A diesel tanker explosion has resulted in fire outbreak at Ecobank head office in Victoria Island, Lagos. The fire outbreak occured at about 8:40 am on Tuesday morning. An eyewitness report said the bank’s diesel tanker supplier was offloading diesel when it caught fire. Not switching off the generator when offloading the fuel was said to be the cause of the fire incident. Source: News Agency
By Echika Udechukwu As the name implies, Bitter leaf is a bitter plant whose leaf extracts, stem and bark is used for culinary, medical and curative purposes. The leaf may be bitter to taste but is very nutritional as it contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B1 and vitamin B12. Scientifically it is known as Vernonia amygadalina, and is also called onugbo, shawaka and ewuro by the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba in Nigeria respectively. It is an indigenous African plant species, which can be found growing wild along the edges of agricultural fields. It can be cooked, both as a leafy vegetable and also used as a flavour in making soups commonly in Africa. Bitter leaf soup is a popular dish in Nigeria and is cooked differently in each region. This recipe is from the eastern part of the country and is thickened with cocoyam. Ingredients: 1kg meat 5 cups of stock A heap of bitter leaf, properly washed and coarsely chopped 2 cups cocoyam, mashed 500g dried fish 500g stockfish 200g kpomo 1/2 cup crayfish, ground Chilli pepper to taste 3 seasoning cubes 2 cups palm oil Periwinkle 2 medium size onions, chopped 2 tsp ogiri (optional) Salt to taste. Preparation: Wash all the ingredients properly and keep them separately in clean bowls or a tray Season and boil the meat to get your stock Boil the periwinkle with salt and wash properly When the meat is almost soft, add the stockfish and kpomo Add water to desired quantity and allow to boil Mash the cocoyam into a paste with 2 tablespoons of palm oil When the water starts to boil, scoop in the mashed cocoyam to thicken it Add more palm oil if necessary Add the dried fish, pepper, crayfish, ogiri and periwinkle Cook for about 15mins for it to thicken Add the chopped bitter leaf and then salt to taste Cooking time is 1 hour 30 minutes, and it serves four people.
Anselm Okolo is a media entrepreneur. He is the founder of 7am News Extra – an online news platform, and Journalism.com Center – a journalism consultancy outfit. He has a basket full of ideas that he feels he must accomplish, and describes himself as a journalist, a journalist trainer and a mentor. Starting up . . . It was difficult. It happened at the time when it looked like there was nothing else for me to do. I had circulated around the media space long enough, I was fortunate to have started journalism at the time serious practice was still going on. There were a lot of people to mentor you; people to learn from. And God also assisted me in the sense that I passed through the best journalism hands in the country: under the News watch and Tell Magazine stables. In terms of practice, I had a lot of people to look up to and desired to be like them. When that finished, I left core journalism to the journalism development. I joined a USAID funded implementation partner called Inter News Network. Inter News Network is a global news development and media organization development in the world. It operates in over 50 countries, encouraging open press, the practice of humanitarian journalism and civic journalism, and encourages the practice of journalism where objectivity, balance, fairness and then people is the center of practice. We have trained over 150 journalists in the country within a period of five years, and at the end of the project, I thought about replicating what Inter News was doing. So I set up the Journalism.com Center, under which all of our journalism consultancy services are done. We have been involved in journalism intervention training for organizations in Nigeria. Confronting the ‘giants’ . . . In a country where policy summersaults are an everyday thing, it is a herculean task. When we started publishing 7am News Extra, we wanted to do something unique. We were not out there to pursue or compete with anybody because we knew that what we were going to do was completely unique. We were publishing in Abuja weekly, circulating on Mondays, something difficult to fathom as most weeklies would either circulate on Saturdays or Sundays, but we wanted everybody to realize that we were out for serious business. We were reporting the unreported parts of Abuja. Every week, we had stories the residents of Abuja didn’t even know of. Whenever we got to the newsstands, it was always with a big bang. We wrote some revealing things about the satellite towns, so we had our target audience waiting for us every Monday. The basic challenge we faced was in the cost of printing. I believe that journalists should be able to fund media outlets. I didn’t think to go meet any politician to fund us, we got our funds internally. The cost of printing was colossal, and another challenge was the quality of professionals. For you to get stories properly sourced and written, you need to have people with a knack for news. They did their best but were not up to the quality we needed. Standing out . . . I think outside the box. Our focus was direct: we didn’t leave our cover pages to politics. Sometimes, some of the stories you will call small were what graced our cover page because they touched lives and had a direct impact on the people we talked about. When we did the story on what we called The Abuja Black Spots, it was so interesting that even the commissioner of police called to know where we got our insights. Areas where residents were advised not to be at certain hours of the day because of the level of criminal activities going on around those spots were mentioned. Those were the kind of stories we published, not necessarily that President Buhari has flown to Korea, why should it be? We give that kind of story treatment inside the newspaper. Human interest was our strong point. Projecting into the future . . . I see myself more in the area of radio and television production. That’s one area we have not really conquered. Our printing press is running at half-mast, but we are glad to say that our radio studio is coming on. In Nigeria, the quality of editing and scripting remains a major concern. We need to go into that area to show the right example; how productions should be edited, why pictures should come well ahead of the audio, why you don’t need all of these razzmatazz on the screen. We will do full-blown documentaries for companies, we will record mile-stone moments. Many organizations don’t do that, so we want to introduce it to them. We will incorporate training in our institute that is mutedly. Final words . . . Take time and get trained. That you have a degree in mass communication, English, Theatre arts, Mathematics, Medicine or Law does not give you the preparation to be a good journalist. Journalism is not for the faint-hearted, it is not for the lazy, not for the person who reads one book in a year. A journalist forays for knowledge. Hands on skill are things you don’t learn in school. Our schools do not have the system and knowledge to provide that. You must deliberately go seek for appropriate training. When you are not properly trained, you will stumble a lot. Search for mentors and read. Be ready to work hard. The business of media is still open in Nigeria. We need to have monster organizations. An organization that can have 12 titles that are mean, in terms or marketing strengths. We need to get Nigerians back to reading newspapers and magazines. I don’t believe in the small lakes and big fishes, I believe in the ocean with sharks. While the shark is doing its own, the tilapia is carving its own niche.
Armed bandits have killed at least 42 people when they launched onslaught on 18 villages under Mashema, Kwashabawa and Birane districts of Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday. Sources said the death toll could be up to 100 as hundreds of people were declared missing. Journalists gathered that the attackers razed many villages down. A witness who survived the attack, Lawwali Mashema, said thousands of residents displaced by the attack have fled to Zurmi town, some 50 kilometers away from their communities. He said many other survivors are seeking refuge in Katsina state, while others in Niger Republic. “Women, children and aged died on their way seeking refuge in Zurmi town while many others were seen in devastating condition,” he said. Deputy governor of Zamfara State, Ibrahim Wakkala, in a visit to Zurmi town described the attack as barbaric. Mr Wakkala, who represented the governor, vowed to take drastic action on the matter. Chairman of the state Damage Assessment and Relief Committee, who is the speaker Zamfara State House of Assembly, Sanusi Rikiji, called for improvement of security around the area. Police spokesman in the state, Mohammed Shehu, did not answer Journalist call. Source: News Agency
Flash flood on Wednesday killed a 14-year-old daughter of a pastor in Amawbia, in the Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Punch reports. The flood followed a downpour in the area, which lasted for over six hours. Southern City News gathered on Thursday that the father of the deceased had hired a driver to take his late daughter to hospital after she complained of feeling feverish. A source told our correspondent that the incident happened at a spot where flood had accumulated and the water swept the bus containing four persons into a swamp. The source said, “On reaching the flood spot, the driver declined to move on, but the elder brother to the deceased said he could drive pass the spot. “When he took over the vehicle the raging flood swept off the bus into Obibia swamp with four occupants including the girl. The incident happened behind the Governor’s Lodge in Amawbia.” An eyewitness, Ogechi Chine, said after being swept away by the flood, the girl was trapped in it for over four hours before rescue came her way. She said, “The vehicle which was said to be heading to Nibo through City Landmark Hotel road lost control immediately its tyres entered the flood. The flood took over the road and when the engine stopped the flood threw the bus into the Obibia stream.” Chine said the girl was trapped from 7:30am till 2pm when she was rescued by lifeguards with the help of a crane driver and was rushed to a nearby hospital where she was confirmed dead. “She is the daughter of the pastor of Zion Pillar Intercessory Ministry from Adabebe Village in Amawbia. The girl was sick and they were going to hospital as directed by the father,” she added.
A 55-year-old woman, Aisha Ibrahim, has been apprehended by the police in Niger State for allegedly killing her two-year-old grandchild at Karaya Fulani Camp in the Rafi Local Government Area of the state, Punch reports. The suspect was said to have tied the girl with a rope and threw her inside the well in their compound just to get at the mother of the deceased, who is her daughter in-law. Journalists learnt that the incident took place when her son, Bello Ibrahim, and his wife left their child in her custody to attend christening at a neighboring village. Northern City News gathered that the suspect and her daughter-in-law had been at loggerheads for some time before the incident. The grandmother, who hailed from Funtua, Katsina State, told our correspondent on Thursday that since her son married his wife, there had been a lot of unresolved issues. She said, “I told my husband to tell his son to divorce his wife but he did not listen to me. My daughter-in-law is fond of insulting and assaulting me all the time and the only way I could pay her back was to tie her daughter with the rope and throw her inside a well to die so that she will equally feel the pains and agony I have been going through. “We have been living in peace as one big family before my son married her; I have 12 children and all of us are living in one compound; she cannot come from somewhere to destroy the family I have suffered for years to keep, it is unacceptable,” she explained. Asked if she felt any remorse for allegedly killing her grandchild, Aisha said, “It was temptation, I didn’t know when I did it, I can’t just tell but may Allah forgive me. Honestly, it was a wicked act that can never be accepted anywhere in the world,” she admitted. The Police Public Relations Officer, Muhammad Abubakar, confirmed the incident, saying the suspect had confessed to the crime and regretted her action. Abubakar told Northern City News that she would be arraigned in court after investigation.