court looked at the matter in totality, we were released based on purely the rule of law. So, anybody saying Jonathan facilitated my release is either one of my persecutors or those who have taken money from them. There are public documents in the public for all to see these facts.”

Adding, he said, “On the allegation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that I was contracted by the Jonathan administration to train 1,000 snipers, I have challenged him to an open debate to substantiate his allegations. Obasanjo cannot go about creating an allegation that is totally false. If that assertion of Obasanjo was true, now that President Muhammadu Buhari was in power, now that the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA is being x-rayed, now that those who collected money from that office are being x-rayed by different committees, that allegation of Obasanjo would have come to fore. “Nobody contracted me to catch 1, 000 mosquitoes under the Jonathan administration, not to talk of human beings.

ISIS Tried To Sell Their Sex Slaves On Facebook

The dreaded ISIS tried to sell their slaves through Facebook, India Times reports. One of the posts reads, “Yay, or nay?” to bid for a “another sabiyah [slave], also about $8,000" Facebook took down the post within hours, but ISIS has many such women they can sell off at a moment's notice. The terror group's reign is said to be faltering after attack on the group by Iraqi forces, as well as Western forces.

Yet, true to form, ISIS fighters are trying to go 'by the book' in their dealings with sex slaves - they have elaborate rules about buying, selling, and having sex with girls - even if they are minors.

“We have seen a great deal of brutality, but the content that ISIS has been disseminating over the past two years has surpassed it all for sheer evil,” said Steven Stalinsky, the institute’s executive director, using the common acronym for the Islamic State. “Sales of slave girls on social media is just one more example of this.” “What makes her worth that price? Does she have an exceptional skill?” someone responds on a photo.

According to Human Rights Watch, ISIS has in their control 1,800 Yazidi women and girls, and claim that sex slaves are perfectly Quranic, in line with ancient Islamic traditions. “The longer they are held by ISIS, the more horrific life becomes for Yazidi women, bought and sold, brutally raped, their children torn from them,” said Skye Wheeler, women’s rights emergencies researcher at ­Human Rights Watch. “Meanwhile, ISIS’s restrictions on [non-enslaved] Sunni women cut them off from normal life and services almost entirely.”

Anambra Mayhem: IPOB, Military, Police clash over Biafra

The celebration of Biafran Day in memory of Late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu turned sour Monday in Anambra, as the military, police, members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) clashed, killing over 30 persons and injuring many. According to The Nation, over 50 members of the Biafran group were arrested by the military and taking to their 302 cantonment in Onitsha.

Following the mayhem, the commercial city of Onitsha especially Nkpor axis, was locked down with the security operatives taking over the roads. Commercial activities were paralyzed as a result, with vehicular movements stopped with burn fires all over the roads.

Speaking with reporters Monday on the development, the public relations officer (PRO) of (IPOB), Emma Powerful, alleged that security operatives had killed over 30 members of the group, over 50 others arrested and taken to an unknown destination. Also, he alleged that many others were seriously injured in the mayhem, adding that the security operatives started arresting their members since 1.30 am when they began their peaceful demonstration.

According to him, “they were moving around in their hilux vehicle with a native doctor, when we are celebrating Biafra without any form of weapon, does it mean that we have no right for our fundamental rights,” Emma asked. When the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), in the state Ali Okechukwu was contacted yesterday at about11.55am, he said there was no room to discuss causality figures, adding that they were still busy trying to clear the roads for easy movement.

I will defend democracy for life – Tinubu

Senator Bola Tinubu

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said he will devote the rest of his life to the defence of democracy in Nigeria. He said Nigeria must keep perfecting its democracy despite the daunting challenges, The Punch reports.

The former governor of Lagos State said this in a statement, titled, “We must not take our democracy for granted,” on Sunday. According to him, the country needed an unrivalled fiscal policy to weather the economic storm.

Tinubu said those that looted the national treasury in the last administration were trying to use the backdoor to continue their corrupt acts. He said the country could not afford to fall into their deceit in order not to forfeit the nation’s future.

He said, “I have devoted most of my life to the struggle for Nigerian democracy. I would be more than happy to devote the rest of my days so that democracy can thrive and erase the unjust imbalances that have for too long been a heavy surcharge against the lives of most of our people.

“A great historic push and effort are mandated. Change takes boldness, perseverance and moral fortitude; profound change requires even more so. The task is hard but I neither fret nor worry. In my heart, I am comforted by the knowledge that we are so much better and stronger than the obstacle before us. We shall and must overcome it because it is in our nature and it is for our best destiny to do so.”

The APC chieftain said for the Federal Government to accomplish its economic rescue plan, it must dedicate unprecedented amounts for productive expenditure in the areas of transportation infrastructure, power generation, food security and job creation.

The statement partly read, “We have entered a period of stagflation where recession or shrinkage of the economy is accompanied by higher prices. Unfortunately, if we try to fight both at the same time, we fight neither effectively. Given the rate of joblessness and poverty, it is more fitting to fight recession at this point than to focus on inflation.

“We can endure a bit more inflation if it means more jobs and greater aggregate demand that can develop the velocity needed to free the economy of recession’s gravitational pull. We must resist recession; it is harder to shake off once it takes grip of an economy. Restructuring our economy is the most complex challenge before us. On this so much depends. We all must contribute if we are to win.”

British Airways Denies Plan to Leave Nigeria

British Airways has refuted media report that it is planning to stop operations to Nigeria over its $100m trapped in the country. The foreign carrier stated that the publication that it had concluded plans to exit the country was untrue, stressing that it never issued any statement to the media indicating such.

A United States based carrier, United Airlines had disclosed last week that it would leave Nigerian route next month over inability to repatriate its ticket proceeds trapped in Central Bank of Nigeria. This has, therefore, fuelled speculations that other carriers might follow suit with a foreign media suggesting in a report at the weekend that British Airways is considering to leave the Nigeria.

But the airline clarified in a statement that it has a long history in Nigeria, having begun operations in the country 80 years ago as Imperial Airways. It stated that Nigeria remains a strategic market for the airline, adding that its operations locally are very strong. "We have not issued any statements at any time indicating that we are on the verge of terminating operations in the country. We will continue daily operations into Nigeria", it said.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Lai Mohammed To Publish Names of Looters, Recovered Funds - Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has noted that some significant amount of assets have already been recovered from looters of public treasury, but said the Ministry of Information and Culture will make public the funds and assets recovered as well as provide periodic updates, nigerianbulletin.com reports.

The President stated this on Sunday while making this year’s Democracy Day broadcast, cutting short the expectations of Nigerians who had been told that Buhari would make public the details of the money recovered from looters during his Democracy Day national address.

In the words of the President: “We are also engaged in making recoveries of stolen assets some of which are in different jurisdictions. The processes of recovery can be tedious and time consuming, but today I can confirm that thus far: significant amount of assets have been recovered. “A considerable portion of these are at different stages of recovery. Full details of the status and categories of the assets will now be published by the Ministry of Information and updated periodically.”

Buhari assured that the recovered loots would be plough back into the national treasuries at the completion of forfeiture formalities. “When forfeiture formalities are completed, these monies will be credited to the treasury and be openly and transparently used in funding developmental projects and the public will be informed,” he said.

Nigeria reaches agreement with former Niger Delta militants

The government of President Muhammadu Buhari has announced the agreement with Niger Delta militants. Paul Boroh, the presidential adviser on Niger-Delta matters and coordinator of the amnesty programme, said that government and former militants agreed to end the pipeline vandalism. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Boroh told reporters on May 28, Saturday, adding that the pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta region was reducing the economic fortune of Nigeria and increasing sufferings of Nigerians.

He advised the agitators to talk with the relevant authorities over their challenges and stop destruction of oil facilities. Buhari’s adviser gave the assurance that plans were in the line to create welfare and a housing scheme in addition to the existing programme and projects.‎ He underlined the need to find enduring solutions to the ongoing crisid in the region. “Personally it makes me feel bad that we don’t know how to solve our problem,” Mr.Boroh said. “To you my comrades, it is our responsibility to make sure that insecurity in our environment is well sorted out. Please let us do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t occur again.

“We have all resolved that we will put our heads and hands and all in all together to prevent the re-occurrence of this type of thing.” “Collectively we (Federal Government and ex-militants) have agreed to work as a team to prevent a re-occurrence. “We feel bad that it is happening, it is affecting our economy and it is affecting development and we are very concern about it.” Some of the ‘militants’ who were in attendance at the meeting affirmed to what Boroh said and promised to support the government to bring lasting peace to the region.

Buhari Promises to Re-engineer Amnesty Programme

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to “re-engineer” the Niger Delta amnesty programme for former militants. The programme was designed to stem attacks that have slashed oil exports but set to be scrapped.

The announcement, made in a televised speech marking his first year in office, is an apparent reversal from earlier this year when his government pledged to end the scheme by 2018. “On the Niger Delta, we are committed to implementing the United Nations Environment Programme report and are advancing clean-up operations. I believe the way forward is to take a sustainable approach to address the issues that affect the delta communities. Re-engineering the amnesty programmes is an example of this. The recent spate of attacks by militants disrupting oil and power installations will not distract us from engaging leaders in the region in addressing Niger Delta problems. If the militants and vandals are testing our resolve, they are much mistaken. We shall apprehend the perpetrators and their sponsors and bring them to justice,” said Buhari.

“The policy measures and actions taken so far are not to be seen as some experiment in governance. We are fully aware that those vested interests who have held Nigeria back for so long will not give up without a fight. They will sow divisions, sponsor vile press criticisms at home and abroad, incite the public in an effort to create chaos rather than relinquish the vice-like grip they have held on Nigeria.” The costly programme introduced in 2009 after years of violence by militants pays monthly stipends to 30,000 former militants as well as offering them training opportunities.

A wave of recent attacks on Nigeria’s oil infrastructure has seen the country’s oil output drop to the lowest level in two decades, putting pressure on the Nigerian government to restore peace in the southern swamplands.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Niger Delta Avengers mark Children's Day

On Children's Day in Nigeria, a militant group targeting energy groups in the Niger Delta said it would deliver more to the nation's youth than the government, upi.com reports. A group calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers said the children of Nigeria have been sidelined by successive Nigeria governments. The group, which has been critical of the Nigerian government's policies in the Niger Delta, said childhood should be a time of opportunity.

"This is what the Nigeria government has refused to give you the children of the Niger Delta," spokesman Mudoch Agbinibo said in a statement. "But what they have refused to give to you is what we are promising you." A report from UNICEF finds Nigerian data on children reveal a "shocking" amount of violence. About half of all children in Nigeria are exposed to violence, including sexual violence, at some point in their lives. That data prompted the government in Abuja to declare a year of action meant to end violence against children.

The Niger Delta Avengers have launched a steady string of attacks on energy infrastructure in the region, issuing a manifesto earlier this month that warned oil companies the attacks marked only a beginning. The group said it was frustrated by what it saw as a lack of attention to the region paid by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Nigeria's oil-dependent economy has struggled under the strains that have emerged since crude oil prices first dropped below the $100 per barrel mark in 2014.

According to UNICEF, the decline in crude oil prices has hampered the Nigeria economy, pushing public sector salaries lower. "As efforts to restructure the economy away from over-reliance on oil is medium term, the economic situation in 2016 remains bleak," it said.

Police Battles NSCDC for Shielding Officer Accused of Killing Motorcyclist

Killed Motorcyclist

The Lagos State Police Command and the state command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps are at daggers drawn over the refusal of the NSCDC to release its officials accused of killing a motorcyclist, Osita Okoye.

Findings by Punch correspondent showed that detectives at the State Department of Criminal Investigations, Yaba, have established that Osita was killed by bullets from the gun of a female officer of the corps. The officer was said to be among an eight-man team that stormed the Forte Oil Petrol Station on 21 Road, FESTAC Town, on April 6 during the fuel scarcity period.

The officers who were asked to protect the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation pipelines in the area, left their duty post for the filling station where there was a long queue of motorists. There was, however, an altercation between the officials and some fuel hawkers by the roadside.

In the ensuing confusion, the 27-year-old victim was shot dead. However, a police source said the NSCDC had frustrated investigations. He said, “The NSCDC has been shielding the culprits. On April 19, 2016, a letter was written to their commandant on the matter, asking for a meeting, but he didn’t honour the invitation.

“Also, 15 expended shells of 7.62mm ammunition fired by the NSCDC officials were recovered. And one of those who sustained injuries has provided medical reports which implicated the officers.” Another source said a case of conspiracy and murder had been established against the NSCDC officials, while conspiracy and accessory after the facts, was being established against the top officers.

We are not elected to make excuses - Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has assured Nigerians that the present administration was determined to turn around the economic situation for good. Mohammed noted that the administration was aware that it was not elected to make excuses but to put the nation back on a sound economic footing, ensure the security of lives and property and banish corruption, The Nation reports.

He therefore assured Nigerians that the change promised was real, despite the current tough situation. Speaking at a meeting with members of Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON) in Abuja alongside four other ministers, the minister reassured Nigerians that the present administration was not lacking in political will, commitment, discipline and prudence.

Other ministers in attendance are: Dr. Chris Ngige,  Labour and Employment;  Babatunde Fashiola, Power, Housing and Work; FCT, Musa Bello and Trade and Investment, Okey Enelamah. Information and Culture minister also noted that for keen followers of the activities of government in the past one year will admit that the administration has made great strides towards fulfilling its campaign promises.

He said, “As I have said at many fora, our economy, or whatever is left of it after years of serial mismanagement and massive corruption, is in a bad state. “Throw into the mix the huge fall in oil price, and you have nothing but a disaster of an economy. But then, this Administration is aware that it was not elected to make excuses but to put the nation back on a sound economic footing, ensure the security of lives and property and banish corruption.

“We have therefore decided to turn the disaster that we inherited into a blessing by diversifying our economy away from the mono-product of oil, leveraging on agriculture, solid minerals as well as culture and tourism, among others. “Let me assure Nigerians that the change we promised is real, despite the tough situation we are in at the moment. It is real because there is no shortage of political will, commitment, discipline and prudence on the part of government, under the dedicated and visionary leadership of President Buhari.

“Now, make no mistake about it: The road will be rough. But as the saying goes, the darker the night, the brighter the morning. Our long suffering people will surely smile again. Change is no instant coffee. It is a process. We are now laying a solid foundation for our country.

“By earmarking 30 per cent of our budget to capital expenditure, we are building and rebuilding infrastructure. Through our massive social intervention this year alone, we are catering for the weak among us through the conditional transfer of 5,000 Naira to the vulnerable, we are creating jobs as we move to employ 500,000 graduates and 100,000 non-graduates, we are offering soft loans to market women, men and traders, we are ready to feed 5.5 million school children once daily, and we are providing scholarships to 100,000 students studying Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

“In total, over 8 million Nigerians will benefit directly, and millions more indirectly, from our social intervention fund. “Nigeria will overcome the economic catastrophe caused by years of bad governance, mind-boggling corruption and unprecedented profligacy. But we must not despair. We must keep hope alive.

“The Buhari Administration has also squarely taken on the fight against corruption and it is winning. Today, the issue of corruption has become topical in national discourse and the corrupt are no longer able to flaunt their ill-gotten wealth with impunity, as they used to do. This is because the government has succeeded in sensitizing Nigerians to the cost of corruption to their lives.

“For example, it was corruption that prolonged the war against Boko Haram and dispatched many soldiers and civilians to their early graves; It was corruption that ensured that while oil was selling for over 100 dollars per barrel, the country had nothing to show for the windfall; it was because of corruption that even though the national budget has increased from less than a trillion in 1999 to over 6 trillion in 2016, poverty has grown almost at the same rate that the budget has increased; It was corruption that gave Nigerians darkness, instead of light, while successive governments pumped millions of dollars into the power sector.

“Nigeria’s economy poses a great challenge! Nigeria has lost a huge chunk of its earnings to the massive crash in the price of oil. “But the Administration has decided to see opportunities rather than difficulties by working assiduously to diversify the nation’s economy away from oil.”

Commending Nigerians for their support, understanding and perseverance in the past year, the minister agreed that the country was passing through a very difficult situation at this time, with the loss of over 60 per cent of national income due to the drop in the price of crude oil.

On his response to the question of the economic status of the country, he said: “Many have asked me if indeed Nigeria is broke. In answering them, I have shunned semantics. I have simply asked them: If a man earning 100,000 Naira a month suddenly sees his salary plummet to 40,000 Naira, what is that called?” he asked.

16 students disciplined in South Fort Myers HS sex case - District

Sixteen South Fort Myers High School students have been disciplined after they were found to be involved in sexual activity in a restroom at the school last week, news-press.com reports. Lee schools’ spokeswoman Amity Chandler said the punishment ranged on several levels.

The discipline came on the heels of the discovery that multiple male students engaged in sexual activity with a female student in a restroom. Chandler said the punishments had been handed out and there were no more disciplinary actions pending.

She added that at the time the incident occurred, after regular school hours, there had been adults present in the hallway where the bathroom was located. "They did not go into the bathroom," she said. Additionally, reports that a school sports coach had entered the restroom and broken up the activity are not true, she said.

"That did not happen," Chandler said. Earlier this week Chandler did say that those who were directly involved in the situation numbered significantly less than 25. "Not every young man who entered the bathroom engaged in sexual activity," she said.

Meanwhile, the Lee County Sheriff's Office is checking into the cellphone video taken of the incident. "We are looking into a video that has surfaced," Lt. Jeff Dektas, public information officer for the LCSO, said."We're just investigating it like any other case."

Dektas was not able to confirm if the office had the  video or just computer screen shots from the mobile phone. The video came to light after being posted on social media and then taken down. The Florida Department of Children and Families is also involved in the case, spokeswoman Natalie Harrell confirmed.

"We are ... investigating the concerning incident that took place at South Fort Myers High School. We are working in conjunction with local authorities but our investigation is into the welfare and safety of the children involved," Harrell said in an email to The News-Press.

Principal Melissa Layner reported the May 17 incident  to the sheriff’s office’s school-based deputy, Jarrod Cantrell, the following morning. Using footage captured from a hallway camera, Cantrell "observed 25 male students go inside the restroom over the time frame of the female being inside the restroom," an LCSO report stated.

Layner spoke with the female student, who "confirmed that she had sex with a number of willing males." The cellphone video clips are a confirmation of the activity, clearly showing several young males engaged in sexual activity with a female in a restroom stall.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Cristiano Ronaldo: Champions League win worth more than Barca double

Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo has said that winning the Champions League would be worth more than the two titles Barcelona have just won. The 31-year-old has been troubled by a thigh strain through recent weeks and missed the first leg of the Champions League semifinal against Manchester City, but on Wednesday assured his fans that he will be "at 100 percent" for Saturday's final against Atletico Madrid.

Ronaldo, speaking on Jugones LaSexta in the second part of an interview taped on Tuesday, said: "If we win the Champions [League] it is worth much more than Barca's Double. The Champions is a dream. There are elite players who have never won Champions League. I am speaking from my heart, I would not trade places ever."

Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid meet in the third Champions League final between Spanish clubs and the second between teams from the same city. The only previous final between two teams from the same city pitted these two teams against each other just two years ago.

Barcelona bowed out of Champions League contention in the quarterfinal to Atletico Madrid but went on to win both La Liga and Copa del Rey titles. Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid finished second and third in La Liga with 90 and 88 points, respectively.

About the rivalry with Barcelona's Gerard Pique, Ronaldo said: "Even when they celebrate, the others are reminded of Cristiano. That rocks. So for good or bad, they are remembering me. That is great to know that I am always on their minds. But I have no problems with Pique, of course not."

Pique played alongside Ronaldo at Manchester United, winning a Premier League and Champions League double in the 2007-08 season. Ronaldo also said that while he was disappointed not to win the European Golden Shoe award, he felt that Luis Suarez was deserving.

The Barcelona striker scored a remarkable 40 league goals for the La Liga champions -- five more than rival Ronaldo, who won the prize last season. "That is part of it, of course I am frustrated but I wasn't obsessed," he said. "I let things flow this year. Suarez played very well. He scored eight goals in two games. He had an excellent season and he deserved it."

Ronaldo insisted that his son could never play for Barcelona. "It would be impossible, he has his father's genes. But if it had to happen, I would accept it," he said. "I wouldn't drive him to Camp Nou, but I wouldn't object. He is my son."

Obasanjo blames oil companies for Nigeria’s electricity crisis

Nigeria’s ex-president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has revealed that the refusal of international oil companies, IOCs, to convert to power the gas they were flaring contributed to the deteriorated state of electricity in the country. According to dailypost.ng, Obasanjo lamented that rather than building power plants for Nigerians to benefit, the IOCs preferred to burn the gas because such projects did not add to their profitability.

Obasanjo made this revelation at a high-level session on “Africa’s, Energy: What’s the New Deal?” at the ongoing 2016 annual meetings of African Development Bank, AfDB, in Lusaka, Zambia. “When I was president, I asked all the international oil companies producing crude oil in Nigeria not to burn gas and use it for electricity, only Agip responded and build a power plant of only three megawatts, the others ignored my call,” he said.

The ex-president maintained that there was no reason why Africa should be in darkness, going by resources and the potential that the continent has to generate power. He however warned that African governments should not deprive their citizens the benefits of electricity in a bid to have an environment devoid of pollution due to power generation.

“I’m an environmentalist, I will not keep environment clean at the expense of power in Africa. Without coal, industrialisation would not have been possible in Europe and other developed world. We may not use coal like in the past, but let use a mixture of what we have We have coal, gas, oil, sun, wind, fossil; let use them to get what we want,” Obasanjo added.

Nigeria militants attacks push oil price above $50 for first time in 7 months

Brent oil futures climbed above 50 dollars a barrel on Thursday for the first time in nearly seven months. This is an indication that the global supply glut that plagued the market for nearly two years is showing signs of easing, premiumtimesng.com reports.

Oil prices had rallied in recent weeks after a string of outages due mainly to wildfires in Canada and unrest in Nigeria and Libya. The outages had knocked out nearly four million barrels per day of production. Above 50 dollars a barrel, oil was seen by many market players as breaching a psychological barrier that could lead producers, particularly among U.S. shale companies to revive operations scrapped in recent years.

Global benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 was up 36 cents at 50.10 dollars a barrel, the highest in nearly seven months. The upsurge was due to a larger-than-expected draw in U.S. crude oil inventories last week indicated buyers are starting to mop up spare supply. U.S. crude futures CLc1 were up 29 cents at 49.85 dollars a barrel, after touching 49.97 dollars, the highest since mid-October.

“Certainly (50 dollars) is a psychological barrier, there is a momentum, people will try and push it up over that,’’ said Ric Spooner, Chief market analyst at Sydney’s CMC Markets. A source at oil producer Chevron said on Thursday its activities in Nigeria had been grounded by a militant attack, worsening a situation that had already restricted the supply of hundreds of thousands of barrels.

A meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on June 2 in Vienna to discuss the oil market added further support. However, the recent rise in oil prices and friction between key members; Saudi Arabia and Iran needs intervention to ensure prices are slim.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Nigeria: Emirs Reclaim Borno Palaces Two Years After Fleeing Boko Haram

Two traditional rulers from the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno who had to flee the advances of the radical Islamist group Boko Haram have returned to reclaim their palaces after two years in exile. Celebratory crowds met Emir Abdullahi Mai Muhammadu Askirama in the local government area of Askira and Ali Ibn Ismaiya Mamza in Uba, according to Sahara Reporters.

The deputy governor of Borno State, Usman Mamman Durkwa, joined the Emirs at their palaces in their separate areas of the state. Boko Haram militants had taken over the palaces in Askira and Uba but a Nigerian military operation in the northeast has pushed the group from most of the territory it captured in early 2015 and into its heartland, the Sambisa Forest.

Both Emirs called for the reconstruction of schools for children in the local areas and hospitals that had been disused for two years at the height of the Boko Haram insurgency. The security threat posed to the Emirs by the group that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in 2015 forced them into hiding in the state capital of Maiduguri.

In May 2014, Boko Haram gunmen ambushed the convoy of the Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Idrissa Timta, while he traveled with both Askirama and Mamza in the remote area of Zhur in Borno state. The two Emirs hid in the bushes to evade capture or death at the hands of the group. Boko Haram aims to create an Islamic emirate in northern Nigeria where the majority of the country’s Muslims reside. It continues to conduct asymmetric attacks, such as suicide bombings, armed ambushes and mass kidnappings, against both Nigerian authorities and civilians in the three northeastern Nigerian states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

The group has killed 25,218 people in Borno State since May 2011, according to the Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker. In Yobe, the group has killed 2,332 people in the same period and 2,840 people in Adamawa.

A surprising amount of you would let your partner have sex with someone else – but why?

Would you let your partner cheat on you?

It’s a question which we would have always assumed would have an incredibly obvious answer, with almost everyone surely addressing it with the disdain it deserves. And yet a recent survey has suggested that a surprising amount of Brits would be willing to allow their partner to sleep with other people.

In an age where open marriages and relationships are becoming more of the norm, some couples are resorting to agreements that sex can be found elsewhere if things aren’t working out in the bedroom or that physical spark has gone. Recently, Saira Khan told Loose Women that she simply doesn’t like sex anymore and would allow her husband to ‘go elsewhere’, comments that they later both clarified.

One thing Saira realised in the wake of the strong reaction to her comments was that people really want to talk about this issue. With this in mind, OnePulse spoke to 1000 men and women aged between 16 and 65, who are in relationships, to get their thoughts on whether they would allow their partner to stray.

Almost a fifth of the respondents admitted that they would let their other half seek sex elsewhere if they went off it, with 7% of people indicating that they would even be the ones to suggest it. And over 20% shared that if their partner suggested it, they would sleep with someone else if sex was no longer on the agenda in their relationship.

The surprise results appear to show just how important sex is to individuals, with it being considered so vital that many are prepared to allow their partner to get it anywhere – so long as they get it. To back this up, 90% of the people in the survey said that sex was important in a relationship. But surely such a decision to allow your partner to stray can only be damaging to a couple?

According to the survey:

90% of people in relationships believe that sex is at least somewhat important to a successful relationship
23% say it’s ‘incredibly important’
36% say it’s ‘very important’
Sex is more important to men but gets less important as they get older.
Sex is less important to women overall but remains just as important regardless of age.
18% of people would allow their partner to sleep with someone else if they didn’t want to sleep with their partner anymore
7% would actually suggest this
Married people are least likely to break up over issues relating to sex
30% of married people would break up with a partner if they didn’t want to sleep with their partner anymore compared to 42% of those in relationships but not married
If their partner made a similar suggestion, 21% of coupled-up Brits would likely sleep with someone else
Men are more likely to do this
32% are likely to sleep with someone else compared to just 14% of women

While many claim that they can have no strings sex without developing any feelings, this is harder than it sounds. Being able to give your body to someone without developing a more than physical bond is not something most can control. What if the person fell in love with this anonymous lad or lady they had permission to sleep with?

Permission or not, infidelity comes with the crushing shame of not staying true to your partner and you may end up resenting the person you’re in a relationship with for giving you the allowance to cheat and making you feel this way. Their reaction might not be a grateful one of ‘ta love, I’ll stock up on the Durex now’ but might be one of horror that the person they love and trust could even contemplate this.

Involving someone else into a marriage or relationship, whether it is through nothing more than copulation, is a slippery slope. And something about being given the green light is unlikely to take away most of the negative feelings that you will come away with after your release with a stranger.

Sitting around a dinner table with you both knowing that one of you was in a sweaty entanglement with someone else entirely can only lead to tension and sadness – and yet the survey results show that many disagree. It’s a changing world we are living in – and if fidelity in marriage is becoming less and less important, who knows what it will lead relationships to be lax about next…

Source: metro.co.uk

Nigeria to Sign Visa-Free Pacts With 8 Countries

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, says plans have been concluded to sign visa-free pacts with eight African countries to promote economic partnership on the continent. Onyeama made the announcement on Tuesday, at a news conference in Abuja, marking one year of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. The minister, who did not disclose the names of the countries involved, noted that trading among African countries had been very low. The pact, he said, is expected to cause an upsurge in economic activities.

“Africa is the centrepiece of our foreign policy but it is a paradox that as a Nigerian, you cannot go to an African country without a visa, unlike what is obtainable in Western Europe,” he said. “To address this as a leader in the continent, the country is at a point of introducing an initiative to promote African trade as part of the country’s foreign policy of Africa as the centrepiece.”

Onyeama said Nigeria was trying to come up with an initiative where one could enter any sister country without a visa. “We want to start with about eight countries or see if they come up as a group of eight countries. At the presidential level, they agreed to that, and signed up to free movement.

“If we can achieve that within a year, then other countries may want to join and we believe this is a better way to go than institutional ECOWAS etc, as countries take so long to ratify agreements. “We believe we can just start off, eight countries and they agree among themselves, then others will come in.”

Corruption dominates 80% of crimes in Nigeria - Criminologist

A Professor of Criminology, Professor Femi Odekunle, yesterday posited that corruption-related offences had dominated more than 80 per cent of related crimes in the country. Odekunle who is a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption stated this at the presentation of a paper tittle: ‘Corruption’ at this 51st annual general meeting of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors in Osogbo, Osun State contended that out of 10 global corruption cases, Nigeria is always implicated in the six of them.

He noted that corruption has become a permanent feature of in the daily national discourse from 2006 to 2016. The professor said corruption has remained endemic, pervasive and systemic in virtually in all public and corporate life. Odekunla emphasised that the consequences of the crime was already killing the polity, economically, politically and socioculturally, resulting in unjustifiable underdevelopment and creating situation of poverty in the country.

He added that some of the problems faced in fighting corruption was the law enforcement agencies, anti-corruption agencies and criminal justice system which he said are largely ineffective to combat the crime. The criminologist opined that Nigerians needed to fight corruption totally, noting that President Muhammadu Buhari is fantastically committed to the fight against corruption and that was why he made some reduction in the federal ministries and parastatals.

Odekunle further emphasised that already, the committee is currently working with organisations, judiciary and relevant agencies to develop a workable frame work to assist in fighting the crime. He however, noted that corruption has drastically reduced the nation’s image locally and internationally, contending that to stop this, “Nigerians need to moderate the existing law to be able to combat it frantically.”

Everything you need to know about sex and heart attacks

by , Board certified cardiologist at Chestnut Hill Temple Cardiology, Associate Director of Preventive Cardiology at the Temple Heart and Vascular Institute 

When it comes to medical advice about sex and the heart, it is a man’s world.  Titles of scholarly articles are filled with double entendre, such as “Sex, erectile dysfunction and the heart: a growing problem”. and are primarily about drugs like Viagra.  Here is some advice pertaining to both sexes:  the risk of having a heart attack during sexual intercourse, resuming sex after a heart attack, and how men and woman may have quite different perspectives.

A review in JAMA answered the question of the risk of having a heart attack during sex.  It is very low, both for men and for women.  The risk was quoted as about 2 to 3 per 10,000, and this risk was decreased by another 45% in those who were physically active in other ways besides having sex. Anxiety has been found to be a trigger- the cardiac risk of a sexual encounter outside the boundary of an established and loving relationship is significantly higher.

The VIRGO study, done in 2014, explored the problems that can occur with sexual activity after younger adults had heart attacks.  Since 1/5 acute myocardial infarctions occur in people aged 18 to 55, and 39% of them are in women, it led to several important findings.  First, sexual activity can be safely resumed soon (within one month) after an uncomplicated heart attack if you can tolerate mild to moderate physical activity.  Yet, only one out of three women and half of the men had resumed having sex in this study at one month.  Second, the biggest factor identified that prevented a return to normal sexual activity was a lack of counseling about how safe it is from their doctor.  Third, a surprising finding was that almost 20% of heart attack victims (both men and women) reported difficulty breathing during sex in the year before their heart attack.  It should be pointed out here that normal sexual physiology involves increased respiratory rates in women and men, but should not cause difficulty breathing.  Who knew that this could be an early warning sign of a potential heart problem?  If you experience it, see your doctor!

Another study looked at the perspectives of women when it comes to sex and heart disease, and not surprisingly, found that it was quite different than men.  Most women (75%) thought sex was important when asked one month after a heart attack, compared to greater than 90% of men.   The need for non- sexual physical intimacy was higher for women than for men.  Women tended to initiate the discussion about when it was safe to have sex, and were more likely to be unsatisfied with the results of the discussion with their doctor, compared to men.   It was the lack of quality patient-physician communication, rather than lack of information about safety, that was the major barrier cited by women toward resuming sex.  Suggestions to improve communication included making better use of cardiac rehabilitation programs, where this discussion could occur with trained nurses, but most importantly that cardiologists need to have a discussion about sex with every patient who has had a heart attack before they leave the hospital.

Dr. David Becker is a board certified cardiologist with Chestnut Hill Temple Cardiology in Flourtown, Pa. and has been in practice for 25 years. In 1993, after extensive research, Dr. Becker launched Healthy Change of Heart™, an innovative 10-week program designed to reverse heart disease and improve quality of life through diet, exercise, and stress management. Since then, thousands of patients have participated in the program, achieving significant results in improving cardiac wellness.

Culled from philly.com

Local Police Harrass Nigerian Prostitutes in Russia - [SEE VIDEO]

A team of local police in Russia led by former kick boxing champion, Viacheslav Datsik, has exposed commercial sex workers in the country which included a Nigerian woman, Daily Mail reports.

The unnamed Nigerian woman’s identity was revealed after Tarzan disclosed that ‘majority of them are Nigerians, especially this one (he said, as he pulled her hair).

She, however, confirmed her identity in the video clip after she spoke in Pidgin (an English-based lingo and creole language spoken as English across Nigeria), saying “Una wan kill me because I from Nigeria come dey do ashawo?” She asks as Datsik twists her arm.

See video here.

Police Confirm Retrieving Ebonyi Ex-Senator's Corpse From Pond

Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase

The Ebonyi Police Command has confirmed the retrieval of the corpse of a Second Republic Senator, Offia Nwali, from a pond behind his house. George Okafor, the Command's Public Relations Officer (PPRO), made the confirmation to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki on Tuesday.

He said Mr. Nwali's corpse was found in a pond at the back of his building in his hometown of Ameka, Ezza South Local Government Area, at the weekend. "We cannot establish whether he drowned inside the pond or whether he was killed but investigations have commenced to unravel the mystery behind his death.

"We have not made any arrest so far but we assure the citizens of the state that we would ensure that the matter is investigated to its logical conclusion," he said. Meanwhile, Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has described the death of 74-year-old Nwali as a 'monumental loss' to the state and nation.

Mr. Umahi, who commiserated with Mr. Nwali's family during a condolence visit on Tuesday, described him as a great scientist and patriotic Nigerian. "His death is shocking to all citizens of the state as his life which was full of mysteries, embodied truth and commitment to the state's cause," he said.

The governor, who was accompanied by the Secretary to the State Government, Bernard Odoh, and top government officials, urged Mr. Nwali's children to immortalise him. "You should live just and principled lives which your late father epitomised during his sojourn on earth .

"The state government would assist the family during his burial and afterwards while upholding the legacies he left behind," he said. Mr. Nwali's first son, Oguzor, said that his corpse had been deposited at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki mortuary.

Oguzor described his father as a legend, noting that his love for the unity of the state, Igbo race and Nigeria, knew no bounds. Mr. Nwali was one of the first Africans to obtain a doctorate degree in Computer and Analytical Studies from Harvard University, U.S.

His return to Nigeria in 1972 was facilitated by a former Inspector General of Police, Muhammadu Yusuf, as he was appointed Chairman of the School Board by the then East Central State Government. He represented Abakaliki Senatorial District at the National Assembly from 1979 to 1983 and was the first individual to submit a written request for the creation of Ebonyi on Oct. 10, 1979.

Mr. Nwali lost his entire family in a Forker 28-plane crash at the Enugu Airport in 1983 but later remarried. NAN also recalls that the Police Command in Ebonyi on Monday confirmed the retrieval of the corpses of two students of Federal Government College, Okposi in Ohaoazara Local Government Area , from a stream in the area.

APC asks Fayose to clarify role in alleged N650m Abuja land deal

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has challenged Governor Ayodele Fayose to explain how he got N650 million to purchase a land in Abuja allegedly transferred to the retired Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh, currently facing trial over alleged misappropriation of defence vote, Guardian.ng reports

The party said the governor’s response has become imperative following his refusal to declare his assets publicly, including allegations of fraud raised against him.
APC claimed that a witness in Badeh’s trial on Monday, at a Federal High Court, Abuja allegedly testified that the governor was the owner of a N650 million land that had variously changed hands before being finally acquired by the immediate past CDS.

In a statement in Ado-Ekiti by its Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, the party said Ekiti people would want to know the details of the governor’s properties and how he acquired them in the face of “several allegations of illegal fund transfers, including the $35 million he allegedly got from the Office of the National Security Adviser to prosecute his election in what is now known as Ekitigate.

But in a swift yesterday, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Idowu Adelusi, advised the APC to present any evidence against his principal to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC.)

Virginia teen handcuffed, charged with theft of ‘free’ milk

A black Virginia student was handcuffed and charged with stealing a 65-cent pack of milk, which he already had the right to procure for free. Police applied larceny charges anyway, because he allegedly “concealed” the milk.

According to rt.com, after the May 10 incident, the student named Ryan was also suspended from Graham Park Middle School in Triangle, Virginia. That day Ryan, who is entitled to the school’s free lunch program, went back to the lunch line to get his milk, according to his mother Shamise Turk. Later, a Prince William County Police Officer accused Ryan of stealing the milk and charged him with larceny. Ryan has since been ordered to appear in juvenile court.

"I'm angry, I'm frustrated, I'm mad. It just went too far. They are charging him with larceny, which I don't have no understanding as to why he is being charged with larceny when he was entitled to that milk from the beginning,” Turk told WTVR news. "This is ridiculous ... this is beyond embarrassing ... he's at home for 65 cents."

Even though Ryan was within his right to obtain the milk for free, the police said larceny was applied because he “concealed” the milk. At the same time, the school insists the suspension was a “disciplinary action” that Ryan deserved given how he behaved when the situation unfolded. Besides the theft, he allegedly was disrespectful and used his cell phone in school.

According to authorities, he “became disorderly” forcing police officers to use handcuffs on him. Ryan admitted that he “yanked away” from the officer and “told him to get off of me because he's not my dad.”

"Because he was fidgety, kept pulling on the strings of his pants, and laughing when we were trying to talk to him and just wouldn't talk," his mother said of his behavior. She also said that her son was taken to the principal's office and searched for drugs.

Nigeria: Ojota Foot Bridge - Traders, Beggars Make Brisk Business

For several months, the new Ojota pedestrian bridge was almost 'begging' for 'patronage' due to peoples' preference for 'short cut' to use the deadly express road. They gave various excuses, ranging the steep climb to the time it take to come down the other end for 'abandoning' the footbridge, allafrica.com reports.

But last month the state government constructed an iron-fenced barricade to prevent recalcitrant pedestrian from crossing the express road as well as stationed combined teams of security men at the facility in order to monitor compliance. Hithertho,Governor Akinwunmi Ambode's campaign for the use of footbridge,especially in the ever-busy Ojota is paying off as scores of passers-bye now use the facility with some measure of discipline.

For instance it is now a norm to queue when using the foot bridge,whose stairs have now been demarcated with iron to aid movement of pedestrians and prevent stampede. But the current arrangement in Ojota is now a brisk business for the business-inclined ones as they now use the long queues to either sell or advertise their wares in late hours of the day when security operatives might have left.

Among the 'beneficiaries' of the new arrangement are petty traders,who sell soft drinks ,water,gala and other edibles. Some of these traders 'overlap' from neighbouring bus garages when there is lull in business to sell edibles to pedestrians queuing to ply the bridge. Shoe menders are also not left out of the benefits created by the new arrangement in plying Ojota bridge. They are more in number under the Ojota and ready to provide services to pedestrians using the bridge.

The long queues of pedestrians at the Ojota footbridge has also attracted beggars,corporate beggars and street urchins who seek alms to survive. They beseech their 'donors' and sometimes fabricate or concoct stories to make people part with their tokens. For advertisers,marketers and employment agencies,the pedestrians queues at Ojota is a ready made market to hook their target or restrategise. They do that through distribution or circulation of handbills or pamphlets among the pedestrians on queue. Besides,commercial bus drivers now use the exit and entry points of the footbridge as terminus to either drop passengers or pick another ones.The conductors are there in large numbers 'dragging' passengers with their skills.

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