Archive for April, 2009

OBAMA:A NIGERIAN NEWSPAPER EDITORIAL ON OBAMA’S FIRST 100 DAYS!-FROM DAILY INDEPENDENT,LAGOS

April 29, 2009
OBAMA-A BLACK PRESIDENT WITH BLACK ACTIONS EVERYWHERE!

OBAMA-A BLACK PRESIDENT WITH BLACK ACTIONS EVERYWHERE!

FROM odili.net

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

President Obama’s first 100 days
Editorial

The great black American poet, William Cuney, captured a not dissimilar moment of exuberance, pride and hope almost exactly a century earlier when he proclaimed ‘My Lord, what a morning!” (Oh my Lord, what a feeling). The swearing in, a hundred days ago of an African-American as the President of the United States, was a great confirmation of the audacity of hope. What was inconceivable, ten, even five, years ago was confirmed in the full glare of an enraptured worldwide audience. The American dream was not just mythology; it was well and truly alive.

It is true of course that great expectations were raised with the inauguration of Mr. Barack Obama. He also had promises to keep. How has he fared so far? This newspaper will not hesitate to give him an overwhelming pass mark. He has crossed the first hundred days in flying colours. As a leading United States newspaper, The Boston Globe, remarked on Sunday, “What appears to be a natural gift for the presidency has allowed Obama to avoid amateurish mistakes.”

The self-confidence shown so far by Obama is truly poignant when put in the context of the criticisms made during the Democratic Party primaries that he was lacking in experience. It is even more remarkable when put in the context of the worst economic crises since the great depression in the 1930’s. The present economic situation would have taxed the countenance of even the most experienced of operators, that Obama has acquitted himself with such Èlan and panache harbingers what could turn out to be a remarkable presidency. Previous ‘hundred days’ have not been so assessed. For example, President John F. Kennedy’s ended with the ill thought-out Bay of Pigs fiasco.

Not surprisingly, reviving the ailing economy has been the centerpiece of Obama’s young presidency. It is on this premise that his administration will be assessed as the United States endures its worst recession since the Second World War. The achievement on this front has been important. The unprecedented $787 billion economic stimulus required great political skill to steer through Congress and it was achieved. The atmosphere created through Obama’s charm offensive in getting the stimulus through has been crucial. So far he has commanded strong public support in spite of a relentless rise in unemployment to 25 years highs, staggering rates of home foreclosures and a budget deficit that looks set to reach nearly two trillion dollars.

In spite of this, a mid April poll of respondents said the president has a clear plan to deal with the recession – well more than double the 24% who thought the same of the Republican Party. Remarkable, for before Obama’s inauguration, only 19% said the country was on the right track. Now the figure is 50% according to a Washington Post/ABC News survey on Sunday. This represents a truly remarkable shift from the poisonous atmosphere of the Bush era.

Overall, Obama’s intention is to remodel the United States economy which will include ending the nation’s addiction to foreign oil (Nigeria please take note) and measures such as enacting universal health care and fixing Wall Street.

The new atmosphere has been recreated on other fronts. One of his first acts on the first day in office was to extend the scope of the Freedom of Information Act as it affects the federal government. This act of extending openness in the process of governance should be food for thought to those in Nigeria who cannot countenance the enactment of a Freedom of Information Act. Obama also sensibly ordered the closure of the notorious Guantanamo Bay military detention facility and abolished ‘enhanced interrogation facilities’. He has set a fixed timetable for withdrawing United States combat forces from Iraq. Turning the focus to the perils of Afghanistan he has ordered 21,000 additional troops and is seeking to enlist, with modest new assistance, European allies in a new multiplayer strategy there and crucially in Pakistan. Furthermore, the commitment to initiate a process of general nuclear disbarment will help to bring down temperatures.

Away from the military battleground, he is seeking to return science to its rightful place by amongst other policies extending the frontier of Stem Cell research. Overall, unlike the times of childlike belligerence and braggadocio of the Bush era he has been engaging world leaders with ‘strength and humility’. The huge crowds which greeted his public appearance in Europe, Canada and Mexico is testimony to the new dawn.

As for us here in Africa, it will be improper for any reasonable person to have expected Obama to put Africa on the front burner in his first hundred days. That time will certainly come. However, a host of measurers already enunciated will be of immense benefit to the African continent. The trillion dollar aid package to cushion the economic meltdown will be of great assistance. In addition, and very crucially, Obama’s insistence on free trade will help to block protectionist tendencies which are now, given the recession, very much, sadly, in vogue. Africa needs open trade and this will be of unquantifiable assistance. Africa’s moment will come, but the continent too has to prepare for that moment by embracing the new spirit of openness and renewed commitment to democracy as a way of being in sync with the age of Obama.

The position of former President George W. Bush is quite instructive. Pressed to comment on Obama’s performance so far, he merely retorted that he would not be partisan. “He has earned my silence,” said Bush. For us, his first hundred days has made us all very proud. The sureness of touch, the competence and self-assurance should be emulated by leaders on the African continent

OBAMA’S WIN:”A DREAM COMES TRUE…BROTHER COURTLAND MILLOY SAYS IN THE WASHINGTON POST,NOV.5,2008-BLACK REACTION TO A BLACK VICTORY!

April 29, 2009

ph2005052700709from washingtonpost.com

A Dream Comes True, With a Little Magic Thrown In: ‘Maybe America Has Really Changed’

by Courtland Milloy

Obamacans, parade rest.

Obamaites, stand down.

White America, at ease.

Black America, fall out.

The presidential war of 2008 is over. We won. Take a breather. America has a new commander in chief: a black man.

Prayer warriors, stay alert.

A spiritual revival is underway in this big tent of a nation. It’s a lift-every-voice-and-sing moment, a time of chill bumps and warm hearts.

With the colors of states on national TV turning from red to blue, the racial mapping of my mind is simultaneously redrawn. Old lines of demarcation are being erased, new markings made based on recent sightings:

All along U Street, part of the African American Heritage Trail, a diverse sea of humanity spilling into the streets in jubilation. Barack Obama being cheered at Grant Park in Chicago by blacks and whites as if for a hometown team in the Super Bowl.

“Is there anybody out there who still doubts that in America all things are possible?” President-elect Obama asked. “This is your answer.”

Obama supporters in my Fort Washington neighborhood began storming the voting precincts at sunup yesterday, some waiting for more than two hours to vote. It didn’t take that long for me to enter the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. But, people, this is no fairy tale.

Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed that people would not be judged by their color but by the content of their character, and “to me, it’s like King’s dream becoming reality,” said James Isley Sr., 56, a retired D.C. government employee.
He and his wife, Jacqueline, had just voted for Obama and were walking hand in hand from the polls at Oxon Hill Middle School. “I just think Obama is on a mission from God,” she said.

The young and gifted Obama waged a campaign that appealed to hearts and souls. By transcending race, he led America to break through its most formidable racial barrier.

“I feel great about having the opportunity to vote for a black presidential nominee,” said Easter Gowen, 67, a program analyst for the U.S. Government Printing Office. “I’m also happy to cast a vote of confidence in our society and what America stands for.”

There was something divine about Obama’s run. For a candidate to appear not too black for whites and not too white for blacks was phenomenal if not miraculous.

“Having the first black president may be historic, but it’s more important for me to have a president who shares my values,” said Sharisse Felton, 23, an African American electrical engineering student at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. “I’m for Obama because of his economic policies, not his race.”

And beyond all that, the promise of — the symbolism of — a black president was irresistible.

“It now takes away the excuses that young black men use to justify not trying hard enough,” said Grover Carson, 62, a retired D.C. police officer. “You can’t say that the white man is holding you back when you got a black man in the White House.”

Henry Saunders, a 50-year-old federal contractor, put it this way: “As an African American, even though Obama has no special agenda for black people, as he goes up in stature, so do the rest of us. We are now more inclined to challenge ourselves, to try to improve and empower ourselves because he has raised our expectations.”

But what about Obama’s astounding support among white Americans? Many blacks found that mystifying.

“I didn’t think I’d live long enough to see America vote for a black president,” said Truth Omole, a 38-year-old teacher. By “America,” she meant white people.

“Maybe America has really changed,” she said. “I didn’t live through the civil rights movement, but I did grow up with an expectation that certain things just couldn’t happen for black people.”

A younger generation of black and white Americans spearheaded the change. Unified by political hip-hop music, more concerned with an inheritance of debt and war than with superficial matters of skin color, they rallied for Obama throughout the nation.

Politics of racial divisiveness, dismissed.

Barack Obama, salute.

America, take a bow.

E-mail:milloyc@washpost.com

YORUBA GIRLS/WOMEN WEAR WAIST BEADS AND THIS IS WHAT IT CULTURALLY MEANS!-FROM GUARDIAN NEWSPAPERS,NIGERIA

April 28, 2009

4846b8_2yoruba_chapter_3_03

MODERN USE OF YORUBA WAIST BEADS

MODERN USE OF YORUBA WAIST BEADS

c_95-7FROM ngrguardiannews.com

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Waist bead among the Yoruba
By Alloysius Nduka Duru

THE usage of beads especially waist bead in Nigeria is wide spread across the various nationalities that make up the nation. There are similarities and peculiarities in their usage.
However, the Yorubas developed the most varying and peculiar uses for the waist beads. The Yorubas have developed a culture of bead usage that cuts across both material and spiritual aspects of the life of the people. In addition, they have also the capacity to produce the beads for varying purposes ranging from royalty, body adornment, deification and decoration.

The Yorubas are found in the South Western geo-political delineation of present day Nigeria. They are a vibrant and social people that accentuate their ways of life in their day-to-day activities.

Beads are usually small round piece of glass, wood, metal or nut, pierced for stringing. They are either used for adornment such as the waist, neck or ankle beads or as decorative ornament in art works or even for royalty purposes.

The art of beading is serial in process and serrated in composition. It has a step by step or one by one approach in stringing when traded together, beads stands for unity, togetherness and solidarity.

Beads of the waist is said to posses the power to attract and evoke deep emotional responses, they are a sign of success and affluence as well as spiritual well being.

The Origin of the Nigerian beads is still speculative due to its fragility portability and popularity.

Beads have been traded and used since time immemorial. However, the earliest known African beads is traced to Libya and Sudan. In Nigeria the Nok terracottes and Igbo Ukwu arts display some element of the usage of beads in those societies as early as 500BC, however there is no concrete statement of origin to the beads.

A common usage of the item is for adornment especially on the waist. There is however varying purpose for which people adorn the waist beads.

The common users of the waist beads are mostly the women folk, only in exceptional theatrical perform as will a man adorn a waist bead to symbolize feminism. The waist bead is synonymous with feminism.

The Yorubas have esteemed usage attached to the waist beads. They refer to the waist bead as Ileke, “Lagidigba” the term lagidigba means something big, thick or massive. The Lagidigba is made of palm nut shells string together, while the bebe is made of glass.

The Yorubas have a belief that the waist beads posses some erotic appeal, they have the power to provoke desire or deep emotional response on the opposite sex.

Waist beads in Yoruba are also used for birth control, the beads are laced with charms and worn by the women to prevent conception.

Beads are a precious ornaments to the Yorubas, hence when adorned by a women, accentuates her feminism or beauty. Beads also helps to portray the chastity of a maiden or women sensuality. Parent show their love for their girl child through gifts of waist beads that are colourful and expensive.

The lagidigba or palm nut shell beads is used for fecundity purposes. The nuts signify multiple births as they are in clusters, thus one can infer the high incidence of multiple births in Yoruba land to the usage of the lagidigba bead.

Brides seduce their spouses with the beads they adorn, some women are said to lace their beads with charm to make them irresistible to the male folks. The Yoruba’s can easily comment on a women’s moral standing in those days by interpretation of the movement of the waist bead adorned by a women. The way she moves her buttocks can depict her morals either seductive or reserve.

The Yorubas have a popular saying that “it is the beads that makes the buttocks to shake”.

Other users of the waist beads in Yoruba land are the Orisas or devotes of water deities and other priestesses, they adorn the waist beads for protection against spiritual attacks as well as part of their dress regalia.

The waist bead is also used to adorn the Ere-Ibeji figurine on the death of a twin, there is the belief that when treated well the spirit of the spirit of the dead twin will not harm the living twin and will return to the family to stay.

Waist beads are also adorned and laced with charms to ward away the Abiku spirit (mermaid Spirit) from a woman.

Because of the regard on the waist beads, some erotic songs have been composed and sang by the Yorubas based on its usages.

A Song Says

“She goes up

She goes down

Like buttocks beads.

Another song says;

Don’t flirt with me

Don’t flirt with me as you do with your husband.

Don’t wriggle your waist beads at me

Don’t lock the door on me and throw

Away the key.

Apart from the Yorubas, other groups in Nigeria also have similar usages of the waist beads in their culture the Ogonis in Rivers State refer to beads as Loo, its uses range from covering the private parts of a women to adornment as a sign of affluence. The beads is a measure of value to the Ogonis and are also worn by bride as part of her bridal rites. The Igbos called it Mgbaji, also for adornment and a sign of social status.

The Hausas refer to it as Jigida. To the Kalabaris, the waist bead has the potency of transforming an ugly woman into a beautiful maiden once it is worn. The Ibibios see it as Nkwa-Isin, they adorn it on a female baby to help give her a good waist line, as she grows, beads of her size are adorned on her.

Priestesses of deities also wear the beads that are always colourful as part of their regalia. They also use the waist beads laced with charm s for birth control. The maiden dances (Aban) also wear the beads doing dance to give a graceful hip movement when they dance.

Waist bead in today’s fashion is relegated, ladies have a preference for western costumes such as belts, chains, g-strings to the waist beads. The culture of waist bead is going down rapidly to extinction. Religion and other spiritual reasons have been adduced for the neglect, however it must be pointed out that waist bead usage as practiced in the past is an essential element of African body adornment that is harmless and meaningful a pride and precious item which should be encourage to day.

Nduka Duru discussed this topic with National Museum Study Group, Port Harcourt recently

© 2003 – 2009 @ Guardian Newspapers Limited (All Rights Reserved).
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FROM wazobaa.info

GIRLS GO NAKED TO SHOWCASE BEADS
She is a pretty young girl with a slim graceful figure. Her elegant movement attracted the attention of passersby as she jiggled across to the other side of the road. Her waist beads were well revealed between her skimpy top and skirt. Mindful of the attention she had generated in the ever-busy Ketu Bus-Stop, Lagos State, Nigeria, she quickly climbed a commercial bike popularly called okada, trying in the process to pull her top and miniskirt together as they went further apart between the beads. A male petty trader beside her shouted, “Wetin you dey hide? Why you no go naked make we see your ‘thing’ well well?” Vividly embarrassed she tapped the bike rider and said, “Please get me out of this place.”

The above ‘drama’ and similar ones are common scenes today in Nigerian cities as well as towns particularly where higher institutions are located, particularly in southern parts of the country. This re-emergence of beads has added a new dimension into the craze for Western oriented fashion among our ladies particularly young ones. This trend is more pronounced among female students, particularly those in higher institutions. In addition to waist adornment, ladies also use beads as necklace, for hair tie, and handbag decoration. Some also wear beads on their wrists as hand bangles, as well as using them as earrings. The popularity of beads today is enhanced by the cost of acquiring them. A survey conducted by this reporter shows that beads averagely cost between one hundred and fifty naira to two thousand naira, depending on the quality, size, length and quality of string used in making them.

Madam Grace Benson, the proprietor of a fashion shop with inscription “MAMA ONOME BEAUTY PALACE” at Balogun Stret, Lagos Island, Lagos, was busy attending to her clients when this reporter visited her shop. When she was asked how ladies patronize her beads she simply said, “Fine, as you can see beads are in vogue now, so we are selling well well.” When asked to comment on why young ladies go for beads, she said, “Beads make ladies look fine, beads bring out the natural beauty in women. It is good, not just because of beauty, but a way of introducing our culture into the modern fashion.” On the moral implications of the manner in which some ladies expose the sensitive parts of their bodies to show-off beads, she refused to comment, saying, “I am busy, you can see my customers are waiting for me, I have to attend to them.”

However, 62-year-old community leader and retired civil servant, Mr. Idowu Bakare, described the trend as unfortunate, “This shows the level of moral decadence in our society. I can’t imagine seeing these small girls going about almost naked in the name of displaying beads worn around exclusive areas of their bodies. I blame the parents because I can tolerate such in my house,” he said. “It is a curse for any one to link our culture to this madness. Various cultures in Nigeria used beads to dignify womanhood. No time did our culture led women naked in the name of displaying beads,” he added.

“When I put on beads I look more beautiful”, a student of Lagos State University, Funke Ekerin, said. When asked the fun she drives from the beads on her waist she simply replied, “It is in vogue now, ladies fancy waist beads much, and even men who want to be truthful will tell you that they admire ladies with beads on their waists.”

A teenage girl who simply identified herself as Cynthia, said, “A correct Chic cannot wear beads without wearing it on her waist; that is the one that makes us more beautiful.” On the moral implications, she said, “Well, if any man feels that it is seductive he should remove his eyes from it; after all, it is my body, nobody will tell me what I should do with it.”

EYO FESTIVAL HOLDS IN LAGOS,NIGERIA WITH AN ORGANIZED DIFFERENCE BY GOV. FASOLA!-GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER,APRIL 28,2009(WITH THE FIRST 7 PHOTOS BY EHIS ERO!)

April 28, 2009

CELEBRATING IN THE COMMUNITY OF EKO ISLAND!

CELEBRATING IN THE COMMUNITY OF EKO ISLAND!

BY ERIS ERO

BY ERIS ERO

BY EHIS ERO

BY EHIS ERO

GOVERNOR BABATUNDE FASOLA,LAGOS STATE WHO MADE IT ALL POSSIBLE! HE IS LEADING IN PRESERVING THE YORUBA CULTURE WHICH IS DYING!

GOVERNOR BABATUNDE FASOLA,LAGOS STATE WHO MADE IT ALL POSSIBLE! HE IS LEADING IN PRESERVING THE YORUBA CULTURE WHICH IS DYING!

BY EHIS ERO

BY EHIS ERO

BY EHIS ERO

BY EHIS ERO

BY BROTHER EHIS ERO

BY BROTHER EHIS ERO

by Brother Ehis Ero

by Brother Ehis Ero

eyo-festival6eyo-festival5eyomasquradeeyo-festivaleyo-festival3eyo-festival2eyo-festival4from ngrguardiannews.com

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Splendour, as Lagos throbs to Eyo Carnival
By Nnamdi Inyama and Seye Olumide

LONG before the day, Lagos and even beyond, had been abuzz about the Orisa play also known as Eyo Festival.

There had been comments that this year’s edition, organized in honour of the late Chief T. O. S. Benson, a prominent Lagosian and the nation’s first Minister of Information, would be special, and indeed, it was.

All roads on Saturday led to the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) in Central Lagos, which was the venue of a spectacular display of colour, dance, culture and tradition by various Eyo groups at an event during which the state, Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) declared that “the best of Lagos was yet to come.”

Those living in the Lagos Mainland and outskirts , at one point on Saturday, began to wonder where everybody else had gone to, why there were so few commercial transport vehicles on the road and why the ones available charged such high fares.

The answer was simple: many people from all nooks and crannies of the state were heading to TBS to watch Eyo masquerades perform in a music and dance drama special to Lagosians.

Every available seat, by 9.00a.m., had been taken up at the TBS main bowl by gaily-dressed Lagosians from all walks of life, who had come to witness the Orisa play.

There were diplomats, who for a while, dropped the starchy formalities of their official duties, captains of industry and commerce , foreign tourists, young men and women as well as children, who arrived in very large numbers in the uniquely designed double-decker tourist buses called Eko Oni Baje.

The event began proper after the coordinated march of the various groups belonging to prominent families in Lagos and the adherents of five deities.

An obviously delighted Governor Fashola, who spoke after the march, said the Eyo Festival celebration was aimed at creating a family day for a very rich and proud festival and rich heritage of Lagos as well as develop opportunities to place it in its rightful position as an event deserving of international recognition and acceptance.

This year’s Orisa play, he said, had promoted entrepreneurship through the various fabrics and hats that had been designed as well as the food and drinks provided.

Describing the event as ” twelve hours of funfair and a whole family day,” Fashola said it has also “shown the true colours of Lagos in terms of its dressing and culture as well as the fact that it is the ancestral home of festival and theatre.

Fashola added that the “Eyo masquerade is one of the richest and proudest statements of the colour, flamboyance and elegance of Lagos which must not die.”

The governor explained that the objective of the innovation of a central viewing place was to provide for larger audience and greater number of viewers within a relaxed, safe and entertaining atmosphere without distracting from the delicate intricacies of the craft or elegance of the culture.

According to the governor, ” in this way, families will get involved in what is usually a day of fun and splendor, and the children will connect with their heritage while the guests will understand the indigenes better”.

Reiterating his ultimate vision for the festival, Fashola declared: “With pride tempered with humility, I have come to appreciate the festival and the need for it to be uplifted for the benefit of the state and as an addition to the world map as an international tourist destination”.

He also said the uniqueness of the Eyo festival stems from the fact that it cannot be run by express calendar, saying: “Sometimes we have had five festivals in one year and there are times we have not had any in a number of years. But I think the most important thing is to let the people see what it portends”.

The governor said the Eyo festival was ” a festival of honour to celebrate great men, Lagosians, Obas of Lagos as part of their coronation rights and other Lagosians who have rendered sterling services and deserved to be honoured.”

He declared that he felt good about the occasion and that Tafawa Balewa Square has come to stay as venue for the carnival.

The Eyo festival featured processions of colourfully dressed Eyo groups in their distinctive hats, robes and wrapper with the staff called opabatam.

The groups danced and chanted various songs while greeting people by touching them with the tip of the staff.

Among the Eyo groups that featured in the processions were Asogbon, Suenu, Bashua, Erelu Kuti, Egbe, Shaasi, Asajon, Eletu Odibo, Aromire, Obanikoro, Oshodi- Bukku, Onisiwo, Bajulaiye, Oloto, Onilado, Akogun Olofin, Olorogun Adodo and Onimole

Others were Bajulu, Olumegbon, Eletu Iwashe, Akitoye, Arobadade, Ogunmade, Onikoyi, Jakande, Etti, Oshodi, Ajiwe Forisha, Onisiwo, Salawe, Faji, Kakawa, Sogunro, Taiwo Olowo and Bajulaiye while the five traditional Eyo deity groups are Eyo Agere, Eyo Ologede, Eyo Oniko, Eyo Alakete Pupa and Eyo Adamu Orisha.

Prominent among those present at the occasion were the Deputy Governor, Sarah Adebisi Sosan, wife of the governor , Mrs. Abimbola Fashola , former Ogun State governor, Olusegun Osoba, Speaker of State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Ambassador Dehinde Fernandez, foreign diplomats and members of the State Executive Council as well as members of the State House of Assembly among others.
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FROM thisdayonline.com

Fashola: Why we revived Eyo Festival
By Nseobong Okon-Ekong, 04.26.2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, yesterday described the ‘Adamu Orisa’ Festival, better known as Eyo festival as “one of the richest and proudest statements of colour, flamboyance and elegance of Lagos which must not die.”

Advancing the tourism potential of the Eyo festival, Fashola said his government appreciates the festival and the need for its upliftment for the benefit of the state and as an addition to the world map as an international tourist destination. He expressed fears that unless the festival is re-invigorated, the present generation would not understand its precepts and essence which may be lost in history and distortion.

Justifying the decision to stage the grand parade of the Eyo at the Tafawa Balewa Square instead of Idumota, he said the decision to relocate the festival was reached in consultation with the Oba of Lagos and some elders.

Fashola, who said the “best of Lagos is yet to come” was moved by the spectacle of the play. It was the second time in two weeks that the state made an impressive showing on the national culture and tourism centrestage. The Eyo play 2009 was in memory of the late Otunba Theophilus Owolabi Shobowale (TOS) Benson, an illustrious indigene of the state and Nigeria’s first Minister of Information who passed on last year. Otunba Benson was the ‘Baba Oba’ (Father of the King) of Lagos.

Penultimate weekend, Lagos’ tourism dream was kept alive when it hosted its first ever Beach Carnival at the Tarkwa Bay Beach.

The Eyo festival which was moved outside its traditional home on the streets of Lagos Island to an enclosed venue-the Tafawa Balewa Square-for the first time attracted the cream of Lagos state government officials, the Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos and his chiefs, foreign tourists and the teeming populace was supported by Glo, the telecommunications company, as main sponsor.

By doing this, according to the governor, the “intention was to provide larger viewership within a relaxed, safe and entertaining atmosphere without distracting from the delicate intricacies of the craft or elegance of the culture.”

Fashola said he, Oba Akiolu, noted in his message that each time the Eyo festival is staged, it usually ushers in good tidings. He said, “it is my prayer that this edition will bring peace and prosperity to Nigeria.

This particular edition has exposed the Adamu Orisa play to international stage in the mould of Rio Carnival and the Argungu Fishing Festival in Northern Nigeria. It is my hope that the next edition will be more glamorous and fun filled.”

Giving another reason for relocation of the festival to Tafawa Balewa Square, Oba Akiolu said it was intended to “reduce to the barest minimum, the illegal and criminal acts of some people which are not part of the Eyo tradition.”

The last Eyo festival, according to Chief Taoridi Ibikunle, the Akinshiku of Lagos and head of all Eyos, was staged six years ago, in August, 2003 in honour of the Late Oba Adeyinka Oyekan II.

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FROM ngrguardiannews.com

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fashola at Eyo Festival, pledges to uplift Lagos culture and tourism
By Andrew Iro Okungbowa

LAGOS Island, the commercial nerve centre of Lagos State, yesterday wore a colourful outlook, as it played host to the Eyo Festival, in celebration of an age-long cultural heritage of the people of Isale-Eko in Lagos Island.

The Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), venue of the cultural and communal fest, was all adorned in colours with people filing into the massive ground as early as 6am to witness the re-enactment of one of the richest and rarest cultural displays, which turned out to be a massive carnival of sort, with the whole of Lagos Island taken over by huge human and vehicular traffic.

At the festival was the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who was also dressed like one of the Eyo Masquerades in an all-white outfit and spotted brown coloured lace tied round his shoulder but without the mask. He was ushered into the festival ground along with some of his commissioners and state functionaries who were also dressed in the same manner amidst shout of joy and excitement by the people.

In his goodwill message at the occasion, the governor took his audience down memory lane, saying: “I recall with nostalgic pride that as children, we looked forward to Eyo festival days when Asoje (incantations) were memorised and silently recited by Eyo Masquerades.” He described the festival as a showpiece of the richness and flamboyance of the state and something that must not be allowed to die.

“The Eyo Masquerade is one of the richest and proudest statements of the colour, flamboyance and elegance of Lagos, which must not die,” said the governor. He added that the desire by the state government to celebrate the festival at the TBS rather than Idumota, the traditional venue of the festival, was informed by the need to renew and bring back the colourful, entertaining and rich cultural heritage of the people.

Fashola said the intention of the state government is to uplift the festival to become a tourist attraction for the public to enjoy. “Our intention is to provide for larger viewership within a relaxed, safe and entertaining atmosphere without distancing from the delicate intricacies of the craft or elegance of the culture.”

For the governor, “this way, our families will get involved in what is usually a day for fun and splendour; our children will connect with their heritage and our guests will understand us better.”

He enjoined the people to embrace the culture of the country, stressing that culture is dynamic and that Eyo festival has already adapted itself to modern trend, which is something for everyone to take part in.

The festival is traditionally held in honour of a departed Oba of Lagos or the ascension to the throne of a new Oba and as well as in honour of a departed illustrious son of Lagos. This time, the festival was staged in honour of the late Chief Theophilus Owolabi Shobowale (TOS) Benson, who died last year.

In his remark at the festival, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Babatunde Aremu Akiolu 1, expressed the hope that the celebration of Adamu Orisa would bring peace and prosperity to the country. He also prayed for the people of the country and the leaders, just as he expressed the hope that the festival would rise to the position of a tourist event for the state and enjoy the status that tourism festivals such as Argungu Fishing and Osun-Osogbo enjoy in the country and the international community.

In attendance at the event were a number of the state government functionaries, chiefs from the state, family members of TOS Benson. Others include the former governor of the state, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, the former deputy governor of the state, Senator Kofo Bucknor-Akerele, the former governor of Ogun State, Segun Osoba and Donald Duke of Cross River State.

For the people who thronged to the venue from all parts of the state and even from other states, with a couple of international visitors sighted at the ground, it was an occasion to celebrate and enjoy the feel of the festival as people followed the long procession of the Eyo masquerades, danced and sang in an atmosphere of conviviality.

The Fuji exponent, Wasiu Ayinde, Kwame I, who was the musical artist of the festival, added colour and entertainment to the festival with his rave performance. Another popular music icon, D’ Banj, also put up a scintillating appearance.

The festival also afforded vendors of different items to make brisk business while it lasted.

© 2003 – 2009 @ Guardian Newspapers Limited (All Rights Reserved).
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from sunnewsonline.com

Sunday, April 26, 2009
Large turnout at 2009 Eyo Festival
Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lagos witnessed a large turnout at the 2009 edition of Eyo Festival, the annual masquerade festival of the state, held yesterday at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) on Lagos Island.
At different bus stops, there were long queues of persons eagerly waiting for the free buses released by the state government to convey people to the TBS.

The roads leading to Lagos Island was free of traffic, due to the fact that commercial vehicles had been barred from plying the route on that day.

Sunday Sun reporters who monitored the festival saw beautifully-attired masquerade groups at the Tinubu Square moving in processions into the TBS. There were different groups, ranging from the very young ones to older Eyos.

Observers held their shoes and slippers in their hands, as wearing them is said to be offensive to the masquerades.

At the crowded square, the different masquerade groups danced, gyrated and regaled in processions, amid cheers from the crowd. Each group was distinctly marked by the colour of their wide-brimmed hats, as every one of them was dressed in white covering them to the feet. Each also carried a large stick, with which they flogged people wearing shoes or hats.

Mr Olasede, a carpenter from Iyana-Ipaja who came to witness the event, told Sunday Sun that the hats belonged to the different Eyo societies, which include Eyo Oniko, Orisha, Ologede, Bajulaye, among others.

One of the masquerades, who spoke to Sunday Sun, said they were happy with the Lagos State government and telecommunication giants, Globacom, for their support of the festival, stressing that the people’s confidence has been restored that this aspect of our cultural heritage will survive.

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from vanguardngr.com

Adamu Orisa: Lagos festival play of history…
Written by Azu Akanwa
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Lagosians most respectable and symbolic festival, Adamu Orisa Play otherwise known as Eyo will troupe out the streets of Lagos Island, popularly called Eko in the hinterland of Lagos on April 25, 2009 to mark the final burial rites of late Chief Theophilus Owolabi Shobowale (TOS) Benson (SAN). This year’s festival will mark the 67th in the history of Eyo festival. About 53 groups (Iga) will participate in this year festival with five groups of the orisas as the head of all. The Adimu, (Orisa baba Nla Mila); Okanlaba Ekun (Alakete pupa), the Olopa Eyo; Eyo Orisa Oniko (Abara Yewu), Eyo Orisa Ologede and Eyo Orisa Angere respectively will lead in the festival.

Eyo Masquerades on display

Otunba Benson made forays into politics quite early in his lifetime and made quite an impact. In 1950, when the mayoral system of local government was in force in Lagos, he contested and won election to the Lagos Town Council and emerged the Deputy mayor under the banner of the defunct National Council of Nigerian Citizen (NCNC), while in 1951 he was elected representative of Lagos in the Western House of Assembly. He moved up the ladder in 1953 to become the leader of the opposition party in the House, when the late Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe, the leader of his party and his political mentor, returned to the East to become the premier of that region.

In 1959, he recorded another electoral victory which made him the representative of Lagos in the Federal Parliament. He became Nigeria’s first Federal Minister of Information, courtesy of the political accord between Northern Peoples Congress (NPC), the leading political party at the centre then and the NCNC, his party. Otunba Benson was one of the very few politicians of note in the south-west who was not part of what could arguably be described as the mainstream of Yoruba politics apart from his membership of the Egbe Omo Oduduwa during his student days in the United State of America.

The Supreme head of all Eyo, Adimu (Orisa Baba Nla Mila), has reiterated its uniqueness among other orisa groups of Eyo. Prince Iyanda Bashua, Bashua of Lagos gave this indication at the Awe Adimu in Lagos penultimate week. According to him, the Eyo festival, Adamu Orisa Play is the traditional play of Lagos that is staged for the commemoration of final burial obsequies of an Oba or a chief and sometimes in memory of a deceased person who had contributed to the progress and development of Lagos.

Bashua, who spoke on behalf of Chief Amao Ibikunle, the Akinsiku of Lagos, the Alaworo Eyo and other members of the Olorogun-Agan and Olorogun Igbesodi, said people do not have to recite aro Eyo to participate in Eyo. “In Awe Adimu, only children of Adamu Cult or somebody that is introduced by eminent personality in the society are registered for Eyo Adimu.”

He reiterated further that majority of Eyo of Adimu are eminent personalties in the society. We have doctors, lawyers and justices etc here. No miscreant here!” Bashua explained.

Eyo festival has made a lot of impact in tourism industry from the time the Portuguese first set foot on Eko and christened it Lagos, the Island has attracted foreigners on account of its many advantages as a seaport. It is also gathered from a number of sources at the Awe Adamu (meeting place of Adamu) that traders from Europe were attracted and were content to transact their businesses and get away before the Coast fever claimed them.

However, apart from the Brazilians and Sierra Leonians (freed slaves) who returned from the America, Lagos attracted other Africans and West Indians. Being a seaport, the Island is cosmopolitan and these groups found conditions so suitable to them that they decided to settle in every sense of the word.

This means that they threw their lot with the indigenes and kept only a token association with their original homes. Indeed, their children knew of no other place than Lagos as their home and it is only fair that having lived in the Island for more than seventy years they should have the right to be called Lagosians. These settlers have really proved their worth as part of the indigenous community and a picture of old Lagos is incomplete without their notable families.

Proof of their acceptance is that some of them have married native Lagosians.

However, at the Awe Adimu, (meeting place for Adamu elders) on, Tuesday, 14th April, 2009 for the staging of this year Adamu Orisa Play in the memory of late Chief Theophilus Owolabi Shobowale (TOS) Benson many dignitaries were present.

Vanguard Arts gathered at the Awe that the Eyo Orisa Oniko was formerly the next to Eyo Orisa Adimu in rank but the elders affirmed that Oba Adele during his reign asked for Okanlaba second position and it has been like that since then. Our source also confirmed that Eyo Okanlaba has no orisa but ’Laba (symbolic Bag), which is the property of reigning Oba. Meanwhile, Vanguard Arts, can now reveal that Okanlaba second position in the orisa groups has remained like that and will be so forever.

Adamu Orisa Play has its history dated back to 155 years ago and the procedure for staging it is that any person or family that can afford the expenses of staging it, or any family that wants “Eyo masquerade” in the name of their house must first consult the families of Olorogun Agan and Olorogun Igbesodi and appraise them of such a desire.

The two families will then direct the person or family to the reigning oba of Lagos. The family or the person will be led to the Awe Adimu with the Oba’s official staff and two white capped chiefs.

At the Awe Adimu the person or the family will be issued “Ikaro” to Awe Adimu (all the articles and cash for providing certain things for the obsequities) At this stage, no other family/families is/are allowed to be present at the presentation of ‘Ikaro’ to “Awe Adimu” by the family or person willing to stage Adamu Orisa Play, than the two families of Olorogun Agan and Igbesodi. No other orisa family or Eyo Iga family would also be present. Meanwhile, each “Orisa of Eyo” has traditional functions which it must perform and as directed by the Supreme Head of all the Orisas, the “Orisa Adimu”, including the Eyo Onilaba known as the Eyo Oba or Eyo Alakete Pupa. EYO ONILABA (EYO OBA): They function as the “Police” of the Orisa Adimu Administration. They also ensure and maintain maximum discipline among the Eyo groups.

They must ensure that Eyo groups keep to the rules and, regulations of Adamu Orisa Play or Eyo Play. They take directives from Awe-Adimu and maintain regular contact with Awe Adimu throughout the preparation period and Adamu Orisa Play Day.

Other major function of “Eyo Laba” is to construct “AGODO” an enclosure constructed with mats on the eve of Adamu Orisa Play along Enu-Owa Street. Now Iga Iduganran Street, to house the drummers, on the instruction of the Elders of Awe Adimu. They are among the Eyo groups to lead “Opa Processions” for the announcement of Adamu Orisa Play Day.

“ORISA ONIKO” The outing of this Orisa during the midnight/early morning of Adamu Orisa Play Day is to ensure that the devil and other evil spirits are driven away from the town. The Orisa must choose some of his followers, whom is believed would be taking part in the Adamu Orisa Play, to lead “Opa Processions” for the announcement of Adamu Orisa Play Day.

“ORISA OLOGEDE” similarly, the above mentioned functions of “Orisa Oniko” must be performed within different time of the early morning of Adamu Orisa Play Day. The purposes of Orisa Ologede’s outing at this time is to ensure peace, tranquility and safety to the performance of the day. The followers of Orisa Ologede also lead “Opa Processions” for the announcement of Adamu Orisa Play Day.

© 2008 Vanguard Media Limited
Comments made by visitors to this site do not reflect the opinion of Vanguard.
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OBAMA:THIS WHITE JOURNALIST DEFENDS OBAMA FROM HIS RIGHT WING CRITICS-FROM NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

April 27, 2009

US-POLITICS-OBAMA-GOLFFROM

President Obama is just getting started: It’ll take more than 100 days to fix this mess
Monday, April 27th 2009, 4:00 AM

Watson/Getty

President Obama chats before playing a round of golf Sunday at Andrews Air Force Base, his first round since taking office.

As Barack Obama moves up on the completely arbitrary observance of his first 100 days in office, if you’re part of the 69% of people who, according to a new Washington Post poll, approve of the way he’s running the country, you’re wrong!

This is what you are told by commentators on what used to be state-run television, on right-wing radio and by what is laughingly called the Republican leadership in Congress: Obama doesn’t know what’s good for the country and neither do you.

You are told constantly that the minority on the other side is way more important than the majority that put Obama in office, a majority that thinks he should be given a fair chance, over these 100 days and the next 100 and the 100 after that, to show that he is more than some kind of smooth-talking front man for Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank.

You are also told that any faith in Obama is blind faith.

Except it’s not, no matter how good that theory is for ratings.

The people who support this President don’t think he’s flawless and don’t ignore his mistakes, starting with nominations for guys like Tom Daschle and Bill Richardson. They support him even if the jury is still out on Tim Geithner and Larry Summers, classic insiders, guys who helped shape the same failed economic system they’re now expected to fix.

No kidding, every time I see Summers on one of the Sunday morning talk shows, I put a death grip on my own wallet you’d need the Jaws of Life to pry loose.

The people who support Barack Obama in his first term aren’t any less conflicted about torture than anybody else in this country, even after eight years when Bush-Cheney seemed to be using the television show “24” as some kind of training film on prisoner interrogation.

Still, they are told by the hucksters from the right that their support for this President is misguided, or naive, or plain stupid. They are not allowed to think this President has a plan, or even has a clue.

But what is the plan from the other side? It is to hate HIS plan, whether it is about Hugo Chavez or TARP money or taxes or Afghanistan or picking out the new family dog. Their plan is to tell you what Obama SHOULD have done when it’s all over.

You know what’s really over? The old way of doing things. It got routed in the congressional elections of 2006, and then, with John McCain as its front man, him and Bristol Palin’s mom, it got the boot for good last November.

Somehow, though, if you listen to the loyal opposition, it’s only taken 100 days for the Bush-Cheney years to become the good old days.

We are now supposed to give the previous administration all the credit for keeping the country safe after Sept. 11, its cheerleaders celebrating everything they did from Iraq to hijacking the rules of the Geneva Convention in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. It’s as if our buildings got blown up on somebody else’s watch.

All this time later nobody can remember much about their first 100 days in office, just what happened around Day 200, in August of 2001, when the now-famous memo with this title – “Bin Laden determined to strike in U.S.” – didn’t seem to get anybody’s blood racing down there on the ranch in Crawford, Tex.

“There was nothing that said, you know, ‘There’s an imminent attack,'” George W. Bush said when he was running for reelection in 2004.

You know? Well, he didn’t know. Neither did Cheney, his war-loving, waterboarding vice president, the one who won’t shut up now, who makes you nostalgic for the days when he was always in some undisclosed location hiding under his desk. Say this about Dick Cheney: He got a lot more interested in national security after he let others go off and fight the Red Menace of North Vietnam.

Barack Obama isn’t just trying to make fundamental, and necessary, changes in the way this country does business. He is dealing, here and around the world, with the mess that the geniuses who had the White House before him made of things. Even though you’re now expected to believe that somehow this is all his fault – him and his soft, liberal, America-hating friends.

The geniuses before him took eight years to make the mess. It’s going to take more than 100 days for the cleanup.

OUR BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY FIRST BLACK FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA HAS HER 100 DAYS TOO!-FROM SEFERMPOST.COM

April 27, 2009

6a00e55290c504883301156f5f2014970c-100wiFROM sefermpost.com

Monday, April 27, 2009
Michelle Obama: 100 Days Of Transformation
The 21 women nervously mingling at the White House were among the best in their fields. They had achieved Olympic gold, Grammy awards and four stars in the Army. One had orbited the earth aboard space shuttle Endeavour. Some had reached the highest outposts of corporate America, or had earned kudos on stage or on the big screen. They were together for one reason: Michelle Obama.

As a candidate’s wife, as it became increasingly clear Barack Obama might win the presidency, she had dreamed about a day like this, when she could bring together such a talented group and send them off to give pep talks to kids in the public schools.

As first lady, she realized she could make it happen.

“I couldn’t have imagined this a year ago,” Mrs. Obama said. She was speaking one morning last month to the other high achievers she had invited to the blue-and-yellow Diplomatic Reception Room in the basement of the White House.

Once in the White House, Mrs. Obama quickly was out the door and running on a bunch of issues, all of them very traditional, first ladylike and unlikely to upset the public.

She dashed around from one government agency to another, thanking often-criticized civil service employees for their work and plugging the president’s $787 billion economic stimulus package.

She got beyond official Washington, too — touring a neighborhood social services center, reading to little kids, serving mushroom risotto at a soup kitchen. She gave pep talks to high school students and dirtied her hands in the garden.

In Europe, she caused a media frenzy, not as much for where she went or with whom she met or for what she said, but for the outfits she wore to meet the British prime minister, the queen of England and the French president and his wife, a former fashion model.

Some of the clothes she wears sell out immediately after aides say where she got them. Numerous Web sites dissect and analyze her style; at least one is posting photos of every outfit she wears in public.

In London, she alone drew a rare, and much talked about, public display of affection from Queen Elizabeth II.

At a reception for world leaders attending the G-20 economic summit, Her Majesty draped an arm across the first lady’s back. Mrs. Obama returned the gesture, sparking endless discussion about whether it was wrong of her to touch the queen.

But the embrace also was a symbol of just how far Michelle Obama’s transformation had taken her. By getting a touch from the queen, she pulled off something few others have.

Mrs. Obama organized her own kind of G-20 summit at the White House last month, with an all-female cast ranging from singer Alicia Keys to actress Fran Drescher to astronaut Mae Jemison.

The assignment was to go out and inspire young people. Girls, especially.

Getting them to see their potential wasn’t something Mrs. Obama talked about on the campaign trail. The pep talks came after she realized the role model and source of inspiration she had become for so many.

“Nothing in my life’s path would have predicted that I’d be standing here as the first African-American first lady of the United States of America,” she told an audience of schoolgirls in London. “If you want to know the reason why I’m standing here, it’s because of education.”

It’s a simple pitch, and it’s the same whether she is talking to students in D.C. or England.

She was in their shoes once, but she liked going to school, she liked being smart, she liked getting A’s. She worked hard to get ahead and to prove the people who doubted her wrong. She tells students they can do the same.

Laura Bush says she wished she’d realized earlier the power she had as first lady.

Michelle Obama’s journey has already gotten her to that point, and she sees what she can accomplish.

OBAMA-OUR FIRST WORLD BLACK PRESIDENT’S FIRST 100 DAYS! -FROM SEFERMPOST.COM

April 27, 2009

obama-rushmore1from sefermpost.com

April 25, 2009
Obama’s First 100 Days: A Look At Key Events
A look at key events during the first 100 days of Barack Obama’s presidency:

Jan. 22: Obama orders the closure of Guantanamo Bay prison within a year and declares that the United States will not engage in torture.

Jan 23: Obama lifts ban on federal funding for international organizations that perform or provide information on abortions.

Jan. 27: Obama gives first formal television interview as president to Arab television station, telling Muslims, “Americans are not your enemy.”

Jan. 29: Obama signs first bill into law, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, making it easier for workers to sue for pay discrimination.

Feb. 3: Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., withdraws as Obama’s nominee for secretary of health and human services.

Feb. 9: Obama holds first prime-time news conference, calling on Congress to enact his economic stimulus plan.

Feb. 12: Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., withdraws as Obama’s nominee for secretary of commerce.

Feb. 13: Congress completes action on a $787 billion economic stimulus package of tax cuts and new spending, intended to jolt the country out of the worst recession in 50 years.

Feb. 17: Obama signs the stimulus measure into law.

Feb. 19: Obama makes his first visit to a foreign country as president, meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a seven-hour visit to Ottawa.

Feb. 22: Obama hosts governors in his first formal dinner at the White House.

Feb. 23: Obama holds a fiscal responsibility summit at the White House, signaling his intention to tackle health care, the budget and Social Security.

Feb. 24: Obama addresses a joint session of Congress for the first time, focusing on economic issues.

Feb. 26: Obama unveils a $3.6 trillion federal budget for 2010 and estimates that the federal deficit for 2009 will balloon to $1.75 trillion.

Feb. 27: Obama announces withdrawal of all American combat forces from Iraq by August 2010, but says the U.S. will leave tens of thousand support troops behind.

March 5: Obama hosts daylong White House summit on health care.

March 9: Obama reverses President George W. Bush’s ban on federally funded embryonic stem cell research, and declares that all federal scientific research will be walled off from political influences.

March 11: Obama signs a $410 billion spending bill to keep the government running for the rest of the 2009 budget year. He calls the measure “imperfect” because it includes money for special projects set aside by members of Congress, a practice he pledged to end during the 2008 campaign.

March 16: Obama declares he will stop insurer American International Group Inc. from paying out millions in executive bonuses after receiving billions in federal bailout funds.

March 19: Obama becomes the first sitting president to appear on the “Tonight” show.

March 20: Obama releases video message to people of Iran in celebration of Nowruz, the Persian new year and the first day of spring.

March 26: Obama holds “Open for Questions”, the first virtual town hall meeting at the White House.

March 27: Obama announces comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, including the deployment of 4,000 additional military trainers to Afghanistan.

March 30: Obama asserted unprecedented government control over the auto industry, rejecting turnaround plans by General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, and engineering the ouster of GM’s chief executive, Rick Wagoner.

March 31: Obama travels to London, the first stop on an eight-day, six country tour of Europe and the Middle East.

April 1: Obama meets with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and announces start of negotiations on new strategic arms-control treaty.

April 1: Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have a private audience with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.

April 2: Obama attends the Group of 20 economic summit in London, where leaders agree to bail out developing countries, stimulate world trade and regulate financial firms more stringently.

April 3: Obama speaks and takes questions from crowd of mostly French and German citizens at a Town Hall meeting in Strasbourg, France.

April 4: Obama attends NATO summit in Strasbourg but gets commitment from allies to send up to 5,000 more military trainers and police to Afghanistan.

April 5: Obama launches an effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons, calling them during a speech in Prague “the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War.”

April 6: Obama speaks to Turkey’s parliament, declaring that “the United States is not, and will never be, at war with Islam.”

April 7: Obama pays a surprise visit to Iraq, meeting with U.S. troops and Iraqi leaders.

April 9: Obama sends a request to Congress for $83.4 billion for military and diplomatic operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

April 10: Obama says the economy is showing “glimmers of hope” after meeting with top economic officials.

April 12: Obama authorizes a military rescue of an American sea captain taken hostage by pirates in the waters off Somalia. The rescue results in the deaths of three pirates and the capture of the fourth, and frees Capt. Richard Phillips.

April 13: The administration announces that Cuban-Americans will be permitted to make unlimited transfers of money and visits to relatives in Cuba. The decision also clears away most regulations that had stopped American companies from bringing high-tech services and information to Cuba.

April 14: The Obamas introduce their new puppy, Bo, in a photo session on the White House lawn.

April 16: Obama meets with Mexican President Felipe Calderon on his first trip to Mexico and Latin America. The leaders agree to cooperate on combating drug violence along the U.S.-Mexican border.

April 17: Obama releases memos from Bush administration authorizing harsh interrogation techniques but says no CIA employees who followed the memos will be prosecuted.

April 17: Obama travels to Trinidad and Tobago for the 34-nation Summit of the Americas and declares that he “seeks a new beginning with Cuba.”

April 18: At the summit, Obama shakes hands with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, the leftist, anti-American leader who had called Bush a devil.

April 19: Obama calls on Cuba to release political prisoners as a way to improve relations with the U.S.

April 20: Obama holds the first formal Cabinet meeting of his administration, ordering department heads to slice spending by $100 million, a tiny fraction of the $3.6 trillion federal budget he proposed a month earlier.

April 21: Obama leaves the door open for prosecution of federal lawyers who wrote harsh interrogation memos during Bush administration and says if there’s an investigation, it should be done by an independent commission.

April 22: Obama makes his first visit as president to Iowa, the state where his 2008 Democratic caucus victory launched him toward the presidency.

April 23: Obama tells congressional leaders he will not support creation of an independent commission to investigate the Bush administration’s harsh interrogation techniques.

April 24: Obama promotes his idea for the government to stop backing private loans to college students and replace them with direct government loans to young people. He also declines to brand the early 20th century massacre of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey a “genocide,” breaking a campaign promise.

OBAMA!-OUR BLACK PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD AT THE SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS AND HE GETS DOWN WITH THE PEOPLE OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO,APRIL 2009

April 23, 2009

FIRST BLACK LADY OF BELIZE SIMPLIS BARROW GETS A THRILL FROM OUR BLACK PRESIDENT WITH HER HUSBAND SMILING NEARBY!

FIRST BLACK LADY OF BELIZE SIMPLIS BARROW GETS A THRILL FROM OUR BLACK PRESIDENT WITH HER HUSBAND SMILING NEARBY!

BLACK UNITY!

BLACK UNITY!

OBAMA WITH OTHER BLACK PRESIDENTS(PRIME MINISTERS) AT THE SUMMIT

OBAMA WITH OTHER BLACK PRESIDENTS(PRIME MINISTERS) AT THE SUMMIT

OBAMA DISCUSSING WITH OTHER BLACK PRESIDENTS OF THE CARIBBEAN,BELIZE

OBAMA DISCUSSING WITH OTHER BLACK PRESIDENTS OF THE CARIBBEAN,BELIZE

WORLD-FAMOUS CRICKET LEGEND BRIAN LARA SHOWS PRESIDENT OBAMA HOW TO PROPERLY SWING A BAT ON APRIL 19,2009 IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

WORLD-FAMOUS CRICKET LEGEND BRIAN LARA SHOWS PRESIDENT OBAMA HOW TO PROPERLY SWING A BAT ON APRIL 19,2009 IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO FOREIGN MINISTER PAULA GOPEE-SCOON BIDS OBAMA FAREWELL AS HE LEAVES

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO FOREIGN MINISTER PAULA GOPEE-SCOON BIDS OBAMA FAREWELL AS HE LEAVES

PRESIDENT OBAMA GREETS CROWD AT PORT OF SPAIN AIRPORT,TRINIDAD-TOBAGO APRIL 19 2009

PRESIDENT OBAMA GREETS CROWD AT PORT OF SPAIN AIRPORT,TRINIDAD-TOBAGO APRIL 19 2009

from community.livejournal.com

OBAMA TAKES TIME TO SHOW HIS KENYAN RELATIVES BASED IN U.K. AND KENYA THE (WHITE) BLACK HOUSE!-I.THISISLONDON.CO.UK

April 21, 2009

OBAMA WITH HIS STEP-GRANDMOTHER ON HIS AUGUST 2006 VISIT TO KENYA

OBAMA WITH HIS STEP-GRANDMOTHER ON HIS AUGUST 2006 VISIT TO KENYA

PRESIDENT OBAMA TAKES TIME TO SHOW HIS KENYAN RELATIVES AROUND THE WHITE HOUSE AS SOON AS HE MOVED IN!

PRESIDENT OBAMA TAKES TIME TO SHOW HIS KENYAN RELATIVES AROUND THE WHITE HOUSE AS SOON AS HE MOVED IN!

FROM i.thisislondon.co.uk

THESE are the first pictures of Barack Obama inside the White House with his British stepmother.

Taken the day he was sworn in as President, they show him giving Kezia Obama and the rest of his extended family a tour of his new home.

Embraced by Mrs Obama, who travelled to Washington DC from her council house in Bracknell, the President proudly posed in an official reception for the family.

He is also surrounded by his half-brother Abongo, his sister-in-law, niece, nephew and other relatives, who all travelled from Kenya and were in the VIP enclosure for his inauguration in January.

Mrs Obama, 66, who was married to the President’s late father, also named Barack, when they lived in Kenya, wore a traditional African outfit made in Tanzania especially for the big day.Abongo Obama, who flew from the family’s ancestral home in Kogelo, western Kenya, just days before, said: “Barack gave us a grand tour of the White House. It was amazing to be in there with him. This is his new home. He has come a long way.”

The 51-year-old accountant, who was best man at the President’s wedding, added: “My brother had such a hectic schedule that day, but he still took time out for us.”

Despite sharing the family’s jubilation, he told of his fears President Obama could be assassinated.

“There are crazy people out there, there is always a danger someone will try to hurt him,” he said. “That’s something I worry about all the time. Security was so tight, yet there were times when he was out there shaking hands with the public and I just saw how exposed he is and it scared me.”

He also revealed how his brother had sent a personal note to the family on official White House stationery once they returned to Kenya. The note read: “To the people of K’Obama – Thank you for the prayers and support!”

A similar letter was sent to the people of Kogelo, some of whom had travelled to the US for the historic occasion. The President’s 86-year-old paternal grandmother Sarah was also in Washington DC for his swearing-in ceremony, as well as his half-sister Auma, 49, and half-brothers Ben, 38, and Abo, 40.

Mr Obama said: “I am looking forward to going back and staying with Barack at the White House, but it won’t ever be the same.

“We can’t just hang out like we used to and sit in a bar with a few drinks catching up. I will miss that and he will too but this was his dream, he knew he had to make certain sacrifices.”

After marrying Mrs Obama, Barack Obama Snr went on to marry President Obama’s mother Ann Dunham – an American he met during a scholarship to the United States. He eventually returned to his first wife, with whom he had four children, and died in 1982.

President Obama first met his Kenyan relatives during a trip to Africa in his twenties, after his father died.

THESE are the first pictures seen of Barack Obama inside the White House with his family including his British stepmother just hours after he was sworn in as President.

The family snaps given exclusively to the Standard reveal a private moment when Mr Obama took time out of his busy schedule to show his relatives around his new home.

Embraced by his stepmother Kezia Obama, who travelled to Washington DC from her council house in Bracknell, Berkshire, the President proudly posed in one of several grand rooms, for the first of many family portraits.

He is also surrounded by his half-brother Abongo, his sister-in-law , niece, nephew and other relatives, who all travelled from Kenya and were in the VIP enclosure for his inauguration in January.

Mrs Obama, 66, who was married to the President’s late father, also named Barack, when they lived in their homeland of Kenya, wore a traditional African outfit especially made in Tanzania for the big day.

Pictured on the far left, Abongo Obama, who flew in from the family’s ancestral home in Kogelo, western Kenya, just days before, said: “Barack gave us a grand tour of the White House. It was amazing to be in there with him. This is his new home. He has come a long way.”

The 51-year-old accountant, who was best man at the President’s wedding, added: “My brother had such a hectic schedule that day but he still took time out for us.”

Despite sharing the family’s jubilation he told of his fears President Obama could become an assassination target.

“There are crazy people out there, there is always a danger someone will try to hurt him, that’s something I worry about all the time,” said Mr Obama. “Security was so tight yet there were times when he was out there shaking hands with the public and I just saw how exposed he is and it scared me.”

He also revealed how his brother had sent a personal note to the family on official White House stationary once they returned to Kenya. The note read: “To the people of K’Obama – Thank you for the prayers and support!”

A similar letter was sent to the people of Kogelo, some of whom had travelled to the US for the historic occasion. The President’s 86-year-old paternal grandmother Sarah was also in Washington DC for his swearing-in ceremony as well as his half-sister Auma, 49 and half brothers Ben, 38 and Abo, 40.

Mr Obama said: “I am looking forward to going back and staying with Barack at the White House but it won’t ever be the same. We can’t just hang out like we used to and sit in a bar with a few drinks catching up. I will miss that and he will too but this was his dream, he knew he had to make certain sacrifices.”

After marrying Mrs Obama, Barack Obama Snr went on to marry President Obama’s mother Ann Dunham – an American he met during a scholarship to the United States. He eventually went back to his first wife, with whom he had four children, and died in 1982.

President Obama first met his Kenyan relatives on a trip to Africa in his twenties after his father had passed away.

OBAMA!-BLACK REACTIONS TO HIS VICTORY THAT NIGHT AT GRANT PARK,CHICAGO AND (LATER) BEYOND!

April 21, 2009

SISTER VERTIE HOODGE,74 YEARS,HOUSTON,TEXAS CRYING WATCHING THE INAUGURATION ON JAN.20,2009

SISTER VERTIE HOODGE,74 YEARS,HOUSTON,TEXAS CRYING WATCHING THE INAUGURATION ON JAN.20,2009

WATCHING THE INAUGURATION CEREMONY AT KIBERA,NAIROBI KENYA,JAN.20,2009

WATCHING THE INAUGURATION CEREMONY AT KIBERA,NAIROBI KENYA,JAN.20,2009

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MOHAMMED SAHER,BLACKamerikkkan MEMBER OF IRAQ'S BLACK COMMUNITY IN THE SLUTHERN CITY OF BASRA DANCES TO AL-BASRA BAND MUSIC AS THEY CELEBRATE OBAMA'S VICTORY NOV. 5,2008 IN IRAQ!

MOHAMMED SAHER,BLACKamerikkkan MEMBER OF IRAQ'S BLACK COMMUNITY IN THE SLUTHERN CITY OF BASRA DANCES TO AL-BASRA BAND MUSIC AS THEY CELEBRATE OBAMA'S VICTORY NOV. 5,2008 IN IRAQ!

GRANT PARK AWAITING RESULTS ELECTION NIGHT

GRANT PARK AWAITING RESULTS ELECTION NIGHT

CHRISTINE KING FARRIS,SISTER OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. AND GRADDAUGHTER FARRIS WATKINS CRY IT OUT AFTER OBAMA'S VICTORY IN ATLANTA

CHRISTINE KING FARRIS,SISTER OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. AND GRADDAUGHTER FARRIS WATKINS CRY IT OUT AFTER OBAMA'S VICTORY IN ATLANTA

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LET THE TEARS CLEANSE AWAY THE PAIN OF RACISM!

LET THE TEARS CLEANSE AWAY THE PAIN OF RACISM!

THERE NOW! GOD WILL WIPE AWAY THAT WHITE PAIN OF BLACK SUFFERING IN amerikkka!

THERE NOW! GOD WILL WIPE AWAY THAT WHITE PAIN OF BLACK SUFFERING IN amerikkka!

GO AHEAD AND CRY OUT THE PAIN OF BLACKS SUFFERING IN amerikkka!

GO AHEAD AND CRY OUT THE PAIN OF BLACKS SUFFERING IN amerikkka!

BROTHER JESSE JACKSON CRY OUT ALL THE PAIN AND HURT BLACK PEOPLE HAVE SUFFERED INamerikkka! YOU RAN SO THAT OBAMA COULD WIN!

BROTHER JESSE JACKSON CRY OUT ALL THE PAIN AND HURT BLACK PEOPLE HAVE SUFFERED INamerikkka! YOU RAN SO THAT OBAMA COULD WIN!

CRY FOR ALL THE RACISM WE HAVE SUFFERED IN amerikkka!

CRY FOR ALL THE RACISM WE HAVE SUFFERED IN amerikkka!

LET THOSE TEARS FLOW FOR ALL THE LYNCHINGS BLACK MEN HAVE SUFFERED IN amerikkka!

LET THOSE TEARS FLOW FOR ALL THE LYNCHINGS BLACK MEN HAVE SUFFERED IN amerikkka!

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CRY OUT ALL THOSE TEARS FROM SLAVERY!

CRY OUT ALL THOSE TEARS FROM SLAVERY!

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WAITING FOR OBAMA'S WIN IN CHI-TOWN ON THAT GREAT DAY!

WAITING FOR OBAMA'S WIN IN CHI-TOWN ON THAT GREAT DAY!

HUSTLING THOSE OBAMA SHIRTS ON ELECTION DAY CHITOWN!

HUSTLING THOSE OBAMA SHIRTS ON ELECTION DAY CHITOWN!

WAITING FOR OBAMA'S VICTORY!

WAITING FOR OBAMA'S VICTORY!

BLACK BROTHER HUSTLING OBAMA SHIRTS!

BLACK BROTHER HUSTLING OBAMA SHIRTS!


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