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Okposi Education Initiative mourns dead FGC Okposi Students


Okposi Education Initiative has expressed shock and sadness over the mysterious death of two students of Federal Government College Okposi, Ebonyi State. According to media reports, the students were reported missing earlier in the month and their dead bodies were found recently at a bamboo grove in a river near the school.FGC

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Dr Laz Ude Eze, the group demanded full investigation to uncover the cause of death of the two students. He commended the community for their proactive response to the tragic incident. According to him, “We are extremely pained by this tragedy because nothing like this has ever occurred in Okposi. Ndi Okposi rose unanimously to express sadness when the students were declared missing and were involved in intensive search until their bodies were discovered. The community considers the ugly development as an abomination; consequently, all commercial activities were suspended, the people gathered at the market square and placed curses on any person connected to the death of the students. Okposi elites resident in Abuja have also responded likewise. Our people are very united in mourning these children and praying for their families”.

The group pledged to work with the school, community leaders and government authorities to prevent recurrence of such evil in Okposi community in future. It also called on Ebonyi State government to intervene and end recruitment of students into cultism as has been observed in some parts of the state.

16 top #Choice4Life Tweets for #16DaysofActivism


GBV info#Choice4Life Advocates commenced the #16DaysofActivism against Gender-Based Violence with a 4-hour tweetathon on November 25, 2015. The 72-member group consists of innovative young professionals who use social media to promote women sexual and reproductive health and rights.  “We believe that we can all achieve a bright future without this violence. We will not keep quiet until it ends” – vowed the advocates.

Below are top 16 tweets the group wants you to share in your networks;

  1. Violence Against Women is one of the most pervasive human rights violations around the world. #Choice4Life #EndVAW  #VAPPAct #16Days
  2. Whether domestic, physical or sexual, violence against women is still as damaging. #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct #16Days
  3. We would teach women their rights, we will raise our voice to dispense justice in Nigeria via the #VAPPAct. #Choice4Life #EndVAW #16days
  4. Violence against women is punishable and we demand that our #VAPPAct be implemented in all Nigerian states.#Choice4Life #EndVAW #16days
  5. Broken Women make unstable families; unstable families make a shaky nation. #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  6. It may be impossible to achieve sustainable development if gender based violence continues.#Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  7. Statistics show that 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence mostly by intimate partners. #16days #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  8. The cultural idea that put women as victims must be conquered,it is a new dawn of liberation for our women. #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  9. No excuse no matter how legally crafted should permit violence against women. Please, understand your rights.#Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  10. It is not left to only women to defend and support each other, Everyone has to help eliminate it.#Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  11. Did you know that the #VAPPAct bill has several prison terms for offenders of violence against women?  #Choice4Life#EndVAW
  12. You should not keep silent when you notice acts related to violence on women. Please Act! #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  13. Abusive marriages should never be smiled upon. The #VAPPAct should be domesticated in all of Nigeria.  #Choice4Life#EndVAW
  14. We understand that our women hold the key to the future; we respect them and their rights. #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  15. The #VAPPAct identifies rape as any penetration into another person’s orifice without consent.#Choice4Life #EndVAW
  16. Parents and teachers must encourage children to dismiss the acceptance of violence against women. #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct

Know the #VAPPAct

Other tweets include;

  • How you treat and speak to a woman shows your perspective on violence, we must do better. #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  • Love was never intended to hurt. Let’s break this stereotype of emotional abuse and help more women. #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  • It is amazing how many women keep silent on violence done to them. Speak up and help fight your demons. #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  • Female Genital Mutilation is a grave violence on any woman’s wellbeing. It is offensive and destructive. #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  • The sad amount of women that have been ejected from their homes because they do not have a voice. #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  • It is a very wrong to engage in online conversations that ridicule gender based violence . #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  • We will continue to celebrate the strength and resilience of women that have been victims of violence. #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  • We do not just seek to curb or reduce these violence…we are talking elimination. #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  • Every woman has a right to a healthy happy life. #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  • Who are you to deprive a woman of her liberty? You belong in a prison. #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  • Verbal and physiological abuse has triple effects on women and their environment. We stand to end emotional abuse. #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  • Extreme widowhood practices have made it okay to violate women in various parts of Nigeria. This has to end. #Choice4Life#EndVAW #VAPPAct

Every Woman Counts!

#16Days: #Choice4Life Advocates want the World to #EndVAW


nov 25#Choice4Life Advocates are young Nigerian professionals who promote Women Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights using Social Media. The Group conducted a tweetathon on November 25, 2015 to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. They are also committed to educating social media users on issues that promote women’s health during the #16DaysofActivism.

They called for the domestication of the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act (#VAPPAct) by all the 36 States of Nigeria.

Some of their tweets include;

  • No excuse no matter how legally crafted should permit violence against women. Please, understand your rights.#Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  • It is not left to only women to defend and support each other, Everyone has to help eliminate it.#Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  • Did you know that the #VAPPAct bill has several prison terms for offenders of violence against women?  #Choice4Life #EndVAW
  • You should not keep silent when you notice acts related to violence on women. Please Act! #Choice4Life #EndVAW #VAPPAct
  • Abusive marriages should never be smiled upon. The #VAPPAct should be domesticated in all of Nigeria.  #Choice4Life #EndVAW

#YouthDay: #AfrYPoD Charges African Leaders on Effective Utilization of Youth Demographic Dividend



Today, 12th August was in 1999 designated as the International Youth Day by the United Nations general assembly to recognise the efforts of world youth in enhancing global society. This year’s International Youth Day has as its theme “Youth Civic Engagement” which recognises the importance of the engagement and participation of young people in development initiatives. It also seeks to reverse the current situation of little or no engagement of youths in most national, social, economic and political discourse in many countries.


L-R: Dr Laz Ude Eze (Convener), Dr N. Mabogunje (Ipas Nigeria) & Mr. Ojugo Onyeluka (ECOWAS)

Given that the youth account for over 65 percent of Africa’s population and most countries on the continent in the low and middle income countries category, the importance of engaging this population in developmental issues cannot be over-emphasised, as they are both a major driver and contributor to national development.

From the foregoing, a youth-centred pan-African initiative like the African Youth Initiative on Population, Health and Development (AfrYPoD) being launched today is of essence. AfrYPoD envisions an African society that prioritizes health and sustainable development through active participation of young people as valuable resources. This is more-so as 2009-2018 has been declared the “African Youth Decade” and the recognition that we are the future of society, the product of its evolution, the preserver of its values and the ones to live out the consequences of its current condition.

AfrYPoD’s mission is to build a strong network of individuals and youth-focused organisations in Africa that promote, lead and/or support the implementation of the recommendations of International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Program of Action, ICPD+5 Review, ICPD Beyond 2014 Global Consultations and other internationally agreed conventions that promote health, development and universally acceptable human rights in an efficient, sustainable and acceptable manner across countries in Africa.

In conclusion, as national development translates into the improvement of the lives of all people in communities where development is fundamentally deficient; sustainable and equitable development on the continent in the 21st century must involve the full participation of youths in the planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation of developmental programs and policies and likewise the establishment of acceptable channels of communication with national governments. The youth are said to be leaders of tomorrow; our tomorrow is TODAY!

We hereby call on African heads of government to intensify efforts to achieve the goals of the African Decade for the Youth with effective utilization of the youth demographic dividend via youth civic engagement.

Dr Laz Ude Eze – @donlaz4u


For @AfrYPoD

David Nnaji’s BEDLAM & Afolayan’s OCTOBER 1 Selected for Woodpecker International Film Festival


David Nnaji’s directorial film debut “Bedlam” has been selected, alongside Biyi Bandele and Kunle Afolanyan’s Half of a Yellow Sun and October 1 for a special screening in the World Panorama section of 3rd Woodpecker International Film Festival.BEDLAM POSTER

The 3rd Woodpecker International Film Festival is scheduled for September 17‐20, 2015 at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi, India. “It’s for the first time that a serious attempt is being made to bring Nigerian cinema to the Indian audience.

Other selected Nigerian films include ‘Brothers’ directed by Azubuike Erinugha ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’ by Desmond Elliot; ‘Thy Will Be Done’ by Obi Emenloye; ‘Doll House’ by Kayode Peters; ‘Silent Tears,’ a documentary by Ishaya Bako; and ‘Champagne’ by Emem Isong.

Synopsis: A career driven young man abandons his family for work. His determination for success had a negative effect on his relationship with his spouse relentlessly. She had to take a drastic measure to make him realise that family values are much more important than pursuing his profession.


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Ghanaian Surgeon writes angry letter to Spanish Ambassador over Visa Denial

A Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon at Ghana’s apex hospital, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Agbeko Ocloo, reportedly wrote to the Spanish Ambassador protesting the refusal of a visa to him without proper justification.
Below is the full letter as published on Joy Online

The Deputy Head of Mission

Embassy of Spain

Accra, Ghana

26th April 2015

Dear Sir:

I applied for a short-term visa to attend a medical conference in Barcelona from 26th April to 29th April 2015 and by your response dated 22nd April 2015 I had been denied an entry visa to your country. As was written in your rejection letter, I have an option of lodging a contentious-administrative appeal at the High Court of Justice of Madrid (Spain) within a two-month deadline counting from the date of serving. Since it is nigh impossible for me to get myself to Madrid and lodge my appeal I have decided to personally write to you for some clarification.

The reasons for denying me an entry visa were that the information regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable and also that my intention to leave your country before the expiry of the visa could not be ascertained.

I know it is your prerogative to decide whom to grant a visa to but I feel personally insulted for the reasons you have given for the denial.

I am a highly trained orthopedic surgeon with specialty interest in orthopedic sports medicine and complex joint reconstruction. I have been a doctor for the past 20yrs. My current positions are:

  1. Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon at the KorleBu Teaching Hospital.
  2. Lecturer at the University of Ghana Medical School
  3. Fellow of the West African College of Surgeons
  4. Consultant for West Africa Rescue Association WARA. (I treat patients from the expatriate and diplomatic community including quite a number from Spain) I am sure if you were to injure yourself, am the most likely surgeon that you will be referred to.

I have attended medical conferences in Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, Japan, Canada, USA and Norway. Incidentally all these countries found my purpose for travelling justifiable except you. The letter of invitation I presented to you was written by a renowned surgeon in Madrid who trained in the same institution as I did in the United States. But I guess you did not find a letter written by such a person credible enough.

I find it laughable that you think I will not return to Ghana and end up as an illegal immigrant in Spain where people of my skin tone are treated as second-class citizens. I have a wife and children whom I do not intend to abandon. Although I do not consider myself wealthy, I am very comfortable economically and have investments in property and other assets in Ghana. How did you ever come to the conclusion that I was a flight risk?

May I kindly remind you of some basic facts about your country?

  1. The unemployment rate in Spain presently is 25% and youth unemployment tops 50%. Why will I leave a stable job and to go and join the unemployment ranks in your country.
  2. From January 2009 to end of 2013, 400,000 Spaniards emigrated to look for work outside of your country. And this is expected to rise in the coming years.
  3. Doctors in Spain are the least/worst paid in the whole Euro zone. Why will I want to go work in a country where my counterparts are leaving in droves for economic reasons?
  4. In the year 2012, it is on record that 2405 medical doctors applied for certification to work abroad, according to The Medical Spanish Association – a 75% increase compared with 2011. 83% of doctors seek jobs in Europe (mainly the UK and France) and 7% America.
  5. In 2009, the Health Ministry warned that there was a shortage and that the country needed around 3,200 more doctors. By 2025, at the present rate the shortfall will be around 25,000. The Spanish government has talked of increasing the number of university and medical school places, as well as making it easier for overseas personnel to work here.

Sir, as a representative of the country of Spain you have failed woefully in your responsibility to promote the interest of your country by denying me a visa.  My skill, knowledge and experience will be invaluable to the Spanish people even if I decided not to come back to Ghana. Furthermore, my budget for this conference topped € 5000. This is the amount of money that would have been injected into the Spanish economy in a week. Can you imagine the economic loss if all the doctors from all over the world attending this conference were denied entry into Spain? I was due to present two papers and since I was not able to go I have informed the conveners of the conference of my inability to attend. This is an international conference and can you imagine the embarrassment your compatriot doctors will feel when it is announced that I could not present my scientific papers because you denied me a visa? Never mind that I cannot get a full refund for my ticket and my total booking for the hotel is not refundable.

Given the reason for visa rejection, a detailed explanation on which aspects of my application did not provide sufficient evidence that I will return to Ghana is most welcome. I am particularly curious to know of the lofty economic standards set for Ghanaians to visit to Spain when Spaniards themselves barely meet these standards.

Yours truly,

Dr. Agbeko Ocloo MB.ChB FWACS

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon


The Ambassador

Embassy of Spain

Accra, Ghana

Source: Joy Online