Thursday, 19 July 2012

Oyo Lawmakers Wives London Jamboree! 'Internet Detractors Won't Vote In Election' Monsurat Sunmonu Speaker Oyo State Fight Back

London Training for the wives of Oyo state House of Assembly members: a  

citizen's report by Seun Kolade

Monsurat Sunmonu Speaker Oyo State House of Assembly

I just want to put something quikcly together on my recent visits to Custom House Hotel, the venue for the 'training' organised for the wives of Oyo state house of assembly members. Hopefully I will come back and edit and add a few things, but here is a preliminary report:

I was there first on Tuesday 17th July, and the day was not without its drama. There was a threat of police from one of the assistants and Madam speaker itself, on the impression that I had entered the hotel lobby illegally and started filming with my camera. This was ultimately found to be baseless, as I reported at the front desk and asked specifically for the speaker who was at the head of the delegation. After the receptionist tried in vain to call the room numbers requested, they advised me to have a look in the lobby and see if I could find Madam speaker or any of the delegation. After a lenghty back and forth with Madam speaker, the discussion became more amicable in the end.

In deed, as I found out, she is quite happy to talk, and so easily move between opposite ends of emotions: very nice and pleasant when you agree with her views, some of which are at least agreeable, and very damning and vociferous in the face of the mildest contradiction. No middle ground. She was particulary incensed at internet warriors, many of whom, she said, had "written false reports about her on facebook and other online blogs", intermittently invoking God's curses on them. I was only too keen to say Amen to such peddlers of 'false rumours', whoever they may be, saying I agree that judgement, one way or the other, will come upon those who propagate lies. I have absolutely no problem with that, I said, and I do not represent any political party. I have come in the interest of truth, to seek the truth and publish it, nothing added, nothing taken away.

We spoke for more than 1 hour, but some of the discussions was not related to the subject matter of the training programme, but some of the good things she had done in her constituency, including her single handed provision of the state hospital based in Oyo town with two trailer loads of of supplies and medical equipment, including ECG machines and change of all the beddings. I assured her I am really impressed with such efforts and similar ones. We return to the matter at hand presently: the training programme for the wives of legislators.

At this point she did not appear keen to hide any information, which made the initial threat of police all the more curious.

She explained that  she became concerned because the women- the wives of legislators- were already becoming jittery with all the attention and visits and calls by Nigerians, and this morning many of them were saying they wanted to stop, that they were no longer interested in the programme. As she spoke I saw about 4 of them reneter the hotel with bags of KFC take-aways, which asked me to note, saying it contradicts the report that the women were living large in London.. In the end she affirmed and sought to clarify the followings:

1. The training programme started last thursday, and there were sight-seeing trips during the weekend.

2. It is false that the hotel was booked for 10 days, or that each room cost £100. A room cost £75, she said, and two people stayed in a room.

3. No principal officer of the house was involved. Only their wives. She is the only legislator.

4. Oyo state is not the only state doing this. Some other states had been around before

5. They are trying to secure the support of the state's opposition legislators, and they think the support of the wives will be crucial, so the government can achieve their goals

6. The training sessions ends tomorrow, during when a final lecture will be delivered and certificates issued. She invited me to come along with cameras and all to cover the sessions.

I was back on Wedsay 18th July, few minutes before the session- the final session- was being concluded. Together with another lady member of Oyo Global Forum, we requested and they readily agreed that we take the pictures as the session was concluding, and interview some of the ladies after the session ends. I'll try and give more reports later on the parts we saw, including the collection of certificates, but at the end of the session I had a brief chat with Madam speaker and one of the ladies.

She said, among others, that "everywhere in the world, leaders get paid from public funds, and that the only thing is to ensure that money is judiciously spent." When I suggested that is the question many are asking, for example whether it would have been more judicious for the event to hold in Nigeria, she brushed aside the suggestion, saying many Nigerians, especially those in diaspora like to run good things down, and that face-book "detractors", in particular, are ultimately not the ones that will vote in elections.

I also spoke with the wife of Segun Olayele, the assembly member representing Ibadan North and a former UI student union president. She said among other things, that stealing on the parts of politicians is the major reason Nigeria is backward as a nation, and that wives can influence their husbands positively after coming to London and seeing how things are done here. When I pressed her on whether they needed to come here physically to be motivated about how thing should be run, and whether it was impossible for the ladies to gain the same level of understanding and training in Nigeria, she hesitated, and eventually said she thought it was not possible, that they needed to come here and see. Finally, pressing her on the issue of stealing and wastage in government, on which she had earlier made her comment without prompting, I asked her if she thinks the Oyo state government is wasting resources. She said she didnt think so. When I asked what were her suggestions on how best Oyo state government can manage resources, she said that is one question she dosnt want to answer, that she would get back to me on that.

Monday, 16 July 2012

In Bloody Rome No Epitaphs For Slaves! Writing by Kayode Ogundamisi

Acquirit qui tuetur: "He who preserves something, will have something" (Ancient Roman Proverb)

Rome opened my eyes to that famed ‘old new world’. The world of a great empire, spanning several thousands of years before and after the coming of Christ!

Modern world may have changed from when the Romans fed slaves and mutineers to lions and all manner of dangerous animals, stepping into the majestic coliseum preserved to date in the center of modern Rome. It is described as one of ‘the greatest work of Roman architecture and engineering’ I imagined the blood split as spectators roar on the cannibalistic spectacle of animals devouring humans.
I left the Amphitheatre of blood, and a venue where the sardonic side of humanity is celebrated thinking to myself how amazing that the worst of Rome and what ‘civilized’ world would describe as barbaric is now a money making monument, the Amphitheater is not popular because as a masterpiece in engineering, no, we have more than enough of such in Africa and pre colonial Nigeria.

The bloodletting, the gladiators, and the public spectacle that followed every battle keep modern tourist attracted.
Every epic monument in Rome is laden with the burst of great ‘Roman’ and softly your tour guide mentions the ‘hundreds of thousands of slaves’ who built Rome. It is mentioned casually, at every point, if you are not as inquisitive as I am, ‘hundreds of thousands of slaves’ just seems like objects that do not deserve ant attention, they (the slaves from within Rome and other parts of the world) built Rome under extremely harsh and inhumane conditions. During one of the tours, I was told a certain historical column was built with the efforts, sweat and blood of about 40 thousand slaves, spanning 39 years, more than half of that number died, just one column? I asked to be shown just ONE monument, a resting place or an epithet acknowledging Roman injustice to its fellow humans and my tour guide could only but say ‘that’s a strange request’ in simple English the tourist industry and Italian historians do not think it was necessary. 

Rome displays great works of art stolen, looted from Egypt, Ethiopia and conquered lands far away from modern Italy. 

Legends and monuments from great Romans are preserved but NOT ONE trace of a burial site for hundreds of thousands of slaves, not even a memorial. During the tour guide, slaves get mentioned like it happened in the fairy tale. No atonement, no regrets, history is mainly written by the victor over the vanquished.

In Africa they are called ‘IDOLS’ in the Vatican they are called ‘HOLY SHRINE OF THE SAINTS’ the middle of the sacred church, you find shrines and artefacts..

Visiting the Vatican was another eye opener. Inside the very stronghold of the catholic faith, in fact, in the middle of the sacred church, you find shrines and artifacts, you find faithful’s kneeling down and praying to the monuments of human saints and you admire every form of art. You find yourself asking, why did they tell us to do away with our 'idols' and they preserved theirs?

why did they tell us to do away with our 'idols' and they preserved theirs?
We now pay to see their arts, whilst we destroy our artifacts and historical shrines, replacing them with modern mosques, biggest church auditorium in the world and slide further down as our spirits get conquered by the day. 

As I focus on every bit of Rome my mind raced back to Ile Ife and the cradle of Yoruba civilization and all I could see left are basically the 'Opa Oyanmiran' and some (probably then) Osun grove. We need to learn from the slave masters and preserve our way of life. They know Jesus but kept their own 'Idols' calling them masterpiece and works of art.

We must recreate our past, so generation yet unborn won't Nigeria is blessed with more than enough pre and postcolonial legacies to attract the world. From great kingdoms, Oyo Empire, the Benin Empire with its modern city before the arrival of the invading Brits, the Republican democracy in Igbo-Land and its many artwork, the Nok artwork and several thousands of engineering work , our elite now take over historical lands and sites to build private mansions.

With an increasing Nigerian diaspora and a new generation of Nigerians born abroad, and a new generation of Nigerians at home who yearn to learn about our past and see evidence of our civilization, would come hundreds of thousands who would want to visit their heritage, that would bring several millions of revenue and will stop the embarrassment of going to Rome to see the victor erase the memory of the vanquished

#Dana Air Crash: The Preliminary Report by Accident Investigation Bureau

On 3rd June 2012 about 1545 hours[1], 5N-RAM, a Boeing MD-83, a domestic scheduled commercial flight, operated by Dana Airlines Limited as flight 992 (DAN 992), crashed into a densely populated area during a forced landing following a total loss of power in both engines while on approach to Muhammed Murtala Airport (LOS), Lagos, Nigeria. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and the airplane was on an instrument flight plan. All of the 153 persons aboard the airplane, including the 6 crew members were fatally injured. There were 10 confirmed ground fatalities. The airplane was destroyed. There was post impact fire. The flight originated at Abuja (ABV) and the destination was LOS.
The airplane was on the fourth flight segment of the day, consisting of two round-trips between Lagos and Abuja. The accident occurred during the return leg of the second trip. DAN 992 was on final approach for runway 18R at LOS when the crew reported the total loss of power.
According to interviews, the flight arrived in ABV as Dana Air flight 993 about 1350. According to Dana Air ground personnel, routine turn-around activities occurred, including refueling of the airplane. DAN 992 initiated engine startup at 1436, taxied to the runway and was later airborne at 1458 after the flight had reported that it had a fuel endurance of 3.5 hours. Shortly after takeoff, DAN 992 reported 1545 as the estimated time of arrival at LOS as the flight climbed to a cruise altitude of 26,000 ft[2]. DAN0992 made contact with Lagos Area Control Center at 1518 hours.
The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) retained about 31 minutes of the flight and starts about 1515 at which time the captain and first officer were in a discussion of a non-normal condition regarding the correlation between the engine throttle setting and an engine power indication[3]. However, they did not voice concerns then that the condition would affect the continuation of the flight. The flight crew continued to monitor the condition and became increasingly concerned as the flight transition through the initial descent from cruise altitude at 1522 and the subsequent approach phase.
DAN 992 reported passing through 18,100 and 7,700 ft, respectively, at 1530 and 1540 hours. After receiving a series of heading and altitude assignments from the controller, DAN 992 was issued the final heading to intercept the final approach course for runway 18R.
During the period of 1537 and 15:41 the flight crew engaged in pre-landing tasks including deployment of the slats, and extension of the flaps and landing gear. At 15:41:16 the first officer (FO) inquired, “both engines coming up?” and the captain (Capt) replied “negative.” The flight crew subsequently discussed and agreed to declare an emergency. At 1542:10, DANA 992 radioed an emergency distress call indicating “dual engine failure . . . negative response from throttle.”
At 1542:35, the flight crew lowered the flaps further and continued with the approach and discussed landing alternatively on runway 18L. At 1542:45, the Capt reported the runway in sight and instructed the FO to raise the flaps up and 4 seconds later to raise the landing gear.
At 1543:27 hours, the Capt informed the FO “we just lost everything, we lost an engine. I lost both engines”. During the next 25 seconds until the end of the CVR recording, the flight crew was attempting to restart the engines.
The airplane crashed in a residential area about 5.8 miles north of LOS. The airplane wreckage was on approximately the extended centerline of runway 18R. During the impact sequence, the airplane struck an incomplete building, two trees and three buildings. The wreckage was confined, with the separated tail section and engines located at the beginning of the debris field.
The airplane was mostly consumed by post crash fire. The tail section, both engines and portions of both wings, representing only about 15% of the airplane were recovered from the accident site for further examination.
The two flight recorders, the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and the flight data recorder (FDR) were analysed at the facilities of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Washington, D.C., USA. The solid state based memory in the CVR was in good condition and retained 31 minutes of audio information. The digital tape based memory in the FDR succumbed to the post crash fire and melted, consequently no data could be recovered.
The captain, age 55, held an airline transport pilot license with type ratings in the A-320[4], DC-9, FK-28[5], and SF-340[6]. He had over 18,116 hours of total time, including 16,416 hours of pilot-in-command time (PIC). The captain had 7,461 hours in the accident model airplane all of which was as PIC. He was employed with Dana Air on 14 March 2012. He began flying line operations for the company in late May 2012 and had since accrued over 120 hours of flight time. The captain had acquired about 3, 78, and 116 flight hours, respectively, in the preceding 24 hours, 30 and 90 days.
The first officer, age 34, held a commercial pilot license he was type rated in MD-83. He had 1,143 hours of total time, including about 200 hours as pilot-in-command. The first officer had 808 hours in the accident model airplane all of which was second-in-command. He had been previously employed with Dana Air as the Director of Cabin Service before he was hired as a pilot about January 2011. The first officer had accrued about 3, 42, and 154 flight hours, respectively, during the preceding 24 hours, 30 and 90 days.
The airplane was manufactured in 1990 and according to maintenance records it had accumulated 60,846 hours (35,219 cycles) of total time. The left and right engines respectively had 54,322 (30,933 cycles) and 26,025 (12,466 cycles) hours of total time since new. A review of the aircraft technical logs did not reveal of the previous 30 days did not indicate a condition. The airplane had last undergone maintenance on 1st June 2012, and after a return to service flight on 2nd June 2012, it was operated on four revenue flights (two round trips between LOS and ABV) and another four flights on 3rd June 2012.
Fueling records indicated the airplane was uplifted with 8000 lbs of fuel before departure from ABV. The flight crew reported to ATC they had 26,000 lbs of total fuel. Preliminary analysis of fuel samples from the refueling truck and the supply tank at ABV were negative for contamination.
The investigative activities have included, in part, visual examination of the aircraft wreckage, review of maintenance records and other historical information of the aircraft, documentation of the training and experience of the flight crew, determination the chronology of the flight, review of recorded data, reconstructing the aircraft refueling, and collection of related fuel samples, and interviews of relevant personnel.
Future investigative activities will include, but is not limited to, the detailed examination of the engines, further testing of fuel samples, continued factual gathering of relevant historical, operational, maintenance and performance information of the accident airplane in addition to other similar airplane models, further development of the background of the flightcrew, further analysis of the CVR audio recording and review of pertinent issues associated with regulatory oversight.
As the State of Occurrence, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has instituted an investigation in accordance with the standards and recommendations specified in the provisions of Annex 13 of the International Civil Aviation Organization. As the State of manufacture of the airplane and engine, a US Accredited Representative has been appointed and assisted by US technical advisors from the NTSB, US Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing Airplane Company, and Pratt & Whitney Engines.
In accordance with Annex 13, “the sole objective of the investigation of an accident or incident shall be the prevention of accidents and incidents. It is not for the purpose of this activity to apportion blame or liability.”
Accordingly, the AIB with the participation of the parties, including the NCAA, will seek to identify any areas of safety concerns during the investigation and implement the appropriate actions for correction or improvement.
The content of this report is based on preliminary information. The Bureau will continue to conduct the investigation in a meticulous and methodical manner and release facts as they become validated.