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Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi Feast Day Jan 20 – Full Text

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Mount St. Bernard Abbey: Re-internment of the remains of the Lulworth Monks & Blessed Cyprian Tansi.
Re-Internment of Lulworth Monks at Mt. St. Bernard Abbey at which BLESSED CYPRIAN TANSI was present and appears.

Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi (born in Aguleri, Anambra State, Nigeria in September 1903 – died in Leicester, England, 24 January 1964) was an Igbo Nigerian ordained a Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Onitsha, Nigeria on 19 December 1937. He worked in the parishes of Nnewi, Dunukofia, Akpu/Ajalli and Aguleri.
He was later a Cistercian Monk at Mount Saint Bernard Monastery in England. After being recommended by Cardinal Francis Arinze, who was inspired by Tansi as a boy (he had been one of Tansi’s students and knew him personally), he was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 22 March 1998, who said, “Blessed Cyprian Michael Tansi is a prime example of the fruits of holiness which have grown and matured in the Church in Nigeria since the Gospel was first preached in this land. He received the gift of faith through the efforts of the missionaries, and taking the Christian way of life as his own he made it truly African and Nigerian.”
Heritage and Early Life
Before he was born, the British had come to colonize Nigeria. The British [Royal Niger Company] was traded in Aguleri before Michael was born, and buying palm oil from the local people to sell abroad. An incident happened when a local person named Onwurume wanted to take a little palm oil to put on his roasted yam (yam is the staple food of Igbo people, and palm oil to yams is the cultural equivalent of butter to bread) and he decided to puncture a barrel of palm oil to get some. When the hole he made caused the entire barrel to be emptied out, he ran away but was grabbed by employees of the Company and put into custody. When the local people heard about it they gathered together to negotiate with the company agents, but the company called for military reinforcements and arrested the twelve chiefs who came to negotiate, and then afterwards proceeded to attack the neighbouring villages, burning down the homes of the local people, pillaging their property as well as mistakenly destroying a nearby village of a different group that had no relation to the incident.
Michael’s father was Tansi of Igbezunu, Aguleri. He was one of the people taken hostage by the Royal Niger Company, and later released. Later he named his firstborn son ‘Iwe-egbune’ shortened to Iwene, meaning ‘let malice not kill’; which was the birth-name of Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi. His father was a pagan, but not a polygamist, and he married twice, the second wife after the first one died. Michael was his first born, and he had another son with his first wife. His second wife gave him four boys and one girl.
His parents were poor farmers.
When he was a young child, he became permanently blinded in one of his eyes as a result of a mud-fight with other children.
His father sent Iwene to a Catholic mission school, with the intention of getting his son to receive a better education that would help lead their family out of poverty and would never again be taken advantage of by the westerners. Michael automatically became a Catholic by being enrolled and taught at the school, and he was baptized in 1913 with the Christian name of Michael.
Upon graduating, he became a teacher, and worked as a teacher from 1919-1925.
Seminarian-
At that time there was little enthusiasm for Blacks becoming priests in Nigeria. The Bishop was Irish, and most of the clergy were Europeans. Bishop Shanahan saw the native Igbo, even after conversion, as still being steeped in paganism, and that it was going to be difficult to teach them to be proper priests. While Igbo could become priests they were subject to strict discipline and were often expelled from seminary for relatively minor lapses. The priests who taught them were concerned that only the very best men should become priests.
Michael attended seminary from 1925-1937. His family was appalled at his entrance to the seminary, because they wanted him to go into business or something that would take them out of poverty, which was what his father had always planned. His family was poor and they desperately needed his help, but he felt that God, the same God he had learned about in the mission school his parents had sent him to as a child as a means of getting material benefits for the family, wanted him to continue in the seminary rather than do something else.
Parish priest
At that time in Nigeria, almost all priests were foreign missionaries. Few Africans were being ordained to the priesthood. The foreign missionaries were generally unwilling to live in the same poverty or conditions that the native-born Nigerians endured, and as a result if an area wanted a parish priest the local people had to get their money together and be able to supply enough money so that the priest could live well. This included building a church and rectory (which rather than adobe or mud, could be brick or concrete, with two stories and a zinc roof), buying a car, scooter or bicycle for the priest’s use, European style foods including wine, chicken, tea, coffee, sausages, peas, potatoes, imported foods, etc.
As Black priests became more common some often followed the lifestyle of the foreign missionaries. Monks and nuns also lived more comfortably than most Nigerians and some people began looking at taking holy orders as a priest, monk or nun as a way to escape poverty.
When Michael became a parish priest, he refused to live in this fashion. He lived a very austere life in comparison to the other priests around him. He refused to live in a nice home, and he would build his own home using adobe, mud brick or other traditional materials. He would sleep on any bed even if it is uncomfortable. He would eat even poorer food than what the local people ate, surviving on tiny portions of yam. He sometimes had a motorbike provided to him, but he often preferred to use a bicycle or even just to walk. He was not deterred from doing his work by tropical rainstorms.
His lifestyle shocked and amazed the Nigerian Catholics, who were not accustomed to this kind of priest. And he became extremely popular and loved among the four parishes that he served in. He organized the community to help the poor and needy, and he personally would help people to build their own homes or perform other projects. He never insisted that poor people pay the AMC, although for richer people he insisted. He was very good at building homes, and taught people new building techniques with adobe or mud brick that were copied and used by the whole community. He was remembered as always being very kind.
He was unyielding in confronting vice among his flock. For example, towards the issue of pre-marital sex, he would not allow men to see their brides before they got married, and he would organize the community to place the bride to be in a special home wherein she would be looked after until she got married, and if the groom attempted to go there without Fr. Tansi’s permission, he could be penalized. He also had a women’s group organized who would enforce disciplines on their own members to avoid pre-marital sex and deter abortion. He was also a very strict disciplinarian with students who failed to work hard at the parish school to the point of hiding near the school, waiting for the bell to ring, and then when he saw students coming late he would come out of his hiding place and penalise them for coming late to school.
He also stood up against oppression of women within the traditional culture and advised women to fight back against those who would rape them or mistreat them. On one occasion, a female parishioner was attacked by a group of pagan males, and she fought back against them, and Fr Michael, who was nearby, came on his bicycle and joined with her and fought them until they fled. He then encouraged her to bring the assailants to court and she did, and won the case against them, forcing them each to pay her four pounds; this case was a milestone in the establishment of women’s rights in Nigeria.
He also was opposed to some aspects of the traditional pagan culture in Nigeria, especially the masquerades, who were believed to be spirits and used to punish innocent people at times. Nigerian pagans had murdered his own mother after claiming she was a witch who had caused mischief.
He gave the community advice and teachings about the right way to live in a practical fashion. For example, there were many mango trees in his locale, and it was common for people to go to the trees and throw rocks at the fruit, and in the process they would knock down far more than they were going to eat, or they knocked down the unripe fruit along with the ripened fruit; and as a result the tree would be denuded before the season was over. Michael considered this very wasteful, and told his parishioners to pluck each mango individually so that nothing was wasted and that they would not lack mangoes to eat later.
He worked in four large parishes: Nnewi, Dunukofia, Akpu/Ajalli and Aguleri (his own home town).
He was also remembered as being a perfectionist, who wants things to be done in the most perfect of way possible, which sometimes placed a burden on those who were under him that they resented.
Trappist Monk
While serving in his last parish, in his own hometown of Aguleri from 1949-1950, Michael began to become attracted to the religious life and was asking about becoming a monk. At that time there were no monasteries established in Nigeria, and the bishop was interested in the idea of sending some candidates to a monastery in Europe who would become monks in Europe and later would return to Nigeria to start up the first Nigerian monastery. Michael and others were selected for this project.
1950 was a jubilee year in the church, and Michael was first sent to Rome to make the pilgrimage to the four major basilicas. He was then sent to Mount St. Bernard in England, to join the Trappist monks there. He arrived on June 8, 1950
At the monastery he joined the novitiate and took his vows, later becoming a full monk, taking the name Cyprian after the Roman martyr. No one at the monastery had any idea of how he had constructed such great parishes in Nigeria and all his accomplishments, and he never told them. He did not try in any way to stand out among the other monks, and to them he seemed like just a normal monk, and many of them did not think that he was a saint or special person.
Despite fears of being treated with racial prejudice, he was fully accepted by the other monks, with the exception perhaps of one South African monk who seemed to look for things to find wrong in his work.
His novice master was very hard on the new monks, which caused him much stress. Bl. Cyprian was sensitive to criticism, and his novice master could always find things that were wrong with what he had done. This caused him much suffering and it was during this trying time that he understood he had made some mistakes in Nigeria with the hard discipline and expectations he had placed on those under him.
He was found to be intelligent and educated. When the monks were listening to a reading of Julius Caesar’s invasion of England, when the boats could not continue, Cyprian asked, ‘Why didn’t they turn on the motors?’ He also didn’t memorize the psalms which the monks sang every morning at 2am after getting out of bed, and would make up words as he sang along.
The English winter was also hard on him.
He didn’t go back to Nigeria again, but remained in Mount St Bernard, because of illness. He did not feel Nigeria independence movement was properly done. His health deteriorated, but he accepted death with no complaint. Before he died he went to Leicester Royal Infirmary, and when he was examined the doctor came out of the examination and spoke with monastery priest Fr James saying “Can you help me please, Father? This man must be in terrific pain, but he will only admit that he has ‘a little pain.'”. He died the same day as a result of Arteriosclerosis and ruptured aneurysm. The date of his death was 20 January 1964.
His body was buried at the monastery in England, but it was later moved to Nigeria.
His Quotations
“Count no one saved, until he is found in heaven” (Onye afuro na enuigwe, si aguyi na)
“Do not be imitating the whites in everything, strive hard to gain the Kingdom of God. The whites are already in heaven in this world, but you are suffering every want. Are you going to suffer also in the next world: Life on earth could be compared to the journey of a young student who received a slip for a registered parcel, and he had to go to Lagos to claim this parcel. On the way he passed through many beautiful towns, towns with very attractive things in the shops. He started going from one shop to another, stretching his hands to the beautiful things he saw. He stopped so often in these big towns that he almost forgot what he was travelling for. It was after a long time that he ultimately reached Lagos, and when he went to claim the parcel he was told that the parcel had lain in the post for so long without him arriving to claim it that they had finally decided to send it back to the sender.”
“God will give you double for what you give Him”
“If you want to eat vultures, you may as well eat seven of them, so that when people call you “vulture eater” you really deserve the name. If you want to become a Catholic, live as a faithful Catholic, so that when people see you, they know that you are a Catholic. If you are going to be a Christian at all, you might as well live entirely for God.”
“Whether you like it or not, saving your soul is your own business. If you are weak and fall by the wayside, we shall push you aside and tread on you as we march forward to meet God.”
“She is not ‘Onye Bem’ (a common Nigerian expression for wife, meaning ‘in my place) but your wife, your better half, part of your own body. ‘Onye’ means a stranger which your wife is not. You must recognize the worth and position of your wife and treat her as your partner and your equal. Unless you do that, she is not a wife to you but a servant, and that is not what God wants a wife to be to the husband.”
INSTITUTIONS NAMED AFTER BLESSED CYPRIAN IWENE TANSI
Blessed Iwene Tansi Major Seminary,Onitsha Anambra State Nigeria (Provincial Seminary)
Blessed Iwene Tansi Secondary School,Aguleri
Blessed Iwene Tansi Parish,Umudioka
Blessed Iwene Tansi Parish Ugwu Orji Owerri Imo State
Blessed Iwene Tansi Chaplaincy, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (Igbariam Campus)
Tansi International College Awka
Tansian University,umunya
Mount St. Bernard Abbey: Re-internment of the remains of the Lulworth Monks & Blessed Cyprian Tansi.

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Former Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako Loses Wife

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Wife of Former Governor of Adamawa State Murtala Nyako, Hajiya Zainab Murtala Nyako is dead.

Zainab Nyako died at the Federal Medical Center Yola after a brief illness in the wee hours of Wednesday at the age of 63.
A family source who spoke to AIT said that Zainab Nyako was rushed to Federal Medical Center Yola after she collapsed on Tuesday at about 4:00pm and died at the hospital some hours later.
Mrs Nyako is survived by her husband, Murtala Nyako, six children, her aged mother as well as 10 grandchildren.
The family source said she has been buried according to Islamic rites at the Nyako family house in Dougirei, Yola, Adamawa State.

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Buhari Appoints 28 Judicial Officials

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of 28 judicial officers for the court of appeal, the federal high court and the high court of the federal capital territory.

The appointments are on the recommendation of the national judicial council, NJC.
The twelve court of appeal justices nominees are justice P A. Mahmud, justice F O. Ojo, justice I A. Andenyangsto, justice Gabriel O. Kolawole, justice B B. Aliyu, and justice Ebiowei Tobi others are justice J G. Abundaga, justice A S. Umar, justice A M. Talba, justice A M. Bayero, justice A M. Lamido, and justice M B. Idris.
The nine federal high court judges are Sunday Bassey Onu, Mrs. Adefunmilola Adekemi Demi-Ajayi, justice peter o. Lifu, Obiora Atuegwu Egwuata, and Mrs. Sa’adatu Ibrahim Mark. Others are Mobolaji Olubukola Olajuwon, Aminu Bappa Aliyu, Tijjani Garba Ringim and Nkeonye Evelyn Maha.
The president has also appointed seven (7) judges for the high court of the federal capital territory and they are Binta Mohammed, Modupe Osho-Adebiyi, Gaba Venchak Simon and Babangida Hassan.
The other nominees are Akobi Iyabeni Anna, Samirah Umar Bature and Asmau Akanbi Yusuf.
The nine new justices of the court of appeal will be sworn-in by the chief justice of Nigeria and chairman, national judicial council, justice Walter Onnoghen, on Friday June, 22, while those appointed for the federal high court will be sworn-in on Monday June, 25 2018.the new FCT high court judges are to be sworn-in on Tuesday, June, 26.

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Former IGP Gambo Jimeta not dead – Family

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The Former Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Gambo Jimeta is not dead, the family disclosed in a statement, on Wednesday in Abuja.
The statement was signed by Mubarak Gambo, a member of the family.
“Our attention has been drawn to online news reports on the death of the former Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Gambo Jimeta.
“We hereby emphatically state that Alhaji Gambo Jimeta is very much alive and is not dead,” it said.
According to statement, the family has also spoken to Premium Times, that first broke the story and they have corrected the information and issued an apology.
It added that the family have been overwhelmed by the show of concern and would like to thank everyone that reached out to them.
The family further offered condolences to the family of the former Governor of Adamawa State, Vice Admiral Murtala Nyako (rtd) on the passing of his wife Hajiya Zainab Nyako as well as the family of the Chief of Staff to Governor Mohammed Jibrilla of Adamawa State, Alhaji Abdulrahman Jimeta.
“May Almighty Allah have mercy on their souls and bring comfort to their families during their time of grief,” it added. (NAN)

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How NASS mutilated the 2018 budget – By Muhammadu Buhari

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By Muhammadu Buhari
I would like to thank the leadership of the National Assembly, particularly the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as all the Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members, for passing the 2018 Appropriation Bill, after seven months.
​When I submitted the 2018 Budget proposals to the National Assembly on 7th November 2017, I had hoped that the usual legislative review process would be quick, so as to move Nigeria towards a predictable January-December financial year. The importance of this predictability cannot be overemphasized.
​While the Federal Government’s budget represents less than 10% of aggregate yearly expenditures in the economy, it has a very significant accelerator effect on the financial plans of other tiers of government, and even more importantly, the private sector, which mostly operates on a January-December financial year.
​Notwithstanding the delay this year, I am determined to continue to work with the National Assembly towards improving the budgeting process and restoring our country to the January-December fiscal cycle.
​I note, with pleasure, that the National Assembly is working on the enactment of an Organic Budget Law, so as to improve the efficiency of the nation’s budgetary process.
​As I mentioned during the presentation of the 2018 Appropriation Bill, we intend to use the 2018 Budget to consolidate the achievements of previous budgets and deliver on Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020.
​It is in this regard that I am concerned about some of the changes that the National Assembly has made to the budget proposals that I presented. The logic behind the Constitutional direction that budgets should be proposed by the Executive is that, it is the Executive that knows and defines its policies and projects.
​Unfortunately, that has not been given much regard in what has been sent to me. The National Assembly made cuts amounting to 347 billion Naira in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to 578 billion Naira.
​Many of the projects cut are critical and may be difficult, if not impossible, to implement with the reduced allocation. Some of the new projects inserted by the National Assembly have not been properly conceptualized, designed and costed and will therefore be difficult to execute.
​Furthermore, many of these new projects introduced by the National Assembly have been added to the budgets of most MDAs with no consideration for institutional capacity to execute them or the incremental recurrent expenditure that may be required.
​As it is, some of these projects relate to matters that are the responsibility of the States and Local Governments, and for which the Federal Government should therefore not be unduly burdened.
​Such examples of projects from which cuts were made are as follows:
The provisions for some nationally/regionally strategic infrastructure projects such as Counter-part funding for the Mambilla Power Plant, Second Niger Bridge/ancillary roads, the East-West Road, Bonny-Bodo Road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Itakpe-Ajaokuta Rail Project were cut by an aggregate of 11.5 billion Naira.
Similarly, provisions for some ongoing critical infrastructure projects in the FCT, Abuja especially major arterial roads and the mass transit rail project, were cut by a total of 7.5 billion Naira.
The provision for Rehabilitation and Additional Security Measures for the United Nations Building by the FCT, Abuja was cut by 3.9 billion Naira from 4 billion Naira to 100 million Naira; this will make it impossible for the Federal Government of Nigeria to fulfill its commitment to the United Nations on this project.
The provisions for various Strategic Interventions in the health sector such as the upgrade of some tertiary health institutions, transport and storage of vaccines through the cold chain supply system, provision of anti-retroviral drugs for persons on treatment, establishment of chemotherapy centres and procurement of dialysis consumables were cut by an aggregate amount of 7.45 billion Naira.
The provision for security infrastructure in the 104 Unity Schools across the country were cut by 3 billion Naira at a time when securing our students against acts of terrorism ought to be a major concern of government.
The provision for the Federal Government’s National Housing Programme was cut by 8.7 billion Naira.
At a time when we are working with Labour to address compensation-related issues, a total of 5 billion Naira was cut from the provisions for Pension Redemption Fund and Public Service Wage Adjustment.
The provisions for Export Expansion Grant (EEG) and Special Economic Zones/Industrial Parks, which are key industrialization initiatives of this Administration, were cut by a total of 14.5 billion Naira.
The provision for Construction of the Terminal Building at Enugu Airport was cut from 2 billion Naira to 500 million Naira which will further delay the completion of this critical project.
The Take-off Grant for the Maritime University in Delta State, a key strategic initiative of the Federal Government, was cut from 5 billion Naira to 3.4 billion Naira.
About seventy (70) new road projects have been inserted into the budget of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. In doing so, the National Assembly applied some of the additional funds expected from the upward review of the oil price benchmark to the Ministry’s vote. Regrettably, however, in order to make provision for some of the new roads, the amounts allocated to some strategic major roads have been cut by the National Assembly.
​Another area of concern is the increase by the National Assembly of the provisions for Statutory Transfers by an aggregate of 73.96 billion Naira. Most of these increases are for recurrent expenditure at a time we are trying to keep down the cost of governance.
​An example of this increase is the budget of the National Assembly itself which has increased by 14.5 billion Naira, from 125 billion Naira to 139.5 billion Naira without any discussion with the Executive.
​Notwithstanding the above stated observations, I have decided to sign the 2018 Budget in order not to further slowdown the pace of recovery of our economy, which has doubtlessly been affected by the delay in passing the budget.
​However, it is my intention to seek to remedy some of the most critical of these issues through a supplementary and/or amendment budget which I hope the National Assembly will be able to expeditiously consider.
​I am pleased with the success recorded in the implementation of the 2017 Budget. A total sum of 1.5 trillion Naira has been released for the implementation of capital projects during the 2017 fiscal year. In response to this and other policy measures implemented, we have observed significant improvement in the performance of the Nigerian economy.
​To achieve the laudable objectives of the 2018 Budget, we will work very hard to generate the revenues required to finance our projects and programmes. The positive global oil market outlook, as well as continuing improvement in non-oil revenues, make us optimistic about our ability to finance the budget.
​However, being a deficit budget, the Borrowing Plan will be forwarded to the National Assembly shortly. I crave the indulgence of the National Assembly for a speedy consideration and approval of the Plan.
​The 2018 Budget I have just signed into law provides for aggregate expenditures of 9.12 trillion Naira, which is 22.6% higher than the 2017 Appropriation. Further details of the approved budget will be provided by the Minister of Budget and National Planning.
​I thank the Ministers of Budget and National Planning, the Budget Office of the Federation, and everyone who worked tirelessly and sacrificed so much to bring us to this day. However, the job is only partly done.
​I am sure you will remain committed to advancing our Change Agenda, not only in the preparation of the national budget, but also in ensuring its effective implementation.
I thank you and may God bless Nigeria.
Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, delivered this remark at the 2018 budget signing ceremony on Wednesday, in Abuja

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She’s a flawless feminist:Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie needs no introduction for literary lovers.

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When Beyonce’s single Flawless hit the music stands in 2013, suddenly everybody knew Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The song had featured the Nigerian author and used lyrics from her now famous essay We should all be Feminists. That she was a hugely talented, award-winning author was irrelevant and it was as though she needed Beyonce to “make her famous”. She had, by then, published three remarkable novels ­– Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, Americanah and a collection of short stories – The Thing around your Neck. But I guess we live in a time where pop stars will always be more famous than authors.
A little taken aback by the sort of fame that came after her association with the Beyonce song, Adichie in an interview to a Dutch publication said, “I was shocked about how many requests for an interview I received when that song was released. Literally every major newspaper in the world wanted to speak with me about Beyoncé. I felt such resentment. I thought: Are books really that unimportant to you?”
Adichie burst into the literary scene in 2003 with Purple Hibiscus – the story of a Catholic tyrannical Nigerian father who brutalises his children into submission. Purple Hibiscus was about one family, the canvas for her next novel Half of a Yellow Sun was much larger and far more complex. In this novel Adichie managed to weave together the lives of three characters swept up in the Biafran war for independence. The Washington Post described her as “The 21st Century daughter of Chinua Achebe” when this novel was released. It also won her the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2007. She then wrote The Thing around your Neck in 2009 – a searing and profound collection of short stories. Then came Americanah. Adichie calls Americanah her “f**k-you” novel. She says she wrote the novel when she no longer felt that she needed to be a “dutiful literary daughter” responsible for her country’s history.
A New Yorker article by Larissa MacFarquhar observes, “As her subjects have expanded, her audience too has but visibility has its drawbacks.” It goes on to say that in Lagos, Adichie is “as recognisable as the President.” This public scrutiny means nothing she says or does goes unnoticed. She was criticised for appearing in public with her natural hair. When she exerted her right to embrace her natural hair, she offended many African women who interpreted this as criticism of their choice to straighten their hair. Hair went on to become the most recurring metaphor in her novel Americanah, which is about a Nigerian Igbo girl fitting in to American society. Gradually, she begins to find the idea of “fitting in” revolting and fights back – first by going back to her kinky African hair and then by giving up on the American accent.
She was also accused of being a “sell-out” and a “capitalist”, particularly on Twitter, when she allowed “We should all be Feminists” to be written on Dior T-shirts. In her TED Talk with the same title, she points out that she is a happy African feminist — “one who does not hate men, who likes lip-gloss and wears high-heels for herself but not for men.”
Adichie’s voice is powerful and distinctive because she is not afraid to be unpopular. She is okay with being disliked. “The desire to be liked is something women need to get over,” she says.
She addresses controversial issues of race and gender with disarming ease. She speaks in a language that doesn’t alienate, yet is her own. She is also very political. And has been very vocal of gender issues in politics. In the essay Now Is the Time to Talk About What We Are Actually Talking About for the New Yorker, she says, “Why is America so far behind in its representation of women in politics…Would a woman who behaved exactly like Trump be elected? Now is the time to stop suggesting that sexism was absent in the election because white women did not overwhelmingly vote for Clinton. Misogyny is not the sole preserve of men.”
Awarded the 2018 Pen Pinter Prize in memory of the late Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter for “her refusal to be deterred or detained by the categories of others”. However, Adichie’s unique strength lies not only in her own “refusal to be detained by the categories of others,” but in inspiring an entire generation across gender, race and culture to break barriers and re-examine life as we know it.

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Umahi Condemns Renaming of Abakaliki Street in Anambra

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* Warns against discriminating Ebonyians in Anambra

David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

The Governor of Ebonyi State and Chairman, South East Governors Forum, Mr. David Umahi, has condemned the renaming of a street initially named after Abakaliki, by his Anambra State counterpart, Mr. Willie Obiano.

Obiano had recently renamed the popular Abakaliki Street, housing most of the nightclubs in the capital city as ‘Club Road’.
In doing so, Obiano had explained that renaming the street was necessary, so that its name can depict the flurry of night activities which the street has become synonymous with.
But Umahi, in a press release signed on his behalf by his Chief Press Secretary, Chief Emmanuel Uzor, condemned the change in name, saying that it was a way of marginalising Ebonyi, or even making Anambra feel superior to his state.
The release quoted Umahi as being alarmed by the action of Anambra State Government, while calling for the immediate reversal of the action by his Anambra counterpart, Obiano.
“While we condemn in its entirety, the action, if it is true, Umahi has put everything in place to ensure that His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano reverses the action of bringing back the Abakaliki street, a name gazetted a long time ago in the spirit of oneness in Igboland.
“There should be no part of Igboland that should be discriminated against. Ebonyi State has received the highest discrimination even from among her brother states and this is not healthy especially as we fight to unite our people and form a formidable economic and political bloc.
“The governor has put a call through to his brother Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, on how best to resolve the conflict of interest especially as regards the social media claims that the street was taken away from Abakaliki people because they are not qualified to answer such name of a major street in Awka,” the statement said.
Uzor said the Ebonyi State government would not want to rush into conclusion over the change of name, which it gathered was done because Abakaliki was seen as the capital of a backward state. He reminded anyone taking any action against an Abakaliki man based on the former toga and personality that Abakaliki had since inception of the administration of Governor David Umahi, Ebonyi has become the fastest developing capital and the most beautiful state capital in Nigeria with great potential to overtake other states in the nearest future.
Umahi frowned on every opportunity by other states especially Anambra to look down on Abakaliki man and called on Ndigbo to eschew discrimination and see every Igbo man as a brother irrespective of where he or she comes from.

 

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Atiku urges APC to concede defeat like Jonathan if it loses

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Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State to accept defeat in good faith if it loses the July 14 governorship election.
Atiku, who visited Gov. Ayo Fayose in Ado Ekiti on Monday said losing an election to a rival party should be seen in the light of the concession to defeat by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.
The News Agency reports that Atiku was accompanied by the members of the PDP Governorship Campaign Council.
The former vice president also expressed satisfaction with the level of preparedness of the PDP for the election.
“We are satisfied that the Peoples Democratic Party is prepared for this election.
“We hope that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will accept the outcome of the election.
“They should be democratic for the first time.
“We have seen how democratic they are, but for the first time in 2015, we have the opposition party taking over from the ruling party, we expect them to do the same,’’ Atiku said.
Fayose, in his remarks, said the PDP was ready for the election, vowing that the people of the state would defend their votes.
“They (PDP leaders) are here because they know that PDP has won this election. Everyone is on the same page with us.
“We are looking forward to observers from all over the world because I am the voice they want to suppress. We are prepared for the election and we are going to win,’’ he said.
Among those in Atiku’s delegation were Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, former Senate President, David Mark, former Kano State governor, Ibrahim Shekarau, former governor of Ogun, Gbenga Daniel, and Sen. Eyinnaya Abaribe.

 

NTA

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Saturday Suicide Attack: 32 Kill, 84 Injured 84 in Damboa, Borno

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No fewer than 32 persons were killed, while 84 others were injured when six suicide bombers detonated Improvised Explosive Devices(IEDs), in Damboa local government area in Borno state on Saturday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that some locals alleged that the deaths arose from a misfiring by the Nigerian Army’s artillery but the army denied the claim.

Malam Buba Shettima, a witness said that two separate bomb blasts occurred in Shuwari and Abbachari, at about 8:30 p.m.

“The whole of Damboa was shaken by the unfortunate incident. We all scampered for safety as the blasts were coming from different directions. There were bodies everywhere.

“We suspected that the many deaths recorded were a result of the military artillery,” he said.

Mohammed Hassan, another local from the area who corroborated the claim, said: “At about 8:30 pm of on Saturday night, an attack suspected to be from an artillery killed 31 innocent people in Damboa Shehuri and Abachari. The attacks came from two separate directions. My house was among some of the houses destroyed,” he said.

Maj.-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, denied the claim, saying the killings were caused by suicide attacks and not military artillery.

“There was nothing like an attack from the military artillery. You can see the pictures of six female bombers who detonated their explosives and as a result, 20 persons were killed while others were injured,” he said.

Rogers urged people to disregard the claim that people were killed by the military and not by suicide bombers.

Modu-Zannah Maina, The District Head of Damboa, who described the incident as “shocking and disturbing” said the attack was perpetrated by female suicide bombers.

Maina lamented that a lot of people that were affected were mostly children adding that many victims were injured.

“We are here in this hospital to check our people affected by Saturday’s bomb blasts. So far, the victims have been responding to treatment,” he said.

Meanwhile, Demian Chukwu, the Borno Commissioner of Police, said “On Saturday, at about 2045hrs, an explosion occurred at Abachari area, in the outskirt of Damboa L.G.A. of Borno State.

“At the sound of the explosion, personnel of the Nigeria Police and Members of the civilian JTF mobilised to the scene and discovered twenty dead bodies and 48 injured persons in a suspected terrorist attack.

“The wounded and the dead were evacuated to a hospital while the scene was sanitised by a deployment of police EOD unit.

“Investigation is ongoing to unravel the nature of the attack,” he said.

Hajiya Yabawa Kolo, the Chairperson of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), who also confirmed the incident, said the agency had deployed its personnel to evacuate wounded persons to the hospital for quick medical attention.

“Our team has been deployed to render life-saving support to the victims of the blast. As you can see, they have been tirelessly working with ICRC since morning to evacuate the injured from the airport to the hospital.

“We are all saddened by the unfortunate incident that occurred in Damboa,” said Kolo.
(Source: NAN)

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Nigeria to shut borders over rice smuggling

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The Nigerian Government says it will shut the land border between it and a neigbouring country in a few days time to avoid smuggling of foreign rice into the country.
Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, made the disclosure in Abuja on Monday while speaking with youths in a leadership clinic under the auspices of Guardians of the Nation International (GOTNI).
Ogbeh who did not mention the particular country and border, said that shutting the borders had become necessary to encourage local production and sustain the economy of the country.
The minister said that a neighbouring country was bent on destroying the economy of the country and discouraging local production of rice, hence the need to shut down the border.
“Our other problem is smuggling. As we speak, a neighbor of ours is importing more rice than China is importing. “They do not eat parboiled rice, they eat white rice, they use their ports to try and damage our economy. “I am telling you now because in a few days, you will hear the border has been shut, we are going to shut it to protect you, us and protect our economy.
“You will start seeing all sorts of negative things on the internet. “Let me tell you why we need to shut the border, I grow rice, I was the first Nigerian to mill rice free of stones, if you plant rice in certain parcels of land, some poisonous materials gets into the rice.
“There are three kinds of water in their natural state; there is fresh water from the river, salt water from the sea, blackish water.
“If you go to the Delta in many countries, in South East Asia where they grow the rice, if you plant rice in the same place like four to six years continuously, the quantum of arsenic begins to increase and arsenic causes cancer and that is what they are dumping for us.
“Some people say they prefer Thai rice because they are very sophisticated, welcome to poison,’’ Ogbeh said.
He said that the Federal Government in two years reduced rice importation by 95 per cent and increased the number of rice farmers from five million to 30 million.
The minister said that states like Anambra, Ebonyi, Kebbi, Kano, Jigawa were doing well in rice production.
“We just have to handwork you to prosperity otherwise, this country will not grow. My wish for you is to have a better time that we had,’’ Ogbeh said.
The President of GOTNI, Dr Linus Okorie, commended the minister for sharing prosperity experiences with the youth.
Okorie noted that the leadership clinic was organised by GOTNI to expose young people to practical leadership principle for life success.
According to him, GOTNI is committed to changing the narratives of poor leadership in Nigeria by consciously developing the capacities of generational leaders.
“A lot of young people are asking questions, seeking answers to their questions, wish that they have an experienced person who will hold them by the hands and show them the way to achieve success.
“There are a few people that are readily available to do this; a lot of them are making decisions everyday on the basis of their limited exposure.
“If Nigeria must make progress, if we must consciously build the next generation of leaders then, we must expose these young people to experienced leaders that have gone ahead for a conscious transfer of knowledge and experiences,’’ he said.
Some of the youths who spoke at the meeting called for continuous mentorship from leaders, access to finance and low interest rates to assist them in businesses.
GOTNI is a non-profit youth leadership capital development organisation with a passion to nurture various categories of young people under 40 years of age, into transformational leaders.

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Day of the African Child: Osodieme makes Case for Children with Special needs

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Wife of Governor of Anambra State and Founder of Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFE) has made case for greater care and attention to indigent children especially those with special needs.
Osodieme made the plea in her message on the occasion of the commemoration of International Day of the African Child on 16th June 2018.
A statement signed on her behalf by Chief Media Officer, Emeka Ozumba, Osodieme observed that the Day’s theme: “Leave no child behind in African Development,” reminds everyone that every child needs support, proper nurturing and education to grow through life.
Her words;
“Children are God’s precious gift of love to mankind. It behooves on us to nurture, shield, and educate every child to live to his/her full potential by ensuring that no child is left behind in the scheme of human development.“
Osodieme called for inclusiveness that will ensure that no child is left behind, stressing that in this era of pervasive hunger and privation there is the tendency to ignore the plight of others especially indigent children with special needs. She urged parents not to abdicate responsibility and the teachers, to use their talents to identify and harness the unique gift of every child no matter how challenging.
Drawing inspiration from the classic song, “Greatest Love of All” by American singer, Late Whitney Houston, Osodieme belted the chorus; “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride to make it easier. Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be…! She emphasized that adults owe it as a duty to protect the children whose laughter, according to the song, “remind us how we used to be,” stressing that “there is a child in every one of us.”
Furthermore, Osodieme expressed appreciation with the state government commitment to the protection and welfare of children which she noted is apparent in steadfast implementation of child-friendly programmes by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Children and Women Affairs. Osodieme also assured that her NGO, CAFÉ will sustain collaboration with the Ministry especially in the area child welfare programmes by supporting maternal and child healthcare, immunization and social education for the development of sound mind and body that would lead to the realization of the hopes, dreams and aspirations of every Anambra child.

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