Friday, 29 July 2016

Nigeria's Women Relay Team Banned From Rio Olympics

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has thrown out Nigeria’s 4x400m women’s relay team out of next month’s Olympic Games in Brazil, according to Complete Sports.

Nigeria’s disqualification is due to the positive drugs test of Tosin Adeloye at the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Super Grand Prix/Warri Relays in Warri, Delta State on July 24, 2015.
Adeloye was a member of the Nigerian quartet that finished fourth at the IAAF World Championships last year in August. She actually ran the third leg in the semi-finals where the team ran 3:23.27 seconds, the second fastest time in Nigeria’s all-time record.

Adeloye also ran the third leg in the final. Other members of the quartet were Regina Goerge who ran the first leg, Funke Oladoye who ran the second leg and Patience Okon-George who anchored the team to finish fourth.

Adeloye’s positive drugs test has earned her a ban for eight years which implies that all results she achieved from the period she tested positive, whether  individually or jointly will be annulled.

While the trio of Okon-George, Margaret Bamgbose and Omolara Omotosho who have been picked by the AFN may be in Rio after meeting the qualfication standard  for the open 400m, Regina George, who has laboured to raise over $4,000 from the crowd-funding platform, Gofundme, is out as she did not meet the standard and was going to Rio only as a member of the relay team.

It would be recalled that Nigeria benefitted from a similar scenario at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia when one of Team USA’s relay team members tested positive for a banned substance. Nigeria had her silver win upgraded to gold.
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Photos: Pres, Buhari receives in audience the Council of Abuja Imams

President Buhari received in audience the Council of Abuja Imams at the state house Abuja yesterday July 28th. More photos after the cut..

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LUTH Set To Investigate #SaveMayowa Controversy

The Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Prof. Chris Bode, has said that the hospital’s management will investigate the controversy surrounding the medical treatment of one of its patient, Mayowa Ahmed.

Bode said this when contacted by our correspondent about the raging controversy about the true state of Mayowa and the veracity of claims by her family that they needed funds to fly her abroad for further treatment.

He, however, did not give further details about the patient.
Mayowa’s family, supported by Nollywood actress, Toyin Aimakhu, had launched an online appeal to raise funds for her cancer surgery in an Atlanta- based hospital in the United States.
The campaign was said to have raised over N30m for her.
But online reports on Thursday claimed that Ahmed’s medical reports had stated that she did not require surgery for her condition and that no hospital could save her.

However, Ahmed’s family in a statement on Thursday denied online media reports, which claimed that they had deceived the public.
The family in a statement on Thursday stated that Ahmed had been misdiagnosed by many hospitals in the country and it had sought funds for an alternative and better diagnosis abroad.

The statement read, “As a family, we want to make these affirmative statements: Mayowa is presently at LUTH receiving treatment for her seven-hour trip to Abu Dhabi. We also engaged the services of Flying Doctors to accompany her on the trip based on recommendation by doctors in LUTH.
“She is receiving treatment to allow her to be able to travel as advised by doctors. She’s been transfused to help improve her PCV.

“The funds raised are solely for Mayowa’s treatment and for no other reason. We await her visa to commence the journey as we are in touch with the doctors abroad and they are awaiting her arrival. We appreciate the contributions made by Nigerians on this journey.

“We have been misled by the so-called top hospitals in Nigeria and have only helped to make the issue worse. We require every support to help to give our dear Mayowa another attempt to regain her life and live the remaining as God as ordained.”
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''Toyin Aimakhu wanted part of #SaveMayowa money and we refused' - Family

New allegations against Yoruba actress Toyin Aimakhu and founder of the Lifestake Foundation, Aramide Kasumu that they wanted part of the over N32million raised for ovarian cancer patient Mayowa Ahmed has just emerged.

These are tweets by Soliat Tobi Bolaji who was with Mayowa's sister at LUTH, all through the period it was alleged the Ahmed family had scammed Nigerians yesterday.


There's also a video recording obtained by Abiyamo, of a brother to Mayowa Ahmed (names withheld), saying the foundation and Aimakhu were not interested in helping them for free and when they discovered that they were not going to get a penny, they resorted to blackmailing them and branding the whole thing a scam.

The conversation was in Yoruba, transcript is below:

 CALLER: I heard a rumour from some unfortunate people saying that Mayowa’s case is a scam, how far, is it true?  How is Mayowa feeling now, has she travelled?

 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: Are you a stranger to Mayowa?

CALLER: Of course I do know her very well.

 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: Good, those of you who know her and her familiar with her case should tell everyone that it is a lie.  They (rumour mongers and accusers) are insane.


 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: Thank God you met her, or didn’t you meet her?

CALLER: Of course. I lived with her (Mayowa).

 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: And you are aware of her regular crises and all her afflictions, right?

CALLER: Of course.

 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: Why do we have to lie about the whole thing, do we (Ahmed family) look like impoverished people? Or are the accusers unfortunate people?

CALLER: Ah, it will not be well with them (the accusers and rumour mongers). When people have donated over N32 million naira.

 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: It was God that made it all possible and we did not even know that people will turn out like that. I hope you understand?

CALLER: You know the funniest part of it all? It was when I was hearing what all what Mayowa herself was saying.

 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: What did she say?

CALLER: As in, if you see the videos they uploaded with what she was saying.

 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: What did she say?

CALLER: (inaudible) I will share some of her videos with you.

 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: Hello, when did she say that?

CALLER: Hello, can you hear me?

 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: Hello, hello, hello. When did she share, when did she take the pictures?

CALLER: Both pictures and videos.

 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: What did she say in them?

CALLER: She said that people should assist her that she is going through some pains and everything and that people should come to her aid and stuffs like that.

Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: Ehn, everybody is aware of that already. Nobody is telling lies. There is no lie in her call for help. She needed help. She needed money, where were we going to get N32 million naira? And she decided to do a video to explain her condition to people. You know the truth of the whole matter? All these foundations, all these people, in the course of that (the donations), different foundations came…


 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: I hope you understand?


 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: And all these foundations do not work alone. They all want money. Between you and I, people (from these foundations) will come to us and demand for various amounts of money (before they can assist us). You get?


 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: They wanted their own part of the money.


 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: That is the simple truth. That is why you are hearing crazy rumours like that. Even Toyin Aimakhu herself is a thief.

CALLER: Ah, oh, she (Toyin Aimakhu) is an unfortunate person. So she did not release the money?

 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: No, there is money in the account. You understand? You know of the processing and all, you also know that some people do not get help for more than five, six months. You get? So Mayowa was followed by the grace of God for her to be able to raise such an amount of money in less than three days. So we started processing. She will initially go to Dubai (United Arab Emirates). As a matter of fact, our biggest cousin is in the embassy, working on the processing. Assuming we know the outcome was going to be like this, we could have even hastened the processing but where is the money? You can imagine running CT scans for more than five times. You know how much CT scan costs? I did it. I left Lagos to do it in Ilorin because it was cheaper there where I did it for N100,000. In Lagos here, if you do not have N350,000, you cannot do it.

CALLER: I understand, I understand.

 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: That is not to talk of the series of tests which are even small.

CALLER: You know what happened? They should not release the money if it is in Mayowa’s account.

 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: The money is inside Mayowa’s account. Nobody is releasing it and there is no problem. Those of you who are family and friends should let everyone know the accusation is false. We do not have anything to hide. We are doing the processing and it is not that easy.

CALLER: Thank you very much my brother, it will also go live on Abiyamo’s page. I will send it to them.

 Mayowa Ahmed’s brother: Thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks.
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First Ever Nigeria Celebrity Arm Wrestling Show Debuts |@traindeji

City to city loud parties entertainment  an out and out entertainment company which promote out of the box entertainment concept is ready to launch 'Nigerian Celebrity Arm Wrestling' Show, a first-of-its Kind in the Nigerian entertainment  industry.                                                                                                                                                                       The Nigeria Celebrity Arm Wrestling which will feature performances and dances will be an avenue for networking among both entertainment and non-entertainment personalities  
Already, many Nigerian celebrities including Falz The Badht Guy, Ras Kimono, Obesere,yoo,yemi sholade, ayo adesanya, eniola badmus have been briefed on this, and as the organizers moves on with the planning, the celebs will be involved proper.

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Hilary Clinton makes history as she accepts the Democratic Presidential Nomination

Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination on Thursday at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to run as a US Presidential candidate. Making history as the first woman to be nominated for Presidency from a major US political party.
Accepting the nomination, she said:
"I will be a president for Democrats, Republicans, independents, for the struggling, the striving and the successful. For those who vote for me and those who don't."
She said her Republican rival, Donald Trump, was esupremely unqualified for the White House. She added:
"Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis," she said. "A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons," she said.
Clinton took the stage to roaring applause from flag-waving delegates. But her real audience was the millions of voters who may welcome her experience but question her character due to the leaked emails released by WikiLeaks.
Inregards to that she said:
"I get it that some people just don't know what to make of me."
But her primary focus was persuading anxious Americans to stick with a Democrat for a third term and put aside their frustration with those who have been entrenched in the political system.
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The bleaching, chameleon crowd By Reuben Abati

Read his piece below..
I wrote a piece recently, a tribute to the late veteran actress Bukky Ajayi and the multi-instrumentalist OJB Jezreel, in which I raised a number of issues, including how in Nollywood today, there is an obsession with the whitening of skin, an anti-Negritude yellowing, what I referred to as “the bleaching, chameleon crowd of Nollywood beauties.”
The various reactions to the piece conveniently ignored this subject; two young ladies who felt that I was probing an unpopular theme drew my attention to this. I was reminded that being light-skinned is now the in-thing, indeed the socially acceptable norm, because there is now a universalization of the concept of beauty and self-esteem. 

     The more light-skinned you are, the more acceptable you are in various circumstances, that is. I thought if this was true, then it is a tragedy indeed for the black world. For, once upon a time in the history of the black race, being black was a thing of joy and an instrument of protest. When Jesse Evans gave the black salute at the 1939 Olympics, after winning four gold medals, he was making a racially loaded statement about black pride and achievement. Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad, Muhammad Ali are key historical figures in the struggle for the black identity in the United States not to talk of various moments  and efforts culminating in the Obama phenomenon eight years ago.  
         None of these historical figures would ever have contemplated a globalized notion of beauty and self-esteem, which superiorizes and imposes the idea of being white in 2016, and for same to be validated by blacks, living in the black world’s most populous country- Nigeria.  Closer home, the independence struggles across Africa were fuelled by ideas of racial pride, and indeed in the 1960s, the coalescing of that around the negritude movement projected confidence and faith in the black colour, the people’s culture and identity. To be added to this is the expressed faith that black people all over the world can contribute meaningfully and significantly to the march of human history. Being black was nothing to be ashamed of. Cultural workers used their art and narratives to promote black culture.
     Writers identified with their natal roots.  James Ngugi for example, became Ngugi wa Thio’ngo. Albert Achebe dropped his Albert and became Chinua Achebe. Wole Soyinka argued that “a tiger does not proclaim its tigritude”; it should act and in his writings, he proved the point.  Black activists like W.E.B. DuBois left the United States and traced their roots to Africa. But today, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of that movement are turning back the hand of the clock. They want to be white! They may in the long run constitute a minority, but artificial beauty is a growing trend among black people. I was once asked to buy Brazilian hair, during a trip to Brazil. I went dutifully to a shopping mall asking for Brazilian hair.
      Nobody could figure out what I wanted.  Brazilian hair is what a lot of Nigerian women wear, or attach to their natural hair to achieve the effect of a straight, Oyinbo-ish hair and to hide their own natural, curly hair. It took me two days of trying to buy Brazilian hair in Brazil before it occurred to me that Brazilian women are not likely to be selling Brazilian hair in their own country since in any case, every one of them is born with it. But here in Nigeria, Brazilian hair is a big deal: it is one of those items a bridegroom must budget for, otherwise, no wedding and I understand, this could be in the range of N350, 000 per hair. The final cost could also be determined by the adopted style: normal leave-out, closure or frontal, all designed to create an artificial effect. Even the eyelashes you see on our ladies these days may not be real: eyeballs are replaced with contact lenses, and there is a new craze now called eyebrow wig: a wig on the eyebrow!  
     The new global culture of beauty has also imposed on our women what is called acrylic nails, or plastic nails. With those cat-like nails, women find it difficult to wear sanitary pads, jewellery, button their shirts, eat dollops of swallow with their hands, type on their phones or wash clothes and plates, and yet every young lady out there is wearing strange nails in the name of beauty.
    Check out the faces too. Make up has been turned into such an art of deception; you could marry your ex-girlfriend and not know she is the one because she has changed colour, changed face and changed everything about her. Make-up and making up are associated with success, but it is pure 419 as many may have discovered.  Women talk about laying a foundation on their faces as if they are bricklayers, they also talk about contouring and highlighting the face to look different: the effect is that every ugly girl is contoured and highlighted to become a stunning beauty. We are also in the age of breast implants, breast reconstruction, liposuction, pumping of bum-bum and lip lightening (there is cream method or peeling with machine!) and the use of body pads and slimming girdles and all kinds of borrowed gadgets to make a woman look prettier than she is.
        The idea of the “African Queen” celebrated over the years, and more famously by Tu Face Idibia in a song of the same title has thus undergone a transformation.  Women and men (yes men also) in Africa’s most populous black nation, and quite a significant number, are all struggling to become either light-skinned or copy the Kadarshian/Kanye West effect. I have been made to understand that in Nollywood for example, dark-skinned actors and actresses are ignored by producers: they say they don’t look good on camera and that only light skinned actors sell movies. So, there is a marketing side to it but it must be crazy if true. Celebrities are also expected to be glamorous all the time. This is why public figures don’t step out of their homes or take pictures unless they are properly made up. And to worsen the story, I am told you need to look clean, and fresh to be considered successful and the black colour does not project success.
        Here we are confronted with many men and women who are bleaching their skins, to look fresh and successful. The prostitution angle to it is buried in the argument that men are naturally attracted to light-skinned ladies. And it is a big industry, one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria today.  The minimum cost of a bleaching cream is N15, 000 per week. These include Egyptian milk, Arabian milk, Snow White and steroid creams like Movate, which is used to bleach the scalp. Yes, the scalp!  They bleach the scalp too. There is also a bleaching tablet, which costs as much as $500; four tablets are usually taken per dose. Some people opt for what is called bleaching injection to peel off the melanin, and one injection is a tidy N250, 000. There are special creams for old women and men with resistant skin, at higher cost.  The madness is across all age brackets, and may God help you if you have a bleaching wife or girlfriend.  
       I am not making this up. The various creams and services are hawked daily at Ikeja roundabout, under the bridge. The merchants also advertise tattooing, hips enlargement, penis enlargement and breast reconstruction services. And in Yaba, Lagos, you’d find the biggest cosmetics store run by a certain Mama Tega who is said to be the oldest and the most trusted in the business.  The irony is that she, herself, is interestingly dark-complexioned! The girls who work for her and her patrons are not.
       The stress and risks involved in bleaching and looking white by all means possible are so much, but the people involved do not care. The knuckles and the lips do not bleach easily, so people go about looking patched up and they have to buy a different chemical to lighten their knuckles, elbows and knees. The side effect of the chemicals used includes bad body odour and stretch marks, the skin is thinner and more sensitive, and the chemicals expose the person to enormous health risks.  It is also a lot of work. If you are bleaching your skin, you have to use the cream everyday, morning and night. If you miss the cream for a week, you’d look different, and you have to stick to the same supplier and mixture: so much needless stress.
      I am aware that every individual is entitled to a freedom of choice including the choice to look the way they want. But I see the spread of a bleaching culture as a display of so much insecurity and lack of self-esteem, and an assault on the legacy of all the men and women who fought and are still fighting to ensure that black identity matters. It is also shocking that many mothers are now in the habit of introducing their children to bleaching creams very early. They don’t want dark-skinned daughters and sons! And the ones who fail to do this feel terribly embarrassed when they are photographed with their children and the skin colours do not match. Check family photographs these days. And worry about the many ladies out there living a life of pretense engaged in “coded waka runs” (euphemism for underground prostitution) just so they can buy skin whitening creams.
    This is a sad story about the way we now live, even as I recall the antiphonal lyrics of James Brown’s “Say it Loud – I’m Black and Proud” (1968) - one of the greatest songs of all time.  In Nigeria’s entertainment industry today, being black is almost a taboo. The women want to look like Kim Kardashian and the men seem to think that to be a celebrity is to be light-skinned.  In the larger society, a “faworaja” (fake appearance) culture is on the rise.  The people are deliberately re-colonizing themselves mentally and physically.  What can anyone say to such persons who are ashamed of their own identity?  I speak for myself: “I’m Black and Proud”. But even if I wan bleach sef, I black so tay, cream go finish for market…
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Photos: Boko Haram members attack UN convoy in Bama, Borno

Suspected Boko Haram members yesterday attacked a United Nation convoy carrying staff from UNICEF, UNFPA, and IOM. The convoy was traveling from Bama to Maiduguri in Borno State after delivering special food to malnourished children IDP camps in the state, when they were attacked.

A UNICEF employee and an IOM contractor were injured in the attack and are being treated at a local hospital. All other UNICEF, IOM and UNFPA staff are safe.‎

Four soldiers received gunshot wounds. The United Nations has temporarily suspended humanitarian assistance missions pending review of the security situation.
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Photos: NEMA hands out prizes to best performing students in Malkohi IDP camp

Officials from the National Emergency Management Agency recently handed out prizes to overall best performing students in Malkohi Internally Displaced Persons camp, Yola. The ceremony took place on the last day of the school term. More photos after the cut...

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Jude Okoye Confirms P'square's Reunion

P-Square's manager, Jude Okoye, has confirmed that the brothers are back!
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