Thursday, November 06, 2008

OBAMAnia

While I join the rest of the world in congratulating US President-elect Barack OBAMA on his successful election to the esteemed position of the World's Number One gentleman and Commander-in-chief, I want to advise politicians around the world and Africa in particular to look out for what virtues they can learn from the way and manner the man we all now want to relate with as distant cousin has conducted himself up to the point of winning the hearts of the United States electorate and the world at large. It is hoped that the wind of CHANGE will soon sift the chaff from the wheat in the field of politiks. Well done OBAMA. Africans are proud of you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

OBAMA AND THE REST OF us

Sometime around April this year, I had such a convincing relevation in my sleep that got me really worried concerning the safety of the next President of the United States of America - Barak OBAMA. Over the years, I have learned to distinguish between a dream and a vision or a revelation. There was no mistaking this one. Such was the conviction that as soon as sunrise the following morning, I could not waste a minute in conveying this feeling by registering it on the OBAMA campaign website. That is why it does not surprise me today as the world is treated to the photographs of two kingpins who are said to have been caught red handed in their bid to assassinate not only OBAMA, but unleash mayhem on hundreds of innocent Africans who happen to have some sympathy towards America. I can bet that this news will only highten the popularity OBAMA is already enjoying among people of the entire world. Win, win, BARAK. Win OBAMA.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Spiritual Healing in a scientific age

SPIRITUAL HEALING IN A SCIENTIFIC WORLD: By Vincent NNANNA

When the heart speaks, however simple the word, its language is always acceptable to those who have hearts. For this reason, I intend to drop my nom de plume and write as if speaking from the pulpit to the effect that hearts and souls may be touched and healed.
Any time the word 'Health' is mentioned, the intellect, like the computer memory, races back and forth in search of corresponding images to match her understanding. Often times, we stumble on words like vigour, stoutness, contagion, hereditary, medication, hospitalization, epidemic, and all the et cetera. Health is associated with acquired wealth and a person's ability to retain the best medical practitioner, hence the saying that "Health is Wealth." But the truth of this saying lies in the fact that a truly healthy person enjoys a state of wealthiness that money cannot buy. To gain a better understanding of Health, let's cast our minds back to the condition of Man at the Garden of Eden. The dominion God gave to man at the beginning of creation included power over sin, sickness and death. At what point then, did these malevolent triad creep into man's life? The first recorded case of sin in the Bible is that of listening to and obeying other voices. In that scenario, Eve preferred the argument of a lieing-talking serpent to that of her Creator, and Adam was soon to subjugate his role of calling his wife to order, and danced along. The multifarious results were pain in child-bearing, weakness in toiling, killing of ones brother and indulging in prodigalism.
Another instance we have of unhealthiness prevailing among God's children was when the Israelites murmured against constituted authority, and turned to other gods. According to the Scriptures, their behavior angered God and He allowed them to be bitten by fiery serpents (Numbers 21:5 and 6). There is abounding evidence to prove that every situation of sickness or death has been occasioned by sin in one form or the other. It was this understanding that prompted the disciples to inquire of Jesus Christ concerning a lad that was born blind whether it was the boy who had sinned or his parents.
Jesus' brief ministry contained more than thirty specific cases of healing. In the majority of those instances, he not only healed the sick, but enjoined them to "go and sin no more, lest greater evil come upon them."

The Nature of Evil: Evil or unwellness is a condition where the five senses, the organs of the human system and the physical and mental faculties become dysfunctional. If these conditions could be brought about by a violation or disobedience of God's commands, it stands to reason that restoration to normalcy can only result from right conduct. Instead of examining ourselves to see the evil in us that has occasioned our state of unwellness, we look to the stars and accuse our Creator for venting His anger without cause, or we look to the earth and accuse our parents for what we term hereditary diseases or still claim that we have been visited upon by the sins of our forefathers ancestral curses. When we come face to face with climatic changes, we blame our condition to epidemic or contagion or genetic cross-pollination. In our delusion, we loose sight of our God-bestowed dominion over everything upon the surface of the earth, above the skies, under the sea, et cetera. (Genesis 1: 26-28).

The Turning Point: As Christians, we ought to rejoice in the fact that the Scriptures have already provided the way out of these trials. The Book of Romans chapter 6 verse 16, clearly says "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" When Apostle Paul cautioned against looking lustily at a woman, he only meant to show the power of the human mind. The Mind, which does not constitute part of the human organ, controls a greater proportion of human thinking, reasoning and physical expressions. When one Mind tries to exert overbearing influence over another, the weaker one can be made to do the biddings of the stronger. It is against this danger that the Scriptures counsel us to "Let this Mind be in us, which was also in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 2:5). Having the Mind of Jesus, instead of the mind like of Eve and the Israelites as earlier mentioned, will lead to the benefits of 2 Chronicles 7:14 which says, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land."
Materia Medica: Where do we turn to in times of trouble? To matter, of course. "The medical triumphs of this century are generally regarded as among the wonders of our age. Less well known is the extensive, documented literature challenging modern medicine's right to be accounted an exact science or even a socially satisfactory system of health care. This dissatisfaction is by no means confined to such crusading critics as Ivan Illich and Robert S. Mendelsohn, with their insistence that medical science still causes as many diseases as it cures. The criticisms extend through hundreds of sober medical reports, sociological studies, ethical disquisitions, economic analyses, legal decisions, popular magazine articles, and academic investigations. As President Derek Bok of Harvard ruefully suggested in a carefully balanced 1983 report on the needs of the university's medical school, "Dean Burwell was only partly facetious in stating to Harvard medical students: 'Half of what we have taught you is wrong. Unfortunately we do not know which half.'" For instance, nosocomial illness an umbrella term for a whole catalogue of infections acquired inside the hospital has proved fatal to some patients who entered the hospital for treatment of a very minor ailment. It was estimated in 1978 that of 32 million persons admitted to American hospitals each year, about 1.5 million develop some kind of nosocomial infection, and 15,000 die of it. Despite the progress in medical science and technology, President Book wrote in his Harvard report, "Many studies have revealed that doctors make a disturbing number of major diagnostic errors, and he illustrates this by a recent survey of 100 autopsies at a prominent teaching hospital which disclosed such mistakes in twenty-two percent of the cases." These revelations are not intended to belittle a profession so distinguished by dedicated zeal as the physician's. It is just to say that generally the cultured class of medical practitioners is grand men and women, therefore they are more scientific than are the false claimants to Spiritual Healing."
Robert Peel

That being the case, how could we entrust our health-care to people whose practices are based on assumptions? Some practitioners who confess to practicing healthcare delivery can only pass for mental assassins or money-minded quacks. What most of them try to do is magnify a condition of fear and ignorance and make it seem real to the sufferer. The end result is ingestion of a greater poison to overcome the effect of the weaker, and a diminishing financial status of the unsuspecting victim. Let's consider one common practice among the medicals. When a patient complains of a feeling of pain, the most probable prescription will include some doses of analgesics or pain killer. What the drug does is to numb or dull the brain and render the memory cells insensitive to pain. A repeated numbing of the cells by this process will ultimately lead to their destruction. We must remember that brain cells are the only cells that CANNOT be replaced or regenerated once they die. Who can tell how many brain cells are killed by a single dose of so-called pain killers, while the doctors get paid for turning fellow human beings into guinea-pigs? Consider also the method of the traditional herbalist, who, most of the time will recommend that the potency of his herbs or roots (concoctions) is being attained when soaked in some local spirits; What alcohol does is to cause the walls of the intestine to thicken and the organ to contract thus preventing the secretion of gastric juice, and inducing ulceration, bleeding; sometimes vomiting and ultimate death.
How many be the instances where the medical profession have pronounced death sentence on sufferers of what they brand terminal or chronic dis-ease? Many are the cases where their predictions have been rendered of no effect by the victim's reliance on spiritual remedy divorced of all material contaminations. Predicting danger does not dignify life, whereas forecasting liberty and joy does, for these are strong promoters of health and happiness. Resort to spiritual method of healing, as Jesus did, is a form of mental medicine, which gains no potency by attenuation, as does homoeopathy; and its largest dose is never dangerous, as with allopathic medicine; but the more the better in every case. This accords with the Scriptural injunction to "Pray without ceasing." (I Thessalonians 5:17).
It is clear that sin endangers sickness and culminates into death. But man is not helpless because our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus who says in essence, "I am the Way, Truth, and Life, and whosever believes in me shall not perish but have everlasting life." Believing in Him, means to love him; and loving him means to keep his commandments: "to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your Soul, and with all your might, and to love your neighbour as yourself."
Enjoy a blissful ride onto healthiness, in the Name of Jesus Christ, A-men.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Why this silence?

When crises loomed in Kenya, we all shouted, foul! Today, a more humanitarian situation is looming in Zimbabwe, like a time bomb that will not take long to explode. And nobody seems to be talking about it. Could we possibly be overwhelmed with a situation we are already acquainted with? Who does not know that Mr. Mugabe will prefer to cling on to power, even while within the portals of the grand leveler of all human greatness - death? Who does not know that he would exploit the arrogance of his unrepentant neighbour to smuggle arms with which to scare his opponents into flight? Who does not know that the South African mascot will pretend to be too busy to call his friend to order, or at least summon other SADC heads of state to speak his mind? Who will bell the cat? The United Nations certainly has a jurisdiction on this matter. What are they waiting for? And above all, what are Zimbabweans in exile there for? Don't they have a network that can combine efforts to invoke an ouster clause on an illegal regime. The election results so far indicate that Mugabe has no right to remain in the State House. He is in a terrible state of shock to the realisation that the mammoth crowd that was singing his eulogy at the campaigns, went into the voting booth to speak the truth to their conscience. Once the people whose interest and destiny are at stake have spoken, what moral justification does anyone else have in condemning the opposition or the West? We are aware of the suppressed press in the jungle called Rhodesia, but what use is the Worldwide-web if the journalists in that enclave cannot use it effectively to speak out? They only need to act as whistle-blowers and leave the amplification to the rest of their compatriots around the globe. Or have those Zims in exile opted to play second fiddle in foreign land? More questions than answers. Where there is a will, there certainly is a way.

Friday, April 11, 2008

POSTERITY

Discussing posterity is like embarking on a journey that will never come to an end. Before this generation came to be, our forebearers had constantly been moralized on the virtue of bequeathing a noble legacy for posterity. This appeal conjectures a homo sapiens personification. The call extends beyond the present generation and will continue through generations yet unborn. Posterity therefore, seems like a persona non grata hence the abject neglect or nonchalant attitude towards it. The truth is that posterity is to human existence what tweedledee is to tweedledum. It could be called a two-edged sword sort of phenomenon. We could also liken it to the chicken-egg relationship. It does not matter which is first. What is important is that both depend on one another for propagation of their generations.
It is hard to say whether posterity is there because of anterior generations or successive ones. Whichever it may be, posterity is there to serve both interests. To the one side of the divide, it is like a motivating factor against insensitiveness, greed, self-centredness and reckless living. Were it not for the sake of posterity, people would perchance bother less about toiling beyond putting some meal on the family lunch table or having just enough clothes to cover the body, until they breathe their last. Civilisation and technological advancement would have been adversely undermined but for posterity. Morality would have been thrown to the dogs because people would care less about the consequences of any irrational behaviour. “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die,” would have assumed centre stage.
To the other side of the equilateral demarcation, posterity, assuming a human face and staring humanity eyeball to eyeball says, “See what I have done for your sake. What do you intend to do about improving on it?”
While whipping up emotions of gratitude, it serves to motivate or challenge humanity towards greater endeavour. This leaves a trail of unbroken chain of cause and effect, action and reaction. It is not in all circumstances, though, that posterity posits itself in the past and point to the future. The very fact that this journal is being put together is for posterity. Wise people will glean through the pages and decipher something that will have some impact on their lives. Generations yet unborn will read and thank goodness for ancient wisdom. Posterity exists in the immediate.
Posterity in itself is an embodiment of virtue, but the misinterpretation of it has led to so many negative tendencies. Otherwise, what would make a man seek to perpetuate himself in political office as purported president of a country whereas he is only trying to amass wealth for a micro unit of posterity – his immediate family to the disadvantage of the greater human factor – the nation at large?
If man had the option of choosing to live beyond the prescribed age of one hundred and twenty years (see Genesis chapter 3 verse 6), it would make sense to see why people build reinforced concrete mansions with state of the art gadgets. Or why a nation would want to plant a piece of flag on the surface of the moon or under the sea bed to colonize a territory. This is not to suggest that interterrestrial explorations are not necessary. But when it goes beyond serving the overall interest of humanity, it becomes an obsession.
There are three major factors that impel humans towards doing things for posterity. One, some religious fanatics believe that the revelation of John in the Book of Apocalypse has numbered them among those that will inherit the “new earth.” (ibid. 11:10; 20:4; 21:21-27). Every attempt made by these set of believers towards discovering the earth is to preserve their dream home. I am not to judge the rightness of that Biblical interpretation or otherwise, but when we cast our mind back to the Guyana tragedy of recent memory which was based on an erroneous interpretation of the Scriptures, we can clearly see where these could lead us to. The Guyana sect was a bunch of greedy people who did not want to leave anything for posterity. They would rather embark on wanton destruction of their possessions and finally taking their own lives, their offspring’s, everything. But they inadvertently left a history for posterity to learn from and be wiser.
The second reason has to do with tradition which behoves us to “let our children enjoy better opportunities than we have.” This is like a moral obligation which one is not bound to uphold except to the extent of ones understanding and moral rectitude. Let me quickly say that morality to me is the Eldorado of the Golden Rule which says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Every facet of moral ethics is hinged on this premise. Society would brand a person who lives on inheritance and fails to contribute to the advancement of humanity as a lazy gold digger; which remark is in itself derogatory. Therefore, even some fortunate ones who happen to have benefited directly from the benevolence of posterity or the goodwill of their ancestors, almost always strive to maintain a status quo to ensure that the baton does not stop changing hands by their own ineptitude, because of the saying that to whom much is given, much is expected.
The third factor that has served to foster posterity can be linked to economic prosperity. When people have more than a lifetime’s sufficiency, the tendency is to invest and reinvest. Even when some sum is stalked away in security vaults, it still benefits the overall interest of the populace through the law of multiplier effect in Economics. This situation can best be likened to the legendary dog that follows an overfed person in the hope that if he doesn’t defecate, he would vomit. Either way, there will be food for the dog.
It has often been said of na├»ve persons that “posterity will demand explanation.” This statement which again gives posterity a human face has its beneficial value. It has been a constant reminder against incredulity.
Some sceptics would ask, “Where is posterity?” Let such a sadist look around him and see suffering humanity scavenging rubbish dumps for food to eat. Look at the carnage on our roads resulting from neglected or badly finished road networks. Go to the hospices, prisons yards and orphanages and see suffering humanity most of who are in conditions not of their own making. Look around the countryside and see the absence of essential facilities and infrastructures. It is not unusual to see a family that is despised and isolated by other members of society because some despicable legacy had been bequeathed by some unscrupulous forebearer. There are abounding instances of abandoned mansions which nobody would want to live in because of the belief that it is being haunted by some mysterious forces. There are cases of girls born to some families who could hardly find a suitor except some gluttonous stranger because they stand accursed and consequently would spell doom to any one who dares to associate with them. There are communities that suffer underdevelopment on account of unfulfilled pledges by their ancestors to some serious moral obligations that have spiritual implications. In their minds, this unfortunate lot is asking the endless question, “Where is God in all these? What has happened to the promise of a good life? What have I done to deserve suffering in this manner? What unseen hand could be responsible for my plight? And a myriad of unvoiced lamentations keep reverberating into space. In Christiandom, this endless agony is referred to as witnessing against evil, and it doesn't go forth without attracting severe penalties on the evil-doer. One does not need to look far for evidences of posterity demanding explanation. Because they would not come to look us in the face and point accusing fingers is no reason to believe that perpetrators of evil can go unpunished. In her literary work, Science & Health with key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, “Thoughts unspoken are not unknown to the divine Mind” (Page 1 line 10).
Look at the contrasting picture of another group who has not considered it a virtue to live for the sake of others, no matter in what insignificant measure. It is to them that posterity is directing the unspoken question. I can hear someone repeat the Abel response, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9(b).
When it comes to time of reckoning, posterity will certainly demand of us what footprint we have left on the sands of time. If we happen not to find ourselves on the two extremes, we should expect to hear our Lord saying, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things. I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Mathew 25:21).

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

BANK ROBBERY IN COTONOU

Between 15.00 hours and 15.30 local time on April 1, 2008, the city of Cotonou was greeted with an unprecedented commando-style armed robbery. Some robbers numbering about fifteen had anchored at the lagoon which constitutes the eastern border of the Dantokpa international market within the city centre. They looked like other fishermen and passenger ferry boats who disembark by that harbour to enter the market. So, it was difficult to suspect anything uncommon except that their speed boats’ engines never stopped running.
Their destination was two international banks located within twenty meters of each other within the main bowl of the Dantokpa market. Within less than two minutes of assuming strategic positions, the robbers who were apparently heavily armed with automatic sub-machine guns and some AK-47 simultaneously fired warning shots and ordered everyone in the banks to stay quiet. They then went ahead to amass every cash they could lay hands on including from customers who had not yet handed theirs to the Bank cashiers. Operations ended, the robbers then engaged in sporadic firing, shattering doors and protective gates in their bid to escape. While people dived into nearest hidings for dear lives, the robbers sped off to their waiting flying boats and disappeared into the high sea.
The Manager of the Dantokpa branch of Diamond Bank and his staff were in a very traumatic state of mind to speak to anyone. All he could tell me as I pressed to get some bit of information was that they had a hierarchy in the bank, and I should rather approach their headquarters to speak with the Public Relations Officer. As at the time of filing in this report, all the Banks branches have been placed under lock and key. The Police Commissioner at the Dantokpa post told me that his men had not arrived at any conclusive reports, and so could not risk any incorrect information.
All the traders and business people within the two adjoining international markets had thronged to the scene of the incidence to see things for themselves, as there had never been any robbery of its kind before in the city. When I tried to speak with some of them, they were unanimous in condemning the general security situation in the city. They were of the opinion that if there had been adequate security, such an incident could not have taken place. Meanwhile there has not been any word as to how much money had been taken away by the robbers. But on a usual Tuesday (which records high traffic on account of traders coming from Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina-Fasso), the takes are always higher than other days of the week. Therefore, the robbers must have taken this trend into consideration before embarking on their operation.
LATEST ON THE BANK ROBBERY

The "James Bond" style of escape by the daylight bank robbers in Cotonou yesterday still holds the populace spellbound. This morning, people are apprehensive of opening their business houses. They just gather around in clusters, discussing the dramatic event of yesterday. Armed security officials are being noticed at all the Bank premises, which had not been a common feature in the past.
The Police Commissioner at the Central Police station has confirmed that four (4) persons have been taken into custody for questioning in connection with the said robbery. The suspects are said to be some members of the gang who could not hasten into the speed boat as it hurried away with their loot. These four men therefore decided to join their group at some predesignated spot but were unfortunately caught within three kilometres on their way outside the city. Some of the evidences found in their possession include locally made shortguns and packets of unused ammunition.
What appears to be collateral damage resulting from the robbers fire power include two soldiers identified as Houssou Fiarc and Eric, whom the robbers perceived as potential impediment to their escape bid and sought to get rid of them. The two soldiers are reported to have died from gun shot wounds and have been deposited at the University Teaching Hospital where two other women are still being treated for serious bullet wounds.
Bureau de Change operators in the informal sector who have their shops or stalls right in front of the motorway that passes through the market have got stories of having been robbed during that operation.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Missing Original Certificates

Originals of Educational certificates belonging to one TRACY BAVINGTON, taken at CRESTWOOD School, have been found, and are now in safe hands, awaiting delivery to anybody who can give convincing proof of ownership. They include:
  1. Certificate of Secondary Education
  2. Computer Awareness certificate
  3. General Certificate of Education - English
  4. Pitmans Examinations Institute - Typewriting

Thursday, March 06, 2008

URANIUM IN NIGERIA (The Gains and the Pains)

URANIUM FIND in Nigeria

We are simulating something closely resembling the spiritual term ‘omniscience’ by being able to share vast amounts of information over tremendous networks. Nineteenth century concepts of what was called a ‘billiard board universe’ has dissolved into relativity and the more recent so-called ‘principle of uncertainty.’ As a result, the atom has split, atomic and nuclear energy are being tapped to increase by a vast degree the availability of physical power which has already leapt over great barriers. Yet the general feeling is that we have been able to chip away only a few fragments from the mountain of knowledge. Looming ahead of us, practically intact, lies a huge mass of fundamental facts any one of which, if uncovered, could change our civilization in a manner never before known.
Whereas these developments portend of high economic gains, political superiority amongst equals, security advantage, et cetera, one cannot loose sight of the adverse consequences that could result from a misuse or deliberate abuse. Fire, they say, is a good servant, but could be a very stubborn master. In Nigeria, gas, a by-product of oil exploitation, is being burnt off because oil companies neither utilize nor recycle it. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company says that about 40 percent of gas produced in the country -- almost 23 billion cubic metres -- is burned annually. The World Bank estimates that Nigeria loses about 2.5 billion dollars annually to gas flare. This is the same gas successive governments have pledged to pipe down to factories and kitchens across some four countries within the West African sub-region, to wit, Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana and Senegal. During an interview with one of Nigeria's past President, I was told that agreements have been signed and that laying of the pipes would start in ernest. That was some five years ago, but the project still remains a pipe-dream. In addition to oil, Nigeria also has gold reserves and arableland suitable for commercial exploitation. These resources, if properly harnessed, will make Nigeria less dependent on oil which accounts for more than 90% (ninety per cent of her total revenue).

Only recently, it has been reported that Uranium deposits have been discovered in some six states of Nigeria by the Atomic Energy Division of the Geological Survey of Great Britain. This silvery-white radioactive metallic element was first discovered in the Liruai hills in Kano state and in the Kigo hills near Dorowa on the Jos plateau. Other states where the find have been reported are Adamawa, Cross River, Taraba and Bauchi respectively. This indeed is a heart-warming news not only to the federal government but to the people of the concerned states. At least the derivation revenue accruing to mineral-based states is going to boost the coffers of the states’ Treasury. To the country at large, this means a drastic shift from the problematic crude oil sector to some less competitive enterprise.
According to studies, not many countries of the world are endowed with the radioactive mineral which makes Uranium highly priced and of high value. It is obtained from the ore uranite which occurs in small bodies of granite containing pyrochlore with 3.3 per cent uranium oxide, 3.3 per cent thorium oxide and 41.1 per cent niobium and tantalum oxides.
However, uranium mining being an area of significant interest in the world at present, it is necessary to inform and assist the resident communities (potential victims of radiation) identify the key issues and rights associated with uranium mining. It is important that while the named communities are counting their Dollars that will come by way of derivative allocation, they should also consider and properly understand the USES, GAINS as well as related health HAZARDS of this highly priced mineral deposit and that the determination of their future should be arrived at soberly and appropriately.
It should be known and properly understand that uranium mining has stimulated immense distress in respect to environmental and radiation aspects over the last three decades around the globe.
Indeed, from the economic perspective it is clear there might be an opportunity for countries endowed with this mineral deposit to profit immensely from its exploitation. However, it is necessary to raise this supreme and most fundamental question whether or not the economic benefits outweigh the social concerns and hazards considering that the life span could only be between 10-12 years.
The government and the general public should be aware that:
Uranium mining carries the danger of airborne radioactive dust and the release of radioactive radon gas and its decay products which is hazardous to the general public and workers.
Uranium has radiological consequences for employees if not well protected risking development of lung cancer and other pulmonary diseases.
There will be contamination of water resource use with the toxic chemicals used in the separation of the uranium ore.
Mismanagement of uranium disposal waste from leaching ore can have long term health and environmental consequences.
Environmentalists and Environmental protection Agencies as well as Human Rights Organisations and other concerned Non-governmental organisations might not achieve every goal and may concede to lack of scientific and legal authority to realize the necessary goals immediately but, assistance and assurance from the relevant authorities that fight to preserve and monitor the environment for posterity will certainly come. With the visit to China of President Yar'adua last February, it is expected that Nigeria should be able to diversify her mineral exploitation to include URANIUM. Moreover, the electricity crisis which has become almost the country's middle name could be laid to eternal rest if the potentialities of uranium are fully exploited.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

REINCARNATION


Websters dictionary of the English language defines Reincarnation as the re-birth of a Soul on earth in a new body after death. That goes to suggest that for reincarnation to take place, one must first die. It also suggests that the experience must be manisfested on the body. Thirdly, it points to the fact that it is the 'soul' that reincarnates. Based on this premise, one would have sharply responded that this is a non-issue since the death phenomenon is merely an illusion, which is to say, there is no death, neither could there be any reincarnation since it is the former that gives rise to the latter. When the subject of pre-existence is brought up, sometimes there is the inclination to think that it implies previous existence in the flesh, whereas man doesn’t live in the flesh even now. You will never understand the fact of man’s pre-existence so long as you believe in time. Divine consciousness is from everlasting to everlasting. But that is now. A single statement by Jesus Chist the Master Physician will elucidate this argument further, "Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had before ever the world was." (John 17:1-5). Life, not only that of Christ Jesus, has no beginning and can never come to an end through what is called 'death'. One moment of divine consciousness will wipe out centuries of false belief. I would therefore urge my reader to maintain an open and unbiased mind until we get to the conclusion of this discourse.
This subject has evoked a lot of controversy oner centuries. There are more than four schools of thought that have propounded varying theories; most presenting only a physical manifestation as their evidence.
The Indians of Sikih and Hindu religions are said to hold the belief that a human soul can reincarnate into a cow or bull, hence the level of veneration and kind treatment they accord these animals.The elephant is treated as a sacred member of the Indian household because of the same belief that it might be one of their reincarnated ones. Their ceremony of cremating the body of dead people speaks a lot.The fire is to burn off all dross material as with cleansing from accummulated sins while the sprinkling of the ashes to the ganges is symbolical of final purification to facilitate the reincarnation process. If one were to follow the evolution theory, it would sound absurd that a 'soul' that has evolved through the lower stages from apes to human should degenerate to a level lesser than human. Let's leave that part to evolutionists for now.
Christians are divided on this issue, with less than ten percent timidly harbouring some notion favourable to the phenomenon known as reincarnation. This insignificant number of believers hinge their argument on some New Testament passages of the Bible where the disciples of Jesus asked Him who had sinned, that a young man would be born blind. (John 9:2). It is argued that this question reveals that the Hebrews of that age did believe that actions of men in any cycle of earthly existence contributed in determining the nature of their next level of reincarnation. Fortunately, Jesus could not corroborate that belief. He would rather turn their attention to the fact that such occurences only provided an opportunity for demonstration of the healing power. Another passage of interest is the last Book of the Old Testament, Malachi 4:5 which says, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." At the time of that promise, Elijah had long passed on from physical existence. Therefore, it stands to reason that he was meant to reincarnate in another form to fulfill the promise in Malachi. This text is further supported by another encounter between the followers of Jesus Christ and their Master when he enquired of them who people say he is, and they answered - Elias, John the Baptist, Jeremias or one of the prophets. Christians try as much to avoid discussing these texts in-depth to avoid being labelled "infidel."
Another belief which is strongly held by majority of Africans even before the advent of western forms of religion has it that people can have a rebirth manifested in the physical realm up to seven incarnations. Their only proof lies in some character traits exhibited by a newborn baby. Another almost convincing evidence borders on physical appearances closely identical to that which had been noticed on some departed family members. This belief is so strong that some people would name their new born child after the one suspected to have reincarnated him or her. They would look out for certain behaviours and would easily try to match some coincidental gestures as proof of divine return of a loved one. Such souls are always treated with the utmost respect lest they depart prematurely in protest for being despised.
The fourth premise upon which I wish to consider this subject derives from the writings of a nineteenth century Metaphysician whose names appears on the American Women Hall of fame for her revolutionary discovery. Reverend Mary Baker Eddy writes in her ground-breaking exposition, Science & Health with key to the Scriptures, "As a man falleth asleep, so shall he be after death, until probation and growth shall effect the needed change. Mind never becomes dust. No resurrection from the grave awaits Mind or Life, for the grave has no power over either." (ibid. Page 291 lines 22 - 27). This interpretation is derived from the Book of Ecclesiastes chapter 11 verse 3, "In the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be." Hers is not an argument in favour of or against reincarnation. She speaks in what the Scriptures call "a new tongue" as with the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. She is speaking of deathlessness as she succinctly explains on Page 289 of the same Book, "The fact that the Christ, or Truth, overcame and still overcomes death proves the 'king of terrors' to be but a mortal belief, or error, which Truth destroys with the spiritual evidences of Life; and this shows that what appears to the senses to be death is but a mortal illusion, for to the real man and the real universe there is not death-process." She concludes that "God's universe (including man), is spiritual and immortal."
I have searched the Scriptures and have found that Mary Baker's argument coincides with the first description of man as "created by the Word of mouth proceeding from God" as recorded in the Book of Genesis chapter 1 verses 26 and 27. If God made man in His own image and after His likeness, and God is a Spirit, therefore, it follows that man is spiritual and deathless. God is not an anthropomorphic being. How then can we believe in the death of that which is deathless? For reincarnation to take place, according to the proponents of that ideology, man/woman must first die. This can not be a possibility since death, as we know it, does not exist.
We must learn to believe in Life which is eternal and the real, more than we believe in what is termed death, which is only a passage from one stage of mortal existence to another, not much different from a clown leaving the stage to reappear and mix up with the audience at the lobby, wearing a gentleman's atire and looking like any other person in the crowd. Unrecognised by the crowd, he still moves in their midst, carrying within his memory all the tricks that made him a focal point some few moments ago on stage, although unable to register the same impression as he moves along doing other activities of ordinary life.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kudos to Kofi Annan

  1. At last, Kenyan “warlords” (excuse my vulgarity for once), Kibaki and Odinga have succumbed under the weight of the erstwhile UN-Secretary General, Koffi Anan. Following the latter's jettisoning of the pressure groups backing these two Kenyan political leaders, there has, today been reached a compromise agreement of fifty-fifty power sharing between the Mwai Kibaki ruling party and the Raila Odinga main opposition party. While congratulating these field players for their humility in coming to compromise, the questions that are on my mind are:
  2. What will become of the varying ideologies and manifestos of the two parties?
  3. How do they hope to integrate the coalition parties into their power sharing scheme?
  4. What rehabilitation and reconstruction plans are possible to erase the scars of the ethnic resentment of last month?
  5. How are they going to return properties that were sold under duress or outrightly confiscated from the Kikuyus to their rightful owners?
  6. What about legal proceedings against those caught in the very act of hacking their fellow countrymen and women and children to death; and raping innocent women?
  7. How do they hope to disarm those blood thirsty hoodlums who had already acquired deadly weapons in readiness to forment another trouble in case the talks broke down?
  8. These are obviously issues that cannot be swept under carpet like withdrawing or abandoning electoral petitions already filed before the courts.
  9. Restitution is a natural as well as spiritual law and can hardly be undermined, else it will seem like a keg of fermenting wine waiting to burst and spill over with time.

While we wait for answers or reactions to these teething questions, one cannot fail to commend all the known and unknown mediators that have brought the impasse to a consensus. Before anyone says a-men or so let it be, let us not forget that this is merely a case of two captains trying to steer one ship. Such a ship can hardly be brought to a steady cruise. It will swing unceasingly to the right at one time and to the left at another time. Do we have experienced seamen on board to swing along? Or are we going to watch another boat rocking drama. If I had a say in Kenyan politics, I would have counselled that the opposition exercise some patience while the incumbent carries on the affairs of state till a conclusive end of tenure. During this time, the opposition would have perfected their grassroots sensitization and mobilisation which would guarantee their undisputable victory at subsequent polls. Certainly a marriage of incompatibles is like a nightmare. The offspring of such a marriage is usually a stillbirth. Experienced midwives know this to be true. My heartfelt prayers pour out for Kenya. Insha Allah, I will be visiting very soon to hear those warming birds songs once again.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL


Three PUZZLING events occured today in the Kenyan Political arena. Sequel to the marathon tete-a-tete between the ex-UN Secretary General, Kofi Anan and the warring parties in Kenya, to wit, President Kibaki and Raila Odinga, the long-running battle appears to have come to what seems like a happy ending, with the UN-SG addressing the National Assembly. Other dramatic fallouts from the nearly half-a-month meeting are:
1) President Kibaki orders that the homes of displaced people should be rebuilt and they be returned home. That is nearly 300,000 displaced people. He was launching the free secondary school education programme at a Nairobi school.
2) Kibaki’s opponent, Raila Odinga was in court opposing a petition filed by a voter challenging Kibaki’s election. At the same time, he challenged an election petition challenging his election as MP for Langata in Nairobi.
3) Third the speaker of the National Assembly, Kenneth Marende, hinted to the press that the mediation spearheaded by Koffi Annan is likely to recommend changes in certain laws and amendments to the constitution to accommodate ODM in the government.What makes these events look like a puzzle is the wonder for Kibaki to order the Internally Displaced Persons to be returned home and their homes reconstructed which means that he is confident that no-one will attack those "foreigners" again.Of course some 1190 suspects had been arrested in connection with the killings and other forms of violence. Some 200 of these have been charged with murder - a charge that could mean the Hangman’s noose or life in the slammer. One would ask if these arrest have served in driving sense into the heads of the hotheads who have been killing the Kikuyus with impunity over the years?Why is Odinga opposing the petition to have the Kibaki election nullified? After all his henchmen say that Kibaki’s win is in doubt. It is hard to say whether the court will entertain his objection. In the first instance, he has no locus standi in the matter- since it was filed by a voter. Analysts wonder why ODM is objecting to the petition since it would have achieved what the party does not want to do- ousting President Kibaki. The Kenyan Constitution provides that amendments especially one that could introduce the post of an Executive Prime Minister, are subject to a referendum. Chances are; Kenyans will reject such fundamental changes since they have not asked for it. Just how some of the resolutions from the Kofi-chaired meeting will be constitutionally applied is yet another puzzle that needs to be untangled. But one cannot but wish Kenyans KUDOS for the milestone achievement so far.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Whither Super Eagles Coach?

I read from the "AfricanExaminer.com.blog" that the Nigerian Super Eagles' coach Mr. VOGTS would long have been thrown out of the country by the Nigerian Football Authority in the manner of jettisoning dirty water in the bath with the baby in it. What has kept him in what seems now like "a typical Nigerian detainee awaiting trial", is one tiny clause on the contract paper which provides that this scapegoat should be given at least 30 (thirty) days notice of intention to sack him. Poor fellow!
My appeal to all sports lovers is that we should not be in a hurry to draw conclusions, especially when it has to do with taking food away from someone else's table. Whenever a national football team shows a bad outing - that is, fails to deliver, it is always the coach that bears the brunt of blame. As far as I am concerned, football tournament is a collective performance of both the coach and his boys. If anybody has to be punished for what happened between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Black Stars of Ghana last week Sunday, it is all the parties concerned. Have we forgotten how all of them used to line up to receive a handshake from Nigerian Heads of State each time they have a good outing? And the package is usually heavy and juicy. The coach is never singled out for honours, neither had he ever been excluded. Finally, before we bring down the axe, let us ask whether it is the barber that has not mastered the skill of hair-cut or is it the blade razor that is blunt.
I am informed that the sack order is at the instance of "Nigerian sports lovers". By the way, what has been the reaction of these sports lovers toward the number 12 jersey on the Ghanaian side (the referee), who caused more harm to the Eagles than their antagonistic opponents? Is there any clause that forbids the NFA or those over-enthusiastic sports lovers from petitioning the CAF or the Referees Association or still the Ghanaian government or all the above parties for the brutality meted out to players on the Nigerian Eagles team during that ill-fated match? The referee’s discriminatory officiating and apparent oversight of the physical assaults on members of the Eagles team served to frustrate the Eagles during the first half of play despite their determined effort to vindicate themselves as superior to their opponents. The bullying tactics applied by those uncivilized Black star boys, (I thought that stars are divine and ought to shine bright instead of being black), coupled with the earlier threats by most of their fans was reason enough for any human who valued his life to exercise extra caution. Anybody who watched that match would wonder how a player could leave chasing after a ball that is about being taken from him, only to turn two steps backward to thrust three fingers into the eyes of his opponent. That was what a Ghanaian player did to Michel. And the referee who was right by their side failed to notice that brutal attach. I hear that more than one week after that incident, Michel is still nursing the wound. If Nigerians should leave the burning house and begin to chase after rodents, methinks, it is time to think whether a country is worth fighting for, let alone dying for.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Criminal Silence

Deadly Silence
As we continue to receive reports of mayhem in the slum region of Kenya, one cannot help but ask who is silently motivating and arming those killers. Initially, they had to carry any bricks or pieces of logs they could find with which they dealt blows at their helpless victims until they were dead. Now they have started carrying machetes. Before long, they will start carrying more deadly weapons like rifles and explosives. And someone will argue that they are mere angry unemployed youths seeking to express their discontentment with the government "in a dramatic manner"; unleashing vegeance on a particular ethnic group. Is it not the same government that made two specific promises upon assumption of office in 2002, to wit, that it will try to jettison corruption at high places, and to improve on the economic relevance of the country? Both pledges, it had fulfilled. It beats me hollow to imagine that a man should go to pick up a deadly weapon like that, sit by the stone to sharpen it over a period of time and move from point A to point Z and fail to show any change of mind along the way; and goes ahead to hack down fellow human beings - big and small. Clearly this is a case of premeditated aggression. It is even more disheartening that the politicians whom one could hold responsible for encouraging these killings have preferred to keep silent; giving the impression that their hands are tied. The questions therefore arises as to how tight or tied their hands would be in terms of controlling the masses if they were given the mandate to rule. Who would want such a ruler? And the children that are being paraded as victims of Police high handedness. What responsible parent would allow his underaged child to join a gang of robbers being used by politicians to undermine the existence of their fellow citizens? Those parents do not have value for their children talk less of love and concern for their future. My deduction is that those children are being recruited without the consent of their parents, and are being used as human shield as well as a calculated ruse to intimidate the Pose and in turn give them a bad name before the international community. If the two elder statesmen from the depths of Ashanti town in Ghana could not resolve the political fiasco in Kenya, why would the international community fold their arms and watch innocent citizens perish? Let someone bell the cat.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Eye Witness Account


A Kenyan-based colleague of mine who happens to belong to the same Network as I do, has kindly reacted to my blog with the following revealing facts which I have reproduced in unabridged form. Read on.
"I just did not know how to move until Vincent Nana came online. Let me first congratulate this guy for his honest and objective approach to to the crisis in Kenya. Others such as John and his friend in South Africa were dishonest because they demonstrated a clear misunderstanding of the issue at hand. Probably I should clarify this; unlike Mbeki who wanted to extend his term of office beyond the two terms allowed in the constitution, Kibaki's was bidding for his second and final term as allowed in the constitution. No Kenyan, I repeat no Kenyan would allow him a third tirm however good he is.The issue was not illegal extension of one's term in office, it was whether, Kibaki won his second term fairly. On this one, i belief the most competent commentators would be kenyans who had lived with the process longer than any one else. Therefore It is dishonest and arrogance on any foreigner, be he a journalist of a foreign observer, to pretend to know our politics better than us.As for Yellow Journalism, i totally agree with Vincent that this time around, Journalists went overboard. The process did not begin with the election and the violence that accompanied it. Kenyan journalists, supposedly the freest in the world, lost it when they sold their services to the highest bidder. The process of lying began way back in 2006 when some began to produce copy for a price. At that time, they were attacking Equity bank, one of the most innovative and fast growing indigenously owned bank. That failed, so was the attack on a company calle East African Cables, owned principally by KIbaki's associates.According to a document dated November 9th, 2007,ODM set a side some Kshs 29.3 million (US$500,000) to bribe Journalists. Apart from Cash Hand outs, some were promised plum jobs at State House once ODM takes over the Government. That is why, I am told, ODM copy was handled by Managing Editors in our news rooms. We even saw some Managing Editors take the microphones and go to report in Kisumu, ODM's stronghold. With this kind of booty, and I cannot say that foreign correspondents did noot partake of the largesse, the death of the hated Kikuyu does not matter. To some journalists and their Editors in Kenya, the death of a kikuyu is not an issue, the oinly people who dies are ODM supporters. Even criiminal activies such as looting and plunder of Kikuyu owned assets by ODM goons is ignored for highlighting it drives their ambitions away. Those who read my copy earlier send would know the mess that the media made of the election results. The Media in Kenya let kenyan down. It actually betrayed their country.Having been bribed blind, most turned a blind eye to ODM's rigging practices. Rigging began long before observers came to the scene. ODM was the major culprit in rigging its candidates for Parliamentary seats. In Most cases the Party gave certificates to losers in the polls. Among these were one James Orengo who lost in the preliminary and still got the Party's nod stand the Ugenya seat which he won. Chances are, he was also rigged in this seat since the victor in the preliminaries was also standing on another party's ticket.Evidence emerging suggests that the attack on Policemen was an intimidation scheme as most kept away from the Polling station in Luo nyanza.This is an election offense which could costs ODM the election. It is because of its own involvement in tinkering with election results that ODM brands a legal matter a political one. LIke Vincent I do not see the benefits of mediation since no mediator has power to overturn the election results in Kenya except the High court. ODM cannot go to Court for that is where its own skeletons will be brought out.Ethnic hatred became the only campaign weapon since ODM's attempt to introduce other issues such as grand Corruption hit a cul de sac. The economy was growing and money was being put in the hands of rural economy, the famers, Livestock Keepers, etc through improved prices of their produce.Incindentally acording to a document allegedly from ODM and which the party has not denied to date, among the donors to its kitty were the the Kingpins of such massive looting scandals as: Goldenberg ( Kamlesh Pattni donated kshs 13.5 million), the Kamani Family which were the Kingpins of the Anglo leasing Scandal donated kshs 12.5 million). Others were Gun dealer Anura Pereira (Kshs 107 million) Joshua Kulei who led president Moi's gang of Robbers Donated kshs 45 million. One wonders how the party would have fought corruption in Kenya, while the corrupt put it in power.Dick Morriss and associates, an American Consultant specialsing in Plotting civillian Coups, Ksh 21.5 million; Republican Party of ther US Kshs 154 million, Friends of Barak Obama,a US presidential aspirant on a democratic Party ticket, Ksh 66 million. Other donors were: Landrover of UK and its Kenyan Franchise holder, CMC group, Kshs 75 million.Now you can see why EU and other foreigners are screaming murder as they see their ambitions on kenya go to waste. The relationship between President Kibaki and the so called donors was frosty during his first term. It was frosty because Kenya which boasts of the largest budget in East and Central Africa, it now stands at US$10 billion of which Kenyans finance 93 percent that is 9.3 billion. This has made Kenya a litte independent to the discomfort of the so-called donors. In fact the country has in the past 5 years been giving donors conditions instead of the other way round.Landrover must have been expecting to recover its lost market of supplying the Kenyan Police and Armed Forces with Landrovers.Others such as Germany must have been eteing the same market which has now been taken over by the Japanese vehicle makers. The Noise is basically pegged on self interest amon the so called "internationational community" Their investment in ODM has gone to waste and to salvage something, they are better off calling a legal affair political so that they can find some room to comment. What it will achieve, I cannot see. May we could discuss this. Will mediation resolve a legal Dispute issue in Kenya? Remember in my earlier copy I indicated that both parties were involved in tinkering with election results. ODM was simply outsmarted in its own game."
Musyoka wa KyendoNairobi, Kenya.
PS: Musyoka is a gentleman journalist. I have every reason to believe what he has written because he had in the past, through his write-ups, proved to be a trustworthy writer with indefatigable resolve to state the truth even when it hurts his person.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Media Bias on Kenya

Google Search
I have been mute on the Kenya saga because of the seeming 'yellow' journalism coverage of the issue by even highly respected media. Suppose at the end of the day, it is discovered that the incumbent did actually win, how can one remedy all the destruction of lives, character assassinations and wanton vandalisation of property that have been pepertruated by the so-called angered faction against fellow country-men?
Imagine the unguarded and provocative utterances of the opposition which have continued to infuriate rather than tame the hoodlums into killing their kinsmen in the style of Tutsi and their brothers of recent memory. The opposition has gone on air a million times to count the number of rioters who have been shot at by the Police. They have shown no remorse over the killing of scores of the Kikuyus and the destruction of their properties, looting, raping their women, maiming and traumatising innocent children by the opposition supporters. As far as I am concerned, this is the height of insensitivity at high places. The incumbent President has come on air only three times during all these turmoil, and has in no wise incited anybody into violence or revenge. What will the opposition gain by calling on the international communities to impose sanctions as if it had to do with strangling Kibaki as a person? If the unfortunate millions of Kenyans suffer or even die as a result of these stringent measures, who will the sadists rule when they come to the supposed distinguished or exalted seat? Politics is not a 'do or die affair' (apologies to ex-President Obasanjo of Nigeria). If one loses an opportunity to serve his people in one capacity at any given point in time, he could still show them love in so many other ways. In fact, his philanthropic gesture at a time like that will naturally endear him to their hearts, and would autamatically earn their votes next time around. Why must we be in such a hurry if the motive is not to serve self interest.

Monday, January 07, 2008

ROLE model DEMOCRACY

If there is any one African country that deserves recognition more than others, it is Benin republic. Its democratic posture is worthy of emulation by any country that values the interest of its ctiizens.Benin had divested itself of Socialist apparatus by 1990 following a National Conference that gave it a Democratic dispensation which has continued to flourish day by day.The 2006 Presidential Election was the closest and hottest contest Benin ever witnessed. Yet is went without any disturbing incident,inspite of the fact that more than twenty-six aspirants from almost fifty political parties, associations and alliances were in the race। Surprisingly, a non-starter, running on ‘no party’ ticket emerged victorious। The 2007 Parliamentary elections was no less successful। There were more than two thousand (2000) candidates contesting for 83 seats.Since his assumption of office, the two-times doctorate degree holder in Economics, President Thomas Boni Yayi has proved that the peoples’ votes were not cast in vain. The country which had an economic index of 2.9% in 2005 was catapulted up to 5.3% by 2007 with a projection of hitting 7% plus by 2008.Some of the remarkable evidences of Dr. Boni Yayi’s good governance are his Micro-economic policy and free education package which have benefitted even the least petty traders, fishermen, farmers and craftsmen acorss the country. Needless to mention that members of the Fourth Estate of the realm have so far enjoyed relative cordial camaraderie, and the bliss is not likely to degenerate.The three major religious entities recognised by the government, to wit ; Christianity with an estimated 28% population, Muslim – 21%, Non-Religious – 6% and Voodou traditional religion with 35% ; all enjoy equal participation in national affairs. Ethnic rivalty and xenophobia which tended to portray the country in bad light have since been relegated to the back stage.High profile public officers including those from the Judiciary, the Police and the Military, who have in one way or another been indicted for crimes or abuse of office have been brought to justice like any other citizen. These stringent measures have resulted in the recovery of huge sums of financial loot and confiscation of assets by the government. The government’s Decentralisation policy has brought developmental infrastructure to the grassroots and is spreading up at a speedy rate. Finally, the combined efforts of the Media cannot fail of being commended. But for these selfless services, avian flu which is very much lurking around our backyard would have had a toll on the populace. Information, indeed is power.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

THREE MAGIC WORDS THAT SAVED A LIFE

Arriving late at the Aflao border from Ghana to Benin republic, Mr. Koffi stopped to pass the night as it was not possible to continue the night journey following the official shut down of the frontiers after 9.00p.m. The scene at the border could be likened to a pilgrim camping or some refugee camp with people littered all over the place. The Bar-man in the one and only lodging at the border, seeing the desperate need for rooms, offered his room to Koffi and a girl he had been discussing with which offer they promptly jumped to in anticipation of snatching some wink if only for a few minutes.
Nancy quickly arched herself onto the one-passenger bed, leaving Koffi with the option of squeezing in with no space between them. The situation was desperate, and such compromising closeness did not matter any more. At first, they slept like two innocent boarding house room-mates. But the sensations of opposite sex metabolism soon beclouded their sense of reasoning as they both, like consenting adults, locked themselves in warm embrace with lips gummed together in what looked like an inseparable eternity. Koffi’s heart pounded heavily that it did not need a doctor’s stethoscope to hear it. Amidst groaning and whining, the lady managed to utter the words, “I AM POSITIVE”. Koffi’s spontaneous reaction to those words was like thunderbolt. He instantly jolted out of bed, slumping to the floor in his flight and temporarily paralyzed by that shocking disclosure from Nancy who was indeed HIV Positive.
After the devastating shock of Nancy’s confession had subsided, Koffi who is a secondary school teacher made a resolve to launch HIV/AIDS campaign at schools around the country. It became obvious to Koffi that in spite of all the human efforts aimed at arresting the spread of the one epidemic that has defied all known medical and unorthodox therapy, HIV/AIDS continues to sound to many people as some sort of alien from outer space. Most people especially in the rural areas of African environments are never able to differentiate between HIV/AIDS and other common sexually-transmitted diseases such as Syphilis or Gonorrhoea; and so attempt to treat them with the same approach. Among the academic class in the cities, the level of awareness is not appreciably higher than the urban scenario.
During the workshop which lasted over one month, the unexpected turnout forced the organizers to reduce the participation age and other criteria in order to accommodate the overwhelming demand. Parents were no less enthusiastic in encouraging their wards to get really involved.
According to the Co-ordinator of the program some of the topics discussed include Handling Teens, Sexually Transmitted Infection, HIV/AIDS, Teens pregnancy and Abortion, Teens and Sexuality, among others.
An estimated 22.4 million adults and children were living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa at the end of 2008. During that year, an estimated 1.4 million Africans died from AIDS. Around 14.1 million children have lost one or both parents to the epidemic. The following data shows HIV/AIDS prevalence in Benin Republic as at the period 2008:

People living with AIDS = 190,000; Percentage of Adults aged between 15 – 49 = 1.2%; Women = 37,000; Children = 5,400;
AIDS Deaths = 3,300; Orphans due to HIV/AIDS = 29,000. Source: GRADES-AFRICA® http://vinfish.blogspot.com

According to some of the participants, the workshop has opened their eyes to so many health and sex-related information that are not ordinarily taught in the school curriculum. They expressed the need to have more of such extra-curricular activities for the benefit of the teeming number of endangered youths both in schools and around the communities.