ONE: The Dead: Christy Essien Igbokwe died. She was 50 years old. She left behind a great legacy of awesome ageless music. May she rest forever.
TWO: A Boko Haram bomb killed 5 more people last night in Maiduguri, Bauchi state. This week’s killing happened near a bar not far from the police barracks. The army had apparently taken over the city following last week’s attack that killed 25. However, the group was able to detonate another bomb just a week after the apparent takeover. To prevent further bloodshed the FCTA announced last week that all recreational centres in Abuja must close by 10 p.m.. Many residents of the capital have opined that the rule would cause many small businesses such as bars and clubs to lose considerable revenue. The cost of allowing a murderous organization such as Boko Haram to continue operating with impunity is great indeed. The effect of their monstrous rampage will be felt by the economy and the Nigerian society as a whole. One cannot stress enough how important it is that they be stopped using whatever means necessary.
THREE: The president swore in 14 new and returning ministers yesterday. The list of the new ministers and their ministry can be found here.
FOUR: 10 Nigerians died of cholera in Jos last week. The state ministry of health is currently working hard to contain the outbreak of the disease.
FIVE: The Nigerian population is expected to increase to 402 million by 2050. One wonders how the 200 million additional Nigerians will eat, be educated, and be kept healthy enough to contribute to the overall health of the nation. In a country besieged by corruption, terrorism, mismanagement, and general incompetence, we hope the Nigerian spirit of hard work and perseverance will be enough to create a system that will work for these new Nigerians.
SIX: The Ondo State government and its workers union have finally agreed on a minimum wage bringing to an end the indefinite strike of the government workers. The new minimum wage is set at N14, 000. It was reduced from N18, 000 after extensive negotiation by the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) of the workers and government. The new payment is set to begin July 1st.
SEVEN: The American “cheap good” giant, Walmart is currently negotiating a move to the Nigerian consumer market. It was reported that the executives of the company met with the Nigerian Ambassador to the U.S., Professor Ade Adefuye last week. The Nigerian government apparently welcomed the development. It is absolutely important that the government find ways of protecting the interest of the numerous small business owners, potential Walmart workers and general merchants from the domination of western giant.
EIGHT: An audit of the Global Fund’s grant activities in Nigeria, released last week, showed that almost N7 billion in grants was wasted by Nigerian NGOs. The grants were granted by the organization to NGOs involved in the fight against malaria, HIV and tuberculosis. The implicated organizations are the Gowon Centre, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Society for Family Health (SFH), National Malaria Control Program (NMCP), Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), Christian Health Association of Nigeria (CHAN) and CHAN-MEDIPHARM. A fraud report has been filled with the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission.
NINE: The former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai was arrested and detained for 18 hours by the State Security Services (SSS) yesterday. El Rufai recently wrote a scathing review of the 2011 budget. He argued that the NSA receives too great a share of the budget without making Nigerians safer and he concluded that the country is on an unsustainable track. The Goodluck Jonathan government found his piece seditious and he was arrested and questioned. El Rufai used his twitter account to communicate with his supporters after his ordeal and he is to return to the office of the SSS this morning for more questioning. Many Nigerians have condemned the SSS’s action, calling it a breach of civil liberties and human rights. Among the critics, is the former president, IBB, whose administration was accused of far worse. We will like to remind our democratically elected government that the rule of law must be followed and that the civil rights of all Nigerians must be protected at all cost. President Jonathan must protect the rich Nigerian tradition of a free press, simply because it is in the best interest of our democracy. We wish El Rufai good luck today.
TEN: The Defeated: The Nigerian Falcons were defeated last week. Their Women’s world cup campaign came to an abrupt end after the team lost the second game to the German women’s team by just one point.