Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I have always wondered how people fall victim of internet scam even when it is glaring that it is a scam. Recently, I discovered three factors in play: Greed, naivety and desperation. Last week, my colleague received an email from someone who made an outrageous promise to sponsor him and any six of his friends to an event in the USA. By the way, my friend neither have a knowledge about this event in question nor did he ever apply in the past. What a divine favor he thought and off he ran to send his personal details and that of his two friends to the organizers.

"This is a scam. Before you know it, they will be asking for traveling processing fees" I said to him. But he thought otherwise. Remembering that the internet that has opened rooms for such junkie activities also provide answers sometimes, I logged on to Google to search for the organization in question and I was not disappointed about what I found. The poorly built website of this so-called World Youth Organizations for Human Welfare "" only further increased my suspicion and then another link on Google linked me to an article by the Law offices of Thomas Gross (a public service committed to fighting internet fraud, 419s and other scams) with a screaming headline "SCAM EMAIL ALERT, Exposing internet fraud and scam". They published a list of all the emails sent out by "WORLD YOUTH ORGANIZATION FOR HUMAN WELFARE" in the past. Perhaps, someone has been trailing their activities and decided to build a counter website, an effective way of kicking them out of their fraudulent activities.

I was sorry that I had to be the one to tell my friend the bad news, his newly found jackpot was actually a scam. I couldn't bear the disappointment on his face, but then, it was better than have him crying pain in future of being ripped off by some smart dude a.k.a yahoo-yahoo boys. It is amazing that these youths (an oldies) no longer only settle on interrupting our emails with all manners of proposal and scams, they have actually gone a step further to build websites and flaunt non-existing charity organizations which they now use as a model to rip-off others. Well, who is falling for it? Desperate, naive or greedy dudes like my friend.

Are these yahoo-yahoo boys really ahead of every efforts made by EFCC to curb internet fraud in Nigeria? What is the latest development being put in place by stakeholders to curb this trend and make yahoo-yahoo less attractive to those involved? Don't miss the part 2 of this article!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


The Cyber Café manager couldn’t comprehend the sudden rush for internet access. He didn’t hide his suspicion, he kept monitoring the computers in use as we clicked “tap, tap, tap” on the keyboard. The minutes ran into hours as other customers waiting to take turns on the systems shuffled their feet impatiently at the background. For us, we were just getting started. Out of curiosity than anything else, Mr. Manager tapped me on my shoulder and asked “what are you people doing online?”, referring to about 50% of my classmates that have bombard his Cyber Café. “Oh, it is called blogging Sir. It is part of a new course we are taking in school and we have all come to complete an assignment”. I replied cheerfully, my attention drifting between the blog page, the ticket timer that seems to be on the run and the Manager who suddenly seems interested in the Blogging Syndrome.

Basically, Blogging is a way of keeping an online journal or diary for sharing information and ideas with other people. According to, "A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world." A Blog can contain text, audio, images and video etc.

The Blogging culture which evolved from the idea of keeping an online diary, today, has metamorphosed into providing a platform for commentary or news on a particular subject etc. “I personally see the emergence of a new blogging industry that the corporate world will want to associate with. It will give so much credibility that at some point, blogging will become a source of living for many bloggers”. Writes Olugbenga Aijota, in his notes about the Nigerian Bloggers Conference held in Lagos recently. Blogging comes with variety of benefits which ranges from the opportunity to have a personal platform to be heard, share ideas with others, make money through advert on your pages (it is the popularity of your blog that will determine this), build a network etc.

The first blog that inspired me to become a blogger was, an online poetry blog forum created by Arti Honrao, an Indian writer. But while browsing on the internet one day, I stumbled into Funmi Iyanda’s Blog Funmi’s down-to-earth approach to blogging leaves you yearning for more. I have visited other blogs, including Like the name suggests, this blog is strictly a forum for the Mexican Telenovela out there. It contains the full story/snippets of all the Mexican soap operas showing on AIT. It was created by Philomena Ojikutu who simply describes herself as a Work-at-Home-Mum (WAHM).

But you don’t have to be a WAHM to be an active blogger. Blogging culture is open to everyone irrespective of age, sex or location. If you have something to say, a picture or video to share, and the ability to update them regularly, then you have a global platform- go blog it now! Visit


Guest writer: Beatrice Kay

It feels so good, well mornings now feel good especially since Third Mainland Bridge re-opened. I am seated on the bus, heading for the day’s work and enjoying the view of the sunrise over the ocean. I bring out my camera to capture the scene. DJ Manny's Good Morning Nigeria show on Cool FM is playing. I’m also reading a book I intend to use as Book of The Month for my employers’ website. But my mind wanders away as a result of the inspirations I’m getting: from the book, the radio and the view from Third Mainland Bridge. Am I really in Nigeria? It felt like a trip from Cardiff to London, the Peace, the Trees, and then the orderliness; everyone in their own little world, shutting you out with their earphones. Then the bus is gliding on its own special lane. Nigeria? Lagos?

At CMS, a beautiful bay with lights, where you can walk and see the sea is nearing completion; I like the view plus a BRT stops right there so you can park your car and ride to the bay. I remember a week ago at the old Toll Gate BRT’s park and ride bus station; a banker seated next to me brought out his laptop and began browsing the net, thanks to wireless ISPs, I was tempted to bring out my mobile, light weighted official laptop to work as well but I still wasn't convinced. You mean you can now use a laptop in a bus in Lagos without it being snatched at gun-point? The one you don't show they take, how much more the one you flash? You mean all the passengers on the bus have good jobs; there are no robbers or pick pockets on? Glad the bus service has made that difficult.

So here I am, loving the view, the prospects, the ride, the glide, the strides, I am on longest the bridge in Africa. I started from the mainland, am off to the Island which boasts of beautiful sights, buildings, abodes of international standards. In Lagos we have started a journey. Governor Fashola tells me what I see is just the beginning, it will be a Mega City! Yippee! Hopefully we will soon get to the promise land, we won’t complain of the developments, think other things matter more, and hope other pressing matters are looked into by those elected or selected, and we won’t be ungrateful spending many years getting to the Mega city.

Norah Jones’ Sunrise inspired this title, her albums, Come Away with Me and Feels Like Home which won 8Grammys and earned her a place on Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2004 all came singing to me as I wrote. There are possibilities at Sunrise. Yesterday ended last night. In the words of Asa, ‘Ojumo Ti Mo’ and so am I feeling the Sunrise in the new Lagos. Happy Independence Month Nigerian Youths! There’s hope!

The Circle of life

Last week was a very exciting one for me, most especially because I came first in the 1st Omololu Falobi Foundation Essay Competition organized for all Mass Communication students in Lagos State and its environ. When I heard the good news, I was ecstatic and thankful to God for such a rare achievement. It even showed off in the pictures we took at the event, my smile was from ear to ear, had I a tail I would have wag it too. However, amidst all the congratulatory messages, I felt upset and wished I could give back the award, just to have Mr. Omololu Falobi back to life. But in reality is it possible?

Why did someone take him away from his family? Why did someone want such a vivacious young man who was so resourceful to our Nation dead? Omololu Falobi lived and he lived well. He did not tiptoe through life or blame others for the troubles in the world, instead he took action to effect a change. He had such a clear vision to create a better-informed society and contribute to the emergence of a HIV free population. Inspired by a local cause that set in motion a global vision, he dreamt a dream from which others can dream. He was an innovative leader who led by example. He was an active Social Entrepreneur committed to working for a positive change until that night his body was riddled with bullets by men of the underworld.

Driven by a desire greater than personal comfort, Omololu Falobi left his footprint in the sand of history. His vision lives on to posterity. It is left for us all to pay it forward in this circle of life! We can't afford to tail in the race by God's grace! Remember the movie ‘The Lion King’? Its soundtrack “Circle of life” by Elton John has inspiring lyrics that I love to hum every now and then:

From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There's more to be seen than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done
Some say eat or be eaten
Some say live and let live
But all are agreed as they join the stampede
You should never take more than you give
In the circle of life
It's the wheel of fortune
It's the leap of faith
It's the band of hope
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle, the circle of life
Some of us fall by the wayside
And some of us soar to the stars
And some of us sail through our troubles
And some have to live with the scars
There's far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round
On the path unwinding...
In the circle, circle of life.


On the brink of history as the world watched, Americans trudged out to cast their vote. Knowing I couldn’t vote in the USA , I settled for cheerleading instead “It is alright, It is okay, He is gonna make it to White House anyway!” Eleven hours later, an SMS from a friend in far away Massachusetts woke me up in the early hours of Wednesday morning- “He Won! Obama won! New Hope New USA!” and a few seconds later, a beep from a friend in nearby Ogudu, “He got it. Obama did it. God did it!” and then another from Apapa, “A change has come, as Senator Barack Obama made history in America and the world, nothing is impossible for change is constant and inevitable…”

Propelled by the positive texts, I crawled out of bed in excitement. My eyes fell on the book I had read the night before- the biography of Martin Luther King Jnr. by Amy Pastan. The story of a life that made 2008 change in USA possible gave me a fresh perspective of Obama’s hope and song of change. The Martyr, Martin Luther King Jnr. paid the price over 40 years ago that made Obama’s victory so certain, he groomed the fertile soil for Obama’s dream to grow.

King lived for one thing- doing God’s will. He expressed this in his nonviolent movement to end segregation and its likes in USA. He was an ordinary man who did extraordinary things for change. His words, deeds and passion empowered others; he bridged the gap for generations to come. He would have been 79years this year, probably alive to witness this massive change but he was assassinated by only God knows who 40 years ago! But still his dream lived and the cause he advocated for paid off again through Obama’s victory.

Looking back now at the just concluded US election, it was worth being Obamaddicted for change, thank God hope did not fail. Are we not Obamafied, I mean satisfied by the result? King would be smiling now, at Obama’s courage and victory. He might have also foreseen this in his mountaintop journey. He said in one of his speech “I must confess my friends; the road ahead will not always be smooth. There will still be rocky places of frustration and meandering points of bewilderment. There will be inevitable setbacks here and there…moments when the buoyancy of hope will be transformed into the fatigue of despair. Our dream will sometimes be shattered and our ethereal hopes blasted…difficult and painful as it is, we must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future.”

The future is here, whether the world is ready for it or not, America's first Black President emerged last night. Congratulations President Barak Obama a.k.a Uncle Oby (as Dayo Israel puts it) and Vice President Joe Biden. Like Martin Luther King Jnr., your audacity has rekindled hope in many, to dare to dream the impossible!


The politics, intrigues, activism and oratory of Senator Barack Obama and the 21 months of campaigns comes with so many lifelong lessons. I no longer see myself as a youth at a disadvantage after seeing how Obama broke the norms to emerge as the 44th President elect of USA . I now see myself as a black young adult who will rule in any part of the world or excel in anything I set my heart to do! Yes We Can! Obama has changed the phenomenon; the beacon of Change has come to us in Africa .

Determination, Spirit of Sportsmanship, Audacity of Hope, Setting higher goals, Testament of Hand Work, Optimism, faith in God, Enduring Passion, Values, Vision, Team work and Energy were some of the key values that contributed to Obama’s victory. He was so determined to win the election, even despite high level of criticism and humiliation as a black young adult. In his speech, he said “the road will be long, our climb will be steep, we may not get there in one year but American, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there”. Gordon Brown, British Prime Minister, said that Obama ran an inspirational campaign, energizing politics with his progressive values and his vision for the future. What are our vision, energy and values for the future as young people in Nigeria ?

The youths in the USA voted for Obama in overwhelming numbers because they understood the power of positive change. It is time for young people in Nigeria to tell politicians that we are not for political gangsterism rather that we are committed to absolute change and back up our commitment with positive action. E.g. by refusing to dance to the drums of corrupt politicians and their likes.

Above all, what position do we have for God in all our dealings of life, socially, politically, materially, emotionally, etc.? Nigeria is said to be the most religious country in the world, but do we really have anything to show for our faith? We need to step up so that even our opponents will testify to it. Just as Senator McCain’s speech to congratulate Obama was titled ‘Godspeed to the man who will be my president’. Do you know that every speech of a US president ends with: Thank You, God bless you and may God bless the United States of America? Let put God first in whatever we do in life and see our progress as a nation take up a Godspeed! Change is in YOU. No more excuse for failure!

Mayowa Adeniran
Development News Organization