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Pre-Election Peace and Security Summit In Sokoto, Northwest Nigeria

The outcome of Nigeria’s 2019 election may not be significantly different from what happened in the 2011 elections in which scores of people were killed including serving members of the National Youth Service Corps serving Northern Nigeria.

This prediction was echoed during one day summit in Sokoto, Northwest Nigeria by a Sociologist Prof. Muhammad Tukur Baba of the Federal University, Birnin Kebbi. He said his prediction is based on the current hype by the two dominant political parties, the APC and PDP to the effect that each is in pole vault position to win the polls.

Prof. Muhammad Tukur Baba

He recalled that the same thing played out during the campaigns leading to the 2011 elections which later spiraled into violence as supporters of Buhari’s CPC refused to accept the results and resorted to violence, killing and maiming.

Participants at the Summit

Prof. Tukur Baba pointed out that most Nigerian children are brought up on faulty foundation thereby predisposing them to crime and violence. He further said most of those involved in robbery and kidnapping in Zamfara and some other states are members of the same communities that they terrorize.

Addressing the summit, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah remarked that while political leaders meet and fraternize, their ignorant followers out there fight and kill one another for the same leaders.

Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah
Bishop of Sokoto

He observed that while the children of the less privileged in society are recruited and induced with drugs and other substances to cause mayhem, children of political office seekers don’t participate in political activities and they have never been known to be victims of political violence.

The Bishop lamented that the nation’s psyche has been militarized as men of the armed forces have been brought into every conflict which are mostly internal.

Participants

He said he hopes that Nigeria’s 2019 polls will be peaceful. He urged every Nigerian to be at the vanguard of the country’s security for the common good.

The one-day summit was organized by the Justice, Development and Peace Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto. It was the second in the series aimed at creating awareness on the need for the involvement of community leaders in ensuring peace and security before and after the elections.

Fr. Lawrence Emehel
Director JDPC

Director of the JDPC, Fr. Lawrence Chike Emehel said the one-day summit was a follow up to the recommendation of participants at the last forum for more of such opportunities for mind rubbing.

Participants included politicians, community leaders, members of the armed forces and other security agencies who are engaged for election security.

Fire engulfs Guinness plant in Abia

Guinness beer [Photo: Thrillist]

A wildfire on Friday engulfed parts of the Guinness Nigeria Plc, Aba Brewery, Abia, razing bottles, chemicals, office structures and furniture to ashes.

Firefighters battled hard to contain the fire, which started at about 11 a.m. on Friday until about 6:46 p.m. when the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent left the scene.

Okezie Uche, Aba Fire Service Commander, told NAN that his men reached the site at about 1 p.m. and fought hard to extinguish the fire with the help of other staff of near-by companies who volunteered.

“We have water challenges but today, we refilled from the NNPC.

“When the fire seems to be out of control, I called the Controller of Abia Fire Service, Mr V.O Gbaruko in Umuahia office for backup and he sent men and more equipment.

“We used techniques with the support of NNPC that gave us a foaming chemical which helped to extinguish the fire.

“Without that chemical, we cannot do much because we are fighting a highly flammable material,” he said.

Mr Uche said the materials at the brewery included empty bottles, plastic crates and others.

He said that “poor house-keeping” might have been responsible for the fire, stressing that when the staff could not contain the fire, they called the fire Service.

A police officer who preferred anonymity told NAN the police got information on the fire at about 12 noon and called in the Fire servicemen in Aba.

“They came, the Commander of MOPOL 55 also sent his men; the villagers also assisted in fighting the fire but it has not been easy as efforts were slowed because there was no power from EEDC to pump water.

“And the water the Fire Service brought finished but the efforts continued with the help of Glover Paints that mobilized their men to bring water to help.

“When the Umuahia Fire Service Commander sent his men, they joined with the help of staff of Geometric, to contain the fire to this level,” he said.

He assured that the fire would be over before 6 p.m. following combined efforts, adding that fire reached nearby NNPC Gas Pipeline but was put out at that end.

He said the fire reached the NNPC Gas Pipeline area near the depot but when the Fire Service came, they first tackled the area which was why the pipeline did not explode.

Eric Otuonye, the Station Officer in charge of security of the brewery, said workers noticed the fire and smoke in the compound at about 11:30 a.m. from a nearby bush hence they mobilized to fight it.

He said that the fight had been tough as firemen from fire service office in Aba and Umuahia, the staff of Clover Paints and Guinness Nig. Plc fought the fire from 12 p.m.

“I think the fire got to a chemical that has escalated it, this is after 6 p.m. and if it is not put out, I do not know what will happen at night.

“I believe the fire must have started from our compound. But there is a bush close to our fence on that side where it started, that is what we are suspecting.

“But now what is important is fighting the fire, when it is over we can now trace where it started,” he said.

Mr Otuonye said that the damage was to be estimated in billions of Naira.

He said the brewery had been shut down already since July 2018, adding that only a few police personnel and company security guards were around. (NAN)

Proverbs 15:21-24

Arlin Sorensen's Thoughts on Scripture

In Proverbs 15:21-24 Solomon gives us a bit more on those who lack wisdom and live a life of folly. For the fool, their foolishness (folly) is something they take pleasure in. They only hate their folly when they have to pay the bitter consequences of it. Otherwise, it is joy to them.  They have no real sense of what life could be if they lived it based on wisdom. “Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead”. With wisdom, our life is ordered and upright. The wise person finds joy in what is good and upright. It delivers a life based on God’s principles that yield a good return.

Solomon was clear that success in life is not something that happens alone.  We need to be surrounded by wise people. The difference between success and failure can often…

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Serena Powers Into Aussie Open last 16

By checkpointcharley on 19. January 2019 • ( 0 )

serena juggernaut

Serena Williams swatted aside Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska in straight sets Saturday, powering into the Australian Open last 16 as she chases a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.

Williams defeated world number 57 Yastremska 6-2, 6-1 and next faces either sister Venus, who is unseeded this year, or world number one Simona Halep.

The 37-year-old won her 23rd major Down Under two years ago while two months pregnant and is the bookies’ favourite to claim an eighth Australian title, despite being seeded 16th.

Another major would match Margaret Court’s tally and Williams looks in ominous form as she chases down the Australian great’s record, dropping only nine matches in her opening three matches.

“I’m here, I’m playing as hard as I can and doing the best I can, which is really all I can do,” she said.

Her latest victim Yastremska was not even born when the American won her first major at Flushing Meadows in 1999.

The 18-year-old was in tears after her drubbing and Williams comforted her at the net, telling her “you’re gonna make it, don’t cry”.

“I thought she did really amazing,” Williams said of the youngster.

“She came out swinging, I felt like she really came out ready to go.”

A massacre appeared imminent as Williams raced to a 4-0 lead but Yastremska managed to hold serve twice in the first set, prompting wild applause from the crowd.

She tried to engage Williams in rallies but was powerless to stop the American taking the first set 6-2 after 27 minutes.

Williams was equally relentless in the second set, breaking Yastremska and allowing the teen to score only four points off her serve as she went up 4-1.

Yastremska had treatment on her right foot but it was only delaying the inevitable and Williams took just a few minutes to bring up match point after play resumed.

She hit her first chance into the net but completed the win after Yastremska sent a return wide.

Traits of Insecure Leaders

By Ron EdmondsonJanuary 17, 2019

Christians are called to walk by faith. Of course, this includes Christian leaders. A part of our calling in leadership means we won’t always know what the future holds, but we steadfastly follow God’s leadership.

I must be honest. As I work with Christian leaders – and I observe the culture and leaders within the world – I sometimes see more confident leadership outside the church than within. How can this be?
People of faith have assurance in Whom we are following. We can lead people with confidence, strength and conviction.

Insecurity though always shows up in a person’s life. It can possibly be disguised, but it can’t be hidden. Insecure people – or people who aren’t secure in who they are personally or comfortable with their abilities – display some common characteristics.

I’m not talking about unprepared leaders. We are always to be growing as leaders. We will always face things we don’t know how to do. That’s why we keep learning and growing.

I’m talking about insecurity – specifically lacking God-given confidence in the call of God we’ve been given.

Insecurity is a normal emotion when we are exposed to something new, but as we mature in leadership – and especially in our faith and calling – we should guard against the negative impacts of insecurity.

Here are 7 traits you may see in an insecure leader:

Defensive towards any challenge.

The insecure leader flares his or her insecurity when ideas or decisions they make made are challenged in any way. They remain protective of their position or performance. They are constantly looking over their shoulder expecting someone to question them or their authority.

Protective of personal information.

The insecure leader keeps a safe distance from followers. Their transparency is limited to only what can be discovered by observation. When personal information is revealed, it’s always shared in the most positive light. This is about them and their family. They only want you to believe – and know – the best about their world.

Always positions his or herself out front.

Insecure leaders assume all key assignments or anything which would give attention to the person completing them. They are careful not to give others the spotlight. They use words like “I” and “My” more than “We” or “Our”. They tend to control informtion – everything goes through them first.

Limits other’s opportunities for advancement.

The insecure leader wants to keep people under his or her control, so as to protect their position. They are leery of strong personalities or other leaders. They have “yes” people around them and guard against anyone who displays leadership potential. They hand out titles only to those they believe will never question their authority.

Refuses to handle delicate issues.

Insecure leaders fear not being liked, so they often ignore the most difficult or awkward situations. They talk behind people’s backs rather than to them. They are likely to say one thing to one person and something else to another – depending on what is popular at the time.

Makes everything a joke.

One huge sign of an insecure leader, in my experience,  is they make a joke about everything. Again, they don’t want to handle the hard stuff – and want to be liked – so joking is often a coping mechanism used to divert attention from the issues they don’t want to face. When people laugh it gives a false sense of being liked to the insecure leader.

Overly concerned about personal appearance.

While this is not always the case, some insecure leaders are never far from a mirror. They are overly conscious of their clothing or hair. Afraid of not being in style or wanting to be accepted as hip or cool, they are constantly looking for the latest fashion trends or attempting to be cutting edge with the gadgets they carry. (I’ve observed the opposite here could also be true. The insecure leader is careful not to stand out, so they appear to have no concern for personal appearance at all.)

Please understand, all of us have moments of insecurity. Leaders, especially, if they want to be effective, must learn to recognize signs of insecurity, figure out the root causes of it, and attempt to limit insecurity from affecting their leadership. And, again, Christian leaders, we have reason to be confident – if we are truly following closely to our Leader.