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Super User

ISREALI REPORTS

IDF: Targeted operations on terrorist infrastructure, discovering weapons and eliminating terrorists; Activity of the Givati ​​Brigade combat team in the Al-Amal area in Khan Yunis.

The Givati ​​Brigade combat team has been operating in the Al-Amal area in Khan Yunis. The soldiers operated on and destroyed terrorist infrastructure where they located and destroyed a weapons storage facility, more than 40 explosive devices and a ton of explosive materials.

Givati ​​Brigade soldiers encounter many terrorists in close quarters encounters; In one of the incidents, the soldiers identified four terrorists, who were eliminated.

Attached is related footage: https://bit.ly/3J6iQBz

Attached are photos of the soldiers operating: https://IDFANC.activetrail.biz/ANC0404242

Attached are photos of weapons discovered by the soldiers: https://IDFANC.activetrail.biz/ANC0404241

** Joint IDF and ISA announcement:

The IDF and ISA eliminated a senior terrorist operative of Hamas' Internal Security who promoted significant terror activities in the Gaza Strip and planned terror attacks in Israeli territory.

This week (Wednesday) in southern Gaza, based on IDF and ISA precise intelligence, IAF fighter jets struck and eliminated Akram Abd Al-Rahman Husein Salamah, a senior terrorist operative of Hamas' Internal Security.

Akram held several key positions in the terrorist organization, including Deputy Head of the Khan Yunis District.

Akram was responsible for planning and executing significant terror attacks in Israeli territory, as well as directing terror activities in the Gaza Strip designated to damage IDF counterterrorism activities.

Attached is the profile of Akram Abd Al-Rahman Husein Salamah, a senior terrorist operative of Hamas' Internal Security: https://idfanc.activetrail.biz/ANC06042024842908420894

** Joint IDF and ISA announcement:

The body of the abductee Elad Katzir, who according to intelligence was murdered in captivity by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, was rescued overnight from Khan Yunis and returned to Israeli territory. His body was located based on precise IDF and ISA intelligence, and an accurate identification of IDF ground troops.

Following an identification procedure carried out overnight by medical officials at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, IDF and ISA representatives informed Elad Katzir's family that his body had been rescued.

The IDF and ISA express their deepest condolences to the family.

During the October 7th massacre, Elad Katzir was abducted by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization from Kibbutz Nir Oz. His mother, Hanna, was also abducted by the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization and released on November 24 as part of the agreement for the release of abductees, and his father, Avraham, was murdered in the kibbutz.

Our mission is to locate and return the abductees home. The IDF and the ISA are working in full coordination with the relevant national and security bodies and will continue until the task is complete.

** IDF: Overnight, five launches were identified crossing from Lebanon into the area of Shtula in northern Israel. Additionally, numerous launches were identified crossing from Lebanon into numerous areas in northern Israel over the past few hours. No injuries were reported. IDF soldiers struck the source of the launches.

Throughout the day, IDF fighter jets struck a number of Hezbollah terror infrastructures in the areas of Ayta ash Shab, Arnoun, and Tayr Harfa in southern Lebanon. Additionally, IDF artillery fired in order to remove threats in the areas of Aalma El Chaeb and Souaneh in southern Lebanon overnight.

Attached is a video of the strikes: https://bit.ly/49tK5k6

** IDF: 3 terror tunnels destroyed in the area of the Khan Yunis Brigade: the IDF continues to destroy the underground infrastructure in the Gaza Strip

Since the beginning of the "Swords of Iron" war, the IDF has been operating against the underground infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. In recent months, IDF soldiers led by the 98th Division and the Yahalom Unit have been operating to locate, map and destroy the tunnels of Hamas’ Khan Yunis Brigade. During the activity, 3 offensive terror tunnels, that were under intelligence and technological surveillance by the IDF over recent years, were located. Following preliminary ground activity they were mapped and destroyed. The operation was carried out by the Southern Command's Engineering Array, the Gaza Division, the 98th Division and the Yahalom Unit.

One of the tunnels was uncovered about a decade ago, and in 2021 during the "Guardian of the Walls" operation it was struck from the air, resulting in the elimination of several Hamas terrorists. At the beginning of the current war it was struck at several points to prevent offensive activity, and over the last weeks it was destroyed by engineering forces.

Another tunnel was uncovered in 2014 as a terror tunnel crossing into Israeli territory and was destroyed. The Hamas terrorist organization did not restore the tunnel since then, and in recent weeks another section of the tunnel deep inside the Gaza Strip, was destroyed.

The third tunnel that was destroyed in the last few weeks, was uncovered in 2019, before the construction of the underground barrier, when one branch of the tunnel crossed a few hundred meters into Israeli territory. It has since been under full operational and intelligence control by the IDF. In this branch of the tunnel, IDF soldiers placed traps and sensors for the IDF to use if needed, as part of the IDF's activity against the Hamas terrorist organization’s underground network of tunnels. Since the beginning of the war, the tunnel has been struck numerous times, along with several other actions that neutralized the branch of the tunnel that crossed into Israeli territory. The tunnel was not utilized for the brutal massacre of October 7th and has been controlled with surveillance and fire throughout the war.

The IDF will continue to work to destroy all the tunnels in the Gaza Strip and destroy the capabilities of all the terrorist organizations, with Hamas at their head, to harm the civilians of the State of Israel.

Attached is footage of the destruction of the tunnels: https://bit.ly/4aFZA9N

** IDF: A short while ago, a surface-to-air missile was launched toward an IAF UAV operating in Lebanese airspace. As a result, the UAV was hit and fell in Lebanese territory. The incident is under review.

 

HAMAS’ REPORTS

Israeli special forces surround a house in Balata Camp in Nablus in the West Bank

Armed clashes in the Hashshashin neighborhood inside Balata camp.

** Al-Quds Brigades:

After our Mujahideen returned from the fighting nodes east of Deir al-Balah, they confirmed the detonation of a Zionist Merkava 4 tank with a “piercing-barrel” device.

** The Qassam Mujahideen were able to target 3 Zionist Merkvah tanks with “Al-Yassin 105” shells, and as soon as the rescue forces advanced to the place and reached the middle of a pre-prepared minefield, they were targeted by detonating 3 anti-personnel devices. Our Mujahideen confirmed that 6 Zionist soldiers were killed and turned into pieces, and a number of others were killed and wounded. The event is still ongoing in the Al-Zana area, east of the city of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip.

** After their return from the battle lines, our Mujahideen confirmed that they had targeted a Zionist “Merkvah” tank with an “Al-Yassin 105” missile, and that a Zionist foot force was targeted with an anti-personnel device, killing and wounding its members, and that helicopters had landed to evacuate them in the Al-Amal neighborhood area in the city of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip.

** After their return from the battle lines, our mujahideen confirmed the destruction of a Zionist “Merkvah” tank with a guerrilla action device in the Al-Amal neighborhood, west of the city of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip.

** Hamas leader, Osama Hamdan:

We have presented criteria for the prisoners to be liberated, but we have not negotiated the names yet

The Israeli occupation intentionally bombed the vehicles of the Central Kitchen organization with the aim of intimidating relief workers

- There is an agreement between “Israel” and the American administration regarding the liquidation of the Palestinian issue, and the disagreement is only in the means

We will support any government whose reference is the Palestinian factions, regardless of our participation in it.

** Additional planes landed to transport the bodies and wounded of occupation soldiers in Khan Yunis ambushes

Today is the day of the epic, there is no mercy or mercy for the soldiers.

** Gaza swamp!!!

14 killed in Khan Yunis, 10 in Al-Maghazi, 9 in Al-Shuja’iyya, 5 in Beit Hanoun, 7 in Al-Wusta, 4 in Al-Zaytoun, 6 in Jabalia, and a tank was destroyed here and a bulldozer there, wow.

This is the true meaning of the war of attrition.

This is what they call the Gaza quagmire....

** Hezbollah: The armed drone belonging to the occupation army that was shot down by the resistance Mujahideen is a “Hormuz 900”.

 

IDF/Hamas Brigade al-Qassam

WESTERN PERSPECTIVE

Ukraine's Zelenskiy warns of dwindling air defence missiles

Ukraine could run out of air defence missiles if Russia keeps up its intense long-range bombing campaign, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned in remarks aired on Saturday.

The Ukrainian leader's starkest warning to date of the deteriorating situation faced by his country's air defences follows weeks of Russian strikes on the energy system, towns and cities using a broad arsenal of missiles and drones.

"If they keep hitting (Ukraine) every day the way they have for the last month, we might run out of missiles, and the partners know it," he said in an interview that aired on Ukrainian television.

Zelenskiy, who has been appealing to allies for weeks to rush in more air defences, said that Ukraine had enough stockpiles to cope for the moment, but that it was already having to make difficult choices about what to protect.

He singled out in particular the need for Patriot air defence systems and said Ukraine needed 25 of them.

The sophisticated U.S. air defence system has been vital during Russian attacks with ballistic and hypersonic missiles which can hit targets within a matter of minutes.

His remarks followed a fresh spate of attacks that Ukrainian officials said killed civilians.

Two Russian missile and drone strikes, one in the early hours of Saturday and a second in the afternoon, killed eight people and wounded at least 10 more people in northeastern Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city.

In the eastern region of Donetsk, artillery shelling killed four people in the village of Kurakhivka including a 38-year-old woman and her 16-year-old daughter, and a 25-year-old man in the village of Krasnohorivka was killed, while in Odesa in the south, a missile strike killed one civilian.

Ukraine's largest private power company DTEK says the strikes had hit 80% of its generating capacity and the grid has introduced rolling blackouts to stabilise the system.

'WE WILL AGREE TO ANY OPTIONS'

The battlefield momentum has moved against Ukraine in recent months as Kyiv grappled with a slowdown in military assistance from the West and in particular from the United States.

"The situation is difficult, but nevertheless stabilized. The enemy does not advance: when it takes steps forward, ours repel (them), and it retreats. On the contrary, our guys are taking some steps forward," he said.

Zelenskiy said he still believed that a major aid package would be approved by Congress where it has been stuck in deliberations since late last year facing determined Republican opposition.

"I still believe that we can get a positive vote in the United States Congress," he said.

Asked by the interviewer about the possibility of Ukraine receiving the package in the form of a loan, he said: "We will agree to any options."

He added that some artillery shells were being supplied to Ukraine under foreign initiatives that he did not name and that they were being used for defensive operations.

"We don't have shells for counteroffensive actions, as for the defence - there are several initiatives, and we're receiving weapons," he said.

The interview was recorded next to a military fortification in northeastern Chernihiv region, which borders Russia.

It was not clear exactly which day the interview was recorded, but Zelenskiy met with a bipartisan group of members of Congress in the region on Friday.

 

RUSSIAN PERSPECTIVE

Russian Armed Forces occupy more advantageous positions in Donetsk direction

Units of the Southern Group of the Russian Armed Forces occupied more advantageous positions in the Donetsk direction. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, two counterattacks by the mountain assault brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were repelled during the day.

Here are the details of this and other combat actions that happened over the past week, according to the bulletin.

Donetsk area

"Units of the Southern Group of Forces occupied more advantageous positions in the Donetsk direction and inflicted fire on formations of the 5th assault, 79th air assault, 81st airmobile, 24th, 28th, 53rd mechanized brigades of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the areas settlements of Antonovka, Krasnogorovka, Krasnoe, and Novoe in the Donetsk People's Republic and Belogorovka in the Lugansk People's Republic," the statement said.

At the same time, the losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine per day in the Donetsk direction amounted to over 470 military personnel, the Ministry said. "The Armed Forces of Ukraine lost over 470 military personnel, 2 armored combat vehicles, 8 cars, a 155-mm M109 Paladin self-propelled artillery mount, a US-made 155-mm M777 howitzer, 4 122-mm Gvozdika self-propelled artillery mounts, a 100-mm Rapier anti-tank gun, as well as a field ammunition depot," the ministry said.

South Donetsk area

"Units of the Vostok group of troops improved the situation along the front line in the South Donetsk direction and defeated the manpower and equipment of the 72nd motorized infantry, 58th mechanized brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and the 128th terrestrial defense brigade in the areas of the settlements of Urozhaynoye and Staromayorskoye of the Donetsk People’s Republic," the ministry said.

Avdeyevka area

"The enemy lost more than 280 military personnel, 3 tanks, 2 armored combat vehicles and 6 vehicles," the ministry said.

Units of the Center Group of the Russian Armed Forces improved their tactical position in the Avdeyevka direction and repelled 12 counterattacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Ministry noted.

"In the Avdeyevka direction, units of the Center group of troops through active actions improved the tactical situation and repelled 12 counterattacks by assault groups of the 25th Airborne, 68th, 71st Infantry, 24th, 47th, 115th Mechanized Brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the areas of the settlements of Novogorodskoye, Novokalinovo, Pervomaiskoye, and Berdychi of the Donetsk People's Republic," the ministry said.

Zaporozhye region and Kherson area

Units of the Dnepr group of forces inflicted fire damage on the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Rabotina district in the Zaporozhye region and the Ivanovka district in the Kherson region.

"In the Kherson direction, units of the Dnepr group of forces inflicted fire on the formations of the 65th mechanized brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the 35th Marine Brigade in the areas of the settlements of Rabotino, Zaporozhye region and Ivanovka, Kherson region. The enemy lost up to 35 military personnel, 7 vehicles, French-made 155-mm Caesar self-propelled artillery mount, a US-made 155-mm M777 howitzer, and two 122-mm D-30 howitzers," the ministry said.

Kharkov area

The Russian military destroyed two launchers of the French-Italian SAMP-T anti-aircraft missile system in the Kharkov area.

"Operational-tactical aviation, missile forces and artillery of groupings of troops of the Russian Armed Forces in the area of the city of Kharkov destroyed two launchers of French-Italian SAMP-T anti-aircraft missile system and also defeated the personnel and military equipment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 133 areas," the Russian Ministry of Defense said.

"In the Kupyansk direction, units of the Zapad Group of Forces inflicted fire on the personnel and equipment of the 57th motorized infantry brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the 103rd military defense brigade in the areas of the settlements of Sinkovka and Berestovoe, Kharkov region. The losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces amounted to up to 35 military personnel, a tank, two cars, 122-mm self-propelled artillery mount Gvozdika, as well as a US counter-battery radar station AN/TPQ-50," the ministry said.

Air Force and air defenses

"Air defense systems shot down 205 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles, a Hammer guided aerial bomb made in France, as well as 6 HIMARS and Uragan missiles," the ministry said in a statement.

At the same time, the Russian military carried out a group strike at night on enterprises of the military-industrial complex of Ukraine, military airfields, and temporary deployment points for mercenaries - the objectives of the strike were achieved.

"Tonight, the Russian Armed Forces launched a group strike with high-precision long-range sea-and air-based weapons, unmanned aerial vehicles on enterprises of the military-industrial complex of Ukraine that produced and repaired armored and automotive equipment, UAVs, military airfields, and temporary deployment points of foreign mercenaries. The objectives of the strike were achieved. All designated targets were hit," according to the Russian Ministry of Defense.

 

Reuters/Tass

President Bola Tinubu is so inordinately inebriated by his IMF-motivated decision to remove subsidies on petrol that at every opportunity he has he brags about it in giddily superlative terms.

For example, during a meeting with the Nigerian community in France on June 24, 2023, he couched his decision to impose the Tinubu fuel tax (to borrow from his 2012 characterization of Goodluck Jonathan’s subsidy removal) on Nigerians in epiphanic, providential, and inspirational terms.

He told Nigerians in France that during his inaugural speech on May 29, 2023, he was suddenly overcome by a mysterious force of unusual courage, which propelled him to veer off his prepared speech to announce the removal of fuel subsidies. “When I got to the podium, I was possessed with courage, and I said, ‘subsidy is gone!’” he said with a smug glow of perverse, meanspirited self-satisfaction.

Again on November 22, 2023, Tinubu boasted to investors at the 10th German-Nigerian Business Forum that his courage to remove petrol subsidies and visit unheard-of economic violence on poor, luckless Nigerians was a gargantuan feat of derring-do worthy of acknowledgement in the Guinness World Records.

“Nigeria voted for me for reforms, and from day one of my inauguration, I started the reforms,” he said. “To me, if you didn’t mention me in the Guinness Book of Records, I’d strive to find a way to insert myself because I did it without expectation.”

Well, the IMF, whose approval he desperately seeks and on whose behalf he is harming Nigerians, has approbated his policies, which should be more important to him than an entry in the Guiness World Records for sadistic governance.

“The new [Tinubu] administration has made a strong start, tackling deep-rooted structural issues in challenging circumstances,” the IMF said on February 14. “Immediately, it adopted two policy reforms that its predecessors had shied away from: fuel subsidy removal and the unification of the official exchange rates.”

The IMF then instructed that “electricity subsidies are costly, do not reach those that most need government support and should be phased out completely.”

On February 16, that is, exactly two days after this IMF directive,  Minister of Power Adebayo Adelabu announced that the government would withdraw electricity subsidies. That’s precisely why the government has approved a more than 200 percent hike in electricity tariffs last week. As I’ve repeatedly said, the IMF is the de factor ruler of Nigeria. Tinubu and his henchmen are mere cushy neo-imperialist surrogates.

Well, I don’t know of any halfway rational human being in the world who will see courage in choosing to hurt the dispossessed who can’t fight back. There is no courage in trampling on the poor, the weak, and the defenseless.

There is no courage in kicking people who are already down, people who are down on their luck, and people who are down in the dumps as a consequence of being serial victims of a steady succession of cruel and self-serving governments who are servile errand boys of the racist sadists at the IMF.

There is no courage in oppressing the oppressed. That's cowardice. That’s callousness. It’s unrelieved maliciousness. And it’s not something to be proud of, not something to make a song and dance about. On the contrary, it’s something to be mortally ashamed of.

Real courage comes from standing up to bullies, which the World Bank and the IMF are, and from defending the defenseless against oppressors. Courage comes from shielding the weak from the untoward designs of the strong and the unjust. It comes from protecting the underdog from the unprovoked aggression of the top dog.

Since Tinubu came to power nearly a year ago, he has never implemented any policy that gives even an ounce of solace to the poor. Instead, like Muhammadu Buhari before him, he is a proud reverse Robin Hood who takes from the poor to enrich the already rich, with the recent IMF-directed astronomical increase in electricity tariffs—which makes electricity in Nigeria more expensive for “Band A” users than I pay in the United States—the latest example.

The only people who will benefit from the latest tariff hikes are Tinubu’s friends who own power generation and distribution companies. As a Tinubu-supporting friend pointed out to me on Friday, “This is a government of the elite, for the elite, and by the elite.”

In the United States where the IMF is headquartered, there are electricity subsidies for low-income households, yet it wants none for anybody in Nigeria. The primary federally funded electricity subsidy program here is called the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

LIHEAP provides eligible households with financial assistance for energy bills, emergency energy services to prevent disconnection, and low-cost home improvements, known as weatherization, to help make homes more energy efficient.

LIHEAP is funded by the federal government, but the program is administered at the state level, which means eligibility requirements and the form of assistance offered can vary from one state to another.

Generally, to qualify for LIHEAP, a household's income must fall below a certain threshold, which is typically set at a percentage of the federal poverty level or a percentage of the state's median income level.

In addition to LIHEAP, some states, utilities, and non-profit organizations offer additional assistance programs or subsidies to help low-income households with their energy needs. These programs may provide direct bill assistance, energy-efficient home improvements, or emergency aid for utility shutoff prevention.

Yet, the IMF has bludgeoned the Nigerian government into removing subsidies for electricity that isn’t even constant and reliable. And being the slavish lackeys that they are, they obeyed like dutiful, well-trained poodle dogs. Of course, it’s because it doesn’t hurt them, their immediate families, or their associates.

The IMF never tells Third Word leaders to increase the minimum wages of workers. Maybe that’s why Tinubu’s Guinness-World-Records-size courage is absent when it comes to approving a minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

The 30,000 naira minimum wage that the Muhammadu Buhari regime approved for workers expired in March. The Tinubu government had promised that a new minimum wage would start on April 1. That has turned out to be a cruel April Fools’ joke on Nigerians.

The last we heard of this issue is that the minimum wage committee would “reconvene mid-April to continue further negotiations and consultations on the new minimum wage expected to be announced by President Bola Tinubu on May 1, 2024.”

This is the same committee that requested 1.8 billion naira (which it later scaled back to 1 billion naira) just to sit in comfort and decide how much the least remunerated government worker will receive. “Start with N500 million first,” Tinubu wrote in a leaked memo.

As Shehu Sani quipped on Twitter, “The minimum wage committee… allocated the maximum wage for themselves.” What exactly does the 37-member committee—made up of governors who don’t pay the current 30,000-naira minimum wage even when money realized from petrol subsidy removal has tripled their monthly allocations— want to use a billion naira (later reduced to 500 million naira) to do?

There was no committee when petrol subsidies were removed. There was no committee for the removal of electricity subsidies, which will now ensure that Nigeria descends into total darkness. But when it comes time to increase the minimum wage of workers, an expensive committee is needed.

In other words, where the welfare of everyday folks is concerned, Tinubu loses his magisterial, self-affirming courage. He transforms from a lion to a chicken. His courage only emerges when he oppresses the poor and recedes when he is required to help the poor. May God save Nigerians from Tinubu’s courage.

In the 19th century and even before, Bobriskys were lynched like common criminals. Their sin was their considered unusual sexuality. Until then, homosexual activities were classified as "unnatural crime against nature" while sodomy got punished with, sometimes death. In comparison, Okuneye Idris Olanrewaju, famously known as Bobrisky, has suffered one of the mildest fates. Between 1877 and 1950, over 4,000 of such lynching occurred. As recent as April 2017, Kenne McFadden, a black transgender woman who didn’t have experience of swimming, got drowned when she was pushed into the San Antonio River in Texas on account of her “nauseating” sexuality. That much was said in 2020 by Emily Lenning, Sara 

Brightman and Carrie Buist in their “The Trifecta of Violence: A Socio‑Historical Comparison of Lynching and Violence Against Transgender Women.” Writing for Critical Criminology, they said five months after the McFadden case, specifically in September, 2017, Ally Lee Steinfeld, a white 17-year-old transgender teen, also got brutally murdered. Her cruel fate was brought about by three teenagers. She was stabbed in the genitals, her eyes gouged out, her body set alight and her remains dumped “in a chicken coop near a mobile home park in Missouri.”

Two months later, in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, Sherrell Faulkner, a forty-five-year-old Black transgender woman, got cruelly beaten and then dumped behind a dumpster. Days after, the injuries she suffered led to her death in the hospital. Till today, Faulkner’s murderers have not been identified. The three cases, according to Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRCF) 2018, represented a tiny strand of at least 29 murders of transgenders that the United States recorded in 2017, ranked as the deadliest year for the Bobriskys in recent history. HRCF also reported that between 2013 and 2019, it tracked 157 cases of fatal anti-transgender incidents.

Perhaps this was what weird but hugely talented Nigerian singer, rapper and songwriter, Habeeb Okikiola, a.k.a. Portable, was referencing in Brotherhood, a short musical he did attacking Bobrisky recently? In the song, Portable condemned Bobrisky for morphing from “brotherhood to sisterhood.” While body-shaming the embattled cross-dresser as “a disgrace to brotherhood” and having ameoeba-shaped buttocks that looked like a clay pot worth only a pound – e wo idi e bi koko ponun kan – Portable asked that Bobrisky be stoned to death – “e le l’oko pa!”

Like Portable, from ancient times, the world has never hidden its hostility against people who profess sexual orientation different from its. Like, it says, can only be compared to likes – ohun t’o ba jo’hun l’a fi nwe’hun. The world even gave its anger towards homosexuality religious validation. Following this route, Italian priest, philosopher and theologian, Thomas Aquinas, condemned homosexuality as "unnatural." The biblical book of Leviticus 18: 22; 20:13 is often cited: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination," as well as Romans 1: 26 where biblical Paul hoisted up lesbianism for condemnation: "For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature."  

The Bobriskys come in various names and appellations. They are either bisexual, in which case, they are attracted to persons of both sexes; Butch, male and female who dress in stereotyped male ways; “In the closet,” because they do not disclose their gender identity; Femme, due to their acting and dressing in feminine ways; gays, for their attraction to persons of same sex and as LGBTQ, a sweeping categorization of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders and Questionings. Bobrisky is Nigeria’s own daughter of the historical Greek woman, Sappho, an Archaic Greek poet, who hailed from Eresos on the Island of Lesbos. Sappho was the first known woman "accused by some of being irregular in her ways and a woman-lover." She is venerated by lesbians as the foremother, the near mythical prototype of people with queer sexual cravings. Lesbianism, the community of same sex women, was forged from Lesbos, the name of the island Sappho lived. Bobrisky patterns her life towards Sappho and has become a controversial self-confessed transgender, LGBTQ personality and campaigner.

According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (2015, 47), the umbrella term used to describe the Bobriskys of this world, called transgender, refers to “… people whose gender identity and expression does not conform to the norms and expectations traditionally associated with their sex at birth. Transgender people include individuals who have received gender reassignment surgery, individuals who have received gender-related medical interventions other than surgery (e.g. hormone therapy) and individuals who identify as having no gender, multiple genders or alternative genders. Transgender individuals may self-identify as transgender, female, male, transwoman or transman, transsexual, hijra, kathoey, waria or one of many other transgender identities, and they may express their genders in a variety of masculine, feminine and/or androgynous ways.”

Homosexuality, cross-dressing or lesbianism is as old as humanity. The holy writs seem to abet the cruelty and violence that humanity has inflicted on these creations of God. While some antiquities tolerated their sexual fates, others visited their wraths on the offspring of Sappho. Well-known lesbian Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at San Diego State University, Christine Downing, in her Lesbian Mythology, suggests that lesbianism is a grueling life of isolation, confusion and terror. This was her conclusion while re-casting Roman poet, Publius Ovidius Naso’s myth. Naso, simply known as Ovid, had told a story which has almost become a global lesbian epistemology. Heroine of the story, Iphis, born female, desired to be male. Her mother had hidden her gender from her father, a poor Cretan peasant who badly wanted a male child. Iphis’ mother was in despair in her pregnancy until the goddess, Isis advised her to deceive her husband about the child’s gender.  At age 13, Iphis fell in love with the most beautiful girl on the island called lanthe. Raised as a male, there was confusion, making her mother to cry to the god, Isis. As Iphis and Ianthe walk home one day, Iphis’ features suddenly change to a man’s and "the boy Iphis gained his own Ianthe." Downing apparently retold this story to reduce the tension of horrific encounters of the children of Sappho.

Bobrisky leapt into the news again recently. He/she had been named winner in the ‘Best Dressed’ Female Category of popular Yoruba actress, during the premiere of Eniola Ajao’s Beast of Two Worlds, Ajakaju movie premiere. Scalding criticisms erupted on the social media. Bobrisky’s choice sparked uncomplimentary reactions. Not even Eniola’s immediate apologies on her social media handles and reversal of what she declared was a stunt gone sour were enough appeasements. A few days after, the EFCC arrested Bobrisky, charging her to court for mutilation of Nigeria’s currency totaling N490,000. He/she was immediately convicted, ranking it as one of the Concorde supersonic airliner -speed convictions ever given by the Nigerian judiciary. We hope the Nigerian judiciary and the EFCC will give the Kano State government-filed criminal charges against the immediate past governor and APC chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, same expeditious trial. Kano had resorted to try Ganduje over alleged $413,000, N1.38bn bribery during his governorship and has assembled 15 witnesses to testify against Ganduje.

In a country where mutilation of the national currency is an off-the-cuff weekend pastime of the elite and the political class in Nigeria, it was obvious that a deeply religious, conservative, African-centric animosity against unusual sexuality was fighting back. When stunned about how odd events fit into one another to form a mesmerizing wonder, Yoruba will say Ó jọ gáté, kò jọ gàté, ó fi ẹsẹ̀ méjèèjì tiro. It is similar to the case of a limping masquerade (atiro) who enters the “Igbale”, where masquerades remove their mask regalia –ago. If an agbada-clad, limping person now walks out of the Igbale immediately, it shouldn’t be difficult to situate who the atiro was. No one needed to be told that the masquerader, like the nightingale – the beautiful Awoko bird – had shed its quills. Such is the wonderment and clinical precision of Bobrisky’s lynching. A highly religious Nigeria was obviously taking vengeance for Bobrisky’s sexuality audacity.

Some scholars have said that, until about half a century ago, lesbianism or gay relationship was a nonexistent phenomenon in Africa. According to them, per adventure it even ever did exist, it was an aberration imported from the West. Anthropological researches have however proved that the existence of same-sex sexual practices predates the now in Africa into before, during, and after colonialism. The practice was however disparaged. Dobrota Pucherova said this much in her “What Is African Woman? Transgressive Sexuality in 21st-Century African Anglophone Lesbian Fiction as a Redefinition of African Feminism.” Africans saw lesbianism as an example of a woman’s corruption, moral depravity and even madness. Pucherova uses the Kenyan Rebeka Njau’s novel, Ripples in the Pool (1975) and Ghanaian Ama Ata Aidoo’s Our Sister Killjoy (1977) as affirmation of this thesis. In Njau’s novel, the protagonist, Selina, gets infatuated with her husband’s younger sister. She was cast as exhibiting “predatory sexual desire” toward the two siblings. The book consigns Selina’s behavior into the trash basket of egomania and a damaged personality. It also suggests that Selina makes use of witchcraft to control her victims. No wonder she ends up murdering the young girl and her male lover. Aidoo’s Our Sister Killjoy sees same-sex as less predatory. In it, a German housewife becomes obsessed with Sissie, the Ghanaian protagonist. Marija’s obsession is painted as a measure of moral degeneration reminiscent of post-Holocaust German society. All these and other African literature openly thematized lesbian desire, showing however that black women are victimized through patriarchal control of their sexuality. An example is Monica Arac de Nyeko’s short story, Jambula Tree, which is the first East African text to so do.

Last week was Easter, a sacred day in the annals of world Christianity. Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service’s (FIRS) communication agency would not allow the day go by without marketing its tax portfolio. So it put out the brilliant, catchy and arresting phrase “Jesus paid your debts, not your taxes.” This brilliance and mental ingenuity should earn any student of PR a Distinction. Not Nigeria’s churchpreneurs. They saw it as a reckless audacity operating on same dangerous Fahrenheit as Bobrisky’s. I haven’t heard the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) lament the danger in the current obnoxious hike in electricity tariff. That won’t make Bola Tinubu know that CAN is a combine of Christian principalities. On FIRS, CAN reached for its ancient pouch immediately. It brought out those archaic, boring refrains of “offensive” “derogatory” and “religious harmony.” I have been struggling to find a difference between CAN’s obvious intolerance and a similar one that happened in Kaduna in November, 2002. Twenty one year old Isioma Daniel, who worked for the Thisday, had written on a Miss World contest Nigeria was to host. She off-handedly and harmlessly suggested that Prophet Mohammed might have approved of the contest and probably wished to marry one of the beauty queens. Hell was let loose. The newspaper’s Kaduna office was burned down. Hundreds of people were reportedly killed. The ensuing riots lasted for several days, prompting the organizers of the Miss World contest to relocate it to London to protect further lives from being lost.

One thread links our Bobrisky demonization, CAN’s hypocritical anger and Islam’s pesky religiosity. It is called intolerance. I referred to the witch-hunting of same sex people as “our" because, if today, Bobrisky offers his/her hand to me for a handshake, I will shudder. I am almost too sure I will refuse it. My refusal will not be strictly me in action. Rather, it will be centuries of culture, religion and our collective aversion to change which have bored deep roots in me. These three hate change. Their mantra is, as it was in the beginning, so shall it be. Static as statue.

Take for instance our cultural and religious perception of child-bearing and polygamy. For centuries now, Africa venerated procreation almost to a point of deity. Whoever brings forth a child owns this world – “Olomo l’o l’aye” – our mothers proudly sang. In Africa, barren women were stigmatized because women were seen as procreation vehicles called motherhood. In the bible, Peninnah scorned Hannah’s barrenness. Our mothers, who, due to no fault of theirs, couldn’t bring forth children, were witches. In earlier centuries, some cultures abetted barren women being stoned to death by scorners. Today, the world has re-interrogated the whole corpus of child-bearing. Couples willingly decide they don’t want to be encumbered by it. Is it really true that Olomo l’o l’aye? Great men and women have traversed this world without bearing children. Their corpses were not fed to the swine. Nor are we told that child-bearing is a passport to the hereafter. We have had parents who gave birth to children but died miserably, due to their abandonment by their children.

Today, there is a huge traffic back to where we were before the advent of colonialism. Soon after Britain and its Middle East allies came with their Bible, Quran and guns, we abandoned our centuries-old medicine, dressing and culture. Now, Africans are going back to those same abandoned roots, apologies to Lucky Dube. One of such is polygamy. Last week, Bassirou Diomaye Faye was inaugurated as the fifth Senegalese President, flaunting his two wives – Marie Khone and Absa. I could see the west squeeze its face like excreta beaten by rain. The hypocritical west flushes monogamy and homosexuality down the throat of the world while abhorring our ancient practice of polygamy. Reproached in high places as Faye just did, monogamy and its icing of hypocrisy are getting perforated. The truth is that, the stringent rules of monogamy have destroyed more homes than they built.

We must interrogate every teaching and dogma of religion, culture and society and hold on to those that will assist us live quality lives. That is what existentialist philosophy teaches. Today, churchgoers are asking questions about the stupendous wealth of the Daddy G.Os and the poverty of the congregants. We must not be slaves to them, nor be their mannequins. While upholding values that will strengthen humanity, we must also show respect for otherness and recognize individual human rights. What is Jesus’ business with FIRS’ quest to bring more people into its tax net? Parodying Isioma, if Jesus were here today, He would recommend a national honour for the fellow whose brilliant idea birthed that FIRS line. Why drag Jesus and Mohammed into this needless pettiness? What should infuriate a sensible human being about Mohammed enjoying Miss World? Why should we be captives of dogmas? Why should we allow the bigotry of CAN and zealotry of Islamic fundamentalists drive our thinking? Religious charlatans and their naïve accomplices merely make their enemies the enemies of God. If CAN has been slumbering and needed to talk by all means, couldn’t it dig a hole like that old Yoruba fable of Alade’s friend, who couldn’t stomach the confided secret of Alade growing a horn on his head, who then dug a hole, inside which he shouted, “Alade has horn on his head!” –  Alade hu’wo? From that same hole grew a tree and whenever anyone brought a flute beside it, the rhythm sprouting off the flute was, Alade hu’wo.”

Earlier, it was society’s view that people like Bobrisky were suffering from psychological disorder. Or that homosexuality was an abnormal condition. Science has since discovered that many atimes, the Bobriskys may be prisoners of their biology and psychology. Researches have shown that you do not choose to be gay, bisexual, or straight. And that homosexuality is a natural and normal sexual orientation, expressions of human sexuality. The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its radius in 1973, and with it the stigma of mental illness that had long been associated with the children of Sappho. Why do we demonize those who, like accidents of birth, have no say in the kind of sexuality they are imposed upon by nature?

Do I agree with Bobrisky’s open flaunt of his/her sexuality? No. I think one’s sexual orientation should be a private affair. I also advocate that children of Sappho deserve pity from society and should be clinically lured out of their natural affliction. I also think that, if dug deeper, Bobrisky’s untapped major infraction against the law may just be that she has turned her cross-dressing into commodity. EFCC should openly admit that it is acting the script of a vindictive, homosexual-hostile Nigerian society in lynching Bobrisky. Singling him/her to face the wrath of the law is akin to the lynching treatment given homosexuals in the early centuries. Currency mutilation is a fad which very few Nigerians are not guilty of as charged, from Bola Tinubu, to the lowest Nigerian. An orgy of celebration on the social media has since followed Bobrisky’s lynching by the law. It reminds me of a hunter who proudly hoists the decapitated head of a buffalo as symbol of his masculinity.

 

Ondo’s pigeon and dove certificate war

When it was time to play denigrating politics, SLA Akintola, Premier of the Western Region, was not one to shy away from it. The Ondo Province of the Region once came under his lacerating tongue. When it was time to take a swipe at the likes of renowned economist, Sam Aluko, who hailed from Ekiti part of the Province, Akintola had the right innuendo to singe his flesh. The Province was busy producing all manner of birds, in the name of academics, said the Premier; the likes of Aluko, Atiala and Atioro. The three were names of birds in Yorubaland and the economist’s name was similar to one of them. While Aluko bird was the carinal, the Atiala and Atioro were allied hornbill birds. Akintola was deliberately spinning innuendoes.

It goes without saying that the Province, which had Ondo as a major component, was home to intellectuals. Though arguments abound as to which, between current Ekiti and Ondo states, produces the highest harvest of professors and academics, the fact remains that certificates are ten a dime on the streets of both states. So when the possession or non-possession of certificates became the issue in the current race to Alagbaka, seat of the government of Ondo State, it becomes both off-putting and a dispiriting game.

Jimoh Ibrahim, Senator representing Ondo South and one of those vying for the governorship election in the state in November, has been flaunting his nine certificates wherever he goes. Those who should know, know that, like Akintola, Ibrahim is embroiled in a game of innuendoes. What he is doing is reminiscent of an unspoken tango between two birds, the pigeon (Eyele) and the Dove (Adaba). While Adaba chants his incantations, the Eyele pretends that he couldn’t access them. Those who know the brilliance of the Pigeon however know it is mere pretence. Yoruba express this tango as “Àdàbà ńpa ògèdè bí ẹni pé ẹyẹlé ò gbọ́, ẹyẹlé gbọ́, tí tiri ló ńtiri.

Goveernor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, is the ẹyẹlé to whom Ibrahim, the Àdàbà, is directing his incantations. This ẹyẹlé knows. Allegations are rife that Aiyedatiwa, who is also in the race, does not possess genuine certificates. Ibrahim’s advertisement of his suffusion of certificates is a direct innuendo on the certificate tango. Between Aiyedatiwa and Ibrahim’s certificates, or lack thereof, none should be qualification for Ondo governorship. While Ondo, which is reputed, a la SLA Akintola, as pinnacle of academic certificates, should not have a governor who forges his certificate, the state, hitherto administered by Michael Ajasin, the renowned Principal of famous Imade College; school principal, Adebayo Adefarati; Geologist, Olusegun Agagu and medical doctor, Olusegun Mimiko, shouldn’t relapse to such base level of being administered by a certificate forger. So, Aiyedatiwa’s certificates should be top on his qualification index. In the same vein, Ondo electors shouldn’t base their consideration of Ibrahim’s candidacy on merely his plethora of certificates. We have to look at his person and pedigree. Why have virtually all the businesses Ibrahim laid his hands on been dead, comatose or gasping for breath? Why is his name a serial occurrence on AMCON’s notorious list? Does this point at his spirit?

Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly: for He it is that shall tread down our enemies ~ Psalms 108:12-13.

Introduction

Man cannot do any piece of useful work, small or great, without energy. Energy is the ability required to get works done. The potential energy stored within us is what produces the outward kinetic energy we see in all our functional operations on earth.

However, times come in life when it appears as if all hope is gone, and the situations in which we find ourselves look so suddenly disappointing and egregiously discouraging. Naturally, such scenarios are energy-sapping, and can dangerously erode our inner strength and zest.

Albeit, at such times, we must still remember that God is always there for us, and that He really cares. When our hopes dim, and we feel as if nobody understands or empathizes with us, we must be encouraged that God is ever closer to us to assist us.

Never doubt it: to gain momentum in life, we need the higher force of divine help to propel us forward. Divine help confers special advantages on us to accentuate the volumes of our turnovers and the spate of our positive results. Certainly, divine help is a quintessential necessity for progress in life.

“Help” is any assistance or succour from a gracious benefactor that brings empowerment to comfort, uplift and generate dynamic catalysts in the pursuit of our life’s assignments. Meanwhile, most times, human help is characteristically limited in scope, reliability and durability. Indeed, vain is the help of man if God is not in it (Psalm 108:12-13).

We all need divine help to deliver excellently on earth. From biblical history and our contemporary times, everyone who received help gained momentum, made progress and did extraordinary things. None ever received divine help and remained on the same spot.

King Uzziah, a teenager king of Israel, sought God for help and became a global phenomenon with much prosperity and scientific warfare prowess because God helped him (2 Chronicles 26:15). Apostle Paul also revealed that the secret of his outstanding ministry was in the help he obtained from God (Acts 26:22).

No matter your present status in life, divine help will grant you more victories, successes, triumphs and extraordinary accomplishments. Happily, God has promised, and He’s ever eager to help us (Isaiah 41: 10-20).

Harnessing Divine Help At Desperate Times

When the time came for Jesus Christ to taste death for humanity, He experienced the greatest turmoils from every direction and His stress level was so severely unimaginable, both physically and emotionally. He suffered, and sweated blood from a rare medical condition, perhaps “hematidrosis”, in which capillary blood vessels that feed the sweat glands rupture, causing them to discharge blood.

It is expected that Jesus’ disciples would consider it crucial to stand with Him at that moment, but everybody fled to their own tents, leaving Him to face the enemies alone. Judas had accepted a bribe to betray Him. The scribes and the Pharisees were closing in on Him, fully prepared to kill Him. Yet, here was Peter, one of His closest confidants, warming up to vehemently deny Him.

Surprisingly, during those toughest and most critical moments in His life, Jesus still found a quiet place where He prayed alone and shared His concerns with God (Luke 22:41-43). He also wholeheartedly accepted and implicitly obeyed God’s Will. Consequently, the Lord sent an angel to help Him through it, and He excelled all the way through. Brethren, that is the finest example to follow at all times, and the best access to God’s assistance at our moments of despair!

Occasionally, rather than taking away our troubles outright, God chooses to use them to 

strengthen or to discipline us. Whichever, one thing is certain: God will always help us (Romans 5:3-5). We all can actually accomplish much more, if we deliberately reach out in faith and pay the price required to harness God’s supernatural help as Jesus did.

By virtue of his living union with Christ, Paul copiously testified that he had strength for all things through Christ who gave him power (Philippians 4:13; Galatians 2:20; 1 Timothy 1:12). David also alluded to the veracity of this principle when he encouraged himself in the Lord at a time when, though greatly distressed yet, nobody was ready to do it for him (1 Samuel 30:6).

Surprises are inevitable in life, but we must live prepared for them. Your preparations will determine the outcomes. Training your spirit is very essential to enabling you sustain your faith in the days of infirmity (Proverbs 18:14). Develop your spirit to handle the exigencies of life, training vigorously on the principles of the sovereignty of God.

Always put your trust absolutely in God, and allow His plan for you to unfold, even in the most difficult circumstances. Jesus did, knowing pretty well that God would never leave Him alone (Hebrews 13:5; Jeremiah 29:11). Likewise, the woman with the issue of blood knew within herself that if she didn’t give up, no matter what she was going through, her bloody flux wouldn’t last forever (Matthew 9:21).

Deliberately desire and ask for God’s supernatural help in all your life’s endeavours, on a daily basis. Boldly declare that your help comes from the Maker of heaven and earth. Receive it by faith for the fulfillment of your dreams, visions, expectations, goals, targets, projects and aspirations.

Meanwhile, the Holy Spirit is the Ever-Present Helper in times of trouble (Psalms 46:1; John 14:16). Let Him be obvious and conspicuous in your life. Little can become great when He is the One helping you. Trust Him for it — whatever — He can do it. He won’t fail you. Receive God’s marvelous help, right now, and begin to deliver excellently on your kingdom assignments on earth, in Jesus Name. Amen. Happy Sunday!

____________________

Bishop Taiwo Akinola,

Rhema Christian Church,

Otta, Ogun State, Nigeria.

Connect with Bishop Akinola via these channels:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bishopakinola

SMS/WhatsApp: +234 802 318 4987

My oldest brother, Bayo, left Nigeria without telling anyone where he was going. He did not tell our aged parents, his wife, or his children. And he did not tell Biodun and I, his brothers.

Moreover, he communicated with no one thereafter, so we did not know his whereabouts. When our parents passed away, one after the other, we had no way of reaching him. His safety became a matter of great concern. All we could do was commit him to God in prayer, which was more than enough.

A Wasted Trip

Some six years later, we got word that he was sighted in The Gambia. I had to attend the funeral of a member of our church in Sierra Leone, so I decided to take the opportunity to go to The Gambia to see if I could find him.

The person who told us about him gave us the address of a street corner shop in Serrekunda, The Gambia. It was not difficult to find, and I was directed to a barbershop where I met a Nigerian man.

He told me my brother had been living with him for years. But several months before my arrival, he left Serrekunda for a place called Basse. I thought The Gambia was a small country, but he assured me Basse was nine hours from Serrekunda by road.

I told him that since I had come from Nigeria, I would have no choice but to go and see him there. But the man said that would not be possible. My brother left no forwarding address. “So where would you look?” he asked.

I concluded that my trip to The Gambia was in vain. I checked into a hotel and told the Lord: “It looks like You brought me to The Gambia so that I can spend a quiet time with You.” 

Kingdom Dynamics

But the next day, the Lord woke me up early in the morning. Out of the blue, He said: “Femi, let me tell you about the kingdom of God.” Then He started another session teaching me about kingdom dynamics.

I was an intellectual who came to believe in God because of a miracle healing from gunshot wounds. As a result, I was afraid that one day my intellect would confound my faith. I did not stop being intellectual because Christ came into my life, and in so many ways my faith had confounded my intellect.

However, I was afraid that one day I would read something or see something that would contradict my intellect and my faith would be shattered. I was afraid, for example, that I would discover intellectually that some parts of the Bible are false or contradictory. How then would I handle it?

One of those things I questioned was Jesus’ statement to His disciples that many of them would not die until they saw the kingdom of God. But, I thought, all His disciples are dead. According to church history, all but one was martyred. And yet, the kingdom of God has still not arrived.

Today, the church is still following the prayer guide of the Lord, which says: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10).

Who was Jesus referring to? Who among His disciples did not taste death until they saw the coming of God’s kingdom? Could Jesus have gotten it wrong? How could He have gotten it wrong? Jesus is not merely truthful; He is the truth. Moreover, He deliberately prefaced his statement by saying: “I tell you the truth.” (Luke 9:27).

That morning in The Gambia, the Lord brought up this little question of my fears. He said:

“Femi, you have been wondering what I meant in Luke 9:27. You have been asking who among My disciples did not die until he saw the coming of the kingdom of God. You said all the disciples are dead and the kingdom of God has still not arrived. So, what could I have meant? Let Me answer your question now.” 

“Those who were alive after My death and resurrection, and who became born again at, or after, the Pentecost, saw the kingdom of God in their lifetime. Look at what I said to Nicodemus: ‘Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ 

“Once a man is born again, he can see the kingdom of God. The disciples were born again, so they saw the kingdom of God. What I want to do this morning is to show you the kingdom of God, since you also are born again.”

Miracle of Miracles

And so, the Lord said to me: “Femi, let me show you the kingdom of God.” 

And just then, the telephone in my hotel room rang.

The Lord said: “Answer the phone.” 

When I picked up the phone, the concierge said: “Dr. Aribisala, your brother would like to talk to you.” 

I asked incredulously: “My brother? Where is he speaking from?” 

The man replied: “He is right here in the lobby.” 

I told him: “I am coming right down.”

I put down the phone and could not believe my eyes. What just happened here? I saw it, as clear as daylight. The Lord had supernaturally moved my brother from Basse, nine hours away, to come down to Serrekunda to meet me.

Bayo never knew I was coming. As I said, I had not heard from him in over six years. He had simply decided to come down to Serrekunda to see his friends. Little did he know that that decision was part of the Lord’s plan to bring him to Serrekunda to meet me.

When he got to the barbershop, the gentleman I had spoken to the night before quickly informed him that I had come to The Gambia to see him. Then he gave him my hotel address.

That is how God works. That is the kingdom of God on the move; in the quiet. The natural man might call it a coincidence, not knowing that it is God who is at work. God is at work, and he is at work spiritually. His kingdom is spiritual, nevertheless The Most High reigns and rules in the affairs of his children.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; www.femiaribisala.com

After a frustrating day at work or fight with your significant other, calling a friend to complain might seem like a good idea. 

Venting won’t help you manage your anger, though, according to a recent paper published in Clinical Psychology Review

Researchers studied how effective arousal-increasing activities, like venting or running, and arousal-decreasing activities, like meditation or yoga, are at calming a person down. 

They analyzed 154 studies involving more than 10,000 participants and found that arousal-decreasing activities were better at helping a person manage their anger. 

Next time you want to unload your problems on a friend, take a beat and consider meditating instead. 

Where am I placing my attention?

If you’ve never meditated before, it can be hard to know if you’re practicing in a way that will prove beneficial.

Jade Weston, a senior meditation producer at Ten Percent Happier who has been meditating for 15 years, offered CNBC Make It three guiding questions you can ask yourself while practicing:

  • Where am I placing my attention? Take note of where your mind wanders and try to refocus it on your breath. 
  • How am I feeling right now? Think about what mood you’re in. Don’t try to change it, just take stock of how you’re feeling.
  • What is my intention? Remind yourself why you wanted to pursue meditation. This can motivate you to continue.

Answering these questions can help you feel more present in the moment. 

’15 to 20 minutes will give you just the changes that you need’

You don’t have to meditate for a long time in order to see positive results, Vishen Lakhiani, a meditation expert and CEO of Mindvalley told CNBC Make It

Lakhiani recommends meditating for no more than 20 minutes a day. But, sometimes, you only need one minute to reset. 

“For most people, 15 to 20 minutes will give you just the changes that you need,” he said. “You can take a one- to three-minute dip into peacefulness, and you can see remarkable results.”

A few minutes of silence could help lower your frustration levels, more so than ranting to a relative.

 

CNBC

Two days after the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) approved increase of electricity tariff for customers under the Band A classification, the Federal Government has hinted that a similar measure would be extended to others.

Speaking at a briefing in Abuja on Friday, Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, said the recent increase in electricity tariff is a pilot in phasing out of electricity subsidy in the country.

He said the government plans to remove all subsidies in the sector to allow the thriving of investment in the power sector.

The Minister said: “This tariff review is in conformity with our policy thrust of maintaining a subsidized pricing regime in the short run or the short term with a transition plan to achieve a full cost reflective tariff for over a period of, let us say three years. I have mentioned it in a couple of media briefings that it is because of government sensitivity to the pains of our people that we will not make us migrate fully into a cost reflective tariff or to remove subsidy 100 percent in the power sector like it was done in oil and gas sector.”

“We are not ready to aggravate the sufferings any longer which is why we said it must be a journey rather than a destination and the journey starts from now on, that we should do a gradual migration from the subsidy regime to a full cost reflective regime and we must start with some customers.

“This is more like a pilot for us at the Ministry of Power and our agencies. It is like a proof of concept that those that have the infrastructure sufficient enough to deliver stable power of enjoying 20 hours of light to be the ones to get tariff add.”

The Minister added that the N225 kilowatt per hour Band A customers are charged as little in relative to the N500 they pay for alternative energy like diesel and others.

While explaining that Nigeria is experiencing a subsidy pricing regime where the government provides a large portion of the generation, transmission and distribution cost, he said the government was formerly subsidising 67 percent of the cost of electricity.

“The government would have paid N2.9tr for 2024. This is more than 10 percent of the national budget. It will be insensitive on our part to compel the government to pay such subsidy when we have other competing issues the government needs to fund.”

 

Daily Trust

Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shiites has alleged that four of its members were killed by the police in Kaduna on Friday.

Speaking with reporters after the incident, Aliyu Tirmiziy, one of the leaders of the IMN, said 20 others were also injured.

Tirmiziy said they were protesting to show support for the people of Palestine when the police came to disperse them.

“We usually come out on the last Friday of every Ramadan to protest peacefully and show our support to the people of Palestine for the inhuman treatment they are being forced to face as is being done by others across the globe,” he said.

“We usually have a peaceful procession but this time around, as we were about to start, the police came and threw tear gas at us and started shooting and in the process, four of our members were killed while 20 were injured.”

The incident caused panic among residents of Kaduna, especially traders along the Ahmadu Bello Way who quickly closed their shops and ran to safe areas.

However, Mansir Hassan, spokesperson of the Kaduna police command, said no one was killed, noting that no live ammunition was used to disperse the protesters.

He said three police personnel were injured during the incident and are receiving treatment at a clinic.

“We got the information that the members of the proscribed IMN were going to hold a massive protest in the state and the command deployed its men to most of the strategic places to stop them from blocking the road, especially, Ahmadu Bello Way, Kaduna,” Hassan said.

“On sighting our men, the IMN members started throwing stones, catapults, and locally made guns against our men, which led to three of our men sustaining injuries and are now receiving treatment at a police clinic.”

The police spokesperson said eight suspects have been arrested, adding that three locally fabricated guns, catapults and locally made weapons were recovered.

Hassan challenged the IMN to produce the corpses of those killed.

“If they claimed four of their members were killed, where are the bodies and which hospital were they taken to?” he added.

“How can we identify them? Our men did not use live ammunition but only used teargas to disperse them.”

 

The Cable

ISREALI REPORTS

IDF: IDF artillery struck the sources of the rocket fire toward Israel last night; the IDF is continuing to dismantle Hamas’ military capabilities in Khan Yunis

Last night (Thursday), rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward Ashkelon, Kfar Aza, and Sderot. In response, IDF artillery struck the launch areas in the northern Gaza Strip. IDF fighter jets struck a number of terror targets in the launch areas, including launch pits, operational meeting points, and terror tunnel shafts.

IDF troops are continuing to dismantle Hamas’ military capabilities in Khan Yunis. IDF tanks struck a compound rigged with explosives, located military equipment and guns, and destroyed underground terrorist infrastructure. Also, an IDF fighter jet struck and eliminated two terrorists located in a military compound. Furthermore, in another activity, IDF tanks and aircraft eliminated a number of terrorists and IDF troops located weapons in the area.

IDF troops are continuing to operate in the area of Al Amal in Khan Yunis, where the forces located grenades and improvised explosive devices in incriminated compounds during a targeted raid.

IDF fighter jets struck a number of compounds rigged with explosives in the area of IDF troops. Over the past day, IDF fighter jets struck over 30 terror targets in the Gaza Strip, including military compounds, terror tunnels, command centers, a weapons storage facility and additional military infrastructure.

Attached are photos of IDF activities in the Gaza Strip: https://IDFANC.activetrail.biz/ANC050420240283

Attached is a video of IDF strikes in the Gaza Strip: https://bit.ly/3VN4m1c

** IDF: A short while ago, IAF fighter jets struck Hezbollah terror infrastructure in the area of Zibqin along with Hezbollah military compounds where terrorists operated in the areas of Yarine and Ayta ash Shab in southern Lebanon.

Earlier today, IDF soldiers struck a Hezbollah observation post in the area of Chebaa in southern Lebanon. Additionally, a Hezbollah military site was struck in the area of Kfarhamam yesterday (Thursday).

Attached is a video of the strikes: https://bit.ly/4ahKrvw

** IDF: A short while ago, IAF fighter jets struck a military compound of the Amal Movement where a number of its terrorists operated in the area of Marjaayoun in southern Lebanon.

Throughout the war, the Amal Movement operated against the State of Israel and planned to carry out an additional attack on Israeli territory in recent days.

Earlier today, IDF soldiers identified a terrorist carrying out drone observation activity in order to direct launches toward northern Israel. The soldiers directed an IAF aircraft that struck the terrorist.

Over the past few hours, IDF fighter jets struck Hezbollah terror infrastructure in the areas of Kfarkela and Tayr Harfa, and military compounds in the areas of Meiss El Jabal and Blida in southern Lebanon.

Attached is a video of the strike on the military compound of the Amal Movement where terrorists operated: https://bit.ly/4cIDxRH

Attached is a video of the IDF strikes in southern Lebanon: https://bit.ly/43JfD4x

** IDF: "This is a tragedy. It was a terrible chain of errors and it should never have happened. The IDF takes full responsibility for this regrettable loss of life."

Attached is a video announcement in English by the IDF Spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, regarding the summary of the Fact Finding and Assessment Mechanism investigation into the incident in which seven employees of the WCK humanitarian aid organization were killed in the Gaza Strip: https://bit.ly/3xq7G8e

 

HAMAS’ REPORTS

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Our Mujahideen are engaged in violent clashes with live bullets and explosive devices for the Nazi forces storming the Nur Shams camp.

** Al-Quds Brigades - Tulkarm Battalion: “Our Mujahideen in the Tulkarm Battalion are engaged in armed clashes with the occupation forces storming the Nour Shams camp with heavy bullets and explosive devices.”

** Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades - Nablus:

With God's help and strength, our heroic fighters this morning fought fierce clashes with the occupation forces storming the "New Askar Camp" with machine guns and explosive devices.

** Spokesman for the Al-Quds Brigades in the West Bank, Abu Ahmed

We continue to remain steadfast in the face of the clear war of annihilation that the enemy continues against our people since the beginning of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.

We went to open war in support of our mujahideen in Gaza, in victory for the blood of the oppressed, and in loyalty to our prisoners.

Our mujahideen throughout the governorates of the West Bank destroyed dozens of vehicles of the defeated army, and we damaged hundreds, thanks to God.

** Hamas:

We welcome the adoption by the United Nations Human Rights Council of a resolution prohibiting the export of weapons to the criminal Israeli occupation, and calling for it to be held accountable for the war crimes and crimes against humanity it commits in the Gaza Strip.

We consider the decision an important step on the path to pressuring the occupation to stop its barbaric and destructive war against civilians in Gaza.

 

IDF/Hamas Brigade al-Qassam


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