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  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Oduah-gate: More rot revealed

Nigeria we hail thee!

According to Thisday this morning, Contract papers with Coscharis Motors listed the two armoured cars as costing N225 million on the Goods Received Note dated August 14. However, on NCAA’s side, the sum of N255 million was approved.  A whopping N30 million no get fixed address o!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

It's not a fair world!

Princess Stella Oduah

It is not a fair world, people.

I recall today how a world class professor and renowned paediatrician was disgraced out of office as Health Minister in 2008 because her ministry shared unspent part of their 2007 budget as bonus.
The moment the news filtered out, the late President Umaru Yar'Adua ordered EFCC to arrest and investigate her.  She and her deputy were relieved of their posts three weeks later upon conclusion of investigations. All senior members of the ministry from the Perm. Sec down were suspended pending full investigation.

The minister was later arraigned in court like a common criminal, {over what?}. Imagine the shame. I personally felt for the woman who was described by some analysts as a victim of political naivety.

Fast forward to Oduah-gate. Another female minister is accused of corruption. For the first two weeks or so, President Jonathan Goodluck pretended not to know what was going on.
When the noise became deafening, he set up a committee to investigate, while the woman jets out to Israel to be by his side as he signs some docs. EFCC has not been disbanded o.  Of course, we realise that GEJ needs to allow EFCC to focus on chasing down and visiting cruel justice on corrupt landlords and tenants in every nook and cranny of Nigeria at this point in time!

And they say GEJ is not a joke!  

I told you so!

President Goodluck Jonathan
To my beautiful friends who had faith in GEJ’s national confab, I hate to tell you this, but I will tell you nonetheless: ‘I told you so!’

Oga Jona has come out to say that the recommendations of the Confab will be subject to the approval of the NASS.
In essence, if the Confab looks at the profligacy at the NASS and decides to give its members a take-it-or-leave-it salary of N250k per month and other allowance, this and other recommendations will then be passed on to Fat Cat Aminu Tambuwal and Super Fat Cat David Mark, and their colleagues at the NASS.
They will then critically look at these recommendations and graciously and unanimously approve them without any reservations because they have miraculously met with God on the way to Damascus and are now born again!
He he he he!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Losing souls for Christ!

Xtian wristbands

Colourful, plastic Christian wristbands worn these days by Christians, old and young, esp. of the RCCG fold are becoming more acceptable especially in the urban centres. It is originally a good idea. It enables people identify publicly with their faith and possibly win a soul or two for Christ.

I understand people have given testimonies at the Redemption Camp as to how the bracelets were used as a reinforcer  of faith in challenging times and they overcame. It’s all very good.

However, of late, I’m wondering if the bracelets are a bright idea after all. Two quick incidents:

Less than a month ago, I was at The Guardian to see someone. Parking space was a problem, as usual, so I waited for a while until a man was ready to go out. I positioned myself to take his space. The gentleman was however having difficulties driving out, so the guards asked me to move further away to let him through. The moment he drove out and I was backing to enter the space, a lady who was just coming rushed in, and tried to enter, but the guards blocked her way and explained to her somebody else had been waiting for the space.

From where I sat, I was hearing her noise, asking the guards to move away as she was determined to take the space whatever they said. After holding out a little more, the guards gave in to her because she practically made it impossible for everyone else to move in or out and had some part of her car on the road. The guards appealed to me to let her go in and promised to look for another space for me. Lucky for me, somebody else moved out and I parked.

At the reception, I saw the lady, signing the visitor’s register, and prominently on her left hand was the colourful Christian wristband. Were I not a Christian, what would I have thought?

Some two weeks ago, I was at LASUTH when a patient who had been long in a ward was discussing with a new arrival and said: “All the nurses in this ward are really nice, except two. In no time, the two nurses she referenced showed up for their duties. In a few hours they had claimed their title of being the most unfeeling, most impersonal and rude nurses in the ward.

By some weird coincidence, they each wore a plastic bracelet which had Christian messages emblazoned on them.

Lest you jump to conclusions, it was all very simply a coincidence.  This is not about RCCG or any church. But the point is, people who elect to publicly advertise God need to be extra careful the way they conduct themselves in public. What many of them end up doing unknowingly is demarketing the faith they are so very willing to publicly profess . It’s just like when you have a Winner’s sticker on your windscreen and you are driving like a maniac, running people off the road and giving them fuck you sign when they complain. You are not winning souls. You are losing them.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cleveland kidnapper died while seeking sexual satisfaction

Ariel Castro
Ever heard of auto-erotic asphyxiation? I didn’t think you had.

Well, apparently in the western world, there are some people who achieve sexual satisfaction from briefly choking themselves into unconsciousness. They later come round and resume their daily activities as if nothing has happened.

Latest indications, according to Daily Mail, are that the Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro did not willingly kill himself. In the absence of a woman, he was merely trying to amuse himself before things went fatally wrong.

A report from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction says Castro's pants and underwear were pulled down to his ankles when he was found.

It also says Castro did not leave a suicide note and 'multiple levels of assessment' did not find tendency toward suicide.

When you think you have heard it all, something else pops up. There is no end to the disorders that afflict these ‘oyinbos’, sha.

In our part of the world, when is any choking, it usually involves an enemy, and it is not so that the enemy would be sexually stimulated. It is usually so that the enemy will be dead!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Fear of flying in Nigeria

The gentleman who sat by my side on an Arik flight from Abuja to Lagos  on Monday registered himself with me as a grouchy old man.

He would not respond to greetings. Even when I offered to help him reach up to the baggage hold to keep his suit holder (he is short), he just looked at me as if I was not there, and continued to struggle. I concluded he was a frustrated fellow and left him alone.

For the entire flight he looked like one fed up with life, even though he accepted the inflight snack and ate it with aplomb.

The moment our flight touched down, this same gentleman turned to me and shared a joke, smiling broadly. I had to look around to be sure I was the one he was talking to. I was.

I took another look at this man, and he was literally lit up with smiles all over. Then, it hit me. He had nothing against me. His grouchy behaviour of the previous 40 minutes was his own way of dealing with the terror of flying in a Nigerian commercial plane post Associated Airlines crash.