The General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, will celebrate his 72nd birthday on Sunday.

The man of God who has steered the RCCG to greater heights is making the celebration low key as no plan has been released by the church to celebrate his birthday.

Popularly known as 'Daddy G.O.' by his millions of followers, Adeboye was born on 2 March, 1942 into a humble family in the village of Ifewara, Osun State, western Nigeria.

Adeboye often humorously says that his family was so poor that even the poor people called them poor.

The life of Adeboye is described by many as a fulfilment of the scriptures in Zechariah 4: 10 which declares: "despise not the days of small beginnings." As a matter of fact, he unashamedly tells his congregation that he never owned shoes until he was 18 years of age.

What he possessed though were physical intangibles such as focus, consistency, diligence, ambition, a brilliant mind and a determination to succeed in life.

In 1956 Enoch Adeboye was admitted into Ilesha Grammar School, Ilesha, Osun State and as a youth, he discovered a passion for books, and an aptitude for science and in particular the field of Mathematics. This led to an academic journey in the field of Mathematics against incredible odds including but not limited to finances, the Nigerian Civil War and academic politics.

Adeboye had obtained not only a Bachelors (BSc.) degree in Mathematics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria in 1967, but also a Masters (MSc.) Degree in Hydrodynamics and a Doctorate Degree (PhD) in Applied Mathematics, both from the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria in 1969 and 1975 respectively.

One of the motivations for these academic achievements was Enoch Adeboye's passionate desire to become the youngest Vice Chancellor of any one of the frontline universities in Nigeria. It did seem that his academic ambition would be realised as his academic career flourished. However, this was not to be as a greater career awaited him in the service of the Lord. In 1967 Enoch Adeboye got married to his beloved wife Foluke Adenike Adeboye.

In 1981, Adeboye was appointed the General Overseer of the church, taking over from the founder, Pa Akindayomi who died the previous year.

With thousands of worshippers flocking the RCCG on daily basis, the present auditorium being occupied by the church at the Redemption Ground, which is three kilometres long and one kilometre wide, is no longer able to contain the large number of followers.

Last year, Adeboye unveiled plan by the church to construct one of the biggest auditorium in the world, saying that the new auditorium would be three kilometres square. The auditorium is expected to be completed before the church's 2014 convention in August.

The police at Okokomaiko Division in Lagos State, southwest Nigeria, have arrested the Baale of Mebamu Kingdom in Okokomaiko Lagos State, Chief Mosiu Adio Hassan, and four others over the alleged murder of a woman.

The woman was shot dead and secretly buried in the area without her husband's consent to cover up the crime.

P.M.NEWS learnt that the couple was attacked because they are related to the former Baale known as Kolawale, who was dethroned by Hassan last year.

The police also allegedly recovered arms during the arrest of the suspects who have been handed over to the State Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Ikeja, Lagos for further investigation.

The 24-year old housewife, Faith Elo Ibrahim, was allegedly shot with her husband, Bashiru Ibrahim, while they were returning from the market by the security aides of the Baale.

The woman died a few days after from the gun shot wounds, while her husband survived the attack.

The incident happened at Mechanic Bus Stop near the Baale's palace in Mebamu area in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos.

P.M.NEWS learnt while Ibrahim was still in a hospital recovering from the gun shot wounds, the Baale allegedly buried the woman without police report and autopsy or even informing her husband.

Narrating what happened, Ibrahim said he went to the market to buy some food items with his late wife on the fateful day..

After buying what they needed that evening and were returning home, they were accosted by some men with cutlasses and guns close to his house and the Baale's palace.

He said they asked him where they were going or coming from that evening.

Ibrahim said while he was still explaining,  one of them hit his back with a cutlass, while another he identified as Wale pointed the gun he was carrying at him and shot him and his wife and fled.

He said he was shot at his waist while his wife was badly injured both in her waist and other parts of her body and she later died because of the injuries.

Ibrahim said they were left at the scene and neighbours who knew them and saw what happened rushed them to a private hospital, Ademola Medical Centre at Ijanikin area,  where his wife eventually died two days after.

He alleged that while he was still in pains at the hospital, the Baale conspired with other people to bury his wife secretly without informing him.
He said since the incident happened, their only daughter, Opeyemi, had kept asking him about her mother.

Ibrahim said those behind the death of his wife must be brought to justice.

When P.M.NEWS contacted Baale Hassan, he confirmed the incident and said it was the security men that shot the victims and he only intervened to settle the matter peacefully.

He said he settled with the family of the deceased before she was buried and declined to comment on the allegations that he  illegally owned weapons and his thugs harassed residents of the area.

Whem P.M.NEWS visited the Okoko Police Division, the DPO, Richard Temple, who confirmed the arrest, said the matter had been transfered to SARS.

He declined to make further comments and referred our reporter to SARS or PPRO concerning the matter.

A 100 Level student of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomosho, Oluwadare Ikechukwu Mba, has been hacked to death in his off-campus hostel at Pastor Bode Area, close to Amazing Area of Ogbomosho, Oyo State, southwest Nigeria.

He was allegedly murdered by men suspected to be cultists on Tuesday night.

The killers of Ikechukwu, a student of the Department of Transport Management, were said to have used cutlass to inflict injuries on every part of his body till he became lifeless.

Campus sources said that the student was in the company of two ladies and they had just returned from the hospital where one of the ladies went for medical check up, when the killers struck.

"The cultists must have been on their trail because they were attacked a few minutes after they arrived at the hostel. Mba tried to run away after the cultists invaded the room but they ran after him and used machetes to attack him till he became lifeless," one of the sources told our reporter.

The campus has been thrown into a state of unrest as another 200 Level student of Animal Nutrition and Biotechnology Department, identified has Bankole, was also shot dead by cultists at Soun Stadium, Ogbomosho, last week Wednesday.

It was learnt  that the parents of Bankole came to take the corpse away for proper burial and no arrest has been made by the police.

The S.U.G election which was to hold on Thursday has been postponed till next week Wednesday because of these killings.

A prosecution witness on Thursday told a Lagos High Court at Igbosere, that the alleged murderers of Facebook lover, Cynthia Osokogu, had it all planned, a few days before she was killed.

The prosecution witness, Joseph Edo, told the court how Olisaeloka Ezike (second defendant), went to Agboju Market at the instance of Okumo Nwabufo (first defendant) and purchased a chain and a cellotape, which they used in 'killing' Cynthia.

Led in Evidence by the state Attorney-General, Ade Ipaye, Edo told the court: "it is the defendants' stock-in-trade to invite women to hotels, drug and rape them.''

He told the court which was presided over by Justice Olabisi Akinlade, that Okumo and Ezike had it in mind to kill Cynthia on her arrival in Lagos.

"From my investigation, I discovered that the first defendant sent the second defendant to Agboju Market to buy the instruments they used for the operation, a few days before Cynthia was killed.

"The second defendant (Ezike), after getting the items and while still at the market, used his phone to snap them and forwarded the picture to the first defendant (Nwabufo).

"He equally sent Nwabufo a text message from his phone asking if this was the chain and cellotape you asked me to buy.

"Nwabufo replied Ezike that it will be okay for the job, the messages are all in their phones,'' Edo said.

The witness also told the court that he discovered that the third defendant, Orji Osita, who is a pharmacist, aided the primary suspects to commit the crime by supplying them the Rohypnol used in subduing the deceased, before they carried out the killing.

He said the fourth defendant, Nonso Ezike, dishonestly received Cynthia's Blackberry cell phone from his elder brother, who is the second defendant.

"It was discovered that it was not the first phone he (Nonso) bought from the second defendant and he has knowledge of the first and second defendants stock-in-trade.

"They specialise in bringing ladies into hotel rooms, enticing them with one or two things and then rape them,'' Edo said.

Earlier, Justice Akinlade admitted in evidence the confessional statements and video evidence made at the Festac Police Station on Aug. 20, 2012 by Nwabufo and Ezike, admitting the murder.

In a ruling delivered on the admissibility of the statements made by the first and second defendants, after they alleged that their statements were gotten under duress, Justice Akinlade held that their allegations before the court were concocted as there was no evidence to buttress their claims.

Akinlade added that from her examination of the confessional statements, the handwritings of the defendant did not show they were under torture to write them.

"The defendants were questioned in an open place and were also asked by the Area Commander if they made their statements voluntarily, which they attested in the affirmative.

"Moreover, from the video evidence, the defendants looked well and untortured.

"It was when the Area Commander realised their narration was the same that he requested for a cameraman to video them," she said.

She added that the prosecution had proven its case in the trial-within-trial to determine the admissibility of the confessional statements made by the first and second defendants.

"I hereby admit the confessional statements and video evidence made by the defendants and tendered by the prosecution as exhibits'' Akinlade held.

Akinlade adjourned the case till March 13, for continuation of trial. (NAN)

Veteran Actor, Prince Jide Kosoko cheated death yesterday (Wednesday) when he survived a ghastly accident around Ikeja Shopping Mall.

He was driving himself when his car lost control due to brake failure. The car was a write-off, but the leader of the Yoruba movie sector escaped death narrowly.

He was immediately given some medical attention by the Emergency unit of 7-Up with the kind support of LASTMA officials.

Efforts to reach the thespian proved abortive but the story has been confirmed to Dailypost by one of the Executives of the sector, Yomi Fabiyi.

Source: DailyPost

A 28 year old Nigerian student, Prince Bartholowmew Obitube, has been sentenced to death by a high court in Malaysia for trafficking drugs. The Shah Alam High Court yesterday Feb 26th gave the death penalty to Obitube after he was found guilty of trafficking cannabis, also known as marijuana.

The accused, a student with a private college in Kuala Lumpur, was arrested with 9,189kg of cannabis at Desa Satu Apartment, Gombak on Aug 20, 2011. He was caught by police from the Gombak Narcotic Crime Investigation Department, after a tip off, within the apartment area after he tried to run away with a backpack containing the drugs.

The offense, under the Dangerous Drugs Act in the country, provides a mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

Joju Muse popularly known as April is the latest addition to the Tinsel family. She's playing the role of Sammie – the hostess at Ziggies. To say she's ready to conquer the world is stating the obvious; April is ready for almost anything even sex with Ramsey Nouah on set. Yeah, you read that right, S.E.X on S.E.T.

The 26 year old Public Administration graduate from Olabisi Onabanjo University, was at the office of  where she spoke about getting horny watching John Dumelo and Ramsey Nouah, getting a role on Tinsel and life as the black Sheep in the family of a one-time senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. OLUWATOSIN 'BREEZI' ADESANYA had a cosy time-out with her on iCampus' legendary couch.

Tell us a bit about you, who is Joju Muse?

My name is Olajoju Muse. I'm a Yoruba lady from Olowogbowo, Lagos Island, Lagos State. I come from an interesting polygamous family of 5 – 2 girls and 3 guys. I'm the first from my mum and fourth from my Dad. My Dad used to manage a bank so we got transferred a lot so I attended many schools. I finished from command children school, Bonni Camp then went to Lagos state model college. For University education, I did Public Administration at Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye.

Have you always wanted to act?

Oh yeah, acting has always been part of me from childhood. When my Mum has her friends over, I come out and start doing silly things with a make-shift microphone and they'll start laughing. But you know our parents can be quite funny; giving kids 'bad eye' and saying, "Will you get out from here!" So yeah, I have always wanted to act from the cradle.

What year did you really start acting?

MNET's African Movie, Protégé, was my first production and that was in August 2013. But before then I was in a Soap which I don't really like to talk about. It's called 'Dormitory 8'.

Why, was it sub-par?

Yeah, if you look at some of the jobs I've done compared to 'Dormitory 8', the difference is very clear.

Many are of the opinion that landing a MNET movie role is hard. How did you get the connection?

It's God. I was called for casting only for me to get there and I was given a script then told I was to film that day. So I had to get all my lines in a few minutes. Though it was not a Lead Role but it was a good platform for me.

How did you learn the ropes, judging from the fact that you studied Public Administration at school?

Acting is my life. It's in me; I love it and it keeps me going. If I wasn't an actress, I think life would've been difficult. A lot of people will not understand my point of view but I don't think I can survive in another industry. I think because it's what I really wanted to do, that's why everything has seemed easy.

You never went for auditions while you were in school?

I went for one audition and I wasn't picked so I lost interest in auditions. That was 'Phone Swap' audition so I felt frustrated then along the line I thought about it and said, maybe it's not just God's time. I was like, 'why don't you just chill and do other stuff. If you will act, you will act.' That's how it was till I got a call for casting.

How did you land a role in 'Tinsel'?

Tinsel was God-sent. It was like a movie. I was just chilling in my room when my supposed boyfriend in protégé pinged me and said someone needed my number, so I gave him expecting something nice. Later on, I got a call and immediately I heard, "Hello, I'm so and so calling from Tinsel…" I just hung up. I was like, "who the hell is pranking me?" Later on I figured out it wasn't a prank. I was happy and I'm still happy.

I'm sure you watch yourself on TV, how do you feel when you see the way you translate your roles?

I always feel awkward when I see myself on Tinsel. I don't like watching myself. Sometimes when I do, I'm always like, 'See this stupid girl oh'. [laughs] Most of the roles I play are different from the real me. I really don't like watching myself.

How have your family and friends reacted to seeing you on their screens?

Encouraging; they motivate me to want to do more.

What roles would you rather not play right now?

I would rather not play the role of a maid unless the money is good and the maid is a 'jasi' maid [laughs]

Can you play nude roles?

Of course I can, it's my job. It's just like asking a surgeon 'can you do surgery?' Whatever your job entails, do it. It's a character you are playing because in real life you might not go nude but if the character demands it, I will so do it, especially if the money is right.

You are not scared of family or critics coming for you?

Abeg, even Jesus Christ, dem still dey criticize am. People are entitled to their own opinions.

Are you in a relationship?

Am I in a relationship? I don't know, I'll say I'm an open relationship.

Oh, meaning you can date and sleep with other people without worry.

Okay, let me confess, I'm not in a relationship. I just got out of a relationship. We broke up yesterday.


[laughs] I don't like lies or excuses. The excuses were becoming too much. Also, I need someone to be able to trust me regardless of what they hear.

Ever cheated before?

[Laughs] Yes, once, but the cheating did not work. I was caught cheating.

Won't your roles affect your future relationships?

Whoever I'm going to be in a relationship with has to understand the kind of job I do. If they can't the door is open, they can take a walk. Your career will never leave you if you are dedicated to it, but people might.

What if your kids stumble upon your nudes in future, how will you handle it or explain?

That's why you have to let your kids know what you do. Explain the nature of your job to them.

When was the first time you ever kissed anybody on set and how was it like?

I have never kissed anybody on set. I remember a role I was supposed to kiss but I begged the director to make it a make-out scene where instead of kissing, we smooched. I naturally have problems with kissing.

Why, who scarred you?

[Laughs] I had a bad kiss experience. Dude actually spat in my mouth. I was disgusted and since then I've always shied away from kissing.

Which Nigerian actor would you not mind kissing on set?

There are actually two of them; Ramsey Nouah and John Dumelo. I'm so in love with both of them. Their movies hit the right spot.

Right spot? They make you horny?

Everything join together. [laughs]

So you don't mind a sex scene with Ramsey Nouah?

A sex scene with Ramsey? Mehn, we are doing it for real. No acting, we will do it.

Some Actors have to do repetitive takes to get a scene or line right, has it ever happened to you?

Never. I hardly miss my lines. Of course nobody is so perfect but I hardly miss my lines. Sometimes I can get a script in the morning and by evening, I already know my lines.

Describe your childhood. How was growing up for you?

I will say growing up was not interesting. It was all about security, reporting etc. It was not interesting to me because everything had to follow a procedure and we always had to take permission. I only attended 3 birthday parties as a child. I am a playful person naturally so it just didn't work for me because I got into a lot of problems. I'm not the type to be caged so I always got into trouble with my mother.

What was the craziest thing you did then?

I shaved someone's head in school. I put shaving cream on her head in the night so when she woke and took her bath, her hair fell off. She wore a Bandana to class the next day and I snatched it off and everyone saw the really huge bald space in the middle of her head. She was a pain in the ass. She was always reporting us for indiscipline. She reported me for not laying my bed and I was beaten mercilessly.

You scaled fences too right?

Oh yes, I did. I was a bad girl. I was popular for two or three sets. I was always carrying contraband. [laughs]

So when was the first time you ever had sex?

The first time I ever had sex was in 2007. I was already in University but I didn't want a random guy to take it so I gave it to this guy I was madly in love with. I told him to just take it since my mother never believed I was a virgin so it didn't matter anymore.

She never believed?

Yes, she never believed I was a virgin.

I've heard stories of mothers checking their girls to see if they've lost their virginity especially when they come back from school. Has it ever happened to you?

Oh yes, my mum actually checked me once. I'm still always upset when I remember that day. I really don't want to talk about what made her check me but I felt disrespected. And you know our Yoruba mothers nah, everybody go hear am.

So do you consider yourself approachable?

I don't live a lie. What I won't take on a normal day, I won't take on another day. I can be very friendly but when you are crossing the line, I will let you know. Actresses don't have to smile every day, if I'm not in the mood, I might give you an attitude. I might reply when you say hi and I might not. I can be bitchy especially when you keep pestering me. You can't satisfy everybody.

Would you kiss a girl like Tonto Dikeh on set?

Kissing a girl on set or kissing Tonto Dikeh is not an issue. The movie must have a moral lesson. The producer just has to show me it has a moral lesson. You see a lot of movies from Asaba and you be like, 'this is why Nigerian movies can't win at the Oscars'. I have rejected scripts because they lack morals.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?


Your mouth is wide shaa…

[Laughs] I see myself at the top of my career.

Thanks April…

[laughs] Thank you. I enjoyed talking with you Breezi.

Y'all have heard the song, now it's time to check out the video of 'Under The Tree', by DJ Sose featuring Shogon.

The video was Shot by Aje Film Works, Styled by Iyobosa0912, Models & Makeup – Diamond Models Ent all under the watchful eye of Dj Sose's Management Team Gray Tiger Entertainment.

Download straight to your mobile devices

Download Link-

Address by

His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR

On the
Occasion of the Centenary Conference on the Theme:
"Human Security, Peace and Development: Agenda for the 21st Century"

Thursday, 27th February, 2014


1. Today, as our Nation marks its first 100 years, we look
back with gratitude to God and with pride in our citizens. We look
forward also, to the future, with hope and confidence.

2. In this hall and beyond, I am delighted to welcome many
of our past, current and future leaders, as well as our friends and
partners, from near and far, persons and nations that have stood with
us in times past, and whose friendship we will continue to cherish in
the years to come.

3. It is my unique honour and privilege to welcome you all
to this Conference, a shared moment, to celebrate the 100 years of the
Nigerian nation; and for profound reflection on our challenges and
opportunities as a continent.

4. Your Excellencies, only one year ago, in Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia, Africa celebrated 50 years of the establishment of the
Organization of African Unity, now the African Union. On that
occasion, African leaders reflected on our history and on the state of
our union and we re-committed ourselves to building a new Africa,
which will usher in greater peace, security and prosperity for our

5. But as I address you today, I have a heavy heart. Two
days ago, terrorists invaded a secondary school and murdered innocent
children in Yobe state, while they slept. The children, the hopes of
their parents and the future leaders of our dear nation, had their
hopes and dreams snuffed out, leaving behind grieving families,
schoolmates, communities and a sad nation.

6. Our prayers and thoughts are with their families at this
difficult moment of loss. This gruesome and mindless act of savagery
is not Nigerian. It is not African. Let me assure all Nigerians that
we will spare no resource in bringing those murderers to justice.

7. As a Nation, whose fate and destiny are inextricably
linked to that of the continent, Nigeria recognizes the opportunity of
the moment, and particularly, that this is the place and time to
reflect on this theme of our centenary conference,Human Security,
Peace and Development: An Agenda for the 21st Century.

8. There is no doubt that Africa is rising. Today, seven of
the fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa. Investment
in the continent by Africans in the Diaspora bears testimony to the
increased level of confidence in our continent.

9. The rising middle class and greater penetration of
Information and Communications Technologies, combined with a fast
expanding financial services sector, are all pointers to a better
future. But we must secure this bright future. To do so, we must
seriously address the issues of human security, peace and development.

10. Your Excellencies, as you well know, the issues of human
security and peace are indispensable in the life of every nation. For
far too long, in many parts of the world, especially in our continent,
governments had placed much emphasis on the security of the state, and
our very scarce resources were committed to military and regime
security, at the expense of human security.

11. We recognize human security as encompassing firm guarantees
for human rights and good governance, that translate into expanded
opportunities for economic security, food security, health and
education security, environmental security, and personal and community

12. A firm commitment to human security holds the promise of an
end to persistent conflicts, insecurity, poverty, disease, terrorism
and other scourges that undermine the attainment of our dreams.

13. We must emphasize that human security and peace are
intertwined. Peace is not just the absence of violence or war. Peace
encompasses every aspect of social tranquillity and wellbeing. The
peace we strive for is a state marked by the absence of severe human
want and avoidable fear. In our lifetime, this peace is attainable, in
our nations and our continent.

14. However, Your Excellencies, we must strengthen existing
mechanisms for national and international conflict management, and
create new avenues for cooperation, within and between our peoples and
our Nations.

15. Your Excellencies and dear friends, I firmly share the view
that if we stay focused and work together, we can make this 21st
century, the African century. A century where all our children will
have enough to eat; a century where all our children will be in
school; a century where economic growth and prosperity touches all,
regardless of gender, economic, political status, ethnic or religious

16. For this to be achieved, our development must be
people-centred, people-driven and anchored on human security.

17. Your Excellencies, the current state of human security,
peace and development in our dear continent presents a picture of hope
as well as challenges. For over a decade, Africa has consolidated on
its democracy, and many countries have exited military dictatorship.
There is now a heightened commitment to the tenets of good governance,
and the rule of law.
18. Nigeria has always sought security, peace and development.
We are steadily developing a strong and vibrant democracy. There is
enthusiastic participation across the Nation, with a purposeful
government and active opposition parties. This was clearly expressed
in the last national elections held in 2011, which received wide
national and international acclaim, and was adjudged the freest and
fairest ever in our nation's history.

19. But as our Nations grow, and as Africa grows, we must
address some fundamental challenges to our human security, peace and

20. Terrorism, which is a global menace, has extended its
tentacles to Africa and Nigeria. In concert with our regional and
global partners, we will continue to respond strategically and
decisively to this scourge, and together with our people we shall end
the killings and bring terrorism to an end.
21. Your Excellencies, let us work together across boundaries,
not only to coordinate and strengthen our defences, but also to
address any socio-economic roots on which these extreme ideologies

22. Terrorism must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
We all must work together, collectively, to rid our world of haters of
peace, who use terror to maim, kill, instil fear and deny people their
rights to peace and security.

23. The Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria is one of such
condemnable acts of terror. We have continued to deploy human and
military intelligence, in close collaboration with our partners, to
bring an end to their nefarious activities.

24. Greater regional cooperation in intelligence gathering and
control of insurgents will ensure not only Nigeria's security, but
also the security of our neighbours.

25. A great threat to our collective human and national security
is the rising menace of the use of small arms and light weapons. Out
of the 500 million illegal small arms and light weapons in the world,
an estimated 100 million are in Africa, with 10% in West Africa,
mainly in the hands of non-state actors.

26. Africa has had enough of wars. And the cost of wars and
insurgencies are too high. It has been estimated that Africa loses 18
billion dollars per year from wars as well as insurgencies. Wars,
insurgencies and conflicts impact neighbouring countries even more,
due to displacement of refugees, illegal trafficking of arms and
disruption of economic activities.

27. When there are wars or conflicts, we all lose. When there is
peace, we all win. We must deepen our resolve to regulate the illicit
trade in small arms and light weapons, strengthen our enforcement of
the regional protocols, such as the Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS) Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, Their
Ammunition and Related Materials; and the Nairobi Protocol for the
Prevention, Control, and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons in
the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa.

28. We must do more to reduce some of the drivers of growth in
illicit small arms, including human insecurity, inequalities,
marginalization, ineffective disarmament, social exclusion and the
culture of violence.
29. Africa faces a huge challenge with youth population bulge.
By 2050, it is projected that about 40% of the population of Africa
will be made up of young people below the age of 15 years, while about
60% of the population will be made up of young people below the age of
25 years.

30. A major concern is the high level of unemployment among the
youth, especially those that are educated and skilled. No priority for
human security is more important for African countries than a sharp
focus on creating jobs for this teeming youth population. Skills
acquisition, entrepreneurship development, encouraging the youth to go
into agriculture as a business, and providing them with access to
cheaper financing to fulfil their dreams, are all needed to harness
and unleash the power of our youth to secure our collective future.

31. To foster this, we need to further strengthen intra-Africa
trade to create jobs. Africa must add value to its primary products
and commodities to ensure that wealth is created on the continent.
This will create wider scope for prosperity for our populations.

32. We must address the issue of inequality. There is no doubt
that Africa is growing and our economies are among some of the fastest
growing in the world. But this growth is not creating enough impacts
in terms of improving the living standards of our people.

33. We need inclusive growth that can stimulate broader shared
prosperity among our citizens. Social policies that improve access to
food, water, housing and education are crucial for inclusive growth
and social participation.
34. We must address the challenges of climate change. While
Africa accounts for less than three percent of greenhouse emissions,
it bears the greater brunt of the negative impacts of climate change.
Increasing incidences of floods and droughts create vulnerabilities,
displace populations and threaten human security.

35. The Africa Risk Capacity, the Specialized Agency of the
African Union, has a major role to play in reducing the impacts of
climate change on farmers, pastoralists, food security and budgets of
governments as they address the challenges imposed by extreme weather
events and natural disasters.

36. Africa must address the issue of women empowerment to
improve human security. When there are wars and social conflicts,
women and children bear the brunt of it. So, when we have peace and
stability, women and children should be those who benefit the most.
37. That is why I am calling today for an Affirmative Finance
Action for Women. Under this action, banks should devote at least
thirty percent of their bank lending in Agriculture to women farmers
and women-owned agribusinesses. The evidence is clear that women
rarely default on loans. This purposeful focus on women must become
our priority for the post-2015 MDGs. Securing women's future will
secure Africa's future.

38. This brighter future can only occur, if we improve
governance and accountability systems. We must reduce the cost of
governance and increase more of the national resources on the
governed. In particular, we need to reduce the cost of elections and
electioneering and shift greater focus on ensuring that the dividends
of democracy are delivered to our peoples.
39. But democracy alone is not enough. We must remain vigilant
and look into our peculiar situation in Africa and identify critical
factors that belies the extremism and terrorism that threatens our
collective security. The enemies of the state today in Africa are
often faceless, driven by religious extremism, ethnic mistrust and
rivalries, and propagandas of hate. Their nefarious actions are not
limited to any single country and no one is immune.

40. Therefore, as leaders we also must change our approach and
work more closely together to confront and defeat terrorists and
purveyors of hate. Terrorists do not respect borders or boundaries.
41. While we respect our national boundaries, terrorists move in
and out of our borders. It is now time that we agreed as African
leaders that acts of terror against one nation is an act of terror
against all.

42. We must not allow our countries to become safe havens for
terrorists. We must cooperate maximally in better managing our
political boundaries. We should adopt protocols that allow countries
to pursue terrorists well into their safe havens in other nations.
While we cannot redefine our borders, we must re-define our collective
approach to ending trans-boundary terrorism and insurgencies.

43. Your Excellencies, the African Union Peer Review Mechanism
needs to pay greater attention to the issues of human security, peace
and development. To promote this, I wish to propose the development of
an African Human Security Index that helps us to measure the progress
we are making on these and other critical issues in Africa, as shaped
by African countries themselves.
44. What Africa needs more than anything else in this 21st
century therefore is collective action for positive transformation for
the good of Africa.

45. There is no doubt that this is the African century. That is
why I want to call on other African leaders to join me in seeking new
ways to achieve our goals together, new strategies and workable
solutions that advance our cause for peace and development.

46. Let us work towards an Africa, where economic growth leads
to jobs for all school leavers, regardless of their ethnicity, their
religion, or their gender.

47. Let us work towards an Africa where we all live free from
the fear of war and terrorism, and where young Africans see a future
for themselves in productive employment, enterprise and education, and
not in the false promises of extremist ideology.

48. We must work towards an Africa in which human security is a
priority for all governments, where genuine and lasting peace makes it
possible to achieve, and where economic development works for the
benefit of all. It is that Africa of peace, of equity and justice that
I crave and it is that Africa that seeks and secures democracy, the
democracy that guarantees human happiness.

49. Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the
past is behind us and the future beacons on us. As leaders, we must
build a future Africa that generations yet unborn will be happy we
bequeathed to them. This must be an Africa devoid of wars and
conflicts. An Africa where there are no borders. An Africa where there
is free movement of people, goods and services. An Africa that is full
of boundless opportunities. To this new Africa we must commit

50. Long live Africa, Long live Nigeria, God bless you all.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has congratulated President Goodluck Jonathan and people of Nigeria on the occasion of Nigeria's centenary celebrations.

In a message delivered to President Jonathan late yesterday by Britain's Minister for Africa, Mr. Mark Simmonds, Queen Elizabeth II conveyed her best wishes for the happiness and prosperity of the people of Nigeria.

"On the occasion of the Republic of Nigeria celebrating 100 years since the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Nigeria, I send the people of Nigeria my warmest congratulations.

"I have fond memories of my first visit to Nigeria in 1956 and again in 2003 as Head of the Commonwealth.

"The links between our two countries have deepened over the past 100 years and I hope they will continue to do so.

"I would like to convey my best wishes for the happiness and prosperity of the people of Nigeria," the British monarch wrote.

Every June 24 will always ring a bell in the mind of  Akolade Arowolo, a 31 year old self acclaimed youth pastor, who was last Friday convicted for killing his banker wife, Titilayo Omozoje at their residence, 8, Akindeinde Street, Isolo, Lagos.

This is because the day marks his birthday and the day he brutally murdered  his wife, which eventually earned him a death sentence last week Friday. Justice Lateefa Okunnu of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja sentenced Akolade to death having found him guilty of a murder charge pressed against him.

The events that led to  the court's judgment are almost becoming  history, however, the outcome of Akolade's actions as presented during the trial of the case will continue to hunt him, as he awaits his appeal at the Court of Appeal and perhaps at the Supreme Court.

Immediately the police concluded its investigation, Akolade was initially arraigned on July 8, 2011 before  a  Yaba magistrate court on one-count charge of murder. However, the DPP's advice which indicated that there was a prima facie case against him led to his fresh arraignment before Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the state High Court on December 21, 2011.

The one count charge signed by the Directorate of Prosecution, Mrs Olabisi Ogungbesan, read: "Arowolo Akolade (M) on or about 24th day of June 2011 at 8, Akindele Street, Isolo, Lagos, in Ikeja division, murdered one Titilayo Omozoje Arowolo," and that the offence contravenes Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code Law Cap 17 Vol 2 Laws of Lagos State.

After the preliminaries, trial began with 15 prosecution witnesses testified, including the father of the deceased, sisters, step-mother, the couple's neighbour, security guard and  their landlord. In his testimony, George Oyakhire, the deceased's father,  who was the first prosecution witness told the court that his daughter sounded tensed when he spoke with her on the day of the  incident.

The witnesses  also said that on a number of occasions, the deceased  had moved back home after quarrels with the husband, but he had constantly told his daughter to report to the police.

"She came back more than 10 times after quarrels with my daughter." He also said he had witnessed the aggressiveness of the defendant, because he (Akolade) always beat her and threatened to throw her down from the top floor of their one-storey apartment someday.

Some of the prosecution witnesses, who forced the door of the couple's apartment open the day after the incident, had said Titilayo's lifeless body was found on the bed soaked in blood. Deceased sister testified next.

She said the younger sister, Folake and herself called their sister, but Akolade was the one that answered the calls on the deceased starcoms phone, after  they couldn't  reach him again. Later it was said that a friend, Mr Tolu Oyesanya called to say that the convict had been seen with blood stains. They eventually went to the house the next day.

Mr Adewale Tajudeen , a neighbour was PW3. He said from his apartment, he could easily see some of the happenings in the couples' apartment.

According to him, on the day of the incident, he saw a deep cut on Akolade's palm from which blood was gushing, but he didn't answer any inquiries and simply shouted on the gate man to open the gate. He added that he told other neighbours and the next day they went to the police, to give statements.

Another prosecution witness was one Mr Ogbonna, a member of the investigating team from the state CID, who told the court that they inspected Akolade's car and took photos. He said he visited the scene twice and conducted a thorough investigation.

Another principal prosecution witness was the deceased's stepmother, who also testified to the extent that the couple had never enjoy a jolly relationship as husband and wife. On her account of what she saw on the occasion the door was forced opened, she said,  "There was a knife on the floor, a gaping hole on her chest, and a hammer on the floor. One of her eyes was gorged out. When I saw it, I thought there was nothing in the socket.

"Something that looked like a lump of flesh must have been chopped off from the way the deceased was lying on the floor. They had a stormy marriage…shortly after they married, there was a quarrel, Kolade chased Omo (Omozoje)out with a knife. " She added.

She testified that the deceased had complained that she was tired of the house and wanted to divorced him.  She disclosed that in another incident, a house help said she saw the convict in bed with another woman and reported to the deceased and she moved back to her father's house. She said, her father also told her not to go back, but Akolade came back to beg and convinced the deceased and she eventually moved back.

The Police witnesses also narrated details of the bloodied crime scene and how the corpse was taken to the hospital.

The "expert" witness of Professor  John Obafunwa, a forensic pathologist and Chief Medical Examiner at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, according to the court provided ample evidence that the prosecution used to nail Arowolo.

Justice Okunnu described Obafunwa's evidence as "completely professional," noting that he was "objective, formal, and impassioned."

After the pathologist conducted a five-and-a-half-hours postmortem examinations on the corpse on July 6, 2011, he said, during his testimony, that  he "discovered at least 76 stab wounds resulting from the use of  tremendous force on the chest, heart, lungs, liver, diaphragm, hands and other parts of the deceased's body.

There must have been many blows, stab wounds. It resulted in severe blood loss.

"The Stab wounds combined caused by sharp weapon , a single and double edged wound.  Injuries to the front of the hear and back of the heart and wall of the heart. You can actually see through to the inside of the chest wall which had collapsed. A particular stab went through the rib cavity to the heart, the stomach was completely torn open.

"All these injuries could not have been self-inflicted because, at a point, you would have dropped the knife," said Obafunwa.

The defence called six witnesses which included the defendant, his parents, and one Efe Alexandra, who works with a non-government organisation that visited the prison.

Mudashiru Arowolo, the convict's father, said his son's marriage to Titilayo had been characterized by undue interference by her father and stepmother.

Mudashiru accused the deceased's stepmother of attempting to take away the placenta of the couple's new baby, as well as introducing fetish things into their home.

He also accused the stepmother of assisting the deceased to "abort a baby and tie her womb as a form of family planning," without informing his son. He further said his son had been a youth pastor at the Foursquare Gospel Church in FESTAC town before they moved to Isolo and he started attending RCCG,Gbagada, where he was a youth pastor. He also denied claims that his son was suspended by the church for womanising and wife-snatching.

During her testimony, the second defence witness, Bolanle Arowolo, had described her son as a well-behaved child who had never showed traits of violence.

In his own testimony, Akolade,  told the court that the whole incident happened on his birthday, 24th of June, 2011, and that his wife woke him up with a kiss,  and that the disagreement started over their baby's shopping.

He denied ever being aggressive against his wife.

He said he only slapped her once, because she valued her ex-boyfriend more than him. He told the court that she (Titilayo) confessed that her step mum took her out for an abortion and he reported to her mother, but he denied ever chasing his wife with a Knife.

He said the only time she had bruises was when she had a fall from a bike. He however said she was temperamental and the family called her 'Thatcher'.  He therefore denied killing his wife, saying, "I love her. I never thought of it and I am not that kind of person."

The Court:

Justice Okunnu said the defendant's (Akolade) own testimony served to tighten the noose around his neck as it was riddled with contradictions. The Judge said the evidence was disjointed statements, and "faux pas".

"In his statements to the police after he submitted himself for arrest,  Arowolo, had claimed that he was forced by the police to write that his wife's stab wounds were self-inflicted.

However, while giving evidence, Arowolo had insisted that his wife had only sustained cuts on her hands before he left her to seek for help.

"In a statement, he wrote that she persistently stabbed herself, that something went wrong either mentally or spiritually. I have not ignored this piece of evidence that he was guided to write the statements. The statements were disjointed and contradictory during testimony.

"I note that he proffered excuses for the strange behaviour of his wife. This explanation obviously came from him and not from anyone guiding him. The defendant in the box was trying hard to renege from his earlier statements," said the court.

The judge also said that Mr Arowolo's claim that his late wife had attacked him with a knife was inconsistent with the pathologist's revelations that the deceased received multiple stab wounds resulting to a "blunt force trauma."

She held,  "I have carefully considered all the evidence. The issue is a simple one. It is the issue as to whether the defendant kills his wife."

The court stated it needs to consider three  ingredients to determine the case of murder.

These are whether the victim of the alleged act is indeed dead, whether it  was the act of commission or omission of the defendant  that caused the death and whether the defendant  carried out the act intentionally.

"From the evidence put before the court by the prosecution and the defence, the victim is indeed dead. It stands without rebuttal.

The prosecution  showed acts of characteristic violence in the marriage and showed that the defendant was capable of committing this heinous act. This was contained in the evidence of all four  witnesses for the family, which showed an act of serial act of domestic violence on the part of the defendant.

"I am convinced that the deceased died from a repeated stabbing on that day because the testimony of the prosecution is heavy and also that of the expert. The defendant  also testified to this.  Almost two years later, he attempted changing his statement that it was the police who told him to write that she stabbed herself."

She said Akolade's  words were fluid like someone writing from the top of his head as what he personally knew.

"This is very weighty and very significant because  he was the only other person in the room with her and it corroborates the evidence of the pathologist that she died of stab wounds."
The court now raised the question of who killed her?

Pathologist expert witness

She added, "This is where the evidence of the  pathologist expert witness becomes useful. I found him to be very professional." Justice Okunnu gave detail account of the testimony presented by Prof Obafunwa and concluded thus- "This is very damaging to the defendant.

He testifies as to loads of wounds on the victim.
The postmortem gives more details.

The deceased stomach was torn open. It details wounds to the body as well as her clothing.  He rules out the possibility of fresh wounds after death or a case of tampering with the body."

She said the line of defence that there was another person who may have committed the offence was defeated by the defence.

The court latter brought the doctrine of 'last seen'. It held that the person, who saw the victim  last, bears the responsibility for the cause of death. She said, "It supports the proof already before the court and adds probative value to the prosecutions' case, that it was the defendant  who killed his wife."

"It is my findings that it is none other than the defendant himself who stabbed the deceased to death. After eliminating all other options, I find that it was the defendant  who stabbed his wife."

The court said, "I studied him and found him intelligent. He admitted that he did study logic and so he knew full well that grievous bodily harm was the consequence of his action. Her resultant death then turned to unlawful killing. 

His parents tried to debunk that domestic violence characterized the marriage, his mother tries to cover up his act and his father avoided questions put to him. The prosecution succeeded in proving its case. The defendant  is guilty and he is hereby sentenced to death."

More than 12 Heads of State arrived at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Wednesday ahead of Thursday's (today) centenary, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

The visiting Heads of State were received at the airport by some members of the Federal Executive Council.

Those that were received at the airport include Presidents Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibi; Paul Kagame of Rwanda; Yahya Jammeh of Gambia and Prosper Bazombaza of Burundi.

President Helen Sirleaf of Liberia and the former Secretary-General of Organisation for African Union, Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, who led the Tanzanian delegation also arrived in Abuja on Wednesday for the celebration.

Also arrived in Abuja were the President of Mauritania, Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz; Ethiopian President, Mr. Hailemarian Desalegh; and the European Union President, Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso.

The Zambian Minister of Defence, Mr. Edgar Lungu, will represent the Zambian President, Micheal Saata. Israel is also being represented by its Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Yair Shamir.
An official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who did not want to be mentioned, told NAN that 42 Heads of State were being expected to attend the celebration.

United States President Barack Obama has designated State Counsellor Thomas Shannon as the leader of a presidential delegation to the centenary in Abuja.

A statement in Abuja on Wednesday by the State Department said Shannon would meet with government officials and participate in high-level activities with other world leaders during the centenary.

The US official, who is expected to deliver a message from Obama to Nigeria, would also travel to Lagos for discussions on a range of issues of mutual interest and interact with Nigerian youths.

Also, President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Burkhalter,  has sent a letter of congratulations to President Goodluck Jonathan on the nation's centenary.

Burkhalter would be represented at the celebrations by the Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Hans-Rudolf Hodel.

"May the ties of confidence and friendship which so happily exist between our two countries continue to flourish in the coming centenary,'' the Swiss president wrote.

The major highlight of the week-long activities includes an international conference on peace and security in Africa on Thursday to be attended by several world leaders.

The British colonial authorities had on January 1, 1914 amalgamated what were then the separate protectorates of Southern Nigeria and Northern Nigeria.

The amalgamation gave birth to the single geo-political entity known as Nigeria.

The celebrations will also feature the conferment of honours on 100 Nigerians, with about 40 per cent of the awards to be presented posthumously.

President Goodluck Jonathan addressed the nation today as we mark the commencement of our Centenary celebrations.

Read the full text of President Jonathan's speech below:

My dear compatriots, as we celebrate our centenary, the security situation in some of our North-Eastern States, sadly remains a major concern for us. Just yesterday, young students, full of hopes and dreams for a great future, were callously murdered as they slept in their college dormitories in Yobe State. I am deeply saddened by their deaths and that of other Nigerians at the hands of terrorists. Our hearts go out to their parents and relatives, colleagues and school authorities.

We will continue to do everything possible to permanently eradicate the scourge of terrorism and insurgency from our country.  We recognise that the root cause of militancy, terrorism and insurgency is not the strength of extremist ideas but corrupted values and ignorance.

That is why our counter-terrorism strategy is not just about enforcing law and order as we have equipped our security forces to do. It also involves expanding economic opportunities, social inclusion, education and other measures that will help restore normalcy not just in the short term, but permanently.

I want to reassure Nigerians that terrorism, strife and insecurity in any part of Nigeria are abhorrent and unacceptable to us. I urge leaders throughout Nigeria to ensure that ethnicity and religion are not allowed to become political issues.

Full speech below

Dear Compatriots,

1.I extend warm greetings and felicitations to all Nigerians as we celebrate our nation's centenary; a significant milestone in our journey to Nationhood.

 2.  One hundred years ago, on the 1st of January 1914, the British Colonial authorities amalgamated the Southern and Northern Protectorates, giving birth to the single geo-political entity called Nigeria which has become our home, our hope, and our heritage.

3.   I have often expressed the conviction that our amalgamation was not a mistake. While our union may have been inspired by considerations external to our people; I have no doubt that we are destined by God Almighty to live together as one big nation, united in diversity.

 4.   I consider myself specially privileged to lead our country into its second century of existence. And as I speak with you today, I feel the full weight of our hundred-year history. But what I feel most is not frustration, it is not disillusionment. What I feel is great pride and great hope for a country that is bound to overcome the transient pains of the moment and eventually take its rightful place among the greatest nations on earth.

5.      Like every country of the world, we have had our troubles. And we still do. We have fought a civil war. We have seen civil authorities overthrown by the military. We have suffered sectarian violence. And as I speak, a part of our country is still suffering from the brutal assault of terrorists and insurgents.

6.            While the occasion of our centenary undoubtedly calls for celebration, it is also a moment to pause and reflect on our journey of the past one hundred years, to take stock of our past and consider the best way forward for our nation.

7.         Even as we celebrate our centenary, we must realise that in the context of history, our nation is still in its infancy.

8. We are a nation of the future, not of the past and while we may have travelled for a century, we are not yet at our destination of greatness.

9. The amalgamation of 1914 was only the first step in our national journey. Unification was followed by independence and democracy which have unleashed the enormous potentials of our people and laid the foundation for our nation's greatness.

10.    In challenging times, it is easy to become pessimistic and cynical. But hope, when grounded in realism, enables and inspires progress. Therefore, as we celebrate our first century of nationhood and enter a second, we must not lose sight of all that we have achieved since 1914 in terms of nation-building, development and progress.

11.    Today, we salute once again the great heroes of our nation – Herbert Macaulay, Ernest Ikoli, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alvan Ikoku, Chief Harold Dappa-Biriye, Dr. Michael Okpara, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Mallam Aminu Kano, Mokwugo Okoye and Chief Michael Imoudu among others.

12.    We must be inspired by our past to overcome the obstacles we face in the present and honour our forebears by realising the promise of a Nigeria that is not only independent but also truly unified, prosperous and admired the world over.

13.    The history of Nigeria since independence is the story of a struggle to fulfill our great promise. The discovery of oil in our country in the late 1950s offered new hope of prosperity but we have not always been able to reap the benefits in a fair and equitable way.

14.    The situation was not helped by political instability and the frequent suspension of democracy by military coups. During the civil war, the very existence of our country was cast into doubt but through it all, the promise of a Nigeria that is united, free and strong remained in our people's hearts.

15.    Thanks to the efforts of our statesmen and women, and millions of ordinary Nigerians, the union endured and flourished.  I would like to specifically commend members of the Armed Forces for their contributions and sacrifices to keep Nigeria one.

16.    General Yakubu Gowon had the wisdom and grace to declare that the civil war had seen "no victor, no vanquished" and welcomed, "the dawn of national reconciliation".

17.    It was in this spirit that General Olusegun Obasanjo collected the instruments of surrender at the end of the war and later became the first military ruler in our country to hand over power voluntarily to a democratic government.

18.    While the Second Republic did not last, his fine example was later followed by General Abdulsalam Abubakar who paved the way for our current democratic dispensation which has lasted longer than the previous three put together.

19.    As we celebrate our centenary, I believe that it is vital that we focus our thoughts on the vast potentials of a unified and progressive Nigeria; and build on the relative stability of the Fourth Republic to achieve accelerated national socio-economic development.

20.    I also believe that the future greatness of our country is assured by the favourable tail winds of a resilient population, ecological diversity, rich natural resources and a national consciousness that rises above our differences.

21.    We are a unique country. We have been brought together in a union like no other by providence. Our nation has evolved from three regions to thirty six states and a Federal Capital Territory.

22.    We have transited from the Parliamentary to a Presidential system of government. We have moved our capital from the coastal city of Lagos to Abuja, at the centre of our country.

23.    Today Abuja stands as a monument to our national aspiration for greater unity; it symbolises our dream of a modern nation unhinged from primordial cleavages and designed as a melting pot of our diversity.

24.    If in our first century, we could build a new capital city, we can surely build a newer, stronger, more united and prosperous Nigeria in the next century that will be an authentic African success story.

25.    The whole world awaits this African success story. With our sheer size, population, history, resilience, human and natural resources and economic potentials, Nigeria is divinely ordained to lead the African Renaissance.

26.    That is why I am confident that in the next 100 years, those who will celebrate Nigeria's second centenary, will do so as a united, prosperous and politically stable nation which is truly the pride and glory of Africa and the entire black race.

27.    The key to the fulfilment of that vision is our continued unity as a nation. Perhaps one of the most amazing stories of our political evolution in the last hundred years is that an ordinary child of ordinary parentage from a minority group has risen to occupy the highest office in our country.


28.    As we march into the next hundred years, it is my hope that mine will no longer be an extra-ordinary story but an accepted reality of our democracy that every Nigerian child can pursue his or her dreams no matter how tall; that every Nigerian child can aspire to any position in our country, and will not be judged by the language that he speaks or by how he worships God; not by gender nor by class; but by his abilities and the power of his dreams.

29.    I am proud and privileged to have been elected leader of Nigeria and I consider it my solemn responsibility to act in the best interest of the nation at all times.

30.    Dear compatriots, in line with the thoughts of that great son of our continent, Nelson Mandela, let us not judge ourselves, and let not the world judge us by how many times we have stumbled, but by how strongly we have risen, every single time that we have faltered.

31.    Even as we remain resolute in our conviction that our union is non-negotiable, we must never be afraid to embrace dialogue and strengthen the basis of this most cherished union. A strong nation is not that which shies away from those difficult questions of its existence, but that which confronts such questions, and together provides answers to them in a way that guarantees fairness, justice and equity for all stakeholders.

32.    My call for the National Conference in this first year of our second century is to provide the platform to confront our challenges. I am confident that we shall rise from this conference with renewed courage and confidence to march through the next century and beyond, to overcome all obstacles on the path to the fulfilment of our globally acknowledged potential for greatness.

33.    I have referred to national leaders who did so much to build our nation in the past hundred years but nation-building is not just a matter for great leaders and elites alone.

34.    All Nigerians must be involved in this national endeavour. From the threads of our regional, ethnic and religious diversities we must continuously weave a vibrant collage of values that strengthen the Nigerian spirit.

35.    The coming National Conference should not be about a few, privileged persons dictating the terms of debate but an opportunity for all Nigerians to take part in a comprehensive dialogue to further strengthen our union.

36.    I am hopeful that the conference will not result in parochial bargaining between competing regions, ethnic, religious and other interest groups but in an objective dialogue about the way forward for our nation and how to ensure a more harmonious balance among our three tiers of government.

37.    My dear compatriots, as we celebrate our centenary, the security situation in some of our North-Eastern States, sadly remains a major concern for us. Just yesterday, young students, full of hopes and dreams for a great future, were callously murdered as they slept in their college dormitories in Yobe State. I am deeply saddened by their deaths and that of other Nigerians at the hands of terrorists. Our hearts go out to their parents and relatives, colleagues and school authorities.

38.    We will continue to do everything possible to permanently eradicate the scourge of terrorism and insurgency from our country.  We recognise that the root cause of militancy, terrorism and insurgency is not the strength of extremist ideas but corrupted values and ignorance.

39.    That is why our counter-terrorism strategy is not just about enforcing law and order as we have equipped our security forces to do. It also involves expanding economic opportunities, social inclusion, education and other measures that will help restore normalcy not just in the short term, but permanently.

40.    I want to reassure Nigerians that terrorism, strife and insecurity in any part of Nigeria are abhorrent and unacceptable to us. I urge leaders throughout Nigeria to ensure that ethnicity and religion are not allowed to become political issues.

41.    I hope and pray that one hundred years from now, Nigerians will look back on another century of achievements during which our union was strengthened, our independence was enhanced, our democracy was entrenched and our example was followed by leaders of other nations whose ambition is to emulate the success of Nigeria; a country that met its difficulties head-on and fulfilled its promise.

42.    Finally, Dear Compatriots, as we enter a second century in the life of our nation, let us rededicate ourselves to doing more to empower the youth of our country. Our common heritage and future prosperity are best protected and guaranteed by them. We must commit our full energies and resources to empowering them to achieve our collective vision of greatness in this second century of our nationhood.

43.    That is the task before our country; that is the cause I have chosen to champion and I believe we will triumph.

44.    I wish all Nigerians happy Centenary celebrations.

45.    Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

46.       I thank you.

Katy Perry has been accused by some Muslims of "portraying blasphemy" in the video for her single Dark Horse.

The video features the pop star as an Egyptian queen who transforms suitors into sand by disintegrating them.

Shazad Iqbal, from Bradford, has started an online petition for it to be removed from YouTube after he spotted one of the suitors wearing a pendant with the Arabic word for God on it.

More than 60,000 people have signed the petition, saying the clip is offensive.

Explaining his reasons for starting the petition, Mr Iqbal wrote: "At 01:15 into the video Dark Horse a man is shown being burned, whilst wearing a pendant (also burned) forming the word Allah.

"Blasphemy is clearly conveyed in the video, since Katy Perry (who appears to be representing an opposition of God) engulfs the believer and the word God in flames."

He added: "Using the name of God in an irrelevant and distasteful manner would be considered inappropriate by any religion.

"My only request is to all artists in the music industry: You have wealth, fame and success - please do not use the foundations of other religions in a mockery to carry out your fame."

As well as the UK, signatories have come from countries including Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Morocco, Lebanon and the US.

However, some of the 60,000 petitioners have posted spam and offensive messages against the petition.

In a follow-up post, Mr Iqbal said he had not started the campaign "to cause controversy or to cause hate but rather to gain support in having the video removed", and asked those posting comments to "please write thoughtfully".

Gregoire Singer from Switzerland wrote: "I'm a tolerant Muslim, but there are limits to ignorance, which here leads to blasphemous acts. It's a matter of respect."

Mohamed Maan, from the Netherlands, added: "I am offended as a Muslim. It shows no respect. You can compare the feeling to someone burning a picture of somebody you love dearly."

While Ayesha Akthar, from London, said: "[I] used to like her songs before but now I have deleted them all from my MP3 player and laptop."

The Dark Horse video has attracted more than 34 million views since it premiered on YouTube on 20 February.

Perry grew up in a devout Christian home, and both of her parents are Pentecostal ministers.

The singer began singing Christian gospel music before launching a pop career.

She recently told Marie Claire magazine she does not identify with any particular religion, but feels "a deep connection with God".

"I pray all the time—for self-control, for humility. There's a lot of gratitude in it. Just saying 'thank you' sometimes is better than asking for things," she added.

Perry's record label and YouTube have yet to respond to BBC requests for a comment on the petition.

Source: BBC News

Michael Adebolajo has been given a whole-life term and Michael Adebowale has been jailed for a minimum of 45 years for murdering Fusilier Lee Rigby.

Adebolajo, 29, and Adebowale, 22, drove into Fusilier Rigby with a car before hacking him to death in Woolwich, south-east London, in May last year.

The judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, said Adebolajo's was one of those "rare cases" warranting a whole-life term.

The pair were absent during sentencing after a scuffle in the dock.

As Mr Justice Sweeney began to sentence the men they started shouting and scuffling with court security guards. They had to be forced to the ground and were removed from court.

Sentencing the killers in their absence, the judge said they had been convicted on "overwhelming" evidence of the "barbaric" murder of Fusilier Rigby.

Adebolajo was the leader of the "joint enterprise", the judge said, but Adebowale played his part "enthusiastically".

Mr Justice Sweeney said the pair carried out the murder "in a way that would generate maximum media coverage".

"He had done absolutely nothing to deserve what you did to him", the judge said. The pair created "a bloodbath", he went on.

"You both gloried in what you had done", said the judge.

"Your sickening and pitiful conduct was in stark contrast to the women at the scene who tended to Lee Rigby's body and challenged what you had done."

Speaking outside court, DI Pete Sparks, police liaison officer for Fusilier Rigby's family, read out a short statement on behalf of the family saying "no other sentence would have been acceptable".

"We feel satisfied that justice has been served for Lee", the statement said.

Sue Hemming, head of special crime and counter terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, said Adebolajo and Adebowale had "revelled in one of the most appalling terrorist murders I have seen".

"Not only was the attack brutal and calculated, it was also designed to advance extremist views", she said.

Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Cressida Dick said the sentences reflected the "true horror" of Fusilier Rigby's murder.

Earlier, Fusilier Rigby's wife Rebecca said her young child would grow up and see images "no son should have to endure".

Her statement was one of those from Fusilier Rigby's family, read out by prosecutor Richard Whittam QC.

Mrs Rigby said she had accepted her husband's life would be at risk when he was deployed to Afghanistan, but not when he was in the UK.

She said: "When you wave someone off you accept that there is a chance you will never see them again. You do not expect to see this on the streets of the UK."

The court also heard part of a statement from the soldier's stepfather, Ian Rigby.

He said: "After all he'd been through in Afghanistan, all Lee was doing was walking through London. After seeing the television, you just can't comprehend it."

Adebolajo and Adebowale faced whole-life jail terms after a Court of Appeal ruling last week upheld judges' right to jail the most serious offenders in England and Wales for the rest of their lives.

However, counsel for Adebolajo, David Gottlieb, warned an indeterminate sentence would "create a martyr".

Mr Gottlieb said Adebolajo was "not so depraved or wicked that he is incapable of redemption", saying the murder "shares the characteristics of a religiously aggravated crime".

He said that Adebolajo intended to die and still believed he should be put to death.

Adebolajo had claimed he was a "soldier of Allah" and the killing was an act of war.

Counsel for Michael Adebowale, Abbas Lakha QC, told the court the case was "horrific" but was not a case "where the offending is so exceptionally high that Mr Adebowale must be kept in prison for his life".

He said: "The right and proper sentence is one which does leave open the possibility of release in the future. Any other sentence would be inhuman."

At the beginning of the hearing the defendants, both dressed in black, were asked to stand, although Adebolajo did not.

Fusilier Rigby, from Middleton, Greater Manchester, was murdered as he returned to his barracks in Woolwich, south-east London on 22 May 2013. He died of multiple cut and stab wounds.

Adebolajo and Adebowale drove into Fusilier Rigby at 30 to 40mph, before dragging him into the road and attacking him with knives and attempting to decapitate him with a meat cleaver.

Three people were arrested outside the court as far-right protesters gathered while the pair were sentenced.

Supporters of the British National Party and the English Defence League gathered around makeshift gallows constructed in the street and held placards calling for the capital punishment to be restored.

A City of London Police spokesman confirmed two men were arrested, one on suspicion of actual bodily harm and one for affray.

Source: BBC News

Branama queen, Kefee has accused the General Overseer of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of being insensitive to people's plights.

 While trying to clear the air on her alleged scandal with fellow singer, Timaya, the gospel singer in a recent interview with Encomium, mocked the pastor and made reference to his alleged scandal with Ese Walters.
You will recall that Kefee had been criticized by fans and  Christians for featuring a non-christian, Timaya in her hit track – Kokoroko years ago.

Explaining why she featured Timaya in her song, Kefee stated thus:

"Before I react to that question, let me tell you this short true story.  In 2008, I was invited to perform at a church in Abuja for the second time. The publicity for the show was massive as they had distributed invitation card to guests.

People were even calling to confirm if I was going to perform. In fact, I got copies of the flyers weeks before the show.

"I was getting ready to go to the airport when I got a call from the pastor's P.A, asking if I had seen a certain newspaper's story about me concerning my ex-husband Alec Godwin. I said yes, it was a scandal. And he said they don't want to have anything to do with me because of that scandal. Besides, he added that they have top government officials who worship in their church, and all sortS. I said okay, but the so-called senior pastor, who called me initially to plead with me to accept a certain amount because it was a new church couldn't call me anymore. He had to send his P.A to tell me that.
He didn't care what happened to me if what was said about me was true. I felt really low, not because I didn't do the show, but because they cared less what happened to me, because that would have been the end of my career.

Now, I called Timaya. We met at a studio somewhere in Festac town, and Timaya asked me about the same scandal. And he told me what I feel a man of God would've told me.

I remember, he said to me, 'Don't worry, if your hands are clean, you will see God turn things around for you. God will help you, my sister.' I say this in all sobriety, after which we recorded Kokoroko.

When Kokoroko came out and Timi (Dakolo) listened to it, he said "Kefee, you dey make me like God in a different way." Now, you tell me, who acted like a good human? Who would have ever thought that the so-called man of God, who now has his share of scandal and is still planning a robust reply would act that weird?

So, when I heard people talking about me featuring Timaya, it sounded funny.

God can use anything, anybody. Music is an art that transcends all. Timaya was good for that song and he delivered, that's what matters to me.

I don't judge people. If he was a doctor, you won't say he shouldn't treat you because he isn't a Christian. It won't matter then. All you would want is have him do his job and that was what he did. He did a good job on that song, you can't deny that. And to me, that's what counts."

Kefee who is presently furthering her education abroad, runs a restaurant "Branama Kitchen" in Lagos.

A South African judge has ruled that the trial of athlete Oscar Pistorius can be partially televised.

Mr Pistorius shot his girlfriend, the model and reality TV star Reeva Steenkamp, more than a year ago, and his murder trial begins next Monday.

State prosecutors allege the killing was premeditated, but he claims he mistook her for an intruder.

The BBC's Pumza Fihlani says it will be the first time parts of a trial in South Africa are televised live.

Judge Dunstan Mlambo at the court in Pretoria was asked to decide how much, if any, of the proceedings could be filmed and broadcast live.

The application was brought by media groups MultiChoice, eNCA and Eyewitness News, reported Sapa news agency.

Justice Mlambo said the entire audio of the trial could be broadcast live, and sections of the trial could be filmed and televised live.

These included opening arguments, evidence of experts, police witnesses and closing arguments.

The testimony of the accused and his witnesses were exempt, the judge said.

Three cameras could be set up to be operated remotely - and no close-ups or recordings of private conversations were allowed, he said.

Witnesses could apply in writing if they did not want to be on camera - and allowances could be made to have faces obscured or filmed from the back, he added.

MultiChoice is planning 24-hour coverage of the trial on its own dedicated channel - the Oscar Pistorius Trial channel - which is due to begin broadcasting on Sunday.

Defence lawyers had said it would prejudice proceedings.

Justice Mlambo said the broadcast of a "celebrity" trial might go a long way to address misconceptions about justice system.

However, he warned against a trial by media and said the court could be the only place where Mr Pistorius was tried.

Ms Steenkamp, 29, was shot three times through the toilet door of Mr Pistorius' Pretoria home in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year.

Mr Pistorius said he thought she was a burglar and denies prosecution claims that they had an argument in the hours before the shooting.

Much of the case will depend on ballistic evidence from the scene of the shooting, correspondents say.

The arrest of the national sporting hero astounded South Africa.

The 27-year-old double amputee won gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and also competed at the Olympics.

As well as the charge of premeditated murder, Mr Pistorius also faces a charge of illegal possession of ammunition.

A yet to be identified man on Monday successfully traded a 15-year old boy, Seun Aderinwale, for two bags of rice valued at N20,000 at Igando in Alimosho area of Lagos State, southwest Nigeria.

According to eyewitness account, the man, whose address is unknown, went to 4, Ifesowapo Street, Igando, on Monday morning to buy two bags of rice from a shop owned by a woman identified as Iya Ibrahim.

The rice seller was not available at the time but her son, Ibrahim, agreed to the man's proposal to drop Seun, an Aluminium apprentice, as collateral, in order to collect the two bags  of rice and return later to pay.

However, when the shop owner returned in the afternoon, she was surprised to see Seun who was dropped there in exchange for the two bags of rice taken away by the unidentified man.

When the man failed to return, the 15-year old was held hostage until evening when the pastor of his church, a Celestial Church of Christ around the area, saw him at the shop looking despondent.

When Seun was questioned on how he came about the fraudster, he said he met him casually at Hotel Bus Stop about 300 metres to his residence where a church member had sent him on an errand to play lotto, popularly known as "Baba Ijebu".

Seun said he did not know the man's house or have other information about him.

The teenager later regained his freedom when the Celestial Church pastor, known simply as Oluso in the neighborhood, settled the matter with Iya Ibrahim, the rice seller.

He said the woman should take responsibility for one of the stolen bags of rice while Seun's father, a co-worker with him in the church, should pay for the other bag of rice when he returned from his trip to Ifo in Ogun State. Seun's  father agreed to pay N10,000 for the bag of rice when he returned from Ifo.

P.M.NEWS learnt that the rice seller agreed to the pastor's proposal and did not report the matter to the police.

"If I report the incident to the police, I cannot leave the station without spending money. Therefore, it is better for me to accept the proposal by Oluso, the rice seller told residents who gathered in front of her shop to watch the drama.

When Ibrahim was questioned why he allowed such an unusual arrangement, he told residents that the conman asked for two and half bags of rice, adding, "when the motorcycle was about to go with the two bags, I asked for the money but Seun assured me he was coming back for the half bag. He even claimed to be a close relation of the man."

However, some hours after the man had disappeared and failed to return, Ibrahim said Seun retracted his earlier statement, saying he did not know the man.

Source: PM News

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