Monday, December 16, 2013

We need a decisive leader

A leader who makes things happen is one, who after dipping a morsel of eba inside a bowl of rich egusi soup automatically knows where he should put it without first consulting a committee.- Isaac Newton

Good morning all.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

These FBN and Access accounts are being used for fraud

At 8:40 this morning, a con artist who hijacked the Facebook page of an old senior colleague contacted me to try his luck. I played along and got him to forward account numbers into which I was to send the money he requested.

It is possible that the account owners are not in on the fraud. In that case, if you know the owners of the accounts, alert them to the fact that their accounts are being used for fraud. They are a few steps away from EFCC cell’s tenancy.
And if you have a friend who routinely gets people to send money into your account, defriend him immediately. The commission he gives you will not be enough for the trouble you will land into when the law comes calling.

Our conversation is presented below, with the initials of my friend whose account was hijacked.

08:40 JBA


08:55 Me  

Hello Sir

08:57 JBA

how are you

10:13 Me

I am ok. And you?

10:13 JBA

am good as well

10:15 Me

Long time. Where are u now?

10:16 JBA

i am presently in benin republic

10:18 Me

What's happening there?

10:18 JBA

on a visit. but i will be back by friday

10:19 Me

Ok. Enjoy urself while there o!

10:20 JBA

thank you

please i need some help from you

10:27 Me

Ok. What's up?

10:28 JBA

please i want to make an urgent payment to someone can you help me make the payment i will refund it back to you when i return on friday

10:40 Me

That's tough. Anyway, how much are we looking at?

10:42 JBA


10:43 Me

Ok. How should I send it and who is this person?

10:47 JBA

adams edith  3068708518 first bank

10:50 Me

Okay. But it has to be later. I am in the office now. It will take some time to get out. Will let u know when I've done it. Cheers

10:50 JBA

okay thank you

10:52 Me

Alternatively, I could use online transfer on my mobile app. What branch is this account

10:53 JBA


which bank do you bank with

10:54 Me

Access, Marina

10:57 JBA

okay let me see if he has someone with access bank

11:00 Me


11:10 JBA

0007753116 benjamin ashibuogwu access bank

are you there?

11:15 Me

Sorry. Was attending to something. Okay, I have it. Will try to use this one for easier transaction

11:15 JBA


let me know when it has been done

11:16 Me


11:43 JBA

are you still on it

11:45 Me

Pls be patient.  Attending to smth first.  Will buzz when I do

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Shutting down GSM service is not helping war on terror

Nigerians woke up this morning to the sad news of terrorists hitting several military bases in Maiduguri. Number of casualties is not yet known.

It must be clear to the authorities by now that shutting down communication to fight Boko Haram is not as smart as they originally thought it was. Shutting down GSM services is a double edged sword, which cuts both ways; and from the incident of yesterday it is clear that it is cutting the society more than it is cutting the insurgents.

How can you explain over 400 terrorists invading a city for 6 hours and everywhere they got to, they still had the element of surprise in their favour? This is a city where at least one person in every household must have a phone.

Terrorists overran a military formation and headed for the next target and then the next, and all of them were taken unawares?!!!

This is the sort of thing you would expect in the day and age when NITEL held sway and only your traditional ruler and a handful of rich men had phones, not in 2013.

Where there is efficient communication, the element of surprise is lost the moment the first target is hit. In a few minutes, everyone else knows what is going, and those who want to run can run while the security forces can get prepared.

 I hope the authorities will draw useful lessons from this horrible incident and restore GSM services immediately.

Related stories

Police Affairs Minister got that right
Where is our emergency number?
National emergency number 112 not ready

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Danfo driver goes nude to evade arrest

The driver stripping off his clothes. Credit: Punch

When you exasperatedly shout ‘were’ (madman) to a reckless danfo driver in Lagos, more often than not, you are stating a fact, not necessarily insulting him. Many of them deserve an appointment with experienced psychiatrists.

The Punch reports this morning an interesting incident that demonstrates this. A  LASTMA team apprehended a commercial bus driver at Palm Groove for picking passengers on the road.

To evade arrest, he rips off all his clothes including boxers, putting the officers in a dilemma as to what to do next. Unsure of how to deal with the man, they decided to take pictures of his vehicle and number plate and let him go.

The same driver, described as an old man had earlier tried a trick that was not successful. Upon arrest, he had brought a bowl from inside his bus that contained a substance with an awful smell. The LASTMA officers, policemen and commuters in the vicinity reportedly took to their heels to avoid the stench.

But one of the officials came back and stood his ground, wielding a baton and insisting that the man must follow them. The driver then resorted to the nude prank, which paid off, at least for now.

Can you see the mental state of some of the people ferrying commuters to and fro in Lagos? Apparently, commuters had been sitting in that bus with that fetid bowl hidden in a corner of the bus.

This man and many danfo drivers are not fit to be on the road. This is why you must commit your ways to God before living your home every morning.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Fashola criticises fellow governors on use of sirens

A major news item for me in the papers today is the open chastisement of public officials who use sirens by Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola.

Governor Fashola who spoke at  the 13th National Council on Transport in Lagos said:

“Let us get rid of all these sirens... And then we use loud horn especially the one used during emergency. Are we in a state of perpetual emergency?

“If those who manage the public transport policy can get away by using sirens, it (the policy) will never work. ...People elect us to manage public transport on their behalf and we choose to escape from it. After riding in a free car paid for, coupled with the free fuel, it is an abdication of duty.

“It must apply across the board. At least at the state level, I can speak. My commissioners have very clear order on that; they will lose their job if they do.”

 “Every form of unqualified person goes past our security post in a siren. And we expect to be safe.”

 May God bless Fashola for saying this. He spoke the minds of millions of Nigerians.

Who will drum this message into the ears of the opportunists in power?
Who will tell Dr and Dr (Mrs) Goodluck Jonathan not to freeze an entire city and frustrate productive activities of tax payers because of a flying visit?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Whose convoy killed two in Lagos?

Gov. Fashola, Lagos
Another convoy wasted the lives of two citizens in Lagos yesterday, according to the Punch. Eye witness reports indicated that it was a government convoy returning from visiting a patient in a private hospital.

One of the escort police vehicles was said to bear an Ogun State number plate. But the governments of Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State have said no high profile official visited that location at that time.

In my personal experience, Governor Fashola’s convoy does not drive menacingly and does not even use a siren. You only know it’s him from the state insignia. It would be really out of character for him to be involved in a thing like this.

I was once at an event where he was being awaited and his convoy came in without us noticing. At that same event, rain started pouring and he sprinted inside the rain to commission the project he was there for. Other dignitaries who were initially reluctant to enter the rain sprinted after him and were all wet like the rest of us.

This picture of him is incongruous  with a menacing convoy that killed two people and didn’t bother to wait.

Of course, people change.  But what is needed is a thorough investigation. The question is who will do the investigation.

The news reporters can help by visiting the hospital the convoy was returning from before the accident. If they make discreet investigations there, they can establish who the govt official was.

In the meantime, we await a serious-minded president who will outlaw the use of sirens by government officials nationwide forever and enforce it.

Are you invited for a job you didn't apply for?

I received the text below from a ‘company’ announcing that I had been shortlisted for a job interview in Ibadan. I should be happy, right? Trouble is, I didn’t send any application to the company.

It was easy for me to realize it’s a scam because roughly three weeks ago I received a text from a number on a Friday evening inviting me to an interview in this same location the very next day at 10am. But I found two things queer: the timing of the text, and the fact that the text did not disclose the company doing the interview.

The short notice was a scheme. I was meant to call the number and explore the possibility of changing the appointment to enable me to travel from Lagos to Ibadan. The officer at the other end would then ask for credit to make some calls. And when I sent it, maga for don pay. I just deleted the text.

They probably thought sending a text from a number did not impress me and decided to send it in the name of a company, a second time.

Guys, this is the new device of the callous crooks who prey on the helpless. They lure gullible job seekers with offers of gainful employment. Once the bait is bitten, they ask for money for registration, or deposit for medical tests, etc. When they have collected enough funds, they disappear into thin air.

Nemesis of con-artists is awareness. Once people know the trick, it fails to produce results. Inform those around you seeking employment.

------ SMS ------
Sent: Nov 13, 2013 7:46 PM
Subject: You are Shortlisted for...

You are Shortlisted for Oral/Written Interview by 10am,Thur 14/11/12 @our Branch Office: Lamlat Building beside Stanbic IBTC Bank, Old Ife Rd, New Gbagi,Ib.BATCH C

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Amaechi on education

I came by a resident of Rivers State on Facebook today who swore that Governor Rotimi Amaechi has outperformed most other governors in the area of education.
He posted a picture of one of the model primary schools the governor is building across the state, and I thought it was unbelievable.

I’ve done a quick search on Google and what it turned up is quite interesting. The New Model Primary schools the governor is building compare very well with any other in any part of the world. They are complete with recreational facilities, some even have internet facilities, and at least one was furnished with  split unit ACs.

Private schools will begin to look and feel inadequate in Rivers State at this rate.  

The governor aims at building 700 and had accomplished 500 as of April when Vanguard reported it. This  is really amazing in a Nigerian environment. I also learnt primary education is free in the state, with provision of books and uniforms.

What this shows is that people with good ideas and ability to transform them to reality can indeed be found in any party. Education is a pivotal sector and the poor have for long received the short end of the stick in this regard in many states of the federation in the years of the locusts supervised by PDP.

These model primary schools afford the children of the masses in Rivers State access to infrastructure that has been the exclusive preserve of the rich. The teachers working in these schools must feel proud turning up at work every day.

Kudos to Amaechi on this one.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Another tale of two female ministers

Victoria Hammah
Victoria Hammah, Deputy Minister of Communications in Ghana has been fired by her boss for allegedly planning to make one million dollar from politics.
Her girly conversation over the phone inside the comfort of her car was allegedly taped by her driver last Thursday. He put it online and it went viral. The presidency got wind of it today and sent her packing in a one-paragraph release.

Over here a female minister has openly confessed to approving a transaction well over her powers and against budgetary allocation, among other infractions and she is still sitting pretty, all because we have a clueless, dithering president.

To Victoria Hammah, sorry babe. You were serving the wrong boss. You should have been in GEJ’s cabinet.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Police Affairs Minister got that right

Navy Capt. (Rtd) Caleb Olubolade,
Police Affairs Minister

Police Affairs Minister Caleb Olubolade canvassed a point of view I have always reiterated on this blog: You need the public to fight crime.  

Hear the minister in Vanguard’s exclusive Front Page lead report on security challenge in the country today.

“Nobody can secure any community without intelligence. Without information, security agencies cannot succeed because they will be making wrong deployments and will be acting in different directions which will not help. Giving information is all that is needed and the security agencies will overcome.”

The minister should know. He was a Navy Captain.
The question is, 'what is being done to make information available to the forces? What is being done about inter-force cooperation and sharing of resources for crime-fighting?'

A key tool is the Emergency Number. Elsewhere in the world, it is the very first thing the government puts in place for efficient security. When a citizen sees something strange, the next thing is to whip out his phone and alert the police effortlessly and without spending a dime of his phone credit. 

More than a decade after access to phones has been liberalised by the GSM operators, and two years into GEJ’s govt, we still await a national, toll-free emergency number.

Lagos State has had to take its fate in its own hands by flagging off its own Emergency Numbers: 112 and 767. A more universally known number, 911 was apparently added quietly, recently.

But this is a project that is better managed by the Federal Government for uniformity. A single toll-free number should be used across the country. That way, promoting it will be easy, and recall will be much better.

A more serious federal government needs only a few months to make this functional. But a clueless one like we currently have will pussy-foot forever, while precious lives are lost to terrorism and other forms of crime.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Policeman who killed man in front of his family says ‘Sorry, I did it’

Corporal Gabriel Credit: OnlineNews

This must be the first time this is happening in Nigeria. The police corporal, Corporal Gabriel, who shot a man in front of his daughter last Saturday, has admitted to The Guardian that he did it. 

The victim was reportedly taking his wife and daughter home when he saw policemen around the car of his friend on their street. He alighted in front of his house and walked to the police even though his wife protested. Next thing was that he was shot twice.

In reaction, some police image maker had told the press that the policeman was attacked by hoodlums who wanted to take his gun. How does that sit with the statement of the man in the centre of it all now.

Interestingly too, the police corporal is not labelling the unfortunate man a robber.
He said: “I actually killed Azeez Omotosho, aka Panel. It was the Devil’s work; Please, forgive me. I was not myself. I WAS DRUNK when I perpetrated the act.

For being truthful, does he deserve leniency? And what should happen to the leader of his team who knew he was drunk and allowed him to wield a gun?


BlackBerry Abandons Sell-Off Plans - CEO Resigns

Latest news from ­BlackBerry is that the planned sale of the company has been ditched. The company now will seek an additional $1 billion in funding. Its CEO, Thorsten Heins, has resigned.
According to CellularNews, the company's largest single shareholder, Fairfax Holdings, which proposed a US$4.7 billion buyout of the company was unable to secure the necessary funding for its highly conditional offer.
Other rumoured bidders also failed to materialise by the Monday deadline.
Instead, the company will raise $1 billion in fresh funding, of which a quarter will be provided by Fairfax Holdings.
Former Sybase CEO, John Chen will serve as interim chief executive while a long term replacement is found.
Another company director, David Kerr has also resigned.
BlackBerry currently has a market value of around US$5 billion and also has some US$3 billion in cash and equivalents. The fresh funding will lift its cash to around $4 billion, giving whoever takes on the role of CEO more time to try and turn the company around.

That Uke vigil tragedy

Venue of the ill-fated vigil, Uke, Anambra.
Credit: Informationng
Warning to APGA and APC warlords: I belong to neither. So save your bullets.

Did anyone else see the irony in the promise of Governor Obi to send 20 people to Jerusalem while speaking at the ill-fated Uke Vigil? A couple of hours later over 20 people were dead.
With the benefit of hindsight, a pertinent question for the governor should have been: “Bros, is it the Jerusalem here on earth you want to send people to or the one in heaven?” May the souls of the dead rest in peace.

In my opinion, there are two key take-away lessons from this incident:

1) Church leaders should discourage politicians from mounting the pulpit. They can attend and worship quietly like anyone else, but no speech-making. Naija politicians cannot pass up an opportunity to play politics, and the church is meant to accommodate all shades of political opinions.

2.) Not all venues are suitable for worship sessions that draw thousands of people. For safety reasons, some venues are simply unsuitable because of access issues. Some years ago, we read in the British press how Pastor Ashimolowo’s church in London was denied a permit to build a worship centre in a particular area.
It was easy to dismiss the affected council as anti-Gospel, but they actually knew what they were doing. Their explanation was simply that the area was built to accommodate a certain number of vehicular traffic per day and that the proposed church would draw higher vehicular traffic and upset the council’s plans.

We need to reach that level of sophistication where we can dimension the number of human and vehicular traffic for a particular area and use that to determine suitability for huge gatherings, religious or not.
Even though we do it all the time here, it is never a good safety practice to host hundreds of people in a space that has only one entry and exit or narrow access.    

Friday, November 01, 2013

Beware of uniformed hustlers at Berger

If you drive through Ojodu Berger Bus Stop on the Lagos Ibadan Expressway, take special precaution not to pick up or drop people on either side of the bus stop.

If you must, go further away from the bus stop and ‘shine your eyes’ very well.

LASTMA officials and policemen have of late turned the bus stop to ‘work-chop’. Remember the year is drawing to a close. People are getting desperate for money for the Yuletide. 

Actually, there are ‘No Parking’ signs on either side of the road, but if you reason that they are only meant for commercial drivers who park indiscriminately and not private car owners who drop off people in seconds and zoom off, you will be making a mistake.

They will pounce on you and quote Lagos State Traffic law that specifies a fine of N35, 000 for such an offence.  It will then be up to you to offer something impressive enough as a bribe for them to let you run along to meet your appointments.  

A police van blocked me yesterday as I tried to pick my wife. The waiting could not have been up to a second, because she had not even opened the door when they came from their hiding.

One of the boys rudely told me I had committed a traffic obstruction offence by picking someone at Berger. I was to follow them to their office somewhere to pay my fine. At his command, one of them got into my car and was piloting me to the location.

I got off by demanding to see their most senior officer, to whom I introduced myself and explained that I did not park, but was to pick my wife for less than a minute.

He sent me off with a warning in espirit de corp. (I spent some of my early years in journalism on the police/judicial beat.)


Hundreds queue as iPad Air hits the stores today

iPad Mini and iPad Air  Credit: Daily Mail

Your iPad just got a generation older!

Apple's new iPad Air becomes available in 41 countries today, pulling hundreds of fans to the front doors of Apple Stores, jostling to be among the first to get their hands on the high-end device.

Customers in Australia and Japan were among the first to get their hands on the 9.7-inch tablet as stores opened at 8am in each country.

Philip W. Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, unveiled the newly named iPad Air earlier this month.

It is the fifth 9.7-inch model to be sold by the Californian firm and is 20 per cent thinner than the iPad 4, with a 5MP camera.

Schiller also unveiled the new iPad mini which has a 7.9-inch Retina display for the first time, plus 10 hours battery life.

The iPad Air also went on sale on Apple's website in various regions at midnight local time, although reports claim only the Hong Kong store has sold out.

The release is part of a double-launch strategy in which the iPad Air is released today followed by the iPad mini 'sometime in November.'

Apple has not officially announced when the new 7.9-inch model goes on sale, although rumours claim it could launch on 21 November in time for Thanksgiving in the U.S and ahead of Christmas.

Reports suggest the new iPad Mini is delayed because of production problems surrounding the device's new Retina Display.

Apple shipped around 8.9 million of its first-generation iPads earlier this year, and even this wasn't enough to satisfy demand.

If Apple does ship only 3 million new devices - around a third of the old amount - it could leave at least two thirds of customers disappointed as the IHS iSuppli report predicts demand for the new tablet will exceed 9 million.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

BlackBerry records 20 Million BBM Downloads in First Week

BlackBerry has announced that it added over 20 million new BBM users during the first week of the official launch of its Android and iPhone apps.

I have joined the list, even though I have not been able to log in. I can’t seem to remember the email and password I used to register my Blackberry.  That’s the trouble with having several email accounts.

Consequently, I can’t share any experience as to how good or bad it is, or whether it’s worth your time to get it too.

But judging by the way people are rushing the app, it must be working well. According to the information the company release, 10 million users downloaded the app in the first day. There are now over 80 million users of the company’s  OTT platform.
BBM was the top free overall app in 35 countries in Google Play and in 107 countries in the App Store, and continues to maintain a strong position in key markets such as Canada, the US, the UK, Indonesia and much of the Middle East, the company says.

In addition, this past weekend, BlackBerry was able to remove the waiting list so that Android and iPhone users can now immediately download, sign in and start using BBM without having to wait.

In the coming months, BlackBerry will deliver BBM Video calling, BBM Voice calling and BBM Channels - a new community building service to connect BBM users even more broadly - to Android and iPhone users.

Oduah-gate: Scandal that won't go away

Stella Oduah

Weeks after the scandal was blown open, the N255m bullet-proof scandal rocking the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah has refused to go away.

It is not for want of trying. As a matter of fact, there is no doubt that this minister is one hell of a strong, connected Naija babe. She’tanda gidigba’ and has thrown virtually everything, including the kitchen sink, into the fray. But the scandal has simply rebounded every day.

She has foot soldiers to aggressively engage with everyone at all possible battle fronts: Street protest level, Facebook, Twitter, Chat forums, listservs; just name it. Intimidations, insult-hauling, ethnic cards, all are fair game to her apologists.

As a result of her efforts, this has become one of the most divisive battles that the civil society has fought in recent times. For instance, the FOI listserv wherein members are typically unanimous in agitation for justice in such cases is visibly polarised along ethnic lines.

People who have made name fighting official corruption are curiously firing emails to colleagues to take things easy with Madam Minister.

In spite of all, as of this morning, Oduah-gate is still the lead of The Punch. Kudos to all who have remained vociferous in insisting that this case is not brushed under the carpet.

And to Madam Minister and her apologists who can’t simply fathom why this case won’t go away in spite of their best efforts, there is a reason:

When your problem is bullet-proof, assassinating it is always extremely difficult.’
- Albert Einstein (1879–1955)


Related Stories

It's not a fair world
Oduah-gate: More rot revealed

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

911 emergency number active in Lagos?


I’m cheered this morning by the experience of a colleague yesterday in Lagos. Area boys seeking to collect ‘rent’ (owo ile) from the owner of a 20 feet container unleashed terror on their Ketu neighbourhood, maiming people and vandalising parked vehicles.

In the heat of the mayhem, he couldn’t remember any emergency number other than the 911 ingrained in his brain from watching American films, and he dialled it just for the sheer hell of it.

Surprisingly, a dispatcher picked it, got the particulars of the area, including the nearest bus stop, promised that the nearest police station would be contacted immediately and, wait for this, thanked him for remembering to dial 911. About an hour later, the police stepped in to rein in the miscreants and restore order.

Forget that it took roughly an hour for the police to arrive, enough time for many lives to have been lost; but the interesting thing to me is he dialled 911 and anybody picked it at all here in Nigeria.

That number has not been listed anywhere in Nigeria as an emergency number to the best of my knowledge. I was in so much disbelief that I asked him to show me his call log, and there it was.

I know of 767 and 112 for Lagos and recall that another colleague experienced a fire incident years ago and dialled 112 and nothing happened. The call was picked but there was no emergency response. Even though the Alausa Fire Station was just about four minutes away to their residence, they very wisely continued to battle the fire themselves till they triumphed.  

Another interesting part of this 911 story is that the call was not billed. My colleague said he checked his balance after the roughly five minutes’ call and it remained the same. Is that cool or what?

I’m keen to know who is behind this 911 number thingy. Is it the much awaited national emergency number project that has gulped billions is yet to fly or is this the baby of Lagos State government?

Kudos to whoever is behind this. At least we are getting somewhere.

Security is the job of everybody, not the armed forces alone. The major hindrance to the war against terror in Nigeria is that the government thinks the armed forces alone can win it. Nowhere in the world is such a war won without the collaboration of the public.

When people are able to give information instantaneously, conveniently and without worrying about depletion of their phone airtime, we will begin to record giant strides against all forms of criminality in Nigeria. 

Additional info

Readers on Facebook and other platforms have confirmed that this 911 is actually working in Lagos. You may wish to save it and put it on speed-dial on your phone. You may never know when you will need it.

I may post some of the feedback from the other platforms later.

Related Stories

Where is our emergency number?
National Emergency Number 112 Not Ready 7 Years Later