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Martyred - A 14 year old dies for Christ

Ahiara Celebrates Uchechi’s Martyrdom At Months Mind

Migeria's Goodluck To Be or Not to Be

Save Yar'adua From Impeachment - AC tells FEC

Allow Yar'Adua To Address The Nation. - Akunyili strikes At 'Cabal'

106 Perish In Uganda Landslide

Somali Militants ‘Block UN Food Aid'



A 14 year old dies for Christ

young girl in a dressVivian Uchechi Ogu, a fourteen year old girl from Umueme Umuelem Enyiogugu, Aboh Mbaise Imo state Nigeria, was murdered by men of the underworld on the night of Sunday, November 15, 2009 in Benin City, Edo State South-South Nigeria. The death of Vivian came shortly after some armed men, came and surrounded their house in Benin City at about 7.30 pm that day. These bandits numbering about three, in less than 40 minutes laid siege and burgled the whole of Mr. Peter Ogu's family house, collecting all valuables and cash at hand. After inflicting wounds and injuries with sharp objects, they decided never to set their innocent victims free unless they left with the two grown up girls of the family, namely, Grace 16 and Vivian 14.

In order to have their way, these evil men drew out their gun and shortly led the two girls away, making their way into a nearby bush. All their struggles to be set free came to nothing, and finally they went further into the thick bush, seeking for a conducive moment and place to carry out their evil plan. According to Grace, the elder of the two, as soon as she sensed a momentary loss of concentration by the one holding her, she escaped and hid herself. “They searched for me and could not get me. One of them shot at that very direction targeting me, but I was not hurt because I was lying on the ground”, she narrated. As she was still lying down in fear, all she could hear was the voice of Vivian shouting and screaming: “I cannot do it, leave me alone. I will never do it”. At that very moment came the sound of another gun shot, this time targeted at that innocent child, Vivian.

When Grace could no longer hear any noise, she courageously stood up and started searching for her little sister Vivian, whom she suspected must have been dealt with by the ruthless gang. Grace searched around and finally met her sister Vivian weak and helpless. They had shot her sister. “They shot me in my stomach”, Vivian told her sister Grace. She immediately demanded that her parents should come and carry her home for she was weak to get up. But before Grace and the parents could get back to Vivian, she was already dead. Vivian Oguh was a strong member of the Holy childhood Association (H.C.A.), a Legionary, a member of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement, and the Choir mistress of the Junior Choir at St. Paul's Catholic Church, Airport Road Benin City.

Though only fourteen years of age, this young martyr for the sake of Christ had spent her short life on earth serving God and humanity, especially the downtrodden. According to her father, Mr. Peter Ogu, visitation to orphanage homes and the prisons was a regular part of Vivian's life “She was very kind-hearted and a generous young girl” Vivian was so outstanding in the faith that at such an early age, she had become an Animator of the Holy Childhood Association (H.C.A.). Among her peers, especially the students of Greater Tomorrow Secondary School, Benin, she was fondly called the “Counselor” because of her willingness to help those who suffer from morality crises. As the assistant Prayer leader in her school, she was looked upon by many of her mates in that regard.

As a true Catholic, Vivian was very much at home with the lives of the Saints, and her firm belief in living out a virtuous life was readily strengthened by such. Indeed, Vivian on the evening of that fateful day gave a teaching on the lives and times of St. Maria Goretti to a group of girls from St. Paul's Catholic Church Benin City, admonishing them to be bold and courageous to protect their virginity and live pure lives in the face of the menace of armed robbers who go about terrorizing people and raping girls. This young martyr has not only taught her fellow girls how to be steadfast in the faith, but has also shown them with her own life what it means to bear witness to Christ. Indeed, “these are the Saints who have conquered by the Blood of the Lamb and by the Truth which they Proclaim, for they were willing to give up their lives for the sake of Christ” Rev. 12:11”.

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Ahiara Celebrates Uchechi’s Martyrdom At Months Mind

Vivian Uchechi OguThe Bishop, the Clergy, the faithful and numerous friends and well wishers trooped out in mass to celebrate the one month in mind of the late Vivian Uchechi Ogu. The occasion began with a concelebrated Holy mass presided by the Chief Shepherd of Ahiara Most Rev. Dr. V.A. Chikwe at St. Michael's Catholic Parish Enyiogugu Aboh Mbaise L.G.A. Imo State on Tuesday December 15th 2009. In a pre-homily briefing, the Parish Priest of St. Michael's Parish Enyiogugu Very Rev. Msgr. Ben. Chima welcomed all present and called on the father of the late Vivian Mr. Peter Ogu, and Vivian's younger sister Grace Ogu to narrate how they saw the whole incident.

Preaching a well distilled homily with the theme: A NEW PENTECOST, UCHECHI VIVIAN OGU: VIRGIN AND MARTYR SPEAKS TO US, the Vicar general of Ahiara diocese, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Theo Nwalo stated clearly that Vivian's Martyrdom has gathered everybody to witness to a new Pentecost. The Vicar was firm in proclaiming it a new Pentecost since the life and death of a 14 year old girl, an S.S II student is enough to gather the large crowd. Msgr. Nwalo insisted that by Vivian's exemplary Christian life and heroic death, the unstoppablity of Our Lord Jesus massage of salvation is once again re-emphasized.

Indeed, Vivian “showed herself to be one of those wise virgins with her lighted lamps who went forth to welcome the bridegroom (cf (Mt. 25,8-10) the clergy man, challenged all present, the youths, parents, lecturers/leaders and priest and religious to raise to challenges of Vivian's heroic martyr for the sake of Christ. Speaking at the end of the mass, the Chief Shepherd of Ahiara diocese, Most Rev. Dr. V.A. Chikwe called on Christians to always rise in defense of the faith we believe in at all times. He praised the courage and faith of the late Vivian that made her witness to Christ.

At the end of the holy mass there was a prayerful procession from the church to the holy site at Umuelem where her Saintly remains were laid to rest. The Bishop blessed the grave and the site, and later gave out his Episcopal blessing to the parents of Vivian Mr. and Mrs. Peter Ogu and Vivian's family. It is to be recalled that Uchechi Vivian Ogu lost her life on the 15th of Nov. 2009 in Benin City because she refused to being rapped by armed robbers who were bent on having a carnal knowledge of her.

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Dr Goodluck“Resume or relinquish power!” seems to be the cry on the lips of every keen and justifiably irate observer of the Nigerian political things fall apart. Our President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces left the shores of Nigeria late last year and has been said to be receiving treatment for acute pericarditis at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Since then, the exact situation of his health status has been shrouded in utmost secrecy, right from his departure, through his three-month stay till his eventual return still in an ambulance and on life support, his health no better than when he left the country.

Amidst the constitutional dilemma rising on the heels of the acute health condition which has rendered our indefatigable president incapacitated and subjected the entire citizenry almost to a state of chaos and anarchy, culminating in the controversial declaration of erstwhile Vice President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, as Acting President by the House on Feb. 9, 2010, to fill the lacuna reigning hitherto due to the President's unavoidable absence, a redress of the nation's law book as well as impeachment considerations is on ground. This has also roused some partisan, sectarian and other selfish moves in the higher echelons of power to oust every other altruistic interest for the sole purpose of being in control. The news of the president's return to Nigeria in the wee hours of Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010, albeit a top secret operation, coming in the wake of the six-man delegate to Saudi Arabia with regard to our President's ill health and prolonged hospitalization there since the 23rd of Nov., 2009, has been met with an uproar that can be compared to that of the June 12, 1993 annulment of M. K. O. Abiola's presidential election. That was a sheer rape of democracy which is not far from what we are made to endure today. As anxiety heightens, the debate boils hotter. Swords are being drawn; all weapons are being launched in the conflicts of interests of both groups and individuals. Some are wielding the constitution as a weapon, some political affiliation, others geographical zone, or simply anything favorable, even if short-lived.

Consequently, the constitution has been interpreted, misinterpreted and reinterpreted all over again. The million-dollar question remains: are we guided by the letters of the law or the spirit of the law? Do we substantiate Jonathan's present office or do we maintain the status quo, Jonathan being the Acting President while Yar'Adua recuperates, or do we hoist Yar'Adua back onto the pole of leadership notwithstanding his precarious condition? But when and how will Yar'Adua resume work? Will he start with a note of appreciation to Saudi Arabia or will he start with a note of apology to Nigeria, or maybe a note of gratitude to Nigerians for their prayers so far and for not complaining about his gargantuan medical expenses despite the adverse economic climate? Will he transmit to the House in writing that he's now fit, so A.P can relinquish his seat, whereas he never wrote them that he wasn't fit? Will he make a public declaration of his fitness? So many questions on the lips of concerned Nigerians but no assuage. Many prominent people and leaders in the past have at some point in time had recourse to the appropriate professional medical services. Pope John Paul II, Fidel Castro, Babangida and lately, Bill Clinton, as well as Barrack Obama who just had his first medical check up as President, is few examples of public servants in this regard, the only difference being that theirs were made public and remained transparent until it was over.
However, events unfolding in the past few weeks seem to suggest that a cabal is utilizing every available machinery to make sure Yar'Adua remains in power, dead or alive, fit or unfit. Till now, we (including the Acting President and other federal executive members) have seen neither our president nor his corpse. But OBJ is not likely to be a part of this cabal, on the basis that Yar'Adua on a stretcher would be virtually useless to him, and like the schemer that he is, it is time he moved on to a more promising candidate. Of course, you don't need to be told that both the man who gave you slow poison and stands aside to feed you another lethal dose whether you ingested the first or not, and the one who is sweating profusely to forcefully stick it down your throat whether you like it or not, are to be resisted even with you last breath. If for nothing else, then for the simple fact that they have at least one thing in common, i.e., they don't have your good in mind.

The prophets and fortune tellers seem to be nursing the still sore wounds their hungry prophesies cost them by goofing about the outcome of the Anambra guber race, if not, they would not have hesitated to catch in on the melodrama and tell us what act 2 scene 1 would be, even though we know they'd also be quick to further scripturise their fake tongue in the event of any failed prophecy, that He changed His mind just like in Niniveh's case. Whatever be the case, the suspense is engulfing. It brings back some memories of 24, the popular screen Fox TV series, a fast-paced action thriller in which the safety of the country is at stake and every second counts, with it's shadowy figures in government acting for their own unpatriotic interests, struggling tooth and nail, fair and foul, dead or alive, to cling on to power for life. Or do we need a Jack Bauer here to uncover and thwart their plans and bring them to book, doing what is necessary?
Or do we need a Jerry Rawlins as in the Ghanaian situation?
Or a re-re-brander?

It is on this note that I passionately reiterate the clarion call of Prof. Mrs. Dora Akunyili, Wole Soyinka and other patriots for us to rise en masse against this ungodly minority, no matter how highly placed in the society they are, and whatever their motives and expectations are. Those responsible for this political impasse have to be fished out and flushed out. The affairs of over 150 million Nigerians cannot be rubbished by an exploitive few. Posterity will frown at us if all we do is fold our arms disinterestedly and allow these politicos continue to bamboozle us. We have to salvage our beleaguered polity. We should restore normalcy, decency and sanity in the polity. We must uphold our national pride and dignity. If only 1% of the citizens and well-wishers of this our great nation would come out and say YES!, then YES! shall it be, because vox populi, vox Dei.

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Save Yar'adua From Impeachment -AC tells FEC

President UmaruThe Action Congress (AC) has called on the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to save ailing President, Umaru Musa Yar'Adua from impeachment. According to the party, the Council should do this by invoking Section 144 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to finally put an end to the country's lingering leadership problem. In a communiqué issued in Benin, Edo State recently, after its National Executive Committee meeting, the party's National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the Constitution did not envision an indefinite acting presidency. It also maintained that the present arrangement has its setbacks and hitches, especially for national development, in that the Acting President is terribly hamstrung in taking bold decisions needed to move the nation forward.

"The mere fact that the President is right there in Aso Rock, whether he is fully conscious or not, is like a sword of Damocles hanging over the Acting President. Executive power is simultaneously vested in the President and the Acting President, and this is a recipe for confusion. The Acting President can neither dissolve the cabinet nor appoint new members into it. He cannot take bold actions, like dealing decisively with the Electoral Reform", the party said.

The party is of the belief that if by any chance, Goodluck Jonathan takes ill or becomes unable to perform the duties of his office as Acting President, the nation will be plunged into another round of constitutional crisis, with dire consequences. "Simply put, the Acting Presidency as we have it now is like a car moving on three treys, instead of four, and without an extra tyre….since there is no Vice President. The Acting President is at the mercy of the ailing President and his kitchen cabinet,'' the party said.
Against this backdrop, it called on the Governors' Forum, whom it believes, seems to have become a major player in the ensuing power show in Abuja, to use its weight to put pressure on the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to expedite action in the interest of the nation.

"It is obvious that President Yar'Adua is not in a position to decide whether or not to resign on the basis of his health. Therefore, in order to save the President from a possible impeachment, which we believe is not the best option; the FEC should give him a soft landing by invoking Section. 144.
"Once that is done, the Governors' Forum should also use their collective power to get the National Assembly to act fast on the FEC declaration, thus paving the way for Jonathan to become a substantive President so he can in turn act without constraints to move the nation forward,'' AC said.

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Allow Yar'Adua To Address The Nation. - Akunyili strikes At 'Cabal'

Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili has hit at the 'cabal' around President Umaru Yar'Adua to allow him address the nation. In an interview with the African Independent Television, AIT, the minister said that those hiding the President could not be justified since his health was a national issue and should be made public. Akunyili stressed that neither the Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan nor herself had spoken with the President since his clandestine return to Nigeria last week, Wednesday, February 24.

In her direct words: "Neither me nor the Acting President has seen or spoken to the President since he was said to have returned on Wednesday last week. Those who are insisting on preventing the President from speaking to Nigerians should better have a rethink and change of heart, for this, his health is national issue and should be made public, he should be allowed to speak to Nigerians. We deserve to know about his health condition."

Going further, the minister applauded the Nigerian military for the manner they conducted themselves during this time of leadership instability despite pressing calls from some quarters that they take undue advantage of the situation. According to her, the military has shown high sense of professionalism, patriotism and dedication to defend and develop the nation and must be commended. She also called on Nigerians to support the Acting President and pray for the quick recovery of the President while assuring all that all is well with the nation.

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106 Perish In Uganda Landslide

At least 106 bodies had been recovered Tuesday after massive landslides wiped out several villages around Mount Elgon on the Uganda-Kenya border, an army spokesman and local aid officials said.
The army has joined the search for an estimated 245 people who are still missing and feared dead in eastern Uganda's Bududa district after Monday night's landslides, which were brought on by unusually heavy rain in the third week of the annual rainy season, according to State Minister for Disaster Preparedness Musa Ecweru. Dozens of bodies were recovered from a hospital and church where people had run to seek shelter, officials said. The hospital and church were buried when torrents of mud swept down on them.

The final death toll is expected to be much higher, Ecweru said, after crews are able to navigate the vast region affected by the disaster and find more victims. And more rain is forecast for the area. In the meantime, the bodies recovered will be buried in mass graves beginning Wednesday, he said.

Spokeswoman Catherine Ntabadde of the Ugandan Red Cross Society said Tuesday that only two elderly women survived the disaster in one area. "The villages of Nametsi, Namakansa and Kubewo in Nametsi parish have been wiped out" and six people died in the village of Bamuyaka in neighboring Bubita Sub County, Ntabadde added.
The URCS was providing water purification tablets to survivors to avoid outbreaks of waterborne diseases. Distribution of "nonfood items like tarpaulins, blankets, jerry cans, soap, saucepans, cups and plates is to commence late today to the now-homeless survivors," she said.

There are other reports of landslides hitting several communities in the neighboring districts of Sironko and Bukwa -also located on the slopes and at the foot of Mount Elgon, where at least 1,000 people have been affected and their homes destroyed, but the extent of the damage there is not yet known, Ntabadde said.
Flooding has destroyed several roads and many bridges have been washed away in at least seven districts less than 31 miles (50 kilometers) from the mountain. They include the Butaleja, Budaka, Palisa, Tororo, Mbale and Manafwa districts.

In Butaleja, more than 6,000 households in four subcounties were affected by the flooding, and the area's only two primary schools were washed away, Ntabadde said.

Mount Elgon, the second-highest mountain in Uganda, is an extinct volcano and has five distinct peaks ranging from 13,000 to 14,000 feet high, according to a Ugandan tourist Web site. It is located about 217 miles (350 kilometers) east of the capital, Kampala.

The landslides came when rivers on the mountain overflowed with heavy rains, but deforestation, farming and other human activity on its slopes also contributed to the problem.

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Somali Militants ‘Block UN Food Aid'

'Islamist militants in Somalia are stopping convoys of food reaching more than 360,000 displaced people, the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) says. The agency says trucks travelling from the capital Mogadishu to camps in Afgoye have been stopped by armed men. Insurgent group al-Shabaab says the WFP is ruining local farming by forcing Somalis to rely on imports.

But the UN says that without help, Somali farmers cannot supply enough food for those in need. The camps in Afgoye, just west of the capital, have the largest concentration of refugees in the whole of Somalia. In January the WFP pulled out of large parts of southern Somalia because of threats from rebel groups.

Al-Shabaab has said any Somalis who co-operate with the WFP would be treated as contributing to the destruction of the Somali economy. The militants say agricultural productivity has increased in areas they control, but there is no way to independently verify this claim. They accuse the WFP of distributing expired food which is a public health hazard and say the agency's work is cover for a political agenda. The agency's Peter Smerdon told the BBC: "The WFP is extremely concerned about the health of the displaced families who rely on humanitarian assistance reaching them. "The people in Afgoye last received a general food distribution from WFP in November 2009, so we fear that they are going very hungry.

"We fear they are suffering even more because food assistance cannot reach them, and some of them may be forced to leave Afgoye as conditions in the camp deteriorate." Somalia has been in turmoil since 1991 when its central government collapsed. The transitional government, helped by an African Union peacekeeping force, runs only parts of Mogadishu and much of southern Somalia is controlled by al-Shabaab.

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