P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Books http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Sat, 18 Oct 2014 14:24:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 AMFacilities unveils World Facility Management Day 2014 Compendium http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/17/amfacilities-unveils-world-facility-management-day-2014-compendium/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/17/amfacilities-unveils-world-facility-management-day-2014-compendium/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:43:00 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=216481 Nigeria’s leading Facilities Management Company, Alpha Mead Facilities Management & Services Limited, AMFacilities, has released the compendium of discussions at the 2014 Nigerian FM Roundtable.

The Nigerian FM Roundtable is one of the various platforms championed by AMFacilities to raise awareness and promote Global Best Practice within the Facilities Management and Real Estate Industry in Nigeria. The event, which is in its third year, is organized annually by AMFacilities, in commemoration of the World FM Day, celebrated across Europe, Asia and America.

The compendium contains technical presentations in three areas which are critical to the advancement of Nigeria’s infrastructure and Real Estate sector, namely Green Building, Facilities Management Benchmarking and Facilities Management Outsourcing in Nigeria.

In the compendium, Shina Oliyide, a Green Building expert and General Manager, Technical, AMFacilities, shares a wide range of perspectives on how the Nigerian built sector can preserve the environment through adoption of green practices. In his paper titled “The Evolution of Green Building in Nigeria: Myth or Reality?”, Oliyide, who is also a Chartered Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, United Kingdom, highlighted Nigeria’s global position in the Green Evolution. He also submitted that Facilities Management plays integral roles in helping to meet several Green Building initiatives around the globe.

AMF Compedium 2014 cover

The 2014 Nigerian FM Roundtable Compendium also brings to the fore the big question of how Nigeria’s FM industry can measure up to global standards. The compendium contains a presentation on “Implementing a Global FM Benchmarking System in Nigeria”, made by Keith McClanahan, Co-Principal, FM Benchmarking. In it, Keith shares his experience on how FM Benchmarking can support cutting-edge FM Practice in Nigeria, garnered over many years of practicing in several climes.

Besides the comments from different Facilities Management and Real Estate stakeholders, also contained in the compendium, Engr. Femi Akintunde, Managing Director/CEO, AMFacilities, discussed the various strategies involved in the FM Outsourcing Processes. His paper, “Managing Risk and Opportunities in Strategic FM Outsourcing”, dealt with how to structure FM Outsourcing at the different stages to help organizations and Facilities Management Companies achieve desired objectives.

AMFacilities is the first Nigerian Facilities Management Company to be awarded the ISO 9001:2008 certification by UKAS and ANAB in the U.K and U.S respectively. The company manages high profile clients such as Shell, Total, UACN, Nokia Siemens, Ericsson and Primrose Properties Limited. Some major projects being handled AMF include Integrated Facilities Management for The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Twinlakes Estate, Ado Bayero Mall, Kano, Shell offices and residential quarters in Port Harcourt, Warri and Lagos, Ultimate Apartments and Total E&P, among others.

The compendium is downloadable in several e-book versions on www.fmroundtable.com.

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French Author, Modiano, Wins 2014 Nobel Prize In Literature http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/09/french-author-modiano-wins-2014-nobel-prize-in-literature/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/09/french-author-modiano-wins-2014-nobel-prize-in-literature/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 12:12:04 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=215248 Patrick Madiano has just been announced the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature.

Born in 1945, he has written 30 different books mainly novels. He is a master of detective genre of the novel form.

Patrick Modiano: Wins Nobel Prize

Patrick Modiano: Wins Nobel Prize

He is the 11th French writer to win the Nobel Prize.

Speculations have been rive that one of the following writers: Haruki Murakami, Ngugi Wa Thiogo, Milan Kundera, Margaret Attwood and Svetlana Alexievish would win.

Many of Patrick Modiano’s books are not translated into English yet.

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What my mother taught me – Oshiomhole http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/20/what-my-mother-taught-me-oshiomhole/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/20/what-my-mother-taught-me-oshiomhole/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 21:15:18 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=212697 •Governor  Oshiomhole: defied by teachers

•Governor Oshiomhole: defied by teachers

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo, has described his mother, Ahaja Aishetu Oshiomhole, as “a strict disciplinarian” who gave him good moral upbringing.

He made the remarks on Saturday in Iyamho, near Auchi, at the launch of a book, “Igovina Emosi” a biography of Ahaja Aishetu Oshiomhole, mother of the governor.

The book was written by Mr Imuzeze Ofen-Imu.

The governor said that from his experiences with his mother, there is need for children to honour and listen to their mothers.

He said that his mother was a disciplinarian, who believed that sparing the rod would spoil the child.

He said that whatever he is today was the result of the upbringing he got from his mother.

He said that in spite of the strictness of his mother, “she is always caring and committed to humanity,” adding that he acquired wisdom from his mother.

Oshiomhole said that in spite of his age and status in the society, his mother still found time to advice, admonish and instill the right values on him.

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Mr Donald Boi, described the governor’s mother as “a mother to all exemplifying truth, honesty, equity and humility”.

Mr Sam Oboh, the Chairman of Esan North-East Local Government Council, described Alhaja Oshiomhole as “a community mobiliser” who had been in politics long before her son.

The book reviewer, Prof. Marcel Okhakhu said the book chronicled the life and times of the mother of the Edo Governor.

He said that the book could be likened to a tale of two cities — Paris and London. “It dealt with the life and times of Mama at Ayua, her native village and Iyamho, her village by marriage.”

Okhakhu said the book chronicled Mama’s activities as a woman with leadership quality who was influential and pivotal in the affairs of Ayua.

About N27 million was realised at the book launch.

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Why I Wrote Book On Police, Criminal Justice —Abdul-Fatai http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/01/why-i-wrote-book-on-police-criminal-justice-abdul-fatai/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/01/why-i-wrote-book-on-police-criminal-justice-abdul-fatai/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:43:44 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=209535 Kazeem Ugbodaga

A lawyer with the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Mr. Muheeb Abdul-Fatai, has explained why he wrote a book about the Nigeria Police and the criminal justice system.

 Abdul Fatai made this disclosure at the launching of the book titled: The Police in Criminal Justice Administration in Nigeria, held at the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management House, Alausa, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

“My choice of writing on the topic of the book that has just been presented today is not unconnected with my experience as a public defender. For the few years I worked in the Office of the Public Defender, which spanned about six years, I saw a whole lot of horrendous attitudes in our criminal justice sector on the part of most men of the Nigeria Police, most of which I have dealt with in the book.

“So, it has always been my feelings that some of these horrendous attitudes of some members of the police are dissected in a lucid, reformative and useful manner, even though I was not contemplating writing a book on them at that time,” he said.

•R-L: Justice H.A.O Abiru, Tunde Adagunduro, Abdul-Fatai Muheeb, Lawal Pedro (SAN), Dr. Muiz Banire, Justice G.A. Sunmonu and Mrs Ogungbesan at the launch of a book on Police and criminal administration recently.

•R-L: Justice H.A.O Abiru, Tunde Adagunduro, Abdul-Fatai Muheeb, Lawal Pedro (SAN), Dr. Muiz Banire, Justice G.A. Sunmonu and Mrs Ogungbesan at the launch of a book on Police and criminal administration recently.

Delivering the keynote address at the occasion, former Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire, said while the necessity of having a police force could not be over-emphasised, the confidence of an average Nigerian in the force might require some examination as the institution was not immune to certain ills facing the society. “The complaints of corruption, inefficiency and decay daily stare us in the face while the failure of the system to effectively kit an average police officer and guarantee his welfare cannot be downplayed,” he said.

According to him, “the dilapidation in capacity of officers and governmental insincerity have both combined to question the relevance of the police in society. Has the police force outlived its relevance that in many cases of civil disturbance we flippantly deploy the soldiers?”

Banire argued that the horrible in all was the confinement of police officers to the police stations, as the most civil of all actions was now being assigned to soldiers and men of the Civil Defence Corps.

“Rather than allowing the police to conduct monitoring of elections as purely civil activities, we have brought the military in and we have gotten the horrors most compounded. The Nigerian system has not been fair to the police and we have all manners of uniformed men taking over what should be the traditional role of the police in criminal justice administration.”

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How I Almost Killed Myself —Soyinka http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/14/how-i-almost-killed-myself-soyinka/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/14/how-i-almost-killed-myself-soyinka/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:16:02 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=202914 Jamiu Yisa

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has revealed how he almost killed himself with a gun out of curiosity at the age of 10. The  global citizen, who celebrated his 80th birthday on Sunday, 13 July, revealed this in an exclusive interview in the current special edition of TheNEWS magazine.

According to Kongi, as he is fondly called, “I used to go with my father when he hunted. It was a mere air gun but was good enough for squirrels, the wild pigeon and occasional rabbit.  I was just curious. One day I sat in the house frontage waiting for him to come out of his bedroom so I could accompany him.

“I just felt there was something about that part of his gun which he used to pull. I tried the same motion and it just exploded. But he knew it was his fault so he never chided me. He knew he should never have left that gun loaded and he knew me enough to know that I had learnt that lesson and I didn’t need to be reminded of it. Of course, there was a sort of mutual standoff; I wasn’t rebuked but he knew I wasn’t going to do it again.”

•Prof. Wole Soyinka

•Prof. Wole Soyinka

He said that as a child, he participated as a messenger between the different women groups, carried messages, thoroughly enjoying himself when the women rose in revolt against the excesses of the Alake of Abeokuta and his ally – the district officer when an unjust tax was imposed on them.

“My parents weren’t anti-establishment; they were anti-despotism. That is why my mother took part as one of the lieutenants of Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti when they rose against the excesses of the Alake of Abeokuta and his ally – the district officer. They resisted feudal despotism on behalf of the oppressed women.

“As a child, I participated as a messenger between the different women groups, carried messages, thoroughly enjoying myself when the women rose in revolt. Day after day, they kept up the siege. They were threatened, they were bullied, they were assaulted. They said, ‘No, this unjust tax must go’,” he said.

Recalling how his stubborn exuberance and pranks justified his mothers’ worries when he was a child that his over-confidence would kill him one day, he said, “when a child tries out something which people, even adults, should undertake with great caution, then they think that child is over-confident and is going to destroy himself.

“I think it stemmed from the fact that if I thought about something which was possible, then I should be ready to test it. That included even the sciences – the theoretical side of which I hated. I enjoyed trying out the practical side of science at home— I used to perform experiments.  Things like that, you know, sometimes blew up in my face. Same with putative artistry.

“I would re-arrange my mother’s shop because I felt mine was the best way. I looked at customers, studied them and decided which arrangements would attract them more. She would give up and let me have my way. After I had gone back to school, she would undo everything,” he said.

Sharing some memorable experiences of how he was able to cope with older boys as a 10year-old scholarship student at  Government College, Ibadan, he said, “those school mates of mine, they were bullies. They were terrifying because they looked big. Some of them, I’m sure, had children already. Some had moustaches and so they shaved every morning.

“The ‘over-confidence’ that my mother used to complain of saved me and put me in trouble also. Because they were big they felt they should trample all over me. I had no hesitation in taking them on. It was a very good training because you defeat people like that largely with moral persistence. They knew they were misusing their power.

“Whenever they turned on me, being really small, the bullying got really intense because these big boys could not stand the idea that this rondo (small) boy was sitting while others were standing. They couldn’t stand it. They intensified the bullying, which made me even more aggressive. I must confess that sometimes I was responsible for bringing disaster on my head because I would provoke them: I would call them names they didn’t like.

“Anyway, it got too much, so I called Christopher Kolade and Mesida, and said: ‘Let’s form a tripartite alliance. Anytime any of us is bullied, the other two would come to the rescue of the others.’ And that’s what we did. I summoned the most notorious to our presence and read him the riot act. We tried to move together as much as possible. The bullying reduced.

“The very notion that the three of us were ganging up against bullying infuriated that particular bully. He just couldn’t stand it. Even though the others backed off, this individual— I remember his name very well— he just became more and more aggressive. And he somehow sensed that it was my idea.

“The library was my favourite place. Also, the library was sanctuary. When I was cornered, or didn’t feel in a battle mood, there were two places into which I escaped – the library and the chapel. Their respect for the latter used to amuse me, so sanctimonious! They would back off and start circling the chapel when I sat in there, indifferent.  I used to enjoy their frustration.

“I would just step inside the chapel and the fool would wilt. I remember one of them who decided to invade the library sanctuary. He didn’t want to beat me up inside the library; so he tried to drag me out. As we struggled, I remember that I was catapulted through the glass door and I had a huge gash. I bled profusely. And he became frightened.

“It was very amusing to see this bully cowering because he thought he had killed me. Of course, I enjoyed that sense of power over him during that incident,” he said.

Speaking on his phobia for snakes since his days as a college student, he said: “I hated snakes. I still do. If you like, I was even scared of snakes – those creepy creatures. Many of us have a superstitiouus dread of snakes. Since I was afraid of them and considered them dangerous to humanity, it seemed logical not to leave any such intruder alive – wherever possible. Made me feel safer.

“I preferred to attack them instead of running away. I grew up with an attitude that you must overcome your fear – but this I only realized in retrospect,” he averred.

His wife, Folake described him as the best human being one can think of and who is very concerned about other people and their suffering even to his own detriment sometimes.

“He’s just a warm person. Looking at him, you may not know this, but that is who he is. He is someone you would want as a friend. He is very loyal. He is the best friend you can ask for.

“Professor Soyinka is a great provider as well; you are not going to get the Lamborghini or Bentley Continental GT, but you will get your school fees and it won’t be late. He is very responsible,” she said.

Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, Commissioner for Health, Ogun State and first son, while describing him as a father and a public figure, said to him as a kid, Soyinka looks 10 times as big and was quite scary in his mind because of his appearance in particular.

“But of course he was not strict because as a father, he was a very relaxed person in terms of allowing you to be yourself, to explore your boundaries and freedoms with just one or two fairly strict no-go areas. Following his instructions to the letter or respecting other people or other people’s property, important roles that kids tend to neglect, you do it at your peril.

“Yet, he is not a spanker or beater. He doesn’t believe in disciplining children with the rod. It was either he was giving you lines that you write a thousand times after you had done something naughty. At an early age, he established the fact that you can be strict and fair,” he said.

Moremi Soyinka-Onijala, lawyer and one of the daughters of the Professor, recalls the thrills and the pains of growing up as a child of the Nobel Laureate as well as the personality of the renowned playwright.

 Speaking on her fondest memories of Soyinka as a father, she recalled she and her sisters used to plait his beard and his hair because he has always had a lot of hair.

“He would sit down patiently and we would take a comb and we would be weaving and practising styles and all that. And when we finished, he would say, “Now that you are done, loosen it and comb it back.”

“I also remember when my siblings and I used to have the opportunity to go and watch the performances at the Arts Theatre. Because we were always free viewers, my father would not let us sit on the chairs that are paid for, so we had to sit on the stairs and just enjoy the show. Those are just a few of the memories.”

Speaking on his globe trotting nature, she said, “definitely, it was a concern and even though we are grown up, it still is a concern, not just for us the children, but also for the grandchildren. Our dad is not, and never was a typical dad; neither is he a typical grandfather at all. Right from when I was a toddler and when some of my younger siblings were born, he wasn’t around a lot. He was either away in detention, away in exile, or pursuing other career interests. He was at University of Ibadan briefly, and then resigned, I can’t remember for what reason.”

In the special edition of  the current edition of TheNEWS magazine circulating nationwide, there are at least 17 tributes by renowned associates, wife, sons and daughters of the professor in commemoration of his birthday. The tributes were written by Folake Wole-Soyinka, Yemi Ogunbiyi, Biodun Jeyifo, Femi Osofisan, Kole Omotoso, Moremi Soyinka-Onijala, Tejumola Olaniyan and Femi Soyinka.

Others are Okey Ndibe, Odia Ofeimun, Akin Adesokan, Olaokun Soyinka, Promise Ogochkwu, Folabo Soyinka-Ajayi, Bankole Olayebi and Dapo Adeniyi. Ask your vendor for the collector’s item.

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Wole Soyinka Prize: Akin Bello Wins Grand Prize http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/08/wole-soyinka-prize-akin-bello-wins-grand-prize/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/08/wole-soyinka-prize-akin-bello-wins-grand-prize/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 12:13:32 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=202061 A former Chairman of the Oyo State chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Akin Bello has been named by the judges of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa as the winner of the fifth edition of the prestigious prize in Literature.

Bello was crowned by Professor Wole Soyinka, assisted by the board of the Lumina Foundation, the organisers of the prize, Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi and Globacom’s Head of GloWorld, Titi Ebinisi, at the grand finale of the award at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos on Saturday.

The fifth edition of the award, sponsored by the National Carrier, Globacom, was keenly contested by three authors, Bello, Othuke Ominibohs and Toyin Abiodun, whose entries were considered the best three of the total of 163 works submitted from across Africa.

One of the judges of the Prize, Professor Olu Obafemi, a prolific playwright, novelist and poet, who has himself published 14 scholarly and 15 creative books, formally announced the winner, who was promptly presented with the much coveted trophy and his cheque.

R-L: Professor Olu Obafemi, member of judging panel; Toyin Abiodun, a runner-up (behind); Titi Ebinisi, Head, GloWorld, Globacom; Othuke Ominibohs, a runner-up (behind); Mrs. Francesca Emmanuel, Chairperson, Lumina Foundation; Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka; winner of the 5th Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, Akin Bello; and others at the grand finale of the prize sponsored by Globacom in Lagos on Saturday.

R-L: Professor Olu Obafemi, member of judging panel; Toyin Abiodun, a runner-up (behind); Titi Ebinisi, Head, GloWorld, Globacom; Othuke Ominibohs, a runner-up (behind); Mrs. Francesca Emmanuel, Chairperson, Lumina Foundation; Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka; winner of the 5th Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, Akin Bello; and others at the grand finale of the prize sponsored by Globacom in Lagos on Saturday.

The winner, Akin Bello, was born in Lagos in 1950, and educated at Oyo, Ghana and the University of Ife, (now Obafemi Awolowo University) Ile-Ife, where he obtained a B.Sc. (Hons) (Pol. Science) in the 2nd Class (Upper) Division in 1975.

A widely travelled man with a richly diversified work experience, Bello is currently an Executive Director of a Non-Governmental Organisation in Ibadan. He was the Chairman of the Oyo State Chapter of ANA for four years between 2008 and 2012.

Before now, Bello had published three novels and a poetry collection. His first play, ‘Egbon of Lagos’ has now won him recognition and fame at the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.

In his remarks, Professor Soyinka thanked Lumina Foundation and its partners, including Globacom for organizing the grand event and making it a success.

In a goodwill message read on his behalf, Globacom’s Chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga, said that “Globacom is delighted to be part of the successful execution of the project, which honours one of the world’s biggest literary giants, Professor Wole Soyinka and seeks to promote excellence in the literary arts on the continent of Africa.”

Dr. Adenuga said, “As a teacher, role model, social activist and advocate, Professor Wole Soyinka has directly impacted millions of lives on the continent of Africa and beyond. We are deeply honoured to be part of a project like this, which celebrates this living legend and seeks to encourage the coming generation to aspire to attain such academic excellence in the literary world”.

In her remarks, Mrs. Francesca Emmanuel, the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Lumina Foundation, equally thanked all the partners of the organisation, without whose support the project might not have been a huge success that it has been.

The grand finale of the prize was graced by other literary icons, including renowned playwright and poet, John Pepper Clark, a former President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), and loyal protégé of Professor Soyinka, Odia Ofeimun, renowned Professor of International Law and Jurisprudence, Akin Oyebode, who delivered the keynote address, and many other distinguished scholars.

Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa is a biennial event staged to recognize the best literary work produced by an African. It was established by the Lumina Foundation in 2005 to promote literary excellence in Africa and has since become the African equivalent of the Nobel Prize. This year’s Prize was dedicated to the drama genre.

The panel of five judges for the Prize was drawn from Uganda, South Africa, Mali, Nigeria and Algeria.

Guests were entertained by the Steve Rhodes Orchestra which reeled out tunes in different genres, cutting across old and contemporary. Also, multi-talented instrumentalist and Glo ambassador, Bez added spice to the event.

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Wole Soyinka Prize: Literary icons to inspire secondary students http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/02/wole-soyinka-prize-literary-icons-to-inspire-secondary-students/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/02/wole-soyinka-prize-literary-icons-to-inspire-secondary-students/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 05:37:31 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=201257 Professor Wole Soyinka

Select pupils from secondary schools in Nigeria with keen interest in literary arts will have a golden opportunity to meet and interact with literary icons attending the grand finale of the fifth edition of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa. The award is sponsored by the Nigerian national telecommunication carrier, Globacom.

Literary icons such as the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and renowned Ghanaian author who was also a former Ghanaian Education Minister, Professor Ama Ata Aidoo, among other distinguished writers, will be available to speak with the students at an event slated for 5 July at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Some of the schools pencilled to bring select pupils are Unique Heights Senior and Junior School, Halifield College, First Harvard School, Dowen College, Victoria Island Senior Secondary School, and Kuramo Senior Secondary School, all in Lagos.

In a joint statement by Globacom, the main sponsor of the Prize and Lumina Foundation, the organisers of the award, it was stated that the idea of inviting students to the grand finale is to enable the students meet their literary idols so that their imagination can be fired and they can be inspired to seek and attain greatness.

In contention for the $20,000 grand prize are three authors: Othuke Ominibohs, Akin Bello and Toyin Abiodun. The three finalists will also be available to interact with the students.

The finalists were selected from a longlist of 10 African authors including, Soji Cole, Comfort Adesuwa Ero, Isaac Attah Ogezi, Moshood Oba, Mayowa Saja, Wumi Raji and Akin Adejumo. They were drawn from a total of 163 entries submitted from 17 African countries in the genre of Drama, which is the focus of the 2014 edition.

The award is a biennial event staged to recognize the best literary work produced by an African. It was established in 2005 to promote literary excellence in Africa and has since become the African equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

The panel of five judges for the Prize is drawn from Uganda, South Africa, Mali, Nigeria and Algeria. Globacom also sponsored the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa in 2012.

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Rhodes Voices, Bez, for Soyinka Prize grand finale http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/29/rhodes-voices-bez-for-soyinka-prize-grand-finale/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/29/rhodes-voices-bez-for-soyinka-prize-grand-finale/#comments Sun, 29 Jun 2014 06:19:45 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=200927 Professor Wole Soyinka

Professor Wole Soyinka

Evergreen music orchestra, Steve Rhodes Orchestra and Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, Bez, have confirmed attendance for the grand finale of the fifth edition of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.

The award, being sponsored by the national carrier, Globacom, coincides with the 80th birthday of the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.

Steve Rhodes Orchestra is a creation of the late music impresario, Elder Steve Rhodes, who once bestrode the artistic world like a colossus. Since his demise, the orchestra has continued to hold the torch of the great music composer aloft, thrilling discerning music audiences across the country to the best of all genres of music.

Multiple award winner and Globacom brand ambassador, Bez will bring contemporary touch to the much anticipated event slated for July 5 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Bez is currently making waves in the Nigerian music scene with his brand of music dubbed “alternative soul”, a hybrid of soul, rock, jazz and R&B.

The two acts slated for the event have vowed to treat guests to their best performances ever at the grand finale where one of the three shortlisted authors will be crowned the winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.

In contention for the $20,000 Grand Prize are three authors: Othuke Ominibohs, Akin Bello and Toyin Abiodun”.

The three finalists were selected from a longlist of 10 African authors including, Soji Cole, Comfort Adesuwa Ero, Isaac Attah Ogezi, Moshood Oba, Mayowa Saja, and Wumi Raji.

They were picked from a total of 163 entries submitted from 17 African countries in the genre of Drama, which is the focus of the 2014 edition.

The award is a biennial event staged to recognize the best literary work produced by an African. It was established by the Lumina Foundation in 2005 to promote literary excellence in Africa and has since become the African equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

The panel of five judges for the Prize is drawn from Uganda, South Africa, Mali, Nigeria and Algeria.

Three heads of state have also given their commitment to be part of the series of events scheduled to round off the fifth edition of the award. Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana have indicated interest to be in Accra, Ghana on July 8 at the presentation of a book in honour of the Nobel Laureate three days after the announcement of the Prize winner in Lagos.

Other distinguished individuals expected at the activities include Former President of the Republic of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and renowned Ghanaian author and former Education Minister in the Ghana government, Professor Ama Ata Aidoo.

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Kokori Launches June 12 Memoir http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/25/kokori-launches-june-12-memoir/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/25/kokori-launches-june-12-memoir/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 13:47:00 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=200296 The former General Secretary of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Frank Kokori today presented his June 12 memoir : Frank Kokori: The Struggle For June 12.

.

•Kokori

•Kokori

The event which took place at the Agip Recital Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, attracted dignitaries from all walks of life.

The reviewer of the book was Kayode Komolafe. The event was ongoing at the time of this report.

According to Komolafe in his review, “The book is essentially a full-disclosure of the audacious role played by oil workers in the struggle to uphold the sanctity of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by Bashorun Moshood Abiola. During the historical moment, Kokori was the General-Secretary of the National   Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG). Together with the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), NUPENG provided the dynamite for the struggle with crippling strikes.

“The June 12 story could be encapsulated as follows: A presidential election that was to be the climax of a long-winding political transition programme was held on June 12, 1993.   Abiola as a candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) contested against Alhaji Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention (NRC). As the results of the elections were being put together, Babangida, whose regime organised the transition programme, annulled the election.

“But an idea that could not be killed had been born. The resistance against the grand assault on the people’s will began in earnest. In the process, Babangida was forced out of power leaving behind a rickety interim governmental structure headed by Chief Ernest Shonekan with General Sani Abacha in charge of Defence.”

He added that “As predicted, Abacha sacked Shonekan’s government three months later and inaugurated a reign of terror on the country for five years. In a bid to kill the June 12 idea the junta arrested Abiola, and he died in detention.  Kokori was also incarcerated for four years for the bold and committed leadership he gave for the effective oil workers’ strikes.  Abacha died suddenly on June 8, 1998 and Abiola also died on July 7 the same year. That is the story in the simplest form one can put it.”

Prominent Nigerians, including retired Rear Adm. Ndubuisi Kanu and Chief Segun Osoba were among guests at the book launch in Lagos to commemorate the 70th birthday of Chief Frank Kokori.

Speaking at the event, Kanu, the Chairman of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), who also chaired the event lauded Kokori for his contributions in enthroning democracy in Nigeria.

“Kokori made so much sacrifice. If not for the struggle of June 12, Nigeria would have continued to experience transformed maximum rulership,” Kanu said. Also speaking, Osoba lamented that many of those who struggled for June 12 were not the ones enjoying the outcome of the struggle.

“Only 49 of us signed the document when NADECO was formed behind Abiola. The youngest of us then was Labaran Maku, the Minister of Information.”

Osoba said “the reason why many of those who struggled for June 12 did not get into power is because of the guarded handover of power carried out by the military.

“Am here today, to celebrate Kokori and my survival too. It was alleged that I gave Kokori up but I thank God he survived, otherwise, I would have been blamed for it,” Osoba said.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, represented by his aide, Mr Adinoyi Ojo, said that there was no better person to tell the inside story of June 12 than Kokori. “We must never forget his contributions and personal sacrifices.

“We have Kokori and others to thank as we celebrate 15 years of democracy in Nigeria,” Atiku said.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, representated by a former Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Dele Aleke, described Kokori as a man of high repute.

“Am aware of his role in the struggle for June 12 actualisation. I thank and appreciate him for the role he has played and still playing for the enthronement of genuine democracy in Nigeria.

“In spite of Kokori’s incarceration and torture, he remained a symbol of consistency, perseverance, responsibility and a galvaniser of oil workers that staged massive protests for the emancipation of Nigerians,” Tinubu said.

In his response, Kokori said that he wrote the book to showcase the gladiators who helped Nigeria to attain democratic governance but had been neglected in the nation’s political dispensations.

“The book is a candid account of my roles and the roles that other heroes played in the quest to revalidate the June 12 1993 presidential election.”

Kokori, however, lamented that politics in Nigeria was being driven by money, urging Nigerians to rise above inducements in selecting their leaders.

Also at event were son of late Chief MKO Abiola, Mr Abdul Abiola, Mrs Ganiyat Fawehinmi (wife of late Chief Gani Fawehinmi), Sen. Biyi Durojaiye and representatives of civil society groups

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3 Presidents For Soyinka Literature Prize http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/16/3-presidents-for-soyinka-literature-prize/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/16/3-presidents-for-soyinka-literature-prize/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 12:42:26 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=198974 The biennial Wole Soyinka Prize for creative writing continues to grow in proportion with at least three serving heads of state billed to attend this year’s edition.

The presidents who have consented to be present at the ceremony, according to the organisers, include President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Liberian Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana.

Other high-profile dignitaries who are expected to attend are former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; former President of the Republic of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki; former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan; the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and renowned Ghanaian author and former Education Minister in the Ghana government, Professor Ama Ata Aidoo.

The prize award ceremony is scheduled for 5 July at the Civic Centre, Lagos. This will be followed by a book presentation on Soyinka slated for Accra, Ghana on 8 July.

The Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature was established by Lumina Foundation in 2005 with the objective of rewarding literary creativity in the continent.

Apart from encouraging and rewarding talents in Africa, the prize has become the African-equivalent of the famous Nobel Prize for Literature.

According to a release from the public relations unit of the prize sponsor, Globacom, ten writers have been shortlisted.

This year’s edition of the prize will focus on drama. Entries were received from African published playwrights whose plays were published in the last two years.

Based on certain criteria, some subscribers of the communication service provider will be invited to the prize-giving ceremony.

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Users lament lack of books in Edo library http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/15/users-lament-lack-of-books-in-edo-library/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/15/users-lament-lack-of-books-in-edo-library/#comments Sun, 15 Jun 2014 13:39:29 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=198843 Adams Oshiomhole, Governor of Edo State

Adams Oshiomhole, Governor of Edo State

Readers and users of the Edo Library in Benin have lamented the poor infrastructure and outdated books stocked in the state-owned library.

Some readers told NAN in Benin on Sunday that people had no interest to read in the library due to shortage of reading materials, outdated books and poor infrastructure.

Miss Love Edomwonyi, a student of the National Open University, said the lighting of the library was poor and there was no alternative source of light when there was power outage.

She urged the state government to invest in books so that students would be encouraged to visit the library to read.

Also, Victor Ofor, an undergraduate studying law in Enugu and currently on court attachment in the state decried the theft of books in the library.

“I was here in 2005, and the library was well stocked with chairs and books but when I returned in 2014, I discovered that some of the books are missing.

“I complained to the librarians and they told me that readers were stealing the books.

“If this trend continues unabated, it will affect people who come here to read,” he said.

When contacted, one of the librarians who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the last books purchased by the library was over 22 years ago.

“For the past 22 years, we have not got money for books and we have not been able to assess our capital base,” the official said.

NAN observed that most of the readers in the library were students who were reading their lecture notes and personal text books.

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French book at Harvard library bound in human skin http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/06/french-book-at-harvard-library-bound-in-human-skin/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/06/french-book-at-harvard-library-bound-in-human-skin/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 13:06:31 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=197535 Book made with human skin

Book made with human skin

Harvard’s university library on Friday in New York confirmed that test has shown that a 19th-century French book at the university’s library collection was bound in human skin.

Bill Lane, Director of the Harvard Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Resource Library, said the cover of the Houghton Library’s copy of “Arsene Houssaye’s Des destinees de l’ame,” a meditation on afterlife and the human soul, was made of human skin.

He said the university began to conduct tests on the book’s cover after a note found in it by its author “Houssaye” said that it had been bound using human skin.

He said the back of the unclaimed body of a female mental patient was used, after she died of a stroke.

“This book is bound in human skin parchment on which no ornament has been stamped to preserve its elegance,” Houssaye’s note said.

“By looking carefully you easily distinguish the pores of the skin and a book about the human soul deserved to have a human covering,” he added.

Lane said early tests showed the binding was not made of sheep or goat skin, but was most likely of human origin or made of the skin of another closely related primate, such as a great ape or gibbon.

He said further tests revealed that the cover was made of human skin.

Lane said the analytical data, taken together with the provenance of Des destinees de l’ame, make it very unlikely that the source could be other than human.

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Maya Angelou Truly Phenomenal, says Niyi Osundare http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/03/maya-angelou-truly-phenomenal-says-niyi-osundare/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/03/maya-angelou-truly-phenomenal-says-niyi-osundare/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 07:51:48 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=197046 The late Maya Angelou

The late Maya Angelou

She enriched our world with her astounding array of talents and accomplishments: she was a singer, dancer, composer, producer, actress, journalist, teacher, motivational speaker, writer, and civil rights activist.

Yet, that world, given the time, place, and circumstance of her birth, gave her little chance to demonstrate those talents, and even less possibility for carrying them to ultimate fulfilment.

For she was born Black and female in American South at a time when both designations were nothing short of double jeopardy.

Life for Black people in Jim Crow South was hard, brutish, almost forbidding, but the proverbial reality of America as a land of dreams and possibilities enabled her to make lemonade with the lemon sold to her by a society still trying to grapple with the searing contradictions between the lofty democratic ideals enshrined in its constitution and the grave inequities meted out to its racial and gender underclass.

Maya Angelou was a victim of the American nightmare and shining example of its dream. Her entire life provided a lesson in the act of snatching victory out of the jaws of defeat.

In an interview with African American critic Claudia Tate a couple of years ago, Angelou declared: “All my work is meant to say: ‘You may encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated,” (See The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, 2nd Edition, p. 2155).

This is the empowering credo of a woman who was raped when she was eight years old and plunged into trauma-induced silence for many years thereafter; then became a teenage mother one month after graduating from high school at 16.

This is the rousing lesson of a woman who rose from acute obscurity to global acclaim; a woman once ‘dumbed’ by unspeakable adversity but who rose to develop a voice strong and eloquent enough to qualify her as the chosen poet at President Clinton’s inauguration on January 21, 1993, thus becoming the first African American and the first woman to be so recognized and honoured.

To Maya Angelou, drawbacks and adversities are, most times, the building blocks of the house of glory; for life without its vicissitudes is like Christianity without the Cross.

She has so much to say because her own life is a compendium of tellable stories. This is why she is most widely known for her autobiograhies, the two famous of which are ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ (1970) which became an instant best-seller and literally launched her career as a writer and global voice; and ‘All God’s Children Need Travelling Shoes’ (1984), an engaging account of her travel to Ghana, and the many ways her Africa journey helped her self-definition as an African American by deepening her understanding of the African condition beyond the silences, half-truths, and blatant lies in the history books.

An authentic apprehension of history and its poignant impact on the present, a touching narrative of the battles of life; the archaeology of adversity and its delicate relationship to eventual triumph, the never-say-die spirit and desirability of the proverbial pie in the sky; the necessity of love and the possibility of hope; the redemptive functions of art and culture; a spirituality older, deeper, and much wider than the troubling superficialities of the workaday world; a ceaseless insistence on lasting values: these are the recurrent themes of Maya Angelou’s works.

These are the principles which ruled her life. This is why, bolstered by uncommon courage and conviction, she was able to say this to a world that has been largely unkind to her race and gender:

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise

Yes, the incredible Maya has picked up the horsetail and danced to the other side of the Great River. But she has left us her lyrical verse and soulful music, her imperishable stories, her electric stage presence, her sweet (and sour) voice, the epigrammatic force in her moral injunction:

When you learn, teach
When you get, give

Said the iconic persona in Angelou’s ‘Our Grandmothers’: ‘I have a certain way of being in this world’. Maya Angelou’s 86 years on earth are a telling testimony to that declaration. The world has lost a truly phenomenal woman. How so grateful we are that she came our way and touched our lives with the music of her soul and the gravitas of her grace.

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Wole Soyinka’s Tribute to Maya Angelou http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/05/31/wole-soyinkas-tribute-to-maya-angelou/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/05/31/wole-soyinkas-tribute-to-maya-angelou/#comments Sat, 31 May 2014 21:05:07 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=196787 The late Maya Angelou

The late Maya Angelou

Maya’s ‘AFRICA’ was more than a mere literary metaphor and reference point – it went beyond race identification. To obtain a glimmering of what the continent meant to her, one would have to think in terms of a mystic nostalgia.

That could be because she was so markedly black-regal both in bearing and pronouncements, she made one feel that, in some distant time past, she had been a queen – a philosopher queen – over some part of the black continent.

If indeed she was, Maya was the down-to-earth kind who felt her subjects keenly, a philosopher queen without the aloofness.

Professor Wole Soyinka

Professor Wole Soyinka

It took just one lunch meeting with her, and Queen Angelou tightened her sash like a market mamma, mobilized emergency forces, and personally led the charge to beat down the doors of a lethargic – and/or ambiguous – US administration during the Sanni Abacha murderous dictatorship.

She kept her finger on the nation’s pulse throughout a people’s travails.

Long before that however, what a personal memory to cherish! I learnt the following at an American university where I had gone to lecture, and Maya confirmed the details to me after we had finally met.

Publishers of a prestigious literary journal, the college was also sponsor of a bi-annual international literary prize. She had nominated me for that prize but, finally, it was a German writer who carried it off – I think it was Gunther Grass, but am no longer sure.

Well, at the formal event of the announcement, Maya Angelou was so disappointed, she burst into tears. Our sole contact till then was through our writing.

During reception afterwards, when she was being teased/consoled or whatever, she said something like: “No, it’s all right, I know he’ll win a bigger one”. A year later, I was accorded the Nobel Prize.

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Literary society, authors to honour late Prof. Acholonu http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/05/31/literary-society-authors-to-honour-late-prof-acholonu/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/05/31/literary-society-authors-to-honour-late-prof-acholonu/#comments Sat, 31 May 2014 06:51:14 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=196665 Prof. Catherine Acholonu

Prof. Catherine Acholonu

An Evening of Tribute has been scheduled to hold in Abuja on 12 June in honour of the late literary scholar and activist, Professor Catherine Acholonu.

The event, holding at the Korean Cultural Centre in Abuja, is being organised by Christopher Okigbo Literary Society and members of the Association of Nigeria Authors (ANA).

Acholonu, who was a founding member of ANA, died in Abuja on 18 March.

A statement issued by Patrick Oguejiofor, the coordinator of the event, said Prof. Chimalum Nwakwo and Ahmed Maiwada are among the literary scholars expected to present papers at the event.

The distinguished scholar was one of the most influential voices in the Nigerian literary scene, the statement noted.

It added that the deceased was a prolific writer, gender activist, politician, poet, consummate researcher who advocated for women equality.

Her works includes The Afrocentric Alternative to Feminism, The Earth Unchained, A Quantum Leap in Consciousness, Women in Environmental Development Programme and Trial of the Beautiful Ones.

She was also a Fulbright scholar who lectured in several universities in the United States, and contributed immensely to promoting African literature.

She founded the Catherine Acholonu Research Centre in Abuja and served as Senior Special Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Arts and Culture between 1999 and 2002.

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US poet Maya Angelou dies at 86 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/05/28/us-poet-maya-angelou-dies-at-86/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/05/28/us-poet-maya-angelou-dies-at-86/#comments Wed, 28 May 2014 14:25:14 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=196336 Celebrated African-American author, poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has died, the North Carolina university where she taught said Wednesday. She was 86.

“Today members of the Wake Forest University community mourn the loss of beloved poet, author, actress, civil rights activist and professor Dr. Maya Angelou,” it said in a statement.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

Mayor Allen Joines of Winston-Salem, North Carolina told Fox TV affiliate WGHP in the southern state that Angelou was found dead on Wednesday morning by her caretaker.

Angelou is best known for her autobiographies that focused on her childhood and early adulthood, including “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” from 1969.

“Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God,” she wrote in the most recent post on her @DrMayaAngelou Twitter account on May 23.

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10 authors make Glo-sponsored Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/05/11/10-authors-make-glo-sponsored-wole-soyinka-prize-for-literature/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/05/11/10-authors-make-glo-sponsored-wole-soyinka-prize-for-literature/#comments Sun, 11 May 2014 12:43:46 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=194177 Professor Wole Soyinka

Professor Wole Soyinka

Ten African authors made the long-list for the 2014 edition of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa. This year’s award is the fifth edition and it coincides with the 80th birthday of the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.

Authors listed for the award sponsored by Nigeria’s national telecommunication company, Globacom, are: Othuke Ominiaboha, Akin Bello, Soji Cole, Comfort Adesuwa Ero, Toyin Abiodun, Isaac Attah Ogezi, Moshood Oba, Mayowa Saja, Wumi Raji and Akin Adejumo.

The long list was made from a total of 163 entries submitted from 17 African countries in the genre of Drama, which is the focus of the 2014 edition.

The shortlist will be announced by the judges of the prize in June 2014 and the ultimate winner will emerge and be presented with a prize on 5 July at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island Lagos.

The Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa is a biennial award for the best literary work produced by an African. It was established by the Lumina Foundation in 2005 and has since been serving as an African equivalent of the Nobel Prize, particularly in recognizing and encouraging professional and personal excellence.

Entries were invited from authors of any published play or collection of plays by the same author of African descent, published within the last two years (that is, a play published between 2012 and 2013).

The first edition of Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa was held on August 5, 2006 at the MUSON Centre, Lagos, Nigeria.

The aim of the award includes propagating the dynamics of self enhancement, celebrating excellence, patriotism, integrity, heroism, intellectualism and selfless service epitomized by the man, Wole Soyinka and generating excellent books (both in content and packaging) authored by Africans.

The award will also foster global harmony through the provision of opportunities for appreciation of cross cultural perspectives and promoting the authors and their works, according to the recognition they deserve among renowned authors across the world.

Globacom sponsored the award in 2012. The ultimate prize money is $20,000USD (over N3 million).

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Censors Board Action Absurd – Chimamanda Adichie http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/05/03/censors-board-action-absurd-chimamanda-adichie/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/05/03/censors-board-action-absurd-chimamanda-adichie/#comments Sat, 03 May 2014 13:57:40 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=193357 Sulaimon Mojeed-Sanni

The author of,’ Half Of A Yellow Sun,’ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has said the action of Nigerian Video Films and Censors Board to put a hold on the public viewing of the film adaptation of her eponymous book,’Half Of A Yellow Sun,’ is unreasonable.

The celebrated author, whose recent novel, ‘Americanah,’ won the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction said the censor boards’ action is more disappointing than surprising, because it is part of a larger Nigerian political culture that is steeped in denial.

In an article, ‘Hiding From Our Past,’ which she wrote for a US based newspaper, The New Yorker, she emphasised the need to revisit our past as a prerequisite to moving forward.

“It is not unusual to hear Nigerians speak of “moving forward,” as though it might be possible merely to wish away the unpleasant past,” she wrote.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

While agreeing that the political atmosphere is tensed, she is of the opinion that Nigeria’s political culture is averse to openness, making the response to the film a knee-jark political response.

“The censors’ action is a knee-jerk political response, yet there is a sense in which it is not entirely unreasonable.

Nigeria is on the edge, with upcoming elections, religion and ethnicity increasingly politicized; and Boko Haram committing mass murders and abductions.

In a political culture already averse to openness, this might seem a particularly appropriate time for censorship,” the celebrated author opined.

She noted that it was absurd that security operatives who gather to watch romantic films finds ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ offensive.

Bemoaning Nigerians sense of secrecy and ahistorical culture, Adichie, said censors’ board action is as a result of Nigeria’s unexamined past and partly the truama of years of military dictatorship.

“Soldiers are hostile to video cameras in public. Officials who were yesterday known as thieves are widely celebrated today.”

She noted that Nigerians cannot hide from history. “Many of Nigeria’s present problems are, arguably, consequences of an ahistorical culture…The past is present, and we are better off acknowledging it and, hopefully, learning from it,” she suggested.

In stating her support for the public viewing of the film, Adichie wrote that the Nigeria-Biafra civil war is still wrapped in a formal silence and hope the final arbiters of Nigerian security will approve the film release as part of the final healing process.

“There are no major memorials, and it is hardly taught in schools. This week, Nigerian government censors delayed the release of the film adaptation of “Half of a Yellow Sun” because, according to them, it might incite violence in the country; the issue in particular is a scene based on a historically documented massacre at a northern Nigerian airport. It is now up to the State Security Service to make a decision,” she wrote in her article.

She said she lost relatives to the civil war, spent years researching what turned out as the fictional novel on Biafra because she was haunted by history.

“A novel about human relationships during the war, centered on a young, privileged woman and her professor lover. It was a deeply personal project based on interviews with family members who were generous enough to mine their pain, yet I knew that it would, for many Nigerians of my generation, be as much history as literature.”

She concluded that Nigerians are sophisticated consumers of culture and, had the censorship board not politicised the film by delaying its release, she opined that few people would have objected to it at all.

In a related development, the publicist company for the film, R & B Public Relations Limited, Shareman Media, the Nigerian producers, and FilmOne Distribution, the Nigerian distributors, of the feature film, Half of a Yellow Sun, have collectively announced that the public release of the film remain postponed.

“The public release of Half of a Yellow Sun in Nigeria remains postponed due to the fact that the National Film and Video Censors Board has not yet certified the film. The release date will be announced once the Board has certified the film for release to the public.

The producers and distributors of the film regret this continuing delay. We are deeply appreciative of the overwhelming interest shown in the film by Nigerians everywhere. Please be assured that we are doing everything within our means to achieve certification and release as soon as possible,” it said in press statement.

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The Genius Of Obafemi Awolowo And The Contest For His Political Space http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/24/the-genius-of-obafemi-awolowo-and-the-contest-for-his-political-space/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/24/the-genius-of-obafemi-awolowo-and-the-contest-for-his-political-space/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 09:58:25 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=192349 By Kunle Ajibade

Bill Clinton, in an article he wrote for TIME magazine in 1999 titled “Captain Courageous,” described one of the best American presidents, F.D. Roosevelt, as an architect of grand political designs. Obafemi Awolowo could also be described as an architect of grand political designs. He was a great political builder among great political builders. If he remains a commanding intelligence in modern Yoruba and Nigerian history, it is because he worked tirelessly to shape some significant events of his time. He chose courage over cowardice. He chose competence over mediocrity. His legacy teaches us diligence, it teaches us hard work, integrity, fortitude, honesty, self sacrifice, responsible leadership and accountability. We are taught by his inspiring example that true leaders must work for the common good. We are taught by him that genuine leaders ought to have purposes greater than themselves. Obafemi Awolowo was a moral force who taught us to live a life that meets the ideals we profess.

In Yoruba Elites and Ethnic Politics in Nigeria: Obafemi Awolowo and Corporate Agency, Wale Adebanwi renders the significance, the prestige, the influence and the messianic drama of Obafemi Awolowo’s life in incisive, brilliant, elegant and engaging narrative. He combined his skills as a trained journalist, a political scientist and anthropologist to conduct a research which ranges across important territories and domains. This book, in its first formulation, was his Ph.D thesis at the University of Cambridge. Adebanwi displays in it fireworks of theories especially in the introductory parts which may overwhelm the lay readers but will gladden the hearts of his academic peers immensely. He interrogates some received theories in order to propound his own. The theories, if you take time to crack their nuts, will yield useful insights. Theories that explain and describe Obafemi Awolowo as a peerless leader who kept the political promises he made. Theories that help to deepen our understanding of the Awolowo’s mystique, his phenomenon and charisma. Theories of a leader who remained focussed and kept expanding the magnitude of his mind and the frontiers of his vision till the very end. And theories of friends who betray their friends and principles.

Book reviewer, Kunle Ajibade Excutive Editor, TheNEWS

Book reviewer, Kunle Ajibade Excutive Editor, TheNEWS 

Adebanwi tells us that Awolowo’s education policy, his investment in Agriculture, his social welfare programmes and a vibrant, productive economy in Western Region brought into being a vast middle class that had enough energy, buoyant optimism and supreme confidence to engage the rest of the world. He was s game-changer who really made politics admirable and respectable. The author shows that, compared to his contemporaries, Awolowo was the most articulate advocate of the rights of the minorities and a clear-headed defender of federalism. By the time he died in 1987, he had not only been justly monumentalised, he had been variously mythologised. In the words of Adebanwi: “Years after Awolowo’s death, and more than half a century after he left office as the premier of Western Region of Nigeria, the Yoruba elites continue to regard him as the very symbol of their ethnic nationalism and a shining example of the benefits of self-governance, not only in Nigeria but in all of Africa.”

Adebanwi agrees with Banji Akintoye and Toyin Falola and other scholars who argue that if Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba, founded the Yoruba nation, Awolowo came to modernise it. He observes that at the start of his political career, Awolowo knew that the Yoruba were a highly progressive but badly disunited group, that they paid lip service to a spiritual union and affinity in a common ancestor – Oduduwa. They waged war against one another. The Yoruba, in the course of the British and Portuguese slave trade, had conducted violent and merciless slave raids on one another. And when the inter-tribal wars and slave raids were brought to an end by the British, mutual hatreds among the Yoruba continued. Given the propaganda of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the younger elements in Yorubaland saw themselves as inferior to the Igbo.  According to Adebanwi: “Awolowo’s declared resolve in the early 1940s was to save the Yoruba from ‘the state of impotence, into which they were fast degenerating’. Awolowo further resolved ‘to infuse solidarity into the disjointed tribes that constitute the Yoruba ethnic group, to raise their morale, to rehabilitate their self-respect, and to imbue them with the confidence that they are an important factor in the forging of the federal unity of Nigeria’”.

Egbe Omo Oduduwa and the Action Group took on these cultural and political projects. This mission of what Adebanwi describes as “the construction of a pan-Yoruba identity,” was resisted by Awolowo’s political adversaries like Dr. Azikiwe and Adegoke Adelabu, the feisty Ibadan politician who wrote Africa in Ebullition. The formation of Egbe Omo Oduduwa was not his only political achievement at this time when he was studying law in England, he also wrote Path to Nigerian Freedom in which he shared his ideas of how independent Nigeria should be governed. With his ideas and politics, Adebanwi argues, Awolowo “became both a symbol of the Yoruba nation and its ethnic nationalism, as well as a symbol of the struggle towards a ‘more perfect’ Nigerian nation; a concept that included the federalist ethos, good governance, egalitarian rule, enlightenment, modernity, bureaucratic rationality and welfarism.” Adebanwi observes that while some among Awolowo’s followers are able to embrace their Yoruba identity as well as the acceptance of a Nigerian identity, other ardent followers embrace the first and not the other.

•The Book ‘Yoruba Elites and Ethnic Politics in Nigeria’

•The Book ‘Yoruba Elites and Ethnic Politics in Nigeria’

The Yoruba identity and Nigerian identity is a paradox which Awolowo’s political enemies have capitalised on. But to Awolowo, there is nothing wrong in combining Yoruba nationalism with a progressive, federalist, egalitarian, democratic nationalist politics. It is important to note that, in concrete terms, Egbe Omo Oduduwa set out “to study fully the political problems of Yorubaland, combat the disintegrating forces of tribalism, stamp out discrimination within the group and against minorities and generally infuse the idea of a single nationality throughout the region; to study its economic resources, ascertain its potentialities, and advise as to the wisest utilisation of its wealth as to ensure abundance and prosperity for its people; to plan for the improvement of educational facilities both in content and extent; to explore the means of introducing mass education promptly and efficiently and to foster the study of Yoruba language, culture and history; to promote the social welfare of Yorubaland, combat the cankerworm of superstition and ignorance, spread the knowledge of medical relief and stimulate the provision of hospitals, maternity homes and suchlike amenities.” The Egbe Omo Oduduwa also aimed to co-operate in the fullest measure with other regions to see that its aims are applied to the whole country. One of its objectives was to aid and encourage similar groups in the other regions in every way possible to achieve their ideals. Ire ti won fe fun ara won, won tun fe fun gbogbo Nigeria. What could be more egalitarian than that?

Those objectives formulated in the 40s are still relevant today, and they show the excellent organisational capacity of Obafemi Awolowo. Shortly before the Action Group was launched on 21 March, 1951, Awolowo said that any new party under which he was prepared to work and serve must place a premium on action rather than words. Awolowo was never mealy-mouthed about truth. He told The Guardian in May 1987: “I do not rank myself with great leaders, but those I am trying to emulate – Churchill, Nehru, Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Gandhi – provoke extremity of hatred and affection.” In 1979 when many ardent followers of him insisted that they saw him in the moon smiling and waving at them, Awolowo must have been very amused by that extremity of affection. Relying on the incontrovertible evidence of Ganiyu Dawodu and Odia ofeimun, Adebanwi shows, for instance, that the extremity of Chinua Achebe’s hatred for Awolowo was based on big lies of history. No one can rob Awolowo of his achievements. Awolowo struggled against Nnamdi Azikiwe and his NCNC and against the ultra conservative northern political elite in NPC just so that Nigeria could become a better place. If the country had listened to him, we won’t be singing songs of lamentation today.

In the dominant progressive Yoruba politics, he remains a hero which is why even before he died, in 1987, some of his associates, specifically Bola Ige and Lateef Jakande, had started scheming to take over the mantle of Awo. The narratives of Awolowo and the Awoist movement have been subjects of rigorous and vigorous scholarships. What Adebanwi has done here is to deepen our knowledge with new perspectives. In Yoruba Elites and ethnic Politics in Nigeria: Obafemi Awolowo and Corporate Agency, he writes lucidly about the crises that the physical absence of Awolowo brought about and the appropriation of his symbolic presence in Yorubaland. He recounts the long history of internal wranglings in Afenifere culminating in the assassination of Bola Ige on whom other elders wanted to foist the mantle of Samuel Akintola but who in death wore the mantle of Awolowo. For about a decade, Adebanwi spoke to all the parties involved, he spoke to their camp followers, he attended some of their meetings, he read minutes of their meetings, he read many of the abusive interviews in newspapers and magazines, he read reports of all the reconciliatory efforts that failed woefully. The conflicts, he believes, were driven by animosities bordering, not strictly on ideological matters, but largely on towering ego and pettiness. As Yoruba would say, ija ilara kii tan boro. The elders in the Awo Movement from AG through UPN down to APC have been engaging in what Margaret S. Archer describes as a “competitive contradiction” which “prompts attempts at mutual elimination.” This part of Adebanwi’s book will make not just every proud Yoruba man and woman uncomfortable but will make every progressive Nigerian sad. The Awo Movement should not have come to this sorry pass.

In the course of their deep personal rivalries, Olusegun Obasanjo, who hates Awolowo with passion, has always moved in to establish himself as the new patriarch of Yoruba politics. But the masses of Yoruba people have always said: Give us Awo! Give us Awo! Give us Awo! But who becomes the new leader of the progressive movement? Or who steps into the big shoes of Awolowo? Adebanwi, in the light of other contenders for the throne, thinks the cap fits Bola Tinubu, who has “pursued the ambition to become both the leader in Yoruba politics and the leader of the progressive movement in Nigeria.” He observes that while Awolowo believed that one ought to mobilise for power on the basis of ideological interests, Tinubu has demonstrated that it is only by accessing power that one can mobilise one’s interests and make one’s vision of society practical.

Let me end with the Obafemi Awolowo’s preamble to the speech he gave in Ondo Town Hall in July 1974 at the presentation of Gani Fawehinmi’s book, People’s Rights to Free Education At All Levels. In that preamble, he praised the brilliance, the diligence and hard work of Fawehinmi. He said that “the trouble with many Nigerian youths is that they sleep too much, play too much; and indulge too much in idle chatter and gossip.” He then advised them to “take each day as a sacred unit which must not be misused or dissipated.” Out of 24 hours available to them, he said, at least eight concentrated hours should be spent on work, eight should be spent on serious study, creative leisure and self-development. He then concluded that eight hours are enough for feeding, relaxation and sleep. If Obafemi Awolowo were to be in this hall at this moment, he would praise Adebanwi’s brilliance, diligence and hard work.

—Mr. Kunle Ajibade, Executive Editor of TheNEWS/P.M.NEWS, read this review at Agip Recital Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos on April 17, 2014.

…Published in TheNEWS magazine

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Let Jonathan rescue abducted school girls now, says Soyinka http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/24/let-jonathan-rescue-abducted-school-girls-now-says-soyinka/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/24/let-jonathan-rescue-abducted-school-girls-now-says-soyinka/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 23:39:08 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=192334 Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka,has lashed out at President Goodluck Jonathan administration for its inability to rescue the 234 female students abducted from a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State by Boko Haram.

Soyinka also criticised President Goodluck Jonathan for participating and dancing at the Kano political rally barely a few hours after the dastardly Nyanya bombing that took the lives of over 75 innocent Nigeria and abduction of over the two hundred female students from Chibok by Boko Haram gunmen.

Soyinka made his feeling known in Port Harcourt at the declaration of the State capital as the World Book Capital Wednesday.

The Nobel Laureate emphasised that though there might be hundreds of soldiers deployed to forests in Adamawa, Yobe and Boron States, the predicament of the abducted girls who are marooned in a dangerous forest at this moment, should spur the federal government to take the battle to the Boko Haram sect and rescue the abducted girls who now face the ultimate horror that confronts the country.

Soyinka, Obi Ezekwezili at the book event

Soyinka, Obi Ezekwezili at the book event

Soyinka wondered why the federal Government which deployed its soldiers to Mali to battle extremist groups whose agenda was to eradicate the community of learning, tolerance and peaceful cohabitation, could not do same to the Boko Haram which has declared a fatwa on enlightenment in the country.

“We must take the battle to the extremists. An army that sits in the barracks in the face of enemy attack is no army at all but a sitting duck,” he said.

He said Jonathan should have led the country in mourning following the Nyanya bombing and the abduction of the secondary schools girls, instead of embarking on a political rally which articulated priority was to expose one of his former cronies who has now turned a dissent accusing him of stealing his Presidential campaign funds.

Soyinka said; “Would you feel that this is time that a nation led by our president should be in sack cloth of ashes…let’s bear in mind that the bombing at Nyanya went beyond an harvest of body bags…this was also the dilemma of the 200 hundred children , some of whom could have been your own disappearing under violent condition.

“Would you think that perhaps in place of a dance floor, a nation’s leader should have been holding round the clock emergency meetings on the recovery of those children; mobilising the entire nation, including the encouragement of volunteers for back up duties to the military and enunciation of complete wrought of the long season of denial, the total transformation of leadership mentality in the nation.”

Also at the event, General Abdulsalami Abubakar,the former military head of state pleaded with all Nigerians to embrace peace, warning that without peace, there will be no country called Nigeria.

The Rivers State Governor and Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF),Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, said the burden end the Boko Haram insurgency in North-East part of the country, does not lie on the Nigerian military, but on education and agriculture.

Abubakar, said all Nigerians need to put hands together to sustain the peace in the country.

He said; “Let me use this opportunity again to drum on the need to keep peace in this country. We need to work together. If there is no peace, there will be no chance to read all these books. If there no peace, there is no country. We urge all Nigerians to put hands on deck to ensure there is peace in this country.”

The former head of state congratulated President Good luck Jonathan, Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, and all Nigerians for the historic nomination of Port Harcourt, as the United Nations Scientific Organization (UNESCO) World Book Capital 2014, saying the nomination coincided with Nigeria’s centennial celebration.

Amaechi said, many children, estimated by UNESCO at 10.8 million, are dropping out of school in the country due to lack of motivation.

“The reason why they are not going to school is that there is no motivation to go to school. And for me, I have said it over and over that the solution to Book Haram does not rest in the military; it lies in education and agriculture. If we start farming in the vast land of the North, all recruits of Book Haram will find alternative to Boko Haram.”

The governor stated that the state government was working to reduce the number of out-of-school children in the state, through the building and furnishing of over 500 model schools in the state.

He said; ” Here in Rivers State, we are working to bring down the number of out-of-school children. Over 500 schools have been built out of which government is currently furnishing 300. Seven of the secondary schools have been completed and each of them cost N4.5 billion and it is free for Rivers children.

“Each of the schools needs N800 million a year for operations; right now, only one is operational. Government is willing to admit the rescued girls free of charge to the school. Government is building one book centre and seven libraries in Port Harcourt. The local libraries have been completed. We decided to focus on education and agriculture as a way of curbing criminality.”

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