January 2012
Lead Story
People, Media and Protest



A Referendum

It started as a protest against the New Year's Day 116% rise in the price of petrol from N65 per litre to N141. But by the second day it had become clear that the resistance was more about poor governance in Nigeria and "a referendum on the federal government".

Streams of people had heeded the call by organised labour and civil society groups to come out January 9 to protest what was termed "government's insensitivity". For the public it was an opportunity to assert their sovereignty and convey their angst against Nigeria's stilted democracy.

April 2012
Lead Story
A Reporter's Day of Glory



It was an unusual book launch for an equally unusual book. Even by Nigerian standards, the March 22nd turnout was impressive; the high table, overflowing with guests. On the front row were 33 guests featuring two former Heads of State, representative of the serving president, two serving governors, four past governors, and captains of industry, media chieftains, and leading politicians. A second row was occupied by another 17 Nigerians, including retired senior military officers, businessmen, and media executives. The 1500-large audience from different walks of life, seated classroom-style joyfully followed the proceedings in Muson Centre's Shell Hall.

Two of the well known comperes in the land struggled to remind everyone it was a book launch and not a political rally. The atmosphere was celebratory; akin to a political victory rally. They were all there to honour Olusegun Osoba, a distinguished journalist who plied his trade from the 1960s to the 80s and was elected twice in 1993 and 1999 as civilian governor of Ogun state. Osoba had been a reporter, editor, and newspaper administrator in such diverse media houses as the Daily Times in Lagos, the Herald in Ilorin, Kwara state and the Sketch in Ibadan, Oyo state as well as president of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria.

June 2012
Lead Story
DANA: 'Let reporters put themselves in the shoes of those grieving'


Six and half years after a major air disaster occured in Nigeria, the nation witnessed another on Sunday, June 3, when a passenger airplane crashed few minutes away from the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. All 153 people onboard lost their lives. The McDonnel Douglas (MD) 83 aircraft operated by Dana Airlines had been travelling from the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja when it crashed shortly before landing. The aircraft plunged into residential buildings at Olaniyi Street, Iju, a suburb of Lagos, killing an undetermined number on the ground. Investigations are currently underway to determine what caused the crash.

For many Nigerians, this incident was reminiscent of the October 22, 2005 Bellview Flight 210 crash in Lisa, Ogun State and the December 10, 2005 Sosoliso Flight 1145 crash in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

May 2012
Lead Story
The Press and the Boko Haram threat


In the years of terror when Charles Taylor, the butcher of Sierra Leone and Liberia, shot his way into the high office of Liberian presidency, some of the scalps that Taylor claimed as spoils of war belonged to two Nigerian journalists—Krees Imodibe of the Guardian and Tayo Awotunsin of the Champion. Both men had gone to Liberia to report for their newspapers the carnage that was spreading through Liberia and Sierra Leone and the danger it posed to the West African region in the early 90s. They had fallen into the hands of Taylor's band of butchers who gladly killed the Nigerians in part because Nigeria had been opposed to the war, and in part because they were part of the pestering nosey parkers that were bringing to the world's attention the atrocities of Taylor and his gang.

So when the good news came that the slow but firm arm of justice had finally caught up with Charles Taylor, former Liberian president, Thursday, April 26, many newsrooms in Nigeria and indeed all over the world paid a close attention. The World Court, sitting in The Hague had found Taylor guilty of various crimes against humanity. But before that joy germinated in Nigeria, the depressing news came that the Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, which in Arabic means "People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad", had struck again. Widely known as Boko Haram, the terrorist group had been unleashing mayhem in northern Nigeria in a zany campaign to enthrone Islamic law and fight a government headed by an "unbeliever".

November 2012
Health Reporting
Medical Miracle and a New Life for Matthew

At seven years old, one cannot say life has been kind to Matthew Ndik. He is a sickle cell carrier, but what made his case pathetic, is the fact that he was struck by a life-threatening stroke at that young age. His parents had given up hope believing he would not live long. Yet, a miracle came their way. Today, the young boy has been given a new life. Thanks to a group of medical personnel at UBTH. He no longer has sickle cell and he is on the way to full recovery.

Mathew was born a sickle cell anaemia child. The disease, which is chronic and life-long, had caused two of his elder siblings' deaths. Individuals who suffer this are most often well, but their lives are punctuated by periodic painful attacks and their life expectancy is often shortened unless adequately managed. He suffered the same fate like many others that suffer from the sickle cell problem.

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