Nigeria Senate to debate former governor of Zamfara State, Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima's marriage to Egyptian minor

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima

Written by Jackson Udom

There are strong indications that the Senate will on resumption from the Easter break debate the recent marriage of Senator Sanni Yerima to a 13-year-old girl from Egypt.

Speaking with Sunday Tribune on condition of anonymity, a source at the Senate disclosed that  “the upper legislative body will soon deliberate on the marriage recently contracted between Yerima, a former governor of Zamfara State and  serving Senator to an underage girl from Egypt.

“The development is very very wrong and lacks any sign of morality. It is a clear case of child abuse which we have been fighting against. It is illegal and should be condemned by well meaning and right thinking Nigerians,” the highly influential Senator declared.

The lawmaker noted that “the law of the land frowns at this kind of marriage which is a clear case of child abuse. It is embarrassing to the Senate and indeed the National Assembly and that is why the issue would be tabled before the Senate and decision will be taken.”

Condemning the marriage, the federal lawmaker stated that, “the development becomes more embarrassing considering the calibre of the Senator involved, who should know better  as a former state chief executive and a serving lawmaker.”

Former governor of Zamfara State and a serving Senator, Alhaji Sani Yerima, few weeks ago got married to a 13-year-old girl from Egypt.

Sunday Tribune reliably gathered that the marriage ceremony between the senator and the  minor was not allowed to take place in Egypt because of an existing law which bars minors from getting married, hence, the ceremony was shifted to Nigeria.

In 2003, the National Assembly passed a law on child rights which supercedes the provisions under the Sharia legal code. The law clearly forbids marrying girls under the age of 18.

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Why I'm Running In 2011, By Former Military President, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida IBB

General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida

From: Saxone Akhaine, Kaduna

FORMER Military President, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida has said he is sure of securing the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) towards the 2011 presidential election.

Babangida, who recently confirmed his aspiration in Benin City, on his way to a memorial lecture for his late wife, Maryam in Delta State, spoke yesterday with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa Service, monitored in Kaduna. He faulted critics of his administration and those who blamed his introduction of the Structural Adjustment Policy (SAP), insisting that the policy is still relevant today. According to hi, two decades and four years after leaving office, SAP is still a relevant economic policy.

He said: "Today, we are talking of exactly 24 years, but SAP has not change, they keep on modifying it. If the economy was ruined, by now, we would have been history. The Nigerian economy was not ruined.

"I want you to know that if you read all the books on the economy of Nigeria, you will find out that from 1960 to 1995, Nigeria made far reaching progress. I left office in 1993. You should be asking what have those who came after us done."

On whether he would realise his aspiration in the PDP, which has other contestants, which may include Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, IBB said: "I am in PDP. By the grace of God, we have 51 other political parties, so, there are several platforms. Before an election, there are procedures within a party to produce a flag-bearer. The party will follow such procedures to produce a candidate. Anything, that God wants me to do, to help this country, I will do it. If I am given the chance, I will know what to do and by the grace of God, I will do it. Nigeria is a country of 150 million people and any of this 150 million people can be president."

On who his godfathers are, IBB said the Nigerian masses, whom he worked for and who saw what he did, will be his godfathers.

Reminded that the masses were the ones who voted on June 12 1993, which he annulled, IBB said: "But what you should take into consideration is that there has never been an election like that before. That election convinced not only Nigerians, but even the international community that it is possible to conduct free and fair elections in Nigeria."

On why he annulled it, he said, "I have said this over and over again that I was the head of government and I take responsibility for it. As a leader, it is not proper to say this person did this."

On his botched 2007 presidential ambition, he said, "I gave my reasons for not contesting in 2007 and it was published in many newspapers in the country. Therefore, Nigerians know my reasons for not contesting at that time. But now, Alhamdudillahi, things have changed. Don't forget we are talking of helping the country. What we are talking about is something that happened some 16 years ago. We should be thinking of what we can do to make progress. God in His infinite mercy gave me the leadership of this country for eight years. Remember, the Nigerian people have not changed, and since they have not change, we are in a position to tell them that we can do it again."

On speculations that he is prodded by the United States to join the race, the former leader said that is not possible, since it is not the Americans that would do the voting.

On allegations of corruption and the N12 billion oil wind fall that was allegedly embezzled during his regime, Babangida said whatever happened during his government could not be compared to what is happening now. He said: "If you compare what is happening now with what happened during my administration, you will commend me. I sacked a governor for embezzling N300, 000 during my regime, but now, what do you see? During our time we were not enmeshed in this kind of things we see today.


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General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB):Younger Generation Can’t Rule Nigeria

General Ibrahim Badamasi  Babangida
From Reuben Buhari

Former military president and presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), General Ibrahim Badamasi  Babangida, yesterday said he was planning a come-back to office because of the non-availability of capable younger people who can  steer the ship of state.
Speaking to the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) monitored in Kaduna, Babangida said: “Because we have seen signs that they are not capable of leading this country and so we feel we should help them.  May be they are not given the proper education that is why.  I have spent 17 years since I left office.

“But a country like Nigeria cannot be ruled by people without experience. People like the (President Barack) Obama that you are speaking about have the experience. He started from the state House of Assembly to the House of Represen-tatives and to the Senate. If our youths are like this, we will say they have the requisite experience. But we have not reached that level. Honestly, it is our wish that God will bring the younger people that will take over from us if they are available.”

Babangida, who answered questions from the BBC on almost every aspect of his administration during his eight years in office, said he was seeking a return to the Presidency, if elected next year, to contribute his quota in taking the country to the next level.
The former military President in the 15 minutes interview also absolved his eight year tenure of promoting corruption. He said the level of corruption in the country today is a far cry from what was witnessed during his time.

Asked what was attracting him to run for the office of president this time around when he declined to run in 2007, Babangida said, “I gave my reasons for not contesting in 2007 and it was published in many newspapers in the country. Therefore, Nigerians know my reasons for not contesting at that time. But now, Alhamdudillahi, things have changed.
“My position as a Nigerian. Anything that God wants me to do to help this country, I will do it. If I am given the chance, I will know what to do and by the grace of God, I will do it. Nigeria is a country of 150 million people and any of this 150 million people can be president.

Babangida told the BBC that his godfather in Nigeria was the masses when he was reminded by the BBC that the June 12, 1993 election was made possible by the masses but he still went ahead to annul it.
He then said: “But what you should take into consideration is that there has never been an election like that before. That election convinced not only Nigerians, but even the international community that it is possible to conduct free and fair elections in Nigeria,” he said adding that as head of the government at that time he takes responsibility for annulling the election.
The following is the full text of the interview:

You wanted to contest for the Presidency in 2007, but at the end of the day you didn’t submit your papers, how can you assure Nigerians that this time around, you will contest?
I gave my reasons for not contesting in 2007 and it was published in many newspapers in the country. Therefore, Nigerians know my reasons for not contesting at that time. But now, Alhamdudillahi, things have changed.

Don’t forget we are talking of helping the country. What we are talking about, is something that happened some 16 years ago. We should be thinking of what we can do to make progress.
Nigeria is facing a lot of problems, if by the grace of God; you become the president again, what are these new things you never did in the past that you will want to employ in tackling these problems.
God in His infinite mercy gave me the leadership of this country for 8 years…. Remember the Nigerian people have not changed, and since they have not changed, we are in a position to tell them that we can do it again.

There are speculations that the United States of America (USA) wants you to contest for the presidency. What do you have to say about this? 
How can that be possible since it is not Americans that will vote? It is Nigerians that will vote. 
But America is an influential country in the world and it has its interests in Nigeria
Nigeria is an influential country too. If somebody wants something in Africa and he hears the voice of Nigeria, it is like he has heard the voice of Africa.
But they said the American Assistant Secretary of State paid you a visit.
Yes, he came to greet me. He is somebody I have known. He came to condole with me over the death of my wife. When we were in the hospital in America, he was coming to greet us…

The issue of the dwindling Nigerian economy is blamed on your administration. You invited former World Bank Economist in charge of Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), Prof. Joseph Tigris, who you used to ruin the nation’s economy. Why did you do that?
...Today, we are talking of exactly 24 years, but SAP has not changed, they keep on modifying it. If the economy was ruined, by now, we would have been history. The Nigerian economy was not ruined.
But they say Nigerians are going through serious hardship as a result of your economic policies.
I want you to know that if you read all the books on the economy of Nigeria, you will find out that from 1960 to 1995, Nigeria made far-reaching progress. I left office in 1993. You should be asking what have those who came after us done.

 Your administration was accused of massive corruption. If you become the president again, how would you address the problem of endemic corruption in Nigeria?
If you compare what is happening now with what happened during my administration, you will commend me. I sacked a governor for embezzling N300, 000 during my regime, but now, what do you see? During our time we were not enmeshed in this kind of things we see today.

During your time, there was this $12 billion made from the sales of oil. What happened to the money?
The $12 billion was the money realised from the sale of oil for 8 years. Let me repeat,  it was money made from the sales of oil in 8 years. It was money that we saved in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) within those 8 years. There was an additional $1.2 billion... So all they are saying about this money are lies. If you read the Okigbo report, you will see that the money was made in 8 years.

 But the Financial Times reporter who published the story was sent out of Nigeria because of the report. If it was not true, why was he sent away?
Frankly speaking, I can send the Okigbo report to you to read. I have been explaining this over and over. What I realised from oil in eight years is what somebody makes in one year.
You have been a major player in the leadership of this country for a longtime.

Don’t you think it is time to allow the younger generations take over from you the older ones as it happened in America and other parts of the world?
Honestly, it is our wish that God will bring the younger people that will take over from us if they are available. I was the one who introduced the politics of new breed in this country.
Why didn’t you step aside and give the younger generation a chance to lead since they are fresh and strong.
Because we have seen signs that they are not capable of leading this country and so we feel we should help them.  May be they are not given the proper education that is why.  I have spent 17 years since I left office. 
Haba! The younger generation is supposed to be in charge by now.

But a country like Nigeria cannot be ruled by people without experience. People like the Obama that you are speaking about have the experience. He started from the state House of Assembly to the House of Representatives and to the Senate. If our youths are like this, we will say they have the requisite experience. But we have not reached that level.
If by the grace of God, you become the president what new thing will you do which you did not do during your eight years in power.

Which are the mistakes you would want to correct?
The politicians are asking me what I forgot in  the Presidential Villa that I want to go and pick. When I left power, the naira was N22 to the dollar. Petrol was selling at 70 kobo per litre. So there are things that I did that will make me come back.
These things were not like that when you came to power. You were the one that devalued the naira.
How? During my time, the naira did not exceed N22 to the dollar. Now it is N150 per dollar.

 But how much was it before you came to power?
It was N4.5 to the dollar.
So you devalued the naira.
Some people destroyed the value of the naira…


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The Bumpy Road to 2011 by Dele Momodu

General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida

Pendulum By Dele Momodu

I don’t know if you noticed the uncanny coincidence. After playing so much hide-and-seek, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida eventually unveiled his mask last week, and found the voice to declare his much-touted Presidential ambition. Just like the case of his former best friend, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, IBB’s declaration came several months after the death of his glamorous wife, Maryam Ndidi Babangida. If you remember, Abiola’s sudden but earth-shaking declaration in 1993 came not long after the death of his influential wife, Ayinba Simbiat Atinuke Abiola. There were speculations then that Abiola was able to take such a monumental risk because the only woman who could hold him in check was no longer around to play her matronly role.

There must be some truth in the clairvoyant powers of women. Or how else can one explain the fact that the same Babangida who could not summon the courage when it was most needed in 2007 to take a critical decision has now become the pugilist who’s flexing muscles all over the place shortly after the sad death of his wife?  Women are able to way options better. Women don’t jump into risky ventures. It has taken nearly 20 years for the wounds of the annulment of June 12 election to heal. Maryam would probably have envisaged that the bitterness of June 12 won’t ever disappear. She would have seen the type of attacks that are flying from everywhere to Minna at this moment, and would have tried to prevent it. I’m not God but I know that IBB would require more than the dwindling skills of Maradona to make any headway with his political interests this time around.

The jamboree we saw in Maryam’s homestead of Asaba, Delta State, last week was in my view less than decent and sensitive. Here was a husband and father who was visiting his wife’s family, probably for the first time in God knows how many years, with their children and was captured in public campaigning away at what should have been a sorrowful occasion.

I could not believe that none of the retirees who accompanied IBB to Asaba could talk him out of the morbid dance. What was worse, his wife had just gone through the most excruciating pain of cancer, and lost her battle for life. If the case had been the other way round, Maryam would have been compelled by a chauvinistic society and tradition to observe a mourning period of complete abstinence for a minimum of one year. But men must be men in Africa. We are allowed to get away with anything while our women are subjected to cultural manipulations.

IBB could not wait long enough for Maryam to return to dust before diving into the murky pool of Nigerian politics. What is in this power that makes it such a consuming passion? His handlers too could never see anything wrong in a widower playing politics with the death of his wife. His in-laws also could not see any act of indecorum in rolling out the drums at an occasion that required absolute state of sober reflections. The soldiers of fortune were readily available to give credence to the perception that we are indeed the happiest people on earth. IBB wasted no opportunity in bagging another big title in Asaba for additional effects.

 The quintessential master of semantics had metamorphosed into a born-again activist as he raised his fist skywards like Fidel Castro, except that here was a different kind of revolutionary. He was at his eloquent best and the man who would be king left no one in doubt of his intentions this time around. He was surrounded by his ubiquitous friends, mostly Retired Army Generals, the first indication that we are in for the same old game, and that nothing would change if the unthinkable happens next year.

It was certain that we are in for another bumpy ride as the fateful year of 2011 draws closer. IBB’s men were already warming up for their triumphant return to our Jerusalem. It is often good to dream, but what I saw of IBB’s latest adventure is a nightmare. His boys were already heckling anyone who dared to suggest that IBB’s ambition will soon evaporate into thin air. The cheekiest of them all is my rambunctious brother Kazeem Afegbua who comes from my neck of woods in Edo State and challenged me to a popularity contest with IBB. What chicanery?

 Anyway, I’m ready to accept the wonderful challenge with every sense of humility and purpose. And wish to assure my brother that with the level of anger and frustration I see all over our despoiled land, I will defeat IBB in a free and fair contest, even if I can’t beat any other candidate. I’m convinced that Nigeria and Nigerians have moved beyond the backwardness of 1993. The time has come for us to begin to dismantle old and archaic myths. We must smash to smithereens the oppressive tendencies that only a group of people can rule in a country of about 150 million people. We must encourage the best of Nigeria that litter every part of the world to leave their comfort zones to participate at all levels in the onerous tasks of nation building.

We shall deal with relevant details elsewhere. It is pertinent to respond to the latest outburst from Mallam Adamu Ciroma, who went all out to canvass the unconvincing argument that only a Northerner must rule Nigeria in 2011 because of a gentleman’s agreement reached with the Obasanjo government on his departure in 2007. He even gave the impression that the North shot down the elongation plan of General Matthew Olusegun Okikiolakan Aremu Obasanjo, just as he studiously ignored the fact that most of his kinsmen in Yorubaland were virulently opposed to the misadventure.

 I really don’t care where the President of Nigeria comes from next year. The President must be a Nigerian citizen who enjoys wide appeal from most Nigerians after going through a transparent electoral process. Ciroma’s unacceptable assumption is that the ruling party, PDP, must win next year’s election when from all indications the party has an abysmal record of failure on all fronts. Nigeria cannot afford another four years of a party without a Manifesto and ideology, a party of warlords who have shown no concern for urgent developments in our country. Their attitude is that we have all the time in the world to build our nation. For all they care, we can reach our destination in the next millennium, not a big deal. But most Nigerians are now quite desperate than ever. We want a change, and it matters not who the harbinger of the good news is.

Nigerians have been too patient and lenient with the PDP. But that has now led to a state of hopelessness and despair. What then informed Ciroma’s confidence that Nigerians would accept any fabricated candidate the North offers next year against conventional wisdom that Nigerians are sick and tired of this vicious cycle? The poor and the rich are crying and consoling each other in an unprecedented show of solidarity these days. I know many Northerners who don’t share the views of our boss Ciroma.  They are embarrassed that the North has ruled for so long in the chequered history of Nigeria with nothing to show for it. They feel they fared better under the governments of Southerners.

 What of the zones that have never produced any of our Presidents whether military or civilian? What has the South gained from recycling a few of their people? Nothing but misery! Truth is always bitter, but it must always be told. Take a drive around Nigeria and what confronts you is the heart of darkness in the metaphorical sense of it. You are rattled by a leadership without ambition, a people who believe we don’t deserve the good things of life.

 No Nigerian has the right to talk down on fellow citizens. We are Free-born citizens and not descendants of Slaves. Every Nigerian should be qualified to aspire to any level of his dreams. We applauded America when the son of a Kenyan immigrant became the most powerful man on earth, but are we ready to embrace the same type of tolerance here? Educated Nigerians often behave like stark illiterates when issues move in the direction of politics and religion.

We have an Acting President who comes from the South-South of Nigeria for the first time, a region that supplies all our claims to fabulous wealth. Is it not an insult on this gentleman that he’s been tactically elbowed out of the race by Adamu Ciroma and company? Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to all intents and purposes is the new kid on the block in Nigeria, and his recent performance in the United States should be an indicator to the fact that this luckiest Nigerian should never be underestimated. He returns home as a hero who did us proud on his first major outing as Acting President.

Something tells me that if there were doubts before of Jonathan running the race next year, such molecules of indecision would have disappeared by now. Dr Jonathan has endeared himself to the world by his cool mien and relaxed confidence while on world stage. He would be less than human to resist the temptation of taking a powerful shot at the Presidency next year. From all indications, the man is set to take the biggest risk of his incredible life, and I think he should in order to reposition as a true democratic country where no man shall be oppressed by his fellow citizen. And I can’t really see any major challenger yet amongst the pack of timid aspirants who have not been able to issue one policy statement on the state of our nation but want to be President. The only one being paraded as the sure bet by his cronies will soon chicken out when the kitchen gets too hot. Under what power or Constitutional authority would Ciroma and his co-travellers bully Dr Jonathan away from contesting if and when he so decides?

I also take exceptions to the veiled threats by Ciroma that no one should contemplate removing the obviously incapacitated President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua from office. I’m really surprised that my senior colleague cannot rise above ethnic jingoism at this time and age. The call for Yar’ Adua’s removal on account of his ill-health is not a wicked or mischievous call. No one wished him any evil. Despite the manner Dr Jonathan has been humiliated by President Yar’ Adua’s family, he has handled the situation well and with maturity.

Our President requires total and better attention than what he’s being forced to receive in the gilded cage of Aso Rock at the moment. It is shameful the way his family is misbehaving as if the presidency is more important than his life. Most Nigerians will definitely support flying the President out to anywhere of the family’s choice where he can find the cure for his ailments. But his family would rather subject him to the unfair indignity we’ve all witnessed these past months. Ciroma should therefore direct his anger elsewhere. Nigerians are more interested in that change agent, and it matters not where he comes from. The road might be very bumpy but Nigerians have the resilience to achieve the impossible.


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List of Bollywood Actresses

Aarti Chhabria
Aishwarya Rai
Amisha Patel
Amrita Arora
Amrita Rao
Antara Mali
Ayesha Takia
Bipasha Basu
Celina Jaitley
Deepika Padukone
Diya Mirza
Esha Deol
Geeta Basra
Hansika Motwani
Isha Koppikar
Juhi Chawla
Kangana Ranaut
Kareena Kapoor
Karishma Kapoor
Katrina Kaif
Kim Sharma
Koena Mitra
Konkana Sen Sharma
Lara Dutta
Linda Arsenio
Lisa Ray
Madhuri Dixit
Mahima Chaudhry
Mallika Sherawat
Manisha Koirala
Manjari Phadnis
Minissha Lamba
Neelam Chauhan
Neetu Chandra
Neha Dhupia
Perizaad Zorabian
Preity Zinta
Priyanka Chopra
Rani Mukherjee
Rimi Sen
Riya Sen
Sameera Reddy
Sayali Bhagat
Shamita Shetty
Soha Ali Khan
Sonali Bendre
Sonali Kulkarni
Sushmita Sen
Tanushree Dutta
Udita Goswami
Urmila Matondkar
Urvashi Sharma
Vidya Balan
Vidya Malvade

Neetu Chandra's interview on her role in controversial bathing scene in Jagmohan Mundhras’s “The Apartment.”

Neetu Chandra in The Apartment bathing scene

Your first reaction on learning about the bathing scene?
When Jagmohan was narrating the script to me he had said the bathing scene might be an option but if I decided to  shoot it, he would  present it aesthetically and allow me to call the shots. He added that if I didn't like the scene or had a problem with the way it looked afterward, it was my call to have it edited out.

Did you ensure that least number of people were present when you shot the scene?
Yes. The only people present were Jag sir, cameraman Uday Tiwari, my assistant and the EP Krishna Banerjee.

Were you awkward or uncomfortable?
I went about it very professionally. Initially, I was nervous but later, after seeing the scene and the way it was shot, I am confident it will go down well. They also showed me Tanushree's shower scene with Rohit in her lavish apartment and then there is my bathing scene in a run-down broken bathroom. I am sure there will be comparisons.

Have you seen Smita Patil's Chakra bathing scene? Might be comparisons to that too.
I knew that Smita Patil had done a similar bathing scene in Chakra. I have been compared to Smitaji since Traffic Signal but it's not fair to be compared to anyone. She was a legend. We all look up to her. If I can be even one per cent of what she was, my life is set.

Were you really bare, as it seems in the photograph?
Well it shows that I am nude but I don't want to comment beyond that. It can be a trick of the camera too. Do you think any actress would pose for a scene like this without wearing anything?

Does your family know about your nude scene?
My family knows me very well and they also know that I am only answerable to my work and nobody else. I take my own decisions.

What's The Apartment about?
It's a contemporary thriller set in an apartment where two people live. I play a girl from a small town who loses her mind when she come to the big city and tries to settle down.


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Neetu Chandra: My shower scene in 'Apartment' is not boorish

Neetu Chandra
Recently in an interview, model-turned-Bollywood-actress Neetu Chandra said that the scene where she has been shown taking a shower in her forthcoming flick ‘Apartment’ is neither boorish nor crude.

The actress said, "There is no vulgarity or cheapness in the shower scene.”

Neetu also clarified that, contrary to reports circulating in the industry, she has not shed her clothes for shooting the scene.
Neetu Chandra in The Apartment bathing scene

“The shot gives an illusion that I am not wearing anything but it is a trick of the camera. It's an illusion that the filmmakers have created because I wasn't comfortable shooting otherwise," said the actress.

‘Apartment’ is scheduled to be released on April 23 and also features actress Tanushree Dutta.

Neetu does not want to be labeled ‘bold’
During the interview Neetu also made it quite clear that just because she did a bathing scene in the film ‘Apartment’ does not mean she should be labeled ‘bold.’

"I play a hostel girl in the movie and in that particular scene I am just thinking about something while bathing. Now this is something so many of us do and can connect with. Besides, you can't wear a lehenga in the bathroom," said Neetu.

She further added, “I have not done any bold role. In 'Traffic Signal', I played a simple girl, in 'One Two Three' I played a police officer and was covered in uniform throughout."

Neetu’s Bollywood journey so far
Neetu Chandra was born on June 20, 1984 in Patna, Bihar (India) and she made her debut in the Bollywood with ‘Garam Masala’ in 2005 in which she portrayed the role of an airhostess named Sweety.

After that she did Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Traffic Signal’. To prepare for her role in the film, she reportedly spent a whole week living on the streets of Mumbai.

She also tried her luck in the Tamil film industry and her film ‘Yavarum Nalam’ opposite Madhavan that released his year has been declared a major hit.

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Neetu Chandra's Profile

Neetu Chandra

Neetu Chandra was born in Patna, Bihar, India on the 20th July to a businessman. Her mother Meera was the more supportive of her parents when Neetu decided to start modeling and did some ads.

Neetu completed her schooling from Notre Dame Academy, Patna and graduated from IP College, Delhi.

Neetu also holds a black belt in Taekwondo. In 1995, she was part of the World Korfball Championship and in 1996, she participated in the International Taekwondo Championship in Hong Kong. She won a Silver Medal for Taekwondo at the national games.

Neetu Chandra’s Movies
2005 Neetu Chandra’s first break came with Garam Masala as an airhostess Sweety.

2006 She had a stronger role in the Telugu movie Godavari, directed by Sekhar Kammula.

2007 In Madhur Bhandarkar’s Traffic Signal, she played Rani selling clothes at traffic signals and in love with Kunal Khemu’s character.

2008 Her next movie was Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! with Abhay Deol and Paresh Rawal, which was received on a positive note by critics.

2009 The movies lined up for 2009 are 13B, Mumbai Cutting, Kushar Parsaad Ka Bhoot and Zara Jee Ke Dikha. 13B is a horror movie, in which she plays R.Madhavan’s spouse. Zara Jee Ke Dikha will see her with Rahul Bose and Shefali Shah.

ENOUGHISENOUGH Nigeria Response to Lagos State Government (LASG) Press Release

Our attention has been drawn to a press release by Lagos State Government which was issued today by the Commissioner for Information in Lagos State, in response to the EnoughisEnough Nigeria youth protest in Lagos on Tuesday April 13. According to the commissioner the rally’s organisers did not follow the process of informing the governor’s office or his government.

We make haste to note that this is not true. Attached is the letter that was sent to the governor’s office and was acknowledged by his Chief of Staff on March 30 2010, weeks before the protest. In fact, our letter to the police was sent at the same period, and the police promptly responded on the day of the march.

The protest, as we said in our letter to Governor Babatunde Fashola, was not against the governor, and our campaign is way beyond Governor Fashola, or any other individual for that matter. It is a national campaign, working against a system that among other things makes it easy for government officials to ignore young people, and we are committed to making sure that the youth vote counts in the 2011 elections.

We are not a political organisation, and we have no affiliations with any individual, group of persons or political party. It is in fact because of this that, when we were courteously invited by the Speaker of the House of Assembly to receive us in the absence of the governor, we declined; because we have no interest in Lagos politics.

Many young people who were in that march continue to support Governor Fashola as he continues to transform Lagos State. In fact many of us have organisations that have partnered with or supported/commended his efforts. However this was clearly a failure of processes in his offices, and, as a group, it is our hope that this error will be corrected moving forward and that young people will be taken more seriously.

Please see below the letter acknowledged by his Chief of Staff on March 30, 2010 for your confirmation.

  1. Confirmation Page 1
  2. Confirmation Page 2

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Enough is enough Nigeria: Any politicization?

By Oluwole Odetayo

 We are certainly living in trying times in our national life and a novel situation is upon the nation. We have never had a president that fell so ill leading to call for invocation of constitutional provisions by some and resignation by others by groups, individuals and even government officials.

 One group with important personalities is a coalition with the tag “Save Nigeria Group” SGN with important Nigerians like Professor Wole Soyinka, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Mr. Femi Falana and a host of other known activists. Ordinarily one would see their agitation in relation to President Umaru Yar’Adua indisposition as nationalistic and devoid of political considerations even while some of them have one political affiliation or the other. But a cursory look at the two rallies they held in Abuja and Lagos under the theme “Enough is Enough” clearly shows some politicalbias.

The first rally was held in Abuja and saw the group traversing the federal capital territory unmolested under Police watch terminating in the open space of the National Assembly (NASS). As the rally was widely publicized with the proclaimed intention of delivering a message to the National Assembly, the management of NASS made adequate preparations for the leadership of the federal legislature to receive the delegation. As some of them are expected to be elder statesmen like Professor Soyinka, Chief Emeka Ojukwu and Alhaji Balarabe Musa, chairs were provided to take care of these category of protesters, an indication of the legislators resolve to facilitate this democratic process. For the first time in NASS history, the gates were flung open. Hitherto such demonstrations/rallies were received at the gate. This was the case when Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole the Speaker of the House of Representatives received protesting officials and members of PENGASSAN protesting against deregulation of the oil sector not too long ago.

When they arrived both Chambers of the NASS were in session and as usual leaders of the group made statements in turns under the direction of Professor Wole Soyinka while awaiting the leadership of NASS. Words soon came out from Senate that its leaders would not receive the delegation as there is a pending case in courts on the issue they were protesting against. But Bankole decided to come and receive the delegation and their petition for consideration by the representatives. He left the plenary of the House in care of the Deputy Speaker Alhaji Bayero Usman Nafada and arrived the venue in company of some of the principal officers of the House like Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, the AC leader in the House and Hon Aminu Tambual the deputy chief whip of the House.

But uncharacteristically Professor Soyinka posed what amounts to an unnecessary question requesting to know if the protesters want to hear from the Speaker, to which the already sensitized crowd shouted “NO” thrice. Indeed , Bankole only came to receive their petition as is the democratic norm the world over and would only have spoken after receiving such maybe thanking them for their orderly conduct and assuring that their petition will be looked into. But this was not to be as probably playing to a script, Professor Soyinka abruptly ended the rally. It was a disappointed Speaker that left the venue as the protesters did not leave any petition/demands for the representatives to work on in resolving the constitutional issues thrown up by the illness of the president.

Indeed, Bankole made reference to his disappointment when he received another petition from a group of eminent Nigerians led by Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, former Senate President where he made allusions to lack of due process in the “Enough is Enough” campaign when the eminent Nigerians visited few days later. But he promised that all demands presented would be looked into in line with constitutional provisions and national interest.

Note worthy is the fact that the protest was boycotted by some elder statesmen earlier announced as participants like Ojukwu, Balarabe Musa and Gen. Mohammdu Buhari who it was gathered were privy to some of the political leaning of some of the campaigner and decided to stay off.

But it was at the Lagos version that the political bias of the “Enough is Enough” campaign came out in bold relief. Expectedly with a mega polis like Lagos it attracted far disproportionately larger protesters than the Abuja version. The major political different however was in the conduct of the protesters and it leadership. The protest, which transverses Lagos ended up at Alausa Government House in Lagos. Here a prepared speech was read by Pastor Tunde Bakare and dully handed over to Governor Raji Fashola of Lagos. The Governor was then allowed to address the crowd as part of the democratic process.

Observers have started to see the dissimilarities in the two “Enough is Enough” rallies as a pointer to political undertones which some of the respected participants may not be privy to. It is pointed out that inspite Speaker Bankole sacrificing his presiding over the Green Chamber to receive the petition from the protesters he was denied this opportunity in pursuit of an agenda as he is from PDP, the ruling party that the group is opposed to. On the other hand the protesters gave Governor Fashola their demands /petition and allowed him to address the crowd because he is from AC, one of the major opposition party to PDP led by the federal government.

 Could these observers be right that beyond the issue of president’s health is a campaign to oust the ruling party/President from power using pseudo democratic means that is now being shown through political biased. This assertion rings true as the observers pointed out that some of the placards of protest carried by protesters read “Allow Ribadu to Return Home” this was aptly captured in the Aljazeera News report of the event. It is now a puzzle linkage of the return/handover/resignation of power to Vice President to the return of Ribadu whose case is still pending in the court. Instructively one of the major participants in the protest is Femi Falana, the Chief Counsel to the case of Ribadu. The question now is “Are some people of favour in the scheme of things sponsoring these protest?”. Certainly there is more than meet the eyes in this “Enough is Enough”

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ENOUGHISENOUGH Nigeria disappointed in Lagos state government attitude.

At a youth protest in Lagos, young Nigerians gathered at the Archbishop Church. The event was led by former Campaign for Democracy leader, Joe Odumakin. Various prominent young people were also present, including Audu Maikori, Ali Baba, Tolu Ogunlesi, Banky W, Timi DFakolo, Rita Dominic, Sound Sultan, Denrele Edun, GT, Kola Osinowo, Djinee, Segun Demuren, and others. Students came from OAU, UI, LASU, UNILAG and LASPOTECH. A sizable group of international press was also present - AFP, Reuters, IRI, BBC, Financial Times, and more. To be sure, the local media was also on hand - NTA, TVC, LTV, Radio Nigeria, NEXT, etc.

The police remained respectful and cooperative throughout the day, as did the protestors. When traffic began to build-up on the Awolowo Way, the police helped disentangle the cars and crowd, and restored proper flow of traffic.

 However, when the protesters arrived at Fashola's office, no representative was sent out to greet them. Although the Governor was in the United States, a letter informing him about the march had been sent three weeks prior, and the youth leaders had been led to expect a representative of the Governor to welcome them that day. The youth leaders presented to the media a letter signed by the Chief of Staff to the governor acknowledging receipt of the leaders’ letter.

After more than an hour of singing and speeches, the Secretary to the State government, thanks to Mrs. Odumakin, promised to come; however, after some 10 minutes the youth had had enough. Shortly thereafter, a Special Adviser was sent, but nevertheless, the youth interpreted Governor Fashola’s failure to send a representative in the first place as a discourteous dismissal of the event and the cause. The speaker invited the protesters over to his office - he was quite polite and engaged - but after consultation, the protesters decided after all that carrying out the initial intention of the event was more important than meeting someone at the governor's office. So the group of youths sang the national anthem, read the open letter to the governor, and left. In total, the event lasted about 3 hours.

The youth seemed to be highly disappointed in Fashola. They noted that all sorts of political groups with 50 - 70 people come there and are received. Yet this group of young people, who are not affiliated with any organization or particular politician, were not granted the same respect. By the end, Fashola’s deputy began to do damage control, but by the time she chose to come over and calm everything down, the protesters had begun to disassemble for the day.


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Lagos State Government (LASG) Denies Allegation Of Shutting Out Protesting Group by Barrister Opeyemi Bamidele, Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy


The attention of the Lagos State Government has been drawn to reports in some sections of the media that the Enough is Enough. Com group which came to Alausa seat of Government on Tuesday to hand over a letter of protest to the State Governor was shut out and not attended to because the State Governor was out of town.

In a press statement signed by the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Barrister Opeyemi Bamidele, the State Government said while it is true that His Excellency, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) is out of town to the United States of America where he is billed to deliver a lecture at the Harvard University on Good governance, all other top functionaries of Government including the Deputy Governor are around to conduct the business of governance.

It is however curious that no government functionary was informed of the visit to the Alausa seat of government by the officials of the Enough is group which could have necessitated making arrangements for a government functionary to receive the group and its protest letter for onward transmission to the necessary quarters.

It is on record that several times in the past, the State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has sometimes had to break executive council meeting sessions to receive people on protest march irrespective of the cause they are protesting about.

It is not in the tradition of the Lagos State Government to ignore or refuse to grant audience to protesters because it is our belief that they represent part of a flourishing market place of ideas that nourishes good governance.


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ENOUGH IS ENOUGH (EIE) Press Release On (Charly Boy) Charles Oputa's disgraceful actions.

It has come to the notice of ENOUGHISENOUGH Nigeria that Mr. Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy, on Thursday April 1, led a group of young persons under the aegis of ‘Alliance for Defence of Democracy’ to the premises of the National Assembly on to clamour for the reappointment of INEC Chairman, Maurice Iwu, for a second term.

ENOUGHISENOUGH Nigeria wishes to categorically dissociate itself from this group, who disingenuously sought – through their slogans – to identify themselves with the ENOUGHISENOUGH Nigeria platform. While we recognise the right of any person or group of persons to hold on to any beliefs they wish to, and to associate with any public figure as they deem fit, we wish to particularly express our concerns because, only a few weeks ago, on March 16, Charly Boy had publicly identified with ENOUGHISENOUGH Nigeria in our march to the National Assembly premises to register our displeasure with the status quo in our country.

Charles Oputa a.k.a Charly Boy (Area Father)
It might be important to make clear that Mr. Oputa is not one of the organisers of the ENOUGHISENOUGH coalition, he is not one of its leaders, and only joined the protest on the day in question midstream, after apparently hearing about it. Whilst we welcome any person or group that identifies with our vision, we are shocked and deem it distasteful that Charly Boy, after identifying with us of his own volition, would make a U-turn to support a man whom international and national observers have pointed to as bearing a large share of responsibility for the sorry state of our electoral process, and by extension our democracy.

Following this action by Charly Boy, we hereby use this opportunity to put the general public on notice: We will not hesitate to name and shame all persons or groups of persons who think that they can identify publicly with our message (which we have gone to great lengths to make clear) without actually believing in it, no matter how close they are to this coalition. Nigeria is the way it is today largely because it is run by men and women who have power but no principles; persons for whom publicity is far more important than real passion.

Now, we realise that there are many out there whose consciences and convictions are available to be purchased by the highest bidders, and we know there is nothing that ENOUGHISENOUGHNIGERIA can do to change those people. But we ask all such persons to steer clear of the ENOUGHISENOUGH Nigeria platform, and to pursue their ignoble objectives completely independent of us. We are not a political organisation.

We are an impartial, independent platform that is not aligned or in support of any individual, and we will guard this integrity and objectivity jealously. We are also not one of the usual crop of Nigerians who engage in activism so that they can position themselves for political position or to be “settled”. We cannot be bought. We reiterate that we are a group of young people determined that our country must change for the better and we are committed to a chain of activities to ensure that in 2011, young people vote for leaders that can change this country and that young people also protect their votes. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH of politics and activism without principle. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

For more information about those behind this coalition and what our vision and mission is, please visit

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Dr Karima Sanni-Yerima:My husband and I love experimenting with food.

Karima Ahmed Sanni-Yerima

 Not every woman would be happy to leave the Governor‘s Lodge after eight years. But she was! ”I was looking forward to leaving the Government House because I wanted my normal life back,” she reminisces.

It was not the kind of life I really wanted – there was no time for myself, my husband and children. My focus was people-centered, but I knew my religion preaches that my husband and children should have a right over me.”

She is Dr. Karima Ahmed Sanni-Yerima and is married to the former governor of Zamfara State, Senator Ahmed Sanni Yerima.

Wondering what she now does after eight years of being the First Lady of Zamfara? A medical practitioner, she is currently studying for her master‘s degree in Public Health and she is back to medical practice.

I love my career and always wanted to practise,” she says. ”One of the reasons I looked forward to leaving the Government House was because I wanted my career back. I consulted and attended to some patients when I was the First Lady.

Medicine is a profession that needs dedication and not part-time because you are dealing with human beings. As First Lady, I was always in touch with my books and never left the career completely.

“In fact when my husband won the election in 1999, I was happy for him but I knew my career would be affected. You needed to have imagined my joy when we finally left the place.”

Though her husband is a serving senator, ask Dr. Karima why she allowed him join politics from the outset and she replies, ”He was a banker when I married him and later became a civil servant. Not that he wanted to be a politician, the people prevailed on him.

“They must have seen his dedication at work and his contributions to their welfare, so they pressurised him to seek political office. Despite the fact that I didn‘t like the idea, I could not help it but to also support him. The grass roots people put pressure on him and he finally succumbed to their wishes.”

Being the daughter of a politician too (her father is Senator Isah Anka), she knew there are some ‘disadvantages‘ in public office.

“I am a very private person and never wanted the limelight,” she offers. ”Immediately my husband won, I knew our lifestyle would change. I knew we would spend less time with ourselves. My husband is a very caring and humble person and we both had many things in common – we loved travelling, adventure and we loved experimenting with foods.

“We would go to high profile restaurants and we also went to mama-put joints. Before he became governor, whenever we were in Lagos, we would go to such joints and eat but some months after he assumed office, we went to Lagos and I reminded him about the mama-put and he agreed to go.

“Then, we thought he was just a few months in office and nobody recognised us but the security personnel refused us. They said we could not go to such places anymore.”

But that did not change her husband‘s nature, who is also the Prince of Bacura. ”He is a very gentle man, humble, generous, an ardent Muslim and acts in accordance with his religion. He is tremendously a good father, who plays with them, cracks jokes with them and eats with them,” she offers.

“There was a day my friend visited us in the Government House, Gusau, and he saw His Excellency running after his children and playing with them. She was surprised to see the governor doing that. I made her realise that he had always been like that.”

But everyone saw first ladies as superhuman beings! ”Ironically, when I was younger, I thought so too,” she confesses. ”Then, I would run to see the convoy passing with siren blaring. But when I got to the position myself, I knew there was nothing to it because power belongs to God. Even as First Lady, I had my friends, I still retained them and I was still who I am.”

Reminiscing on her childhood, Dr. Karima always dreamt of becoming a pharmacist. ”But my mother wanted me to study medicine, left to my father; he believed I could make my choice. I knew I would not be a lawyer because Islam does not permit a woman to be a judge.

“I am happy I chose medicine. My early years started in Sokoto, then there was no Zamfara State and I grew up in a monogamous home – just my parents and us.”

Despite her love for medicine, she will not forget the challenges she faces while she is on duty. ”So many women in the profession, even those married to fellow doctors, face certain challenges,” she explains. ”Though my husband is liberal, I remember the day he brought my crying baby to the hospital when I was on call and he asked me to come home because my baby was crying.

“Whenever he travelled, returned and didn’t see me at home, he would drive down to the hospital and stand at the entrance of wherever I was – theatre or consulting room – until I came out to meet him. Fortunately, I had helps in the house and I always make sure there is an elderly relative who oversees these house-helps.”

She has always dressed in alignment with Islamic injunction. ”I love dressing up but it has to be in accordance with what the Koran preaches,” she says. ”A woman should be decent in her outlook and should present herself to her husband alone. Elegance is allowed as long as it‘s in consonance with your religion.”

A woman who loves to cook, she says she cooks as many dishes as she admires, even as a governor‘s wife.

“I love cooking and I cook myself despite the presence of chefs in the Government House, I was still cooking for him,” she recalls about her husband. ”I love experimenting with foods, especially from other tribes. My husband‘s favourite dishes? He loves tuwo and groundnut soup, bean soup (gbegiri) tuwo gida and tuwo akama. For breakfast, he takes masa, Mei ‘n‘gada, he loves meat a lot and fish but lately, he does not take red meat.”

In Zamfara State, her husband‘s tenure saw the introduction of the Sharia law. According to her, Sharia is the best thing to happen to a woman. She proffers, ”Sharia is actually a way of life in accordance with the Koran and it touches every aspect of life. Sharia is beneficial to women, especially concerning inheritance.

"With Sharia, there is never a time that a woman should take care of herself alone – she must be under somebody‘s care and her inheritance is hers alone and not to be shared.

“There is no place in Sharia where the woman looks for food herself, it has to be her husband or father or any male member of the family. It has eased the burden of women and I support it.”

Still forging ahead with her project on women and children, she plans to introduce a scheme for the reduction of maternal and infant mortality.

“Already, the project on infant nutrition is on suspension because I am currently writing my thesis and I have been busy. But by the time I am through with my studies, I would definitely continue and also campaign for a reduction in maternal mortality rate because it is prevalent in the north,” she says.


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Senator Ahmed Sani Yeriman Bakura Marries 13-year-old Egyptian Girl for $100,000

Former Zamfara State governor,  Senator Ahmed Sani Yeriman Bakura

Written by By Emmanuel Bello, ABUJA

Former Zamfara State governor, Ahmed Sani Yeriman Bakura, has married a thirteen-year-old Egyptian girl. LEADERSHIP WEEKEND learnt that the marriage took place at the national mosque, Abuja, two weekends ago. The former governor, now a senator, paid a bride price of $100,000, the equivalent of roughly N15m. He also divorced one of his wives to facilitate the marriage. In Islam a man is only permitted to have four wives. Yeriman, who popularised the Shariah code of Islam in Nigeria, could not have the wedding in Egypt; the Egyptian authorities would not put up with such a marriage as their laws forbid that sort of union. Yariman Bakura is well into his 60s and the laws in Egypt consider his bride a minor.

The former helmsman of Zamfara State, however, in a deft move relocated the venue of the event to Nigeria, where he believes “anything goes”, said a source. The marriage was held in Abuja. The bride moved 30 members of her family over to Abuja where they were lodged in PROTEA Hotel in Asokoro.

An Islamic cleric who spoke to LEADERSHIP WEEKEND said that the whole thing goes counter-cause to Islam. He said that though there were no limits to how much can be paid as bride price, Islam still preaches moderation. According to him, the former governor flouted this caveat. Besides, said the cleric, Yeriman being a public office holder, should not have made such an ostentatious show of wealth.

Those who attended the wedding in Abuja include Sen. Kabiru Gaya, Maina Maaji Lawal, deputy governor of Zamfara State, Mukhtar Hanka, and the Emir of Bakura.

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Eyjafjallajokull meaning, Pronunciation and Pictures

Eyjafjallajokull means “Island mountain glacier,” and Eyjafjallajokul is pronounced EYE-a-fyat-la-jo-kutl.

Smoke billows from an erupting volcano which seems to be close to the top of the Eyjafjalla glacier on April 14, 2010 near Reykjavik. All London flights, including those from Heathrow, will be suspended from noon (1100 GMT) today due to volcanic ash from Iceland that has already caused almost 300 cancellations here, officials said. (AFP/Getty Images)
An aerial handout photo from the Icelandic Coast Guard shows flood caused by a volcanic eruption at Eyjafjalla Glacier in southern Iceland April 14, 2010. The volcanic eruption on Wednesday partially melted a glacier, setting off a major flood that threatened to damage roads and bridges and forcing hundreds to evacuate from a thinly populated area. Picture taken April 14, 2010. (REUTERS/Icelandic Coast Guard/Arni Saeberg)

Melting ice caused by a volcanic eruption at Eyjafjalla Glacier in southern Iceland April 14, 2010. (REUTERS/Icelandic Coast Guard/Arni Saeberg)
Photo taken on April 14, 2010 the Markarfljot glacial river, west of the Eyjafjalla glacier. Iceland's second volcano eruption in less than a month melted part of a glacier and caused heavy flooding on April 14, forcing up to 800 people to evacuate and grounding some flights over Norway. (HALLDOR KOLBEINS/AFP/Getty Images)

Flooding caused by a volcanic eruption at Eyjafjalla Glacier in southern Iceland April 14, 2010. (REUTERS/Icelandic Coast Guard/Arni Saeberg)

In this Wednesday April 14, 2010 photograph, smoke and steam are seen rising from the volcano under the Eyjafjalla glacier in Iceland, which erupted for the second time in less than a month, melting ice, shooting smoke and steam into the air and forcing hundreds of people to flee rising floodwaters. (AP Photo/Icelandic Coastguard)
A man takes a picture of a road that has been washed away by flood water following the melting of the Eyjafjalla glacier due to the eruption of a volcano on April 14, 2010 near Reykjavik. (HALLDOR KOLBEINS/AFP/Getty Images)

A natural-color satellite image shows lava fountains, lava flows, a volcanic plume, and steam from vaporized snow. The image was acquired on March 24, 2010, by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite. The lava fountains are orange-red, barely visible at the 10-meter (33-foot) resolution of the satellite. The scoria cones surrounding the fissure are black, as is the lava flow extending to the northeast. White volcanic gases escape from the vent and erupting lava, while a steam plume rises where the hot lava meets snow. (The bright green color along the edge of the lava flow is an artifact of the sensor.) (NASA's Earth Observatory/Robert Simmon)
This picture taken on March 27, 2010 shows lava spurting out of the site of a volcanic eruption at the Eyjafjallajökull volcano some 125 km east of Reykjavik. With lava still gushing, a small Icelandic volcano that initially sent hundreds fleeing from their homes is turning into a boon for the island nation's tourism industry, as visitors flock to catch a glimpse of the eruption. (HALLDOR KOLBEINS/AFP/Getty Images)
Tourists gather to watch lava spurt out of the site of a volcanic eruption at the Eyjafjallajökull volcano on March 27, 2010. Up to 800 people were evacuated in Iceland early on April 14, 2010 due to a volcano eruption under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in the south of the island, police and geophysicists said. (HALLDOR KOLBEINS/AFP/Getty Images)
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