Drunk Nigerian students slash driver’s throat in India, Over 40 teens burnt to death in party advertised online , Trump is priciest President-elect to protect, How SSS tortured to death, paid N15m cover-up to victim’s family, Lagos’ ruthless modernisation renders poor Lagosians destitute

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I bring you the headline

Drunk Nigerian students slash driver’s throat in India

Over 40 teens burnt to death in party advertised online

Trump is priciest President-elect to protect

How SSS tortured to death, paid N15m cover-up to victim’s family

Lagos’ ruthless modernisation renders poor Lagosians destitute

Bola Kuforiji is dead

UN under fire over response to Nigeria humanitarian crisis

Nigeria plans over 7 trillion Naira budget for 2017

Nigeria win women’s Africa Cup of Nations


Officials fear up to 40 dead in fire during concert at Oakland warehouse – Los Angeles Times

Authorities said they would work through the night to recover more victims of a deadly fire that raced through a converted warehouse crowded with people attending a Friday night concert in Oakland.

Nine bodies have been recovered, but Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said officials were prepared for up to 40 fatalities. He said many of those inside the warehouse were young, some from foreign countries.

At an evening news conference, Kelly said that about two dozen people believed missing have been found. But at least two dozen remain missing, and officials believe the death toll will increase considerably as searchers make their way through the remains of the building. The building’s roof caved in, and debris will make the search effort difficult.

There is no known cause of the fire. While arson is not suspected, Kelly said investigators are on scene and nothing has been ruled out. The warehouse isn’t currently considered a crime scene.

Officials believe there likely are more fatalities because there are friends and family who still have not heard from some people who attended the concert. Kelly said there were relatively few injuries among those who escaped.

“This is just a tragedy, and there are no easy answers,” Kelly said. “This is not an easy task.”

He said it could take two days to complete to search for victims. Officials are bringing in cranes, bulldozers and excavating equipment to access the west side of the building. Cadaver dogs may also be used.

Officials are fingerprinting people, and four of the nine bodies have been removed.

Witnesses described a horrific fight for survival as people tried to flee the flames.

Al Garcia, who owns a store next to the warehouse, said he talked to two people who said they were 17 and 18 years old who got out of the building.

“They said that black, billowing smoke was coming down the stairs,” said Garcia, 62. “They couldn’t see anything in front of them, anything behind them. The only reason they got out was they heard voices outside. The voices directed them to where they were going.”

The teens said they paid $10 to get into the warehouse party, which they found online, Garcia said.

The fire is likely to be the deadliest in several years in California and the most destructive in the East Bay since the great 1991 Oakland Hills fire, which killed 25 people and injured more than 100 others.

City records cited allegations of at least three code violations at the building this year. In one complaint, city inspectors said there was complaint of an illegal building on the property as well as piles of trash.

“This property is a storage [facility], but the owner turned it into a trash recycling center. The yard became a trash collection site, and the main building was [remodeled] for residential,” according to city records.

City building and safety officials said Saturday afternoon that there was an open investigation into the warehouse and that inspectors had found evidence of blight. The building was permitted for use as a warehouse, not for housing.

They said that a party or concert at the property would have required a permit, which had not been granted. They also said there was no evidence of fire sprinklers or alarms in the building.

Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo, who represents the district where the fire broke out, said neighbors have regularly complained about the building — particularly the fact that it had piles of trash and debris outside.

“We would complain to the manager that they had all that nonsense outside of his building, blocking sidewalks, blocking streets. And … he always had an attitude,” he said.

Gallo said he did not know whether people were living inside the warehouse. Asked whether the building had residential permits, he said: “Absolutely not.”

“The reality is, there are many facilities being occupied without permits,” he said. “They’re occurring on Oakland’s streets, especially in neighborhoods like mine.”

The property is one of several owned by Chor N. Ng, according to her daughter, Eva Ng, 36. She said the warehouse was leased as studio space for an art collective and not used as a dwelling.

“Nobody lived there,” she told The Times, adding, “It was an art collective.”

She said she had asked her leaseholders about the issue and had been reassured that nobody lived in the building. “They confirmed multiple times. They said sometimes some people worked through the night, but that is all,” she said.

The second floor had two exits, both wooden stairs, she said, adding that she believes the building also had smoke detectors. She was not familiar with comments by fire officials that the makeshift stairs consisted of packing crates.

Ng added that her mother felt terrible about the tragedy.

Kevin Longton, who lives at the Vulcan Lofts, less than a mile from where the fire took place, said the warehouse was well-known for holding rave-style dance parties. He went to one about a year ago, never saw any sprinklers and felt the place was an accident waiting to happen.

Inside, he said, were two floors with a huge open space on the first floor with lots of nooks and crannies. People had cordoned off loft-style sections on the first floor and decorated them with fabrics and curtains. More than a two dozen old pianos were strewn about the floor.

“There were people living there,” Longton said. “I’m sure of that.”

People who previously lived there recalled a building that lacked fire sprinklers and had a staircase partly made of wooden pallets. Partygoers recalled a rabbit warren of rooms crammed with belongings — pianos, organs, antique furniture, doors and half-finished sculptures.

“It was a tinderbox,” said Brooke Rollo, 30, who lives less than a mile from the scene and had gone to parties there.

Photos on the warehouse’s Tumblr page show a maze of rooms, with walls and dividers made from pianos, boxes, salvaged doors and other materials. Wooden rafters were adorned with hanging lanterns, holiday lights, bicycles, stereo equipment and exposed wiring.

Ben Brandrett, a mental health researcher living in San Francisco, attended a performance at the warehouse and noticed that a staircase didn’t have a banister. “I remember thinking, ‘This seems sketchy.’”

Firefighters who responded to the Friday’s three-alarm blaze described the interior as a labyrinth. And officials said organizers of the warehouse concert never obtained a permit for the event, preventing city workers from inspecting exits, fire extinguishers and other vital safety features.

The building was the site of a concert Friday night called the Golden Donna 100% Silk 2016 West Coast Tour, according to a concert Facebook page.

Organizers of the concert posted a statement describing the fire as an “unbelievable tragedy, a nightmare scenario. … We are a very tight community of artists and we are all praying, sending love and condolences to everyone involved and their families.”

Witnesses said the warehouse, known locally as the Oakland Ghost Ship, was a collective where artists lived and worked.

Through the early-morning hours, people used the Facebook page to seek information about friends and loved ones who attended the concert. Some frantically listed the names of missing people and posted their photos, hoping to learn their fates.

“The police have asked for missing people’s photos and identifying features. Piercings, tattoos, clothing they were wearing, weight, birthday, hair color etc. they asked to post on this Facebook event. Please post info here,” wrote another.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, firefighters were dismantling one of the doors to the blackened building, which was covered with graffiti and had the word “GhostShip” painted outside. Sidewalks in front of the building were strewn with couches, window frames and other debris, and a charred smell permeated the air.

Rolando Jacobo, 41, the owner of nearby memorial headstone store Oakland Monuments, opened at 10 a.m. but had spent most of his morning standing outside his store, watching firefighters pull debris from the burned-out warehouse.

“I saw the fire when I was passing on the freeway last night, and I didn’t know if it was my building on fire,” he said.

Lee Leon, 50, a custodian at the Native American Health Center, got a call at 2 a.m. from a friend who also was driving on the freeway and saw the fire. Leon arrived at the Health Center, about a block away from the fire, shortly after. He took photos and called his boss to let him know that the Health Center was fine.

Both Leon and Jacobo said neighbors knew that the warehouse was used as an art studio and that people lived there. The warehouse often held private events “such as art shows,” but Leon, who has worked at the center for 17 years, said the residents were “low key.”
Seung Lee arrived to the warehouse about 11 p.m. to catch the concert with two friends.

They walked through the building’s maze-like first floor before heading upstairs where as many as 30 concertgoers were listening to live music, Lee said. One suggested they get some alcohol, so they headed to a nearby liquor store around 11:15 p.m.

Less than 10 minutes later, they returned to find thick, black smoke pouring out of the first floor windows of the warehouse and flames shooting out of the back of the building, he said.

“I froze in disbelief,” said Lee, who immediately called 911. “The hardest thing I’m having trouble processing are the people on the second floor. I saw them dancing and having a fun time and 10 minutes later they are trapped in this inferno.”

Lee, a freelance journalist, said the only way up to the second floor was by climbing a wooden staircase. He said he didn’t notice any other exits on the second floor. There were about 60 to 70 people in the warehouse, Lee said.

Trump is priciest President-elect to protect
New York Daily Times

The unprecedented issue with President-elect Donald Trump’s home is that the Fifth Ave. high-rise has no defined perimeter for the Secret Service to establish/

The cost to the city for protecting President-elect Donald Trump is quickly exploding into the millions of dollars, as cops perform duties ranging from traffic control on Fifth Ave. to coordinating with Secret Service on terror threats.

Various reports have estimated the daily price tag for security around Trump Tower at between $500,000 and $1 million — exceeding what other cities have spent on their favorite sons who won the White House. And while city officials say they’re confident about getting federal reimbursement, history suggests there’s no assurance they’ll be able to recoup the full amount.

“The complex challenges and tremendous costs associated with protecting a President and a President’s family in the heart of Manhattan are truly unprecedented. As such, we will be issuing a full-throated request — with support from congressional leadership and our federal partners — for a complete reimbursement for all costs incurred,” said Mayor de Blasio’s spokesman Austin Finan.

That would include money spent before the January inauguration and after.

Woman who got to Trump Tower’s 24th floor under psych evaluation
Finan said the $1 million per day figure, first reported by CNN Money, is not accurate, but City Hall would not provide an estimate of its own.

President Obama’s trips to the Big Apple show how the expenses can pile up quickly.

During the 2016 fiscal year, Obama visited New York four times and overtime costs totaled $4.1 million, according to the city’s Independent Budget Office. Obama’s day trip to the city in June cost just under $470,000 in police overtime, and his two brief trips in October and November 2015 cost a combined $377,000.

When Obama was elected, the Chicago Police Department spent $2.2 million to protect his Kenwood home between Election Day and the following April, according to documents obtained by the Chicago Tribune. The expected federal reimbursement is for more than $1.5 million of that — the money spent during the presidential transition — but not the $650,000 spent after the inauguration.

The extraordinary New York costs come from the complications of securing a presidential residence in a Fifth Ave. skyscraper.

“We’re talking about establishing a security structure around a high-rise building in Midtown Manhattan. The impact affects millions of people,” said former Secret Service agent Jonathan Wackrow.

While the Obamas lived in a major city, theirs was a detached single family home with a gate on a residential street. They rarely spent the night there after moving into the White House.

Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were sitting governors when elected, living in governor’s mansions in Austin, Texas, and Little Rock, Ark., so city governments weren’t on the hook for security.

Trump dons boring suit at extravagant Long Island costume party
The tiny town of Crawford, Texas, where Bush spent so much time at his ranch that it was dubbed the Western White House, was also spared.

“We really didn’t have any trouble,” said City Secretary Danitta Whitty, adding local police did not have to patrol protests near the ranch, which were outside city limits.

But trouble arose in Kennebunkport, Maine, where George H.W. Bush had a summer home, also sometimes used by his son.

In his first year in office, the coastal town griped about the $1,500 a day it cost them when he was in town — not a small sum for a town of a few thousand people and a 17-member police force in 1989. Town manager Jane Duncan said it was eating up half the town’s contingency fund and local cops might stop assisting the Secret Service if they didn’t get federal money.

Bush weighed in at the time, saying the town should not be left footing the bill, but said paying them back required congressional action.

“There is no question that there is a security burden placed on this small community,” he said.

Later, the town police department was awarded a $27,000 homeland security grant, but by the time George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin met at the home in 2007, that money was gone and the police chief was again scrambling to pay for “budget breaker” overtime costs, according to the York County Coast Star.

Deputy Police Chief Kurt Moses told the Daily News the town got federal assistance for a while, but the money eventually dried up, leaving officials to pay “a lot out of our own pocket.”

Westchester County police departments also got $300,000 from Congress after Bill and Hillary Clinton bought a home there, but it was less than the $1 million they requested.

President Obama’s price tag was a total of $2.2 million between Election Day until April, and the Chicago was not reimbursed for the $650,000 in protections spent following his inauguration.

President Obama’s price tag was a total of $2.2 million between Election Day until April, and the Chicago was not reimbursed for the $650,000 in protections spent following his inauguration.

The NYPD has been in charge of external security at Trump Tower, with 50 officers on each daytime shift deployed around the building, and assisting Secret Service agents at security screening points for people wanting to approach the tower.

It is also staffing barriers on 56th St. to keep out cars, and keeping watch from rooftops. Heavily armed counterterror teams are also on site, along with bomb-sniffing dogs and radiation pagers. Two of the five traffic lanes on Fifth Ave. have been closed.

“(The President) usually has some kind of a compound,” said Terry Sullivan of the White House Transition Project. “Reagan had a ranch, LBJ had a ranch. Kennedy had beach houses … They provide an obvious external perimeter,” he said. “I don’t believe you can do that on Fifth Ave.”

This weekend alone the strength of Trump’s security was tested twice.

First on Friday, Secret Service agents spotted an unhinged woman who sneaked up to the 24th floor of Trump’s home and headquarters. Valarie Blazek, 31, was ranting to herself when she was grabbed around 9:30 p.m.

Blazek was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell for a psychiatric evaluation.

Then, security forces were on the move with Trump on Saturday night when he left his home to attend a swanky costume soiree on Long Island themed “Villains and Heroes.”

The Republican hero showed up without a costume at the ultraexclusive fiesta thrown by hedge fund manager Robert Mercer, though Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway dressed up as Supergirl. The staff and security on hand were outfitted as Hells Angels and retro Salvation Army members.

Trump spent about an hour at the shindig, and returned home in time to grouse about “Saturday Night Live” on Twitter.

While Trump will move into the White House in January, the burden of protecting the President’s family in New York won’t end then. His wife Melania and 10-year-old son Barron plan to continue living at Trump Tower until the boy finishes the school year.

Wackrow said federal and city officials would have to work out a new financial arrangement to cover the unique setup, rather than falling back on any established rules.

“You cannot have any kind of security structure at Trump Tower without the support of the NYPD,” he said. “There’s going to be a back and forth. It’s a negotiation.”

Cuba bans naming monuments after Fidel Castro
CBC News

Cuban President Raul Castro says his government will prohibit the naming of streets or public monuments after his brother Fidel in keeping with the former leader’s desire to avoid the development of a personality cult.

Castro told a crowd gathered to pay homage to his brother Fidel Castro in the eastern city of Santiago that the country’s National Assembly would pass in its next session a law prohibiting the naming of “institutions, streets, parks or other public sites, or erecting busts statutes or other forms of tribute.”

Thousands gathered for a rally in the city where Fidel Castro’s ashes arrived after a four-day trek across the island that traced — in reverse — the Santiago-Havana route the former Cuban president took after his rebel army ousted the military dictator Fulgencio Batista in January 1959.

Communist Party may still bear Castro influence
Cubans line up for hours to honour Fidel Castro
Castro, who died November 25 at 90, kept his name off public sites during his rule because he said he wanted to avoid the development of a cult of personality.

His ashes will be interned Sunday morning in a private ceremony at the Cemetery Santa Ifigenia, where Cuban national heroes Jose Marti and Carlos Manuel de Cespedes are laid to rest.

Nigeria and Morocco sign gas pipeline deal to link Africa to Europe

Nigeria and Morocco have signed a joint venture to construct a gas pipeline that will connect the two nations as well as some other African countries to Europe, Nigeria’s minister of foreign affairs said on Saturday.

The agreement was reached during a visit by the Morocco’s King Mohammed to the Nigerian capital Abuja, Geoffrey Onyema, the minister, said, adding that the pipeline project would be designed with the participation of all stakeholders.

“In this agreement both countries agreed to study and take concrete steps toward the promotion of a regional gas pipeline project that will connect Nigeria’s gas resources, those of several West African countries and Morocco,” Onyema told reporters in Abuja.

Onyema said the project aimed to create a competitive regional electricity market with the potential to be connected to the European energy markets.

No timeline was given for when the pipeline construction work will start and how much it will cost.

Nigeria is rich in hydrocarbons but produces little electricity, making its industries uncompetitive. Its economy now faces a recession caused by a plunge in crude prices.

Militants in its oil producing heartland of the Niger Delta have also blown up pipelines in a quest for a bigger share of Nigeria’s oil wealth, which has cut crude output this year.

“Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco also agreed to develop integrated industrial clusters in the sub-region in sectors such as manufacturing, Agro-business and fertilizers to attract foreign capital and improve export competitiveness” the foreign minister added.

Nigeria win women’s Africa Cup of Nations – Yahoo Sports

Nigeria scored late to deny Cameroon a home triumph and extend their dominance of the women’s Africa Cup of Nations football tournament with a 1-0 win in the final.

Desire Oparanozie’s 84th-minute goal in Yaounde gave defending champion Nigeria their 10th title in 12 tournaments.

Only Equatorial Guinea in 2008 and 2012 has managed to wrestle the African soccer crown away from the Nigerian women in the last 25 years.

Cameroon came into the final bristling with confidence after winning all its group games and knocking out Ghana in the semifinals, the only team to take points off Nigeria in their group.

Spurred on by 40,000 home fans, who began packing into the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium five hours before kickoff, Cameroon even had the better chances in the final only to end runner-up for the fourth time – all four to Nigeria.

Nigeria beat Cameroon 2-0 in the deciding game of the last tournament in 2014.

Nigeria plans over 7 trillion naira budget for 2017 – vice president

Nigeria is planning a budget of more than 7 trillion naira ($22.2b) next year, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said, to boost spending and help pull the economy out of its worst crisis in more than two decades.

“Our entire budget for 2016 is … just over 6 trillion naira. We will probably be moving to about 7 trillion naira in the 2017 budget,” Osinbajo said during visits to manufacturers on Thursday.

He said Nigeria’s economy of around 90 trillion naira ($285.3b) needed more spending to make an impact. The West African country planned a record 6.06 trillion naira budget for 2016, but it has struggled to fund it.

Nigeria is in its deepest recession in 25 years and needs to find money to make up for a shortfall in its budget this year. Its revenues from oil have plunged along as the price of crude fell and militants attacked its crude-producing heartland, the Niger Delta, cutting its output.

Ratings agency Moody’s forecast the Nigerian economy would expand 2.5 percent next year if it could produce 2.2 million barrels of oil per day – the level at which the government made its 2016 budget calculations.

On Wednesday, Budget Minister Udoma Udo Udoma said the cabinet had approved next year’s budget without providing details. The vice president told Reuters this week the president will present 2017 budget to parliament by mid-December.

Past atrocities of Boko Haram told:

In Nigeria, Boko Haram Recruits Students, Trains Them, and Sends Them Back to Their Schools to Kill Their Classmates and Teachers
Los Angeles Times

The killers came hunting their former teachers, gunning them down in their offices and in their classrooms.

At the top of Boko Haram’s kill list: head teachers, examiners, primary school staff and science and geography teachers, whose curriculum contradicted the group’s flat-Earth ideology.

The second lesson of the day was under way when terror came to Yagana Sanda’s school for primary and secondary students in Bama in northeastern Nigeria. Sanda ran for cover as screaming boys and girls scrambled to jump the school’s fence, some of them falling and breaking limbs.

Two of the gunmen chilled her: Tukur had once been her brightest student, a earnest boy who had never missed a school day. Gomna had disrupted any class he was in until he dropped out early.

The gunmen headed straight to the office of headmaster Yaya Buba Jam and shot him dead. They killed another teacher, Al Haji Modu, in his classroom.

In Boko Haram’s savage campaign to establish an Islamic caliphate in western Africa, education is a primary target. The war on learning has robbed children of years of schooling — a deficit some may never make up — and perpetuated illiteracy and poverty in one of the poorest and least educated corners of Nigeria.

Nigeria’s teachers union estimates that since 2009 Boko Haram has assassinated 611 teachers, burned down 910 schools and forced the closure of at least 1,500 others. More than 19,000 teachers and almost 1 million school-age children have fled the violence.

The attack on Sanda’s school occurred three years ago, and she recounted the horrors of that day from a displaced persons camp in Maiduguri, where she has resumed teaching.

That Gonma had joined Boko Haram didn’t surprise Sanda. The militants mainly recruit poorly educated children of illiterate parents to fight. But Tukur? He could have been someone.

“He was a perfect student,” Sanda said. “He was hard-working. He was silent, just concentrating on his work.”

But in 2012, Sanda said, Tukur butchered his father with a knife in their home for refusing to join Boko Haram.

Bama is no longer under Boko Haram’s control. The group once held vast portions of the country, but a counteroffensive by the government has driven the extremists out of some areas and put them on the defensive. Still, many parts of Nigeria are still threatened by extremist attacks, making it unsafe for schools to reopen or families to return to their towns.

“They were the ones who were looking for us to kill us or slaughter us,” said Fatima Liman, another teacher from Bama. “We were living together with them. They know us. They know our houses and some of them are students.”

Schoolteachers, who pressed reluctant parents to educate their girls, and kept on teaching despite death threats, are the unsung heroes in Nigeria’s war on Boko Haram.

UN under fire over response to Nigeria humanitarian crisis
Financial Times

European aid officials have lashed out at the UN’s handling of the humanitarian crisis in north-east Nigeria as a growing number of agencies warn of an impending famine there.

UN agencies are scaling up their operations in the region, the poorest in Nigeria, where Boko Haram militants have waged a relentless seven-year insurgency. On Monday they will begin a push to raise $1.2b towards relief — nearly twice what they sought this year. But officials from donor countries have become increasingly critical of the UN’s slow, chaotic and inadequate response.

“Given the severity of the situation, we continue to be concerned that some of the UN agencies have not been able to demonstrate the capacity to deliver at scale,” wrote James Wharton, parliamentary undersecretary of state at the UK’s international development department (DfID), and Monique Pariat, director-general of ECHO, the EU’s humanitarian arm, in a letter to the heads of UN aid agencies.

The scale of the suffering in north-east Nigeria, particularly the number of children at risk of dying from hunger, makes it among the world’s most severe emergencies. Yet amid a series of global crises, attention and funding has gone elsewhere, including South Sudan and to the effort to tackle the refugee crisis sparked by Syria’s civil war.

Save the Children, the UK-based relief agency, warned on Friday that more than 75,000 Nigerian children could die of famine and disease in the region in the coming year, figures backed up by the UN children’s fund. The charity is comparing the situation to that in Somalia six years ago, when about 250,000 people died in a famine, about half of them children.

The UN says that in the four nations affected by the Boko Haram insurgency — Nigeria and neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger — a total of 11m people are urgently in need of aid.

“There has been a serious failure to help the people of Borno state in Nigeria”, said Andre Heller-Perache of the aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières. “Donors, non-governmental organisations and UN agencies, particularly the World Food Programme, have to focus on food security to avoid an even greater humanitarian disaster.”

The DfID and ECHO letter expresses concern about high staff turnover in UN leadership positions, the absence of clear plans to replace senior officials and the deployment of personnel without relevant experience.

Even in areas where access for the UN and aid groups is not constrained by security concerns, the letter reads, “scaled-up delivery has been inadequate and emergency conditions prevail”.

Sory Ouane, country director for the World Food Programme, officially took up his post in Abuja just a month ago and said the agency, which began working in the country in March, is now ramping up its presence and resources. The UN will soon have access to a third helicopter so staff can visit areas of Borno not accessible by road due to insecurity, he said.

A senior western donor official said: “It took the UN two years to understand the magnitude of this crisis and now finally they have a large team in the country, but they still haven’t started distribution of food on a large scale.”

Now I have this interesting one from Financial Times, and it is about raising genius kids – How to create a child genius

Exceptional achievers have been born mostly out of nurture by parents who have unfulfilled ambitions

What are the root causes of exceptional achievement?

When it comes to specific skills, such as playing the piano or golf, the answer often given is 10,000 hours of practice. But that begs the question of why some are motivated more than others.

One answer is childhood adversity. According to Parental Loss and Achievement by Samuel N Eisenstadt, Pierre DeSenardens and Marvin Eisenstadt, evidence suggests the loss of a parent before the age of 15 is a driver for many.

But before you reach for the cyanide so that little Johnnie or Clementine can excel, remember that the vast majority of the early bereaved are put at greater risk of depression, antisocial behaviour and underperformance.

So how to become a Jean-Paul Sartre or Gandhi? Strong clues as to the attributes required are provided in a recent report titled Winning Attitudes by Amanda Potter of Zircon Management Consultants. Half the 42 exceptional achievers her team interviewed had suffered a severe misfortune. This had spurred them to show others that they could succeed, redoubling their efforts in the face of the inevitable failures along the way.

Genes are the obvious candidates to explain why this happens, except that none have yet been found that give a reason for our individual psychology.

The Human Genome Project has drawn a blank in finding specific genetic variants that significantly explain any differences in our psychology. As this contradicts study findings of identical twins, the scientific literature dubs the results: “The Missing Heritability”. But it is increasingly looking to be more a case of nonexistent, than missing.

That leaves nurture and there can be no question that this plays a major part. In the great majority of cases, one or both parents have taken a strong interest in the top achiever from a young age. In the case of prodigies, virtually all known examples were hothoused and their role in the family script seems critical.

Most common is the favoured child who has sought the love of one or both parents through performance, frequently fulfilling the parent’s unfulfilled ambition. That seems to be why it was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and not his talented older sister, who became the great composer.

In the case of Tiger Woods, an only son, his father Earl could have been an American football star. Before their son’s birth, he and his wife Kultilda decided to create a world-class champion, according to biographies of the golfer, using a mix of hard-won approval for successes and harsh hostility for failures. In 1997, age 21, Woods became the youngest winner of the US Masters.

But not all hothousing is necessarily harmful. In the 1960s, Laszlo Polgar was a Hungarian educational psychologist who courted Klara, his future wife, with the idea that they could create chess geniuses out of their offspring. Of their three daughters, the eldest became the first female grandmaster, their second-born achieved the fifth best single performance in chess history and the third was also a grandmaster.

The difference was that the Polgars were careful to treat chess in the early years as a playful activity. Where Woods’ parents pushed for perfection, the Polgars encouraged enjoyment.

Behind every exceptional achiever I have studied there is either severe childhood adversity or hothousing, or, in a few cases such as the Polgars, a mutual enjoyment of a favourite activity, or a mixture of these.

The takeaway for parents is to stop being so obsessed with outcomes and embrace the playfulness of your children.

Oliver James is a chartered psychologist and psychotherapist and author of ‘Affluenza: How to be Successful and Stay Sane’

CBN: Sanusi spoke from point of ignorance – Presidency

Presidency has said that Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi was not in possession of any fact about the Central Consolidated Account domiciled in Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and so, could not have spoken with precision on the over drawing made by government from the account. It also said that $30 billion loan which the government was seeking senate approval for was for the building of massive social infrastructure. It will be recalled had at a function in Abuja on Friday asked the federal government drop the loan idea, saying it would plunge Nigeria into unprecedented indebtedness.

Sanusi in his submission however advised President Muhammadu Buhari to invest more in economy and the private sector. But responding through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the presidency admitted that the federal government had made withdrawals from the account but not the volume of 4.5 trillion Naira as Sanusi alleged. “With every respect to the Emir, you know he is my ruler,because I come from Kano. “He doesn’t have his facts as far as those issues are concerned. The issue in CBN, that government has overdrawn its Central Consolidated Account is true, but the overdrawing is within limits. “The overdraw does not exceed 1.5 trillion. It is incorrect to say, as he did that the account was overdrawn by 4.5 trillion. “But even assuming that he was correct, this is a government that has money in excess the amount he mentioned in the Treasury Single Account, TSA. It is just like you, a bank customer operating two accounts, one in the red and the other, well funded to the point that it can at any time wipe the indebtedness on the other. Would any bank manager lose their sleep over this? “This, I am told is what the IMF found at the CBN and they said it is perfectly normal. “As for his opposition to the $30b loan, I am aware that the Minister of Finance is responding to that. “As a private citizen, I want to read his statement again. I thought that the borrowing is for projects that include the railway and electricity development in the country”, Shehu said.

NFVCB moves against online showing of pornography, piracy

The fight against piracy in Nigeria took a new twist during the week as the National Film and Video Censor Board, NFVCB, raided some major film markets in Lagos. They include Idumota, Balogun, and some parts of the South- West part of the country such as Osun, Ogun, among other states in a bid to arrest and prosecute culprits. Head of Monitoring and Enforcement of NFVCB, Mr Joseph Ejike, said that the exercise was part of the ongoing exercise by the board to prevent uncensored films from being sold in the open market. “It is part of the ongoing assignment of the board to raid the markets of illegal and uncensored films. This has been going on for weeks now and we have visited places like Osun state, Oyo, Ibadan and we have stormed some markets in Lagos including Oshodi, Balogun, Idumota among others. We have even closed down some shops. We made some arrests and we are charging them to court very soon.” “We started from the North-East. Most of the claims by the traders are empty. The activities of the online people have also been brought to our notice and we are working with NCC to know how to deal with that. We have also introduced, National Enhance Exhibition Distribution System, NEEDS, to fight against the online piracy and uncensored films. Pornography movie is a serious offence and anybody caught will be arrested and charged to court,” he said. Meanwhile, one of the traders at the popular Idumota market, Okey Emma, said that they are not aware of any law guiding the sales of movies. “I am not aware of any law against selling of films and pornographic movies. We buy the films from Alaba and I have been into this business for the past four years now. We have a union called Music Advertising of Nigeria,MAN, that is the only one I know and that’s where we all belong. We have zone by zone and I belong to Idumota branch of the organization. We have been selling our films here and I do not know it is an offence. Nobody have educated us about the copyright law. We also sell music CDs. If they had enlightened us about the law and licensing, then we would have all adhered to it strictly,”he stated.

Nigerian students slash the throat of local in India

Three Nigerian students slashed the throat of a 24-year-old truck driver Sunil at Vaddeswaram in Guntur district on Sunday afternoon after an argument at a wine shop cum bar in the village.

The assailants have been identified as the students pursuing an engineering course at KL University.

According to sources, the victim, who is critically injured, is under treatment at NRI Hospital in Mangalagiri while the accused are now under the custody of the Mangalagiri rural police.

The trouble started when the three students, who were in a state of intoxication, began arguing with Sunil on a trivial issue at the bar and when tempers ran high, they beat him up. Sunil who ran out of the shop warned them again which angered them further. One of them whipped out a knife and slit his throat and then all the three ran back to their hostel in the college campus.

The people in the village went to the rescue of the victim and admitted to the hospital. The mob then tried to attack the Nigerian students but the police who reached the university in time, prevented the attack.

SHOCKING: How Nigeria’s secret police, SSS, “tortured” man to death; then paid family 15 million Naira to keep mum

After “torturing” a man to death, Nigeria’s secret police, SSS, exploited the influence of the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, to pay a paltry N15 million compensation to the victim’s family, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
At about 2.30 a.m. on April 4, SSS operatives on the trail of a suspect accused of cloning the phone number of the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, stormed No 37, Aje Street, Pleasure, in the Iyana Ipaja area of Lagos in commando style.
Residents of the address said the operatives scaled the fence of the compound, screaming and threatening as they knocked down doors and shattered ceilings. They rough-handled residents, who thought they were armed robbers as they did not introduce themselves, dragged them from their beds, ordered them out of their apartments and forced them to sit on the dusty ground of the compound.
About an hour later, when they were done harassing the residents, Saheed Eyitayo, 34, a friend to the suspect the operatives were looking for, laid in the dust motionless – beaten to a pulp by the operatives.
One resident, who described the entire experience as “nightmarish,” told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Eyitayo was so battered that he couldn’t stand unaided – three operatives had to drag his him into one of the vans the armed men brought with them.
Unfortunately, that was the last time he would be seen alive in public.
The operatives were led to the residence by Adejoke Ogunbona, the wife of the wanted man, Rilwanu Jamiu. While on the run for the alleged crime, Mr. Jamiu, who is now facing trial alongside another suspect, had spent few days at Mr. Eyitayo’s apartment before moving on to another place in the Oke Aro area of Lagos, where he was eventually arrested.
It is not clear if Mr. Eyitayo knew his friend was a fugitive when he allowed him to stay at his apartment.

Mr. Jamiu’s wife had visited her husband while he was hiding at Mr. Eyitayo’s apartment. Though she later confessed that even though she knew her husband was no longer at Mr. Eyitayo’s apartment, she took the SSS operatives there.
Suspicious death
Three days after the raid, the SSS invited Mr. Eyitayo’s landlord, Mathew Sobiye, to the Lagos office in Shangisha and told him, for the first time, that they had carried out the raid on his compound and that Mr. Eyitayo was dead.
They warned him not to disclose this to anyone, the Septuagenarian said.
The SSS claimed Mr. Eyitayo was resisting arrest on the night of the raid and tried to jump from the moving van as he was being conveyed to their office. They said he died from injuries sustained in the process.
But Mr. Eyitayo’s family would have none of that. They claimed that from account of fellow tenants at his Pleasure residence, he was already unconscious when he was handcuffed and carried into the waiting van.
They wondered how an unconscious man in chains could overpower several SSS operatives and jump to his death. They said if the SSS had nothing to hide, it shouldn’t have waited for 19 days before formally informing them of Mr. Eyitayo’s death.
Michael Lasisi, one of Mr. Eyitayo’s relatives, told PREMIUM TIMES that the SSS waited that long because they were trying to perfect a fabricated story to hide the fact that they tortured Mr. Eyitayo to death.
“We had gone to the SSS office several times, and they told us ‘come back you cannot see him.’ Until finally on the 23rd (of April), 19 days after he was killed, they now told one of my brothers Oyetunji that he had died. Meanwhile they had told the landlord not to tell anybody that he had died.
“They did that so as the days elapsed they would be able to manufacture lies to cover up the official criminality. They could not tell us what he has done. They said his friend was part of those who cloned the governor’s number. They traced the friend to his house but they did not see him.
At a meeting between Mr. Eyitayo’s family and the SSS on May 3 at their Shangisha office, angered by an SSS attempt to implicate Mr. Eyitayo in the number cloning scam, Mr. Lasisi and other family members walked out on the officials of the secret service threatening to drag the agency to court.
Not wanting the story of the alleged extrajudicial killing by its operatives out in the open, the SSS approached Mr. Akiolu, the paramount traditional monarch in Lagos, to appeal to the family of the dead man, after its original attempt to use officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice failed to assuage Mr. Eyitayo’s family.
Some members of the family said they first suspected that something was fishy when those who had resisted the antics of the Lagos State officials were exempted from the delegation to meet with Mr. Akiolu.
“I think the SSS had told the Oba that some members of the family who gave them a hard time during the initial discussion shouldn’t be allowed to be part of the negotiation. The excuse they gave was that the Oba did not want a crowd in his palace,” a family member, who sought anonymity for security reasons, said.
Several family sources present described the negotiation at the monarch’s palace as a show of shame. They said the moment the SSS offered to pay N15 million, some of the most outspoken members of the delegation suddenly became quiet.
They said Mr. Akiolu doused the flickering flame of resistance from the family members when he appealed to them to accept what the SSS was offering in order to bring a closure to the matter and stop acting like they were there to sell the body of their dead kin.
“The family lawyer put up a spirited effort to make the DSS [as the SSS is also called] pay more compensation, but members of Saheed’s family would have none of that,” an attendee at the meeting said.
“In fact, one of them was stepping on his (lawyer’s) feet and telling him not to be too hard of the DSS and to accept whatever the DSS was offering so that the matter can be settled. The lawyer was almost in tears,” another family source said.
“At a point, they even threatened to fire the lawyer if he would not agree with the decision of the family.”
“One of them said that they should accept the offer of the DSS because the body of Saheed was suffering and they needed to bury him urgently to stop the suffering,” the source said.
Another source, however, added that Mr Akiolu insisted that N10 million be given entirely to the parents of the deceased. He also insisted that the SSS must pay the lawyer’s professional fees.
According to our sources, the five million that was remaining from the compensation paid was shared among members of the deceased’s family involved in the negotiation.
Meanwhile, even as they agreed to accept the compensation, none of the victim’s family members had seen his corpse as the SSS did not disclose where it kept the body.

Lagos poor left homeless by ruthless modernisation bid – AFP, JamaicaObserver.com

Efforts by Lagos authorities to turn Nigeria’s chaotic commercial capital into a modern megacity have run into controversy after the demolition of an impoverished waterfront neighbourhood left 30,000 people homeless.

With swanky private estates and a glittering new city under construction on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean, housing for some of the 20 million people living in notoriously dysfunctional Lagos appears to be getting better.

But as the city undergoes a dramatic metamorphosis, many are experiencing the brutal reality of rapid urbanisation.

The latest casualty was Otodo Gbame, a poor fishing community close to the upmarket south-eastern district of Lekki, which was completely razed in early November as part of a growing drive to remove shanty towns.

Between November 9 and 11, the district was set alight then bulldozed, reducing tens of thousands of homes to piles of smouldering wood and corrugated iron.

At least three people died when armed police moved in with bulldozers, setting fire to the area and chasing some residents into the nearby lagoon, locals said. They say they were given no warning.

Now homeless and with nowhere else to go, residents huddle together miserably under makeshift structures built out of rubble.

Mostly from the ethnic Egun tribe, they trace their roots to Benin, but say they have been living in Lagos for over a century. But like the vast majority of the city’s poor, they do not have title deeds to prove it.


They accuse the state authorities of conspiring with a prominent Lagos family to seize the land and sell it to the highest bidder.

“They are not happy that we the poor are living close to them.

“Each time they look through the windows of their mansions and see us their anger rises,” Toshun Pascal, a pastor in the community, told AFP. “We are going to fight this injustice with the last drop of our blood.”

Otodo Gbame used to lie between upscale neighbourhood Lekki Phase One and Elegushi housing estate, an exclusive area where residents drive Mercedes cars and Range Rovers.

Pascal said more than 20 residents, including the community leader, had been detained for weeks “for instigating the violence”. But Lagos authorities dismissed accusations they ordered the demolitions, claiming a fight between the Egun and their Yoruba neighbours caused the fire which burnt down the community.

They said police only arrived on the scene to restore order and ensure that “the arson did not spread”.


Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had in October hinted at a plan to demolish waterfront shanties in a move to rid the city of criminals who hide there. But Amnesty International warned that such a move would risk leaving tens of thousands of people homeless.

And after the fires, the London-based watchdog said the community was “deliberately set alight”, demanding an independent inquiry into the “forced evictions”.

“Lagos State Government is trying to evade its responsibilities to Otodo Gbame residents by denying involvement in the state’s biggest forced evictions in recent times,” Amnesty said, insisting that those responsible be prosecuted.

Lagos has a history of demolishing entire neighbourhoods. In 1990, the authorities demolished Maroko, a shanty town in the well-heeled suburb of Victoria Island, forcing some 300,000 out of their homes. On the site where it once stood, there now stands a popular South African shopping mall with international chains that caters to the city’s elite.


Noah Shemede, director of a floating school in Makoko, another waterfront neighbourhood in Lagos, said residents are living in fear.

“We don’t know when the caterpillars will roll in,” Shemede told

AFP. “It’s Otodo Gbame today; it can be Makoko tomorrow.”

Government plans to build 1,000 new flats would not help those left homeless, Shemede said.

“Where will a poor fisherman get 3.5 million naira (US$11,000 dollars) to buy a flat?” he questioned, indicating that a fisherman’s monthly wage is around 15,000 naira a month — the equivalent of US$47.

Building experts say hundreds of thousands of people are in need of shelter in the city and are urging the Government to provide affordable housing for the poor.

“A housing scheme is meant to be a social contract between the Government and the people,” said Adeniyi Adams, managing director of KnightStone Properties, a Lagos-based firm of estate developers.

He said the Nigerian Government should provide funding for private developers to invest in lower-income housing so it isn’t just the rich who prosper in the city.

“It’s only then we can say Lagos is truly a megacity,“ local conservationist Michael Kobah said.

Other world-class cities look out for all their citizens, he said.

”Lagos can’t be an exception.”

Bola Kuforiji is dead
The Breaking Times

A former minister of Commerce and Industry, Dr Bola Kuforiji-Olubi, 80, is reportedly dead.

She was said to have died, Saturday morning in Lagos.

An online platform, The Elites reported that she died at 11:30 a.m.

The banker, recently visited President Muhammadu Buhari to thank him for his contribution to her success. She said that it was Buhari as a military Head of State that appointed her the first female Chairman of United Bank for Africa.

She said, “Having turned 80, I looked at my life and made a list of those who contributed to what I have become in my life and the name of President Muhammadu Buhari came topmost on the list.

“This is why I am here to pay my respect and thank him,” she said.

Dr Olubi was born September 28, 1936. The former ICAN president graduated from the University of London in 1963. She was appointed the first female chairman of the United Bank for Africa, UBA in 1984.


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