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Showing posts with label Travels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travels. Show all posts

FG stops levy paid by Nigerians with dual citizenship at airports

~ NAN (News Agency of Nigeria)

The Minister of Interior, retired Lt.- Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, stated this in a statement issued by Dr Mohammed Umar, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, in Abuja.

Dambazau, in the statement, said that the directive was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari's resolve to make movement easy for Nigerians with dual citizenship to come into their fatherland unhindered.

The statement quoted the minister as saying that " as a new government policy, on no account should any Nigerian traveller holding dual citizenship pay fine for so-called overstay".

The statement said that the minister restated that it was a crime to ask or pay any money in that regard.
Dambazau stressed that under the new policy, "citizens with dual nationality should only present both travelling documents of their countries of nationality to the immigration officials upon arrival and departure, regardless of whichever they are using to travel".

He emphasised that the NIS should ensure immediate compliance with the new government directives as government would sanction any Immigration official found collecting such fines henceforth.

The statement said the minister further directed that Nigerians with dual citizenship should report any Immigration official who imposed such charges on them to the appropriate authorities.

After over 20 years in US, Wisconsin man deported to West Africa for lack of right papers

~Punch Nigeria. Friday, March 9, 2018.
(Culled from USA Today)

After more than 20 years in the United States, a Wisconsin man was deported to West Africa earlier this week, a federal agency confirmed.

The process for his deportation was set in motion eight years ago when a judge ruled that he had overstayed his visa.

Buba Jabbi, 41, of Wisconsin Rapids was deported Tuesday and back in The Gambia by Wednesday afternoon, according to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement statement issued Wednesday.

Jabbi had entered the U.S. in 1995 and overstayed his visa. He was detained February 15 after checking in with federal authorities as he had been directed and was set for deportation based on a judge’s order from 2010.

A stay of removal had been filed on his behalf, but was denied February 27, according to Nicole Alberico, a public affairs officer with ICE.

Jabbi, the father of two daughters ages five and one, was being held at a detention centre in Sierra Blanca, Texas.

If necessary, Jabbi’s wife, Katrina Jabbi, a native of Wisconsin Rapids, said she would move her family almost 5,000 miles to The Gambia, a nation of about two million people that is almost twice the size of Delaware, to be with her husband.

“We have spent many years trying to rectify this situation,” Katrina Jabbi previously said. “I will continue to fight and file waivers if he is deported.

Xenophobia: South African xenophobia vs Nigerian internal xenophobia

South African xenophobia vs Nigerian internal xenophobia
- Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians: FG warns S-Africa of dire consequences

South African xenophobia vs Nigerian internal xenophobia
Written by Azuka Onwuka
Twitter: @BrandAzuka
~Punch Nigeria. Tuesday, March 7, 2017.
Azuka Onwuka

It has become an annual ritual – just like an annual epidemic – for South Africans to engage in xenophobic attacks against their fellow Black Africans resident in South Africa. There are some trends in these attacks. The South Africans do not attack the Indians who have lived in South Africa for a couple of centuries. They do not attack the Pakistanis or the Chinese. They do not attack the North Africans. They do not attack the Whites who have settled in South Africa for centuries and are in control of the economy and the lands. The reason is simple. The colour of the skin of the above-mentioned people is different from that of the Black South Africans. The Black South Africans still see those with a different colour as superior but prefer to vent their anger and frustration on their fellow Blacks who reside in South Africa to eke out a living.

Coincidentally, the xenophobic attacks have been occurring in the tenure of President Jacob Zuma. They did not occur when Dr Nelson Mandela or Mr Thabo Mbeki were in office. One can infer that the body language of Zuma has been encouraging the attacks. Maybe, if he had shown some righteous anger against the attacks or ensured that the perpetrators are severely punished, they would not have recurred.

Ironically, Nigerians have been expressing their anger over the xenophobic attacks. Many commentators remind South Africans the sacrifices Nigeria and other African nations made to end apartheid in South Africa, including hosting many leaders of the African National Congress as well university students from South Africa.

However, the reason the action of the South Africans is shocking to many Nigerians is that we have a track record of not attacking foreigners within Nigeria. Nigerians even treat foreigners better than they treat fellow Nigerians. For example, in spite of the number of times Nigerian football clubs and national teams have been attacked while in other countries, Nigerians usually don't attack foreign teams. On the contrary, on many occasions, during some international matches, Nigerian football fans are known to have swapped support from the national team to the visiting teams if they are not impressed with the performance of the national team. Even if a visiting team beats the Nigerian team or prevents Nigeria from qualifying for an international competition, such a team can even take a victory lap round the stadium without even a bottle of water thrown at them.

Medical treatment abroad

culled from

The popularity of Medical treatment abroad is expanding globally mainly due to its greater capacity to provide safe, high quality treatments to those who cannot receive comparable care in their country of origin; many turning to India and Israel.

Medical treatment abroadMedical Tourism once broadly focused on provision of health care and emergency treatment provided by higher-income countries to less developed nations, has since expanded to include patients from many parts of the world to countries with the full range of health care system infrastructure and modernity. Medical Tourism (MT) has become particularly popular in the United States, mainly due to high living costs and costly health services and care. In the United States, a staggering 50 million people are uninsured and over twice as many are uninsured for dental care. Nevertheless, insurance may not cover specific treatments and many are unable to meet the financial requirements specified for medical procedures that they require.
Therefore, Americans have many reasons for seeking treatment elsewhere - since it has also become easier over time to receive the treatment they need that is on average 30% cheaper than in the United States. They can also receive the quality and safety that equals national standards for the very same procedure. Furthermore, patients reap the benefits of getting medical care and treatment while they travel and vacation.

In the modern MT industry, international patients can be rest-assured that in nearly all countries, patients receive quality treatment in the same hospitals that also serve the local population. Services are provided by licensed professionals who maintain international accreditations that adherence to strict medical protocols.

MT is forecasted to expand even further, becoming an increasingly global phenomenon. Along with its growth, affordable and highly sophisticated diagnostic tools that guide the development of innovative treatments. Renowned specialists work with international patients; contributing to the growth of the industry and its success through expertise in specific branches of medicine. Today, an astounding 7 million people have travelled the globe for medical services for procedures like heart transplants to cosmetic surgery and dental care.

The Boy from Jamaica

Today, Jamaica is on my mind. I was flying from Trinidad and Tobago on my way to Atlanta and had to make a brief stopover in Jamaica-the land I had heard so much about through the powerful medium of music. Reggae music.

From the air, you could see the iridescent island sparkling, like a queen, a Caribbean queen bejewelled in a splash of sun, sea and reggae. I wanted to see everything: the sights of Jamaica. I wanted to hear everything: the voices of Jamaica. Men and women in dreadlocks, speaking their patois and reggae music blasting in my ears from ubiquitous loudspeakers such as we have in Lagos. Is this not another Africa? Africans must be Africans everywhere they are. I wanted to smell everything: the smell of ganja, marijuana or whatever name you call it. The ganja that Peter Tosh sang about and campaigned for its legalisation because of what he claimed as an all-purpose medicine that can cure asthma, tuberculosis and what have you. Legalise it, and I will advertise it. Remember that song by Peter Tosh? The Peter Tosh who was killed by gangsters on motorcycle-a victim of gang violence in a society afflicted with so much crime and violence like Nigeria our Nigeria.

Jamaicans don't play with their heroes. They celebrate them. Loudly and proudly. All over Norman Manley Airport are huge photographs of their heroes: Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world in his familiar yellow and green athletic outfit doing his trademark lightning pose. But still, the biggest of them all is Bob Marley, the man whose face is the face of Jamaica, the legendary king of reggae who still rules from the grave. Bob Marley who prophesied his own immortality in the song Bad Card:
"You a-go tired fe see my face/Can't get me out of the race."
Yeah, Bob Marley. The same Bob Marley who sang about Jamaica afflicted with violence in the song 'Johnny Was': A song about a woman who "hold her head and cry, 'Cause her son had been shot down in the street and died from a stray bullet. Woman hold her head and cry...Now she knows that the wages of sin is death, yeah! Gift of Jah is life. 'Johnny was a good man' she cried."

Love and War in Sudan

Written by By Natalie Peart - digital journal

I hope I don't disappoint you by telling you that this isn't a real love story. I am not going to recite an enchanting story of how I fell in love with a Sudanese man, petrified my Mother and gave up all to move to Sudan and live a nomadic life in the desert raising his camels, or how I witnessed a Mills and Boon style love affair in the country that is 'The Sudan'.

The love story does involve me, but it was not one single person but the country and everyone I met and the possibilities it holds that I fell in love 
with. The kind genuine Nubian people and the beautiful Nubia desert sand and skies and the possibilities for growth the country has.

Archaeologists say the pyramids, cemeteries and ancient palaces of the Nubian Desert in northern Sudan hold mysteries to rival ancient Egypt and as I meandered through the forgotten pyramids of Meroe with not another tourist in sight (apart from the other 22 people of course) I knew I was one of the privileged few who has ever experienced this. It really sets them apart from the pyramids of Egypt which I feel are slightly overshadowed by the hundreds of other people you have to share the experience with. And this is just one of the many attractions that Sudan hosts.

The war story however is a real war story, as with hope in this country comes misery, violence and death in Darfur. For over three years, everyone from the UN Secretary-General to the President of the United States to actors George Clooney and Mia Farrow have been calling for a stop to the conflict in Darfur. And nothing changes.
For four years the Government has been content in letting humanitarian agencies do the work of the Government and provide basic services to two-thirds of the entire population of Sudan’s Western region. The outcome, affluent suburbs in Khartoum and complete desolation in Southern Sudan and Darfur's states.

When I said I was going to Sudan the response that I got wasn't all unexpected. I'm the first to admit that I was cautious yet curious about the country that we have read so much about in terms of the civil war. But as the oracle that is the Lonely Planet said to me '"Khartoum (the capital of Sudan) is one of the friendliest and safest cities in the world", and of course the Planet didn't disappoint.

How I wasted 35 years of my life in America -Nigerian returnee from the US

Written by Azuka Jebose Molokwu - Nigeria
~ JEBOSE BOULEVARD, Punch Nigeria. 

In the United States, over 3.5 million people experience homelessness every year. The homeless include people from all ethnic backgrounds and discipline. This number includes 35 per cent of the homeless population families with children. In recent years, the number of homeless immigrants, documented or undocumented, has doubled as America continues to experience immigration challenges.

John Atari (not real name.) was once an undocumented immigrant in the US. He was also homeless and an alcoholic. He left Nigeria in the early 1980s in search of better life. After more than 30 years in America,with no home and dependent on substance abuse and alcohol, John, few years ago, returned to Nigeria, somewhere near Port Harcourt. He agreed to share his story, on two conditions: we must change his last name and not use his photographs. "I hope people would learn from my experience. That's why I agreed to share this story."

This is a compelling narrative:
"I left Port Harcourt more than 35 years ago. I missed the sights and sounds of the Garden City; the intrigues of dusty roads and the smells of combusted market places, filled with everyday people hustling to survive through the day. I missed those days, when plantain sellers hawked by the roadside. I thought I might never see these parts of my life again. I retained faded memory of childhood, the path that led me to, in some strange ways, where I am today, back to this peaceful place called home. I used to sit in shopping mall parking lots, in the cold weather of the US, waiting endlessly for sunset.

"A lot happened to me, I have advanced type two diabetes. I am also suffering from a cardiovascular disease. I am living on borrowed time, supported by several medications. I don't have a wife or family except my sister and the church that rescued me when I returned two years ago, after living in America for nearly 35 years, as a homeless alcoholic. I didn't have Green Card to find a decent job. Even if I did get a job, I was not sober enough most days to keep my job. I hustled for odd jobs to maintain my passion for alcoholic beverages. It didn't have to be that way. I occasionally engaged as a gypsy taxicab driver in the city. I lived beyond minimum wage as I began to hang around other homeless Americans in that city. 

During winter time, I would ride in the city's mass transit bus all day, just to get warm and during severe weather conditions, I checked into the Salvation Army or Rescue Mission shelter homes to get warmth, food and shelter. I had been homeless until one Nigerian asked me to come and drive cab for his company. I drove with no licence, no cab permit.

Swaziland’s ‘prettiest virgins’ dance topless for King Mswati III, every August, hoping to be his next wife

~ The SUN

A common tradition in Swaziland (Swazi) permits the King, Mswati, to choose a new bride every year.

According to reports by Talk Africa, it has been a long time tradition in Swaziland and isn't the first time this controversial issue is making it into the news.

It will be recalled that in 2012, Dailymail reported that topless virgins were paraded in front of the Swazi King, to celebrate chastity and unity.

As part of Swazi custom and norms, that time of the year has come, when the King chooses his bride and again, he has reportedly tested girls' virginity before choosing a wife for himself.

The Reed Dance ceremony, known as Umhlanga reveals thousands of Swaziland's 'prettiest virgins' dancing topless for King Mswati III, every August, hoping to be his next wife.

Wife of world's richest man fetches water in Malawi

Written by Bayo Akinloye - Nigeria.  

Wife of the richest man in the world, Melinda Gates, was pictured on Saturday carrying on her head a bucket of water fetched from a village in Malawi.
Net worth of the United States' billionaire Bill Gates, according toForbes magazine's annual list of the world's billionaires, stands at $76 billion.

The billionaire's spouse, who described herself as "philanthropist, businesswoman, mother, passionate advocate for women and girls," posted a photo of herself with a 20-litre bucket of water on her head alongside two other Malawian women, walking on a dirt road.
In another picture posted on her Instagram page, she was seen doing the dishes in a Malawian village.

Describing her experience, Gates said on her Facebook page, "During my stay in Malawi, I joined the women collecting drinking water. I carried 20 litres and it was tough. Meanwhile, Chrissy (middle) is carrying about 40 litres. Many women do this every day."
She has been described as one of the world's famous social activist "who is trying to serve the people in ignorance."

In June, wife of the US billionaire met with Malawian President Peter Mutharika at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe. The agenda was to discuss the promotion of safe motherhood and maternal health in the country.

Ikeja beauty parlours: Home of deadly glamour

Written by Anna Okon - Punch, Nigeria.

From the dingy shops and dubious tools of self-acclaimed hairdressers under the Ikeja Bridge, Lagos, come a most unexpected service: breast enhancement.

The Lagos traffic snakes along the main road from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, crawling sluggishly towards the bridge which leads to the Oba Akran Road. A similar scenario plays out under the bridge where rows of shops line both sides of the road. Smartly dressed young men and women are everywhere, clustering around these shops, while some are by the road side calling on pedestrians, trying to entice them for patronage.
This place is known as Ikeja Under Bridge. It is an area that has always been home to both male and female artisans in the beauty business.
Recently, however, men appear to have upstaged women in the business. It is now a common sight to see young men hovering along the fringes of the roundabout linking Obafemi Awolowo Way and Oba Akran Avenue, soliciting customers and taking them to nearby shops.

One of these shops is owned by Linus Solanke (not real names), a hairdresser. He is one of those who make extra money by renting out their shops on a short-time basis to other hairdressers who need space for a few hours to attend to their customers.
Solanke's salon, a makeshift space, is equipped with a wall mirror and a few straight-backed chairs and it has become a haven for other young men who do hair braiding, pedicure and manicure body piercing, tattoos, permanent eye lashes/brows, permanent lip colour and other services. For each client attended to in his shop, Solanke charges between N300 and N400.
While in their salons, one easily understands why men are taking over the business. Unlike their female counterparts, the young men take their time to do their work and their charges are very flexible. Whereas the women charge between N2, 500 and N3, 000 for hair 'fixing,' the men take as low as N1,000 or less and they hardly leave a client unattended to.

Accra, over and over...Similarities, incongruities between life in Ghana and Nigeria

By MAURICE ARCHIBONG, who was in Ghana
The Ghanaian capital city, Accra, boasts numerous reasons for its magnetic pull on me; and, I guess, countless other non-Ghanaians across the world. As a result, I have visited Accra so many times, I've lost count. For me, one of Accra's attractions is that Ghanaians and Nigerians share so many things in common.
This explains why there is always something to write about no matter how many times you have toured any destination over and over. Historians, Alan Burns and Elisabeth Isichei, authors of various titles on the peoples of West Africa, teach us that the Ga, aborigines of Accra, are probably of Yoruba ancestry and migrated all the way from Ile-Ife.

At the didactic level, every time I visit Accra's James Town neighbourhoods, I'm at home. It's like being among our Ijaw (Bayelsa, Delta, Ondo, Rivers etc) or Ilaje (Ondo State) kith and kin. And, going by the plenitude of Ijaw and Ilaje people along Nigeria's Atlantic coastline, and all the way through Bakassi into Equitorial Guinea, it is highly likely some of their ancestors may have sailed westward as far as Ghana.
As in the south, so it is to the north, where, in Nigeria as in Ghana, Hausa language is commonly spoken. Never mind that Nigerian Hausawa call mixed rice and bean porridge wake (wah-kay), while in the Ghanaian dialect of the same tongue, this food is pronounced wache (wah-chay). But, take out the phonetics and accents and many would certainly be hard-put to distinguish between a Ghanaian and a Nigerian, in terms of physique.

The Train transport system...

The global transport system is quickly adopting, modernizing and advancing the Train system. here are a few examples, ranging from the Best....
Enjoy viewing the photo story!



France TGV





India's all aboard

India's all aboard

India's all aboard




Nigeria Railway Corporation

Nigeria Railway Corporation

Nigeria Railway Corporation

Nigeria Railway Corporation
Nigeria Railway Corporation 

What Okada has joined... Passengers of opposite sex find love on bike

By HENRY UMAHI - Nigeria
By law, commercial motorcyclists otherwise known as okada are required to carry one passenger at a time. But many of them flout the rule by carrying two or more thereby increasing the fatalities and injuries when accidents occur.
Interestingly, sometimes the pair being conveyed together, sitting pelvic-to-buttock or buttock-to-pelvic, on the motorcycle, is a man and a woman. While some are friends or family members going out together, some are total strangers.
Some people question the appropriateness of total strangers, a man and a woman, sitting that close, many intimate relationships have developed from such. In fact, many lovers and spouses met on such voyage.
Alphonsus Ibeh, a commercial motorcyclist, offered a glimpse into how such relationships evolve.
“Sometimes when you carry a man and a woman on the bike, they start talking and before you know it they introduce and exchange telephone numbers. In such cases, when they alight at their destination, the man will pay the fare for both. Again, sometimes when they get to their destination, they stand together and talk some more or they even walk away in the same direction,” he explained.
Another okada rider, Edward Igboke, said that sometimes passengers, who were total strangers at the take off point, begin to caress each other shortly afterwards.
He said: “This may sound unbelievable but it is the truth. Sometimes when you carry a man and a woman, before long they start romancing while on motion. Most times these people had not known each other before then. They just meet for the first time and start talking and before you say Jack Robinson, the man will start fondling the girl’s breasts right on the bike. And if I notice that kind of thing, I warn them because if they lose control, they can easily make the bike to fall.”
He however added that he has also witnessed instances whereby a female passenger will accuse her male counterpart of sexual harassment, leading to hot exchange of words.
According to him, “just the other day, a female passenger, who was sitting between me and a male passenger, urged me to stop so that she could change her sitting position. When I asked what was wrong with where she was sitting, she said that the male passenger was ‘pressing her buttocks with his manhood.’ That comment infuriated the guy and they quarrelled seriously.” Because of this on-bike romance, some parts of the city banned it unless when the two came together as many ladies sitting sandwiched in between the rider and a male passenger sometimes disembark with wet rear through a smear from the man.
Segun, a panel beater told Saturday Sun that he met his wife, Bukky, a hairdresser, on a motorcycle two years ago. They got married barely six months later. The marriage is blessed with a set of twins – a boy and a girl.
Bukky told their story. “Normally, I don’t share bike with strangers. But that fateful day, I had no choice. That period, there was scarcity of buses and motorcycles on the road because of strike. After waiting at the bus stop for a long time, when an okada appeared, Segun hopped on. I also managed to climb the okada because we were heading in the same direction and I had waited at the bus stop for too long. As we moved, we started talking about the state of the nation, how people are subjected to all manner of sufferings by those in charge. At the end of the day, we became friends and exchanged telephone numbers.
“He started calling me once in a while and I later got to know that he is from Ogun State just like me. One thing later led to another and we became closer. We got married after about six months of meeting. Today, our marriage is blessed with a set of twins – a boy and a girl. It shows that one can actually meet one’s life partner anywhere.”
Meg, a student of the Lagos State Polytechnic, also told Saturday Sun that she met her boyfriend, Ephraim, a Computer Engineer, on a motorcycle last January. Radiating with happiness, the pretty girl volunteered that Ephraim has not proposed to her yet but their relationship is cruising blissfully.
While some ladies would not share the seat on a motorcycle with a man they know not, others actually look forward to being paired with a male passenger. The latter group ‘cooperate’ with their male co-passenger, giving the hint that they are ready to mingle. For them, it is no big deal and if they conduct themselves accordingly, the least they can get is that the man will pay their fare.
According to Blessing, a salesgirl, “I have sat with men on bike several times. Sometimes, the men pay my fare but that is where it ends because the moment I get down from the bike, I will walk away. It has happened several times, I don’t see anything to it. The fact that a man’s body touched yours does not mean anything. I think it all depends on what you have in mind.”
For Silas Amiara, a trader at Ladipo market, sharing a seat with a lady is an added benefit of riding a motorcycle, especially if she is generously endowed.
With a mischievous smile playing at the corners of his mouth, he enthused: “My brother, I don’t complain about sitting with a lady on a bike. In fact, I consider it as one of the fringe benefits of okada. It is better if the seat is small and the lady is well formed. That way, there will be no space between us. It does not matter whether I am sitting in the middle or at the back. If I am sitting at the middle, at least she will be touching my back with her breasts. And if I sit behind her, I will also enjoy her backside. So, whichever way I enjoy myself, particularly if traffic is tight and we spend longer time on the bike.”
But the saying that one man’s meat is another man’s poison rings true for David Idoko, a youth corps member. According to him: “I cannot be found dead sitting on okada with a girl I do not know because some of the girls have body odour. Also, you do not know the spirit she is carrying about, which may have negative effect on you. So, count me out.”
Meanwhile, what okada has joined together let no man put asunder.
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