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Trump Set to add Nigeria to the Visa Restriction List

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Nigeria and six others are set to be added to a new list of countries on America’s visa restriction.

The new restrictions will apply to travellers and immigrants from Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania.

As of today, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen are on the list, while in the case of Venezuela, political office holders are barred from entering the US.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Nigerians will not be barred from entering the country,  but will not be issued with certain types of visas.

It said the Trump administration planned to roll out its expanded travel restrictions on Monday, marking the third anniversary of the initial travel ban Trump signed on his seventh day in office, sparking controversy at the beginning of his term.

Unlike the initial travel ban list of 2017, not all the new countries have a majority Muslim population.

Several of them, however, have had relatively higher rates of their citizens overstaying visas in the US, according to the Demographic and Health Survey data.

The report reads in part, “The Trump administration plans to add seven countries to a group of nations subject to travel restrictions, including Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, along with others in Africa and Asia, according to administration officials who have seen the list.

“The new restrictions would apply to travellers and immigrants from Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania. The countries wouldn’t necessarily face blanket bans on travel to the US, but could have restrictions placed on specific types of visas, such as business or visitor visas, administration officials said.”

Another  US newspaper, the New York Post wrote, “They (new countries) could also be barred from entering the diversity visa lottery, which doles out green cards to people in countries with low levels of immigration to the US as part of a programme that Trump has sought to end.”

Although the list is not officially out, Trump gave a hint while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that it would be done “very shortly.”

Trump was quoted as telling the session, “We are adding a couple of countries to it. We have to be safe. Our country has to be safe.”

The new restrictions, expected to be announced on Monday, next week, will coincide with the third anniversary of the first list Trump signed into law after assuming the US’ Presidency.

Attempts to stop the policy through the US federal courts succeeded twice before a third ruling gave legal backing to it in June 2018.

Commenting on the development on Wednesday, a retired Director of Trade and Investment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador  Rasheed Akinkuolie, attributed the visa restriction to fear of Iranian attacks on American interests by Iranian sympathisers in the country.

He noted that Nigeria might have been placed on the restriction list on account of its large Shi’ites population, noting that America was trying to protect itself.

Akinkuolie said, “There is a large Shi’ites population in Nigeria, and there is a problem between the US and Iran over the killing of the commander of the Quds forces, Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

“So, now retaliation is expected from all angles; from Hezbollah and from all the countries where you have Shi’ites populations that Iran may wish to use to strike America. Of course, you have this problem between Shi’ites in Nigeria and the government over the detention of their leader, El-Zakzaky.”

The retired director observed that the US might have been perturbed by the protests that trailed Soleimani’s killing in northern cities, including the burning of an American flag by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria members in Abuja.

He added, “There have been demonstrations in many northern cities and even in Abuja over the killing of Soleimani, and they also burnt US flags. That is a signal. Remember a Nigerian, Farouk Abdulmutallab, who attempted to bomb an American plane on behalf of Al-Qaeda.

“There was also the son of a Chief Justice of Nigeria who left for Syria with his two wives to join ISIS. So, America is careful, so they don’t get the surprise of the 9/11 attack.”

Also, a former Nigerian ambassador to Argentina, Ambassador. Chive Kaave said it was  within America’s diplomatic rights to determine who gets its visas, adding that the Federal Government was free to reciprocate the US action.

“This has happened before, and it is not the first time. It is within their diplomatic rights to determine who to give visas to. There is the principle of reciprocity which every country was free to enforce. The matter is complicated, and it is not an open and close case,” he said.

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Maziyke releases another single-WHATEVER

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emma -agu

Words/Music/Produced by -Maziyke-also known as allaBama

Genre: Dance, Afrobeats, Pop, Soul, Easy Listening.

Reviewer: Franz Dickson 2022-Musician and author

Artiste: Maziyke

After listening to “Whatever,” you come off with the feeling that here finally is an artiste and track worth their salt.
Maziyke’s return with this massive international track is a highly welcome development in these days of declining musicianship and artistry. The days of great, good music are back!

This smash hit is a brilliant assemblage of multiple genres: Afro-sounds, jazz, pop, rock, rhythm, blues, soul, Afro-soul, etc., into a truly seminal recording that is at once compelling, soulful, and evocatively nostalgic. If great music is your thing, then this is your track.
Being the veteran that he is, I couldn’t have expected lesser musicianship from the maestro, Maziyke; he proved pointedly that the long wait by his fans worldwide was worth it. He rewarded them with this ingeniously crafted masterpiece of a track, Whatever.
The song opens beautifully with a richly blended doo-wop-style chorus that sweeps you up in a soothing musical high.
Scoring truly professional harmonies has been a recurrent weakness of many of today’s tracks. But Maziyke would have none of that! The choruses here are beautifully blended, soothing, soulful, bright, crisp, and silky. He ensured that the department was well taken care of.

And his lead vocals are a master class in vocal delivery. Bristling with soul, style, and experience, he effortlessly breathed them on the mic with the flair and expertise of a vocal guru. His velvety rich voice was in its A-game. Every line is a masterstroke!
And a thing about veterans is their uncanny ability to craft songs on the appropriate sonic key that maximizes their leadership voice and the other instruments and voices on the track. It’s a function of great songwriting, and Maziyke-(born Emma Ike Agu) had that crucial question sorted out in the writing of this scintillating track.
The song’s mid-tempo rhythm makes it a soothing, delightful listening piece.

That’s a bold love declaration!
And appropriately titled, “Whatever” is a bold love declaration. Lovers worldwide and those pledging their love in marital vows just received a big boost and a new love anthem in this classic track. This is your next big international song on the key of love. Trust me!
And the soulful, anthemic baseline of this track rumbles sonically and definitively underneath throughout this masterpiece as if putting a stamp on it and augmenting its mellow mood.

Spicy, classic, jazz-influenced, Spanish-styled guitar riffs and disciplined strummed arpeggios help tell the song’s story at professionally interspersed intervals.
The soothing world-class mix and professional mastering are the icings on the cake. The total effect on you is that you want to press replay after each listen.

Carefully measured arrangements of chorus-verse alternation hold your attention and interest in the song for the 3 minutes or thereabouts from its intro to its coda.
And here’s the caveat about this massive track! The chorus is very singable and highly addictive!

This is a viral song. All the marks are in place and on point. A certified hit amongst Afrobeat, pop, RnB, soul, urban, and adult contemporary audiences.
I gladly give this five full stars.

Franz Dickson

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The Peace Jingle By Maziyke

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Maziyke

This song is about world peace; it is Maziyke’s little contribution to peace around the universe.
“The Peace -Jingle-” is part of 1 People, a track off the much-anticipated album of international singer-songwriter and media entrepreneur Ike Agu- “MAZIYKE.” Titled “Peace & Harmony,” this massive track is your quintessential peace song to all the world’s people. And this call for peace and harmony is most auspicious, coming at a time like this when humanity is faced with the outlook of a possible world war spiraling out of the devastating war in Ukraine. From the singer’s own terror-stalked homeland of Nigeria to Ukraine, from the violence-plagued Tigray region of Ethiopia to the troubled spots of the Middle East and Myanmar, the most sought-after needs now are peace and harmony.
And the profoundly meaningful lyrics of this massive peace anthem capture exactly what the world needs now– a reminder to give peace a chance.

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Maziyke to release GoodTime-Song Review

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Ike-Agu-Maziyke

Song Title:   Good Time

Words/Music/Produced by Ike Agu-Maziyke-also known as allaBama

Genre: Dance, Afrobeats, Pop, Soul, Easy Listening.

Reviewer: Franz Dickson 2022

Scheduled for release on the 29th of September to mark the International award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer’s birthday, GoodTime is unapologetically a pulsating, pumping beat!

Like the name suggests, “Good Time” is your ultimate party song! Crafted with one thing in mind: to give you a good time. If dance is your thing, or a great party song is your definition of a great track, then you’re in good company! “Good Time” has a bouncy, smart, infectious beat, rhythm, and groove! This song rocks as voices sing:

“Hello, hello, hey

We gonna have a good time

Good time tonight…”

A steady, innovative beat! Tight rhythm! Thumping bassline! Afro-influenced, highlife-reminiscent guitars, all executed with world-class musicianship!

The easy-going, impeccably delivered verse and choruses speak to letting down your hair and partying, especially after the day’s hassles, work, or whatever it may have been. The tone of invitation to loosen up and have a good time is unmissable in the voices.

The lead voice, while making it sound easy, actually delivers a masterpiece of a light-hearted vocal technique rendition that suits a big, artful party song like Good Time. Extraordinary creativity, indeed! I have heard it said; that the ability to express a big idea in simple terms is a mark of great talent. That’s what this song is. And Maziyke nailed it. 

As usual, he was perfectly at home and sensitively communicative of the happy-go-lucky mood and attitude required of this brilliant song. His resonant, rich voice was on duty executing this beautiful party piece.

The intelligent, brisk, relaxed tempo at once makes this track an easy listening pick as well, while it’s already a dance song! And those well-delivered choruses have one thing in mind–an invitation to forget about the worries and have a good time here and now. But, again, this is essentially a dance song.

And the background guitars played by the singer are beautifully and nicely Afrocentric. Highlife comes readily to mind in the play style.

By the time the groove peaks and climaxes at the point where the voices switch into singing “Egwu-oma” which in the Igbo language means “good music,” this big song shifts gear and becomes a raging, sweet groove that’s totally off the hinges! Yes! This is good music!

With its groovy bass line, the drum-driven quality of this track is sure to get it into numerous dance music playlists and easy-listening radio belts. It has all the marks of a viral social media song.

Woven across dance, soul, pop, and the afrobeats genres, Good Time is assuredly the party man’s ultimate song and anthem, even though a broad spectrum of lovers of great music will gravitate easily towards this ingeniously crafted song.

DJs from Africa to the Caribbean and worldwide just received another considerable dance floor mover in this beautiful track.

Franz Dickson

franzdickson@gmail.com

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The Peace Anthem: Words/music, by Maziyke (ike AGu)

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Maziyke-IKE AGU

ARTISTE: words & Melody By Ike Agu-Maziyke
GENRE: WORLD, POP, RAP, ROCK, AFRO-SOUL
LABEL: INDIE
TRACK TITLE:1 PEOPLE(Peace And Harmony )
REVIEWED: 2022

“Peace & Harmony-P&H” is the first single off the much-anticipated album of international singer-songwriter and media entrepreneur Ike Agu, aka “MAZIYKE.” Titled “Peace & Harmony,” this massive track is your quintessential peace song to all the world’s peoples. And this call for peace and harmony is most auspicious, coming at a time like this when humanity is faced with the outlook of a possible world war spiraling out of the devastating war in Ukraine. From the singer’s own terror-stalked homeland of Nigeria to Ukraine, from the violence-plagued Tigray region of Ethiopia to the troubled spots of the Middle East and Myanmar, the most sought-after needs now are peace and harmony.
And the profoundly meaningful lyrics of this massive peace anthem capture exactly what the world needs now– a reminder to give peace a chance.

Opening majestically with beautiful guitars and percussion dubbed over what sounds in the background like the global angst of many outraged voices, the impassioned and soulful plea of the sweet-sounding chorus goes straight to the heart of the matter with a melody and solemnity that would melt even a heart of stone for its soulfulness. This track sends the peace message across with urgency and clarity.

“Walking together
Living together
In peace and harmony….”
The choir-like voices are evocatively reminiscent of the rich James Last orchestra-type voices, and their solemn plea tone is unmissable. It registers indelibly.
And Maziyke’s own soulful falsetto and luxurious natural voice tug at the heart as he pleads for peace and understanding in the ad-libs and verses. First, he lunges straight into a rap verse delivered with stunning versatility.
“We’re living through the age
When People are very mean..
We’re living through the times
When people are heartless
We are living through the times

When people fight because of race and Religion

We’re living through the times

When people want power

At all cost and by all means

We are living through the times when people

dislike you because of the color of your skin

He is deft on the job. He executed proficiently.

By the time the song shifts into the last lap, you’re left in no doubt that this is a master at work and that this is a massive, world-class peace song:
“We are one people
Though our tribes and tongues may differ
In peace and harmony
Let us live Oh oh oh
Yes, we are
The same people
No matter your nationality and religion
In peace and harmony
Let us live….”

Maziyke’s voice rocks and anchors the message so well in the opening adlibs where he sings:

“We’re 1 people, one people
I believe in peace and harmony
It’s really one people

Say no to violence ….”

This pop, rock, Afro, and world music masterpiece reminds one of previous peace and charity classics like “The USA for Africa(We Are the World)”, John Lennon’s “Imagine All the People,” Lucky Dube’s “Think About the Children” and “Different Colors One People” and Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World. “

“Peace&Harmony” is itself set to a regal world beat, uniting elements of the pop, rap, rock, and Afrosoul genres. The elegant, soulful rock guitars are unmissable. They will heartwarmingly stir your milk of human kindness. And the enchanting bassline rumbles deeply underneath, unrelentingly through the song.
The chorus is the hook and climax of this epic track. And the lead voice nailed this big plea for peace and harmony. The potent combination of the chorus and Maziyke’s soulful falsetto ad-libs on it takes you there. They could move you to a tear. You will feel the plea if you have a human heart. His ad-libs rock.
This is a moving song! Brilliant orchestration and strings!
But will the world listen this time?
Let people around the world listen to this cry from the heart.
The world needs this message now!

The writer of this big song, Maziyke, better known as AllaBama , whose real names are Emma Ike Agu is not entirely new to world-class songwriting. This is the craft he’s known for in the industry. The multi-talented, award-winning international singer-songwriter and record producer only redemonstrated it in “Peace & Harmony.” He has an illustrious history of great songwriting.
He was the mystery songwriter for Nigerian child star Tosin Jegede in the 80s. His own prodigious talent and musical prowess were revealed when in the 80s, he penned the winning jingle for the War Against Indiscipline (WAI) campaign during the then Buhari/Idiagbon regime.
That revelation led to his being appointed Music director at the Kwara State Ministry of Arts and Culture in Ilorin.
At the time, he also secured a contract from the government to do a music album.
His songwriting prowess also led to his choir winning the All Christian Music Choirs competition at the University of Lagos in 1986. Additionally, as a testament to his consummate songwriting abilities, he led over 500 cultural troupes to welcome the then-visiting head of state at the Ilorin State stadium. He performed for him at the government house.

Fast forward to the Obama era, Maziyke, now based in the U.S., headlined the newly elected President Obama’s African inauguration ball in Washington D.C. on the eve of the president’s first swearing-in ceremony in 2009. And continuing his string of accomplishments, he would subsequently go on to headline the Edmonton -Canada African cultural festival the next year.

Though he later took a leave of absence from the music scene for a while, he is now back. And this massive song, “Peace and Harmony,” is just one track from his upcoming album, “GOODTYME.”
“Peace & Harmony” is worth hearing! This is a big song,

By Franz Dickson: Writer and music reviewer, Franz is also the author of The Contestant

franzdickson@abrahamawodi

1 PEOPLE-RAP VERSION

1 PEOPLE-ACAPELA

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