" World leaders joined thousands of Ghanaians on Friday for the funeral of President John Atta Mills, who came to symbolize Ghana's maturing democracy in a region long plagued by coups and disputed votes. Atta Mills, 68, came to power in 2009 after winning the closest election in the country's history. The peaceful transition of leadership after that vote was lauded as was the swift and orderly inauguration of the country's vice president last month following Atta Mills' death."- AP
John Dramani Mahama, who was sworn in as Ghana's president after the death of Mills, and his wife arrive Wednesday to parliament to pay their respects.
Former Ghanaian president John Kufuor arrives to pay respect to Mills at the parliament in Accra on Wednesday.
Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan also arrived Thursday to Ghana, one of the many heads of state attending the burial of Mills.
PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN (R) WITH HIS GHANANIAN COUNTERPART, JOHN MAHAMA ON HIS ARRIVAL FOR THE BURIAL OF LATE PRESIDENT JOHN ATTAH MILLS ON THURSDAY NIGHT (9/8/12) credit: NAN
Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is escorted by Ghanaian foreign minister Muhammad Mumunis upon her arrival Thursday in Accra to attend the funeral.
"The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is in the Presidential Villa for a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria in continuation of her eleven nation Africa tour. She arrived the Villa at about 3.54PM. Though details of the meeting has not been disclosed to journalists, officials said the US Secretary of State is expected to hold discussions with the president on how to strengthen ties between Nigeria and the US. After meeting with the President, she is also expected to hold a meeting with the nation’s Security Chiefs, who are already."- Channel TV
Hillary Clinton sure knows how to have a good time. The secretary of state was captured on camera dancing during her trip to South Africa, on the heels of showing off her moves in Malawi. Earlier this year, Clinton made headlines when she was snapped drinking a beer in Cartagena, Colombia, where she was attending the Summit of the Americas. It was just before the trip that a striking photo of the secretary of state texting aboard a military C-17 plane on her way to Libya gave way to "Texts from Hillary" -- an Internet meme sensation. In April at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, President Barack Obama joked that "much has changed" during his time in office. He quipped, "Four years ago, I was locked in a brutal primary battle with Hillary Clinton. Four years later she won't stop drunk-texting me from Cartegana." - Huffington Post
Two major financial and banking institutions - Citibank consortium – and Renaissance Capital consortium have been appointed by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to appraise the value of three banks it nationalised last year because of bad loans and poor management, before they go to the market for investors’ acquisition.
Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) was founded 19th July 2010 and was signed into law by President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria “to be a key stabilizing and re-vitalizing tool established to revive the financial system by efficiently resolving the non-performing loan assets of the banks in the Nigerian economy."
Eight banks suffered from a major collapse due to bad debts and poor management and were bailed out with $4 billion from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), while AMCON was set up to recapitalize those rescued banks.
Reuters reported that "Nigeria nationalised three lenders last year after they failed to find new investors before a recapitalisation deadline and changed their names to Mainstreet Bank from Afribank; Enterprise Bank from Spring Bank and Keystone Bank from Bank."
"Chike-Obi told Reuters last month AMCON may list the three nationalised lenders instead of selling them to rivals, as it seeks to determine fair value for the banks. Previously, AMCON said that more than 20 firms - banks and private equity investors - had expressed interest in acquiring the nationalised lenders, but AMCON is keen to have them valued before starting any negotiations," reuters further reported.
Mustapha Chike-Obi, Chief Executive Officer/ Managing Director AMCON confirmed that it gave between three and six months for Citi and RenCap to finalise their evaluation.
"NASA followed up its picture-perfect landing of a plutonium-powered rover with a picture of the picture-perfect landing. On Monday, the agency released a photograph taken by its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter showing the rover still encased in the descent capsule and sailing under a parachute as it passed 210 miles below the orbiter. Shortly after, during the early morning hours Eastern Time on Monday, the rover, the size of a small car, was lowered at the end of 25-foot-long cables into a crater. Over the years, the orbiter has taken about 120 photographs of the crater in preparation for the arrival of the rover, called Curiosity. “But I really think this is the coolest one,” Sarah Milkovich, a NASA scientist who works with the orbiter camera, said during a news conference." - New York Times
NASA's Curiosity rover landing on Mars pic: NASA
Landing on Mars Photo: NASA
Engineers work on a replica of the Mars rover Curiosity at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La CaÃ±ada Flintridge. (Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press / August 2, 2012)
NASA's Curiosity rover and its parachute were spotted by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as Curiosity descended to the surface on Sunday.
Associated Press reported that "Prosecutors in Houston say a seventh person has pleaded guilty or been convicted in a $45 million health care fraud scheme.
A federal judge on Monday accepted a guilty plea from 56-year-old Tony Nnonso Obi. The naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and to money laundering. Prosecutors say Obi was affiliated with an assisted living facility and sent some residents to City Nursing Service of Texas Inc.
Investigators say City Nursing owner Umawa Imo paid Obi more than $1 million as part of the Medicare and Medicaid scam. Imo last year was sentenced to more than 27 years in federal prison. Obi faces up to 10 years in prison. Sentencing has been set for Nov. 5.On Tuesday, April 3, 2012, they charged another person in a massive health care fraud conspiracy valued at over $45 million.
Texas Attorney General’s Office-Medicare Fraud Control Unit and the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General have step up investigations and charges on scammers and health care fraudsters.
Examiner News earlier reported that "On Tuesday, April 3, 2012, Tony Nnonso Obi, 56, was charged in a 20-count indictment for his role in billing Medicare and Medicaid programs illegally, US Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced Tuesday.
Obi, a naturalized U.S. citizen from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is expected to make his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances H. Stacy.
Four other individuals have previously been convicted in this south-east Texas area and Houston-based City Nursing health care fraud conspiracy.
Obi is charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud and by paying money to “recruiters” and “marketers” who brought Medicare beneficiaries to City Nursing.
He is also alleged to have paid Medicare beneficiaries who came to City Nursing, and referred Medicare beneficiaries to City Nursing.
The indictment further alleges Obi received approximately $1,051,425 in payments from City Nursing over the 2 ½ years it was operating."
"Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida, two former presidents of Nigeria, have put their differences aside and released a joint statement over the growing fear, uncertainty, and insecurity in Nigeria. The statement also called for the Federal Government to open talks with all groups that have been perpetrating violence acros the country, in order to find a lasting solution to the crisis that has engulfed the country."- Nigeria Exchange News
THE JOINT STATEMENT:
“Unfolding events in our dear motherland, Nigeria, over the last few years are threatening to unravel the nearly a century-old labour of our founding fathers and subsequent generations in building a strong, united, peaceful nation that can accommodate and cater for the needs and aspirations of our diverse communities. Internecine crises are raging across the land unabated with damaging consequences on the social, political and economic life of the nation. And in the process untold hardships are being visited on all citizens in one form or another on a daily basis.
The loss of innocent lives being experienced by the day across the nation is simply unbearable. Currently, the nation is gripped by a regime of fear and uncertainty that virtually all citizens have difficulties going about their normal day to day lives without great anxiety and trepidation. This cannot be allowed to continue.
A deeply worrying trend that is emerging from this terrible situation is that a pervasive cynicism is beginning to set in, so much so that millions of true Nigerian patriots are starting to question the platform upon which the unity of this country rests. This is simply untenable. The people of this country must not allow whatever sense of frustration, fear and despair we are experiencing now to supersede our hopes for a collective destiny which lies in our continued existence as a nation. For us, and we believe for millions of other Nigerians, the continued unity of this nation is not only priceless but non-negotiable.
While we are very much aware of the efforts various governments in the country are making to confront the escalating security challenges across the country, we believe that it is time that these efforts are scaled up to be more involving and inclusive. In this regard, whatever robust security measures are put in place to contain the situation, as is normal in such circumstances, they must be complemented with an equally intensive process of community involvement. We, therefore, urge all governments in the country, starting with all the 774 local councils to comprehensively engage their communities at the various levels including elders, youth organisations, trade unions and associations, women bodies, the clergy and other community stakeholders.
We also call on the Federal and states governments not only to encourage these grassroots engagements for peace and beneficial coexistence but should work out the framework to sustain the engagement. In all these efforts it is important to emphasise that our diversity is a cause for celebration not a cause for lamentations.
As the Holy Month of Ramadan commences, Nigerians wherever they are and whatever religion they profess are accorded a great opportunity to turn the tide against insecurity, violence and hatred. Religious leaders, in particular, have an even greater challenge to use the immense virtues of this holy period to inculcate among the millions of citizens the spirit of mutual respect, humility and forgiveness. Ample opportunities are therefore at hand to bring all armed belligerents to table for meaningful dialogue with the authorities for our future and that of our children and grandchildren.
Finally, we need to reiterate that no meaningful development can ever occur in an atmosphere of violence and hatred. History has shown that any society that is built on the structures of violence and intolerance cannot prosper. We need to appreciate that, God in His infinite mercy, has blessed our country with abundant resources and talents, but we need peace and harmony to harness them not just for our own well being but also that of our children and grandchildren. We owe this future generations of Nigerians this much.
On our part, we are ready to do whatever is possible to promote the quest for peace and harmony, a ready to join hands with all patriots to sustain and further enhance the unity and progress of this country.
"A recent demolition effort in a teeming, floating slum in Nigeria's largest city has some activists fearing the government may try to entirely destroy an area that is home to about 100,000 people. The Makoko slum rises out of the murky lagoon water separating mainland Nigeria from Lagos' islands. A government-led eviction last week that saw men in speedboats destroy homes with machetes there left about 3,000 people homeless. Some say the government's warnings about the demolition make it sound like the state wants to entirely destroy the area. But those in Makoko have created their own life independent from the state, with its own schools and clinics, however ill-equipped." -AP
Chamberlain Oguchi, former Illinois State basketball star is heading to London Olympic Games under the banner of Nigerian National Basketball Team. The graceful and energetic basketball player Oguchi will be a great asset to Nigerian team in London 2012 Olympic Games.
Oguchi while at Illinois State University (ISU) was the 2009 Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year. He was the leading Redbirds player averaging 15.2 points per game.
This is the first time in history that Nigeria qualified for Olympics in men’s basketball after defeating Dominican Republic. In the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Venezuela, Nigerian National Team defeated Dominican Republic 88-73.
Nigeria players, including Chamberlain Oguchi (9) and Ike Diogu (6), celebrate after upsetting Greece during the quarterfinals of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament on July 6. / By Leo Ramirez, AFP/Getty Images
Although, Chamberlain Oguchi was born in United States he is no stranger to Nigerian National basketball team. Oguchi has been playing for Nigerian National basketball team since he was 19 as reported by wjbc f Illinois news.
“It still hasn’t quite sunk in yet, that we’re going to the Olympics. Just being a part of this is monumental. I can’t explain how excited I am to do this,” Oguchi said as he expresses joy and satisfaction on Nigeria qualifying for 2012 London Olympic Games.
The Nigerian community in Houston, Texas is bubbling with excitement on the success of a home town boy. And Nigerian Americans are proud of their own going back home to represent our fatherland at the Olympic global arena in London.
Illinois State's Champ Oguchi advances the ball against Drake on Jan. 14, 2009, at Redbird Arena in Normal. (The Pantagraph/CARLOS T. MIRANDA)
Chamberlain Oguchi is the son of proud parents, Chief and Mrs. Godwin Oguchi (Ichie Ezediobi). His parents are residents of Texas and migrated to United States from Umuoji, Anambra State, Nigeria.
“For us to be able to accomplish what we’ve accomplished and knock off some of the top teams in the world, it was huge. The whole team felt like it was time for Nigeria to come together and qualify for the Olympics,” Champ Oguchi said as he prepares with his team mates for the next battle in London soil.
On July 29, Oguchi's Nigerian Basketball team will open Olympic play against Tunisia, at 3 a.m. CT (9 a.m. in London).
Ghana has a new president, John Dramani Mahama, former vice president who was sworn in by Chief Justice Theodora Georgina Wood after the sudden death of President Atta Mills. President Mahama, the new Commander in Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces will complete late President Mills remaining term that will elapse after the fortcoming December election.
John Dramani Mahama was born in 29 November 1958. He is a writer, historian and activist, who was known for fighting for the underclass. He also devoted his time in championing the cause of environmental enlightenment and campaigning against environmental degradation brought by plastic litering and discarding in West Africa.
"He was Vice President of Ghana from 2009 to 2012, and he took office as President on 24 July 2012 following the death of his predecessor, President John Atta Mills.A communications expert, historian, and writer, he was a Member of Parliament from 1997 to 2009; he was also Minister of Communications from 1998 to 2001.
He attended the Achimota Primary School and the University of Ghana, receiving a bachelor's degree in history in 1981 and a postgraduate degree in communication studies in 1986. Following this, Mahama traveled to the Institute of Social Sciences in Moscow, Soviet Union for further studies," Wikipedia reported.
Recently he was in United States and Britain to promote his book 'My First Coup d'État and Other True Stories From the Lost Decades of Africa.'
John Dramani Mahama (seated) being sworn in as President of Ghana
According to news report by AFP:
Mahama, according to a recently published memoir, grew up as a child of privilege. In the book, "My First Coup d'Etat -- And Other True Stories from the Lost Decades of Africa," he describes his experiences at an elite boarding school in the capital Accra, where he was drilled in the customs of Ghana's former colonial power, Britain.
"The history and prestige (of the Achimota boarding school) did not stop me from hating it," he wrote.
In the book's first chapter, he vividly recalls the day in 1966 when he learned Ghana's founding president Kwame Nkrumah was ousted in a military coup.
"When I look back on my life it's clear to me that this moment marked the awakening of my consciousness. It changed my life and influenced all the moments that followed," he wrote. His father, who served as junior minister in Nkrumah's government, was briefly detained and interrogated by the coup leaders.
Mahama described his journey around Accra, accompanied by an official from his school, in search of his father, who was later released unharmed.
John Mahama is a christian and a family man, who has been married to Lordina Mahama and blessed with seven children.