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There’s no getting around the fact that in order to lose weight safely and permanently, you need to eat healthy food and get plenty of exercise. Exercising burns calories and builds muscle, which is essential for increasing your metabolism so that you can burn even more calories and lose more weight. So dust off those workout clothes and pick one of these nine best exercises for weight loss to get started today on your path to a slimmer, healthier you.

Walking

walkWalking is an ideal exercise for weight loss: It doesn’t require any equipment, other than a decent pair of walking shoes, and you don’t need a gym membership to do it. It’s a low-impact exercise, which means it won’t blow out your knees or cause other stress injuries that can leave you on the sidelines for weeks or even months.

For those with certain health issues, including obesity and heart disease, walking is an effective, low-intensity weight-loss activity that can lead to better overall health, as well as better mental well being. Depending on how much you weigh, walking at a reasonable pace you can lose up to a pound a week without changing any other habits. So put on your walking shoes and go for a brisk stroll through the neighbourhood.

Swimming

Vigorous swimming can burn anywhere from 400 to 700 calories an hour. All types of swimming are effective for helping you shed pounds, from a front crawl to a breast stroke or even the dog paddle. Swimming is a highly effective exercise for weight loss and toning. It’s one of the lowest-impact exercises out there, and it strengthens, tones and conditions your whole body.

It’s particularly ideal for women in their last trimester of pregnancy and individuals who battle with arthritis, obesity, and musculoskeletal conditions. It’s also great for those who suffer from exercise-induced asthma, because the warm, moist air around the water helps keep the airways clear. Swimming engages all of the major muscle groups, from your abdominals and back muscles to your arms, legs, hips and glutes. It effectively compliments other exercises, like running and walking, or it can be your sole form of fitness.

Running

If you’re one of the many people who love to run, you’re in luck. Running burns about 600 calories per hour, helps build strong bones and connective tissue and gets your heart pumping at a healthy rate to help prevent heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. The only equipment running requires is a good pair of shoes to protect your joints and, if it helps you keep the pace and maintain motivation, an iPod with your favourite tunes.

Interval training can bump up the calories you burn on your daily run. Also called speed work, interval training involves short spurts, usually between 30 seconds and two minutes, of running at top speed.

Intervals burn a large number of calories in a short amount of time, improve your resting metabolism to help you burn more calories during the day, and increase your muscle mass. Experts now recommend that you don’t stretch before you run. Instead, warm up by marching in place, bringing your knees up high, or walking for five minutes before beginning your run.

Tennis

A good game of tennis can burn up to 600 calories in an hour. If you’re the type who prefers to exercise with a partner, tennis is an ideal way to get active. It’s also perfect for those who don’t particularly like to exercise, but who love a good competition. You don’t have to be a great tennis player to lose weight doing it. After all, running after the balls is still a form of exercise.

The nature of tennis makes it a great whole-body workout, and playing it can help you improve your flexibility, balance and posture, as well as let off some steam to reduce stress. Throughout the game, especially every time you hit the ball, your arm, abdominal and leg muscles are engaged, building strength and burning calories.

But that’s not all that’s engaged. Your brain gets a good workout every time you play tennis, from thinking quickly and creatively to planning ahead. to learn new things. It also helps increase your peak bone mass. Tennis is listed as one of the activities that promote bone health.

 

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The recent technology tour organised by Hewlett  Packard (HP) Nigeria, a global Information Technology (IT) company has once again elucidated the potentials leap  in successful business operations available for entrepreneurs in Nigeria who appreciate the power of modern day technology.

L-R: Enterprise Account Manager, Hewlett-Packard (HP); Ade Akinlade,  HP District Sales Manager,   Print and Personal Systems (PPS) Africa, Jean Panc-Pinto; Permananent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Lagos State, Nike Animashaun; Commercial Director, Middle East and Mediterranean Africa, HP, David Rozzio, and Public Sector Account Manager, HP, Emmanuel Eze,  at the opening of the HP Technology Tour 2015 in Lagos.

L-R: Enterprise Account Manager, Hewlett-Packard (HP); Ade Akinlade, HP District Sales Manager, Print and Personal Systems (PPS) Africa, Jean Panc-Pinto; Permananent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Lagos State, Nike Animashaun; Commercial Director, Middle East and Mediterranean Africa, HP, David Rozzio, and Public Sector Account Manager, HP, Emmanuel Eze, at the opening of the HP Technology Tour 2015 in Lagos.

The tour which held in Lagos and Abuja was an opener for multinationals, big corporations and SMEs which are discerning in their approach to getting  businesses done fast with less cost.

Declaring the Technology Tour open in Lagos, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Lagos State, Mrs. Nike Animashaun, said businesses around the world need advanced technology as a way of reducing the cost of doing business while also churning out high scale productivity that redefines economies globally.

“As a responsible government, we are aware that with information technology, business transactions have become seamless globally, reducing physical presence and creating breathtaking pace of information exchange. The Lagos State government is happy to be part of the HP Technology Tour 2015”, Animashaun declared.

She further stated that “an event of this magnitude will boost Nigeria’s ICT sector and enhance greater technological advancements through extensive brainstorming on pertinent issues within the IT industry alongside exhibition of the latest advancement in computer technology.”

Growing businesses globally, HP recognizes these intrinsic potentials of IT and has consistently re-innovated to ensure its customers are not left behind, especially the businesses which dare to survive the very challenging global economic terrain.

Cloud, big data, security and mobility are reshaping the way technology businesses are done in the IT industry. HP technology tour offers incredible depth of information and access to experts from its partners and other professionals. Whether as a business or individual trying to get the next project off the ground to bring new ideas back to the organization, HP technology tour provides the answers.

The continual improvement in technology, particularly Information Technology, over the decades has shown that people embrace technology not just as an innovation but as part of socio-economic activities. Businesses around the world have been helped by advance technology, which is the overall, and has reduced cost of doing business while also turning out high scale productivity that drives economies.

The technology tour by HP was aimed at providing Nigerian businesses and IT professional, the opportunity to tap into the latest technology and improve the performance and overall profitability of businesses while also guaranteeing security of business intelligence.

The HP Technology Tour presently being conducted across the globe is another giant move by the company to bring its customers closer to the latest in information technology.

Starting off in February 2015 in Saudi Arabia, technology industry watchers were propped up for what would be one of the best showcase of world class IT product across the world.

The Tour which held in Saudi Arabia had in attendance top Managing Directors and Chief Executives of blue chip companies, IT companies and government officials. During the Nigeria tour, the HP team, led by Senior Vice President, Enterprise Group and Managing Director HP EMEA, Mr. Peter Ryan, showcased the latest of its technology that expressed the company’s claim of “doing things that makes things better”. The tour has also been held in Paris, Germany, London, India, China and Brazil.

Interestingly, with the new entrants, HP is creating the new style of IT which is the new style of business, spanning over its 75 years of existence as a world class company. Investing over 10 per cent of its income on research and development in 2014, the company is focusing on creating values for businesses, ensuring mobility,  with enhanced security features that makes every of its product unique.

Visitors at the tour were thrilled at the array of products that simply made life easier and work better to achieve the best, such like the Pavilion Mini PC which turned out to be a competent small-form factor desktop PC with basic features and 4GB memory which allow the users to explore. The Pavilion operates a Window 8.1 with a 3-in-1 memory card smaller than a man’s hands. This new CPU can connect to 2 PC monitors at a time, saving space and energy.

The Intel Pentium 3558U with Intel HD Graphics (1.7 GHz, 2 MB cache, 2 cores) features on the Mini PC give users near life graphical presentation. While at work, users can plug in their headphone and enjoy cool music. The Pavilion Mini PC is the digital of SMEs which really care about their budgets.

In order to meet the growing request by its customers for simple and seamless work station, guests at the tour were pleasantly surprised with the introduction of the HP Spectre X360.

Designed for business and enterprise and individuals who dare to be different with aesthetics, the HP Spectre X360 gave visitors at the exhibition a new orientation about what simplicity is all about. The Spectre X360 is a perfect blend of world class technology that simply brings convenience and efficiency. Also operating in a Windows 8.1, 64 bits system, Spectre X360 has an 8 GB memory that allows large storage of graphics”.

 

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By Esther Onyegbula
For Justin Nwankwo, a doctoral student of philosophy at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, what he went through inside the cell at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Awka in Anambra State, two years ago, is better imagined than experienced. The brutality allegedly meted to him is like hell on earth.

Narrating his ordeal to Crime Guard, the then Manager of Upper Class Hotel in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State, before it was demolished by the Peter Obi administration said: “August 1, 2013 is a day I will never forget in my life, as it marked the beginning of an ugly experience I passed through for three months. It was the day I was arrested alongside 13 others who worked in the hotel I managed while pursuing my educational career.

“That morning, police officers stormed the hotel shouting: ‘Where is your director?’ I took them to his office and they brought out a search warrant. In the course of interrogation, I discovered that they already had a particular room in mind.  One of the officers kept shouting: ‘Where is room 102?’ The staff in charge of cleaning the guest rooms had already resumed. Unfortunately, the particular room which the police officers were asking for was locked by the guest who lodged the previous night. When we discovered that the guest did not drop the key at the reception while leaving, the police had to break the door.

“I was there when they forced the door open and discovered two dark poly bags containing two dried human skulls. But the true story is that the night before that day, we had a guest who lodged in one of the rooms in the hotel. He lodged with a name and was given a receipt. It was immediately the guest checked out that the police stormed the hotel early the next morning with a search warrant, searched the hotel and discovered two dried human skulls, two AK-47 rifles and one military cap.”

Justin Nwankwo

Justin Nwankwo

Crime scene and demolition of hotel

“Ironically, the police did not take photo shots of the crime scene, the hotel, and the bags containing the items, which is what obtains in other climes. Rather, what they did was to march all of us out of the hotel, then whisked us to the Area Command in Onitsha. They took about 13 of us away in a bullion van to the Area Command and then, to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Akwuzu.  When we got there, they said they have to start with the manager. Surprisingly, the hotel was demolished by the state government the same day we were arrested. On the second day, the hotel was in rubble.”

My ordeal

“My ordeal started at Akwuzu Special Anti-Robbery Squad where I met an entirely different world. As a little boy who grew up in Onitsha, I heard that anyone who went to Akwuzu SARS never returned, but I had never been there. When we got there, it was a terrible experience for me. I was the first to be tortured. We were taken to a rickety hall, tied like Christmas goats used for barbecue and hung on a stake. I went through this torture everyday for three months. The torture was in stages. Like other suspects, I was tortured till I passed out. They poured water on me to revive me each time I passed out.”

The torture room

“The torture room was a large hall with several operatives applying different types of techniques in torturing suspects. When I first entered the torture chamber and saw what was happening, I began to expect mine immediately. Most times, sounds of gunshots filled the halls, as suspects were shot by officers. There was a day I was being tortured and bullets were sprayed on a suspect. I was scared of what will be my fate if any of the bullets hit me? There were times I was tied to a stake with arms raised up. Blood was dripping out of my nose. When I passed out, I was taken off the stake for about an hour or two to recover before the torture continued. From that stage, I was taken to where my hands were tied with a rope and pulled in different directions.

“Severally, I felt I may not survive the torture because of the weighty allegations against me. I was tortured for three months.

“The final torture I received was from my investigating police officer, IPO, who used his hands to pull out the hair on my skin because I am hairy.  I noticed that each time we were being tortured, the officers murmured among themselves, asking what would happen if the suspects died. This shows they knew that the treatment they were meting out was inhuman.”

Physical and mental torture

“Initially when I got there,  I was asked to write a statement. Midway, they forced me to stop. After the physical torture, they took me through the mental torture. This involved putting you inside a small dark crowded cell with about 26 other suspects, all naked. We were not fed. We were kept under dehumanising condition. Some suspects had gunshot wounds which were decaying, septic, with maggots coming out.

“When tortured beyond unbearable limit, suspects will begin to confess to crimes they didn’t commit, saying what the officers wanted them to say just to be freed from torture. The painful aspect is the fact that they lie to your relatives when they come, that you are not in their custody. Meanwhile you are wasting away in their cell.

“It was when the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) mounted pressure through media publications that my IPO brought a statement written by him and forced me to sign. Without being derogatory, my IPO is less educated than me. So, I had to confront him when I was granted bail three months later, insisting that the written statement was not mine. Instead of showing remorse, he quipped that I should be happy I was not wasted.”

“Travel to Aso Rock”

“Goings-on at the SARS, Awkuzu, are very inhuman. They are degrading human life there. Each time human rights activists and civil society organizations visit, they give us clothes to wear and depopulate the cells by taking suspects to other cells. After they leave, they bring the suspects back into the cells. It was during one of such occasions that some suspects died. They execute people summarily in Cell 5. The cell is built in such a way that when you come inside the building, it is the first cell you see but you won’t know that anything like that goes on there. Whenever they open the cell, expectations are that many suspects will certainly die and they simply refer to it as, ‘travelling to Aso Rock’. We saw it, we experienced it and we felt it. Every night, we feel like it was the last day on earth.”

Disappearance of suspects at night

“Usually in SARS, two words are commonly used. They are: to ‘waste and to travel’. Initially, when I began to hear the phrase, I didn’t understand what it meant till suspects began to disappear from our cells at night and never returned. Some of the suspects I met in the cell left and I rose to become the boss. But I was a very benevolent boss as I fed suspects in the cell with the money my parents gave me while in cell. I was lucky to have survived the physical, mental and psychological torture but when I was released, I had to face the societal stigma as people who were close to me before my arrest and detention,  stayed away from me and treated me like I was an ex-convict.”

Back to academics

“I was supposed to have completed my programme but for my ordeal, I was forcefully taken away from the academic world. I returned this year.  Hopefully, before the end of July, I would defend my project. Ironically, the police filed a suit against us at the magistrate’s court when there was too much pressure from civil right organisations spear-headed by NOPRIN. The police was forced to take us to court. On the day we were arraigned in court at about 2:30am, officers came into the cell, asked us to have our bath. I asked where they were taking us. They said they were taking us to court. That was the first time in three months that I took my bath. At the court, we were arraigned on a seven-count charge ranging from murder to robbery.”

Demolition in error

“While in prison, we made enquiries about Nnabule Okafor, the man they said we killed in the charges preferred against us. The truth of the matter is that Anambra State government demolished the hotel in error and when they discovered that it was an error and the whole incident, a set-up, they had to file a charge against us so that they could justify the demolition of the building.

Now that we have been bailed, both the police and the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) have refused to take the case to high court. We have 14 suits in court on violation of fundamental human rights. All the cases we have in the court are the ones we instituted for the government to compensate us but nothing has been done. We have served them notice yet they refused to respond.”

Compensation for the oppressed

“It is all part of the torture that both the police and Anambra State Governor have erred and still will not accept the fact that there is need to compensate those whom you have victimized.

“The experience of torture in the Nigerian police if you have not heard, or seen or felt it, you keep hearing go to court, go to court but we have been in the court.

“We also want to be in the court of public opinion because when this thing happened, the Governor of Anambra State did not go to court.

He became the accuser and the judge at the same time. He demolished the hotel alongside the properties of those who lived and worked in that place.  I am not scared to discuss this experience because I still want justice to be done,” he stated.

 

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Buhari

“As a former Head of State and someone who had thrice doggedly fought for this trophy, it is expected that…

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has directed his deputy, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, to begin the immediate rehabilitation and provision of welfare assistance for Mrs. Ruth Uche, the mother, who was delivered of her third set of twins, after which the husband allegedly absconded from their home in Agege, Lagos.

This was contained in a statement by Ambode’s Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna

The governor’s directive followed newspaper reports, narrating the ordeal of the woman, who spoke with reporters during her distress visit to the State Secretariat, Alausa, on Thursday.

Ambode noted that as a responsible government, the well-being of the people of the state, irrespective of their ethnic, religious or political affiliation, was paramount to his administration.

He said his government would continue to provide good leadership that would guarantee adequate protection of lives and property of all Lagosians.

Ruth’s husband, Mr. Benjamin Uche, was alleged to have absconded from home as a result of the expected birth of another set of twins from his wife, making it the third in a row.

While acknowledging the present economic situation in the country, the governor noted that it was not proper for anyone to abandon his family, especially young children, who they willingly brought to life.

“It is only when such children are properly taking care of that they can achieve their full potential in life and become responsible citizens in the future,” Ambode said.

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The Crane

The Crane

The Crane

Technique: Squat on the hundles with the feet close together. Let the soles and heels rest on the floor. Raise the buttocks up and move the trunk forward.

Breathing out, wrap the arms around the bent legs, and place the palms on the floor.

Bend the elbows and raise the heels from the floor, move the trunk a bit more forward and rest the chin on the back of the upper arms close to the armpits. Stretch the arms straight and balance the whole body on the hands.

Benefits:The Crane strengthens the arms. With the contracting of the abdomen,the organs there are massaged and toned.

The Backward Bend

The Backward Bend

The Backward Bend

Technique:Get on the knees with the feet close together. Breathe in deeply, raising both hands overhead. Breathing out, bend backwards with elbows still straightened out. Hold the position for some 5 seconds, and then inhailing, return the trunk to the upright position.Rest a bit and repeat.

Benefits: The posture strengthens the back and shoulder muscles. Also affected favourably are the muscles of the abdomen and those of the upper thighs.

The Plough

The Plough

The Plough

Technique: Lie on your back with the legs stretched out and hands placed along the sides. Take in a deep breath and drawing up the knees swing back the legs while breathing out and let the toes come to rest on the floor behind your head.

Keep the knees straight and stiffen up the muscles of legs. Keep the breathing normal as you retain the posture for about 10 seconds. To come out of the posture simply bend the knees and just roll down the back and straight out the legs flat on the floor again.

You may rest a little and repeat.

Benefits: The plough improves the elasticity of the spine. It tones the leg muscles and helps to rid constipation.

The Eagle

The Eagle

The Eagle

Technique:  Standing with feet together bend the elbows and place the sight on the top the left one and bring the palms together while you raise and bend the left leg and rap it around the right lower leg with the foot sticking out. The left leg must be slightly bent at the knee to make this possible.

Benefits:  The Eagle instills a sense of balance and also banishes varicose veins.

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Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has reiterated the commitment of the 8th Senate to the success of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration in its efforts to change the situation of things in Nigeria for the better.

Saraki spoke in Abuja when the State Chairmen of the APC from the country visited him in Abuja.

The Senate President stated that the Senate would not disappoint Nigerians neither would the APC senators abandon the party on whose platform they made promises of development, security and improved standard of living to the people.

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and President Muhammadu Buhari at the APC NEC Meeting.

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and President Muhammadu Buhari at the APC NEC Meeting.

Saraki said: “Finally I want to use this opportunity to assure you of our cooperation with the Executive arm led by our President, President Muhammadu Buhari, with the party and and it’s members across the country.

“I want to reassure you that all of us, APC Senators, we are committed to ensuring that the APC is successful so that we can continue to win elections for many years after because of the foundation we are laying.”

He commended the party chairmen and Nigerians for their efforts and sacrifices that led to the victory of the APC in the last general elections.

He said: “It is now our responsibility to pay back so that you can sit back and say that our efforts were not in vain and that those we elected made this party proud and made this country great.”

He added: “I can assure you that we are committed to do that because you have all suffered to get us to this point and we must show the difference, the positive difference between APC government led by President Muhammadu Buhari and others before it. We have no choice. There is no alternative. President Muhammadu Buhari must succeed and Insha Allah, he will succeed.”

Earlier, the Chairman of the State Chairmen of APC in Nigeria, Umar Haruna Doguwa from Kano State said the group was in the Senate to congratulate the Senate President and all APC Senators in the Upper Chamber for their victory during the 2015 general elections and the leadership for their selection by their colleagues to the number one legislative institution in the country.

He urged the Senate President to use his good offices to ensure the success of the reconciliation already kickstarted by President Buhari, the Governors and the APC national executive committee.

He urged the Senate President not to fail in fulfilling his promise that the Eight Senate will deploy all legislative powers at his disposal to supporting the programmes, policies and projects that the Buhari administration may put in place to bring about improvement in the lives of Nigerians.

Some of the APC State Chairmen that visited the Senate President included those from Kano, Rivers, Enugu, Delta, Yobe, Plateau, Bauchi, Anambra, Zamfara, Niger and Abia.

Others are Abia, Nasarawa, Imo, Katsina, Kogi, Sokoto, Kebbi, Cross River, Bayelsa, Gombe, FCT, Kwara, Taraba, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom and the United States of America (USA) branch.

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Buhari

“As a former Head of State and someone who had thrice doggedly fought for this trophy, it is expected that…

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By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North
When she started with a single step of looking for victims of the Jos crisis and giving succour to those she could afford to cater for, not many took her seriously. In fact, in the heat of the killing and maiming of women, men and children by heartless men in Plateau State, Esther Ibanga, a woman, who voluntarily relinquished her high-paying job at the Central Bank of Nigeria, made it a point of duty to move from point to point rendering help to victims of the wanton mayhem in the state.

Apparently to stand on a more corporate platform in rendering help on a sustained basis to the needy, Mrs. Ibanga immediately set up a Non-Governmental Organisation, known as Women Without Walls Initiative, WOWWI, in 2010, which focused its attention on providing advocacy, relief for internally displaced families, training of women in peace building initiatives/activities, dialogues, developmental projects in forgotten communities, women and youth empowerment.

Through the WOWWI platform, she has made tremendous progress towards restoring the elusive peace between the Christian and Moslem communities in Plateau State.  She has also used the same platform effectively in reaching out to women both nationally and internationally and encourage them to fight for and advance the cause of women-folk, youth and children, irrespective of ethnic, religious or political affiliation.IBANG

She did not stop there since it appeared as if the more effort she was putting in to restore peace to the warring communities, the more the malevolent elements stepped up their acts inflicting more injuries to the people.

In February 2010 she led a peaceful protest march in response to the Dogon-Nahawa ethno-religious crisis that shook Plateau State like a volcanic eruption. In that protest, Mrs. Ibanga led more than 100, 000 Christian women to express their anger against the destruction of lives and property by unknown persons under the guise of ethnic and religious differences.  She did neither fear for her live nor the lives of the women she mobilised for the protest, which lasted for many days. These women, decked in black attires to drive home their grievances,  marched the streets of Jos to the Government House, expressing their grief over the wanton loss of human lives especially those of women and children.

The protest brought women to the forefront of the call for peace and to put an end to violence in Plateau State.

In response to the protest march embarked upon by the Christian women in March 2010, the Muslim women, led by Hajiya Khadijat Hawaja, now WOWWI’s Financial Secretary, held their own peaceful protest demanding that the killings in Jos be stopped as they too had lost children and husbands to the violent killings.

It was on that premise that Pastor Esther Ibanga decided to reach out to the Muslim women, pleading with them to come together in the fight to eradicate ethno-religious violence. “For the sake of peace it is important to build a community of women with one purpose and work for the overall well-being of the people notwithstanding their religious and tribal affiliations,” she told the women in every gathering.

In order to fulfill its vision of “developing a non-violent and all inclusive approach to conflict resolution and peace building in Nigeria, through women who are natural agents of change”, Women Without Walls Initiative has over the years undertaken series of activities to achieve her goals. These activities include conferences (both locally and internationally), economic empowerment program for women, police-community dialogue, campaigns against electoral violence, rallies, etc.

Mrs. Ibanga loves to live her life for others. She is a true advocate of altruism and she is unapologetic about it. In 1995, her life took a major turn when she decided to leave her position as manager at the Central Bank of Nigeria, where she had worked for 16 years, to pioneer the first church ever to be led by a woman in the city of Jos.

It was a big sacrifice for her to have thrown in the towel at the time at the apex bank when she was due for a promotion to the position of senior manager. Today, the Jos Christian Mission International (JCMI), which she founded 20 years ago, is a place to remember by many, who have fellowship there.

Married to a renowned public health exponent, Dr. Iko Ibanga, who is the founder and Executive Director of Pro-Health International (PHI), Esther Ibanga can be described as one who has taken a cue from her husband in reaching the poor and the needy.

Her husband has used the PHI, an indigenous non-governmental organization, to provide medical care to more than 2.5 million women, men and children in many parts of Nigeria and Africa, without making noise about it. In all that she has been doing to advance the cause of humanity, Esther Ibanga remains a simple housewife, blessed with two children.

“My motivation and drive in life is God. I have a personal relationship with Him. And my hunger for the impossible quickens something in me to rise to the occasion and make it possible,”” she explains. Her parents had thought her about discipline and integrity as the focal point of success in life and she has been living her life in accordance with the teaching of her parents and her pastor, Tunde Bakare.

She says, “My father taught me integrity while my mother taught me to be industrious, hardworking and disciplined. My husband, Dr. Iko Ibanga, is another person who has taught me to strike a balance between my pioneering, result-oriented spirit and loving people sincerely. He is one man that brings beauty out of relationships.”

 

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Abuja – The League Management Company (LMC) on Friday announced July 12 and July 15 as new dates for the 2014/2015 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Match Days 17 and 18 fixtures.

A statement by Salihu Abubakar, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of LMC, said the development was necessitated by changes in dates of the 2015 Federation Cup Round of 32 Matches.

It said Match Day 17 games earlier scheduled for July 8 will now hold on July 12, while Match Day 18 games scheduled for July 12 will hold on July 15.

“Match Day 19 fixtures will hold as earlier scheduled on July 19,’’ Abubakar added in the statement.

It also affirmed the dates for the outstanding fixtures involving Warri Wolves FC, starting with the fixture against Shooting Stars FC, now scheduled for Wednesday, July 8 in Ibadan.

The statement said Kwara United would host Warri Wolves on July 22, while Warri Wolves would host El-Kanemi Warriors on July 26.(NAN)

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The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Friday raised the alarm on the activities of some impostors, he alleged had been impersonating him via various social media platforms to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, the governor said some dubious characters were attempting to capitalise on his goodwill to dupe members of the public, particularly his associates.

He said he had been inundated with complaints from his associates, alerting him of the rapid proliferation of his identity in the cyberspace under different platforms, especially the social media, with obvious intents to defraud Nigerians.

Ambode alleged that a faceless character, who currently operates with the e-mail: a_ambode@yahoo.com, had been going about soliciting CVs from his friends and acquaintances with a promise to offer them appointments.

He added that there were multiple identities these faceless persons operate on Facebook with his name and photographs.

The governor urged Nigerians to disregard any offer from these unscrupulous characters, calling on the public to report such fraudsters to the law enforcement agencies to ensure that those behind the nefarious act could be made to face the wrath of the law.

Ambode also assured the public that efforts would be made to apprehend those behind the dastardly act.

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Osogbo – Mr Jacob Adekomi, Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), in Osun, said it would resist any attempt by State Government to reduce workers’ salaries by 50 per cent.

Adekomi told newsmen after an emergency meeting of the union in Osogbo on Friday that the government had concluded plans to reduce workers’ salaries.

Although he did not disclose his source of information, it may not be unconnected with the government’s recent 50 per cent reduction in the salaries of political office holders as part of its austerity measures.

He said the financial mess the government found itself was a product of its systematic failure.

According to him, workers will not accept salary cut. Any attempt to cut the salaries of workers by even one percent will be vehemently resisted.

“If the plan is imposed on the workers, it will lead to unimaginable chaos. We learnt that the cut will take effect from January 2015”, he said.

The  state government paid December salaries to the workers on Tuesday after five weeks of strike. (NAN)

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Solar Impulse 2 landed in Hawaii on Friday after a five-day non-stop journey from Japan, breaking all records for solar-powered flights.

Pilot and project Co-founder Andre Borschberg flew a holding pattern for more than half an hour to time his landing in Honolulu for what organisers called “the ideal time” – after sun-up.

Borschberg said the plane departed on Monday from Japan, on the seventh and most challenging leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the energy of the sun.

“This flight to Hawaii is not only aviation historic first, but also a historic first for energy and cleantechs.

He said the near 118-hour flight shattered the previous 76-hour record for the longest solo flight as it crossed the Pacific Ocean.

Borschberg said it also broke the records for the longest distance and duration flown by a solar-powered aircraft.

The Solar Impulse 2 began its attempt to become the first solar-powered plane to fly around the globe in Abu Dhabi on March 9.

Borschberg said from Hawaii the plane would continue to the continental US and then across the country.

“The next leg then takes it across the Atlantic Ocean.

“The project has been planned for more than 12 years and aims to raise awareness of climate change and green energy solutions,” he said.

Powered by four propellers with more than 17,000 solar cells installed on its wings, the plane is expected to make a total of 13 stops during its flight around the world, spending about 25 days in the air during the course of five months.

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday cautioned the Nigerian Armed Forces against ethnicity and religious intolerance in the current war against the Boko Haram terrorists that have recently increased the tempo of their attacks on Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

The President, who noted that ethnicity and religious intolerance were the real threats to security, especially against the sect, cautioned the military against these negative factors.

“Always remember that ethnicity and religious intolerance are the greatest threats to our collective security as a people and as a nation.

“I urge you all to guard against these negative sentiments in the discharge of your noble duties,” Buhari said in his address as the Special Guest of Honor at the graduation of 174 military officers of Senior Course 37 of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji near Kaduna on Friday.

Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the President also reminded the military to be mindful of the “distracting and diversionary” nature of today’s highly sensitive media environment.

“Some of you will be deployed in crisis-prone areas for either internal security or peace support operations outside your country. Giving that, we live in a common global environment, you must be conscious of your actions,” he said.

On the global front, the President said Nigeria remained committed to the maintenance of international peace and security.

He said his administration would continue to collaborate with other governments to promote peace, stability and development on the African continent and beyond.

Buhari charged members of the Armed Forces to live up to expectations at all times while upholding the nation’s enduring legacy in global peacekeeping operations.

The President added, “As members of the armed forces, you have a principal role to play in protecting the lives and property of our citizens. While maintaining internal peace and security remains primarily the responsibility of the civil police, the scale of the current security challenges facing our nation requires the military to play a more decisive role in support of civil power.”

The Commandant of the College, Air Vice Marshal John Ifemeje, said the course assembled on June 30, 2014, was made up of 174 students, comprising 70 Nigerian Army officers, 43 Nigerian Navy officers, 31 Nigerian Air Force
officers and 9 civilians from the Defence Intelligence Agency, Directorate of State Security, Ministry of Defence, Nigerian Prison Service, Nigerian Immigration Service, National Youth Service Corps and the Federal Road Safety Commission.

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A rebel alliance and Syrian government forces have been locked in a battle in and around Aleppo city with President Bashar al-Assad’s regime seeking to repel major offensive with heavy air strikes.

Thursday’s attack, the most intense rebel offensive in Aleppo in three years, aimed to build on recent advances against Assad by an array of groups fighting on separate fronts, including Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group and rebels backed by his regional foes.

A rebel alliance including the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and the Islamist Ahrar al-Sham said they had set up a joint operations room to run the offensive to “liberate” Aleppo and later govern it according to Islamic Sharia law.

One Aleppo resident, a 23-year-old student who gave her name as Sahar, said fighting had been “intensive”.
“We are used to the sound of explosions but yesterday there were so many. We heard the blasts but because they were coming from everywhere we didn’t know where the shells were falling,” she told the AFP news agency by telephone.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group monitoring the war, said the fighting raged into the early hours
of Friday.

Rami Abdulrahman, a spokesman for the Observatory, said the rebel forces had seized some buildings from government control on the northwestern city outskirts of Jamiyat al-Zahra, but the advance was not of strategic importance.

At least 35 rebels were killed in that area, including a dozen Syrians and many others of Central Asian origin, Abdulrahman said. The Syrian war has drawn foreign fighters from across the Muslim world, including rebels from Central Asia.

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APCThe All Progressives Congress (APC) has accepted the leadership of the National Assembly, although peace talks are still in progress to resolve the crisis.

Speaking at the end of a reconciliation meeting, the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, said that discussions were still ongoing to finally resolve the National Assembly leadership crisis.

Although Governor Okorocha said that progress had been made, he did not give details of their discussion.

He said that the factions in the National Assembly have agreed to work together to reach amicable solutions.

Aside from several state governors, leaders of the two factions in the National Assembly leadership crisis attended the meeting.

“I’m happy to announce to all of you that the peace at the National Assembly is at sight. We have had discussions and we have all agreed to accept peace. So you will not see any more disagreement.

“Both the Senate President and the Speaker and distinguished Senator Lawan and Honorable Femi Gbajabiamila will work together for the unity of the National Assembly and for the progress of our party,” Okorocha said.

He went further; “The party has accepted the leadership of the National Assembly of the Senate President and the Speaker of the Federal House.”

The party had been in crisis over the elections of Senator Bukola Saraki as Senate President and Honourable Yakubu Dogara as Speaker of the House of Representatives against the party’s recommendation.

The Senate had also ignored the party’s nominees for principal officers in the Senate and gone ahead to appoint its preferred officers.

However, the House of Representatives is yet to constitute the principal officers.

The reconciliation meeting was attended by the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, the party’s preferred candidates for the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan and the preferred ‎candidate for Speaker of the House of Reps, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila.

‎The meeting, which started some minutes after three o’clock in the afternoon, was held behind closed doors.

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Thursday urged the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr. Boboye Oyeyemi, to prevail on all stakeholders in the transport sector to key into his administration’s efforts to reduce traffic congestion in the metropolis.

The governor, who spoke at the Lagos House, Ikeja, during the visit of the FRSC’s boss to him, said government had concluded plans to quickly convene a traffic summit that would bring all stakeholders together to outline permanent solutions to traffic management in the state.

“We are more interested in the safety management issues that relate to road transportation and just like you said also, we have had some fire incidences that relate to trailers on our roads in the last three weeks. One is beginning to wonder whether it is about enforcement of the rules or is it about human issues that are causing these,” Ambode added according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna.

The governor explained it was important that all agencies and stakeholders handling traffic management to come together and proffer solutions to traffic gridlock in the state.

He stated, “As you can see in the last three weeks, we have actually been outside there trying to resolve vehicular traffic issues in Lagos State. One of the things that we came into office to meet and actually one issue that bother Lagosians is the issue of traffic gridlock.

“Lagosians are unhappy the way traffic has been flowing in the last few years; and for us, we believe strongly that its one major strong issue that we need to address quickly. That is why we have been outside there trying to find solutions and in the course of finding solutions, we believe also that we need to cooperate stronger more than ever before with your agency.”

Ambode appealed to tank farm owners in the Apapa area to partner with government and stakeholders to find a permanent solution to the traffic gridlocks that was being experienced in the area.

“More importantly, they must ensure that the safety concerns of these trailers and tankers drivers are actually put in the front burner and we address them together. We should also make all the people to support our law enforcement agencies as we strive to make Apapa come back to normal,” he said.

Oyeyemi expressed happiness with the bold steps already taken by the Ambode administration concerning traffic management in the state.

He said the FRSC was operating on the same page with the state on its efforts to curb the menace of tankers and trailer drivers on the roads.

Oyeyemi added that the commission would not compromise on the minimum safety standards for all articulated vehicles.

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Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode  the Governor of Lagos State, has directed his deputy, Dr. Mrs. Oluranti Adebule to  immediate rehabilitate and provide welfare assistance to Mrs. Ruth Uche, the mother of three set of twins whose husband absconded from their home in Agege, Lagos.

This was made kwon in a statement signed by the Governors Chief Press Secretary Habib Aruna  on Friday.

Ambode’s directive followed newspaper publications which narrated the ordeal of the woman, who spoke with reporters during her distress visit to the Government Secretariat, Alausa on Thursday.

The Governor touched by the woman and her children  plights  noted that as a responsible government, the well-being of the people of the State irrespective of their ethnic, religious or political affiliation is paramount to his administration and assured that his government will continue to provide good leadership that will guarantee adequate protection of lives and properties of all Lagosians.

Her husband, Mr. Benjamin Uche was alleged to have absconded from home as a result of the expected birth of another set of twins from his wife, making it the third in a row.

While acknowledging the present economic situation in the country, the Governor noted that it is not proper for anyone to abandon his family, especially young children that they willingly brought to life, admonishing that it is only when such children are properly taking care of that they can achieve their full potentials in life and become responsible citizens in the future.

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Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari

Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, on Friday assured Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari will do everything possible to improve their living conditions.

She therefore asked them to give the President all the needed support to succeed.

Mrs. Buhari spoke during the traditional breaking of Ramadan fast she organised for the less privileged inside the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

She said, “I want to assure you that my husband, President Muhammadu Buhari, will do everything possible to improve the living conditions of every citizen.

“I also want to acknowledge your contributions in various fields to the socio-economic development which are very important to the survival of our nation.

“You know that the nation is passing through a transition, therefore, there is need for all to support this government to succeed.”

While acknowledging that her husband won the March 28 Presidential election through team work, the President’s wife appealed that the team work should continue.

She said Buhari could not do it alone, hence the call for support.

“We won the election through team work. Let the team work continue. The President cannot do it alone, he needs your support. Please support him,” she appealed.

Mrs. Buhari said she decided to organise the event to show love because both the privileged and the less privileged are all one in God’s sight.

She also lauded the peaceful conducts of Nigerians before and after the last elections, saying their behaviours were commdendable.

She urged them to continue in the same spirit because peace is required for the progress of the country.

Mrs. Buhari was joined at the brief event by wife of the Imo State Governor, Mrs. Nkechi Okorocha; wife of the Nassarawa State Governor, Mrs. Tanko Al-Makura: wife of the former governor of Rivers State, Mrs. Judith Amaechi; former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; and a former member of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa among others.

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The Civil Societies’ Coalition for Emancipation of Osun state has raised the alarm over the safety of Justice Folahanmi Oloyede following her petition to the House of Assembly asking the lawmakers to impeach Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

The group raised the alarm in a statement made available to our correspondent in Osogbo on Friday by Ebenezer Oladapo.

The CSCE said the judge did nothing wrong by speaking the mind of the people of the state who they said had been subjected to hardship through the alleged financial recklessness of the governor.

The statement partly read, “There is clandestine move by the state government to intimidate and persecute Justice Oloyede Olamide Folahanmi for daring to speak out in the face of the tyranny that characterised the rule of Mr. Rauf Aregbesola.”

The group urged all well meaning citizens of Osun state home and abroad as well as all God-fearing people all over the world to prevail on the state lawmakers to carry out its constitutional duties as is being demanded by the people of Osun state through Oloyede’s petition.

Oladapo said while the public servants and other people of the state were starving, political appointees were living in opulence, saying they were buying every available property and building almost everywhere in the state.

This, he said, was contrary to the ridicule workers were subjected to, as they were being evicted by their landlords for their inability to pay their rents.

The statement read further, “We noted with great pain the goings on in Osun state in recent times vis-à-vis the inability of the government to meet its obligations to the citizens and the untold hardship being experienced by the people which has led to increase in crimes and death of many people, most especially civil servants and pensioners.

“Also, there is a debt burden rumoured to be in the region of five hundred billion naira but which true sum has not been disclosed by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who claimed to have borrowed the monies for infrastructural development.

“Deplorable and un-motorable intra-city and inter-city roads. Government hospitals grossly understaffed and without drugs and consumable. A promised cargo airport at Iddo-Osun which can only be described as a heap of sand despite the huge amount said to have been expended on it, several uncompleted, albeit unnecessary, road and environmental beautification projects.”

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