Tuesday, January 17, 2012

SPECIAL PIB TASK FORCE: ACN Chieftain Sen. Lawal Shuaibu Declines Diezani Alison-Madueke’s Appointment

Sen. Lawal Shuaibu
National Secretary of the ACN, Sen. Lawal Shuaibu, has declined his appointment as a member of the task force on the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). Shuaibu made the decline in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.

Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, on Monday set up an eight-member special committee to ensure speedy passage of the PIB. Shuaibu said that the appointment was well appreciated.
Press Release on Special Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB)  Task Force
He, however, begged to be excused due to party responsibilities and pressing national issues. “I wish to humbly decline by reason of principle. I am currently the national secretary of the ACN faced with the enormous responsibility of running the national secretariat as well as arranging meetings of the party, which are very frequent these days, especially owing to current pressing national issues which occupy a greater part of my daily schedule.

“I thank the Hon. Minister for the kind gesture extended to me and wish other members of the Task Force, my former colleagues in the National Assembly, success in the assignment.” (NAN)


I guess Mr. Peter Esele must really be less busy with TUC issues and pressing national issues…

Man Accused Of Firing Shots At White House Has Been Charged With Attempted Assassination Of President Obama

A US federal grand jury issued a 17-count indictment Tuesday against accused White House shooter Manuel Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, charging him with attempted assassination of the president and an array of other crimes.

Ortega-Hernandez, 21, who has described himself as the second-coming of Jesus, allegedly fired about a dozen shots at the White House on the night of Nov. 11 after driving to Washington from his home in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

He had told acquaintances that he considered President Obama to be “the devil,” the FBI said.

The shots were fired at the executive mansion with a semiautomatic rifle from about 750 yards away, and at least two rounds hit the exterior of the residential floors on the building’s south side, the FBI said.

Even though Obama and his wife were in San Diego at the time of the incident, the grand jury indicted Ortega-Hernandez on a charge of attempted assassination, punishable by up to life in prison upon conviction.

Ortega-Hernandez has been locked up without bail since being arrested five days after the shooting.

The grand jury, in U.S. District Court in Washington, also charged him with three counts each of assaulting a federal officer, assault with a dangerous weapon and possessing a gun during a violent crime. Those counts relate to three Secret Service agents who were in the line of fire on the White House grounds on the night of Nov. 11, authorities said.

Ortega-Hernandez also was indicted on five counts of using a firearm during a violent crime, one count of illegally transporting a gun across state lines and one count of damaging federal property.

Read the full indictment here


By Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

I have one request to make and Allah is my helper. Any attack on Nasir el Rufai or on Nuhu Ribadu is an attack on me. Nasir is to my mind is one of the greatest and most patriotic Nigerians to have served in public office and he is by far the best FCT minister we have ever had. Like all of us he is not perfect.

In my AIT interview I said I agreed with 90% of what he said a day before our interview and the two bits I didn't agree with I stated: I don't agree that there is no subsidy and I believe Nasir was quoting contributions from trusted experts which have been flying around recently including Prof Tam David West.

And we have debated this issue of accounting and economic concepts in this forum. I also do not agree that it is easy in the short-term to have massive fiscal retrenchment without a huge political backlash-indeed the fuel subsidy is one such case and retrenchment for instance would also bring people out.

But Nasir is one person for whom I have always had the highest level of personal respect. His integrity is beyond reproach-of course, people will say anything but after years of trying no one is yet able to show any evidence backing up allegations. Intellectually, I am yet to know anyone who can match him and this has been the case since the 1970s. Femi Fani-Kayode has written in Nasir's defence but these are not Nasir's words and if you knew Femi well you would not be surprised or bothered by his peculiar choice of language. I have seen Femi transit from a rabid ethnic chauvinist and christian fanatic who thought Obasanjo was a stooge of the backward Muslim north, to a minister in Obasanjo's cabinet preaching national unity, and now to some freelance activist and public commentator.

This is just a stage he is going through but I like to think he means well. When AIT requested me to speak  they never said it was to respond to Nasir and when we started and they played their clip we told them we didn't want to personalise this. Nasir and I were friends and brothers as teenagers. We have remained friends and brothers    and    will    remain friends after office.

We don't have to agree 100%. He also understands that so long as I am in government I have 100% loyalty to the president. If I feel I cannot be loyal I should step down. This does not mean supporting every policy but it means standing up to play my part in doing what is good for the economy.

I, therefore, request please that no one defending me should attack his person. And only those who don't know Nasir will even think I am his intellectual match- he is just exceptional in his brilliance.

Diezani Allison-Madueke Appointed TUC President, Peter Esele, 7 Others Members of Special Petroleum Industry Bill Task Force

Diezani Allison-Madueke, Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources has appointed TUC President, Peter Esele as a Member Of Special Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) Task Force to further facilitate the quick passage of the bill.

Juicy Juicy…

Gunmen Kill Police Corporal In Mubi, Adamawa State

Unidentified gunmen on Tuesday, 17 Jan 2012 killed a police officer, Corporal Jubril Abdulkarim in Mubi, Adamawa. A resident, Malam Idi Baba, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the incident occurred at about 6 a.m. at Wuro-Gude area of Mubi.

Baba said the police officer was riding on a motorcycle when he was killed by the gunmen several metres away from the town's abattoir. `I was on bed and heard gunshots in the early morning hours. Later, some butchers at the slaughter house told us that they saw the dead body of a motorcyclist near the river,'' the resident told NAN.

The Adamawa State Police Public Relation Officer, ASP Altine Daniel, confirmed the incident, saying that the policeman was killed on his way home after night duty in one of the banks in the area.

`He handed over to the officer on the morning shift at the bank around 5 a.m. It was on his way home that gunmen killed him by the riverside,'' Daniel said, adding that investigation into the case was in progress.  

NAN recalls that 14 persons were killed and three others wounded in a series of attacks by gunmen in the last two weeks in Mubi.

FLASH: Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD) Survives Terrible Car Accident

Unconfirmed reports say popular actor, Richard Mofe-Damijo and Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Delta State survived a terrible car crash in Warri, Delta State this morning.

RMD was said to have been rescued and taken to the hospital where he's currently receiving treatment.
Evaezi revealed this sad infomation  on twitter some minutes ago...
More details follow soon…
A Tweet From  popular Comedian Ali Baba saying RMD is Doing Just Fine

PHOTOS: Mariah Carey’s Baby Moroccan Cannon Takes Stage At The Bet Honors Award Show

Entertainers Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon took stage with their 8-month-old son at the BET Honors 2012 held on January 14, 2012 in Washington, DC.

“It is truly, truly a blessing to be here tonight, and I am humbled and in awe of everyone’s presence, but mostly my hero right there,” Nick said of his wife Carey as he presented her with BET’s Entertainer OfThe Year award. “What most people don’t get the opportunity to experience is the true woman; the virtuous person who is my angel.”

Mariah accepted the award and said, “To my incredible husband who [has been] out of the hospital two days — look at him all strong and healthy and big and too buff for the tux — it’s incredible.”

Moroccan’s twin, Monroe Cannon, was backstage during the presentation because according to her mom, “We were both sewn into our dresses, so she couldn’t make it out.”

“She’s a diva like her mama,” added Nick.

Mastermind of Madalla Christmas Day Bombing Escapes From Custody

According to Daily Trust, man arrested at the Borno State Governor’s Lodge over the deadly Madalla Christmas Day bombing escaped from police custody on Sunday while he was being conveyed to a location in Abaji area of Abuja, Daily Trust learnt yesterday.

Boko Haram suspect Kabiru Sokoto was arrested at the weekend during a police raid on the lodge, where he sneaked in through a friend who was given accommodation to stay overnight. He was said to be taken along with a Flight Lieutenant of the Nigerian Air Force to the Zone 7 Headquarters of the Police in Abuja. According to Daily Trust’s sources, Kabiru was taken to Abaji on Sunday, where he is said to own a house, to allow police conduct a search but he escaped at about 5.30pm at Abaji.

Police went on a pursuit, firing shots and in the process a stray bullet hit and killed a 28-year-old man named Awwal Inuwa Ashafa, according to residents of the area.

Pandemonium ensued as people ran for cover. Ashafa, who had an HND in Building Engineering from Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa, was shot in the chest.

A witness said trouble started in the area when policemen from Abuja city brought Kabiru Sokoto in a Toyota Hilux van. A gang of youths flagged down the vehicle as it was heading for the Ona of Abaji’s Palace, creating a chaos during which the suspect escaped.

The police had earlier taken the suspect to a house he owned at Abaji to conduct search and were on their way to the traditional head’s palace when the youths saw him in handcuffs and then blocked the road, the witness said.

Kabiru seized the opportunity created by the youths and escaped. Meanwhile, the police fired shots in the air to disperse the youths.

Daily Trust reporter observed soldiers, riot police and men of the FCT Special Anti-Robbery Squad positioned at various junctions in Abaji, while a police armoured vehicle was also seen stationed in the town.

Abaji DPO, Superintendent Mathew Chukwkuma Okafor, was not available for comments. A senior police officer said four persons have been arrested over the incident.

But spokesman for the FCT police command Moshood Jimoh said no suspect escaped custody from either the Abaji divisional police or from any other police unit there.


Nigerian Army Declares Gunrunner Yusuf Nuhu Wanted

The Nigerian Army has declared wanted one Yusuf Nuhu, the second son of an alleged gunrunner based in Kaduna.

Troops from the first Division of the Nigerian Army Kaduna had arrested the alleged gunrunner, Comrade Mohammed Nuhu last Saturday and also confirmed his links with an unnamed terrorist group.

The Army alleged that Yusuf had exchanged fire with the troops while they attempted to arrest his father and brother at their Trikania residence before he escaped with the weapon.

The Assistant Director, Army Public Relations at the 1st Division in Kaduna, Lieutenant Colonel Abubakar Edun enjoined Nigerians to assist the security agencies in their efforts to apprehend the fleeing son of the suspected gunrunner.

Items recovered from the home of the former chairman of petroleum drivers association in Kaduna include Nine quantity of 9mm ammunition, five quantity of 6mm ammunition, one 7.62mm special ammunition, eleven 7.62mm NATO ammunition and 17 barrel gun cartridges

The 1st Division spokesman added that investigations into the matter were still going on, adding that the suspects would be handed over to the appropriate authorities at the end of the whole process.


Monday, January 16, 2012

PENGASSAN Explains Decision To Reverse Pronouncement On Shutdown Of Crude Oil Production Platform

Dear Fellow Nigerians,

With NLC&TUC calling off the strike action this afternoon, PENGASSAN which is an affiliate of the body is duty bound to comply. To this extent, I will like to inform you all that work resumes tomorrow. I salute the courage and tenacity with which you and the entire Nigerian youths have expressed the need for urgent reforms in the country. I will say the struggle still continues!!!

However disappointed that we are about the FG not meeting all our demands, I am very proud the voices of ordinary Nigerians especially the youths have been soundly heard in the quarters of leadership. Let us not throwaway one fact, Nigeria by this singular act made history and further strengthen the principles and tenets of democracy.

As the National President of PENGASSAN the last eight days have been the most challenging in my life. My life and that of my entire family have practically been on the edge but the courage of Nigerians who ‘Occupied’ the streets had led me and my team on.

Nigerians will remember that President Goodluck Jonathan, rising from the highest executive decision making platform, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, made a firm resolution that there was no going back on his unpopular decision to suddenly remove fuel subsidy. The FG was not even ready to enter into serious negotiation with the Labour Unions.

Twenty-four hours after this stance, I and the leadership of PENGASSAN agreed to pressure the President to listen to the voices and see reasons with the Nigerian citizenry. We knew we had no other choice than to threaten a shutdown of the crude oil production platforms if the President did not rescind is decision. As responsible leaders we were fully aware of the consequences of the action we were set to take. In fact, we understand the import of our announcement on the international prices of crude oil which immediately rose by $2 within hours of the announcement.

Most critically our announcement jolted the Presidency to come to the negotiating table. To us that was the most satisfying result we had desired. Please note that only negotiation can move the country and our hard-earned democracy forward.

Let me tell you that the shutdown would have not only denied the country of earning revenues and slow governance, we know that the entire energy sector including PHCN would have shutdown and even our hospital and other social amenities would have failed. Indeed, has the President refused to listen to Nigerians we would have had no other choice than to shutdown. We are glad that the shutdown had to be suspended to give room for peaceful negotiations.

We are aware of the social-ethnic and religious tension that pervaded the land already, and we were not ready for people with narrow interests to hijack our activities to unleash mayhem on the country. Nigerians, these threats are very real! I believe that I and the PENGASSAN leadership have taken a responsible decision to reverse our pronouncement on the shutdown notice in the very interest of peace and the unity of our nationhood. Most importantly, President Goodluck is beginning to listen.

Once again I salute your courage and steadfastness. Solidarity forever. God Bless

Long Live Democracy
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Babatunde Ogun
National President, PENGASSAN

Boko Haram Shot 5 People Dead Today In Maiduguri & Damaturu

Jan 16 (Reuters) - Gunmen shot dead five people in their homes in two northern Nigerian cities on Monday, security forces said, the latest in a string of deadly attacks by suspected members of the Boko Haram Islamist sect.

"Two people have been shot dead today by Boko Haram in Maiduguri," the operations officer for the remote northeastern city, Victor Ebheleme, told Reuters.

"The area in which the attack took place has been cordoned off and the killers have been trailed, but no arrests have been made yet."

Three Chadians were also killed in the volatile city of Damaturu, police commissioner for the city and its surrounding state of Yobe, Lawal Tanko, said.

Boko Haram wants sharia law applied across Nigeria, which is roughly split equally between Christians and Muslims. The group's low level insurgency has intensified in the past year, becoming a major security headache for President Goodluck Jonathan.

Jonathan declared a state of emergency in several regions in Nigeria on Dec. 31, closing Nigeria's borders with Niger, Cameroon and Chad, after a spate of Christmas Day attacks on churches and other targets.

Gunmen shot dead two Chadians on Sunday, as well, authorities said.

Maiduguri is Boko Haram's heartland and Damaturu is increasingly a focal point for its militant activity.

Damaturu was the scene of fierce gunbattle between the military and Boko Haram on Dec. 24, when more than 50 people were killed, mostly sect members.  


SNG And Allies Condemn Deployment Of Troops, Reject N97 Pump Price

The Save Nigeria Group (SNG) and its allies flay the deployment of troops and tanks to the Gani Fawehimi Fredom Square at Ojota, Lagos, which has hosted our peaceful and popular protests for five days running last week.

To the credit of the organizers of the protests and the maturity of the millions of Nigeria who have trooped to the rally ground, we have had violence free gatherings for days with great comportment and no loss of life, damage to property or violation of any law of the land.

It is therefore curious that a democratic government would deploy military tanks and troops against such a peaceful assembly of the people in clear violation of the constitutionally guaranteed right of the citizens to freely assemble and express their feelings.

This is a clear case of intolerance and shutting of the democratic space against the people of Nigeria which must be condemned by all democracy loving people around the world.

We have equally reviewed the broadcast of President Goodluck Jonathan where he unilaterally offered to reduce the pump price of petrol to N97 per litre. This tokenism shows that the display of people power in the last few days has not been in vain but it is far too little to be acceptable.

We demand a reversal to the pre-January 1 pump price of N65 per litre as a basis for a conducive atmosphere for a national conversation on the oil sector and how to deal with the corruption that has brought this needless crisis on the 7th largest producer of crude in the world that has been made dependent on imports for its refined product consumption.

In the meantime, we ask our people who have  made tremendous sacrifices in the last few days to comply with the stay-at-home directive as a continuation of this mass action and await further directives.

We salute the resilience of our people who have demonstrated that they have all it takes to fight for their rights on a sustained basis in the most peaceful manner to the chagrin of their adversaries.

The seed of permanent change had been sown in our land and it will germinate and bear the fruits of freedom.

God bless the people of Nigeria!

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!
Nigerian Labour Usual Let-down....

OCCUPY NIGERIA…UPDATE: Nasir El-Rufai Brutalised By Soldiers In Abuja Today

Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, was brutalised by soldiers in Abuja, his friend and former cabinet colleague, Femi Fani-Kayode, has said.

In the ongoing nationwide protest over the cut in gasoline subsidy, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has become a rallying point for civil society and the opposition.

Mr. Fani-Kayode said on his Facebook page Mr. El-Rufai was attacked by soldiers in the Wuse District of Abuja at a point where Abuja protesters usually converge for their rallies.

He said the officers tried to seize the former minister's telephones as well as other recording devices on him. Other protesters were also brutalised, he say.
Mr. Fani-Kayode said, "My friend and brother Nasir El-Rufai has just been attacked and brutalised by a group of soldiers led by a colonel of the Nigerian Army in Wuse 2, Abuja. They tried to get his phone from him and to grab other recording devices of the Occupy Nigeria Group.

"This happened at the spot that the group usually converges to meet and demonstrate. Many other members of the group were attacked as well and I guess that we are lucky that no-one was killed.

"Welcome to Goodluck's Nigeria."

OCCUPY NIGERIA…UPDATE: Don Jazzy is Back on Twitter After 13 Days of Absence…Blabbing “Strike is Over”

“Super glue my mouth na. or stay off my TL RT”, that was Don Jazzy’s last tweet on Jan 3, 2012 after he was criticised for tweeting this, “I hardly regret decisions i make. That my 1 vote added to put the current Govt in power is one decision i regret with all my heart.” Since then Jan 3, 2012, Don Jazzy took break off twitter.
Don Jazzy's last Tweets before today...
Don Jazzy was absent throughout the Occupy Nigeria struggle for obvious reasons. The moment NLC & TUC suspends the 7 Day nationwide strike this afternoon, Jan 16, 2012 Don Jazzy resumed back on twitter blabbing “strike is over” as captured below…
Don Jazzy claimed his tweets are strong enough to get Aso Rock's Attention...
Chatting Dust? But Who?

Happy Strike Is Over?

OCCUPY NIGERIA: SSS Invade BBC & CNN Office In Lagos, Christian Purefoy, Ex-CNN Lagos Correspondent Detained & Released…

SSS Invade BBC & CNN Office In Lagos, Christian Purefoy, Ex-CNN Lagos Correspondent Detained & Released…

A Tweet from Christian Purefoy, former CNN correspondent...
Jon is Associated Press Chief Correspondent in Nigeria
Tweet From BBC Correspondent in Lagos
Tweet from BBC World Service News Correspondent in Lagos...

Ikorodu Road, Lagos earlier this morning...

OCCUPY NIGERIA: Nigerian Army's Website Hacked and Defaced By NAIJA CYBER HACTIVISTS

Nigeria Army website  Hacked and Defaced
Earlier this morning NAIJA CYBER HACTIVISTS claimed it has hacked and defaced Nigeria Army website. The CYBER HACTIVISTS left the message below on the website:
Hacked and Defaced
Greetings Nigerian Army

We are NaijaCyberHactivists.

We and the great people of Nigeria ask for nothing but your immediate evacuation from our streets.

We shall not fold our arms and watch you harrass innocent protesters.

Please tackle Boko Haram and leave innocent protesters ALONE

Your failure to do just placed you in our cross-hairs.

You are NOT untouchable as WE (NaijaCyberHactivists) aint the government.

We coming after you!


We Are From The Internet

"In source code we trust
We fighting for a cause
To make them account for all OUR money in their purse
MISSION: Hand over the whip to the horse".!/NaijaCyberHack

Link here

Occupy Nigeria: Pray For Nigeria…Popular American Rapper, MC Hammer Encouraged His Over 2.4million Twitter Followers

The Occupy Nigeria struggle against Nigerian government’s insensitivity towards its people is fast gaining global sympathy.

As the struggle continues, popular American rapper MC Hammer is very sympathetic to the Occupy Nigeria struggle. MC Hammer admonished his over 2.4million followers on twitter this morning to pray for Nigerians. He tweeted, “As we celebrate the Honorable Dr. King Our Prayers go out to our Brothers and Sisters in Nigeria #occupyNigeria.
Global Sympathy for Occupy Nigeria Struggle...

OCCUPY NIGERIA: I Haven't Been Arrested…Pastor Tunde Bakare

Pastor Tunde Bakare went on twitter yesterday to clear the air about the rumour of his arrest which spread like harmattan cold yesterday. He tweeted, “Many thanks to all concerned. I haven't been arrested. I'm a law-abiding citizen -- why would anyone want to arrest me? :-)”.

The blogger spoke with Yinka Odumakin this morning and he confirmed to me, Pastor Tunda Bakare has not been arrested as at this morning.

The 2nd Epistle Of St. Jonathan To The People Of Nigeria On The Implementation Of The Deregulation Policy In The Downstream Sector Of The Petroleum Industry

Presidential Address On The  Implementation Of The Deregulation Policy In The Downstream Sector Of The Petroleum Industry, Monday, January 16, 2012

Dear Compatriots,

1.    This is the second time in two weeks I will address you on the deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector. In the last seven days, the nation has witnessed a disruption of economic activities.  Although, the economic imperatives for the policy have been well articulated by government, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) went ahead to declare a nationwide strike.

2.    There was also near-breakdown of law and order in certain parts of the country as a result of the activities of some persons or groups of persons who took advantage of the situation to further their narrow interests by engaging in acts of intimidation, harassment and outright subversion of the Nigerian state. I express my sympathy to those who were adversely affected by the protests.
3.    At the inception of the deregulation policy, Government had set up the Justice Alfa Belgore Committee to liaise with Labour and other stakeholders to address likely grey areas in the policy, but despite all our efforts, Labour refused the option of dialogue and also disobeyed a restraining order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.

4.    However, following the intervention of the Leadership of the National Assembly, and other well-meaning Nigerians, Labour accepted to meet with government, but this yielded no tangible result.

5.    It has become clear to government and all well-meaning Nigerians that other interests beyond the implementation of the deregulation policy have hijacked the protest. This has prevented an objective assessment and consideration of all the contending issues for which dialogue was initiated by government. These same interests seek to promote discord, anarchy, and insecurity to the detriment of public peace.

6.    Government appreciates that the implementation of the deregulation policy would cause initial hardships and commends Nigerians who have put forth suggestions and credible alternatives in this regard. Government also salutes Nigerians who by and large, conducted themselves peacefully while expressing their grievances. Let me assure you that government will continue to respect the people's right to express themselves within the confines of the law and in accordance with the dictates of our democratic space.

7.    Government will continue to pursue full deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector. However, given the hardships being suffered by Nigerians, and after due consideration and consultations with state governors and the leadership of the National Assembly, government has approved the reduction of the pump price of petrol to N97 per litre. The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has been directed to ensure compliance with this new pump price.

8.    Government is working hard to reduce recurrent expenditure in line with current realities and to cut down on the cost of governance. In the meantime, government has commenced the implementation of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment projects: including the Federal Government- assisted mass transit programme which is already in place, and job creation for the youth.

9.     Furthermore, the legal and regulatory regime for the petroleum industry will be reviewed to address accountability issues and current lapses in the Industry. In this regard, the Petroleum Industry Bill will be given accelerated attention. The report of the forensic audit carried out on the NNPC is being studied with a view to implementing the recommendations and sanctioning proven acts of corruption in the industry.

10.  Let me assure Nigerians that this administration is irrevocably committed to tackling corruption in the petroleum industry as well as other sectors of the economy. Consequently, all those found to have contributed one way or the other to the economic adversity of the country will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

11. My dear compatriots, I urge you to show understanding for the imperatives of the adjustment in the pump price of petrol and give government your full support to ensure its successful implementation. I further appeal to Nigerians to go back to work and go about their normal duties as government has made adequate arrangements for the protection of life and property throughout the federation.

12.  Government will not condone brazen acts of criminality and subversion. As President, I have sworn to uphold the unity, peace and order of the Nigerian State and by the grace of God, I intend to fully and effectively discharge that responsibility.  Let me add that we are desirous of further engagements with Labour. I urge our Labour leaders to call off their strike, and go back to work.

13.  Nigeria belongs to all of us and we must collectively safeguard its unity.

14.  Thank you. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Federal Republic of Nigeria

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Legendary Boxer Muhammad Ali Kick-Starts 70th Birthday Celebrations With Party In Hometown Of Kentucky

Legend: Muhammad Ali (left) welcomed guests at his 70th birthday celebrations
Muhammad Ali showed he can still attract sell-out crowds as the former heavyweight champion prepares to celebrate his 70th birthday on Tuesday. Hundreds of people gathered in his hometown of Kentucky at the first of five parties to mark the occasion.

Ali, who made a brief appearance to the waiting crowd, was joined by more than 300 guests, including Lennox Lewis.

 'I feel so proud and honored that we're able to show our feelings and show our support for him,' Lewis said.

The self-proclaimed "Greatest of All Time" remains one of the world's most recognisable figures, even though he's been largely absent from the public eye recently as he fights Parkinson's disease. His wife Lonnie Ali said recently that the boxing great has mixed feelings about the landmark birthday.
Partners: Ali with his trainer Angelo Dundee at the champion's birthday celebration in Kentucky
'He's glad he's here to turn 70, but he wants to be reassured he doesn't look 70,' she said.

Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jnr on January 17 1942, Ali took up boxing at age 12, when his bike was stolen and he wanted to find and whip the culprit. The boy was introduced to Joe Martin, a police officer who coached boxing at a local gym.
Champ: Former heavyweight Lennox Lewis arrives for Ali's birthday
Ali flourished in the ring, becoming a top amateur and Olympic gold medalist. He made his professional debut in Louisville and arranged for a local children's hospital to receive proceeds from the fight. Lewis said Ali ranks as the greatest of heavyweights, and he said he was inspired by Ali's fights. 'I used to get mad if I didn't see the Ali shuffle,' Lewis said. 'So I was always watching him, expecting some type of antic.'

Ali won the heavyweight title in 1964, defeating the heavily favoured Sonny Liston. Soon after, Ali - who was raised in a Baptist family - announced his conversion to Islam and changed his name.
Champ: Former heavyweight Lennox Lewis with Ali in 2001
While in his prime, Ali was stripped of his heavyweight crown in 1967 for refusing to be drafted for military service during the Vietnam War. He cited his religious beliefs as the reason for his refusal. His decision alienated Ali from many across the U.S. and resulted in a draft-evasion conviction. Ali found himself embroiled in a long legal fight that ended in 1971, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favour.
I am the greatest! Ali was never shy to proclaim that he was the best boxer in the world

Ali lost his first bid to regain the heavyweight crown when Frazier knocked him down and took a decision in the "Fight of the Century" at Madison Square Garden in 1971. Ali regained the heavyweight title in 1974, defeating Foreman in the "Rumble in the Jungle." A year later, he outlasted Frazier in the epic "Thrilla in Manila" bout.
Last year, a frail Ali rose from his seat and clapped for his deceased rival at Frazier's funeral.
Rumble in the Jungle: Ali famously beat George Foreman in Zaire after adopting 'rope-a-dope' tactics
Ali's last title came in 1978 when he defeated Leon Spinks. Ali retired from boxing in 1981 and devoted himself to social causes. He traveled the world on humanitarian missions. In 2005, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


PHOTO NEWS: NOLLYWOOD Jide Kosoko‘s Daughter, Sola Kosoko Marries In Style

Daughter of famous Nollywood actor, Prince Jide Kosoko, Sola Kosoko recently got married. The groom is her long time lover Abiodun Abinna. The private ceremony took place at solitude Hotel, Jibowu, Lagos.

The news of the wedding didn’t create a buzz unlike the other showbiz weddings that have held in recent times but the reason isn’t farfetched. This is because the talented thespian is one actress who loves to keep her private affairs close to her chest.

The wedding ceremony had a lot of Yoruba Artists in attendance; they all appeared in beautiful regalia to celebrate with the couple.

More wedding pics below:

{story: dailypost, images: ebonix pictures }



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