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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Educational: WAEC show of shame

Topics:

  • WAEC show of shame
  • Towards reviving Unity Schools
  • Why teachers need professional development

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WAEC show of shame
Written by KEN UGBECHIE
~The SUN Nigeria. Sunday, September 25, 2016.

On its website the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) boldly advertises its vision and mission including the core values that drive its operations. WAEC is the over 60-year-old examination body for English-speaking West African nations. It is the bridge a student must cross to transit from secondary school to tertiary institution. In Nigeria, it was a monstrous monopoly until the emergence of the National Examination Council (NECO).

I recall those days preceding the emergence of NECO. Officials of WAEC, directly and by proxy, mounted a vehement campaign to discredit NECO. They had argued that the need for uniformity of standard in examination should not be compromised; that there was no need for another body administering similar examination. I stood on the side of WAEC on this matter that Nigeria does not need a duplicity of examination bodies for the same candidates.

But those who mooted the idea of NECO also mounted a strong argument. They argued that WAEC has lapsed into some sort of monopolistic arrogance; they canvassed the necessity and desirability of an alternative body to put WAEC in check. Obviously, at that time, a significant quantum of inefficiency has crept into the operations of WAEC in Nigeria. Examination papers were leaked (Expo) by officials of the organisation, marks were awarded for cash, results were altered right inside WAEC offices by officials of its IT department and many more rackets.

The examination body which started out as a model for high, unimpeachable standard thus became a trading post for fraudsters and fixers of results: the more money you pay, the higher your grades. Yes, WAEC sunk to such low depth at a time


Yet, its vision "is to be a world-class examining body, adding value to the educational goals of its stakeholders", while its mission "is to remain Africa's foremost examining body, providing qualitative and reliable educational assessment, encouraging academic and moral excellence and promoting sustainable human resource development and international cooperation".

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Imo: Okorocha instigated my son's arrest over song on Nnamdi Kanu -Dansatch

Topics:

  • Okorocha instigated my son's arrest over song on Nnamdi Kanu -Dansatch
  • Ekeukwu Market: Owerri indigenes report Okorocha to ancestors

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Okorocha instigated my son's arrest over song on Nnamdi Kanu -Dansatch
Written by Okey Sampson - Aba.
~The SUN Nigeria. Sunday, September 25, 2016.

...He doesn't know what he is talking about, says Gov

HIGHLIFE music maestro and leader of the famous Oriental Brothers International Band of Owerri, Imo State, Ferdinand 'Dansatch' Chukwuemeka Opara has accused Governor Rochas Okoroacha of instigating the arrest of his first son, Chidi Opara.

Chidi was said to have been arrested on Tuesday inside a recording studio at Nekede, near Owerri, Imo State, where he had gone to put finishing touches to his forthcoming album, which was reportedly dedicated to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu. He was released on Friday night after three days in detention.

In a swift reaction, however, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Okorocha, Sam Onwuemeodo, denied the allegation, saying the music maestro did not know what he was talking about.

"Gov. Okorocha is too busy and sophisticated to be interested in what music anybody is producing. He will in all honesty like to listen to such music if it's worth his attention," he said.

Onwuemeodo said those who knew Okorocha well would attest to the fact that he would never condescend to such level.

In a telephone chat from his Imerienwe country home, Dansatch, who co-founded Oriental Brothers band with late Sir Christophegus Obinna a.k.a 'Warrior' and Godwin Opara alias Kabaka, said his son had composed one of the songs in his new album with the name of the detained IPOB leader.

The senior Opara told Sunday Sun that a day before his son was arrested, he (the son) was rehearsing near his house when some men believed to be security operatives and who claimed to have been sent by the state governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha attempted to stop him.

Dansatch said that moves by the suspected security operatives were resisted, because according to him, he saw nothing wrong in any musician singing about anybody.

"I told those who came to stop my son that in Oriental Brothers Band, we do not sing 419 music and that there was nothing wrong if my son who has taken over from where I stopped decides to sing about Biafra and its leader.

"We all are Biafrans including my son. In fact, during the war, I fought on the Biafra side and I'm still all out for Biafra. Therefore, it is silly for anybody to arrest Chidi for singing about Biafra and Nnamdi Kanu".

According to Dansatch, "when I thought that everything was over, on Tuesday, when my son went to a recording studio at Nekede to put finishing touches to his new album, some policemen and members of the Network Security sent by Okorocha went there, arrested and detained him for three days. If my son had sung to praise President Muhammadu Buhari or Okorocha himself, they could have given him an award. But now that he sang to praise the IPOB leader, he has committed an offence," Dansatch noted.


Africas Album Album New Album
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Ekeukwu Market: Owerri indigenes report Okorocha to ancestors
Written by Chidi Nkwoparaand Chinonso Alozie
~Vanguard Nigeria. Tuesday, September 20, 2016. 



OWERRI-Indigenes of Owerri Nchi Ise, weekend, petitioned their ancestors to intervene in the on-going battle to save Ekeukwu Owerri Market from being moved to Egbeada, Mbaitoli local government area of Imo State.

Owerri people have been at war with the state government over the latter's plan to demolish the ancestral market.

Scores of Owerri indigenes marched peacefully to Amarachi Obinna Square inside the market, where they poured their minds to their ancestors.

Leading the prayer session, the Village Head of Umuoronjo, Chief Tos Oparaugo, recalled that their ancestors, in their own wisdom, established and sustained the market before handing it over to the present generation.

"Our beloved ancestors, you established and sustained Ekeukwu Owerri Market before handing it over to our present generation. It is our fervent supplication that you stand your ground against those planning to desecrate the market", Oparaugo prayed.

Continuing, the Village Head recalled that "no relocation happened to Ikenegbu and Azuzi, let it not happen to us now."

In his own contribution, the President General of Owerri Community Assembly, Chief Felix Ngoka, passionately appealed to their ancestors to resist the planned relocation.

"We do not want any crisis in Owerri. Relocating Ekeukwu Owerri Market has the potential of igniting the avoidable crisis", Chief Ngoka said.

In her own prayer, the President General of Udo Diri Ndom Owerri, Mrs. Ifeoma Anokwu, reaffirmed their support for their husbands in the current fight to stop the relocation.

"The market should remain where it is presently located. We had severally told the state government to distance itself from the market and go elsewhere to establish another market of its choice and size," Mrs. Anokwu said.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

THE UNPREPAREDNESS OF THE AWKA MAN IN THE NEW POLITICAL ORDER

Kedu nke gbasaa mu!
Vba(fa) ma nebvu!
Meghekwenu uzo baa n’uno!
Obu so gi ka ivbe Awka duulu?...

These days, the above are the dispiriting expressions that would come out from around an average Awka man who feels well fed and can be said to be well to do.

He will simply shut his door against everybody - brothers and sisters alike.

Their mothers, fathers, wives and siblings will continuously remind them of the futility of standing out to be counted in Awka affairs and politics in general.

The parents would have vowed to protect their well-to-do children ka okuko si ekpuchi umu ya; ready to scream ‘blue murder’ when it was an ordinary ant sting.
In doing this, they have succeeded in distancing these category of Awka people from the true essence of being an Awka man, leaving simply an existential being in him or her.

They fill unruffled fulfilling only the nominal roll-call of Awka-ness and would be quick to claim the nomenclature of the land of birth in every formal and informal documentations or discussions but unwilling and ill-prepared to work for the good of Awka!

The question is, how much are Awka people ready to offer, contribute or even sacrifice to turn things around in Awka, filling-in through the different age brackets, just like our fore-bearers did.

Some of these ‘castrated’ Awka citizens would always visit Awka, but would attend neither the village meetings nor even the Umunna gatherings.
The parents, infact, fathers will always encourage them to disappear from the meeting vicinity, assuring their son(s) that his (father’s) presence in the gathering/meeting is enough! Indeed!


The few that muster the courage to be in attendance, would show up with such a passive mindset – of just to show face, not to mention the ones that float around for reasons of what they would gain – booze, food, gist, jests, gifts and may be connections.
Should they happen to be found in any Awka meeting, they are majorly disconnected from the thorny issues on the table as they would keep mum all the time, even when the panacea to the issue-in-discuss may lie with them, they would prefer not to be seen or heard – bva ma nebvu.

What else? These category of Awka people grew up looking at the issues surrounding Awka with disdain and would deduce every conceivable excuse to remain aloof.
Thereby, abdicating everything about Awka to the ones who are willing and passionate enough to shoulder the spoils and the politics? Correctly or failingly?

These, I believe have made majority of important and intelligent Awka men and women of this time become greatly apolitical largely.

Unknown to these categories of people, there are certain attributes that every human being must build which only a strong political culture can cultivate.
In politics, there are negotiations, camaraderie, understanding, no permanent friend and no permanent enemy.

True Politics inculcates perseverance, shifting of ground, concessions, massaging your ego, gains and losses, moving ‘a little to the left or a little to the right’, teamwork, astuteness, communication and above all having a listening ear.

The ability to see things from other people’s point of view puts an informed Awka person or politician in control of his inclinations with a view to addressing his biases, therefore does not give room for stereotypical responses or behavior.
A good politician is unassuming and understands the importance of service to the people.
No wonder it is often proclaimed that human beings are political animals!
Those who understood these principles apply them in everything, in marital affairs or even in strict closed-door family matters where successes were recorded.

Truly, it has become glaringly clear that by virtue of the apolitical nature of Awka people, deep-rooted pride and egocentric dispositions took the better of Awka men and women (kam di, kam di ivbe?).

HOW THE APOSTLES DIED.



1. Matthew
Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, Killed by a sword wound.

2. Mark
Died in Alexandria, Egypt , after being dragged by Horses through the streets until he was dead.

3. Luke
Was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous Preaching to the lost.

4. John
Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge Basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution In Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered From death.
John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison Island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos . The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve As Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey . He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.

5. Peter
He was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross.
According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die In the same way that Jesus Christ had died.

6. James
The leader of the church in Jerusalem , was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his
enemies beat James to death with a fuller's club.
* This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.

7. James the Son of Zebedee,
was a fisherman by trade when Jesus Called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was beheaded at Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer Walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and Knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.

8. Bartholomew
Also known as Nathaniel Was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.

9. Andrew
Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: 'I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.' He continued to preach to his tormentors For two days until he expired.

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Oyibo ka mmadi, Ma na Oka kacha mba! (The Whitemen is creative above all men, But the Oka man comes next to him!) --from an Oka war chant (okili) This is the story of the Oka people, the fathers that begat us. It is the story of the Oka people as they were before the British came into their lives and seized control of their country and their destiny, and later merged their city – state with the great body polity known as Nigeria.
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