Ben Roethlisberger Accused of Sexual Assault

Saturday, March 6, 2010






Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, is being investigated by Georgia Police for an allegation of sexual assault at a Georgia nightclub on Friday.

Officers said the alleged assault occurred early Friday morning at a nightclub in Milledgeville, about 85 miles southeast of Atlanta; the player owns a home nearby.

The two-time Super Bowl champion and some of his friends were seen visiting local restaurants and bars Thursday night. Roethlisberger turned 28 on Tuesday.

"He's been identified as being at the scene and there are allegations naming him as the perpetrator," Deputy Chief Richard Malone said.

Roethlisberger and the alleged victim have been interviewed, and the alleged rape victim, a 20-year-old college student, was taken to a hospital where she was treated and released after.

Roethlisberger led the Steelers to two Super Bowl victories in 2006 and 2008.  His success was coupled with a lot of controversies.

Ben Roethlisberger was also sued by Andrea McNulty of rape in 2008.

Steelers spokesman Dave Lockett released a statement from the team: "We are gathering information and that is the only comment we have at this time

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak undergoes an operation in Germany on Saturday, February 6, 2010.

Friday, March 5, 2010




Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will undergo an operation on his gall bladder in Germany on Saturday, state television announced Friday after the veteran leader complained of pain. The ageing president had complained of gall bladder pain while in Germany for talks with Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany.

Mubarak temporarily delegated presidential power to Ahmed Nazif, the country's prime minister.

"Whenever there is a health issue with president, all of a sudden questions of succession rise to the forefront of Egyptian politics, tremendous speculation, some concern and anxiety, and this is just one of those examples.

"The succession issue is one of the most hotly contested issues in Egypt right now. For good reason, it's tied into the issue of democratization and reform and so on."

In 2007, speculation snowballed to the extent that the president was forced to make an unscheduled public appearance to put a rest to the rumours.

One year later, Ibrahim Eissa, the editor in the chief of the independent daily al-Dustur, was sentenced to two months in jail after his newspaper published rumours on Mubarak's health in 2008, before receiving a presidential pardon.

President Hosni Mubarak turns 82 this year.

Niger: The fall of Mamadou Tandja

Wednesday, March 3, 2010



The military takeover, February 18, of neighboring Republic of Niger at a time when coup d’├ętats were thought to be no longer fashionable, is, indeed, West Africa’s latest democracy deficit and must be condemned in all its ramifications.

Following a trend that has become depressingly familiar in West Africa over the past 18 months, army officers seized power in the uranium ore-rich country and removed President Mamadou Tandja from office.

There is no doubt that the ugly development was enabled by the political crisis that began last year when Tandja, through a referendum, extended his tenure in office indefinitely, beyond its December 2009 limit.

In fact, many people saw the coup coming because President Tandja had done everything to subvert the will of his people. And that explains why some have said that he got exactly what he deserved as it is popularly said that whoever makes peaceful change impossible, makes violent change inevitable.

Towards the expiration of his tenure, Tandja manipulated the legislature to amend the Constitution to accommodate a third term for him. He cracked down viciously on all opposition in the country and dissolved the parliament when he was not having his way with its members.

Indeed, he was operating as a maximum ruler. All entreaties by sub-regional groups, especially the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that sent several delegations to him, fell on deaf ears, until that fateful day when soldiers, led by Maj Salou Djibo, shot into the Presidential Palace and took Tandja and members of his cabinet captive, dissolved all democratic institutions and suspended the Constitution.

Though, the newly installed junta, which calls itself the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy, has promised to return the country to democracy, a military occupation of Niger Republic should not be the case at this point in the history of that country.

Sadly, the situation in Niger is a sobering reminder of the precarious state of democracy in a region all-too-familiar with the replacement of civilian presidents by military regimes.

For instance, the president and head of the army in Guinea-Bissau, was assassinated about a year ago, and the country is barely back on track towards civilian leadership with a transitional government comprised of both political and military figures.

Mauritania recently had a taste of this bitter pill and has struggled to regain its legitimacy after two coups in three years executed by the same military officers.

Now, if you should add the ongoing leadership crisis in Nigeria, the rising tension in Ivory Coast ahead of elections now five times postponed, and the slow and unsteady progress towards post-conflict reconciliation in Sierra Leone and Liberia, the picture is clearly that of a sub region acutely deficient in good governance and strong democratic institutions.

The Nigerien coup, the third in 18 months in West Africa alone, cannot be of any good to the people of the landlocked nation, most of who live on less than $700 a year.

Niger’s GDP growth rate is said to be just over three per cent per year with its population growth rate placed at about three and a half per cent per year.

The country remains handicapped by its landlocked position, desert terrain, poor education, poverty of its people, lack of infrastructure, poor health care, and environmental degradation.

In the 50 years since its independence, there have been three coups d’├ętat, and the army has governed in place of elected leaders for 20 of those 50 years, with practically nothing to show to the nation of about 15 million people for their interventions.

Therefore, not many are taking seriously, the senior Nigerien officers, who, following serious condemnation of their act, protested that the army has no interest in politics.

Everything possible must, thus, be done by both the African Union (AU) and ECOWAS to make the Presidential Palace in Niamey uncomfortable for the coup plotters.

We totally condemn the takeover of power and support the immediate conduct of free and fair elections and handover to a democratically elected civilian government.

While we support all efforts being made in this direction, we must quickly note that the development in Niger should serve a note of warning to all leaders in the sub-region and, indeed, the continent, to desist from all acts of sit-tightism as they will only be creating an environment conducive for anarchy.

Military rule is unconstitutional and not fashionable anywhere in the world. And although the people of Niger may have celebrated the latest development as some of them were said to have hit the streets in wild jubilation on getting the news, it is instructive to note that what was being demonstrated on the streets of Niamey, the Nigerien capital, was basically the removal of Tandja. That should not mean endorsement for another un-democratic regime.

Tandja must be held responsible for this affront on democracy, and we recommend that he be tried for crimes against humanity for atrocities committed while trying to suppress the opposition, as such action will serve as deterrent to other leaders with similar plans.

While we urge the people of Niger to continue to defend democracy, regional bodies must put in place stronger measures to combat such unconstitutional change of governments.

Source: www.champion.com.ng

Danjuma’s $500m largesse





The recent confession by former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General T. Y. Danjuma, of how he made a whopping $500million profit from an oil bloc the former Military Head of State, General Sani Abacha, awarded to him, has, among others, revealed how the nation’s commonwealth is being shared by a few privileged Nigerians, most of who do not know what to do with their share of the largesse.

Danjuma brought the matter to public knowledge when, at a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) consultative meeting with the theme: “Contributing to Philanthropy in Nigeria,” he explained his resolve to donate $100million out of his huge profit to float a foundation he named T. Y Danjuma Foundation, through which he intends to help the needy in the Nigerian society.

He said the grants from the foundation, which would be channeled to agencies and governments at all levels through NGOs across the country, would be deployed to help in at least three critical sectors of the nation’s economy, which he identified as “festering inadequate healthcare facilities, low quality education and extreme poverty.”
He explained that he decided to set up the foundation and to reach out to the needy because he realized he has become so rich and did not know what to do with the $500million.

Besides, he also realized that his fabulous wealth may cause quarrels among his children and family members when he dies. As he reportedly puts it: “At my age, I am 72 years now, what will I be doing with such money, $500million? … If I put it in the bank, these people will steal it and I don’t want my children to start fighting over money when I die, so I decided to commit 100 million dollars of the money to philanthropic activities that will help lift Nigerian society.”    

Noble as his action appears, there is no doubting the fact that the story of how he got the oil bloc on a platter of gold, how he sold it off to   organizations that have the competence to exploit it and how in the process, he pocketed a mind-boggling profit,  is at the very root of the problems of Nigeria.

What qualified  General Danjuma, who, as a soldier, had lived off Nigeria most of his life, for being specially awarded oil blocs, apparently at little or no cost to him,  by the then Head of State? Is it not one of the clear examples of the evils of military rule in Nigeria, an unfair system, where one man, in the guise of exercising power as Head of State and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, arrogates to himself the right to share off the commonwealth of over 150 million people to his personal friends and cronies?

This, of course, is how a few individuals close to the corridors of power, suddenly emerge multi-billionaires at the expense of the state and the common citizens, most of who do not know where the next meal would come from.

We roundly condemn the practice of giving away the people’s commonwealth to a handful of individuals for little or nothing and maintain that when this is done, both the state and the people become ultimate losers. Take the case of Danjuma, for example, while he may be rejoicing that he made $500million personal profit from the oil bloc deal, apparently because he got it for next to nothing, experts are of the view that he grossly under valued the bloc and so, sold it at the give away price of $1 billion. This means that in that oil bloc deal between Abacha and Danjuma, and between Danjuma and the ultimate buyers, the nation and her people have been grossly ripped off.  

This kind of official impunity, generally exhibited by past military leaders was transferred to the last civilian government in the form of import waivers. We condemn totally all these forms of abuse of power and suggest that thorough investigations should be carried out to unearth the details of such unwholesome and unfair diversion of the commonwealth to private pockets.

We believe that if the right thing had been done at the onset, the current proceeds from the oil bloc would have been of greater benefit to much more Nigerians, including the suffering people of the Niger Delta region and other parts of the country than what Danjuma is willing to give out as philanthropy to those impoverished by deals such as that which netted him $500 million.

This is why not many people seem to be impressed by the $100million philanthropic gesture because, in the first instance, the money should actually belong to the same common Nigerians, who are now being presented as beneficiaries who should dance and sing songs of appreciation. Also, given that this particular oil bloc deal is just one of the several juicy deals Danjuma and other bigwigs like him may have benefited from in such manner, he is expected to do much more than he is presently doing in order to level up with the exploited masses of Nigeria, most of who still lack basics like food and shelter.
This is however not to detract from the inherent nobility of Danjuma’s decision to confess and return a little of the people’s wealth unfairly put in his pocket by various past leaders.

Also, taking cognizance of the fact that Danjuma is certainly not the only citizen who has been so favored by various governments, we call on these individuals to please come out and also return part of the commonwealth in their possession for the benefit of the masses and by extension, for their own benefit, because it is the widespread poverty engendered by such situations that lead to increase in the crime rate, which affects both the rich and the poor alike.

Pfizer and Kano’s Trovan victims



Though the recent call by pharmaceuticals company, Pfizer on anyone with proof of participation in its 1996 Trovafloxacin Mesylate (Trovan) test in Kano, to come forward for a claim of USD175, 000 per person (about N26m each), is a welcome development,  the amount is mere pittance when compared to the criminal damage Pfizer did to the victims of their test in  Kano state.

About 200 people in the state took part in the test, which resulted in the death of 11 patients and permanent incapacitation of others.
Pfizer, towards effecting the out-of-court settlement reached, says claimants must come forward with proof of death or permanent incapacitation before they could be compensated. In fact, Pfizer has demanded a Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) report as a pre-condition for beneficiaries to draw down on the $75 million judgment money against it.

Pfizer apparently is insisting on this position considering that the trust fund set up by it, in conjunction with the state government to administer compensation to those affected, has received over 600 applications from Kano citizens, all of who claim they took part in the test and ought to be compensated.

Fortunately, Pfizer claims to be in possession of files and documents containing medical records and photographs of those who took part in the test, saying the tests by doctors to determine the real patients will be at no cost to those who come to make claims.

Breakdown of the settlement requires Pfizer to pay $10 million in legal fees, $30 million to the Kano state government and $35 million to the families of children who were drafted into the trial. The settlement also includes a provision that Pfizer rebuilds Kano’s Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), where the trial took place.

All that apart, what makes the Kano incident very curious is that the test was carried out even when animal testing had indicated that Trovan might cause significant side effects in children such as joint disease, abnormal cartilage growth, a disease resulting in bone deformation and liver damage.

In fact, the drug, which is said to belong to a powerful class of antibiotics called quinolones, in early-stage testing, had caused liver and joint damage in young rats and dogs, which should have ruled out testing in children.

That, apparently, did not matter to Pfizer, which cashed in on the outbreak of meningitis, measles and cholera in Kano, which claimed thousands of lives, to  dispatch its medical team to establish a treatment centre in the state’s IDH.

Otherwise, how come that while other humanitarian organizations such as Medecins Sans Frontieres (“MSF”), also known as Doctors Without Borders, that were in Kano’s IDH in respect of the outbreak, offered the sick safe and effective treatments for bacterial meningitis, Pfizer could only embark on a medical experiment involving the “new, untested and unproven” antibiotic, Trovan?
What happened in Kano in 1996, resulting in many children dying or being deformed through application of the Trovan test drugs, should never have happened and should serve as a big lesson to all other pharmaceutical companies in the world.

It obviously brings to the fore the need for them to conform to ethics in the testing of their new drugs and vaccines. It should also serve as a call on our local pharmaceutical companies to live up to the challenge of research and development of indigenous drugs.
The crisis, no doubt, must have been a 13-year public relations nightmare and a costly legal headache for Pfizer, but it is criminal that in its haste to test Trovan, Pfizer drafted the 200 children into its clinical trial without parental consent, and intentionally low-dosed its control drug to boost the Trovan profile, same way it falsified ethics approval forms.

And this can only happen in Nigeria. Before Pfizer’s 1996 trial, oral Trovan had never been tested for efficacy in children, in part because of concerns over its side effects. So how come nobody thought of, or even cared about these consequences before using them on Nigerian children? 

Where were our own government and hospital officials when Pfizer was conducting the unethical and unprofessional experiments?

Both the Kano and Federal Governments should, as a matter of fact, share in the blame for the pains the drug test must have caused the victims and their families. Rather than sharing in the $75m settlement, these governments should instead be co-accused for standing by and watching while these children were being used as guinea pigs. Everything Pfizer has to offer should go directly to the victims and their families.

 While we support every effort by the company to ensure that only genuine victims benefit from the compensation package, we insist that the amount offered by Pfizer is peanuts when compared to the damage done, because elsewhere, more stringent action would have been taken against company, which explains why some people are not happy that the case was settled out of court, as many issues would have been unearthed had it been allowed to run its full circle in the court.

Is this cabal more powerful than Nigeria?

The intrigues of a handful of presidential aides over President Umaru Yar’Adua’s illness have become too dangerous to condone any longer. With the connivance of elements within the army, the clique deployed troops on Wednesday last week in Abuja as they smuggled the ailing President home under the cover of darkness.

Completely ignoring the person and office of the Acting President and Commander-in-Chief, the clique deployed soldiers from the Brigade of Guards in the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, where in something close to a coup manoeuvre, they switched off the power supply, transferred the ailing President from an air ambulance to a waiting land ambulance, and took him in a long convoy along a route lined with armed sentries to the presidential villa.

Executed entirely under the cover of darkness, it amounted to the most brazen security breach in the nation since the return to civilian rule in May 1999. Some knowledgeable commentators have already likened it to a coup or, at best, a dress rehearsal for one. It is alarming that troops could be deployed for any purpose in any part of the country, much less in the federal capital, without the knowledge of the Acting President and top defence chiefs. Even the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Paul Dike, was reportedly kept in the dark about the troop movement.

Since the President’s long-standing ailment took a turn for the worse, necessitating his controversial evacuation to Saudi Arabia on November 23, last year, some presidential aides, allegedly supported by the President’s wife, Turai Yar’Adua, have used his predicament to deny access to him and used his name to promote their own private interests. In the process, they have heated up the polity, created a constitutional dilemma, promoted divisions and threatened democracy.

The troop deployment is one intrigue too many. This dangerous clique of power mongers and insubordinate security officials should be stopped forthwith. Who authorised the Brigade of Guards commander, Brig. Gen. Abdul Mustapha, to seize Abuja airport and the villa? What role did the Army Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Abdurahman Dambazzau, play? If Mustapha did not inform him before the exercise, what action did he take? If he did nothing, then he has lost grip of the army and should be shoved aside promptly.

If, as is widely believed, he was privy to the conspiracy, then he is unfit to continue as COAS. Jonathan should sack him if investigations reveal that he connived in the treasonable act. The argument that the guards have some autonomy in their professional task of protecting the President and his family is self-serving and untenable.

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan should not treat this grave security breach with levity or with his usual can’t-hurt-a-fly approach. There are indications that an investigation is under way. All the officials who conspired to smuggle the President into the country without the Acting President’s knowledge should be brought to book. Those still holding ministerial offices should be sacked. There is no point being C-in-C if troops can be deployed with no reference to him or the CDS.

It is tempting to say Jonathan is not safe until those who deployed troops illegally are punished and flushed out of the military. The ensuing investigation should also unearth the role of the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Sarki Mukhtar(rtd). It has become obvious that the re-professionalisation programme of the armed forces begun in 1999 has suffered a setback. All the efforts made in the last 11 years to insulate the military from politics are being eroded by the unscrupulous clique that is manipulating the President’s unfortunate situation. The clique is reducing the President to a sectional leader and seeking to suck some senior military officers into its deadly gamble.

The officials privy to the Wednesday infamy — Col Mustapha Onoyvieta, the Aide-de-Camp; Yusuf Tilde, the Chief Security Officer; and Mustapha of the Guards Brigade — all report to various security agencies. Their various bosses, those who have not compromised their positions, should query them or replace them forthwith.

Dike should also, on his part, demand an explanation from Dambazzau for the Abuja insubordination and recommend appropriate punitive action to the Acting President.
The Acting President should also order officials to stop telling lies about the President. For three months and more, aides and ministers have lied shamelessly about his health and embarrassed the nation before the international community. Who, for instance, is giving Segun Adeniyi, the President’s Special Adviser on Media, the instructions to dish out the statements and comments he makes from time to time since he has also admitted to not seeing his boss?

Nigerians will not forget also that it is the refusal of the Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly to do their patriotic duty by invoking relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution to deal with the cabal’s shenanigans since November last year that has brought the country to this pass and emboldened the clique to more brazen actions.

It is commendable that the Acting President has sought to douse the heat unnecessarily foisted on the nation by the power-mongers, using the physically-incapacitated Yar’Adua, by empanelling a 26-member broad-based advisory board of eminent persons. Such moves are welcome as the nation rallies to confront the rascals toying with our collective destiny.

FEC has run out of excuses to avoid invoking Section 144 of the Constitution that empowers it to declare the President incapable of continuing to govern on account of his health. But it is not too late for the Council to free itself from a cabal that has so far prevented it from performing its role under the Constitution. Apart from dirty politics and sentiments, a President who had to be returned secretly in an ambulance after three months of intensive care abroad is surely unfit to remain in office.

Source: www.punchng.com

Mayhem in Edo Assembly


Adams Oshiomole, Edo State Governor, Nigeria


LAST week, members of the Edo State House of Assembly re-enacted the kind of disreputable conduct that had been so regularly acted out in other legislatures in the country. The Speaker at the time, Hon. Zakawanu Garuba, turned his gavel into a weapon, hitting the head and hands of another lawmaker. A legislator whipped out a teargas canister and sprayed some of his colleagues, with intent to suffocate them. Even more horrifying, another legislator emerged with an axe from his dress and split open the head of a fellow lawmaker.

The immediate cause of the mayhem was the attempt by some lawmakers to impeach Garuba as Speaker. To forestall the plan, Garuba hurriedly adjourned the plenary. His approach was to prevent a member whom he suspected would move the motion for his (Speaker's) ouster. Thereafter, commotion ensued, resulting in a bloodbath.

There can be no justification for honourable members of the legislature behaving like thugs. No matter how heated a debate might be; no matter how provocative a motion might be, lawmakers ought to be able to keep their anger in check. To suddenly lose their cool, and then resort to the use of dangerous weapons inside the otherwise hallowed chambers of the House, is to impugn their own integrity and lower their esteem in the eyes of the public.

Ordinarily, the choice of the principal officers of a legislature is the internal affair of the members. There are no compelling reasons to alter that principle. In exercising their prerogative, the legislators may opt to retain or to remove even their leaders, a fact which has been played out on several occasions in various state legislatures and the National Assembly. Often, though, it boils down to a game of numbers involving the protagonists and antagonists of the targeted officer for impeachment.

Garuba who was Speaker when all hell broke loose in the Edo House last week is a veteran of the somewhat routine but usually charged replacement of the Speaker. He was in the House of Assembly from 2003 to 2007. During that period, he witnessed the ouster of Friday Itulah as Speaker. He was also in the House when, in February 2006, there was another revenge ouster against David Iyoha, who was dropped and Itulah reinstated. In both instances, it was the result of the internal contradictions within the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), which held an unassailable majority in the House at the time.

Today, the composition of the Edo House is different. The PDP and the Action Congress (AC) each has 12 seats in the 24-member legislature. When he was elected Speaker in June 2007, Garuba's PDP had a majority of seats (16-8) from the flawed elections two months earlier. Just as Comrade Adams Oshiomhole (AC) judicially ousted Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor (PDP) to become Governor, over time, the election petition tribunal and the Court of Appeal had reversed the fortunes of the PDP in the Edo House. Last month, in a by-election, the AC trounced the PDP, thus making even the membership of the House.

Every discernible observer could foresee the crisis which engulfed the Edo House last week. Only a few days before, reports were rife about the AC reaching out to some PDP legislators to cross-carpet. The intention being to gain a majority and then assume the Speakership with the least constraint. Zakawanu Garuba, the then Speaker, retorted with a fiat, threatening to declare vacant the seat of any defector. This in spite of the constitutional support for such action, as evidenced, for example, by the crisis that has torn the PDP apart in Edo State. The party has two factional chairmen in the state, even though one is more vociferous.

The desperate attempt by Garuba to cling to the Speaker's chair is condemnable. He was not being recalled from the legislature; and so, he still has his seat as a floor member. As Speaker, he was only first among equals. The Speakership is not his birthright. With the defection of one PDP lawmaker to the AC, the legislature reconvened hours after the bloodbath and elected a protem Speaker, while impeaching and suspending Garuba and a few others. They are to be probed.

We do not expect calm to return so soon. In fact, a clash between supporters of the AC and the PDP was averted by the security agencies, the day after the squabble inside the chamber. But it is unacceptable that the police shut the gates to the Assembly. Save in so far as it was to prevent any breach of the peace, the police must recognise and respect the doctrine of separation of powers. The police cannot shut the lawmakers from their offices and their chamber. What the police should do is to provide the enabling environment for the Assembly to meet. Otherwise, by shutting the Assembly, the police would inadvertently be empowering a few thugs whose aim is to disrupt proceedings of the House.

The security agencies must be vigilant and firm while tempers run high. Only a few days ago, an explosive device, which the police said was capable of causing maximum damage within a radius of at least 250 metres, was discovered beside the perimeter wall of the Assembly complex. It is a frightening development that is bound to escalate the tensions in the House. Already, while the House has elected Hon. Bright Omokhodion as its substantive Speaker, a faction of the PDP has rejected the choice, insisting that Garuba remained the Speaker.

A parallel legislative leadership certainly bodes ill for the state. Ultimately, the tension in the House can be mediated by persons who can exercise moral authority over the lawless lawmakers. We urge their intercession, and let the House resume its regular business on the basis of its preferred leadership.

Nigerian-born Twins Set British Record

Nigerian-born nine-year-old twins yesterday became the youngest pupils to be admitted to a secondary school in Britain, timesonline.co.uk has reported.

Paula and Peter Imafidon had already broken world records when they passed A/AS-level mathematics papers at the age of 7. Yesterday, the twins joined hundreds of thousands of other families across the country to find out which secondary school they would attend, despite being two years younger than most of their counterparts.

Peter and Paula, from Waltham Forest, northeast London, attend a normal State primary school but have received provisional offers from more than 12 leading secondary schools.
The so-called “wonder twins”, who come from a family of high achievers, set two world records when they passed A/AS-level maths papers. They became the youngest candidates to pass A-level maths and were also the youngest school pupils to do so, as the previous record holders had been taught at home, the website reported.

A year later they took and passed the University of Cambridge’s Advanced Mathematics (FAM) paper, becoming the youngest students to pass the rigorous examinations.
Chris Imafidon, their father, said that the twins would cope well with secondary school despite their age. “We’re delighted with the progress they have made,” he said. “Because they are twins they are always able to help and support each other.”

Peter and Paula’s sister Samantha, 12, passed her maths and statistics GSCEs at the age of 6, as did the twins. Their eldest sister, Anne-Marie, 20, holds the world record for being the youngest girl to pass A-level computing, at 13. She received a government scholarship to study at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Another sister, Christiana, 17, was the youngest schoolgirl to study at undergraduate level in any British university, at the age of 11.

Mr Imafidon said that all of the children had taken part in the Excellence in Education programme, which helps disadvantaged families, and their achievements were due to being nurtured rather than natural "genius".
“Every child is a genius. Once you identify the talent of a child and put them in the environment that will nurture that talent then the sky is the limit," he said.

Peter has ambitions to become Prime Minister of UK while his sister wants to be a maths teacher. Mr Imafidon said he was confident that they would achieve their goals.

PDP bars Goodluck Jonathan From Running in 2011





After a crucial meeting in Abuja yesterday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)announced that power must remain in the North till 2015, effectively barring Acting President Goodluck Jonathan from the 2011 presidential poll.

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has, meanwhile, canvassed that the general election should hold in January next year and not November 2010 as being proposed by the National Assembly.

Competent sources have also dismissed the notion that the Executive Council of the Federation (EXCOF) will at its weekly meeting today declare ailing President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua incapable of continuing to discharge official functions and move for his removal.

Although Jonathan has barely settled into the office of Acting President, the PDP appears bent on sending a strong message in the event he decides to gun for the No. 1 position next year.

PDP National Chairman Prince Vincent Ogbulafor said the decision was in line with the party's power rotation arrangement.

"We felt that the zoning of the presidency of the party as enshrined in the party’s constitution should be maintained and therefore the zoning arrangement in the constitution should hold for the next four years," said Ogbulafor, who led all members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to the meeting at the Kwara State Governor’s lodge.

“The South has had it for eight years and therefore the North should also hold it for eight years so that we take care of the restiveness in the nation," he added.
The party chairman refused to divulge further details.

The PDP NWC members in attendance were the national secretary, national deputy chairman, national organising secretary, deputy national secretary, national publicity secretary and the national organising secretary and the national legal adviser.
All PDP governors were present with the exception of Ekiti chief executive.

The 36 state governors later met with Jonathan last night at his Aguda House residence and pledged their support to him.
Chairman of the governors forum and Kwara State Governor Bukola Saraki said the decision of the governors was to ensure that they provided good leadership at this crucial stage of the nation’s development.

“We congratulated the Acting President [at the Aguda House meeting] for stabilising the polity of the country at the moment. We encouraged him and said he is doing a good job and that he has the full support of the Governors Forum in this exercise.

We agreed to have regular consultations during this period among the Forum. He also educated us on a number of issues, for example on the Presidential Advisory Council that was set up, the reason behind it and other things," he said.

In the communique after its earlier meeting, the forum proposed that the 2011 general election should hold 120 days to the expiration of this administration's tenure on May 29, not 180 days as being proposed by the National Assembly in its current efforts to amend the constitution.

The current provisions in the constitition and Electoral Act stipulate that elections should hold not earlier than 60 days and not later than 30 days to tenure expiration.

The proposed amendments are meant to give room for election litigations to be exhausted before swearing-in.

The governors' forum agreed to set up a seven-man committee to be headed by Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam, with other members being the governors of Borno, Edo, Enugu, Rivers, Katsina and Ondo, to consult with the National Assembly on the on-going constitutional  amendment for harmonisation.

The governors called on all Nigerians to "continue to support the Acting President and pray for the speedy recovery of Mr. President as he recuperates".

It expressed support for the political decision on the Acting President by the National Assembly and said the presence of President in the Country does not change the previous resolutions passed by the National Assembly.

It has also emerged that the Yayale Ahmed-led six-man ministerial committee which travelled to Saudi Arabia last week and returned without meeting the President will today submit a report that will only touch on the team's courtesy visit to the palace of the Saudi king.

Discussing the health of the President and declaring him "incapable" today in accordance with Section 144 of the constitution "is very unlikely", according to a minister.

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David A. Paterson is not running for Office




Gov. David A. Paterson ended his campaign for election on Friday, February 26, 2010 amid crumbling support from his party and an uproar over his administration’s intervention in a domestic violence case involving a close aide.

The announcement came less than a week after Mr. Paterson formally announced his candidacy. The governor acknowledged that the episode involving his longtime aide David W. Johnson had become a distraction, but he vowed to serve out the remaining 308 days of his term and remain focused on his work.

“There are times in politics when you have to know not to strive for service, but to step back, and that moment has come for me,” Mr. Paterson told a room full of reporters in an afternoon news conference.

In the most dramatic moment, the governor raised his right hand and offered what he called a “personal oath,” stressing that he had not abused his power in his response to the domestic violence case.

List of Governors and Lt. Governors of New York

Flag of New York


#
Name
Took office
Left office
Party
Terms
1
July 30, 1777
July 1, 1795
6
2
July 1, 1795
July 1, 1801
2
1
July 1, 1801
July 1, 1804
Democratic-Republican
1
3
July 1, 1804
July 1, 1807
Democratic-Republican
1
4
July 1, 1807
February 24, 1817
Democratic-Republican
John Tayler (Acting)
5
John Tayler
(Acting)
February 24, 1817
July 1, 1817
Democratic-Republican
½
6
July 1, 1817
December 31, 1822
Democratic-Republican
2
7
January 1, 1823
December 31, 1824
Democratic-Republican
1
6
January 1, 1825
February 11, 1828
8
February 11, 1828
December 31, 1828
Democratic-Republican
½
Charles Dayan (Acting)
9
January 1, 1829
March 5, 1829
½
10
March 5, 1829
December 31, 1832
Jacksonian Democratic
11
January 1, 1833
December 31, 1838
3
12
January 1, 1839
December 31, 1842
2
13
January 1, 1843
December 31, 1844
Democratic
1
14
January 1, 1845
December 31, 1846
Democratic
1
15
January 1, 1847
December 31, 1848
Whig
1
Albert Lester (Acting)
16
January 1, 1849
December 31, 1850
Whig
1
17
January 1, 1851
December 31, 1852
Whig
1
18
January 1, 1853
December 31, 1854
Democratic
1
19
January 1, 1855
December 31, 1856
Whig (fusion)
1
20
January 1, 1857
December 31, 1858
1
21
January 1, 1859
December 31, 1862
Republican
2
18
January 1, 1863
December 31, 1864
Democratic
1
22
January 1, 1865
December 31, 1868
2
23
January 1, 1869
December 31, 1872
Democratic
2
24
January 1, 1873
December 31, 1874
Republican
1
25
January 1, 1875
December 31, 1876
Democratic
1
26
January 1, 1877
December 31, 1879
Democratic
1
27
January 1, 1880
December 31, 1882
Republican
1
28
January 1, 1883
January 6, 1885
Democratic
½
29
January 6, 1885
December 31, 1891
Democratic
30
January 1, 1892
December 31, 1894
Democratic
1
31
January 1, 1895
December 31, 1896
Republican
1
32
January 1, 1897
December 31, 1898
Republican
1
33
January 1, 1899
December 31, 1900
Republican
1
34
January 1, 1901
December 31, 1904
Republican
2
35
January 1, 1905
December 31, 1906
Republican
1
John Raines (Acting)
36
January 1, 1907
October 6, 1910
Republican
37
October 6, 1910
December 31, 1910
Republican
½
38
January 1, 1911
December 31, 1912
Democratic
1
39
January 1, 1913
October 17, 1913
Democratic
½
40
October 17, 1913
December 31, 1914
Democratic
½
41
January 1, 1915
December 31, 1918
Republican
2
42
January 1, 1919
December 31, 1920
Democratic
1
43
January 1, 1921
December 31, 1922
Republican
1
42
January 1, 1923
December 31, 1928
Democratic
3
44
January 1, 1929
December 31, 1932
Democratic
2
45
January 1, 1933
December 3, 1942
Democratic
46
December 3, 1942
December 31, 1942
Democratic
Joe R. Hanley (Acting)
½
47
January 1, 1943
December 31, 1954
Republican
3
48
January 1, 1955
December 31, 1958
Democratic
1
49
January 1, 1959
December 18, 1973
Republican
50
December 18, 1973
December 31, 1974
Republican
½
51
January 1, 1975
December 31, 1982
Democratic
2
52
January 1, 1983
December 31, 1994
Democratic
3
53
January 1, 1995
December 31, 2006
Republican
3
54
January 1, 2007
March 17, 2008
Democratic
½
55
March 17, 2008
Incumbent
Democratic
Joseph Bruno (Acting)
½
Dean Skelos (Acting)
Malcolm Smith (Acting)
Pedro Espada (Acting)
Richard Ravitch (Contested)
Malcolm Smith (Acting)


 
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