Nigeria’s day of glory at SITA 2014

THE members of the Atunda Group, a part of the La Campagne contingent to the Saloon International du Tourism d’Abidjan (SITA), danced energetically. Being professional dancers, there was a synch in their movement.

The tempo of the drums increased and the dance became a bit more urgent and pulsating. The dancers were equal to the task. Within minutes, the Nigerian stand was filled with people. It is part of the tricks adopted by stand owners in tourism fairs to draw attention and attract visitors to a particular stand.

The La Campagne group with about 50-man strong contingent made sure that Nigeria did not only impress in numerical strength , but brought colour an d life by the performance of artistes like Afe Onikoko, Olo the bata drummer and Anu with her Ekwe.

After wowing the visitors to the fair, the organizers asked them to perform at a special evening music event on the premises of the Golf Hotel Abidjan where the event took place. They still requested for an encore performance during the gala night. It was the first participation of any Nigerian organization in SITA. Certainly, the organizers would be asking more participation by Nigerians in future events due to what they got this year.

SITA has become a meeting point for Francophone countries in West Africa to do tourism business, network and interact. It is in its fourth edition. It is held annually on the expansive premises of one of the top hotels in Abidjan, Hotel du Golf. The fair, in terms of attendance, captures a large chunk core tourism service providers and ancillary service providers. Buoyed with huge support from the government, core tourism and related agencies, both in the public and private sectors, register their presence.

Among the African countries in attendance were Senegal, Mali, Benin, Congo Democratic Republic, Cameroun, Algeria, Morocco, Burkina Faso and many others.

The complexion of the event was purely a Francophone affair. That was the reason the presence of Nigeria, through La Campagne Tropicana Resort, made a huge impact and turned out to be the focus of attention. Many wondered why an Anglophone country would waste money and time to participate.

Otunba Wanle Akinboboye disagreed with this. He said it was time to take the issue of regional integration beyond the conference table. “Well, for SITA which is in its fourth edition, Nigeria, in the last three editions, has never been represented. I came here about a week and a half ago. They asked me why Nigeria had not been participating. I wanted to know who they had been sending these invitations to. But I decided on my own I would just come on behalf of Nigeria, La Campagne Tropicana and in the spirit of co-operation amongst ECOWAS countries in the area of tourism. I am glad I am here. Every step taken towards the promotion of tourism is a good one. This is our first; we have broken the ground. By next year, I m sure Nigeria will be fully represented.

“You know if the heart is willing, there is really no language barrier. You can always get an interpreter, but most of the people around here do speak some English. I have a full office here. I don’t think we should allow language to hold us back from doing business on the continent, especially in ECOWAS. I think that ECOWAS is made up of the Anglophone and the Francophone countries, and if you look at the continent, especially West Africa, when Francophone countries are doing something, they tend not to remember the Anglophone speaking countries in West Africa, and verse versa.

“We have got to put a stop to that because there are many benefits for us in the Francophone speaking countries as much as the Francophone speaking countries would benefit in the Anglophone countries. So, I believe strongly that we have broken the ground now. I have not seen Ghana, even if they are represented, from the representatives, you will see that they are not taking it seriously. It is the same for other Anglophone speaking countries.

“Nigeria has the highest delegation of over 50 people, and we had just about one and half weeks to prepare. So we are sure for next year, we will be fully on ground. We have a whole year to prepare. We will get all the other private tourism associations in Nigeria and practitioners to be involved.

“By next year, they will feel Nigeria in the full; they will feel our impact. I really cannot talk about what will happen next year, but we are going to start preparing for next year now. I will do a letter to the honourable minister. I will also do another one to the Director- General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC). We will get all practitioners involved . I am more of the private sector, so I am going to get the FTAN president, ANJET, NATOP and all the others represented next year. It is hard for me to be unhappy with the ministry or the NTDC because they had a very short notice.

“ So it is a bit difficult for them to react, but we will make sure they get the letters early for next year’s event. As a matter fact, we will make sure that they get the letters of invitation this year, so that they can put it in the budget and plan properly for it,”Akinboboye said.

He said in terms of business, the Nigerian tourism industry would gain a lot participating in SITA: “It has been wonderful; I think they are very excited to have Nigeria. I hope you know that they have given me 20 different spots to replicate La Campagne Tropicana Resort.

“They have a tourism development fund; the one we have been trying to create in Nigeria over the years. The idea is to build a cosmopolitan African theme resort like La Campagne. They had over the years decided that these funds should be geared towards eco-tourism development, and I came at the right time because they had actually created a company to build such resort before I came in. They now decided that this company will partner La Campagne for them to realize the dream. The have World Bank support, and this is what we have been talking about as far as Nigeria is concerned. If we create it, international funding agencies would come. All we’ve got to do is to create it and put somebody credible there. Once we create the tourism development fund, you will be surprised.All kinds of agencies would come and inject funds into it. This is what they are doing here.

“They have funds, but they want it to be private sector driven, because they are not really concerned about building of today, but about sustenance of it, for it to be there 50, 100 years from now. So, they have also asked me to invite private sector funding to participate. So, we are going to invite different agencies and private individuals in Nigeria to come and partner us. They can buy a stake in the resort, if you have the money.

“For me, I build around natural attractions and look at proximity to my extended target market. In Lagos, we have tremendous access to domestic tourism because of our size. Because of the huge population of Lagos which is about 24 million people, we get a lot of domestic tourism business. For international tourism opportunities, you’ve got to move around. The way you see a Marriot Hotel chain having over five branches in the city of London alone, you see Protea with three branches each in Victoria Island and Ikoyi alone. The Nigerian brand, La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, needs to also move out and play in that market because we have a unique product of showcasing West Africa in a cosmopolitan manner.

“That way, we are exporting our culture. If you are the only one patronizing your culture, you are not really maximizing your advantages embedded in that culture. But when you get other people to patronize your culture, it gives an almost total monopoly, the way the Chinese people exported their food to the world.

“We need to explode. We have been imploding. We need to sell our culture all over the world. This is even more important, if we are mindful that we are 600 million. Our African brothers that have never been to the continent are looking for the opportunity to feel that culture. We need to take it to them in Brazil, Argentina, Burkina Faso , the Carribean, Americas and so on. Marriot has over 2000 branches all over the world. The brand is ready; it is taking us time to build the brand. Now that it is ready, we must take it out for the benefit of not only Nigeria, but the entire West Africa region.

“The more the people are interested in your culture, the bigger your market. That will create an opportunity for other people to create similar brands concentrating on their culture,“he said.

Although West African countries have always tilted along the language divide, with the new rapprochement through tourism, it is believed that this would help the quest for regional integration a reality.

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Liyel Imoke to declare open World Telecom Day

THE Governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke, will declare open the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day slated for Calabar, Cross River State on May 17.

The occasion will be attended by people from different parts of the world, thereby contributing to the tourism development of the state, an important sector to the governor.

The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is being organized in Nigeria by International Community Education Association (ICEA) in conjunction with Centre for Wireless Telecommunication-Irex Technologies on the theme: Effects of Telecommunication on Community Development in Africa, and being co-ordinated by Profesor Isaac Esema, Chairman, ICEA, Nigeria Chapter, Professor Mathew Ebenezer, ICEA co-ordinator, South-South Region, Dr. Akpanim Ntekim, Associate Professor, Faculty of science and Management Sciences, Akwa Ibom State University, Uyo and Mr. Irebola Ajeboriogbon, Director, Irex Technologies Centre for Wireless Telecommunications.

The event is celebrated yearly on h May 17 to mark the anniversary of the signature of the first international telegraph conversion in 1865 which led to the creation of the International Telecommunication Union. The purpose is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of internet and telecommunication technologies can bring to societies and economies, as well as ways to bridge the digital divide.

Speaking on the event, Professor Esema said it will involve participation of major network operators in Nigeria, government agencies, Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), African Communication Union (ATU), International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and telecommunication subscribers, amongst others.

According to Professor Esema, who was recently appointed Director, Centre for Wireless Communications at the Intercontinental University, Port-Novo, Republic of Benin, another major highlight of the celebration would be a 1million-man match all- around Calabar metropolis.

Professor Esema explained that the programme is also designed to promote national policies to encourage the use of telecommunication network services, promote community awareness towards discouraging telecommunication infrastructural vandalization practices within communities; promote the development and use of ICT, creating awareness on rural telecommunication services, and encouraging community education through distance / open learning by means of internet services.

He said the celebration will also feature a seminar/workshop on topics which include: Introduction of community development, in line with ICEA definition; Telecommunication development in Africa and issues affecting telecommunication infrastructure in the development of our communities.

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I stil jump, swim, dance at 80 – Subomi Balogun

The Otunba Tunwase Court residence of Otunba Subomi Balogun sits magnificently on an expansive land on Obalende Street in the ancient town of Ijebu-Ode. Balogun, the Chairman of First City Monument Bank, no doubt intended the palatial home to serve more purposes than just a residential building from the outset. And that much came to fore at the occasion of his annual prayer and thanksgiving service held late January, this year.

Although the ceremony was intended to be a low-key religious activity in which clerics from various denominations would conduct prayers and thanksgiving sessions for the host, it later turned into a carnival of sorts, featuring scores of eminent persons, including the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, who graced the event with many of his high chiefs.

To a man whose professional calling has attracted men and women of high calibre, seeing so many eminent persons at the event could not have come as a surprise to many. In a chat he had with media men at the occasion, Balogun spoke on a wide range of issues, including his plans for his 80th birthday celebration, which comes up in Lagos tomorrow (The Ijebu-Ode version will hold next Friday). The occasion, according to him, will feature the launch of a museum that centres on royalty and history of Ijebuland.

The Otunba Tunwase Annual Prayer and Thanksgiving Service has grown from just a parlour gathering of family and friends to a big show that now draws the who is who in Ijebuland without leaving out the ordinary people of the town. Initiated by Otunba Balogun as a family affair nearly 30 years ago, it later became his own way of giving thanks to God for His mercies.

He said: “It is my own little way of thanking the Alpha and the Omega for all He has done for me, my community, my people and the nation. It is also designed to start the year on a religious note, asking God to be our guide and guardian.

“It is an annual event which I started just before I was made the Asiwaju of Ijebu-Ode. Since then, it has been a very big event and a platform for giving thanks to the Almighty for His mercies in the past year and also praying that He would be with us continuously, particularly in the New Year.”

Although he is an octogenarian, he is aging gracefully with good looks and excellent sight. With his gaits still straight, the founder of First City Monument Bank danced to the podium in a manner that reminded one of the biblical King David, as he made to deliver his welcome speech after pastors had taken turns to deliver sermons and offer prayers for the Otunba and his family.

At an age when many of his contemporaries are battling with senility and other age-related ailments, Otunba Balogun remains cerebral as depicted by the clarity of his thoughts and articulate expressions. “With sight still very good, arms and hands still firm and I’m still able to lift well, isn’t that something enough for an 80-year-old to thank God for?” he asked.

For his 80th birthday celebration, he has already completed a monument built to commemorate the landmark event.

He said: “Among the other things I’m doing to mark this important landmark of my life is to show my appreciation to my God and also put a sense of history. I look round and ask what can I do? Yes, God has endowed me with the wherewithal to do certain things in the house of God, but I still felt that we should leave a legacy that will be unique, permanent and useful to future generations; an embodiment of the ethos and all that we stand for in the community.

“The large Fusegbuwa Ruling House, with me as the Olori Ebi (head of clan), would like to be having meetings. I just felt that my royal pavillion would be too small for that, and I didn’t just want to build mortar and brick, I wanted a sense of history. So, I asked for the location where some of the legendary Awujales were buried; if there were matters of history that have been preserved; if there were ways of authenticating the correctness of what we claim to be; if there was an opportunity of leaving a legacy of genuineness.

“So, I spoke to His Royal Majesty, Oba Sikiru Adetona, that I was not just going to build a meeting hall where there would only be an event centre; I wanted a museum where we could keep all the archives of royalty; where we could have an authentic history of royalty in Ijebuland; where we can talk about the people around the time this royalty was reigning and up till today.

“So, I chose the name of the Awujale through whose lineage I was made Otunba Tunwase. He was known as Oba Adesimbo Tunwase. He reigned between 1886 and 1895. He was the Awujale who fought the war against the British, and later invited the British to his palace, and signed the treaty of protectorate. And in return, he agreed that Christianity could be preached.

“Before then, some people had come from Lagos and Abeokuta, trying to smuggle Christianity into Ijebuland. But this was the first instance an Oba said ‘come and preach,’ and even got some of his children converted.

“He also went further by giving a land on which the first church was built. The same Awujale also gave the land on which the Muslims built their first central mosque. And for that reason, the Ojude Oba event started for him, and Muslims could go to him.

“The museum is part of the heritage of Ijebuland. It will also take care of all the gray areas about Ijebu history, like who belonged to whom.”

Knowing the enormity of the task involved in building a museum, the Otunba has enlisted some professors of History to be part of the project. They would serve as both curators as well as historians digging out the authentic story.

“I do think that if we do this, it will be the first of its kind and it could lay to rest any doubts about our history. As a symbol of that, I went to the royal family and they gave me all the places I wanted, including the final resting place of the legendary Awujale, Oba Adesimbo.

“So, we have it and it is very big; much bigger than this Otunba Tunwase Court. The final resting place of Oba Adesimbo will be specially marked with a glass screen so that people can view the place where the king was laid. The other places will just have marble tablets. The place will also be a meeting point.

“To maintain it, a particular section can be used as an event centre. It will also be a students’ meeting place for the history of Ijebuland, headed by university professors. I have named it The Oba Adesimbo Tunwase Museum of History and Hall. It is a project I want to complete and commission in commemoration of my birthday in March. That can ginger everybody to be interested in authentic true story and not oral tradition of ‘my father or my mother told me this.’ Let there be records. It is part of my ways of giving back to people and to God.”

Reflecting on the past 80 years, Otunba Subomi believes the high point of his life was when he asked God to “let me do something that is original; what other people had not done, relying mainly on God to achieve it. And that is the creation of a financial institution which, in those days, even government could only do with the support of foreigners. I went to my God, prayed in my chapel, and from the chapel I started, singing: ‘Hallelujah, I cannot fail, I cannot fail. Because of Jesus, I cannot fail.’

“It is the most endearing part of my life, the can-do attitude; the acceptance that ‘with God, nothing is impossible’ worked for me. Like the Yoruba would say, Oluwa ni n sola (only God makes one excel). I totally submitted myself to the hands of my God and my Maker and God made possible what we thought an individual could not do.

“I had the courage and faith to do what other people thought was impossible. Apart from building the FCMB brand, the good health I am enjoying is also a high point. I still swim, I still jump, I still dance. The only thing is that I am not looking for women again.”

The Otunba admitted that he “confronted many obstacles, but with faith in God, we broke through. The FCMB foundation was laid with God actively involved in every stage. As such, nothing would have made it fail. Yes, you don’t succeed without having to climb a hill. I have gone through crucibles and I have emerged with a smile at the end of the tunnel.”

32 years of FCMB

This year marks the 32nd anniversary of FCMB. Prodded to make known what he expects from the bank in the coming years, he said: “FCMB has about 300 branches and 27 others are being added in Lagos, while many more are being added nationwide. I’m expecting that FCMB will be the safest bank for all to keep their money. FCMB will be the first place for all of you to go and ask for financial assistance. It will be the best place for all of you to seek to work. It will be the best to carry all the ideals that have taken people where I am.

“FCMB will continue to be a place of God, where all will go there, do godly business and succeed. So quoting our boss, Mr. Ladi Balogun (laughs; one thing is that if your son becomes an Oba today, you will still pay homage to him and address him ‘Kabiyesi’), FCMB will be among the first five.

“But there are certain areas in which the bank will excel and will not be compared to any other bank; that is the culture of excellence. If you see bankers being smart today without a sense of arrogance, I was the first who introduced complete suit and smartness. Being distinctive in the culture of excellence, that is FCMB.

“When FCMB staff show up in any gathering, people would say ‘I’m quite sure you are from FCMB.’ I want everything about FCMB to elicit confidence and pride in our customers everywhere, so that when any customer carries our card, they will show it off and say, ‘Yes, this is my bank, FCMB.’ We are already on that path and I believe that with God on our side, we are breaking many other grounds.”

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Why I’ll never forgive my son’s killers —Damilola Taylor’s father

RICHARD Taylor (OBE), the father of 10-year-old Nigerian child, Damilola, whose murder in Britain some years ago generated global uproar, was cool and calm as he presented the best British-born Nigerian athlete, Christine Ohoruogu, to the Nigerian media in Lagos a few weeks ago. Ohuruogu was on a visit to Nigeria for the second time to support the Damilola Taylor Foundation established by Richard and his late wife, Gloria.

Expressing his excitement in bringing Ohoruogu, a former Commonwealth and Olympic champion, to her fatherland, Richard said: “I did not choose her; she volunteered. She said our trust is the best. She has got so much to give back. When she told me five years ago that she wanted to come to Nigeria, I told her that I would bring her. And this is an opportunity for her to give back to her society.”

Time, they say, heals all wounds. But that was yet to hold true with Richard when The Nation broached the issue of Damilola’s gruesome murder in a society believed to be much safer than ours. Damilola was allegedly killed by four unruly British youths on a council estate in Peckham, South London, in November 2000. In a shaky voice, Richard said the only choice he had was to fight on and keep the hope of his son alive through the foundation.

Life has been nothing but hell since he lost his son and later his wife, but he says he has found succor in the foundation. He said: “It is very sad for me that my wife had to tragically pass away as well. She was a rock behind this family. And since she passed on, we have always remembered her. We cannot do anything without her. We keep her memory in our minds and in the children’s minds. Tunde (Damilola’s brother) is here.”

Gloria had collapsed after suffering from high blood pressure triggered by Damilola’s death, saddling Richard with the arduous task of ensuring that Tunde is not weighed down by the loss of his mother and brother.

“I have had to make sure that everything I do, Tunde goes along with it, so that he will know his mum is being remembered. We have not forgotten about the mum, and we thank God that what you are seeing, I would never have dreamt that it would happen in my life. I thank God for making it possible for us to be hosted by the British High Commission to launch a memorable project of this nature with so much interest from people who want to be involved in the project. And I hope this is going to be historical in memory of both my wife and son.

“You must have read the story and the poem Damilola wrote about conquering the world. When we discovered that poem in his scrap book, it gave me the courage that I have to fight this fight. I have to do what he has left behind undone. That is why we have continued to make sure that before I die, I should be able to contribute to bringing the changes that he hoped to bring into the society as he put it in his poem. So, for the rest of my life, I am committed to this and I intend to carry on,” Richard stated.

If the killers of Damilola had expressed extreme guilt for hurting the Taylors and tried to make amends by apologising, the elder Taylor says he could have found the courage to forgive them. But they showed no remorse whatsoever, prompting Richard to declare that their forgiveness is a matter for the Almighty.

He said: “I can never forgive those that stabbed my son to death. I have always said it is only God that forgives. It is in the bible. They have never shown any remorse. How can you forgive when you have not confessed your sins? How can I say that I have forgiven them? There are other parents who have taken their own decision on forgiveness of those who killed their son or daughter. But for me it is something that you have to show remorse for first and say sorry for the devastation that you have created in the life of this family.

“The young man or boy who stabbed Damilola has been going from prison to prison. Every time they release him, he commits another offence and goes back to prison. So, for the rest of his life, I think he is going to live in prison. Those are parts of the punishment he will have to serve for the death of an innocent boy.”

Recalling the journey of the 10-year-old Nigerian boy to the United Kingdom about 14 years ago, with his mother and siblings for greener pastures, the father said he had remained in the country pursuing his career. He said: “I have my roots in Nigeria. When the incident happened, I had to rush down there to support. I was a successful civil servant. I retired in the Ministry of Defence as an Assistant Director. After spending four years outside the country, I retired voluntarily.”

Richard Taylor was, however, of the opinion that setting up a foundation in memory of his son must alienate crime and keep the environment conducive for the future leaders. He said: “The objective is to support young people to develop their potential. The government cannot do things alone in this part of the world. Even in the UK and America, there are NGOs and charity organisations that support government initiatives. Those who have shown the desire to be supported education wise, developing their talents and potentials, we need to create a safe environment for them.

“They have to live without the fear of being attacked on the streets. Those are the kinds of awareness we have in the UK. For instance, I go to No.10 Downing Street (UK Prime Minister’s official residence) at will. Here, I cannot enter Aso Rock (Nigerian president’s official residence). Even to meet with the chairman of a local government is a big task in this country. I can enter Buckingham Palace at any time on the ground that I have an appointment.

“In this country, we need to start doing things in a way that we can work with ourselves to get solutions. We are going to all the states, excluding the North East where there is a problem. Our project is to tackle child trafficking, child abuse and human trafficking abroad from here in Nigeria. This is a N500 million project that we are asking for donations for within Nigeria.

“We have spoken to the Governor of Lagos State to allocate land to us in Lekki so that we can build this centre and commence the project of fighting against or tackling the issue of child trafficking and child abuse, which is something that is creating too much problem in the UK, Italy and other parts of the western world. It makes me sad when I see or hear stories about Nigerian children, women or girls going into prostitution in the UK, Italy or Japan.”

According to Wikipedia, in 2002, four youths, including two 16-year-old brothers, went on trial at the Old Bailey over the murder of Damilola. The trial led to all four suspects being acquitted. Two were acquitted on the ruling of the judge after he said that the prosecution’s key witness, a 14-year-old girl, was unreliable. The jury found the other two not guilty. As well as questioning the reliability of the young witness, the defence presented evidence suggesting that Taylor’s wounds were consistent with his falling on a broken bottle and that he had not been the victim of an attack.

Despite the setback, police vowed to keep the investigation open. New DNA techniques led to a re-examination of the evidence obtained at the time of Taylor’s death. In 2005, fresh arrests were made, this time on charges of manslaughter. Those arrested were Hassan Jihad, 19, and two brothers aged 16 and 17, who could not be named due to their age. There was another suspect called Kevin Wilkins.

On January 23, 2006, Jihad (now 21 years old) and the two brothers (aged 17 and 18), not named for legal reasons, appeared at the Old Bailey to face charges of his manslaughter and assault before the start of their imminent trial. The trial commenced on January 24, 2006. In the trial Alastair Wilson, associate clinical director at the Royal London Hospital and one of Britain’s top trauma experts, testified that he thought that Taylor had died after falling on a shard of glass.

On March 29, the jury retired to consider its verdict. On April 3, Jihad was cleared by the jury of all charges in relation to Damilola’s death. The jury could not reach a verdict on the charges of manslaughter against the two brothers, so they were set free, but with the possibility of a retrial on those charges. On April 6, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that the two would be re-tried. The retrial of the two brothers began on June 23. The two brothers, then over 18, were named as Danny and Rickie Preddie, of Peckham, South London. Both defendants were very well known to police, being involved in multiple robberies.

On August 9, 2006, Ricky Gavin Preddie (born 1987, Lambeth, London) and Danny Charles Preddie (born 1988, Lambeth), after a 33-day retrial, were convicted of the manslaughter of Damilola Taylor. During the retrial, it was noted that while the police did follow procedure collecting evidence, lapses occurred in the prosecution. On October 9, 2006, an Old Bailey judge sentenced the Preddie brothers to eight years in youth custody for manslaughter.

Although it was widely reported in the media that Taylor’s parents were unhappy that the sentences had not been longer, the judge, Mr Justice Goldring, went to some length to explain the factors he was forced to take into account. These included the age of the offenders at the time (12 and 13), and that there was no evidence to suggest that there had been a plan to kill Taylor. In addition, the weapon used had not been carried to the scene of the crime, but was found lying on the ground.

Both brothers were set to be paroled in 2010 after serving half of their sentence. Ricky was released on 8 September 2010, subject to probation supervision, and subject to recall to custody if he breached the conditions or if his behaviour indicated that it was no longer safe to allow him to remain in the community. Danny was released in 2011. Ricky was recalled on March 13, 2011 because he was seen in Peckham and associating with gang members, both contrary to his parole conditions. He was released again on January 25, 2012. However, he was recalled to jail in February 2012 after a stolen motorbike was discovered at his bail hostel, thus breaching the terms of release.

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Your questions on drugs and sex

•Dr. Thanks for enlightenment on health issues. Please can you give me specific health shops to get these aphrodisiacs as I have lost libido completely and it is affecting my relationship with my wife. I will be with her hours and I will not achieve erection and if I do once I penetrate it’s over. Please Dr.Adebolahelp me. Mustapha, Abuja 23480.…..4

•I am grateful for the info published on page 53 of The Nation of January 4 2014. May God bless you. Abe. 2348……..7

•Dear Dr Bola, Thanks a great deal for your exposition on Saturday The Nation newspaper with caption “the drugs you should know about- aphrodisiacs.” Please, I am 56 years of age but noticed that I do not have urge for sex any more even when I tried to make a deliberate effort to stimulate the urge; my erection is always weak and lasts for a short while. I am afraid of buying any of these drugs prevalent in the market today due to fear of their efficacy and side effects but when I sawyou write up and coming from a scientist in biomed I became so interested. Could you please list the full namesof good drugs that contain these chemicals compounds you just exposed to enable me pick the drugs at the pharmacies or health shops to help myself. Best regards. Mr. Z.

•Good day Ma, I am a regular reader of your column. In your recent write up on aphrodisiacs, you mentioned many drugs for solving erectile dysfunction problems which are not available in pharmacy stores. I am 63 years old and diabetic. Please recommend a good, effective but safe aphrodisiac for me that will help to improve my sex life with my wife. I live in Oshodi area of Lagos State. Please treat as urgent. I have not been able to perform my sexual duties with my wife for some time now. Thanks.2348……..9

Dear Mustapha and other readers, I wish you an improved relationship with your wife: physical, mental, and spiritual. However, you both have to work on that and you both have to support each other and enlighten each other on what makes you happy and what enhances the union and harmony between you. I know sexual frustration can be a big cross or a painful burden. You can gain from a cross but not from a burden so you first need to determine what you are carrying, cross or burden. If you are suffering loss of libido because you are getting physically incapacitated due to old age or other reasons you may still be able to boost your libido with available therapeutics and non-pharmacological means and you would not suffer unnecessarily. Generally, as we grow older, we recognize limitations that are natural developments and therefore we are psychologically healthy and spiritually peaceful about them and may even bounce in our weakness. We may start wearing glasses, using a walking stick, wearing a diaper, etc., and all that does not matter because we look back at life and see our children and achievements and understand how we became so spent and may even feel proud at the stage we have reached. The old life is being replaced by the new life that is the work of the old life and this gives the old life much peace and joy. In other words, it should never be an unfortunate thing to grow old. However, there are many evils in our world that have made growing old an unpleasant experience that often times we are not ready for or we are unable to welcome. We often have to keep doing our best to live well against the damages we have suffered in life. Within a marriage relationship the effects add up since the two are “one flesh”. You share each other’s physical, psychological, and spiritual damages in a unique way. I urge you to be very free and open and humble with each other, to improve your understanding and acceptance of each other, to strive to support each other, compensate each other, and compromise with each other as needed. Avoid comparing your relationship with other marriages and beware of swallowing TV and popular media portrayal of love and sex as your paradigm (even if they are nice and attractive). Remember that making the best of what you have and where you are at is good psychological health and will continue to bear good fruit in your life and secure further happiness for your future.

You might be much older than your spouse hence you have a disparity of sexual appetite and sexual capability between you. A significant disparity may occur also if one partner has a demanding career or consuming business and the other is largely relaxed. Health issues may also bring disparities. If you have real disparities, you need to try and bridge the gap through effort, medication, non-sexual compensation, and mutual compromise. A little prayer may flood your vision. For improved libido, try one of the neutraceuticalsthat we discussed earlier:PHGH™, ExtenZe™, Passion Rx™, Erectzan™, Vydox™, orLonginexx™, but first ask your doctor to enlighten you about how their contents may affect you and your spouse. There are a few distributors advertising such products in the newspapers but you can also get them via the Internet if you are a 21C credit or debit card holder. Good health and good relationships to you all.

To be continued.

Dr. ‘Bola John is a biomedical scientist based in Nigeria and in the USA. For any comments or questions on this column, please email or call 07028338910 or 0816094463

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Five types of women men avoid

When pursuing your lady, use this as a guide five types of women you should avoid. A lot of you must have encountered many types of women in your existence, so who better to make a list than someone who’s been through the entire book?

The smart-ass

Every man likes an articulate woman, a girl who can voice her opinion, sound intelligent and impress your friends with a philosophical debate on the downward spiral of modern politics. Let’s be realistic, while it’s always nice to date someone who is charismatic and well-versed, it’s something quite different to date a woman who beats the opinionated war drum.

Unfortunately, these types exist. The Smart-Ass drips sarcasm. She enjoys answering and asking questions with a tone and an attitude that pushes away the nicest of suitors. Her words drip with venom and her personality is based on making others feel beneath her.

Gold digger

It doesn’t take a genius to know that wooing a woman requires a trifocal effort of body, soul and spending power. As standard romantic procedures, you’re going to have to take her for dinner, buy her gifts, whisk her away to the mountains for the weekend, and show her that the world is your oyster and she’s the pearl. But if I can give a word of caution to the free-spending comrades out there (many of you are guilty of this), make sure she’s actually enjoying your company and not just your wallet. A Gold Digger will instantly speak of high-priced evenings and pricey desserts. She will mention her bills and her need for your financial help. She will also take this time to arouse you to the point of blind obedience.

Ms. Right

Even as a woman, we know this type when we see them. She could have a bevy of outstanding qualities, but her inability to accept a different opinion ultimately may lead to a breakup. Every time you get together, she would declare her astuteness and would never take your advice because it is always wrong from her own point of view. Ms. Right is stubbornly set in her ways – she’s correct about everything, and if you even so much as make an unfavorable whisper, she’ll lash out at you with the voraciousness of a python. The sad part is, Ms. Right types are hard to change, as their personal pride tends to get in the way of understanding others and the world around her, so all you can really do is avoid these women.

The psycho

What is it about women who feel the need to call their man 10 times a day? The Psycho includes the girl who calls, texts or posts to your Facebook wall 10 times a day. It includes the girl who wants to know your every move and asks how you’ve been when she just spoke to you an hour ago. If there is any woman to avoid at all costs, the Psycho is the one. She will insert herself into your life and shake all aspects of your existence. It is easy to fall for the Psycho as she brings intensity and a passion that is borderline supernatural. Remember, though, that sex with a psycho may be amazing, but at some point you’ll end up in front of the police. If you fail to look at her from all aspects, you’ll end up with a bothersome, insecure and potentially vicious woman who will show no signs of going away.

The rebound

She is the most sinister on the list because she is the most difficult to detect. We have all heard the warning of the “rebound guy,” but what about the female counterpart? Like the Psycho, this girl tends to come on strong, hot and heavy. Her seductive ways could weaken some of the strongest Players. Falling into her traps, you’ll bypass your better judgment and fall hard. You believe that this is the one; you believe that this is a great relationship in the making. But the truth is that you were just a lay, just a sexual encounter to help her past the man who recently broke her heart. You’re either too early or too late. You’re either not ready on time or not giving her time to get ready. See the signs as she shifts from being the comely hotness to the reluctant mute across the dinner table. Finesse, bid farewell and remove yourself from the situation.

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My story, by one-armed man arrested for robbery

A ONE-armed man, Adebayo Ojomo (42), has expressed shock for being paraded as a robbery suspect by the Lagos State Police Command. Ojomo was paraded by the police on Tuesday at its headquarters in GRA, Lagos alongside some alleged members of a robbery gang Ojomo was said to belong to.

Ojomo said he had decided to part ways with the other suspects the day he wanted to pay them N2,000 for his fraternity vest at a hotel in Lekki area of Lagos, as he overheard them discussing about an operation and how to procure guns for it.

Ironically, he was one of the only two of the 13 suspected members of the gang who admitted that the gang was involved in robbery activities. The 11 others were adamant that their gathering at the said hotel had nothing to do with robbery. They said they were in the habit of going to the hotel regularly to relax, drink and retire home without committing any crime.

They said it only happened that on that particular day, they saw some members of the cult group called Eye Fraternity having their initiation ceremony somewhere in the compound, which they said was different from the spot where they sat to enjoy themselves as responsible guests. The other suspects include Ayomide Sunny, Rilwan Salaudeen, Tosin Jacob, Ademagun Muraina, Suleiman Abolaji, Babatunde Fashola, James Imeh, Olumide Tosin, Kola Abanikanda, Ibrahim Shakiru, Adedeji Adekunle and Ogunshola Oladimeji.

Parading the 13 suspects on Tuesday, Lagos Commissioner of Police, Umaru Manko, said on March 1, 2014, at about 3.35 am, the Divisional Police Officer of Ilasan Police Division, Lekki, received a distress call that some hoodlums had converged on the hotel and were preparing to perpetrate their evil act.

Manko said: “Based on that information, a team of policemen, led by the DPO Gbenga Olorunfemi, a Chief Superintendent of Police, proceeded to the scene. On sighting the policemen, they (suspects) took to their heels, but the policemen gave them a hot chase, which led to the arrest of 13 of them. They wore T-shirts bearing the inscription ‘Supremost Eye Confraternity.’ “

According to Manko, the items recovered from them included a set of sound system, numerous cell phones, two buses with registration numbers AAA 265 XJ and APP 198 XJ, as well as one Infinity SUV with registration No. Epe 505 MD. He said the case was later referred to the State Criminal Investigatio Department (SCID), Yaba, for proper investigation.

He said further investigation revealed that the celebration the suspects were having at the hotel was the birthday of some members of the gang who had just been initiated into their cult. He said majority of their members were said to have come from Bariga, Ajah and some parts of Ogun State for the ceremony.

In his own defence, Ojomo, who has only one arm, said: “My left hand was amputated when I had a fatal motor accident. I am not a criminal; neither do I intend to become an armed robber. I cannot rob with one hand.

“What really happened is that I used to go to the hotel to seek fun, drink, smoke and generally enjoy myself as much as the little money I had on me would allow. On that fateful day, I was in the hotel when I saw the Eye Confraternity boys. I looked at the inscriptions on their shirts very well and saw that ‘Supremost Eye Confraternity’ was boldly written on them, and I liked the vest.

“I went to where they were assembled and asked them what they were doing but they did not answer me. They were just looking at me. I told them that I liked the vest and would like to have one even if I had to pay. They told me that it was meant only for members of Supremost Eye Confraternity.

“They told me to either sit with them or leave, as membership was not by force. Innocently, I sat down, paid N2,000 and collected my own vest. As I was putting it on, I overheard some of them discussing how to procure guns, where to operate and other dirty details which were not good for the ears of any responsible person.

“I wanted to return my own vest and collect my N2,000 back. Unfortunately, the police came at that particular time and asked everybody to surrender or they would talk to us with guns. They arrested everybody, including myself. I tried to explain to the police that I had just met them and that when I realised that they were cult people, I wanted to leave them even at the risk of forfeited the N2,000 I paid for the vest.

“I am telling you the truth. I did not know them before. It was their fraternity vest and the way they entertained themselves that attracted me. If I had known them very well before their meeting at the hotel, I would not have gone near them, not to talk of joining them. It is quite unfortunate that the police have refused to listen to me up till now. Look at me; I cannot rob with one hand.”

Another suspect, who claimed to be innocent, Shakiru (29), said he was a bus conductor on the Ajah-Lekki route. He said: “I was arrested at a hotel in Etiosa, Lekki area of Lagos State. My arrest was a surprise to me because I never expected to be arrested by the police without committing an offence.

“To be sincere, I used to frequent the hotel to smoke, drink and look for beautiful women to chat with. I am not a womaniser and I have been hearing how some women used to carry deadly diseases, like AIDS. So, I don’t go after women. I was only going to the hotel to enjoy the sweat of my labour.

“I don’t get much from being a bus conductor, but I like to go to the hotel to look around, pass time and become happy before going home. You know that bus conductor work is full of stress. I am telling you the truth. I am not one of them. Ask any of them here whether I am one of them. If I were one of them, I would have run away when the police came. I felt I was innocent, so I did not panic. But the police arrested me because I was in the hotel and not because I was one of them.

“I would not lie to you; the boys bought drinks for everybody who was present when they gathered at the hotel. But that does not make me one of them because of the one or two bottles of beer I drank on their account.”

The third suspect, Sanni (32), claims that he is a furniture maker and was not a member of the gang. Defending himself, he said: “I am innocent. I only took my girlfriend to the hotel to have fun. We have been going there to enjoy ourselves and enjoy the money I suffered to get.

On the Friday I was arrested, I was in the bay with my girlfriend, enjoying my drinks. I did not care to know the boys the police were calling hoodlums. The boys were at the back of the hotel. I was with my girlfriend at a different location in the hotel when the police stormed the place. I did not panic. I am surprised that I was arrested, because an innocent person should not be afraid of the police.

“I am a hardworking person. I do furniture work. If I knew that the police would raid the hotel on that fateful day, I would not have gone there. I am innocent. I won’t lie to you.”

Another suspect, Oladimeji (22), also claimed to be innocent. He said: “I am innocent. I am a professional DJ. I don’t work in the hotel. On that day, a guy called Shakiru came to my shop and parked my speakers. I was not around when he came. I was watching a football march in the Germany league. When I went back to my shop, they told me that the guy, a village boy, had come to take some speakers away to the hotel.

“Initially, I did not want to go to the hotel but because I had wanted to go and check my amplifier at the hotel, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. Believe me, when I got there, the whole hotel was surrounded by policemen. It would have been disastrous if I had attempted to run because they were all armed with guns. They just walked up to me and arrested me.”

Asked why he was there at the odd hour of 3 am, he said: “I had been going there anytime I liked because the hotel people know me very well. I can even sleep there. I never knew that such a thing would happen in the hotel because it is a well respected hotel.”

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Health benefits of banana

Bananas are one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world for good reason. Some scientists believe that the banana may have even been the world’s first fruit.

Nutritional breakdown of bananas

One medium banana (about 126 grams) is considered to be one serving. Bananas are naturally free of fat, cholesterol and sodium. Bananas provide a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Here are some benefits of banana:

Blood pressure: Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure, however increasing potassium intake may be just as important because of its vasodilation effects. A high potassium intake is associated with a 20% decreased risk of dying from all causes.

Asthma: A study found that children who ate just one banana per day had a 34% less chance of developing asthma.

Cancer: As a good source of vitamin C, bananas can help combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. High fiber intakes from fruits and vegetables like bananas are associated with a lowered risk of colorectal cancer.

Heart health: The fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6 content in bananas all support heart health. An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake is the most important dietary change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.

High potassium intakes are also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in the formation of kidney stones.

Treating diarrhea: Bland foods such as apple sauce and bananas are recommended for diarrhea treatment. Electrolytes like potassium are lost in large quantities during bouts of diarrhea and may make those affected feel weak. Bananas can help to promote regularity and replenish potassium stores.

Eye Health

Adding a banana to your diet also helps keep your eyes healthy. Bananas have a small amount of vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that is vital for protecting your eyes and normal vision. Bananas also contain alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which convert to vitamin A to further keep your eyes healthy.

Regularity: Enjoying a banana each day aids in keeping you regular. As insoluble fiber travels through your digestive tract, it sweeps up waste and helps push it out. You’ll have more regular bowel movements that are soft and easy to pass.

Weight Loss: Finding foods to fit into your weight-loss diet can be challenging, but bananas make a perfect fit. Bananas are naturally sweet and can help curb your sweet tooth if you get that afternoon sugar craving. Food is forced to sit in your stomach for a while, making you feel full. If you have a banana before lunch, you’ll be less likely to overeat when your food comes to the table.

Helps Digestion: Bananas are a great source of dietary fiber that most of us don’t get nearly enough of. Fiber helps the food you eat move smoothly through the digestive tract and improves elimination.

A couple of bananas may be a healthier choice than laxatives to treat occasional constipation.

A Hangover Cure

Bananas are a great hangover food for mornings when you’ve overdone it a bit the night before. A couple of bananas in a blender with ice, some berries and coconut milk or organic cow’s or goat’s milk makes a really good recovery drink.

Good for Ulcers

Eating bananas regularly may help protect against stomach ulcers. Compounds in bananas seem to create a thicker protective barrier in the stomach against hydrochloric acid.

Bananas also contain protease inhibitors that work to eliminate certain bacteria in the stomach implicated as a major cause of stomach ulcers.

Build Better Bones with Bananas: Eating bananas frequently as part of your healthy way of eating can help improve your body’s ability to absorb calcium via several mechanisms.

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Birdman buys16- year-old daughter G-wagon

Rapper and music producer, Birdman, on Tuesday, presented his 16-year-old daughter, Bria Williams, a 2014 G-Wagon as her birthday present.

Birdman, who is the co-founder of Cash Money Records, has been in limelight for decades and has done a lot of songs and collaboration albums with lil Wayne.

Birdman also made his name by contributing to the making of YMCMB (Young Money Cash Money Billionaires).

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Funke Agagu smarts from hubby’s death

For Funke Agagu, coming to terms with the untimely death of her husband has been harder than she had envisaged. It might take a greater effort to mend her broken heart than melt a piece of iron. If you ever encounter the bespectacled former First Lady of Ondo State looking withdrawn and uninterested, it could well be because she has been battling with boredom.

The gentle and affable woman is gradually coming to terms with the harsh realities of life since her husband and former Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, slumped and died in his Lagos home last year. A family source said that Mrs. Agagu can hardly make a complete sentence without a reference to her husband.

For a woman whose children are all grown up and live in different parts of the world, and who was used to having all kinds of people around her in the heyday of her husband, adjusting to a lonely world of little or no political influence has not been easy. Although her Ibadan and Lagos homes are still being thronged by visitors with political leanings, she seems not to be showing much interest in politics.

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