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Charly boy’s mom, Margaret Oputa, is dead

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Entertainer and activist, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly boy has lost his mother, Mrs Margaret Oputa.

She was 101 years old.

The man, who is also called ‘Area Fada’ announced the death both on Twitter and Instagram on Thursday.

” I wish to announce the death of our Mother Mrs Margaret Ntianu Oputa nee Onumonu which occurred Tuesday the 8th of October, 2019″.

In other tweets, Charly Boy asked his mum to greet his Papa, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, who died in 2014 at the age of 96.

“I wish you would have waited just one more day, but I guess U didn’t want me to see you go, because as usual I would
have talked you out of it, I know we both hate goodbyes.😭

“Greet Papa when you see him, tell him I have been holding forth. Gallant as ever”

Breaking the news of her death on his Instagram page, Charly Boy said that she died on Tuesday.

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Sharing a photo of himself and his other, Charly Boy said,

” I wish to announce the death of our Mother Mrs Margaret Ntianu Oputa nee Onumonu which occurred Tuesday the 8th of October, 2019.”

He went on to eulogise his mother, in a poem.

Charly Boy wrote,

“My dearest Mother,
You couldn’t just wait for me to come back before
you sneaked away to the great beyond.⚰️
Now all I have are beautiful loving kodak memories of our times
together.📸

You tried for me, for us and many of the people who
were privileged to encounter your kindness and your love.💖

Thank you for allowing me take care of you.❤️
Thank you for being that great woman who gave birth to
the icon, Charly Boy.🕺🏽

Thank you for teaching me how to care, to love, to live a simple
and humble life.😇

Thank you for constantly reminding (me) of my pedigree and
my very rich heritage.👑

I wish you would have waited just one more day, but I guess
you didn’t want me to see you go, because as usual, I would
have talked you out of it, I know we both hate goodbyes.😭

Greet Papa when you see him, tell him I have been holding
forth. Gallant as ever.🔥 😍 Love you my darling mother. RIP.”

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Ghana’s COVID-19 cases surpass 24,000

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Ghana’s COVID-19 cases have increased to 24,248, with 414 more infections confirmed late Saturday, according to the latest update from the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

The update said the health authorities had treated and discharged 619 more people, bringing the number of recovered cases to 19,831, while the number of deaths stood at 135.

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The Saturday night update also put the number of active COVID-19 cases in the West African country at 4,282, as President Nana Akufo-Addo spent his eighth day in self-isolation after a close associate of his tested positive for the pandemic.

Ghana has passed a law to enforce the wearing of face masks in public, in a bid to control and end the continued spread of the pandemic in the country.

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Boko Haram, international NGOs and the threat to Nigeria’s security

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Boko Haram

Nigeria’s Boko Haram/ISWAP crisis is in three instalments. On one side, there is the obvious menace of the terrorist group. Those who aid and abate their criminal activities are another. International non-governmental organizations (NGOs) complete the deadly triangle.

For nearly a dozen years, Boko Haram perpetrated violence across the North-East, aiming to rid the country of any form of “Western influence.” In the first six years, the terror strews across the country. The Federal Capital Territory received overdose with a deadly car bomb attack on the United Nations building in 2011 signalling intent. The horror worsened afterwards.

In December 2013, hundreds of the jihadists overran a Nigerian air force base in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri. Then four months later, the group gained particular notoriety for the abduction of an entire girls’ school in the town of Chibok. Over 20,000 persons were reportedly killed, hundreds of thousands displaced.

After reaching its peak in 2015, the number of casualties attributed to the group fell dramatically.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory ushered in this new phase, breaking the convention with a different approach and personnel. Led by Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. T.Y Buratai, the new Service Chiefs degraded the group’s territorial control, pushing them to the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin.

More recently, the COAS masterminded operations in the region that killed more than 1,000 insurgents. Audio messages released by Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram’s main faction in April suggest the group is indeed hard-pressed. In one of them he wept and prayed for protection from the “devilish” army as he urged his men to stand firm.

While Boko Haram appears weakened, batted and on the brink of surrendering, supposed humanitarian aid groups potentially pose another threat to the troops. And unlike its brutal approach on the radical jihadists, troops are handicapped.

For years, military authorities have allowed aid organizations operate outside of government-controlled areas, neglecting Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013, which criminalizes engagement with groups the government lists as terrorist. Stakeholders believe the military’s initial soft stance allowed the NGOs to perpetuate evil.

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The role of international NGOs in conflicts can not be overlooked, though. They save millions of lives, provide food, drinking water, and healthcare to those that need lifesaving assistance. Some, however, seem to bolster and encourage the carnage being perpetuated by insurgents and rebels.

In Nigeria, for instance, several reports have found many guilty of operating against all known international protocol, rendering humanitarian assistance to Boko Haram. They have been found to turn the crisis to a viable business venture, perpetuating acts that undermine the efforts of the military towards decimating the terrorist group. Some even act as spies, carrying out espionage activities.

Gudaji Kazaure, a federal lawmaker from Jigawa State first raised this alarm in 2018. He said, “The most important is for Mr President to be aware of those NGOs that are giving medication, support, food and others to the terrorists. If we don’t stop those NGOs that are going into Sambisa and meeting Boko Haram, we will not succeed in this war.”

It took almost a year for Kazaure’s entreaty to be taken seriously. The military began a major crackdown on foreign NGOs for “aiding and abetting terrorists”, supplying food and drugs. Two aid agencies, Action Against Hunger and Mercy Corps were suspended but pardoned merely one month later.

Ali Ndume, Chairmain Senator Committee on Army kicked, insisting that he has credible evidence that NGOs work with Boko Haram after returning from a trip to Maiduguri.

“Another area that the Senate will look into is the allegation that the various NGOs in that area are conniving with the insurgents – providing them information, logistics and so many things,” he said.

“I have been critical about this and people have told me to be careful but it has come out now that one or two of the so-called NGOs operating there are actually aiding and abetting and supporting the insurgents. But we will do an investigation and we will hear if we have the evidence.”

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Since 2019, after a resurgence in fighting, government and military officials have also required aid organizations to undergo lengthy processes to obtain compulsory authorization for moving personnel, cash, and cargo carrying relief materials in the northeast region. The military mandated using armed escorts on some routes, banned certain types of goods, and limited the amount of fuel the agencies can use in the field. Somehow, the can of worms remained.

Funding for Boko Haram

A damning report by the Centre for Africa Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights (CALSER) have found some INGOs to be responsible for funding Boko Haram. It revealed that while there are multiple evidence that suggests that funds from the coffers of these INGOs end up in the hands of the Boko Haram terrorist group, majority do come in the country from the francophone countries in cash.

The military authorities have not been successful in tracking the inflow and disbursement of millions of dollars that have passed through the coffers of the INGOs. The discreet nature of their transactions has made matters worse.

Funds aside, INGOs have been accused of providing humanitarian support to Boko Haram terrorists in violation of international protocol and laws. They divert food and other relief items meant for the IDPs to the camp of the group. In most instances, some medical NGO have been reported to be providing medical services to injured terrorists, which goes against the provisions in the International Humanitarian Law in armed conflict situations.

Some locals in communities confessed that there are numerous instances where some INGOs move truck load of food items and medical supplies and abandon them in the middle of nowhere and before dawn these trucks and the items would disappear.

It was also stated that some INGOs move about with unmarked trucks which makes it difficult to track their identities. The reason for this it was gathered was to leave no trace behind for the military to trace.

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Worst still, INGOs are believed to engage in the blackmail of the military. CALSER’s report and many others uncovered some foreign aid agencies engaged in propaganda on behalf of Boko Haram, especially when they come under heavy bombardment from the Nigerian troops.

The report also revealed that some foreign interest contracted some well-known INGOs in Nigeria to act as the intellectual arm of the Boko Haram group through the issuance of press statement and reports accusing the Nigerian Military of human rights abuses. These tactics are meant to cause a distraction when there seems to be intense pressure on the Boko Haram group.

It was also gathered that the bulk of the rape allegations made against the military in IDP camps were fabricated too by some INGOs who offer young girls and women monies to appear before the camera to make such allegations.

Several others are alleged to be actively involved in human trafficking and exploitation. There is a particular case of a French NGO that carries out documentaries in IDP camps depicting a picture of gloom as against the wishes of women and children and they consequently send these documentaries to donor organizations soliciting for funds.

That’s not all. INGOs are also notorious for other inimical acts that are dehumanizing to IDPs in their various camps. Some have been identified to be notorious for making locals go against their wishes to coercing them into making submissions and divulging information about their communities which ultimately ends up in the hands of the Boko Haram group to aid their operations.

To stand a fair chance of defeating this brutal group, the hard-power approach of the military must be supported by the Federal Government and effective legislation to eliminate the last arm of terror; the international NGOs. Else, the troops may remain in the same triangle.

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2020 Pitchers Award: Noah’s Ark emerges Agency of the year and Digital Agency of the year

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Nigeria’s multiple award-winning creative marketing communications powerhouse, Noah’s Ark Communications Limited, has re-enacted its winning streak once again as it recently shone brilliantly by winning the Agency of the Year and Digital Agency of the Year at the prestigious 2020 Pitcher’s Award held in Lagos.

This is the second time in a row that the agency would be winning the Agency of the Year having won the same award last year. The agency which is reputed for its brilliant works across the continent showed class once again by winning a total of 33 laurels at the event including one gold, six silver and twenty-six Bronze medals. With this development, Noah’s Ark leads the rank as one of the most recognized agencies at the award ceremony.

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Speaking on the awards, the Managing Director/Chief Creative Officer, Noah’s Ark Communications Limited, Mr. Lanre Adisa, attributed the achievement recorded by the agency to hard work, immense support received from clients who created the enabling environment for creativity to thrive as well as the invaluable contribution of the team.

According to Adisa, this milestone would serve as a huge motivation for the agency to continue on its path of excellence, which would help in reaching the goal of putting Nigeria on the global map as far as the marketing communication landscape, is concerned.

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The Agency’s creative campaigns for Nigeria’s Telecommunication giant, Airtel on Data extension, and Smart Talk with titles such as chores, conditioning, Stew, Mechanic, Twale, and Boo became center of attention as they repeatedly won awards in both Social Media and Film categories.

While the ‘Chores and Conditioning’ Airtel campaigns won the agency two Silver medals and two Bronze medals respectively in Social Media and Film Categories respectively, Hypo’s Surprise campaign gave it a total of six bronze medals.

Both Maltina and Pay Attitude creative campaigns titled “Happiness” and “What’s Your Number” respectively swell the ranks of the medal haul with each one winning 3 bronze medals.

The high point of the event came when Noah’s Ark’ ‘Let’s History repeat itself’ campaign titled “Fela” was crowned with a Gold medal in the Outdoor category. Other creative campaigns by Noah’s Ark include ‘No brief just beef’, which won a total of three bronze medals.

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It would be recalled that Noah’s Ark Communications emerged Africa’s Agency of the Year at African Cristal Award in 2018 and has consistently shown its class in the league of notable agencies in Africa, winning different awards both locally and globally in the last five years.

The Pitcher Awards is an award recognized as the new benchmark for creative excellence in marketing communications across Africa.

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