Harvard Students Invent Football That Generates Electricity.

A new football which captures the energy created when it is kicked and transforms it into electricity is set to help provide a power solution for developing countries.

Culled the Soccket, the revolutionary ball builds up enough energy to power a light for three hours from just 30 minutes of play. Power source uses metal coil and magnet to capture energy

The clever invention is made from materials found in developing countries and costs only slightly more than a normal high end ball to produce.

Former US President, Bill Clinton has described the concept, which was the brainchild of Harvard students Jessica Lin, Julia Silverman, Jessica Matthews, Hemali Thakkaras and Aviva Presser, as ‘extraordinary’.

“It’s an off-grid solution that gives us a way to bring power and improved quality of life, working capacity and learning capacity” he added:

The idea combines football, the world’s most popular sport, with the huge need for electricity in developing countries – a staggering one in five people around the globe are without power.

The ball, which has been trialled in South Africa, is waterproof, durable and doesn’t need to be inflated. It uses inductive coil technology which involves having a metal coil and magnetic slug that goes forwards and backwards.

Ms Silverman and Ms Matthews have gone on to develop the mass-produced version of the ball through their own not-for-profit company Unchartered Play.

In many developing countries, reliance on kerosene lamps has led to numerous health problems.

The World Bank estimates that breathing the fumes created from burning kerosene indoors equates to the harmful effect of smoking two packs of cigarettes a day.

Burning kerosene for lighting also generates some 190 million metric tons a year of carbon dioxide emissions, according to recent estimates — the equivalent emissions of about 38 million automobiles.

The special ball can currently be used with an AC adaptor but the designers hope this will be expanded in the future to enable other products to be charged by it.

The initial inspiration came from hi-tech dance floors which can capture energy from dancers’ movements.

‘The idea was come together and using art and science pick an issue and try to make it better.

“We started to think about the time we’d spent overseas and we’d all had this similar experience of seeing kids play” Ms Matthews added.

“These kids aren’t allowed to be children for very long. They have to deal with very serious issues in their lives every single day.”

“Sometimes giving these kids the ball before we even show them the power generation part is such an amazing thing because they have a ball which doesn’t require inflation – you are telling them that the tooth fairy does exist.”

“Just as much as we noticed that there was so much universal love for soccer we also noticed there’s a huge market for safe, sustainable immediate power access” Ms Silverman added.


Kaduna Bomb Blast: We Are Still Investigating The Number Of Causalities – Police

The coordinated bomb attacks that rocked the cities of Kaduna and Zaira, in Kaduna State early on Sunday (Yesterday’s) morning might have recorded more than the assumed number of causalities being reported in the media according to some sources.

One of the staff of the hospitals that housed some of the affected victims who pleaded anonymity told Osun Defender Online that the numbers of victims brought to their hospital on Sunday were more than one hundred and as at this (Monday) morning about 20 corpses have been moved to the morgue.

“I can’t say the exact figure of the dead victims, but all I know is that apart from those that died yesterday about 16 dead bodies have been moved to the morgue this morning already”, the source said.

When contacted this morning to confirm the present situation of things, the Kaduna State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Aminu Lawan said investigations are still ongoing to get the actual number of both dead and injured victims.

Aminu said “we are still investigating on the number of causalities suffered, as soon as we completed our investigation we will make it public”.

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday while reacting to the bomb blast said he is sad over the explosion that rocked some Churches in Kaduna and Zaira as well as the repraisal attacks that erupted in the aftermath.

He however said he has consolation in God almighty that is capable of handling the whole situation.

Boko Haram Warns On Kano Again; Says It Is War Against Christians

The Islamic terror group, Boko Haram yesterday warned Kano people on their negative attitude toward the group.

The groups spokesman, Abu Qaqa in their statesmen claiming responsibility of yesterday’s Church bombing in Zaria and Kaduna said that “we want Kano residents to examine and change their ways towards our group”.

Boko Haram has been finding it difficult to operate freely in Kano, as Residents always report their activities to the Joint Task Force (JTF). Their co-operation has lead to several successful operations by the JTF squad since the January attack on Kano city.

The group said also that they will now be targeting Christian women and Children, since security personnel now attack their women and children.

“Today Almighty Allah has given us victory against Christian Churches in Kaduna and Zaria which led to the deaths of many Christians and security operatives”.

“Allah has tasked all Muslims in Quran chapter 9 verse 29 to launch a attack against Jews and Christians who refused to believe in him, his messenger, Prophet Mohammed”.

Emulate House Of Representative And Deal With Corruption; ACN Charges Presidency.

Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday gave a piece of advice to the Presidency on how best to treat alleged corruption cases.

The party urged the Presidency to take a cue from the House of Representatives in its swift response to the bribery allegation involving one of its ranking members Alhaji Farouk Lawan.

The ACN has urged the Presidency to emulate the House of Representatives in the urgency, courage and sense of purpose with which the legislative chamber has so far handled the case of alleged bribery, involving one of its ranking members,” Lai Mohammed said in a statement yesterday.

According to the statement, the decision of the House to suspend Lawan as the chairman of the ad-Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Management, while also standing by the report of the Committee, sent a strong signal that the House will not condone corruption under any guise.

The statement reads: “Though it has not been conclusively proven that Farouk indeed took the bribe as alleged, the House went ahead to suspend him, unlike the presidency which has been shielding all those indicted in the monumental fraud uncovered by the committee – a tale of two nations in one!

‘’Corruption has reached unprecedented levels in our country, especially under the present political dispensation.

“Unfortunately, while the executive arm of government has been nonchalant at best and conniving in the worst case scenario in tackling this canker worm that is fast decimating our society, the legislative arm has been frontal and unrelenting in its efforts to check graft, even when it is acknowledged that the House itself is not populated by saints.

‘’In fact, the story making the rounds is that the bribery allegation was contrived by the executive, backed by the ever-feckless and marauding ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to ‘kill’ the report of the ad Hoc Committee,
and many Nigerians are now circulating the report’s ‘obituary’ on the social media. They also said the whole ‘sting operation’ was designed to sting the leadership of the House and ruin the integrity of the entire House.

‘’We do not know if these allegations are true or not. But we do know, from available evidence, that the executive is encouraging corrupt practices by failing so far to decisively deal with any of the myriads of corruption allegations that have rocked the nation in recent times, whether it is the police pension scandal, the Malabu oil scandal or the fuel subsidy scandal, just to mention a few.

‘’We also know that while the security and anti-graft agencies have been lukewarm in their response to those scandals, they have suddenly discovered a high level of alacrity in dealing with the bribery scandal involving a legislator.

“Within so short a time, arrests have been made and investigations have been kick-started. Yet, those in the executive arm of government who are facing similar or worse accusations have not even been invited for questioning.’’

The ACN wondered who the security agencies and their anti-graft counterparts are working for, and whose interest they serve.

“If the presidency is not paying lip service to the fight against corruption, it must end its ambivalence on the implementation of the report of the ad-Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Management, even as the probe of the lleged bribery scandal involving the former chairman of the committee continues.

‘’To do otherwise is to send a dangerous signal to the citizenry that you can only be held liable for corruption if you are neither in the executive nor in the good books of the presidency,’’ the party said.

Breaking News: Kidnappers Grab Son Of Delta SSG

Former Governor Uduaghan of Delata State

By SaharaReporters, New York

The son of Ovuozorie Macaulay, the Secretary to the Delta state government has been kidnspped in Ozoro, the headquarters of the Isoko North Local Government Area in the area.

Sources said the SSG’s son, Markson Macaulay, 28, was attacked and abducted by unknown persons shortly after he arrived from a foreign country to visit his grandmother in Owhelogbo.

The latest kidnapping came on the heels of the kidnapping of Governor Uduaghan’s cousin Pa Samuel Uduaghan last week. Pa Uduaghan was released after ransom was paid to his kidnappers.

ulled from Sahara Reporters

I Caught My Sister Cheating On Her Husband: Can I Tell Him?

I live in the US now but I lived the first 18years of my life in Naija. I’m 20 now and I live with my sister who is 10 years older than I am. It’s just the two of us my mother has and I love my sister very much. She filed papers to have me here in the states and I live under her roof and don’t pay any bills.

Her husband is a traveling business man from naija too and he is the best man you would ever meet. He’s so good to my family, a good Christian and he hardly ever raises his voice or gets mad. You know them mellow and calm people?? That’s him! I love and respect him like I would my father cos he’s like 10 years older than my sister.

He cleans when he’s home, takes care of his children (they have three) and he gives my sister and me lots of money. My sister on the other hand I totally adore too. She’s a free spirit and very generous but she’s a party animal ooo! She loves to go to parties and smoke and drink. Though she doesn’t do this at home, just outside. She’s real vain and temperamental too but she’s my sister and I love her that way.

Ok the point to my story is I found out she’s cheating on her husband with a guy like three or four years younger than her. At first I thought he was her friend but then I started seeing text messages and frequent calls. This guy would call and she would live everything and fly over to him. He’s still in college (I no he’s old sha but na condition).

I still tried to ignore it but then I saw a letter she was writing. In it she professed her love and undying support and bashed (insulted) her husband as old and an idiot and that she will divorce him and get half his money and property in years to come so they can be together. She also wrote that she loves the oral sex and anal sex he (the guy) gives her. My mind was blown and it broke to pieces. I was appalled and disgusted at my sister, a woman with 3 kids damn it!

Now her husband has been the best thing to happen to my family and I live with them and I will testify in a court of law that he has not done anything to warrant this kind of treatment. I’m torn!

I really want to tell him what my sister is doing…but she’s my sister and that would be betrayal right??? But her husband has never laid a hand on her or argued with her with harsh words or slacked as a provider so I owe him the truth now right??? I know you are going to say talk to my parents but my sister is a golden child to them. She can’t do no wrong in their eyes…

This could give my mother a heart attack… Also if I tell my sister what I know she could threaten me and throw me out and I have nowhere else to stay or a job to survive on. Please tell me what to do cos I’m slowly going crazy and I am beginning to resent my sister.

Culled from OLU FAMOUS

Subsidy Panel Bribe Scandal: Farouk, Otedola To Face Panel

The House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges is to probe allegation of $620,000 bribery leveled against former chairman of the adhoc committee on subsidy probe Rep. Farouk Lawan (PDP, Kano) by  oil baron Femi Otedola.

The Chairman of the committee, Rep. Gambo Dan Musa (CPC, Katsina), said the investigation would commence next week.

Otedola had admitted to given Lawan and the subsidy committee secretary Boniface Emenalo the sum of $620,000 in the wake of consideration of the subsidy probe report.

The House had during its special emergency session last Friday directed the Ethics committee to investigate the allegations and report back in two weeks.

Speaking  to Reporters yesterday on the telephone, Dan Musa said his committee will meet tomorrow (Tuesday) to decide on the modus operandi of the probe.

“We have two weeks as dateline so we will most likely start next week but we have to meet as a committee to fix the mode of operation,” Dan Musa said.

The lawmaker disclosed that all parties involved in the allegations would be summoned by the committee including Lawan and Femi Otedola

Again, Fiscal Federalism Inevitable

One direct consequence of the current hunger for development across the federation is the frenzied push towards integration along  geo-political lines.

Ever the clear leader –the South-west has become champions of the regional integration idea as the counterfoil to the current stifling, unproductive federalism. The South-south states have since picked the gauntlet with their own framework for integrating the states in the region – the BRACED commission. The indications are that more and more regions would come to the light of integration as an idea whose time has come.

All these are no doubt borne of the recognition of the imperfections in our federal practice – particularly, its regression into poverty and underdevelopment.

But then, as desirable as the integration idea is in the current circumstances, there can be no question about substituting it for the practice of true federalism and its derivative, fiscal federalism, which Nigerians have long clamoured but which the 1999 constitution pronounces only in name.

Today, development is virtually on hold while unemployment – particularly of youths, is at record levels ever. Nothing moves as the federal government holds the monopoly in power – from generation to distribution; the inland waterways, mines and minerals, geological surveys and natural gas.

As for the railways, the Railways Act guarantees that it remains its exclusive preserve.  And while it suits the federal government to maintain its stranglehold on key sectors of the economy even when it is in the least position to optimise their development for the benefit of the people, states are reduced to playing vassals even when they literally sit atop untapped wealth.

Unfortunately, the same federal government, by the logic of the current lopsided fiscal arrangement also controls the nation’s purse from where it takes the lion share of 52 percent leaving the 36 states, the federal capital territory administration and the 774 councils listed in the 1999 Constitution to share the leftover.

For the communities where the wealth is generated, there is, for consolation, the derivation fund of 13 percent. And with oil money to share in the distributable pool irrespective of whether the states contributed or not, there has been no incentive for the states to explore other sources of revenue to finance their activities. The result has been poverty, unemployment and mass alienation that presently threatens the nation’s social fabric.

Our position has always been that a nation as blessed as Nigeria has no reason to be poor. Nigeria has vast endowments in good soils, minerals, oil and gas and human capital – the degree of endowment is what varies across the federation. The main problem has been the concentration of resources at the centre at the expense of the states – the by-product of the long years of military rule. As it is, not even the return to civil-democratic rule appears to have addressed this anomaly. The situation, unfortunately is responsible the indolence at levels and the parasitism that it has bred.

It seems that for far too long the central government has played the dog in the manger. If there is anything that has become obvious, it is the monthly conclave of states in Abuja to share oil money is not working for the good of the nation. The wisdom of competitive federalism cannot be more apparent than now. Fiscal federalism, in its truest form, obviously offers the pathway out of the woods of stunted development. States need to be challenged – indeed encouraged now, to grow at their pace taking advantage of the God-given resources. That appears to us the surest way to restore equity to the nation’s federating units; every state is thereby afforded the opportunity to bring something to the table.

We see fiscal federalism not necessarily in the narrow sense of the new-fangled “resource control” agitation, but in the sense of the constitutionally guaranteed rights of states to enjoy and operate substantial degrees of autonomy in general financial and economic matters. We cannot make the point enough that the current fiscal arrangement between the states and the centre is not just lopsided, it tends to impoverish the states and ultimately the citizens. Only an early return to true fiscal federalism will halt the trend. It is something that the National Assembly should ponder and act upon – now.

It’s well!

Why Dana Passengers Were Burnt Alive Explained By Pilot Instructor

He is an FAA Advance Ground Instructor with experience of over 40years. That license qualifies him to instruct anybody to go to the moon. He also has 35 years flying experience. He is an authority in this business. Therefore, when Captain Tito Omaghomi spoke to Vanguard editors on Nigeria’s aviation sector, everyone listened with rapt attention.

“In the first place, our heart goes to everybody who has lost a loved one.This accident was unnecessary. I had alerted Nigerians a few weeks ago about how people have started cutting corners; how people have become complacent”. These were the most pleasant words he uttered throughout the session because he made some startling revelation. Excerpts:

Dana Air appears to be involved in the distribution of relief materials?

We should appeal to Dana Air that this is not a time to give relief materials. It is not their duty – the Federal Government and Lagos State government are capable of doing that. They say this is the beginning of the distribution but I want to say that they have no business doing that.

Dana Air has come out to say the airplane lost two engines. How could that happen?
That is what they have said in their own defence but the question to ask is who would defend the dead people? This morning, I heard a lawyer saying the plane left Abuja with one engine and that, on the way; the other engine failed. The Bible says my people perish for lack of knowledge. The plane did not leave Abuja with one engine.

Is it possible for a plane to embark on a flight with one engine?
Let me explain. Procedurally, they say when a plane loses an engine, it should turn back and land. These planes are made to fly with one engine off. That is the truth.

So, in this instance, did the plane take off with one engine?
That air plane that crashed took off with two engines. If one fails, you take maximum power on the second engine and you go to where you’re going to because, at that stage, you can not just make a 180 degrees and come and land because you are limited with your landing weight – you have maximum take off weight, after you burn off the fuel (trip fuel), you then have what is called maximum landing weight. But, without you going anywhere with your fuel full and passengers full, you have maximum take off weight which will be detrimental to the structure of the plane if it just turns back like that to come and land. It will cause structural damage to the landing gear.

So what is the standard procedure when an engine fails upon take off?
You dump fuel first and then come back and land. So the issue of saying the plane took off with one engine is not true. We know that this flight, 30miles away from Lagos, the crew contacted radar control and requested for a radar veto – that is the radar should tell them how to come in and land and requested for the longest runway – runway 18Right, which is the longest runway.

If a pilot requests for the longest runway, what does that tell an observer?
If a pilot is requesting for the longest runway, he either has an engine problem, hydraulic problem, or engine fire. We are reliably informed that radar gave him the service that he requested for until he got on the localizer – that is radial which directs him to the 18Right.
They were brought in and, at the last minute, they handed them over to the tower.

I’m happy Dana admitted that they did not contact the tower. After radar had vetoed them, they all agreed that the crew never contacted the tower and so the plane found itself on people’s houses. It was not a choice they made. But it was as a result of uncontrollable asymmetry. One engine had gone, they could not handle that one-engine situation and that was why that engine veered off and landed on people’s houses.

Now, how come when it landed on the houses, it did not explode but when the fire sparked, there was no effort at disembarking?
When the plane dropped on people’s houses, the impact was so much that there was no time to brace up for emergency and that was why they were strapped to their seats and they all burnt to death. That is the truth. We are still waiting for the transcript of the black box. These people had no time to talk to the control tower. They were busy trying to control that plane and that was how they found themselves on peoples roof..

What is the significance of the black box because accidents have happened before in this country and the findings were never made public?
The black box will tell us everything that happened on that flight before the crash.

Let’s look at the way the President responded, was he right to say people will be punished?
I can understand the president’s pain at that time – that he commiserates with families of the victims and that the government will get to the root of the matter and those found culpable would be punished. That is what people wanted to hear from the president but it was a wrong signal. Air crashes are not investigated because you want to punish somebody but they are investigated so that we can learn and avoid future occurrences. The engineer who may have done a shoddy inspection job would go and doctor the books and cover up his tracks; the dispatcher who dispatched the plane would cover his track and the same goes for the person who fueled the plane.

What is the Snr. Special Adviser to the President on Aviation doing? The man has been there since the time of Olusegun Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and now Jonathan and he has only made three pronouncements since assuming that office. What is he doing there?

If we want to be sincere to ourselves in this country, we should begin to look for quality.
The aviation sector is not the place where you give job to the boys – that is not only bad but also dangerous.

Look at the Aviation Minister, when she was appointed, some people raised hell but everybody agrees that she is doing a damn good job. Look at some of the reforms she has engendered; they are for best practices; but this crash was just unfortunate.

What Nigerians should be looking at are the people in the boards of the parastatals in the aviation sector. It is the board members who formulate policies for their MDs and DGs but when you go and give jobs to the boys, when they get to the board meeting, all they would ask for is how much contracts are worth.

That’s a weighty allegation?
Let me tell you from experience. I was a board member of FAA along with some politicians and we wanted to formulate a policy which I introduced. I wanted us to build mortuaries in Lagos and Kano airports to take a minimum of 350 people. Everybody jumped up saying ‘God forbid; it will never happen’. But it is the truth, it will happen. Look at what families are being put through now to recover the bodies of their departed ones. That is part of the problems of giving the boys job in the aviation industry.

Why do we keep having these accidents?
Accidents started happening in this country from 1969, DC 10, Nigeria Airways. From 1969 to 2003 when Nigeria Airways was liquidated, they had 20 accidents. Of these, only three were Nigeria Airways planes. After 2003, another 21 accidents, Nigeria Airways was no longer existing but the rate of accidents went up so you can safely say if Nigeria Airways was operating, 75% of passengers that have died today could have flown Nigeria Airways and the possibility of accidents on Nigeria Airways was almost zero.

But why don’t presidential aircrafts have accidents? At least they are manned by Nigerians too?
So let’s also add that why not transfer the training of those crew to general aviation so that we can be safe in this country? Let us ask that too. Have you seen how they maintain those planes in the presidential fleet? Nigerians are in charge and everybody there knows their jobs are on the line but for general aviation, people are looking for money. Most of them instruct their pilots not to write snags noticed in their planes on the log book but on ordinary pieces of paper. That is why most times the airlines fear nothing because there are no records of some things. The Dana Air staff that spoke on conditions of anonymity said the truth.

How would you describe the Senate’s order that Demuren, the DG, NCAA, should step aside?
They forget that the only body mandated by law to investigate accidents in this country is AIB. Any other investigating body would make you run foul of international law and even our own law; so we should allow AIB to do its job.

What is the significance of the black box?
It gives detailed analysis of what happens on a plane – the speed, the altitude, the bank angle of the plane, conversations in the cockpit and every other thing that transpired. We should let AIB do its job before we go into coroner’s inquest or panel of inquiry because this is mass murder. We must stop it. You ask Demuren to step aside, but the people appointed to investigate the crash, an example, Group Captain Obakpolor, was employed by Demuren and he works for NCAA and you’re making him head of the panel that would investigate the accident. He has now become the judge, the accused and the jury. The other two captains in the panel were executive directors of ADC airline; ADC that crashed under the same type of conditions; compensation has not been paid, they went underground and now you’ve gone to bring them to come and be in a panel? What type of a country are we running? I called one of them on that panel and told him that if I were him I will disqualify myself. I sent a text to them to ask if they told the minister that these people appointed into this panel are the staff of ADC and NCAA. It’s unfair. We should be straight forward. They know after a few weeks this matter will die down and when it happens again we will start shouting.

Could you please enlighten us about this issue of the age of an aircraft?
I have always told people that the age of an aircraft is not an issue. DC 3 still flies. Bring a new factory mint air plane to an incompetent pilot, he will crash the plane. Take the oldest well maintained plane and give a competent pilot, he will fly it and fly it well. The power plant, the engine, once that is well maintained, it minimizes risk of accident. A 20-year-old car with a brand new engine will serve you well. The best safety device in the aviation industry is a well maintained aircraft and a well trained crew.

Have you had any air plane incidents?
I have had three and, if they were not well handled, I wouldn’t be alive today: The Airbus A310, on the 14th of April, 1991, that crashed at MMA on a Sunday morning. That day, it was raining cats and dogs. We asked them for the condition of the runway, they said runway ‘wet’. In aviation, that means it is not up to two milimetres of water – nobody has any business with a runway that holds water anyway.

There is something called aqua-planning, which means that when there is water on that runway, you will be surprised that the whole weight of that air plane will just be suspended afloat on that water and, if the wheels are not spinning, the breaks are useless; it is only when the wheels are spinning that the breaks can hold. Therefore, you make a positive landing. If not, the speed will just be suspended there until the tyres touch ground. That was what happened to us that day, so after the wet runway, we touched the ground and that was at the end of entire length; I just turned the nose of the aircraft and we entered a ditch. We evacuated 259 people safely.

That was a flight from Abuja bringing back aviation experts who were coming from a seminar. One Mr. Anene came on board and retrieved the log book and, within 14 hours, AeroFormation, the maintenance investigators, landed in Lagos, took the black box and one month after the AIB investigation and AeroFormation sent in their report with a letter of citation for a job well done. Thank God nobody was incapacitated. The same aqua-planning in Calabar in 1986. Our runways hold water. You must be able to handle emergencies well.

I’ve heard people say Dana took off from Abuja with one engine; that is not true. If you’re flying and you lose one engine, you shut down the engine.

In a two-engine plane, on your route, when you lose engine, the nearest airport should not be more than one hour; in a three-engine plane, if you lose one, the nearest airport should not be more than two hours; in a four-engine plane, it should not be more than three hours and that is why you are not legally allowed to fly over the Atlantic with a two-engine plane so that’s why the planes fly nearer to land than directly over the Atlantic.

We know there is a difference between an incident and an accident but, in Nigeria, reports of the latter are never made public, why?

The report of my incident was made known to me – an incident does not involve fatalities, even if the plane breaks into pieces, it is not an accident but an accident, even if the crash involved just a death, is so described. I saw the transcript of my own.

To be honest, government should think well and do the right thing.
At a time when there was no presidential fleet, our leaders flew in Nigeria Airways planes. They would simply call Director of Flight Operations that the head of state would be flying out and all the Nigeria Airways was required to do was to withdraw a plane, reconfigure, remove the seats, less passengers, create an office setting and that was how they were using the Nigeria Airways planes before they had the presidential fleet in 1986/87. They just sold the place off. The greatest scam is coming very soon. They will soon say we must set up another airline.

Some people say after the Cat 1 Certification, Demuren and the NCAA went to bed?
Will you say because a policeman is caught collecting bribe, MD Abubakar, Police IG, must be sacked? He has inspectors who go to inspect the planes from time to time and some of them (airlines) prepare, clean up the house once they know the inspectors are coming and that is the situation in the aviation industry. Demuren has employed all the best hands in our aviation industry and put them in NCAA except you say he should now go and bring expatriates.

What recommendations have you made to those in authority before now?
Let me give you a true life story. During the turbanning of Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji, I met Abacha at Graham Douglas’ house in Ikoyi and, two days after, we again met at the airport and he said I should join a few other senior officers in his official plane while he went with Graham Douglas in Julius Berger’s plane. We took off after they had left some 15, 20 minutes later.

When we got to Sokoto, our plane could not land after six attempts. A fellow board member in the FAA, the late Prof. Don Pedro, said I should check what the pilots were doing in the cockpit. By this time the people on ground had become so apprehensive. I went there, knocked on the door, entered and saw the young men. They were scared stiff, with goose pimples. When they saw me, one of them said, ‘Skipper, the weather is so bad, we’ve made six attempts but could not land’. I asked about visibility, they said 300metres which meant it was so bad. But that was not the problem, they had miscalculated the altimetre setting which made them add 1500 feet on top of the airport elevation of 1500 which means you are 3000 feet so you could not see the runway. I brought this to their attention. I gave them the necessary instruction and we landed safely.

The late General Abdulkareem Adisa was on that flight. By the time we landed safely, the door opened and Adisa came out, he said, “Awon AirForce, won ko mo nkan kan-o” (Air Force personnel do not know anything). But the time we finished this rigmarole, they had finished the turbanning. By the time we wanted to go back, none of the Army Generals we took to Sokoto agreed to return on that plane.

We had to return with Gidado Idris, then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who had a plane to himself. But that was not all.
May the soul of that pilot rest in peace! The day after, it was this same crew that took Abacha’s son to Kano. The people who could not land a plane at Sokoto during the day now went to Kano at night and killed the poor man.

Abacha instructed Douglas to mandate me to prepare a memo on air accidents and that particular one, but, by the time the memo was ready, government had instituted a probe panel to investigate and from that time I washed my hands from government business. People are dishonest.

These crashes almost always happen at weekends, why is that so?

People are relaxed at weekends. My own experience on that Sunday, rather than the controller to say the runway was heavy with water, he said it was just wet.

And we should stop these criticisms of Demuren, except somebody can come out to say he has collected bribe. The man has done so much for us in this country. Category 1 places Nigeria at par with civil aviation in the US, Britain and the developed world. Some countries are still grappling with category 3 (A, B, C) but we have Category 1. Nobody has done that before.

Farouk/Otedola Bribery Scandal: Grand Plan To Rope Tambuwal At All Cost Uncovered.

Three days after the emergency session of the House of Representatives, a plot to incriminate  Speaker Aminu Tambuwal in the $620,000 cash-for-clearance scandal has been uncovered.

Some chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and aggrieved government officials have been fingered in the scheming against Tambuwal.

Besides, two policemen are being detained for “smuggling” out the suspended Chairman of the House Ad Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, Mr. Farouk Lawan, from his cell on Friday night to bath at home.

There are fears that the policemen may have been compromised, but for the vigilance of the Coordinator of the Special Task Force, CP Ali Amodu.

The Nation learnt that the plot to implicate Tambuwal is said to be part of the ongoing investigation of a “new clue” provided by a businessman, Femi Otedola, who alleged that Lawan could not have acted alone.

Otedola said he gave Lawan $620,000 to get his Zenon Oil off the list of companies which abused fuel subsidy.

It was gathered that security agencies had discovered a segment of the video tape of the bribery scam in which Lawan told Otedola that “he had collected his own too”.

Although it was learnt that no name was actually mentioned by Lawan, there is an attempt to link the said “he” to the Speaker.

According to sources, some forces have been mounting pressure on a few others being investigated in connection with the bribe to implicate the Speaker  and pave the way for his arrest.

A source also claimed that as part of the plot, some anti-Tambuwal  forces  are trying  to influence the police and other security agencies to ask Otedola to substantiate his claim on what he meant by the fact that Lawan could not have acted alone.

Otedola may also be asked to unmask the “he” in what looked like a trap for Tambuwal.

The source added: “Some forces have been so desperate to have the Speaker implicated in the bribery scam. They do not even mind dropping any case against Lawan if the Speaker can come into the picture.

“Some stalwarts of the PDP and the affected government officers have told Lawan that he was actually not the target of the cash-for-bribe scandal. They said the Speaker was their aim because of the manner in which he is romancing with opposition parties to the detriment of the ruling Peoples Democratic party.

“They alleged that Tambuwal is not a loyal party man and he must be whipped into line or shown the way out. They are angry that the PDP is being rubbished. These forces are seeking Lawan’s cooperation to ‘deal’ with Tambuwal.

“They said if Lawan can cooperate, the PDP will make sure that he gets the 2015 governorship ticket in Kano State .

“They said the manner in which the Speaker got an overwhelming vote of confidence and a standing ovation made it to look as if the House had triumphed over some officers in the Executive arm and the ruling PDP.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “These forces wielded a divide-and-rule card by telling Lawan to appreciate the fact that the House leadership has betrayed him.

“But as a man of conscience, Lawan believes he was set up and he prefers to go the whole hog in the court to clear his hard-earned name than being granted reprieve on the basis of any mischief.”

Upon discovery of the plot, it was learnt that the House leadership has put all members on the alert of the ultimate goal of destabilising the lower chamber of the National Assembly.

A principal officer of the House, who pleaded not to be named because of what he described as the sensitivity of the matter, said: “The Speaker has travelled to Asaba for a function, but we have notified all members of this plot.

“We stand by our vote of confidence in the Speaker and we will resist any move by any group or persons to destabilise the House under any guise.”

The two policemen detained for allegedly smuggling out Lawan out of his Force CID Area 10 cell are undergoing interrogation. They may face an Orderly Room Trial if  found culpable.

A source said: “Having been kept among criminals on Thursday night, Lawan was also not allowed to take his bath Friday morning before he was taken to the Force Headquarters for interrogation.

“But Lawan repeatedly demanded that the police should be fair to him by allowing him to freshen up. The policemen on duty decided to take the lawmaker out of the cell to his residence at Apo Legislative Quarters to bath and return to the cell.

“The policemen claimed that they did it on compassionate ground and to protect Lawan’s fundamental rights since he is still a suspect.

“But Lawan was hardly smuggled out when other policemen on duty alerted the Special Task Force Co-ordinator, CP Ali Amodu, who immediately stormed the FCID.”

Amodu, who ordered immediate return of Lawan to the cell, also ordered the duo’s detention.

The policemen said they were not influenced to take Lawan home, but they took cognisance of his complaint and state of health to allow the lawmaker to freshen up.

They also said Lawan was escorted home under tight security, it was learnt.

But the acting Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji M.D. Abubakar, has asked the STF to probe the circumstances under which Lawan was taken home and for how long.

As at press time, investigation of the two policemen, who are rated as “good hands”, was on.

The thrust of the probe is the suspicion of alleged plan to give Lawan a ‘waiver to sleep at home.’

It was learnt that before Lawan was released on Saturday, Amodu, warned the lawmaker against a repeat of such in future.

Amodu said if Lawan had any discomfort, he should have contacted the STF or the police hierarchy for clearance.

“We have enough convenience to take care of the need of the lawmaker. If the policemen acted in good faith and there is no trace of inducement they will be cautioned.

But if there is any infraction, the policemen will be in trouble. For now, they are replacing Lawan in the same cell,” a police source added.


Enduring Lessons From Cuba

When the state government of Osun sponsored some people to visit Cuba recently, some short-sighted and reactionary elements in the far from being peoples democratic party (PDP) in the state started crying wolf – tagging the trip a waste of resources – and making spurious allegations that the trip was to give beneficiaries military training towards carrying out the alleged secessionist agenda of Ogbeni Aregbesola.

In their short-sightedness and being people already deep-seated in mischief making, the PDP reactionaries would simply not see the benefits inherent in such a trip. Rather, they reveled in peddling rumours about the trip in furtherance of their mission to discredit the focused Ogbeni Aregbesola’s administration.

For these reactionary politicians and the students of their school of thought who have all deliberately refused to see the advantage inherent in the trip to the Caribbean country, it’s important to open their eyes to some of the numerous ways the state stands to benefit from that trip and similar ones it may deem fit to carry out in future to such a country.

For a start Cuba is a country of people whose culture is similar to that of the Yorubas and for an administration that is focused on exploiting tourism to boost its economy, visiting such a country was a right step in the right direction for, it will bring about  reciprocal deals between Cuba and the state. By that trip the Cuban authorities will no doubt see the need to reciprocate that gesture. The state will officially be put on the list of interesting places to visit by Cuban tourists. Meaning that Osun has become a must-visit for Cuban tourists too. This interchange of culture will undoubtedly help in boosting Osun economy.

Secondly there is a lot to learn from Cuba as an evolving country. Today one of the sad aspects of our history or the history of the federating units is this idea of having to depend on hand-out from the government at the centre for survival. A state like Osun that aspires to be economically independent has a lot to learn from Cuba in the area of economic independence strategies. We mean for example this Caribbean country still remains a standing economy even in spite of years of American blockade. How the country was able to survive that several years of isolation should be a subject of study for any serious government that is focused on being able to stand on its own.

Further, considering the giant strides Cuba has been able to make so far in vital disciplines like medicine, Information Technology, culture etcetera, not only the state of Osun but Nigeria as a whole stands to benefit from the country if cordial relationships are fostered between us. And lest we forget, sponsoring people to Cuba is cheaper than to other places like the western countries. It’s cost effective and the idea of choosing the country as a place to visit also tells much about Ogbeni Aregbesola administration’s   penchant for prudent management of resources.

Above all the Cuban people have respect for people. There is similarity in this regard between yoruba culture and theirs. The similarities in our cultures should naturally bind us together. Thus it shouldn’t be considered out of place to sponsor our people to visit the country. Visiting such a country will surely engender mutual benefit between the country and the state of Osun. The trip to Cuba will encourage cultural exchange between us and the Cubans and the benefit from such cannot really be over emphasised.

Let mischief makers stop misinterpreting the motive behind the Cuban trip. A lot of benefits will most likely come out of maintaining robust relationship with that country. Let it also be clearly stated and made known to the bunch of reactionaries in the PDP in the state that Ogbeni Aregbesola will never engage in any venture that cannot yield positive result for the state. The Cuban trip cannot in any way be compared to the useless junkets that characterised the Oyinlola era.

It’s well!