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Yar’Adua’s Ill Health: A National Disquiet



Each time, he travels out of the country for medical check-up, rumour mongers and power mongers, who wish the president dead, take advantage of his absence and condition to informally announce his obituary even while the man remains alive.

Since his assumption of office in 2007, the fragile health condition of Nigerian President, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has remained one controversial issue.

During the presidential campaign, two years ago, many poetical observers expressed doubt over Yar’Adua’s ability to stand the stress of nation-wide campaigns due to his health condition.

Surprisingly however, Yar’Adua was not only able to successfully conclude the tedious campaigns but had till then carried on successfully his official duties in spite of his not-too-good health condition.

Each time, he travels out of the country for medical check-up, rumour mongers and power mongers, who wish the president dead, take advantage of his absence and condition to informally announce his obituary even while the man remains alive. And the rumour which spreads like wild fire raises a lot of anxiety across the breadth and length of the country. Whatever makes some people to wish the president dead is what baffles many concerned Nigerians.

It was therefore not surprising when two weeks ago, the president travelled to Saudi Arabia to attend to his health condition which official source says has become more critical, the rumour again rented the air.

While rumour mongers concluded and announced that Yar’Adua was already dead and his corps would be flown back into the country any moment, the power mongers initiated some moves to cause confusion based on their ill-feelings.

The leader of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) in South-South, Alhaji Musa Saidu who spoke to The Tide on Sunday on the issue linked the rumour to some enemies of the administration of President Yar’Adua.

“Those behind the false rumour are few disgruntled elements in the country who are not comfortable wit the good administration of Yar’Adua”, he said.

According to the ACF leader, the wicked and mischievous persons feel that their opportunities of carrying out all manner of fraud against the country has been blocked by the zero tolerance of the administration to corruption hence, they want the man out of the seat by all means so that they would resume their fraudulent activities.

Alhaji Saidu further pointed accusing fingers on some persons in Yar’Adua’s government who are desperate to occupy the seat or have their stooges to take over so that it would be business as usual for them.

After all we are all sick as human beings including you and me. For somebody to go for a medical check-up either within or outside the country is a common thing. So I wonder why any reasonable Nigerian who wishes the country well would wish the number one citizen death at all cost to the extent of announcing his obituary when he is still alive.

The Arewa leader urged Nigerians as good Christians and Muslims to rather pray for the president to recover and return back to his office to continue his good administration.

In spite of the evil feelings by some Nigerians against the president, majority of Nigerians have initiated prayer and fasting programmes for the president.

Leader of Niger Delta Youth Coalition, Prince Emmanuel Ogba announced that his organisation embarked on such prayer programme. The fasting and prayer which was a three-day event according to him was extended to one week and he enjoined Nigerian youths both in the country and in dispora to pray fervently for President Yar’Adua.

He condemned the few Nigerians who wish to take advantage of the president’s ill health for politics as evil and wicked minded persons stressing that the youths of the nation have taken note of them, adding that such evil men would be watched to ensure that do not get any responsible position in the country because they have exposed their wickedness.

Prince Ogba equally called on Nigerians to disregard such rumours since the issue of life and death is in the hands of God and death awaits all living beings and to join in praying for the president.

Apart from the youth body, National Working Committee of the ruling PDP and other Christian and Muslim groups across the nation are observing prayers for the speedy recovery of President Yar’Adua.

The former Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chief Tony Anenih reacting to the development, called on Nigerians for their unflinching support through prayers for the recovery of the president from his illness.

In a statement titled “prayer is a better option for President Yar’Adua the PDP big wig said, “I have observed with mixed feelings the various comments, some positive and others negative, concerning the health challenges facing President Umaru Yar’Adua.

In an official reaction from the presidency concerning Mr. Presidents ill health and the false rumours of his death, the Presidency on 20th of November announced that Yar’Adua is suffering from acute inflammation of the Pericardium and that he has to travel to Saudi Arabia for check-up.

The Presidency called for a flow of empathy which would provoke series of prayers for him.

Painfully, what emanated from some quarters, individuals and groups have been undue politicisation of Mr. President’s health condition, rumour-mongering, insensitivity, derision and ungodly wishes.

The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) expressed concern over the health of President Yar’Adua and advised Nigerians not to politicise the illness in the interest of the nation.

Emma Eneukwu, National Publicity Secretary of the party urged Nigerians to be cautious as the President’s health is crucial to the proper functioning of the government.

Continuing, Mr. Eneukwu said, making the illness a subject of political debate would not be in the interest of the nation.

However, on its own reaction, Action Congress Party (AC) blamed the presidency for what it described as mismanagement of information on the health of the president.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Layiwola Mohammed told reporters that Nigerians deserved to know the update on the health of the president daily, to dispel the rumour.

Calls from some quarters and individuals for the resignation of President Yar’Adua based on the fact that he cannot carry on as the president because of his ill health was rebuffed by the Federal Executive Council.

They claim that the president is too ill to continue in office and want FEC to invoke Section 144 of the 1999 Constitution for the Senate to investigate Yar’Adua’s health and declare his seat vacant.

But members of the Federal Executive Council declared that there is no basis for the invocation of provisions of Section 114 as the president has not been found incapable of discharging his functions.

“Council, having reviewed all the facts on ground unanimously resolved that there is no basis for invocation of provisions of section 144 of the constitution for the reasons that the president has not been found incapable of discharging his functions”, said FEC.

The council assured Nigerians that all organs of government are functioning and that government will continue to deliver.

Secretary to the Federal Government, Ahmed Yayale stated that ‘this government is indeed working and in good shape.  He explained that since the departure of the president to Saudi Arabia for medical check-up, the council has met twice and the Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, according to the constitution remains the Chairman of the Council in the absence of Mr. President.

Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) was among the groups that called for resignation of Mr. President arguing that his health condition no longer allows him to perform his duties.

NBA therefore declared their stand stressing that for the country and the present administration to go on smoothly, there was urgent need for Yar’Adua to resign and attend to his personal health problems instead of compounding things with activities of his busy office.

Hardly had the brouhaha died down that some mischievous other elements started mounting pressure on Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan to resign from office.

The calculation, according to a top politician in Rivers State was that in the absence of president Yar’Adua, the reigns of power would be on the vice and that the northerners strongly feel that the President’s position was for them and would not allow Jonathan occupy it since he is not a northerner.

This call for the resignation of the VP by some northern elements who are desperate for power provoked strong reactions from the Southern part of Nigeria and majority of well-meaning northerners.

Several bodies particularly from the Southern Nigeria said the call on Jonathan to resign would spell doom for one Nigeria as it contradicts a section of the constitution.

Niger Delta Youth Forum (NDYF) condemned the call for V.P’s resignation. A statement from the body and signed by General Secretary Tunder Oladipo-George, Assistant Mobilisation Officer, Dangolo Asuevi and Assistant PRO, Amos Ofiesefate Benneth said “There have been reports that Vice President was under pressure to resign in the aftermath of uncertainties regarding President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s health.

“Some Northern hawks were alleged to be behind the move, aimed at paving way for the emergence of another Northern president to complete the region’s slot for an eight-year tenure under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) zoning arrangement”, the statement said.

The group expressed its confidence in Jonathan’s capability to effectively rule Nigeria and achieve the lofty goals of making it one of the leading nations in the world.


Chris Oluoh

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NPA Pledges Safe Navigation Of Vessels On Warri Pilotage District



The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has assured navigational safety for all stakeholders operating legally in the Warri Pilotage District, despite the urgent need for breakwater reconstruction.
This is just as NPA pilots enabled the safe berthing of inbound vessels – MT Zonda and MT Stellar as well as outbound vessel MT Duke, MT Vardar and MT Igbinosa last week with six vessels at anchorage outbound and inbound for Bonny Island, Koko and Escravos.
NPA stated that although the Escravos breakwaters constructed to prevent the siltation of the Warri channels had collapsed decades ago, it has concluded the survey and mapping of the channel.
The authority also noted that it is at the conclusive stages of securing relevant approvals for the best financing option to fund its reconstruction and has put measures in place to ensure safe berthing of legally operating vessels in the spirit of trade facilitation.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, said the up-to-date local and international training as well as simulation and maneuverability competence building of the highly experienced pilots of the NPA, have ensured zero incidences of vessels running aground.
Bello-Koko said the authority had procured and installed adequate buoys for the Warri channel and realigned the entrance buoys as well as docked and reclassified vessels.
He said the authority has also stipulated frequent simulation training and retraining for all the pilotage crew to enable them to respond to the exigencies of the channel.
According to him, the occasionally reported incidents of vessels running aground cannot impede the channel, as they are vessels operating illegally without NPA’s marine pilot onboard.
He said the vessels ran aground because they veered off the channel and safety-marked areas due to incompetence.
Bello-Koko said to enhance domain awareness capability to detect and frontally keep illegal vessels at bay, the authority recently awarded consultancy for the installation of Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) across all its port locations with the first phase already completed.

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Most popular toys in 2018



Every year some toys emerge as popular among children across all ages. These toys are considered a “must have” by most kids and are often on their Christmas wish list. The year 2018 is no different with some toys making it to the favorite list of most children. Most times, the toys vary in terms of size, color and design giving kids a chance to choose the ones that appeal to them. Nevertheless, it is essential to start your shopping early to get the best deals without having to stretch the available funds.

What to look for when buying toys in 2018

Apart from having your kids’ preferences in mind when purchasing toys in 2018, you should also check if they are suitablefor children.Some of the things you should consider when buying toys are listed below.

  • Age of child – Most toys have a label that indicates the age of the child that is allowed to play with them. Ensure that you read the label before buying a toy, so that gets all the benefits meant to be derived from using it. Age-appropriate toys contribute to the development of children, making it vital that they get the right type of plaything.
  • Safety – Majority of the favorite toys can be a great addition to your child’s collection in 2018. However, it is essential to check the toys for corners, sharp edges, and harmfulpoints which might not have been mentioned on the warning label. Toys that are easy to dismantle and have loose parts should also be vetted to see whether they are appropriate for the child. Focus on buying toys that cannot lead to injuries and are durable for different kinds of play.
  • Affordability-The price of toys vary from one store to another, with some being cheap and others quite expensive. When going shopping, have a budget that will guide the quality and quantity of toys that you can purchase for your children. You can consider buying one expensive toy that is their favorite and adding others that are low cost to achieve a balance.
  • Versatility –Toys that can only be used for a short time or appeal to children of a specific age group may not be the best ones to buy for kids. Go for toys that can be used to entertain and educate the child over a long period without them getting bored.
  • Durability –Most children, especially toddlers enjoy picking apart toys as a way for them to explore its workings. It is therefore vital to buy toys that made from sturdy material, and all their parts are screwed on tightly so that they are not easily spoilt. Also, ensure that paint used on the toys do not easily peel off and are non-toxic.

Top 6 favorite toys in 2018

The number of toys launched in 2018is many with several appealing to both boys and girls of different ages. Some of the toys that have been ranked as favorites this year include:

  • LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall Building Kit

The game is designed to resemble Hogwarts Great Hall Building in the popular Harry Potter movie. It is 878 pieces which when arranged reveal the Great Hall which is a famous building in the film. Some of the pieces that stand out are the treasure room, spiral staircase, and potions room. Popular figurines are also part of the set with characters such as Nearly Headless, Nick, Harry Potter, Albus Dumbledore, Ron Weasely, Hagris, Draco, Professor NacGonagall and Susan Bones among others.

  • Barbie Care Clinic Vehicle

Barbie has been part of the favorite toy list for many years, and in 2018 she is in charge of a mobile clinic. She has a twenty piece set that includes a gift shop, exam room and waiting room which are used to tackle emergencies of varying magnitudes. The ambulance in the collection has lights as well as siren sounds that are turned on using a button which is quite exciting for kids who are three years and older.

  • Paw Patrol – Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck

Kids that love the Paw Patrol cartoon will enjoy playing with the truck whose sounds, and flashing lights keep them entertained. The truck has a Marshall who sits in the cab looking out but can also jump into the fire cart when they need to rescue animals. The extendable ladder and working claw are fun to use to save animals stuck in trees.

  • Smart Learning Home

Fisher price has always focused on making playtime fun for babies for many years. In 2018, they introduced a toy that helps small children learn about the weather, numbers, and shapes. The interactive toy also has sounds, music, and lights to keep your baby entertained. To find out more about interactive toys for babies, visit

  • Sesame Street Lets Dance Elmo

Elmo is loved by many children that have interacted with him and his friends on the Sesame Street show. In 2018, he is dancing and grooving to different types of music, making him an excellent toy for children working on their motor skills. The toy has musical modes namely songs, colors and animals which gives kids a variety to choose from. When the modes are changed, Elmo begins to wiggle, or dance and the color on his heart begins to turn as well.

  • Radio Flyer busy buggy

Toddlers that are active and always on the move will enjoy having this ride-on toy. The carriage has several features that make its fun to ride over short distances. Some of the fancy features that make it one of the most interactive toys in 2018 include an adjustable dashboard, horn, moving windshield, and sliding beads among others. Active youngsters get to develop their motor skills as they cruise within the home while adjusting their reflective mirror.

Overall, no matter the choice of toys you buy for your children, ensure that they are educational, fun and safe.


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CRFFN Registers 5000 Freight Forwarders




More than 5,000 freight forwarders have so far registered with the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarders in Nigeria (CRFFN) in its on-going membership drive.

The CRFFN Director (Education and Research),  Mr Alban Igwe,  told our correspondents  on Thursday in Lagos that the initiative was part of efforts to re-organise the freight forwarding business in Nigeria.

He said that freight forwarders, who failed to register with the council, would at the end of the exercise be regarded as fake businessmen.

According to him, the council plans to enforce its operational code which allows only registered members to practise.

“The registration, which started last year, is on-going. The enforcement, which should have started already, will start shortly as soon as all logistics are on ground.

“We have a tribunal that will try all illegal freight forwarders and any forwarder found guilty will be sentenced.

“Education of freight forwarders continues because over 70 per cent involved in the business do not have more than school certificate,” he said.

Igwe said that the association had concluded plans to conduct intensive training across the country in line with the provision of the Act that established the council.

He said that education remained the key role of the CRFFN in assisting freight forwarders to acquire professional skills and knowledge.

Igwe said that the council had signed memoranda of understanding with 10 training institutions to facilitate achievement of this objective.

The CRFFN Director also said that the training programme had made it possible for interested freight forwarders to acquire PHD degrees, stressing that the era of quacks had gone.

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