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JOHN OKOROCHA’S Remarkable 48 Years John Okorocha has come a long way from humble beginnings in Alayi Abia State.

and divine providence we can achieve anything anywhere we find ourselves. John is a shinning example of what discipline and dedication can do.

Emigrating from Nigeria to the United States just about 18 years ago, John rose from a non privileged background growing up in Aba to build a business conglomerate that spans Health Care services, manufacturing and broadcasting; employing over 1,000 people in the United States and West Africa.

His 48th birthday celebrations started on Friday the 14th of January 2011, when the Pacific Wealth Management Group led by Mr. David Adefeso hosted John's close family, friends and associates at their luxury suite in Staples Center during the Los Angeles Lakers vs New Jersey Nets game.

John's success story is an affirmation that with hard work

The celebrations galore continued on Saturday January

15th, at John's luxury home in Palos Verdes, California, where his beautiful wife and mother of his three adorable children, Jill Okorocha, threw a sumptuous white linen- crystal waremoonlight- dinner to close family and associates of John ... serenaded by fine sounds from a classical music ensemble. It was a gathering of the Nigerian community in Los Angeles jet set..professionals and business executives. The partying continued until the wee hours of the morning on Sunday

PHOTO ESSAY of this dream event starts on page 16 2

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

FROM THE DESK OF THE PUBLISHER

LIFE and TIMES Magazine is Published by LIFE and TIMES Network Inc, a publishing and Public Relations Company. 7095 Hollywood Blvd, #485, Hollywood CA 90028-6035 COMPANY BOARD: CEO/Publisher: Chike Nweke MEMBERS: Dan Musa, PhD Ebere Anakwenze Lara Okunubi Chinwe Dunu-Nze Bruce Nwachie, Samuel Adeleye Ehis Inegbenoise Halilu Haruna; CPA Joachim "Joe" Nwude, JD Eugene Edoga, LLM (Abuja FCT) Chioma Iwuchukwu (Lagos) EDITORIAL BOARD: Chair: Clem Ainabe, PhD Deputy: Jude Akudinobi, PhD Executive Editor: Arthur Abraham Editor: Chinyere Ifeacho Associate Editor: Jones Okeke Osayande Aghazebamwan Stella Johnson Correspondents/Columnists: Ambrose Ehirim,Okey Nwachie Tommy Musa, Queenkay Anadu-Amangbo Photographers: Ade James, Aluma Nkele, Boniface Uzondu, Frank Osemeka Marketing/Advertising: Head Marketing/Advertising: Jude Nwosu

We want to thank all our numerous readers, advertising partners and patrons for the very warm welcome and support you gave the maiden edition of Life and Times magazine in December 2010. From your outpouring of support and encouragement through advert placements, phone calls, emails, text messages and web postings, you reinforced our believe that this is an idea whose time has come and we will continue this crusade to project Nigeria in the best light possible and dispel the negative stereotypes that we have come to be associated with in the western media. In this edition, in our Cover and PROFILES IN EXCELLENCE we feature a woman of substance and excellence, Her Excellency Ambassador Joy Uche Ogwu, Nigeria's Permanent representative to the United Nations who rose from humble beginnings through dint of hard work to become Nigeria's second female foreign minister and first female permanent representative to the United Nations. Her Excellency has also chaired the United Nations Security Council. Her Life is a testimony that hard work and diligence has its rewards and would inspire millions of our compatriots. We also feature the 48th birthday celebrations of business icon and CEO of the ISOCARE GROUP, Mr. John Okorocha, another shining example of what hard work and dedication can achieve. Emigrating from Nigeria to the United States about 18 years ago, John rose from humble beginnings in

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

Abia state to build a business conglomerate that spans health Care services, manufacturing and broadcasting; employing over 1,000 people in the United States and West Africa. John’s success story is an affirmation that with hard work, discipline and divine providence, we can achieve anything anywhere we find ourselves.

“With confidence, you can put together any ensemble and make it fashionably relevant

You will also read our regular columns, news/politics, fashion/beauty, Youth Column, Finance/Investments and Arts/Culture. We also feature our religion/spiritual affairs column and people and places. Do join us in welcoming Dr. Chika Duru, Lead scholar at the University of Abuja as our Abuja Bureau Chief. Dr. Duru brings years of experience spanning America/Africa into our organization and will give us the needed presence in Abuja at this time of major evolutions in our nation. The Nigerian National elections are coming up in April 2011 and our political commentators Dr. Clem Ainabe and Disu Yemi Yesufu give us a background analysis of what is manifesting in our charged political terrain. We have spared no effort to make this a collectors' edition and we hope you enjoy it. Chike Nweke Publisher/CEO February 2011

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6 Cover Profile 6. PROFILE OF EXCELLENCE: Dr. Joy Uche Ogwu The Nigerian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Entertainment and Culture 9. Q & A with Ngozi Achebe Medical doctor and author 14. Nollywood ...I remember yesterday

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People and Places 2. John Okorocha’s Remarkable 48 Years 16. Photo Essays of John Okorocha @ 48 22. Lami & Audu 26. Spotlights on Palos Verdes Hotels Akwa The Pinnacle of Luxury Fashion and Beauty 30. Confidence is an asset 32. Beauties of the moment 36. Dude of the moment.. 38. Introducing Kosibah

Finance 42. Choosing the right tax professional for your tax needs Environmental, Science and Technology 44. Water recycling News and Politics 46. Reflections on the April General Elections 47. Contenders for Aso Rock...seat of power

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

59 POLITICS 48. THE EMERGENCE OF GOODLUCK JONATHAN: The hand of Obasanjo or divine intervention

22 Life’s issues from the heart 51. RELATIONSHIPS: How much is it worth to you? Religion/Spiritual Affairs 53. Faith

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Feature 55. Creating grassroot and sustainable development for the oil producing communities in the Niger Delta 62. Introducing the Abuja Bureau Chief of Life and Times ... Youth 58. Ctizenship Redefined 59. Spotlight on Rwang Pam, Director of CADC Dance Group Regulars 3. From the desk of the Publisher 61. Subscription to Life and Times Magazine 63. Life and Times Representatives and Distribution centres

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Profile

PROFILE OF EXCELLENCE:

Dr. Joy Uche Ogwu The Nigerian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations By Chinyere Ifeacho Editor 6

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

Profile

The hallowed chambers of the United Nations Security Council is a place where fundamental decisions affecting the peace and security of nations are made. In July 2010, Dr. Joy Uche Ogwu, the Nigerian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, chaired that Council. She had the privilege of conducting the Council’s deliberations and introducing Queen Elizabeth II to members of the Security Council during her (the Queen’s) historic visit to the United Nations on July 7, 2010. For a woman who was born to an

“For a woman who was born to an average Asaba, Delta State, parents on August 23, 1946, and raised in Port Harcourt in an era when many considered female child education unimportant, it was a defining moment to Chair a council where fundamental decisions affecting the nations of the world are made.”

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

average Asaba, Delta State, parents on August 23, 1946, and raised in Port Harcourt in an era when many considered female child education unimportant, it was a defining moment to Chair a council where fundamental decisions affecting the nations of the world are made. Professor Joy Uche Angela Ogwu has had a distinguished public service and diplomatic career. She obtained her BA and MA in Political Science from Rutgers University. She later obtained her Ph. D from the University of Lagos in 1977. Her chosen area of specialization is

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Profile

women development and human rights. In 1992 she served as a member of the steering Committee on the better Life for Women Development Program under late First Lady Mrs. Maryam Babangida. In her public service as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on International Relations from 2000-2006, she made valid contributions to the development of Nigeria’s foreign policy.

International relations. This is deeply rooted in her background in Political Science and Diplomatic History; areas in which she has earned many academic awards and distinctions. She started her career as an Assistant lecturer at the Nigerian National War College and later joined the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in 1977. In 2001 Joy Ogwu was appointed to lead Nigeria foremost foreign policy Think Tank, Nigerian Institute of Internal Affairs (NIIA) as the first female Director General - a position she held until the year 2006. In January 2002 the then Secretary- General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Anan, invited her to serve as a member of the United Nations Advisory Board on Disarmament matters. She was appointed to serve as Chairman of the Advisory Board in 2006, placing her as the first African woman to serve in that capacity in the annals of the United Nations. On August 30, 2006, former President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed her Nigeria’s Foreign Minister and she became the second woman in the nation’s history to occupy that position. She became Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations in April 2008. She also has been serving as Regent of Covenant Uni-

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“She is one of the 50 women honored on the occasion of Nigeria’s 50th Independence Anniversary for outstanding contributions to the Nation’s development” versity Ota. She is currently President of the Executive Board of the UN Women Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women. As a woman in a foremost position in her distinguished career specialization, Professor Ogwu has become a voice for

Ambassador Joy Ogwu has written extensively on foreign policy issues. Her publica Policy; Alternative Futures (Macmillian Press) Nigerian’s International Economic Relations; Dimensions of Dependence and Change (1988) (co-edited), etc, and several articles in scholarly journals and books. Her books have been translated into Portuguese, Spanish and French languages Ambassador Ogwu leads the Nigerian Delegation to the UN Security Council. She is one of the 50 women honored on the occasion of Nigeria’s 50th Independence Anniversary for outstanding contributions to the Nation’s development. She has been married for over 40 years to Dr. Aloysious Ogwu, a Surgeon. They blessed with five children and many grand children.

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

Q & A with

Ngozi Achebe MEDICAL DOCTOR AND AUTHOR

Entertainment and Culture

Ngozi Achebe is an accomplished Medical Doctor and writer. Niece of foremost Nigerian Author Chinua Achebe, Ngozi talks about her life, her family and her new award winning first book Onaedo: The Blacksmith Daughter. In this interview with Ambrose Ehirim our Entertainment/ Cultural editor. The book is available at Borders, Barnes and Noble, Amazon kindle and Amazon.com Before we proceed in this interview, we would like to know who you are. I was born in London to an engineer Augustine Achebe and his wife a Matilda, a nurse. I was raised in Nigeria and later when I became a medical doctor I did go back to England to do further training. Then I came over to the USA to be close to my sisters who had come over earlier. I still have a full time medical practice. I also have two children Jennifer and Nnamdi who are always my first priority in all I do. The moment you created in your thoughts penning Onaedo: The Blacksmith’s Daughter, what went through your mind, and the environment in which this compelling novel began?

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LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, LIFE FEBRUARY/MARCH & TIMES MAGAZINE 2011

Entertainment and Culture

I have always been fascinated by fifteenth and sixteenth century West Africa, the period just around the Portuguese arrival; a period that is unfortunately not taught very well in Nigeria. I imagine what one group must have thought of the other without looking only through the prism of slavery. It all came from this curiosity to know more and share my findings in a dramatic way. Hence Onaedo. LT: You are in the medical arts, and one would expect you should be writing on the profession you were trained. How and why did you pick up the idea to write about a world of strong women and culture conflicts which the novel depicts?

continent, is a poorly told story in Nigeria, at least in the schools I went to. I wanted to tell this story from a view point that is not often heard. I really wanted people to see how fascinating that whole period was, to see that everything was not all black and white, but was also in varying shades of gray. LT: The characters are amazing and very familiar with ones upbringing, How did you come up

with all these characters like Amechi, Udemezue, Adanma, Dualo, Oguebie, Eneda, Ugodi and the rest in a storytelling typical of growing up in the woods, and a story that had the same resemblance of a commune and a normal village life from around how one grew up? I did grow up in the

When I started researching the story I felt I had to create characters that everybody could identify with. Even if you were not African you knew this father, this brother, this aunt this young woman. An ancient story with a modern dimension. We are not so different after all. LT: Let’s talk about Onaedo: The Blacksmith’s Daughter, from Chapter 1 through 8 and a 16th Century West Africa explored by the Portuguese. First, why 16th Century West Africa, tracing back to the Portuguese exploration and the slave trade? The Portuguese age of exploration and its impact on the African LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

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Entertainment and Culture

woods! During the Nigerian/Biafran civil war we all escaped into the interior, and there my siblings and I experienced village life first hand. It was fascinating and I’m thankful I had that opportunity for this total immersion in this culture even though I could have done without the war part! All those characters are familiar - they are our everyday friends, relatives and acquaintances. LT: Now that your juiced novel Onaedo: The Blacksmith’s Daughter has done pretty much well as I can tell, coupled with the reviews which is still overwhelmingly pouring in, what should we be looking for in your next project? A storytelling-fictional characters, or something of a non-fictional characters like the pogrom, life events, and, or biography, or maybe some unpublished works, sort of? My next project, now in later stages of completion, is a coming of age novel, about a girl growing up in the midst of a war. It is purely fictional but is based on some experiences of mine and others during the period of the civil war that engulfed Nigeria in the 60’s leading to the creation of the shortlived republic of Biafra which was in south eastern Nigeria. I’m excited about it, because it has been a labor of love. I was writing it before I diverted into Onaedo. 12

time but I remember the anguish of it all. We should tell these stories so that never, never again. Evil pervades when good men do nothing. I want to believe we have come a long way from that.

I also have other works in progress but will not talk about them yet. LT: We discussed in several occasions about the pogrom and civil war in your native land, and how vile that was while back from London which I’m still sure you remember what it looked like. Besides the novel Onaedo: The Blacksmith’s Daughter, could you tell us a little bit about your experience as a child and why horrors of war especially the most blood soaked event in Africa, the antiIgbo pogrom, must not cease to be told? War is never good and a fratricidal one such as the Nigerian/Biafran war is even worse. It was a sad time. A government should protect its own citizens from atrocity otherwise it is not really a government at all. The Nigerian government then failed to do so for one section of its population and failed to stop the genocide that took place. I was a child at the

LT: Besides your profession as a medical doctor and your passion to pen down your thoughts as in Onaedo: The Blacksmith’s Daughter, what else fascinates you as in passion and things like that? I love to hike and explore especially with family. I try to be as physical as possible, and as a medical doctor, I try to lead a healthy life so I’m an example to my patients. I’m also an avid reader. I used to draw and paint at one time but I wasn’t that good at it, so I gave it up. My sisters loved them though and a few hang still in their homes and offices. LT: Did your Uncle Chinua Achebe’s works inspire you to follow the literary giant’s footsteps? I have been asked that question often and the answer has to be yes .Growing up in his shadow has been a great influence in my life. My one regret is not starting early to get my work published but my people have a saying that whatever time in the day you wake up, becomes your own morning. ...interview to be concluded in next edition...

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

...I remember yesterday I remember yesterday> I remember yesterday> When creative energy and talent were severely restricted in both outlet and recompense a time when the few Television soap operas were produced; when subsequent episodes were recorded over previously used tapes, whilst the participating artistes earned as pittance one naira fifty kobo per episode. The only available platform was the NTA, back in the days.

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When along the streets of Nigeria, young men and women roamed unemployed, unrecognized, indistinguishable in the crowds of countrymen languishing on our streets, indeed, still a bewildering feature of today’s Nigeria. Patriots such as the Late Francis Agu, Bob Manuel Udokwu, Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey, Norbert Young, Alex Osifo, Ngozi Nwosu, Kenneth Okonkwo, Hilda Dokubo, Segun Arinze, Kanayo .O. Kanayo, Chidi Nwokeabia, Richard Mofe-Damijo, and other today’s True faces of Nollywood, amongst them. LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

Entertainment/Culture

I remember yesterday> When the heroes of our entertainment frontline today, took their individual destinies in their own hands, for the common good, this event occurring, perhaps, by accident, or at best, fortuitously. They built upon the selfless and creative efforts of the Tony Ubesie’s, Nwokolobia Agu’s, Meki Nzewi’s, Amaka Igwe’s, Ken Nnebue’s Azubuike Udensi’s Consolidated Fortunes, Dozie Eriobus’s Infinity Merchants, the Gobosky’s et al, applying their natural endowments, gifts which neither the harshness of the Nigerian reality nor the unfair interplay of economic misfortune could steal or stifle. Thus began the roll of tapes, location after location, studio after studio, from Idumota to Aba, to Onitsha, to Calabar and to other sales shelves across Nigeria.

latedly christiened another man’s child, the results of these tireless efforts, while reclined in their sofas and airconditioned offices in far away Abuja, they named you NOLLYWOOD, to their own glory! I remember yesterday> When the average actor was deemed a misfit, a rascal, and home owners were reluctant to permit the use of their homes lest those urchins break or remove items of value.

May Nollywood in real terms be the beneficiary of this and other training programmes to come. For, there can be no better tribute to the entertainment efforts of our living but immortal actors and actresses than for Nigeria to focus on both human and infrastructural development for the benefit of Nollywood with other well thought out sector incentives which should be readily and easily available across the board to the best of us, in a Corporate-whole format, devoid of individual selectism. Nollywood, yesterday

I

remember

For wherever I have been, wherever time or fate may take me hence, you will always be in my heart. I have travelled so wide, gone so far, yet all I have done, is come back home.

Later, of course, Nigeria, the always absent but crafty old uncle, sought them out, and beLIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

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JOHN OKOROCHA@ 48 Years — PHOTO ESSAY of this dream event at Staples Centre

UK Obasi, David and Amechi

Shout out to John at Staples

Emeka Nwachie and Chidi Metu 16

John and Jill at Staples

Jill and buddy Nkiru LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, LIFE FEBRUARY/MARCH & TIMES MAGAZINE 2011

At Dinner

Guests at Dinner

Classical Music Ensemble

A toast to the captain at 48 LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

Table is set for dinner

Response to the toast 17

Party Time

The celebrants with Zita and friend

The celebrants and the Onwaezes

LA’s Jet Set

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The Power Couple, John and Jill

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

John and Jill forever as one

Bevy of beauties in the house

Dr. & Mrs Okoye and David Adefeso

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

Bruce and Henry

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John grooving with belly dancers

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The celebrants with the Okpalas

Dancing till dawn

Chike and Mercy Nweke

Attorney & Mrs. Onyejekwe LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE

Dr. Clem and Pearl Ainabe

Gentleman Yomi Adepoju and Wife

Okwii and Uju Okeke and friend MAIDEN/INTRO EDITION, DECEMBER 2010

Alex and Chika Nnoli

Ben and Barbara Amadi

Rico and Emeka

The Nwabuzors and the Onwaezes 21

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LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE

People and Places

People and Places

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AVANT GARDE, FRONT ELEVATION

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LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

people and places

Successful california criminal law attorney, Chike Amobi a.k.a “the lawyer with the hat� and his wife Rivien has added yet another feather to their cap by venturing boldly into the hospitality industry and establishing Palos Verdes Hotels, an oasis of luxury in Awka capital territoryof Anambra State... Palos Verdes Hotels Awka is a 20-room boutique hotel located in the exclusive and serene Iyi-Agu estate in the Awka capital territory of Anambra State. Dubbed, "the pinnacle of luxury", the hotel is designed to provide luxurious 5star service to guests at very affordable and competitive rates. Named after a garden city in the Los Angeles area, Palos Verdes literally means "green palms" in spanish. Thus the extensive and artful incorporation of beautiful green royal palms in the landscaping to create a carribean-like resort styled environment. From its elegant and bespoke interiors to its africana bar and world class outdoors, palos verdes was designed by its space consultants to provide a perfect blend of western and african hospitality to reflect the bicontinental background of its proprietors.

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

GRAND STAIRCASE

ENTRANCE FOYER

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people and places

BUSH BAR

CLEAN ROOMS

Palos verdes is situated about 45 minutes drive from the newly renovated enugu international airport and provides complimentary shuttle service to her guests from the airport with prior reservation. A world-class chef and american trained staff have mastered the art of preparing

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HEATED OLYMPIC POOL

and serving both continental and african dishes in an environment that is guaranteed to make you feel at home. Experience what has been described by renowned hotel critics as the "by far the best hotel in awka".

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

people and places

OUTSIDE WALLS AND ORNATE GATE

URBANE RECEPTION

WELL STOCKED BAR

Reservations: +234- 706-469-9400 Website : www.palosverdeshotelsng.com LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

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Fashion and Beauty

Confidence is an asset

How can one really look at several Nigerian women and not appreciate the wide range of beauty? Is it in our skin, our hairstyles, our gait, the shape of our bodies, the richness in our voices when we speak, our intelligence, or fashion sense? The list goes on and on.

“With confidence,

their fashion sense like nobody’s business.

you can put

Confidence is a great asset. Let’s give it up to the Nigerian Fashionistas!

together any ensemble and make it

The following three pages is a showcase of some beauties and a dude with great confidence..

We are looking for guys and babes First we must start with what is infashionably with enough confidence and swagger to side most of our women and that is grace our beauty of the moment page, relevant confidence. There’s nothing more apsend a profespealing than a woman who is confisional digital photo dent, I am not talking about arrogance here but of yourself, a brief bio and confidence. When she walks into a room, she owns your contact and see the it. This is something our parents and our culture put world open up to you in us. With confidence, you can put together any enthrough Life and Times, the semble and make it fashionably relevant. only Nigerian publication

With a little (clearing my throat), money, we can really compete with the world’s royal families in looking like a million dollars. From our beautiful head gears with a wide array of colors, to our laces, fabrics, shoes and bags, not to mention our accessories. Nigerian women confidently strut LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

based in Hollywood. Cheeers Kay Kay Anadu-Amangbo Send entries to: mail@lifeandtimesmagazine.com 31

We are looking for guys and babes with enough confidence and swagger to grace our beauty of the moment page. Send a professional photo of yourself, a brief bio and your contact and see the world open up to you through Life and Times, the only Naija publication based in Hollywood...

Beauties of the moment...

Maureen Uche Okwuosa Status: Single A licensed attorney with the State of California. Uche is passionate about the legal profession and volunteers her free time with legal aid clinics in both Kern County and Los Angeles County. In addition to her volunteer work, she enjoys traveling, entertaining friends and family, and partaking in various forms of retail therapy. She can be contacted at mokwuosa@msn.com

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Fashion and Beauty

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Fashion and Beauty

Ifeyinwa Igwe Status: single Contact: chrissyvibes@yahoo.com Born in the late 80's in Nigeria.Second child out of 4. Schooled in Nigeria. Graduated from University and now working with a multi national firm. Loves God, Loves Life and cherishes Family and Friends. Goal oriented and focused. Drive in Life: "looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith"

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Fashion and Beauty

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Fashion and Beauty

Dude

of the moment... CREAS AMBI NWOKEABIA... Single General Building Contractor Lover of the our Lord Jesus and serves at International Christian Center, Hawthorne CA Contact: ambinwoke@gmail.com

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Fashion and Beauty

I N T R O D U C I N G

Photo Credit: Subyy & Sinem 38

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Fashion and Beauty

Photo Credit: Subyy & Sinem LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

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Fashion and Beauty

Photo Credit: Subyy & Sinem 40

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Fashion and Beauty

Photo Credit: Subyy & Sinem LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

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Finance

It is tax time again and everyone is gathering tax documents to make sure their tax man gets them the most refund, or pay the least amount to the government. Choosing the right tax professional will go a long way in helping you achieve these goals. Something has changed beginning this year 2011. The Internal Revenue Service is requiring anyone who prepares taxes for compensation to register with them and get a tax preparer identification number. If your tax preparer is not already licensed and monitored by an agency he or she will take an exam given by the IRS and has to have continuing education every year. This will weed out many tax preparers so be careful who prepares your taxes. Make sure he or she is properly licensed.

going to court or criminal case to warrant you choosing a tax attorney. An Attorney can only represent you in the State they are Licensed. Attorneys are normally the most expensive of the three groups. A CPA specializes in Audits and Accounting and sometimes taxes. A CPA is licensed by the state and cannot practice in another state.

Choosing the right tax professional for your tax needs

If you have a tax problem beyond the tax preparation which is common in this hard economic time, you can choose among three tax professionals to represent you. These professionals are CPAs, Tax Attorneys or Enrolled Agents. These professionals are called Circular 230 practitioners. They are allowed by the IRS to represent you when you have a tax problem. Choosing the right professional can make a difference in the outcome of your case. An Attorney may not specialize in taxes and even if they do your problem has to involve

An enrolled Agent is licensed by the Federal Department of Treasury and can practice in any state. They specialize in just taxes and are trained and experienced in representation. Enrolled Agents are the most affordable of all the three groups. Halilu Haruna, EA, MBA, Fellow National Tax Practice Institute

Mr. Haruna is CEO of Bali Business Management a Tax Consulting Firm, He is an Enrolled Agent and Fellow of National Tax Practice Institute. He was selected as a Business Renaissance Executive by Business Renaissance Quarterly and appeared on Pasadena Cable Network Channel 32 on February 12, 2011 discussing taxes, non profits and Charter Schools.

Environmental, Science and Technology

WATER RECYCLING By Manny Ojo, Ph.D

Simply put, water recycling is replicating in a controlled environment what comes naturally to Mother Nature! Wastewater Treatment Facilities Wastewater treatment plants help to reclaim pure water from wastewater for a host of beneficial uses. It also helps prevent

pollution of creeks, streams, lake, rivers and lagoons. Wastewater is not just water from toilets. It comes from many 44

sources in the homes. For example, washing machines, kitchen sinks, showers as well as commercial and industrial processes.

nature. They just speed up the process and do it in modern, high-tech facilities.

Wastewater recycling replicates the natural processes that offer an environmentally sound and cost-effective way to remove the waste (pollutants) and reclaim the water.

1. Primary treatment: remove solid materials.

When it comes to recycling wastewater, no one is a better teacher than Mother Nature. After all, she has been doing it since the beginning of time

through her own purification system of lakes, streams, and rivers. Wastewater treatment plants literally replicate what happens in

Water Recycling is as simple as 1, 2, 3:

2. Secondary Treatment: biodegrade organic materials. 3. Tertiary Treatment: eliminate fine particulates and disinfect. The reclaimed water is free of harmful bacteria / viruses and safe for human contact, recharging groundwater, or for a wide variety of other uses. Nigeria as a nation should look into building wastewater treatment facilities. Doing so will help prevent pollution of our lagoons, lakes and rivers. It will also reduce the transmission and proliferation of waste-borne diseases.

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

News and Politics Reflections on the

April General Elections By CLEM AINABE, Ph. D

The focus in this edition is on two groups in our body politic. The first consists of politicians who have warned that unless they have their way, they will constitute themselves as threats to our national security. The second is on individuals who believe that politics and chaos go hand in hand. This group expects the worse from the next election and believes that nothing can be done to forestall an election ravaged with chaos. To the first group, one would like to remind them that the world does not revolve around them. The people have spoken. This is a democratic era and efforts must be made by all Nigerians to make it work. It is our country; it is what we

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make it. The collective will of the people must prevail over the will of individuals driven by self centeredness. My hope is that those who resort to post-election chaotic and destructive behaviors are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. While election history in Nigeria and some developing countries substantiates the thinking of the second group, it is also true that many countries have had and enjoyed long history of chaos free elections. It is an insult and self defeatist to anchor and wallow in the belief that because we have had history of chaotic elections that we are not capable of conducting one that is peaceful and free of chaos. We must dissociate ourselves from mindsetof this nature. It will be the first step in the right direction.

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

News and Politics

Contenders for

Aso Rock ...seat of power

Despite the sporadic religious, sectarian and political violence and acts of terrorism that were witnessed as a run up to the just concluded party primaries in Nigeria, the outcome signaled the dawn of a new era, breaking the bonds that hitherto held us hostage to tribe and religion. In the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), President Goodluck Jonathan roundly floored his main rival, former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in a landslide victory that defeated proponents of the zoning formula in the PDP. The arguments of the proponents of zoning was that the PDP had agreed that power rotate between the North and the South, and it was still the turn of the North to complete the term of late President Umar Yaradua. Political Analyst, Yemi Yesufu, in our Political Opinion Page analyses the historical trends that culminated in this nomination. In the main opposition, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the former Anti Corruption Czar, floored all comers to pick the Presidential ticket of the ACN that has its stronghold in Lagos State and Western Nigeria. This again is historical because conventional wis-

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

dom will have seen a Yoruba man emerge as the party's Presidential candidate. Governor Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano State recorded a landslide win within his party to emerge as the presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the main opposition party in Northern Nigeria. Other fringe candidates that emerged include former military head of state, General Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Professor Pat Utomi of the Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP),Dr John Dara of the National Transformation Party (NTP), Otunba Dele Momodu of the National Conscience Party(NCP) and Pastor Chris Okotie of the Fresh Democratic Party (FDP). The main opposition party in the East, The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has announced that it has adopted President Jonathan as its Presidential candidate. From all indications it appears that the Presidential elections is a straight contest between President Goodluck Jonathan and Mallan Nuhu Ridadu

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POLITICS

THE EMERGENCE OF GOODLUCK JONATHAN THE HAND OF OBASANJO OR DIVINE INTERVENTION

_____________ BY DISU YESUFU

I am not a religious zealot, but if there is one thing that I believe is happening in Nigeria, it is that it looks like there is a certain divine intervention going on and it started with the Babangida annulling the June 12 1993 election, his stepping aside and subsequently the emergence of Abacha, his jailing of Obasanjo and Yardua and Abacha’s own final demise. The whole sequence of events seems to be so well coordinated that no one individual or group could have been in charge of pulling Nigeria along the path it has arrived today.

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When Obasanjo became the President and leader of this country the second time around, he was roundly welcomed by all and sundry, not because he had a very good standing with the people of this country most especially his own constituency which rightly or wrongly still hold grudges against him for preventing their beloved AWO from becoming the president of Nigeria in 1979. Obasanjo was perceived by Nigerians then as having been unjustly treated by the late strong man and dictator Sanni Abacha with his incarceration and finally the death of his close friend and fellow soldier

Shehu Yardua. For a man like Obasanjo to have become a saint, overnight attest to how horrible the regime of Sanni Abacha must have been. By the time Obasanjo became the President he systematically went after the agents who put him behind the bars one by one and finally rendered most if not all of them impotent. The so called, Kaduna mafia an organization which he Obasanjo has aligned with in the past against his own constituency the South West, became his prime target. Even though they were largely in charge

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POLITICS

of making him the president the second time around, he never forgave them for not standing up to the evils of the regime of Sanni Abacha and getting him off the hook. What most people do not understand about Obasanjo and what Wole Soyinka had made references to many a times is that he is a man suffering from the 3 big S. Selfishness, Self centeredness and Self importance. He is so politically complex that he could easily pass for a Fox. The only reason Obasanjo wanted to go for a third term is not because he enjoys the trappings of power as most would want us to believe but for the fact that he truly believed that he could re-engineer Nigeria and that he needed more time to just do that. But what he Obasanjo underestimated was the fact that the North that put him power was already aware of his plans and the efforts he had made so far to re-engineer things against the very North he had aligned with since his days in the military. The plans by these groups in the North saw Atiku coming out openly to attack his boss largely because of his own personal ambition also. Atiku became the porn in the chess game and came out openly to object to the third term plan of Obasanjo. Atiku underestimated the grand master and got plunked in the face. By the time the dust settled, Obasanjo was not going for a third term, but he had a last joker in his pocket to stop the ambitions of both Atiku and Babangida in the trail. He foisted a sick Musa Yardua on the nation. The two most powerful forces that

would have tilted the power off the Grand master Obasanjo found themselves groping in the dark on what to do. Atiku could not have gone against the Yardua dynasty that made him into the powerful politician that he had become through his association with Musa Yardua defunct PDM and Babangida himself said it that going into the race would mean his joining forces against a junior brother. And we all know that Babagida never likes to join forces against his senior nor his juniors. But because Atiku did go against Yardua by decamping to ACN, he paid the price for it at the PDP national convention on January 13, 2011. The emergence of Musa Yardua was meant to usher in a new dawn to Nigeria politics, the old brigade, had been largely neutralized by the fox Obasanjo and Nigeria was almost ready to move towards a new direction until the death of Yardua himself. The question now is... Was Obasanjo aware of the degree of Yardua sickness and had known that he would not complete his term as president, or was his master plan truncated by faith and the divine intervention, which I had alluded to in my opening paragraph. That will be the big question that time would have to expose. Would Obasanjo

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

had planted Goodluck Jonathan in a position where he easily took over the mantle of power from a dead president and now went ahead to win his party primaries on his own merit. How did the old Brigade in the north come to this point where it completely lost control of what was an otherwise coercive Northern political apparatus? A situation that totally broke all the stereotype of what we have come to know about the North. This I am sure would be the main topic of discussion amongst the northern intelligentsia, which had always been the force behind he northern domination of Nigerian politics for a long time. Again the answer could be attributed to either of two things divine intervention or a strategy that did not work in the face of other superior strategies of Aremu Oluseugn Obasanjo. There is no doubt that Goodluck Jonathan would coast in and win the presidential election largely because there is no other strong candidate with a national broad appeal that can unseat him. However in the face of the shellacking that Atiku and the Northern Elders forum received with the PDP presidential primaries, it will be pertinent to ask the question if the days of the northern domination of the Nigeria political landscape is over or is it just a temporary set back engineered by Obasanjo. Disu Adeyemi Yesufu Political Analyst Was Formerly Senior lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria

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life’s issues from the heart

RELATIONSHIPS: How much is it worth to you? Now that the busyness of the holiday is over, newness of the year worn off and we have made lots of inconsequential resolutions, it is time to be real. What we really long for is a meaningful relationship; whether it is with your spouse, family or friends. We all thrive in an environment fueled by compliments, appreciation, admiration, recognition, respect, attention or sensitivity to our needs. The law of reciprocity says you get back what you give. I am not talking about wrapped up gifts. I am talking about the sincere gift of the

heart, time and compassion that we truly desire and crave. Indeed there is no ideal family, spouse or friend but the way you perceive it dictates your role and ability to impact it in a fruitful direction. Each of these setting has its share of venture, risk, love, failure, pain, hurt, disappointments, forgiveness, happiness and joy; so do not paint unrealistic pictures of expectations that you cannot fulfill. If you look at any relationship from a spectrum of fate, then you know there is a divine purpose for you in it, no matter how dys-

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

BY SISI EKO

functional it appears now. A realistic resolution should be to live a life of balance by having the right perspective and the determination to make a difference. Hope this helps you to appreciate the dynamics of your family and friends. If you have concerns or unmet needs, rather than criticism you can recalibrate it by taking responsibility for your part. Value your relationships before you loose them. The prelude to any successful relationship is commitment, not feelings.

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Religion/Spiritual Affairs

Evangelist Sam Onuoha

The US dollar is the currency used in the United States of America. How much US dollars you have determines what you can afford in America. When we went on television, nobody cared about my accent, race or about the color of my skin. All they asked was if we could afford to pay for the air time. So it is also in the kingdom of God. Faith is the currency in use in the kingdom of God. How much faith you have is what determines your access to provisions in God’s kingdom. Everything in the kingdom operates by faith. God is not moved by your tears or problems; He is only moved by your faith. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6 in the The Amplified Bible reads: But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]. Whatever you do not get by faith is sin and illegal (Rom. 14:23). Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.-Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) The above scripture is what I describe as the “Faith Anatomy”. It is what faith is made up of. Faith is now. If it is not now, then it is not faith. Faith begins when God’s will on a matter is known; and that can only come from locating it in His word – the Bible. We have discovered from His word that prosperity is His will. That means kingdom prosperity is available now, not tomorrow or when you graduate or get married, because it is attainable only by faith. Please understand that hope is not faith. Hope is a goal setter, while faith takes delivery of the goods LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

now. Let’s look at Hebrews 11:1 more closely from the Amplified Bible: NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. I remember when I bought an acre of land in Hawaii. Even though I hadn’t gone to see it in a while, I knew that I had a piece of property. Someone might ask me, “What was the evidence of your ownership?” The title deed was my evidence; it can be described as my confidence of faith, and what is faith’s title deed? The word of God is faith’s title deed. That is why the Bible tells us that knowing the will of God gives us confidence in approaching Him. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.- 1 John 5:14-15 (KJV) After discovering that prosperity is God’s will, faith for prosperity is built up in you. With that faith in you, you say to yourself, “I have it!” Then you begin to see yourself living in a mansion, even though you might still be living in a studio apartment. You also begin to see yourself flying around the world inside a private jet, while still seated in a Greyhound bus. Faith enables you to see yourself as a millionaire having more than enough to meet your needs and the needs of others, even when you might not have any money in the bank.( To Be Continued)

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Feature

Creating grassroot and sustainable development for the oil producing communities in the

Niger Delta Only a thin veneer of darkness hides the simmering discontent in Nigeria’s volatile Niger Delta. The radicalization of the Niger Delta has been long in coming. Since the discovery of oil in Olobiri in the late 1950s, oil production has grown steadily and accounts for close to 70% of Nigeria’s gross domestic product with little evidence of physical or economic development in the oil producing communities. According to Wikepedia: The current conflict in the Niger Delta arose in the early 1990s over tensions between foreign oil corporations especially Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron-Texaco and a number of Niger Delta's minority ethnic groups who felt they were being exploited, particularly the Ogonis and the Ijaws. Ethnic and political unrest has continued throughout the 1990s and persists till date despite the return of Democratic government to Nigeria in 1999 and the amnesty negotiated with the militant groups by the Musa Yardua administration in 2009.

BY ARTHUR ABRAHAM EXECUTIVE EDITOR

Competition for oil wealth has fueled violence between innumerable ethic groups causing the militarization of nearly the entire region by ethnic militia groups as well as the Nigerian military and police forces. Victims of crimes are fearful of seeking justice for crimes committed against them because of growing "impunity from prosecution for individuals responsible for serious human rights abuses, [which] has created a devastating cycle of increasing conflict and violence†. The regional and ethnic conflicts are so numerous that fully detailing each is impossible and impractical. However, there have been a number of major confrontations that deserve elaboration. To douse tensions and create sustainable development in the oil producing region, The Niger Delta Development Commission - The Government Agency charged with developing the region - and the oil production companies should: 1. Initiate programs aimed at reversing the damages caused to the farmlands pollutants and con-

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

taminants from oil spill 2. Embark on massive infrastructural development of the region through building roads, housing development, schools, hospitals, etc 3. Embark on the building of industries even at the cottage level to create jobs for the restive youth of the Niger Delta The present practice of doling out huge sums of money and patronizing local Chiefs and Politicians by the oil majors and the NNDC should be discontinued as this will only perpetuate the current crisis. These classes of people are often not in touch with the grassroots and such monies given only go to service their lavish lifestyles. It will be delusionary to think that there would be peace in the Niger Delta unless government and the oil companies embark on concrete grassroots based development programs to bring the dividends of the huge windfall that oil brings to Nigeria to these communities.

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youth

Ctizenship Redefined Globalization, transnational business, the International Court of Justice, global interdependence, the United Nations, world economy, multinational organizations, universal human rights and the list of such buzzz words goes on and on. These words flood the media networks, influence governmental decisions, and hold lots of power. Never in the world’s history has there been as much excitement, effort, and urgency over inter- and intra- national corporation among countries. You may be reading this and wondering, Why does this matter, and how does it pertain to me? The answer is simple: Nigeria and your role in it are more relevant than ever! Our generation is in a unique position. We inherit the responsibility of n o t

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only bettering our motherland for future generations, but also equipping it to be a prime competitor on the global playing field. Our generation is called to be pro-active and resilient. National boundaries are not as dividing or impenetrable as they once were. This fact enables you to make an impact from wherever you are. For these reasons, you are not only a Nigerian citizen but in fact a world citizen. Ask yourself how you can serve your country and world today. Comments to: mail@lifeandtimesmagazine.com Ijeoma Nwawka. New England School of Law Class of 2012 Juris Doctorate University of California, Irvine Class of 2008 International Studies

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

youth

Spotlight on

Rwang

Pam Director of CADC Dance Group

At a time when many young college students struggle with balancing the freedom of being an adult, the free time in college life, and staying out of trouble, Rwang Pam, a student of Social Ecology at the University of California Irvine,... the son of Chuwang Rwang Pam, of the Jos-Nigeria ruling house... has found the perfect niche. Rwang became a student at UC Irvine in 2008, shortly after, he heard of the Chinese Association Dance Crew (CADC). He watched them perform at a university rally. He enjoyed their performance so much and wanted to be part of them. He signed up to audition and was accepted. Due to his leadership skills as well as choreographic

LIFE & TIMES MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

capabilities, he was picked by his teammates to run for one of the six leadership positions in the group and was consequently voted as the group director for 2010. Since joining the group, Rwang has been a part of winning five championships. Before CADC, Rwang led the youth group at Los Angeles Faith Chapel where his parents are the senior pastors in praise and worship. In 2010 Rwang went to Tokyo, Japan when the group was invited to perform there. In 1999, at the Mennonite Church USA Convention, Rwang performed with a group before 7,000 participants.His performances can be viewed at: www.facebook.com/cadancecrew or at www.myspace.com

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Because of the rapid political evolution taking place at our nation's capital and the need to have someone on ground to closely monitor these developments, the board of Life and Times magazine have decided to appoint, Dr. Chika Ebenezer Duru, BSBA., MBA., Ph.D. as the Abuja Bureau Chief for Life and Times

Dr. Chika Ebenezer Duru

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Dr. Chika Ebenezer Duru holds BSBA and MBA degrees in Business Administration with emphasis in Marketing and Management from the Southern California Campus of the University of Phoenix. He earned a PhD degree in Organizations Management with special emphasis in Leadership

from Capella University in Minnesota. Dr. Duru is a recognized author and an accomplished writer. In spite of his busy schedule, Dr. Duru finds time to attend to his call as a philanthropist. He is the Founder and the Executive Director of the Children’s Orphanage and Youth Foundation, Inc., a California based Non-Profit organization established in 1996. He enjoys working with the undeserved / underprivileged people in Africa and around the world. Dr. Duru is currently serving as a Senior Research fellow at the Federal University, Abuja Nigeria

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Feb/March 2011 Edition of Life and Times Magazine